As if it weren't enough to have lovely things said about my work by Micaela Fitzsimmons at the Stratford Perth Museum, this morning I opened an e-mail from my art-quilting mentor, Anna Hergert, to find she'd nominated me for the "Versatile Blogger Award"!
I'm thrilled and delighted to learn that my blog is one she follows and enjoys enough to consider for this designation. Anna, thank you!
Now as seems to be the case such recognition online, I have a few pleasant tasks to fulfill upon acceptance. In addition to my most sincere 'thank you' to Anna, I am to provide 15 blogs that I visit or follow regularly, and in turn, nominate their creators as Versatile Blogger Award winners. To that end, I thought it might be fun to nominate those who, to my mind, are indeed 'versatile'. I dug out my old Webster's New World Dictionary and found that the word means the following:
- "competent in many things; able to turn easily from one subject or occupation to another;
- in botany, turning about freely on the filament to which it is attached; and
- in zoology, moving forward or backward, as the toes of a bird." (emphasis mine)
Abbey of the Arts and 'abbess' Christine Valters Paintner, author, teacher, spiritual director, artist and Monk in the World.
Artfabrik, home of the talented and irrepressible Laura Wasilowski, Dean of the Chicago School of Fusing -- who starts my day with a chuckle and inspires me to think colourful thoughts as I quilt.
Kathie Briggs of 45 Degrees North: the artful journey of my friend, colleague and Professional Artist Member of SAQA, as she continues to push the envelope of her creative skills.
Cast On -- the blog and the podcast by Brenda Dayne, an American ex-patriot living in West Wales, knitting, writing, creating, observing and commenting irreverently on a variety of subjects.
Explorations in Quilting and Life - my friend Judy Warner's log of exotic travels and creative process. Never a dull moment!
Gail Harker Creative Studies Center - where Gail (another of my teachers) and guest bloggers provide a feast for the eyes, food for thought -- and sometimes, recipes!
Judy's Journal - in which Ontario textile artist Judy Martin records her work, her projects, and her unique way of looking at the world.
Linda Kemshall - the weblog of my C&G tutor and co-founder of Design Matters -- always a source of inspiration.
Like the Queen (2) - probably the very first blog I ever read. Knitter, librarian, gardener, and down-right sweetie, Bess H. is a long-time cyber-friend.
My Sweet Prairie - Saskatchewan stitcher Monika Kinner-Whalen celebrates her love of prairie landscape, thread-painting and quilting -- with her lively family in tow!
Nancy Cook's News from My Studio - blog home of another SAQA colleague who works in wholecloth, paint, stitch, embroidery...Yum!
Quilting for the Rest of Us - the blog and podcast of Sandy H., exploring quilt design, community and process, and their impact on the lives of those who do these things -- and those around them.
Spirit Cloth - and Jude Hill, who teaches me to remember, to simplify, and to revel in the process of stitching.
Sunset Cove - my daughter Gina's blog -- her life, skillfully illustrated in writing and photography.
Wake Robin - blogger Velma Bolyard's photos, poetry, and book arts in rural upstate New York...
And...ending with another of the first blogs I ever read, that of The Yarn Harlot, Torontonian Stephanie Pearl-McPhee -- whose books I collect, whose prolific knitting output I admire, and whose humour keeps me sane.
Believe it or not, I follow seventy blogs (!) and though not all of them post regularly (some, very rarely, in fact), I always have something wonderful, inspiring, thoughtful and humourous to enjoy with my morning cuppa...or my afternoon cuppa...or my evening cuppa....! It wasn't easy pulling out only fifteen to celebrate here, but I hope some of these will be new to you, Gentle Readers, and that you will come to enjoy them as much as I do.
And now, for the third requirement of my 'Versatile Blogger' award: to tell you seven things about myself:
- I no longer own a television set. When it died (shorted out during a snowstorm in January 2011), I realized my computer was really my window on the world, so I didn't replace the TV. I enjoy everything I want on line: PBS, The Quilt Show, an assortment of podcasts and -- best of all -- letter-writing and sharing with a vast community over the Internet.
- I love to read. I learned to read before kindergarten (age 4 or so) and will read cereal boxes if that's all that's lying around. That said, my favourite fiction genre is the 'cozy' mystery, one in which the crime (usually murder) is solved with 'little grey cells' and without gratuitous sex or violence.
- I may have a fairly constant public presence online, but in truth I am an introvert. I love solitude; I live alone without loneliness; my happiest times are spent reading and stitching in the quiet of my wee house and garden.
- I am an Associate of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, an Order of Anglican Nuns based in Toronto, Ontario, but with a house in Victoria, B.C. As such, I have promised to follow a Rule of Life in the Benedictine tradition...often my greatest daily challenge!
- Quilting notwithstanding, knitting is my first love -- since age 8, well over 50 years ago now -- and it is what my hands turn to in moments of uncertainty and stress. The year my husband died, I couldn't quilt or paint or write for months, but I knit constantly.
- I delight in long-distance running. In my late twenties and thirties I completed 5 marathons -- all before it was considered 'safe' for women to do so. I no longer race, however, preferring to run for the simple joy of moving along country roads in the quiet of the early morning or the cool of a wintry afternoon. Some of my best ideas come together on an hour's run.
- My two favourite beverages are good, dark, black coffee, and good, peaty, single-malt scotch. Better than chocolate!