Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

Sewing with less stress back cover

Sewing with less stress back cover
What my new book is about

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About me

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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Thank you

This is a just a quick update before I go back to do some marking for my summer course, but I want you all to know  I have been back in touch with Daisy's foster mother, and had a really good conversation. She is pleased Daisy is doing so well, but as she lives a ways away we have agreed to keep in contact by email. I am going to get my husband to take some shots tonight of the wild running around in the water that goes on at the beach and send them on to her.

I intend to keep in touch too when we are back in Nova Scotia. You are right, she needs to see how her foster dog did and where she went. It is the least I can do for what she has already done for us.

The comments left on this blog really got me thinking. I thank you so much for taking the time to write them. I like this conversation best when it is two way.

More later, there are some pictures of the Lowly Worm sweater coming up.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Having a past

I got a call today.

From the woman who fostered Daisy after they broke her out of the puppy mill four weeks ago.

I found out that until that time she had spent her entire time in a cage. 

Her feet had never touched grass (that's why they are so soft), no one had housetrained her,  (perfect now)  just mucked out her cage if that, and she had never been on a walk, or on the other end of a lease.

The woman today told me what a wreck Daisy was. Terrified of men, nervous, and withdrawn. The foster mother was worried. She wanted to know if Daisy was doing alright and if she could come and visit.

I am learning no one expects a puppy mill mom to do well. At all.

The thing is who I have here is a small dog who doesn't like loud noises it's true, but who walks for hours every day. 

Who chases birds and bunnies. 

Who climbs onto a window sill and waits when we are out. 

Who does leaping laps around the yard when we come home. 

Who has tentatively started to play with toys.

Who comes like a bullet when she is called.

I am so excited to be taking her home next month. I want to show her that big fenced yard and say "this is yours."

Right now I have a dog who runs up and visits with everyone we meet on the beach. Who lets them pat her head, even the men.

What a nice little dog they say. How well-behaved. How friendly.

I have decided to keep her history to myself on these encounters.

I have been thinking a lot about this.

We all have our baggage. Some folks have had things happen in the past that have been terrible and hard to leave behind. Some folks have had far more than their share, for no good reason, like Daisy.

The thing is on that same beach last month I attended an Easter service at sunrise. Whatever your spirituality, whatever it is or isn't, basically the message is simple - let's wipe out that bad past. You're good now. 

Maybe bad times can stop being part of your story.

Maybe sometimes a bit of cancelation is the right thing to do.

Just to go back to where you started, to who you were going to be until that happened.

I was thinking of this tonight on the same beach and I decided Daisy has a right to not have that past anymore. 

She is as good as any dog on the beach. 

The blown dried ones, the ones in dog strollers, the family dogs who have always had the family.

She is a little dog who is just so glad to be alive in this world.

You should see her run.

Really what else matters? 

She is enough just as she is.

Right there.

So tonight I was complimented on my beautiful dog.

"Look how she looks to mommy to make sure it is OK to be patted by a stranger. How smart." 

"Thank you. She was trained to do that."

Daisy deserves the credit.

I'm thinking I will call that woman back tomorrow. 

Tell her how grateful I am for the work she did fostering Daisy until she was adopted. I really am grateful. But I think we are fine without a visit.

She remembers the damaged dog.

We won't.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Flypaper thoughts

  • A pause in the sewing this week
  • My MIL fell and broke her hip one night
  • A new hip and then an air ambulance home
  • All is well
  • Hasn't had any pain meds at all since day two
  • They sure keep their cool that side of the family
  • My side makes up for it
  • Feeling like I should be sewing more
  • Wonder if other sewing bloggers feel that pressure?
  • Nothing to show
  • Wonder if that's why other bloggers sometimes vanish?
  • Not me
  • If there is no sewing going on there still is thinking
  • Have enough flypaper thoughts to fill a book
  • For instance
  • Do you ever notice how ugly pelicans are up close?
  • And how amazingly elegant and beautiful they are when they all glide in formation?
  • Takes my breath away how wonderful they look in the sky
  • Maybe we are all like that
  • Maybe we are only at our best when we are in our element
  • Maybe the job should not be trying to look or be our best but to find that element?
  • Take off to where we were meant to be
  • Might take some time
  • Miss Daisy is coming along so great
  • Getting her dog back
  • Hope we are her element
  • Going to a Willie Nelson concert tonight in the amphitheatre
  • Husband and I can't remember the last time we went to a concert
  • This may be indicative of our age or lack of pre-existing coolness
  • Of course Mr. Nelson is 82
  • So tonight may not count in coolness points
  • The Lowly worm sweater is now for me
  • Turns out the sleeves are even narrower than the body
  • Fits me fine although the right length (the only right part) for my 6'4" son
  • Christmas after next is the one when he gets a sweater
  • Are there people who buy their kids' presents?
  • Mine probably wish I was one of those people
  • Have been told 50 pairs of socks is enough for any two feet
  • I needed a sweater