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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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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Flypaper thoughts tray edition



  • Today I officially finished my Hallowe'en sewing
  • The baby flamingo costume has arrived in San Francisco for the youngest
  • Complete with a crocheted hat with a crooked beak
  • Swerved it a bit so it wouldn't fall between her eyes
  • Anika is going to be busy enough putting the fluorescent feathers in her mouth

  • Finished a Flash costume for the five-year-old boy.
  • Oh to be so young and innocent 
  • That a sweatsuit pattern made from red ponte scraps with some yellow zig zags straight stitched on can make a person race around at top speed
  • "Did you know Babsie that when I run I can feel a cloud of air behind me?"
  • That such magic can be created from just this

  • Made a black cape with a hood and a mohair skirt from some black wool I once had high ambitions for
  • Found black elbow length gloves for a ten-year-old (terrified I was going to have to make those) at Value Village
  • And bought black tulle for a veil
  • So that pre-teen can feel both terrifying and cool
  • Made a filly apron and hat for our baker
  • With a giant pocket in the front for loot
  • And found 1. a toy tray and a mug that we glued marshmallows on and 2. Japanese sugar marshmallows that look like donuts
  • All glue gunned to the tray
  • A person hits a strange season of life when they don't miss a former profession and job
  • But they are thrilled out of their minds to have found fake donuts 
  • Maybe I haven't left something but am returning somewhere
  • Am going to make bound buttonholes tomorrow
  • A soft boiled wool jacket would be violated by machine buttonholes
  • Had to get Hallowe'en done early because I am going to Winnipeg to see my mom next week
  • Forgot to ask if the snow was melted
  • The one city I never get lost in
  • Has the geography of a Monopoly Board
  • Do the police on Portage still wear Buffalo coats in the winter?
  • They did when we were kids
  • What did those coats weigh 100 pounds?


  • Yup that's my background
  • Created people who are very resourceful
  • But without any sense they could actually move somewhere else
  • If they had sense
  • A place where your lungs can freeze in the winter if you breath too deeply
  • Where my sister once froze her cheeks solid while we were playing
  • I remember the white circles on her face
  • I was supposed to bring her in then but didn't
  • A place where people say things like
  • Well Joyce lost her legs to cancer but you know she still got her canning done
  • Of course she did
  • A place where no one was allowed to sleep in
  • And you saved it for good
  • And the liquor was kept in the linen closet behind the towels 
  • In case the grandparents came over
  • And we wore our Hallowe'en costumes over our snow suits
  • So they had to be made big
  • And I once won a city wide competition for a Little Bo Peep costume
  • To go with the lamb costume my sister wore
  • That my mother made while lying on the couch recovering from a miscarriage
  • Which is exactly why I retired to crochet a flamingo hat
  • And to glue gun Japanese sweets to a plastic tray
  • It makes perfect sense


15 comments:

Deb Glosek said...

I needed this after a hard day where nothing went as planned. I'm sitting here laughing so hard that my sides hurt - feel so much better now. Thanks for the laughter, Babs - it really is the best medicine.

Deb Glosek

SMP said...

Ah, yes, I know the feeling. I brought my 2 year old granddaughter her tiger costume on thanksgiving weekend, and she ran around growling furiously at everyone. She became that tiger! And her 6 yr old sister couldn’t believe how smart I was to be able to sew her a swan princess outfit that was “ perfect”! How do you do it grandma? So satisfying after years of an academic career where criticism and never-ending projects were the norm, though I always did revel in the intellectual stimulation. Instead I am now prowling Dollarama and Value Village for supplies, and taking great satisfaction in bringing dreams to life. How did this come to be?

Kansas Sky said...

💝‼️

Sarah Wale said...

Absolutely adorable and of course it all makes perfect sense!Enjoy Winnipeg and your visit with your Mum ... tell her there are a lot of people out here are glad she had you!

Terry in Alberta. said...


I just love it. Especially the little boys comments.

Grandchildren are the best and you surely would win a prize for most imaginative Grandma,

Miriana said...

I absolutely love these posts

Anonymous said...

I'm really wanting a Flash sweat suit for myself. It would be great to feel that cloud of air. Hard to imagine he is already 5!

ceci

Anonymous said...

I’m an Australian on holidays in Canada and have just visited Winnipeg and Halifax. I could easily live in Halifax but there is no way I would like to move to a Winnipeg. It’s much too cold and isolated for my liking. I loved Halifax though.

Sherry said...

Love, love, love your Flypaper Thoughts!What a great way to start the day. Thank you!!!

garnet128 said...

It absolutely makes perfect sense. And you are the grandma that they will be talking about when they grow up and tell their stories to their children.

Sox said...

Yes, the snow has pretty much melted here. It's only hidden in the deep shade and in the piles on the edge of parking lots.
No buffalo coats on Portage tho'.
I hope you have a great visit with your Mom.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to all of the above, Barb. And yes it does make perfect sense.
Donna E

Laceflower said...

As I have no family, I love visiting yours.

Sally said...

Another warm and wonderful fly paper thoughts. I actually save these posts to the end of my day...as a reward. Thank you,

Katrina Blanchalle said...

Thank you for these posts that are just overflowing with love and the joys of life.