Thursday, 31 December 2009

Season's greetings to you all. I've just spent a week in the peace and quiet of the Quebec countryside with my husband, daughter and her fiancee and am feeling recharged for the year ahead! I've had a few ideas for the Connected piece, but have yet to start the detailed design process. In the meantime, I thought I'd try my hand at posting some photos.

Here's the cottage where we stayed, right on the edge of a l
ake/river. Temperatures varied from +2, which allowed us to make snowmen, to -22 (-8 F)!!
We walked (and fell) in the woods around the cottage whilst snow shoeing, tried the hot tub, and read lots. We also ate and drank too much, and generally enjoyed ourselves. This is a wonderful country to live in, though if you get fed up with lakes and trees quickly you might not enjoy it quite
so much. And at this time of year, with snow and ice glistening in the sun, it is magical. I feel very lucky to have had the last year here, and, hopefully, the whole of 2010 still to come!

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The Duck Hilton

Season's greetings to you all, and all the very best for a prosperous and productive New Year.

I have spent a lot of the day mucking about setting up a new blog... which I hope I've set a link for above!! Click on 'the Duck Hilton' ;-D

On Boxing Day, I am ashamed to say, one of my otherwise indoor cats escaped for literally a few seconds.... at exactly the same time a mud lark fledgling appeared between the pot plants. The result was swift and terrible. I quickly managed to separate them, and could find no wounds on the baby, but the shock, and the possibility of unfound puncture wounds must have been too much.

Later the same day my ducks harassed a second (and also unflighted) member of the family and as a result I gathered up the 3 babies and tried to put them somewhere safe for the parents to claim. The outcome was less than successful, and it was raining. The parent birds refused to have anything to do with them, so several hours later and before they succumbed to the cold and hunger, I had no choice but to gather them up again, set up a brooder box and try to keep them warm, safe and fed. The baby that had been attacked died that evening, another sibling who refused food died the following day, but Muddy is soldiering on. I have him outside most of the day now and already when I call out 'any hungry larks in the house?' he responds with begging noises. I hope he'll learn to fly and be independent in about a week - fingers crossed!! I will keep his story updated on the Duck Hilton blog too :)

Planning to do some rust dyeing this afternoon, but having a lot of fun fiddling about with the new version of Photoshop Elements my husband has installed on this computer, because my Apple, and thus access to my older version of Photoshop CS, is on the blink!!

I wanted to take a picture of me and my snowy back yard with my thermometer showing minus 16 degrees Celsius but the days are too short and it was just too cold so...Seasons greetings to you all and very best wishes for 2010. Marion

Monday, 28 December 2009

Hi Everyone

At last I am connected to our blog (hopefully). I trust you all have had a good holiday time over the past few days. You will note that I come up as Richard. Please ignore this as if it does come up with Richard it is really me (Patricia) as my husband has a google account and it was easier to use that one and I don't have a clue as to how to open a Google account. However I will work on that one and see how I go.


Patricia (A'Bear)

Happy new year

Wishing you all a creative explorative meaningful 2010My new year's message to you all - stay connected!Love Pam in MontrealP.S. Please be patient with me, my blogging skills are nonexistent

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Seasonal Greetings

I would like to wish everyone a quiet, peaceful Festive Season.  And here's to a wonderful creative 2010.

My apologies for using this method but I am having a really bad time upgrading from XP to Windows 7 and all I can say is thank goodness for backups.  If you make only one New Year's Resolution make it:  I will backup my files at least every month - preferably on an external hard drive or CD.  This has been the only glimmer of light in my struggle so far.

I have the old laptop but that has only a few of my addresses and none of my programmes (it is an old machine and limited capacity).



