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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, January 9, 2021

Flypaper thoughts home for the winter version

  • Other years we are well on our way down south in January
  • This one I am sitting in my chair next to an animal sandwich
  • Trying to warm up
  • Daisy and I went for a walk just now
  • She got cold
  • Despite her winter coat
  • So home, I sat her next to me
  • And wrapped her in a blanket
  • The cat decided to lie on the blanket, on Daisy's back
  • She's been waiting for weeks
  • To find a way to attach herself to a dog
  • With whom she has a one sided relationship
  • They both went to sleep
  • Now I can't move because they might wake up
  • And Daisy might realize there is a cat on her back
  • So I am being quiet
  • Quiet and cold are the words for this month
  • Not that we aren't busy
  • I have made four new pairs of warm pants
  • And made forty sewing new year's resolutions
  • #1 sew from the patterns I already have
  • Same as my intention from last year 
  • And the year before
  • But this time I mean it
  • Like I will next year
  • Fortunately I can be pretty busy in my own house
  • Firing off projects all over the place
  • Making corn tortillas
  • Sewing elastic into rings
  • Talking to my neighbours when I walk dogs
  • Who's that my husband asks, waving at you?
  • Dexter's dad I say
  • Molly's dad
  • Garth's mom
  • You know the pug who must be 400 in dog years
  • Blind and pulled by his mom in a sled
  • Mr. Crow who is trying to walk the equivalent of some trail in Britain
  • He was booked to hike last spring
  • Now translated into miles around and around our streets
  • I count him four times a day past my window
  • Good to have an interest
  • Speaking of my husband
  • He bought me Masterclass for Christmas
  • He's really having a great time with it
  • Just finished a course in how to be a hostage negotiator
  • I can't make stuff like this up
  • He says it's more interesting than Malcolm Gladwell
  • Which I find hard to believe
  • Says he has been using his new techniques on me the last  two days
  • Wants to know if I have noticed
  • Noticed what I asked?
  • How I am using my 80% voice 20% of the time now
  • I mean what do you say to that?
  • Keeping to myself that after three kids I am pretty sure
  • My own hostage negotiator skills are pretty excellent as they are
  • Fair enough he wants to catch up
  • I have identified some wardrobe gaps
  • Biggest one is golf clothes
  • I haven't made much to golf in the last few years
  • Pieced together Costoc skorts and any top with a collar
  • Had to be sure I wouldn't be a golf drop-out first
  • Then I found friends who didn't keep score
  • So now I need to turn my mind away from my putting
  • To what I will wear
  • This is going to be a challenge
  • The rules of golf seem to involve wearing polyester
  • And paying way too much for it
  • Upside is that I can see potential for legitimately dressing in loud colours
  • Contemplating figuring out a golf dress
  • Could churn those units out if I could figure this out
  • I wake up at night and wonder about piping
  • And decide to just make shorts to wear underneath 
  • Rather than attaching
  • These are serious issues
  • It's cold
  • My son has bought a wood fired sauna
  • He lives by the water and no doubt plans to jump in the North Atlantic afterwards
  • Me I am wondering if it is possible to knit in a sauna
  • What do you think?
  • Resolution #3 knit an aran cardigan
  • Been meaning to do this for 20 years
  • I knit socks and watch strange CBC TV
  • Just finished a great series about the Northern Alberta decoy duck carving competition
  • To that you can knit socks
  • Many of them
  • But might do me good to read a chart and pay attention
  • When you are hostage to the winter
  • Your mind can wander
  • Not sure I have the skills to do this cardigan
  • How hard can it be?
  • The motto of my life


Anonymous said...

Happy new Year Barb.Thanks for the chuckles. Your Flypaper thoughts and the sunshine today were the best tonic ever.

Donna E

Moosiemoose said...

Yes, thank you for the chuckles. Always love your Flypaper Thoughts. Jean

Sarah Wale said...

Thanks again, Barb. Your thoughts are always worth listening to and I laughed out loud at the Hostage Negotiating course!
Keep it all coming, and stay warm, with or without an Aran cardigan, or new socks.
Sarah xx

Patricia said...

