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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, December 21, 2019

Flypaper thoughts somewhere in Nova Scotia sometime before Christmas version


  • I have down tools on the sewing
  • There are folks who will be coming expecting to eat
  • My husband will take over Christmas cooking on the day
  • In his male mind the only time to think about Christmas is for about 5 hours every year
  • Now my own idea of Christmas is the equivalent of launching the invasion of Normandy
  • Needless to say I do gifts
  • His contribution is to say lots of time and they don't expect anything
  • I am dealing with a crazy person
  • Obviously
  • I am not expecting Pinterest but focused eyes would be helpful
  • Any guess what I got for my last birthday?
  • A bidet attachment for the toilet
  • If I had sat in a room for a hundred million years
  • This is not something I would have thought of
  • "It was your birthday and I was in Canadian Tire"
  • "And I thought, can't be hard to plumb that in"
  • Bingo problem solved
  • But he makes a hell of a turkey
  • Christmas is huge for me
  • Yes I realize that many people don't like it
  • But my Auntie Bonnie who was a glamour girl 
  • In the dances at the beach during the war
  • Who used to wear knee high nylons with her summer dresses in her old age
  • Still believed in gloves
  • And whose favourite saying was
  • "In life you have to have your jazz band dancing"
  • She was onto on of the great truths of life
  • Nice afternoon yesterday
  • Visited my friend who is now in a memory unit in long term care
  • Early onset
  • My own feeling is that he had so much life he kind of used his quota up early
  • Lately he has said the dog's name 
  • So I went with his wife, my old old friend, to do dog duty
  • Folks who no longer were sure who they or the family are
  • Still look at a dog and smile
  • Soul to soul
  • Can't take time too seriously
  • Just some things are out of synch
  • But never underestimate the ability of the universe to send you something to your heart
  • Tomorrow our baby girl from California arrives
  • She looks so much like her dad, my son, that it is eerie 
  • Of course she is herself
  • Sometimes like all mothers
  • I think can I have them back just for one day
  • And then suddenly here comes this one just like her dad
  • And I have that day back
  • Who would have thought?
  • So to me that's what Christmas is
  • You never know
  • You just never know

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Social media and we have to talk



First my complete apologies to those I may of offended in my last post where I wrote who smocks anymore? 

I was commenting on the state of the world not on why would anyone smock. Of course not. I have beautiful dresses made by a friend's mother that are as perfect today as they were 38 years ago. 

What I meant was who irons any more? I do and more people should. I travel in the rv with a good iron and full side ironing board. 

Who takes their hat off in a restaurant any more? You see where I am going with this.

No offence intended and you smockers keep at it. We are counting on you.

Now we are on the subject of offences you might of noticed that my blog posts have tapered off a bit. There are several reasons for this:

1. Most of what I have made, and I have been sewing continuously, in the last few months has been for other people. 

2019 was a year that I had a lot of folks on my mind. My daughter, who is now doing really well, got her MS diagnosis. My mother had a fall. I had a granddaughter on the other side of the continent, and two boys and a daughter-in-law I am close to, in the US. I have sisters and I have friends. I think about them.

So 2019 was a year when I came to terms with the fact that sometimes you can't change the circumstance of someone else's life.

But you know you can always sew for them. 

So that's what I did. I used my sewing as my main tool of communication - as a connection between me and people I cared about but were not often near enough for direct contact, or dealing with things I couldn't resolve for them.  My sewing was my I love you and I support you messages.

This has been hugely helpful to me in making some life adjustments in a positive way. It allowed me to speak about my own life in my own language. My mother tongue.

Now this might have been healthy for me but it has been unhealthy for traditional type sewing blogging. I can't show surprises/gifts and these guys often don't get around to sending me pictures of the garment on them to post. I sew for busy people.

Right now, before Christmas, I have sewn my fingers to the bone but can't show you any of it, except maybe the picture above. This is not good for blogging.

2. I have started to send out what is now a monthly sewing newsletter. I had this idea in my head that it would be useful to fill in some of the blanks for new and returning sewists - to sort of tell them some of the important things pattern instructions leave out. To sign up just send me your email. This little project has diverted some of my sewing instructor energy I admit, but has been very gratifying. I got a lovely email today for instance from a young woman in Norway who is teaching herself to sew on her own and has found the newsletters helpful. That means a lot to me. I will say however that working on the newsletter has taken me away a bit from writing some part of that information here.

3. I have become increasingly interested in writing. I have just finished editing a novel for a local author. I have several of my own projects percolating. I want to do more writing out of my sewing life but also letting it reach into other areas. I really enjoy writing the flypaper thoughts a lot. I want to do more of that.

4. Social media is developing and its role in my life is changing. When I started writing this blog a decade ago sewing blogs of the I made this and these are my comments were a new thing. For a really long time I was one of those bloggers. To be honest it wasn't my best thing and it gets hard to keep up. Now I simply am not in a place where I can sew a garment or more a week and blog about it. Right now that would feel like a job and I don't need another job. The life roster is pretty full. I love to post a garment when I make one that can be an interesting topic of discussion, but I don't want to feel I have to keep up a schedule. I really feel other bloggers right now are doing a better job of that than I can.

Which brings me to my idea, the where we go from here.

How about this?

1. I write all my tech stuff in the newsletter and any other sewing publications I get organized.

2. I post the majority of my garment pics/makes on Instagram @bemodi. Just so much easier for me to do that on the fly than try to organize my husband to take a picture and then argue about why I am always shot leaning or with my head cut off. 

3. I use this space more and more to write flypaper thought themed stuff. A lot on sewing sure but more on life in general. The thing is the older I get the less serious I feel and the more random thoughts I have. Who is interested? Maybe someone out there might be. Maybe not. But maybe typing out my random thoughts and tying them to a virtual pigeon and tossing it out the digital window would help me get some of what's in, well out.

I think this is the point where it's over to you folks.

Does this make sense?