Thursday, 3 July 2014


The time frame between July 1 and 4 is full of celebrations across the continent, national "birthdays" commemorated with patriotism and happiness. Though there was a time our family also celebrated that is not so much the case anymore. But as others remember formative events of their nations, This time recalls formative events for me too.

I never thought I'd be the kind of person who cared about milestone anniversaries or dates. As most of you know, I'm absent minded enough that I often forget what day it is or how old I really am. I never remember numbers because they are meaningless to me and I find them somewhat arbitrary. People can recognize them or not as they see fit. One man considers some days more sacred and another sees every day alike.

So it turns out I'm normally the latter, but when it comes to specific milestones, I've ended up becoming the former. My birthday never meant anything to me until I reached 30 (and then I hated it--it means only that I'm even older than I thought). I always did like the metric system and multiples of ten because I could understand them, unlike most math. So those milestones seem to make me stop and remember. Whether it's ten, seventy, ninety, or one hundred years, it seems right to remember, especially now. Even in sadness.

All of that said, the assigning of significance to certain dates, though arbitrary, is an (often unacknowledged) way of pointing to the relationship we should have with the giver of all meaning. We look for meaning in even the most mundane things because we know it exists in the deepest part of our beings. We know there is significance to life, even those that are gone. And, as I've mentioned before, the marking of time means we're coming closer every day to the culmination of all things. The point when time and our sojourn end and it turns out the milestones were only monuments to a brief separation after all. They only mark the time it took to get home.

Saturday, 28 June 2014


The modern world, with all its meaninglessness and alienation, was born 100 years ago today. Fitting that death would be the catalyst for the death of an entire generation and with them, western society. 

Etching from Der Krieg series, Otto Dix

Sunday, 11 May 2014

After Four Years of Exile...

We have finally moved to a place that has room for all my fabric and Fergus (plus at least 20 other cats for Fergus to get beat down by, including a random grey kitten that ran into our apartment today). It also doesn't have the stupidest tenancy agreement of all time, so even though I'm paying more, it's probably all worth it. 

Since I can put shelves on anything that doesn't move and we're paying more for rent, we are getting rid of the storage locker. We have enough room that we don't need it, and while I packed it like tetris before the move, we finally got down to the original layer and brought it all home today. This was virtually all my stuff, including my quilt hoop, the parts of the industrial sewing machine (now in the basement), the homemade drumcarder and fibre, the tubs of dyestuff and pots for dyeing, and the two jumbo tubs of FABRIC.

Ooh tub of TREASURE. SO EXCITING. Those are the poly brocades I hoarded on top. I started pulling everything out of them as soon as possible and depositing it into multiple piles around the living/dining area.

Fabric piles everywhere! And patterns. And test designs. And things I sort of made. And interfacings/fusible web/buckram/timtex. And other wonderful things.

It turned out I had lots of white fabric (mostly silk) for dyeing. Some cotton, linen, organza and also some kind of stiff silk I have no idea what I'm going to do with. It's almost like paper. Definitely silk though, which is my favorite fibre ever:

Especially duppioni, apparently. I love the versatility of silk and the way it dyes. It's the perfect fibre and if silk worms weren't so disgusting and nasty, I would totally raise them to reap the benefits of their hard work and sad little lives. Yay! But they ARE nasty so someone else has to do it for me. I also had some silk hankies (these are pulled out cocoons) in there, which I used in felting projects mostly.

 I took most of the quilting cotton in the form of fat quarters with me and they sat on the shelf of my room, but a few of the larger cuts I put into storage. I found some nice plain blacks and whites, both of which I've bought more of since. Plus some cotton, wool and silk/wool batting. Unfortunately I can't decide which is the wool and which is the silk/wool. Love wool batting though.

Various apparel fabrics plus the sari I bought all cheap. I also had a couple of patterns. I keep trying to do clothing sewing, but I'm just not that good at it. Mainly because I want to be able to sew like Alexander McQueen already and am always sadly disappointed that God didn't just make that happen like when the lame walk and the blind see.  IT'S JUST AS VITAL. Like who wants to make t shirts? I want to make COOL STUFF.

I totally did buy that Japanese Vionnet book in anticipation of him changing his mind on that this time though!!