Oh, Goody, Flypaper thoughts! Always brings a smile to my face and lights up the lockdown day. Happy New Year and Happy Sewing.

Dwicks said...

Pepper is growing!!

MaryEllen said...

A huge fan of fly paper & all your posts

JulieJ said...

Loved "Just finished a great series about the Northern Alberta decoy duck carving competition
To that you can knit socks". Reminds me of my friend who binge watches rubbish TV so she can concentrate on her knitting. Hunker down and keep warm. Winter will soon be over. The daffs in my garden are sprouting already. No buds yet but they're definitely alive.

SK Daniels said...

Oh, to be snowed in with your family for a few days! Finally, someone to share my collection of tutorials for riding skirts. I don't ride. Don't you think riding skirts would make good golf shorts? I found a page from a rather old sewing book on how to make semi-circular culottes. I will try to send it. Don't miss the line "experiments have proved..." Have you tried two-inch wide elastic sewed directly onto your shorts? It eliminates the bulk of a fly.

annie said...

What a sweet picture!

Katrina Blanchalle said...

Very funny and nice to read when I'm just feeling worn out by the world today. I love the idea of a hostage negotiation course - you just never know. My mom once got me the CIA Guide to Lockpicking book for Christmas. Still wondering about that one.

paloverdeblooms said...

I see you are cold obsessed. So am I. Just constantly cold and freezing this winter. Difference is I am in southern Arizona and am positive I would die if transplanted to where you are. Thank goodness I'm not there. Thanks for all your wonderful flypaper thoughts. You made my morning.

Lucille said...

First, let me recommend you have a cosy lap quilt in reach wherever you sit. I have 2 cats. I prepare thusly. Great way to use up scraps and you can reminisce about your previous sews. Second, polyester - eew! Third, consider the Jalie bike skirt patterns. Lengthen the skirt and/or the bike short section. I’ve made them but haven’t gone longer yet. I think it will work on my gracefully aging body. Fabric choice should be appropriate. Not sure what I’ll try there. Currently dismantling my sewing room for renovations and trying hard not to feel anxious about a forced sewing drought.

Unknown said...

This is my first time reading your blog and I loved all your flypaper thoughts.
Did you make the blanket the dog and cat are wrapped up in? Its wonderfully colorful and seems to have an interesting pattern.
Your post has made me feel so happy. Thank you!!

couture.ellen said...

Where else would Hostage Negotiating, Decoy Duck Carving, CIA Lock Picking, parenting and making golf clothes all make sense together? Barb, I love your Flypaper Thoughts; you always make me laugh which is so needed these days. (I live in the U.S. so double needed.) THANK YOU!

Jan said...

Always LOVE your flypaper thoughts
Started falling off the chair with the hostage negotiation course
Got even better with the Northern Alberta duck decoy carving competition
Reminded me of a lengthy, wonderfully funny Lake Woebegone story about duck decoys
I'll have to see if I can find the tape it's on
Now wondering if my tape player still works
Thanks for all the chuckles as well as the great sewing information
And good luck with your sewing resolutions!

Anonymous said...

Unrequited love is so hard, I feel sorry for the cat. On the other hand, Miss Daisy probably felt there was no need for another furry friend in the mix.


Anonymous said...

You have almost perfectly articulated all of my golf wardrobe concerns. Why so much polyester? Do the shorts NEED to be attached? Can I wear argyle? I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Nethwen said...

Love the colors in your blanket!

I laughed out loud at the progression from "we are stuck where we normally would not be" to "my husband took a hostage negotiation course." Does he feel like a hostage? Is he trying to negotiate for his own release?

Curious Daylily said...

You've lightened my heart! It's a gift I will gladly accept. Thank you!

Carol in Denver said...

Sounds like a jolly good time at your house. Maybe your husband should accompany you on the golf course, in case you encounter any hostile players, who want to hold you captive until you knit them each an Aran sweater.