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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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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Flypaper thoughts back in the state park editon

  • Back at the campsite in the Florida state park after a great week in Berkeley
  • It's taken me a couple of visits to get into the Berkeley groove
  • But I think I am there now
  • It is a place for gardeners
  • And folks writing novels that don't require completion
  • For shrub pruners
  • And ferment makers
  • For doctorates and migrants
  • For non-conformity as ordinary
  • The only thing I did not see there
  • Was a human in a suit
  • Anyone power walking
  • Or a briefcase
  • I did see
  • A store that sold only typewriters
  • Like the Royal down the basement at home
  • Gluten free bread made with ethically sourced oat milk
  • Worried four-year-olds asking if the weiners were vegan
  • "Read the labels sweetie, remember Mommy said read the labels"
  • I saw a blinding white painted high school in the sun
  • And teenagers indifferent to walking home in paradise
  • Not knowing they had been brought up on dessert
  • As if they didn't know that not everywhere has Crème Brulee for breakfast
  • So much natural beauty in California it knocks me out
  • It's like a drink where all the sugar has settled to the bottom
  • And someone lives there
  • I saw End Homelessness spray painted on the dome of a synagogue
  • And everyone smiled at me
  • No need to hustle when there is room to be anyone you are
  • I saw elderly women in the fabric store in knitted berets and wearable art skirts
  • Holding forth with authority among bolts of linen
  • Artists improve with age
  • Don't they know that everywhere?
  • I saw older women lead not follow behind
  • I drank cappuccino and opened my laptop
  • Like everyone else
  • Working on that novel I guess
  • I dropped sustainable crumbs on my keys while I search fabric sites
  • Sort of my novel
  • But more than that
  • I spent wonderful hours with a wonderful child
  • Hours looking at the birdies
  • And examining the rocks
  • At 66 I met my 1 year-old soul mate
  • Who would have thought?
  • Who would have thought?
  • I hope you all know that at any time
  • Life can mail you a great gift
  • The trick is to never not believe it won't happen
  • Yes I know all those days you trudge to the mail box
  • Thinking nothing there is what it is now
  • But the intermission is just that
  • The best can always come
  • The trick is understanding that life is generous
  • With a timetable still at the printers
  • But that doesn't mean 
  • You can't wait for the birdies
  • They always come

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Flypaper thoughts Berkeley edition

  • Landed in Florida and now doing a week in Berkeley helping out with my granddaughter
  • My DIL is at a reunion
  • Berkeley is the easiest place in the world to dress in
  • Walked the baby in the stroller with what I had warm in my suitcase
  • A beret and raincoat
  • Cropped pants and Fair Isle socks
  • Clunky shoes
  • I asked the kid how I looked and she laughed
  • However I felt the height of fashion
  • Purple linen pants are the little black dress here
  • Older women are unapologetic in Berkeley
  • Unlike the lady my age on the plane who couldn't close her mouth
  • The skin had been pulled too tight
  • Women should be unapologetic everywhere
  • Mother is a verb not a noun
  • Love being able to help out
  • We are down the street from the Berkeley Academy of Bull fighting
  • Which if you have trouble finding it is across the street from the Socratic elementary school
  • Half a block from the Herbal Apothecary and soap making classes place
  • Which is next door
  • Dropped by a fermentation bar yesterday
  • We were running low on Kombucha
  • Picked up some fermented lime pickle
  • So excited about that
  • Time to get fermenting in the RV
  • One more week in Florida then off to Texas via New Orleans
  • But first I have some fabric shopping to do here
  • In Florida we get to see my dad's best friend
  • A man who laughs so hard when we tell dad stories that he can hardly talk
  • They used to live across the street from us
  • The kids waved to each other in the morning
  • Picture window to picture window
  • Now that whole family comes down for March break
  • Next year for sure
  • The Texas situation is TBD on my son's work anyway
  • Do you know that my dad's first name was Norval
  • You can't make this up
  • He wished we could
  • His dad had a drugstore and he named my dad after the president of the company that was his best seller
  • Yup. Modest sanitary napkins
  • My grandfather called my dad Skip 
  • No wonder
  • And no surprise that my father was known best for his sense of humour
  • What was the choice I ask you?
  • Off to settle someone for their nap

Friday, January 10, 2020

Flypaper thoughts South Carolina edition

·      One week into our annual trip south
·      Have used up my data looking at patterns on the road
·      Or searching for style ideas for my new style
·      I am always looking for my new style
·      Currently I am working on one called
·      Whatever is still clean
·      My husband gets texts from my son
·      They share podcasts on the intelligence of mushrooms
·      Do you know that a mushroom fed oatmeal designed the  Tokyo subway system?
·      Don't feel bad a lot of people don't
·      I can send you the link
·      How could I have not have heard of this before?
·      Discovered the state park we are in in South Carolina has a snowbird monthly rate
·      For December, January, and February
·      Explains the Canadians
·      Folks in shorts and T shirts
·      Identifiable next to the locals in wool hats and gloves
·      Woman a few sites over is delighted to find out that the person in her next site
·      Lives on the same street as her cousin's uncle's sister
·      Back home in Moncton
·      I am in constant contact with my own network
·      I get texts of pictures of the snow storms
·      News my niece and her sweetheart
·      Who is also my son-in-law's nephew
·      Are moving into my basement
·      You would think I was from Moncton
·      My husband is in his element
·      He runs this rv like it is his own submarine
·      When I step in here it is more like enlisting
·      Things are stowed, not put away
·      I am seeing a lot of walking around with power tools
·      And a happy guy
·      Man loves his activities
·      Bought himself a vintage sewing machine yesterday in a thrift shop
·      It was $8.00 because it was broken
·      He actually took it apart and fixed it right there in the store
·      Attracting attention of a few older men
·      I went to look at glassware
·      I hear there is such a thing as food grade anti-freeze
·      Don't panic
·      But I am not kidding
·      He brings me dinner on a tray when I am writing
·      Every rv has a dog
·      Some have three
·      I lie happily in my bed here in my sub under the stars
·      And feel I am sleeping in a colony of dogs
·      Accompanied by their drivers
·      I shower in the bath house
·      With the other Canadians
·      Thrilled we don't walk there in snow
·      The sound of the shower in the rv worries Daisy
·      Sometimes it takes 15 minutes for the water to get hot
·      But I have the time
·      And when I walk back in the dark I look at the stars
·      And hear the dogs snoring