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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Inspired by Cross Stitch

When I was younger, I used to love to cross stitch. I could sit for hours with my lap full of a rainbow of colourful floss. Back then I had to have every colour floss that came out so I still have boxes full. I also have a lot of cross stitch fabric that I just can't bring myself to get rid of. Remember a few blogs back, I told you I was cleaning out my studio? Well, that job never seems to get done. I always find things that inspire me and so I drop the cleaning and begin making art.

So I found these boxes of floss, fabric and lots of cross stitch design books and I was inspired. I took to cross stitching small motifs that I could use on my cards and that would be completed quickly. I used the motifs for a jumping off point to design my cards. Have a look at what I came up with.

I really like the chicken series. Which ones are your favourites?

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Relay for Hope Quilt Completed

Just as I was beginning to think the Mylan Relay for Hope Quilt was never going to be completed, I received an email which included photos of the finished quilt. If you remember that early last year I was making a section of that quilt which was to display all the Provinces and Territories of Canada. I believe my panel, The Yukon Territories, was completed in April 2015. The Relay race was held this past summer and the quilt would be completed after the race was done.

I have been waiting eagerly for these photos to see how it turned out with all the different panels. It became a huge quilt which has a large Maple Leaf in the center on a background of white. This Maple Leaf section traveled along with the runners from Province to Province and was signed by dignitaries in each place it stopped.

Below, I've posted the individual Provincial and Territorial Panels.


Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

Prince Edward Island






British Columbia

Yukon Territories

Northwest Territories


Thursday, 14 January 2016

Inspired by a Chilly Winter Walk

Today, I made sure to put on my long johns for my neighbourhood walk as well and my neck warmer and a good pair of gloves. Because there is now snow and ice on the ground I also put on my big winter boots. I am not a hat person and so I rarely wear a hat but I should also have put one of those on to protect my ears which were sore due to the wind. It was -6C this morning.

I have been snapping photos with my cell phone on my walks and also took a selfie which I used to make a sketch for today.

We see a lot of these driving around on these days of snow. This one does not have a salter on the back but most do. We spread a lot of salt in Toronto, however, the 2015/16 winter has not been exceptionally snowy.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

New Year Studio Cleanup

Most of my major projects are complete so today I started doing some cleaning up in the studio. I didn't get very far but I did purge lots of stuff I have never used so I created a little more space for the stuff I have sitting on top of my counters. I would love to clear those counters completely!

After lunch I left the cleaning and did a little artwork just so I didn't feel like I had wasted the day. I'll have to continue the cleaning another day.

I also went for my neighbourhood walk again today. I was a little nippy. Temperatures have dropped considerably this week and I think I will have to put on my long johns and a hat when I go out again. The cold makes it pretty impossible to sketch on location. My fingers don't take long to freeze. So I have been taking photos and sketching in my warm house. Here are some of last week's sketches.

Once, a few years ago, I painted my Amaryllis bulb as it grew which I really enjoyed doing because the Amaryllis grows so quickly. I had saved my bulb from last Christmas and put it outside in my garden letting it continue to grow. In the Fall, I brought it back inside and let the leaves die off by not watering it. Then I put it in my kitchen window and started watering again and it started to come to life. Well, as I watched it grow, it appeared there were only leaves coming so I was not going to sketch it. BUT, now I am seeing what I believe is a flower bud coming up and am excited to begin sketching!

I wanted to sketch the first snow but that is difficult to do on white paper. I tried to show some shadows and snow edges against the rocks and leaves. If you use your imagination really well, you can see snow. ;)

My poinsettia this year was white and not as dramatic as a red one would have been but I like it anyway.

After not seeing deer in a very long time in my back ravine, I spied this buck just sitting very quietly between the trees as the snow fell one morning. At first I thought it was a tree stump that was becoming covered in snow but then it moved its head and I saw these large antlers. Such beautiful creatures!