These are muslins, test blocks and half finished projects. Never have known exactly what to do with some of these. I also have the ties and bits for the crazy quilt I have always been planning. One of these days I'll start it!

 I even found actually finished projects as well (yeah I do have a few of those). This was my big bagua batik. The tiger was probably my favorite, and I dyed the colours with procion mx and sodium alginate. I remember the black being really problematic and it ended up fading quite a bit after I put it in a window, though it was meant to fade out on the edges. Mama was like "let's put it on the table for decoration" haha.

  I also found the logwood dyed things had shifted quite a lot into brown from purple. Gotta watch those browns. And logwood of course. The dye woods are in their own tub, though I suspect I'll have to replace all the noxious chemicals I'm still not supposed to have.


I did not find the three missing quilts. I think they are gone. Mama keeps saying "I didn't take them, just the other ones you found under my bed!!" Sigh.  It's possible they got moved, but they are not in any of the places my other things are. RIP quilts, where ever you are:


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The Deer's Cry

The Deer's Cry has always been one of my favorite pieces of calligraphy, and over the years I've collected images of maybe 15 or 16 of the most famous pages from it. Archibald Knox started the work in 1914 and continued working on it for the rest of his life. It's an amazing rendition of Patrick's Breastplate, or the Deer's Cry, a midieaval poem often attributed to Patrick.

For Archibald Knox's 150th birthday (and maybe the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the project) The Manx museum actually posted the entire thing online this month--including the unfinished pieces. Unfortunately the pictures are kind of underexposed, so they're pretty dark.

The Christ images are my favorites and three of the completed ones would make a nice set with the unfinished Christ Before me. Cause I'm a nerd and stuff I tried to fix the Christ Before Me image. Because it was a pencil drawing and the fold of the binding made the left side of the image really dark, it didn't work. As the drawing was actually complete, my obsessiveness kicked in and I reworked it.

Here is the redone version. As noted, they'd make a nice set:

 I wonder what colours he would have used. I don't think it would be crazy to think it would probably be similar to the others, but still unique. Too bad he didn't finish it . :(  There are only maybe ten lines uncompleted. I really love that each section has a continuity of design and unfortunately this section is the one where most of the missing lines are. "Christ in me" is wider and looks less like the other four, but is still also beautiful.

Mem was all "you should finish" as if I don't suck compared to Archibald Knox and would ruin it.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

2013 in (Mostly) Camera Phone Pickshurs


Last year I noticed how the story of most of my year could be told by looking at my phone pictures. I thought about doing something like this then, but there were too many pictures to try to take off the phone and, as you all know, I'm lazy.

So I found this app called Flipagram which allowed me to make this from the phone really easily and decided to do it this year. Unfortunately it started to crash when I'd crop the photos how I wanted them, so by the third try I just stopped cropping; as a result it made some really crappy crops. ESPECIALLY disappointed that the "SUCK" part of the Bombers SUCK foamy is missing. Despite that it was kind of fun to do, almost wish I'd done that with the grey cup pictures. I do wish I could fade different songs in or something. Oh well it's pretty good for a simple free app.

I backed it with the theme song of Saskatchewan for 2013, Feeling Good by the Sheepdogs. With 2013 being the year of emerald, ISON and the Riders, things definitely came up green for us this year. I also saw them perform the song at Grey Cup and the Junos (those pictures being on Real Cameras).

Included are pictures of us at mem's wedding, Alex Cuba, The Unbearable Snow, Junos, The Great Throwdown, shootin guns, Regina Folk Fest, Paul McCartneeeeyyy!!, Cruz in the hospital, Play it Safe Day, The labour day game, the Sept 14 home game and the 101 Grey Cup (not so much of that cause those pics are already on here). And also James' cat Fergus mac Roich. Then some random ones.

I added a few of the best ones that weren't on camera phones, but alas am missing the one of me gettin ready to kill MARV, and the one of me in the igloo (that is on Holly's camera phone but never got it from her). The paper near the beginning is symbolic of the fact that I feel good I got out of the hell of the wretched Philadelphia International airport, btw.

Anyway started with a self portrait and ended with one ruined by Fergus. :)