Several years ago, author, speaker and podcaster Gretchen Rubin opined, "The days are long but the years are short." She was right then, and that thought still rings true -- at least for many of us. When I was in my teens, my mother told me, "After [age] 21, time simply disappears." She was right, too.
Outside observers -- at least in the culture in which I live -- would look at all that I've been experiencing in the last six or seven weeks and comment, "You've been busy!" And I suppose that's one way to look at it.
I've decided, however, that I'm going to drop the word "busy" from my vocabulary. "Busy" and it's close relative, "productive", have nearly undone me as I've gotten older -- and particularly since I entered my 8th decade last fall.
Instead, I've decided to define what occupies my time as -- quite simply -- living. Some days the pace is faster; some days there are several other people involved. Other days...not so much. Each day has a flavour and tenor of its own.
I've discovered that looking at my life in this fashion keeps me from dwelling in the past, keeps me from wallowing in self-pity and regret, and brings me much more peace and contentment. It might even help me have live longer -- and heaven knows, my stash(es) need that to happen!
Enough philosophizing! What have you been up to, girl?!
When I last posted, I was in the middle of the first in-person Lacome Encore! Art Show and Sale since 2019. It was a terrific weekend. I loved telling others about my work -- and did my best to grin and bear it when someone referred to it as a "nice little hobby". There will always be folks who just don't 'get it'! I sold enough to buy a bit of art from other artists there, and went home exhausted but happy.
Less than two weeks later, I was on a plane to Toronto for the 2023 SAQA Conference -- again, the first in person since 2019, and the first in perosn conference held outside the US. It was another whirlwind -- meeting up with old friends, making new ones, taking in the excellent speakers and visiting both the Textile Museum of Canada and the "Colour with a 'U'" SAQA Canada exhibit at the Campbell House Museum -- both within walking distance of our hotel downtown.
I do confess, it's been a very long time since I've seen that much pavement all in one place! 😉😆
I won't overload you with photos, but here are a few. This first trio were part of the Textile Museum exhibit, "Refuse", created by artist Padina Bondar. I was completely fascinated with this work, the textures and the sculptural nature of it took my breath away.
|Knitted lace -- from recycled black|
Artist: Padina Bondar
|Material samples - 2019-2021|
Artist: Padina Bondar
|Cosmic Waste Dress (2021)|
Artist: Padina Bondar
After the Textile Museum, my friend Bethany and others all trooped over to Campbell House Museum to see "Colour with a 'U'" -- an all Canadian SAQA member exhibit that was created originally to open at the Toronto conference -- when it was supposed to be held, in 2020. Since then, it was in lock-down for a while and then, as venues opened up, it toured parts of Canada. Alas, it made it no farther west that Saskatchewan, so I wasn't able to see it out here. That's why it was so good to be able to be in TO to see it at last -- in this, its final venue before being retired.
It's up till June 5 if you haven't seen it yet and are able to get to TO to do so! And if you simply can't get there...here's a video slideshow of the full exhibit, from the SAQA website. 😊
I did get a few photos, but it was a very busy and somewhat crowded venue at the time. Here are a few favourites:
|Three Artists -- Three Amigas! |
Left to right above: my friend and intrepid room-mate at the conference, artist Bethany Garner; our friend and artist of reknown, Mary Pal (watch for her episode this weekend on The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson!); and me.
Behind us: celebrated author and Canadian icon, Margaret Atwood, done in Mary's unique style with cheescloth, fabric and thread.
Typically Canadian, here are a few examples from this diverse exhibit:
|36 Million Stories: The Fabric of US (2019)|
Artist: Linda Finley, Bear Cove, Nova Scotia
|Green to Make My Heart Sing (2019)|
Susan Selby, Navin, Manitoba
|Cold Magic (2020)|
Janet Harper, Vancouver, B.C.
|Rue de Buade #2 - 2014|
Heather Dubreuil, Hudson, Quebec
|The Urgent Colours of a Summer Garden - 2019|
Wilma Brock, Surrey, B.C.
|The Here and Elsewhere Bee - 2017|
Andrea Tsang Jackson, Halifax, Nova Scotia
|Through My Eyes - 2019|
Michele Craigen, Weyburn, Saskatchewan
As to speakers, the highlights for me were Dorothy Caldwell -- the keynote speaker first thing Friday morning; Lindsay Olson, one of the 'break-out' speakers on Friday afternoon; Lorraine Roy -- the keynote speaker first thing Saturday morning; and my friend, Susan Lenz -- the keynote on Sunday morning. All the speakers provided inspiration and food for thought, but these four stood out for me.
