Tuesday, January 17, 2017


A bit of this; a bit of that. 
I have, like so many, been seduced by quick and easy Instagram; so blog posts are thin on the ground. That's ok; I probably spent way too much time falling down the blog(s) rabbit hole in those glory days of the early 2000s. I revisit a few of the favorites now and then, dipping into the archives if they still stand—a few of them made the leap from blog to 'Flog'; others remain pristine.  Stellar examples (to my mind) of keeping it going and keeping it simple are (in no particular order) The Casual Optimist, Tiny Happy, and Ing-Things
I tend to steer clear of the house porn, not sure why exactly. The juggernaut superstars in that world always seemed to me to be traipsing down similar paths; trends seem to begin most often in Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, France or the UK, then the North Americans pick up on it and before you know it a world of white, rustic, indigo and ikat splat is everywhere.
Not that there is anything wrong with that. 
House stuff has been a preoccupation in Real Life.  Crazyhouse, as we like to call it, is now warm and pretty thanks to new heating system and oak hardwood floors.  Next up, a laundry utility room reno (I know, that sounds really boring), but I am most excited by the prospect; using what we have instead of ordering a bunch of new, cabinetry and making it look built in by adding a nice new countertop. And a tin ceiling, of all things; this pleases me so much. Will post a picture of it when complete!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bad & Good

Recent months have seen cosmic realities being dealt in equal portions of bad and good; and isn't that always the way? 
So we step up, keep going, maybe glance at a few self-help articles, contemplate yoga (again), and try not to eat potato chips for dinner instead of the endive and spinach salad.
It's little things that are sometimes the most cheering, such as this book, discovered via a San Francisco blogger/sewer extraordinaire. Sanae Ishida has long been on my blog reading list; I like to bookend reading her with a browse at Japanese Sewing Books, another long-time favorite.
The white shirt (pictured at bottom) has been on my sewing bucket list for a year or so; and so am looking forward to tackling the version featured on the cover. 

Seen on Pinterest… apologies for no attribution!

Sunday, January 24, 2016


 …the house reno is finally underway—bit by bit instead of all at once. This is both good and bad as it prolongs living with the disruption but requires fewer split-second decisions to be made. (very good, I'd much rather proceed at a leisurely pace and mull over my choices).
We're inching towards spring and that too, of course, is good.
Hope to be back here with fresh focus in a few weeks…

Sunday, January 3, 2016

This and that

Well it's coming on spring and we know what that brings. Sorting out things, cleaning, purging and the like. I tend to not join the throngs doing it at this time of year. 10 months volunteering at a thrift store teaches you a few things about how to treat your discards; and the people who have to handle them on the receiving end—with consideration and an eye to timing.  Small incremental loads—bagged or boxed with like things together, and delivered at off-peak periods are SO appreciated by the staff and volunteers sorting the incoming. It's truly disheartening to work through a wall of sagging garbage bags filled with mystery detrius; some of it smelly and much of it damp.
The two little painting of posies were spotted at the home of a lady I used to meet on my way to the nursing home. She lived right across the street, in the tidiest little california cottage in what I imagined to be the Usonian style. Board and batten on the outside, vaulted ceiling inside… flooding the tiny 1400 square foot 2 bed 1 bath home with light.  She had a front entry porch enclosed; its window choked with the palest of coral pink geraniums. 
We talked briefly a few times, I liked her geraniums, her house, her tidy garden, her sweet little pictures. Turns out she was in her 90s, one of those persevering just-getting-things-done seniors we have so many of here in little old Sidney, British Columbia. Anyway, she fell, and was moved into care. The sale sign went up and the house sold 5 days later.  Soon after the reno evidence piled up in the driveway. Cedar tongue and groove on the ceilings—ripped out. A mountain of smashed drywall indicates "Good-bye Rooms and Hello Open Concept". Dated fixtures trashed. Fully functioning but Not Stainless appliances turfed to the dump. Geraniums chucked into the compost heap.
I found her pictures at the thrift store recently. It may take me a while to track her down, find out which nursing home she's in; but when I do these little pictures are going back on her wall. It may take a while.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Flower pounding, 'hapa-zome' made famous by India Flint's 2010 book Eco Colour
For a first time 5-minute project I'd give it a 10 out of 10, especially if I still had a wee one around the house to wield the hammer. 
Top: false dandelion—Bottom: common tansy 
And to make the pounded print colorfast, am going to brew up a tannin-rich mordant from the leaves of a native Gary Oak tree. Since my leaf pile is about the size of a Volkswagon, I'm in no danger of running out of raw material.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fall walk

Vancouver Island fall colours, a palette heavy on the russets and cordovans, soft yellows and mosses that range from whispers to screams in their green-ness. Lovely, leathery salal and mushrooms galore, of course… perfect hideaways for wee folk. The forest duff is dotted with stones wrapped in moss mantles. Nature getting it right, as usual.