PS  I have some emails on the old computer which I cannot read - apologies if it is urgent.  H

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

I have just returned from 10 days on the banks of the Crocodile River in the south eastern corner of the Kruger National Park ... where SA, Mozambique & Swaziland all meet ... at a resort called Ngwenya River Lodge. Reviewing my photos the one night, as I came across this picture I immediately thought ...physical, family, linear !!! However I am still sticking with my original thought pattern.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Gelatin Printing

Several of us had a great day last week playing with gelatin printing.    For those who don't know, it's a form of monoprinting.  A 1/4" layer of gelatin is prepared and turned out of it's mold.  Then painted, a decoration placed on it (everything from elastics - very effective, to leaves, netting, string - you get the idea) and then the fabric patted on top.  The first round leaves a clear impression where the decoration was.  Round two produces a more interesting result - the decoration is removed and since some, but not all the paint is on the first piece of fabric, what happens is a pale background, with a darker image where the decoration had been.  I think a few photos are in order!



Tuesday, 8 December 2009

A connection to Global Warming?

This is totally ridiculous!  A daffodil in flower in my garden at this time of the year.  A couple of frosts and then a temperature rise of a couple of degrees and the poor plants think Spring has arrived.  I know we live on the English Riviera but.........


Giving hints, cries for help, sharing thoughts...

I realise this is a busy time of the year for all.  My reason for giving a hint was not so much as ask the question but to invite you all to share your thoughts and ideas.  If you look at the original 12 group's blog their theme is PINK and they have been posting all sorts of images of pink things and talking about how it has made them move out of their comfort zones or challenged them to work solely in pink, etc.  One of the 'pink' girls has laid out all her fabrics she's going to be using.  There is a dialogue going on.  It is possible to talk vaguely about the road you are taking without giving away your design. 

Some members are either too shy or maybe scared of the technology to post or comment.  Now is the time to get over any barriers and get comfortable with posting a photo, etc. before it becomes important.  How about it?

BTW, December 12th is 'Pink' day -

Hilary (who hasn't started her piece yet - all talk and no action!)

Monday, 7 December 2009

This morning on the coast

My daughter had to be up very very early this morning to take her friend to the station. Last night we decided it would - therefore - be a good idea to go 'do' the sunrise photography we've planned several times recently but havent followed through on!!

37 degrees here yesterday, so it was a bit of a surprise as the sun came up to see 7/8ths cloud cover!! A few hours later its all burnt away and we are in for another scorcher!! So we'll try again tomorrow, but here are today's pics :)

Fishing boats at Greenwell Point, and view of Culburra Beach with Mt Cambewarra in the b/g


Connections - my first thoughts

The theme has me firing on all cylinders, I'm thrilled - its been 2 years since I did anything meaningful and I have 3 ideas I'm going forward with already.

1, delving into connections with the past, with women, between women, mothers etc
2, the same, but different direction
3, planning a bigger piece based on the first
4, got to get trains in there some how!

Have ordered some thermofaxes so going to be screen printing, I am positively HUMMING with ideas and it feels sooooooooooooooo good.

Meantime my ducks have been playing with the hose in the hot weather, thought you'd like to see my babies having fun.


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

My first hint

Here's a hint at where I might be going............


Monday, 30 November 2009

Adding your thoughts about our challenges

Can I suggest that when you have thoughts about how you are thinking or how your ideas are turning that you add them as a new post rather than comments - they show up better and you can add images of some of your sources of inspiration (without giving too much away).  Even if you are frustrated or abandon an idea let's hear it!


Sunday, 29 November 2009

Thinking about connections

My head is full of ideas for the 1st challenge.  There are so many things that can be connected, are connected or connect.  I started by thinking of forms of transport because of Robbie's idea of trains and Rosie saying that trains could still be involved.  Then I thought of communication and the different forms we use.  There are family trees.  Almost everything in life is connected in some way or another:  a seed is connected to a plant and a bee is connected to a flower.  What about zips, buttons and press-studs?

This is such a wonderful theme.  The problem will be narrowing it down and concentrating on one idea.  I think I know which way I'm going and I don't think you will be surprised.....


