A Special Visit

I found out last minute and only by chance that Judith Martin was coming to Toronto. I saw it on her blog. Turns out she was speaking very close to my house! So I called a neighbour and off we went!

It took me ten minutes to drive there and it took her hours to come in from Manitoulin Island.

I had seen all the pieces she talked about, either exhibited or in images on her blog. The thing I wanted to do was TOUCH everything.

Her biggest news is that one of her pieces got into the QUILT NATIONAL! She was so happy about that. It had been her goal for a very long time.

page 37 in the Quilt National Catalogue. There it is!

She shared her life for forty-five minutes.

I know so much about Judy from her visits, her classes I have taken and from talking to her at several of her exhibits. I remember many things about her because she and I are similar in so many ways.

We both have 4 children. We both made quilts and art about our kids. We both have a favorite red sweater we wear around the house. We both fussed about getting the kids on the school bus on time. We both forgot our cameras last weekend when we went to see textile at museums, her in Toronto and me in Montreal. We both use paper, fabric, stitch in our work.

One of Judy's early works-
a log cabin made from family photographs and paper
 stitched on fabric. The words are nursery rhymes.

She continues to be my most favorite contemporary textile artist.

Everything was so beautiful. Thank you Judy!

Cardmadfairy's digi days ~ too early for christmas ( and jennis new release of festive digis)


Good morning everyone its friday again so that means another challenge over at cardmadfairy digi days, we are going with

......Too early for christmas......

Now jenni has been working super hard to bring us all some new and fantastic digi images, if you have seen jennis work you will already know she is super talented and to top it all only charges 99p per image!!!!!! how amazing is that,

Well i am going to show you all her new ones now so get ready to be amazed

here they are......And here is my dt card using one of them...isnt he lovely
Right im off to the gym now to try and get some weight of me lol


I did love

. . . your responses to the Gratitude Journal post. Thank you, thank you, and also I love you.

I'm off to Denver tomorrow morning for a few days to participate in the Mountains and Plains booksellers trade show. The University of Utah Press is republishing CHARLOTTE'S ROSE, and so I'll be at the booth, doing a little promotion dance. I'll also be hanging out with Anne and Jenny from TKE, and it will be good times.

Truthfully, I'm so glad Charlotte gets a second chance. It's a book I'm really proud of, probably because it was just soooooo hard to write. Historical fiction is hard to write, you guys. YOU HAVE TO DO RESEARCH AND STUFF, which is v. exhausting for a lazy writer like me.

I'll be back on Monday. Enjoy the weekend.

please vote for me lol

Or of course you could enter too lol, but if you have access to facebook id love it if you could vote for me,

Ive uploaded 2 cards a mainly white embossed one and a green patterned rudolph one,

I would be ever so grateful as ive only just uploaded my cards and way behind some peeps lol

pop HERE to have a nosey


DDCC#132 a game of bingo


You know folks i will get this time difference lol, anywho the new challenge over at dutch dare is out and we have a fabulous game of bingo for you, but you will have to pop over and see the board as for some reason it wont let me add it here,


Our great sponsor for this challenge is the stamping boutique and ive used one of there amazing digi images on my creation

And here is my card... I hope you like it

I have chosen
distressing (torn papers)
To make this card i used my dcwv rockstar matt stack which is getting used up more an more asd i love the papers, well actually it card, You cant see it too well as its mirri card but i used my martha stewart star border punch and oval scallop nesties,along with some lovely silver ribbon i have gotten from meiflower
I am entering this into
I love promarkers ~ distressing / Simon says stamp~anything goes /
My time to craft ~ musical medley

I hope to see you over there xxx



I'm a huge believer in the power of a good folktale. Folktales communicate important life lessons with only a little bit of text. Folktales are great for teaching metacognitive strategies like inferring. The repetitive structures and language support kids who are just starting down the reading road.

