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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, April 18, 2020

Flypaper thoughts: still homebody edition


  • Life is where we left it
  • Still physical distancing
  • So against the grain for a Canadian personality
  • Folks cross the street to avoid being too close
  • I am so sorry we say
  • Don't want to be rude
  • I am sorry they reply
  • We are sorry enough for the whole world
  • Just in case
  • Daisy is on the mend
  • Two more weeks in her upgraded cage rest to a blocked off living room
  • She is OK if she can see me
  • Can you cover me?
  • I ask my husband
  • Just a minute to go get something
  • I'll be quick
  • I notice that people are getting a bit touchy
  • We are all like Daisy not so good when our people aren't around
  • Little things not big things
  • I watch my husband sew the masks 
  • And I want to tell him
  • Clip your threads, clip your threads
  • Almost nothing upsets me as much as people who don't clip the threads
  • I once taught a woman who sewed jackets for her children who were all in the navy
  • She never cut one thread
  • In fact her garments were coated with random loose threads
  • They can but those off themselves she said
  • I used to have visions of sailors on the decks in the North Atlantic
  • Trying not to fall overboard while they trimmed threads from the ends of seams with nail scissors
  • My husband wants to know what kind of person 
  • Puts a pellet of soap in the dishwasher without taking the plastic wrap off it
  • And then wondering why the dishes aren't clean
  • I know exactly what kind of person
  • Someone who cuts her threads
  • I miss the kids the most
  • I am craving little people
  • The littlest one in California Facetimes
  • Dog she says and I show her the dog
  • The other guys a few streets away call me on the phone
  • They call to talk to me in funny voices
  • To ask me to bring over my board games and leave them at the end of the driveway
  • They know I have board games from when we play them here
  • They know I don't play cards
  • I am terrible at cards
  • Just an interruption in the conversation
  • What kind of grandmother can't remember how to do 
  • Go fish they want to know
  • This kind of grandmother I say
  • The one who lets you each bake something different in the kitchen at the same time
  • And cleans up
  • Maybe I should use this time to learn a card game
  • That would really surprise them
  • How's your hair?
  • I cut mine and with my sister's encouragement by text
  • Am trying the Curly Girl method
  • This involves using lots of conditioner and brushing your hair with your fingers
  • Why are you wearing one of my T shirts on your head
  • My husband wants to know
  • I am doing the Curly Girl method I tell him
  • Absolutely nothing surprises him
  • Maybe I should consider that fact
  • Not sure my technique is down though
  • I look in the mirror and remember something my dad used to say
  • Hair looks like a cat sucked it 
  • Maybe it's the wrong kind of T shirt
  • I am experimenting with low sugar baking
  • Made a bunch of oatcakes they could use in the NHL
  • An excellent Swedish apple pie with no crust
  • A carrot cake that was mostly carrots
  • The thing is we don't have much sugar
  • Next thing will be war cake
  • The one without sugar, butter, or eggs
  • I am sure there is a diet that belongs to somewhere
  • Vegan Keto?
  • I am going to be sewing for the young women in my family
  • I have a question for you
  • How come when we had babies we went up a size
  • Women used to say " well before I had kids..."
  • When describing their figures
  • It was assumed that your belly would settle in
  • Like it was supposed to, like your own mom's did
  • Why does your stomach feel like a pillow Babsie
  • My grandson once asked
  • Because I had babies I said
  • My mom had babies he said
  • She doesn't feel like that
  • So why do young women give birth these days and end up by summer with a flat abdomen?
  • What do they know that we didn't
  • Do you think it is the oat hockey pucks?
  • The pies and the cake on my counter?
  • Should we be eating war cake?
  • Life is full of so many mysteries
  • And now I have time to solve them

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Visual Islands

Things have been very busy around here. My husband and I have gone deep, deep into making masks for nursing homes and those hairbands with buttons for healthcare workers. 

I have been doing the cutting and my husband has done most of the stitching.

In addition I have been working on some of the new about-to- be-released spring Jalie patterns and will be showing those to you soon.

This whole pandemic experience has been, to say the least, kind of weird. There will be many stories of loss and lost when all this is done.

In the middle of that however there has been real opportunity to consider the value and beauty of those places where we are nesting in place right now, and of the people in our lives. This is such a good thing.

I want to share one of my own bright spots with you.

My son's girlfriend is in Texas. We are not quite sure when the border will be re-opened and we will see her again. She's a photographer, and a long way from us at the moment. But one of the wonderful things she has done during this time is to document some of the sights and sounds of every day life.

I have found the pictures and short videos she has posted nearly every day really cheerful. I thought I would share some of them today, in the hope that they will give you the little lift they give me.

Here's a sample to start courtesy of @kaleyazambuja

Enjoy.