Wednesday, 25 November 2009

For Rosie

Sunflower Sutra

Marion and I are thrilled to announce that Sunfl0wer Sutra, our latest collaborative effort, has been accepted as a finalist in the New Quilts from an Old Favourite competition. We are currently packing it up and sending it off to Paducah, where it will hang in the National Quilt Museum and travel for 2 years. After working on it everyday for months on end, it will be very sad to say goodbye for such a long time.


Congratulations to Marion and Helena! Their latest collaborative piece, Sunflower has been accepted to Paducah and will be on tour for the next 2 years.

Round #1 Connections

What a lovely theme, Dianne, connecting all of us around the world.

Just a reminder that this first round does not need to be finished until the 31st March next year. The official start of the project is January 1st but we have been treated to some extra time to think about our interpretations of the theme.

The idea is not to reveal our little quilts until March 31st. 

In the meantime it would be lovely if everyone shared their thought processes and ideas, even images that they find interesting or inspiring along the way without revealing too much about their quilts.

Good luck,


Tuesday, 24 November 2009


This morning as I arrived home after a nice walk with the dog, there were all sorts of birds in the trees in front of the house.  Both hairy and downy woodpeckers, a pair of cardinals and chickadees.   As well as the usual assortment of starlings and LBJs.  There is an urgency in the air - winter is nearly upon us and some of them are on their way out of here.  

Since I won the lottery and must select a theme for our January start I've been stewing over it for a while.  My husband thinks that trains would be a good idea.  However after seeing Marion's studio and noticing her African baskets, the word CONNECTIONS jumped to mind.  I've met several new people lately and am surprised by the number of connections that we made - mostly places we've lived in and people we've known.  But the word is broad and I hope can be interpreted in many ways.

So Connections it is.  Have fun with it.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Rust Dyeing

This is the first time that I have ever blogged, so hopefully this will all come across okay. My latest venture is rust dyeing. I was inspired by an article in the Oct/Nov '09 issue of Quilting Arts magazine. I used an old cast iron fry pan and my son's high school art project. Waiting a few days for it to "brew" then "view" seemed like forever but I am very pleased with the results. Can't wait for it to go into an art piece! Now I'm off to the junk yard to see what interesting shapes I can find....

Friday, 20 November 2009

trial run

This is my first attempt at posting a photo- my helper cat , Cedi. she always knows when I am working. Marion

Sunday, 15 November 2009

My work space

I'm back from York and the one day refresher for quilt judges.  It was well thought out and the presentations were interesting, provocative and thought provoking.  It was a good day and worth the horrendous journey up in bad weather compounded by accidents, tail backs and road works.  Thank goodness the return journey was completely the opposite and I was safely tucked up in bed by midnight last night.

I thought you might like to see where I work.  This is my sewing room - between projects so relatively tidy.  I am NOT tidy when I'm working!

This is the cutting table (it often becomes the dumping table !).

And this is my extra wide ironing board (home made) which sits on top of the ordinary ironing board.  The mobile design wall I made from plastic electric conduit pipe, matching 'elbows' at the corners and a fuzzy cloth with sleeves on four sides.  It disassembles in minutes and can be rolled up and has even been to South Africa on the plane!

Friday, 13 November 2009


Finally some cooler weather after long dry days, the ducks are pleased to get a few drops of rain on their heads. These are my Swedish ducklings.

Breeding ducks is my hobby, enormously calming to watch, fun to play with, and a good way to get rid of some snails!!


Wednesday, 11 November 2009


50 days to go - and counting. 


Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Hi everyone

I'm looking forward to the challenge of producing something to a theme.  Hopefully it will stimulate a few dormant brain cells!  
Right now we are in the midst of an Indian summer here in Montreal.  It's defined as 3 days of above normal temperature and we're lucky enough to have sun.  It's almost my favourite time of year as the colours are all gold and brown with touches of green from the remaining grass, and set off with bright blue skies.  The trees are mostly bare, the autumn leaves have all fallen and we are just getting ready for winter.  There has to be a quilt in that, right?

take care