Maybe most importantly, folktales build children's sense of story. And that sense of story strongly impacts children's ability to write well, especially when it comes to personal narrative, memoir, and fiction. I think it's important then, to expose kids to lots of these short, strong, texts that can embed in their hearts, brains, and tongues. And so I read aloud tons of fairy tales, myths and legends, and trickster tales.

AESOP'S FABLES, by Beverly Naidoo, author of Journey to Jo'Burg is definitely going in that pile. The collection of 16 fables beg to be read, practiced, and performed as Readers' Theaters. There are some old favorites-- The Lion and the Mouse, The Grasshopper and the Ant," but there are also lots of others that are new to me- The Farmer and his Children, The Mosquito and the Lion, and The Eagle and the Warthog. And what kid is going to be able to resist South African animals like Rinkhals and Klipspringers and Tamboti? Each of the fables carries a great life lesson:
  • It is easier to be friends than enemies
  • If you betray a friend, don't be surprised when someone betrays you
  • Just wishing for something doesn't make it happen
Naidoo's fables are enhanced by Piet Grobler's absolutely gorgeous watercolor, (I think), illustrations. This one is a must have for your folktale basket!

Review copy provided by publisher.

My 2 Girls

When my daughter saw the layout I did of her brother with Trixie she asked if I was going to do one of her with Trixie as well.
Using a wallpaper sample as the background.
and note the stitching?? yep, thats why I don't use a sewing machine! We just dont get on.
I think sewing machines see me coming and clench in fright. I had so much problems with the sewing machine at the retreat..(thank you Trish and Sonia for your help lol)

My crafty buys from blue jelly- and dont forget i have a blog candy at the moment open to all


On sunday i went to meet vicky aka blue jelly as she was having a sale of her old unused stuff and her stamping up stuff, well it would have been rude not too lol, i stayed for about 4 hours chatting and of course spending lots of my money(or should i say dans)

It was fab and vicky was just as i imagined her to be

I bought lots and lots as you can see, it was like going to the nec lol, although ill be going there too as im still saving up,Can you spot my stampin up stamps lol that makes about 12 sets i own now, lots of matt stacks and sentiments, chipboards,ribbons etc etc,
It was lovely to meet vicky as im nervous meeting new people and especially since i went on my own lol, i do hope to see her again at her future crops and classes,
Besides this whole lot of stuff ive bought 2 other second hand stampin up sets and some charms, along with a maggi and cc design stamp of ebay, and am awaiting my stamping up club order !!!!!!!
think i must of spent a small fortune of hubby's money lately, but you know what they say....
"you only live once"
well better go now as ive got stew and dumpling cooking in the slow cooker lol


Collage class #3 was finally satisfying. I am getting the hang of letting go and just "doing" without a plan in mind.

I love the movement of my piece. It has good line.
My work over the teacher's samples.
The one on the right is about Romeo and Juliet- ahh Verona!

I had tried this idea many years ago using two pieces of pieced fabric but with the 1/4 inch seam allowance eaten up on both sides of the strip the design was less effective.

We had some time to finish last week's collage and I was pleased with the movement of the curves.

it looks a bit sexual, no?
a fluke! 

Gratitude Journal

My son Geoff has been feeling kind of down lately, so I told him that as cheesy as it sounds, keeping a gratitude journal can be helpful, because the act of noticing the good things in your life helps rewire your outlook. So I bought him a notebook--a small one, though. And I told him I bought him a small one on purpose, because actually he doesn't have that much to be grateful for.

But whatever.

I'm a little down in the mouth, too, so I thought I'd start off my morning by listing a few of the things I'm grateful for. Thanks for indulging me.