After the conference ended early Sunday afternoon, I was driven out to Don Mills, and spent a very hectic day and a half with my old university friend, Karen, her husband Brad and their family. It was their daughter's birthday on Monday, so the family -- said daughter, her hubby, their two little ones; her older brother and his wife and two little ones -- all gathered at K&B's home on Sunday evening for dinner and celebration. It was a swirl of activity, noise, good food, conversation, excitement, Lego, dogs etc....and then at 8 p.m., it was all over, and the three of us left -- K, B and me -- had a quiet drink and went to bed! Monday, Karen and I had lunch with a friend of hers; then K napped while I stitched and Brad worked in his upstairs office.
Tuesday a.m. found me on a full flight home -- and I was glad to be on my own again to process all of the activity of the last week.
What made this easier was that I could channel energy in to yard work. The weather had warmed up and there was plenty to do.
Now all is planted, and when it's not too smokey -- due to a record number of wild fires in the northwest part of the province as well as in BC -- I can sit outside and stitch, while I listen to the bees humming in the blossoms of my ornamental fruit trees.
I've been able to trim some deadwood, and have added more wildflower seed to my meadow garden beds, in addition to planting fresh annuals in my decorative planters.The outdoor studio is open for "business" -- but I can't burn the deadwood (yet) due to the province-wide fire ban. I certainly don't want to tempt Fate by even trying!
Instead, Miss Pookie and I sit and stitch, and watch Flosstubes on my laptop!
The other Outdoor Adventure (of sorts) that will be happening around here in the next week or so is the replacement of the shingles on the roof of both my house and my garage. The existing ones are twenty years old or more, and are curling badly (especially on the garage), so it's time. The packets were delivered on Wednesday afternoon, and await installation, depending on the schedule of the crews (there are 6 crews working for this company) and the weather:
|Shingle packages on the garage|
|Shingle packages on the house|
Before the smoke hit in earnest, and before the roofers run their truck over my 'meadow', I managed yesterday to harvest some of my dandelion crop, for the first batch of jelly this year:
|I managed to cull 6 cups of petals from the first picking.|
|Here's Batch #1 from the first 3 cups of |
|Here's Batch #2 from the next 3 cups of|
dandelion "tea" - the 'remnant' on the right
will be eaten first!
I got 6 cups of 'tea' from the 6 cups of petals, but as I was boiling jars and lids in my largest pot, I could make only 3 cups of 'tea' into jam/jelly at the same time. The first batch was made last evening (May 19) and the second, early this morning (May 20). I let the second boil more aggressively so it was finished more quickly and is a darker colour and more jelly than jam -- but still delicious!
On the stitching front, I've been marking "Maynia" this year with a selection of five WIPs, each of which I've been working on for five days at one go.
My first one was "Here Be Dragons" from Modern Folk Embroidery -- and I've made terrific progress!
The second piece is one I started in on the plane flying out to Toront; it's for a friend's birthday next month. In the five-day focus period set aside for this one, I got very close to a finish. It's the second in the "Kitchen Counter" series from Hands On Design, and is called "Take Whisks". (Yes, my friend loves to bake!)
And speaking of quilting, last weekend my friend C and I went to the first Central Alberta Quilters' Guild Show since 2019. What a treat! It was in the new hall at Westerner Park in Red Deer -- and it was huge! There was lots to see and lots of great vendors, but the best part was the surprise and delight of meeting up with quilters I'd not seen in years. It was Old Home Week at its best!
|"Fabric Scissors Only"|
Maker: Karen Yetter
The 'Tamarack' jacket pattern,
with personal modifications!
|"No Beard, No Way"|
Maker: Thelma Mellafont
Pattern from "Fabriculous"
|"Ewe Are Loved"|
Maker: Diane Andrews
Pattern: One Sisters Designs
|One of a trio from Patti Morris, this one was a collaboration.|
"Festival of Trees Quilt"
Makers: Care Group, Central AB Quilters
Designers: French Braid (background) by Karen Montgomery,
Applique (foreground) by Patti Morris
And last but not least, this one got my vote for "Viewer's Choice". I loved the use of colour and the placement of the fabrics. The border is particularly appropriate and striking. I just loved everything about this quilt!
Maker: Elizabeth Russell
Design/Pattern: taken from
Quilters' Colors Club by Christine E. Barnes