Sisters ….. vintage photos of my sister and I

By on 7-14-2010 in Christmas Patterns, Embroidery, Original Pattern

When the ATC theme of sisters came up on the Art For the Creative Mind Yahoo group, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I had these two great photos of my sister and I when we were very young in Toronto. I’m the little blonde. One was taken with us dressed in our ballet tutus and the other in dresses made by my grandmother. She was one of the best artists with a needle I know. She could take a bit of this and a bit of that and make wonderful outfits for us. The little kitten in that photo just did not want to be there….I can still remember the scratches even now.

I gave us both new outfits in Photoshop Elements along with Princess crowns…lots of glimmer and bits of threads as well.


These dresses had bright red trim and buttons … I loved this dress and wore my sister’s hand-me-down as well. The front bib bodice was pleated as well…where the bruises were I added band aids and another pair of Princess crowns of course. These were so much fun to do as they brought me back to the early years.

sisters, backs
These are the backs of the ATCs … I create a back that is interesting and holds all the information as well. The front of a piece is not the only canvas to cover and it is always important to sign your work.

Catnip Capers …. a summer quilt of kitties playing in the sun

By on 7-14-2010 in Christmas Patterns, Embroidery, Original Pattern

Catnip Capers was done for a woman who truly is the mother of these cats. Her favourite flowers are sun flowers and I thought what better than to put the cats in a sunflower garden enjoying the sun on a hot hazy day. The butterflies and dragonflies along with ladybugs are all present on this summer noon along with a hazy sun directly above. The cats are playing and rolling in the grass with one (there’s always one) looking down on them with humour.

catnip capers

These cats started as embroidery outlines. I painted and coloured them in Photoshop using a Wacom Bamboo tablet. Once they were fully drawn and coloured in I used filters to give them a soft furry look. The sunflowers have stuffed middles along with some of the petals that have been sewn down onto the quilt background. Other petals are double sided giving the flowers a 3D look. The stems are twisted cord, ribbon and embroidery floss. Large leaves were cut and sewn with a raw edge and then fray stop was used to keep them from fraying. The brown-eyed susans have button middles and the flower petals are simply a piece of gathered strips that has been cut with a pinking blade and doubled. The chickweed flowers were made on a daisy loom with ribbon and seed beads sewn for the centers. The little forget-me-nots are made with dark silk from men’s ties and mauve lame. Simple small yoyos turned backward and sewn down with more seed beads. The dragonflies, butterflies and ladybugs are buttons and embellishments. This quilt was an absolute joy to make from start to finish.

Happy Halloween to everybody

By on 7-14-2010 in Christmas Patterns, Embroidery, Original Pattern

Watch out for the ghosts and goblins tonight. I kept these three photos aside just for tonight’s festivities. All of these photos could be used as backgrounds for a spooky digital collage or inspiration for a dark nighttime quilt.

Orange moon through white cedar tree

A summer moon taken on a hot night. The white cedar shadow gives this photo it’s Halloween flavour.

harvest moon

September gives us a different moody moon. The moon this night was a beautiful silver with a big dog ring that picked up the moon shine and through it around the scudding clouds below it.

harvest moon

This is another summer moon. A June moon which was taken on a hot evening and another shadow of a white cedar tree.

Great blue heron, Canada geese, a saucy grey squirrel and September’s last hurrah !

By on 7-14-2010 in Christmas Patterns, Embroidery, Original Pattern

During a trip to Andy Haydon Park in West End Ottawa I was able to snap photos of some of the wildlife. I think they may have been posing for me hoping I would be on my way, thinking “tourists”. It was a sunny afternoon, one of those lazy days when you just want to get away and forget your everyday life.

great blue

The great blue heron had his patience rewarded when he caught a big mudpout. He stood in the pond so still until he saw the right moment to capture his dinner. A magnificent bird.

snoozing squirrel

This grey squirrel was napping in the afternoon sun and didn’t notice me at first. A very interesting photo.

grey squirrel caught me taking his photo

Whoops! He caught me with my camera snapping his photo. What a character he is.

great blue heron

The park is full of Canada geese and when the heron crossed the pond to eat his fish the geese lined up in the water around him. I wonder why? Once he had swallowed his fish and taken off the geese separated and swam away.

A rare and beautiful Monarch Butterfly plus a Bumble Bee on a Scotch Thistle

By on 7-14-2010 in Christmas Patterns, Embroidery, Original Pattern

One bright and sunny day a Monarch came to visit. It spread it’s wings just long enough for me to snap a photograph.


When I was young they were numerous and you would see them almost every day. Now it is rare to see one at all and we have seen two this year. I will use this photo in a collage, soon, to honour this beautiful butterfly.

Bumblebee on a Scotch Thistle in the rocks of the Ottawa River

A Scotch Thistle that is growing in the rocks by the Ottawa River is sporting a bumble bee. What a pretty colour these thistles are.