Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Fold

Lots of folded things around the house these days as boxes are being unpacked. Pictures in the pretty golden light of the afternoon were in order today.
After that a trip downtown and some mending this evening.
Check out the little pink Make Do and Mend

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On a Thursday Morning

Playing, making paper snowflakes and arranging flowers.

We're either kindergarteners or senior citizens.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nice Threads

A few things from around the house today:
* a horse in a nurse cape
* a book on the Mother of God
* a pink wool blanket on the living room chair
* four spools of cotton sateen thread

And I had one of those double matinée film experiences this weekend: Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche New York and Mike Leigh's Happy Go Lucky (hence the title of this post).

And the 1st snow last night!
Alice loves it ...digging for leaves & twigs under a blanket of white.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


On these dark evenings that begin at five I'm at home cooking soup, drinking les Jamelles and reading some of Frances Spalding's writing on Bloomsbury. Her bio on Vanessa Bell and a newish book, Insights The Bloomsbury Group (2005).

Above - one of Duncan Grant's fabric designs for the Omega Workshops. Like the Shakers, their designs were anonymous, stored in simple paper folders, and unlike the Bauhaus or William Morris, Omega had no political or industrial agenda. They didn't wish to revive craft. Their objects were meant to demonstrate an honest joy taken in existence and making things.

And below - Clive, Mary, Duncan and E.M. at Charleston.

Virginia Woolf in 1925 praised them for 'having worked out a way of life which was not by any means corruptor sinister or merely intellectual; rather ascetic and austere indeed; which still holds, and keeps them dining together, and staying together, after twenty years; and no amount of quarreling or success, or failure has altered this. Now I do think this rather credible.'


and this week a farewell to Dear Natasha, and see you soon .

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


it's out!

Congratulations and thanks to John for all his hard work, and congratulations and thanks to Susannah for her beautiful writing. Thank you too to John Jones for taking great photographs of the work for me.
I won't comment too much on the full publication as I haven't seen it in print yet. Please check it out for yourself on the Alphabet City site which includes info on the FUEL festival in Toronto November 23-28, 2008.

And for those of you in the North, on November 19th Kyle Cashen's band Crash the Car will release their new recording They Built Houses Here. I mention it here because Chera designed a handsome cd cover and website for them using some of the images from Blankety Blank.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Apricot marzipan
White radishes

The delights never cease.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Grosgrain & Velvet Ribbons

Making tiebacks for white linen drapes. I couldn't decide in the shop which would be the right colour home and it's definitely the teal velvet. This is the widest I could find so I'll sew 2 pieces together side-by-side. All from the magnificent RIX RAX a notions shop on Gilford at St-Hubert (hard to miss with a giant button hanging above the front entrance). They specialize in vintage buttons -far and away the best source I know of, and all organized by colour. They have a fairly good selection of grosgrain too.

Hallowe'en is upon us. I'm dressing up as a Jesuit priest -got an old black cassock choir robe that'll do and a crumbly leather-bound bible. Alice'll be Alice Cooper.

- - - Happy Halloweening - - -

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Long Walk and a Good Supper

makes everything better
(there was protein on that plate too, just wasn't ready for the photo)

Afterward I went down to Sala to see Eric play with his troupe No More Shapes.
Bouyant! radiant!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Hand Drawn Thread

Kerry pointed out to me how beautiful that sounds. We had a little lunch together in her sunny studio yesterday. I meant to take pictures but it seemed invasive. Maybe next time I'll have the guts. Her place is so full of delightful things organized in such a way.

A few thrifted items from a church basement sale Alice and I stumbled on during our walk home after lunch. The boxes of thread! there were dozens. What nice presents they'll make.

And a perfect dessert enjoyed after supper tonight ... with the austere and miraculous film Silent Light (Stellet Licht) by Carlos Reygadas (the tender).
ok. this film is stunning.

The last time I watched a film I felt this immediately aligned with was ten years ago, it was Y aura-t-il de la neige a Noel? by Sandrine Veysset, with Dominique Reymond playing the role of the mother - and she was so incredible.

Email me if you have trouble finding Silent Light and you want to see it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's Lovely It Lasts

I imagine Elizabeth Jane Howard has been sleeping on pure linen sheets all her life.
Her memoir Slipstream begins with a childhood dream of cakes. On October 12 I was treated to an interview she did with the great Eleanor Wachtel, available here.

* night night *

Monday, October 20, 2008


Above is a loom woven linen coverlet from the early 19th century that I just finished working on. The wool would've originally have been a poppy red and is woven directly into the linen & looped over a twig or other tool to create the pretty tree pattern. This technique is boutonnée or candlewicking.
Candlewicking is also a form of whitework embroidery. The term comes from the resemblance that early materials would've had (unbleached muslin and unbleached cotton thread) to the braided thread formed into candle wicks. Contemporary candlewicking is generally heavy on the bleached white cottons and French Knots.


Below is a hand-hooked rug from French Canada that would've been made in the early part of the last century. The pattern & colours are so exquisite in this. And the back is at least as beautiful as the front - the mended spots were done by an early owner. I love them.

I added burlap to the two ends and rehooked where it had come unraveled and reinforced a number of areas in the interior that had come apart or loose. It's getting so brittle as it ages but the colour is hardly faded.