1. Indians summers
2. Fresh peaches
3. Late roses
4. Neighbors who go to late night movies with us
5. Dogs
6. Even though the big one drools
7. The knowledge that there's always another good mystery to read
8. Warm days
9. My boys
10. Their father

Have a pint on me


This kenny k digi is fab i just love it, so when i was asked to make a card for a son who loved a pint i just knew he was the one, now there where a few challenges floating about for clean and simple so thats what ive done, The grossgrain ribbon is 1.5 cm wide and fantastic on mens cards, ive used platinum stickles around the image. and the papers where gifted me from one of my trimmie friends as i dont have much mens papers, of course my promarkers got an airing as they do on most cards lol, i know im still not great with my colouring but im learning, some images i colour look pretty good and others not so.

anyway the challenges im entering this fella into are

Simon says - Anything goes / Crafty creations - CAS / Sweet stampin - anything goes

Allsorts - keep it simple / Truly scrumotious - clean and simple


The pretty imogen on another easel card


Good evening folks, its rather late and im off to bed in a min, but i wanted to share a card with you that ive made today, its for a friend of my mums, i used the my minds eye papers and some prima flowers, along with lots of shiny holographic card and stickles, Up close view, imogen is just fantastic and amazing to colour in, dont forget she is only 99p over at cardmadfairy creations,
I would like to enter this into a few challenges pretty please
Creative card crew ~ easel card / One stop ~ easel card / Southern girls ~ anything goes
Incy wincy ~ fancy folds / Pile it on ~ fancy folds / The crafty pad ~ stitching
Crafty catz ~ autumnal colours

Good night folks sleep well xxx


Surround Yourself with Art

My daughter and her room mate have a beautiful apartment, full of natural light and art work!

These McGill students have surrounded themselves with beautiful things.

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

                                                                                                William Morris.

Two paintings they made are resting on the mantel.

Seagull painting done at TSA by a seaside vignette.

A painted canvas from high school, IB art,
 hangs in the dining room.

They have a folded quilt hanging over their couch.

It was given to the room mate's parents as a wedding gift.
It is a summer quilt, made without any batting.

I was thinking of art all weekend.

I designed a new quilt!

I collected some "found paper" for my collage class. Keener!

creative craft challenges - DT call results/winners and new theme

Wow guys we have so much to fill you in on over at creative craft challenges this morning, including lots of winners and of course our new DT gals, you really ought to pop by and have a look,

and of course we have a new theme this fortnight in the form of a sketch,

here is my card following the sketch,

I havent put the sketch here lol so your gonna have to go to the blog to see it, and of course see who the newbies are, its so exciting for us at the moment as we are going to be seeing some changes.

the digi ive used is from robyns fetish who are our sponsors for this challenge




OK, so not only is this one a mini-review, but it probably falls into the "Everyone else has already read that, so why is she reviewing it" category. Well, I just bought it and read it this weekend, and it's on top of my bag waiting to go to school this morning, so here goes…

STINK is a series I love. The books are funny enough, and gross enough, that they grab the attention of my less engaged readers right away. The books are chapter books, but the chapters are short, and fairly easy, and there are comic/graphic novel inserts between each chapter, so kids who are not great readers can get through one in a few days. And there are six books in the series (and several more in the STINK AND JUDY MOODY series), so when I get a kid going on this series, I don't have to worry about that reader for a week or two.

In STINK: THE ULTIMATE THUMB WRESTLING SMACKDOWN, Stink has just received a report card. His graders are terrific, well, all except for his grade in gym, which is an UNSATISFACTORY (OK, so if I'm really honest maybe I love this book because I can so relate!). Stink's parents want him to take up a sport to improve his gym grade. Stink considers several, and finally decides on thumb wrestling. The only problem is, he is not very good at it, and keeps getting beaten by everyone, even the first grade girls…

Can't wait to hand this to Mr. T. this morning…

At the Farm

I had a wonderful wonderful weekend at the Escape2Create mini retreat.
Always look forward to these retreats.
Very well organised, great food, great venue and fantastic company.

 This is a frame I created for Twiddleybitz.
I had a play with their new rusting powder and I LOVE it!.
I made an absolute mess and got the stuff everywhere, but I LOVE it. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by.

Jean Paul Gaultier in Montreal

I am in Montreal for the weekend. My daughter and I went to see the gorgeous textiles of "l'enfant terrible" of the fashion world.

He is self-taught.

He is one of the most important fashion designers of recent decades.

Jean Paul Gaultier's haute couture. (images courtesy of Zio Paolino from flickr as I forgot my camera!)

I loved the photo transfers onto cloth, the textures, the beading.

Pierre Cardin told him, "The idea is more important than the material used to translate it."

A phone thang

I noticed today that whenever the phone rings I start shouting I'LL GET IT! I'LL GET IT! I'LL GET IT! I immediately go into this crazy five-alarm-I'm-gonna-save-that-damn-house-from-burning-down-to-the-ground mode because you know how it is. That phone call is JUST SO IMPORTANT!

And besides I'm doing everyone a favor. I'm answering the phone so no one else in this house has to.

But here's the deal, which deal I just realized today when I nearly broke my neck getting to the phone whilst tripping over dogs and pillows. Here goes: I'm not doing anyone a favor because absolutely no one else who lives here bothers with the phone now. They're just all hey call me on my cell if you really want to chat.



As a teacher, I have long marveled at bathroom issues. Schools that make teachers take group bathroom breaks. Schools that don't allow group bathroom breaks. Kids that want to go every five minutes. Kids that wait until the last possible second and then have to run all the way down the hall. Kids that ask to of and don't come back until you send a search party. Kids that can make their own private water parks in five minutes or less. Kids that create art galleries or anatomy lessons on bathroom walls with a single half-broken red crayon…

And now children's poet Kalli Dakos has written an entire book of bathroom poems!

Some of the poems are silly…
"Meet Me in the Bathroom"
Meet me in the bathroom,
right at two o'clock.
You leave your class,
I'll leave mine
we'll have a chance to talk…"

"Trapped in the Bathroom"
I'm trapped in the bathroom.
What rotten luck!
Right at recess,
with a door that is stuck…"

"The Bathroom Dance"
cross our legs,
hold our pants,
we all know,
the Bathroom Dance!"

Some of the poems are serious…
"Laughing Machine"
Jarrod says my nose
is big enough for two heads,
so I go to the bathroom
to check…"

"There Should be a Place Kids Can Go"
There should be a place
kids can go
when life has dealt
another blow…"

I think these are all poems that kids are going to love! Can't wait to share them with my fourth graders at our Poetry Friday meeting this morning.

Poetry Friday is at Anastasia Suen's Picture Book of the Day.


Well, GAME ON is all I can say when it comes to Television Viewing right now. It's good to have TV friends back in the house.

In review--

Castle was okay. Obviously we all knew Kate wasn't going to die. We also knew Castle would declare his lurve. We probably also knew this would drive Kate to do a runner--which, okay. I get that a series thrives on sexual tension. I get that it's hard to make it last for SEASON AFTER SEASON AFTER SEASON. I get we're usually disappointed in the end when "it" happens (to wit: Sam and Diane, Maddie and David, Remington Steele and what's her name, Daphne and Niles).

Well, okay. Maybe not Daphne and Niles. Actually, I think we all had a hard time buying Daphne and Niles EVEN THOUGH I LOVED THEM BOTH.

But whatever. I'm starting to find Kate's inner wall thing kind of tedioso.

Didn't get to watch HAWAII 5-0, which is one of those shows where the actors bring more to the roles than the writing deserves. But whatever. The theme music is awesome. The scenery isn't half- bad.

Didn't get to watch any of the NCISs.

Did watch both Modern Family episodes last night and was not disappointed. (I'm waiting for it to turn into The Office, which I loved. Until I didn't.)

ALSO. Did watch Revenge by accident and oh people. I will be watching it again.

Tonight? I'll be turning into the Mentalist and Person of Interest starring that creepy guy from LOST and also the not creepy guy who played Jesus. Am popping the popcorn now.

DDCC # 31 a sketch

Dont forget about my 21000 hits candy HERE there is at least 4 prizes so have a look and enter,


We have another fabby challenge for you at dutch dare, its team B's turn to show off thier work this time,
please remember though folks that you can only combine upto 8 challenges,
Here is the great sketch you have to follow

We are being sponsored by the fabulous di's digi's which the dt have used in thier projects