Thursday, September 24, 2009


Today I was thinking about freedom. It began with Nana coming to look after the children while I took a course. While driving there, I had a tingly feeling of freedom - the sun was shining, an awesome song was blaring on the radio, a hot coffee in my travel mug and the knowledge of a few hours ahead of me, learning... things.
It made me think and appreciate where we live (for so many places throughout the world, people don't have these same privileges of freedom) and all of the choices that we are free to make: the song on that radio, our mood for the day, our friends (mine are lovely), how we nourish ourselves, what we create and generally how we choose to live our lives.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


What a busy week that was!!!!! Another Sunday has rolled around and we find some leisure time to visit our favourite place on the island - Piper's Lagoon Beach. The weather is holding up for late September on the West Coast - sunny, breezy and warm(ish).

I love the random comments children make like Elizabeth seeing a rainbow in a clear blue sky and Quinn seeing twinkling lights that must have been the glistening sun reflecting off the gentle waves in the ocean.

They ran, climbed on logs, fished and snacked. Afterwards we whipped up a beautiful tomato and boccacini salad from our abundant garden tomatoes dressed with a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper. Yummy.

EllaBella is back in full swing and I've been quite busy creating workshop projects and helping Ann re-stock the studio (she has an amazing talent for making beautiful displays - you'll have to come and check it out). Bought some tea towels as John wants another chef's hat made and also Halloween is just around the corner so will be making the children's costumes. Have more ideas for my coffee sacks (just not enough hours in the day) and people have been saving me wonderful packaging that I can't wait to play with.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Today was good. September has always been a favourite month. A month of beginnings - those school years now being experienced for the first time by my own two children. Every sunny day is a bonus - the lighting a little bit more gentle than the harsh summer sun. The garden is fully grown and herbs and vegetables in abundance (we've been having some very tasty meals of late).

We went to the beach today with family and friends (we are SO lucky to live a 90 second drive to Departure Bay beach). The tide was meandering in slowly as we explored the shoreline, avoiding the lingering jellyfish, and finding treasure along the way - seaweed, shells, driftwood and special stones. The children played on their "island". We witnessed a lone pink salmon jumping playfully out of the water. It eventually invited a friend in its play and evaded the fly fishermen along the beach. We watched the ferries depart and arrive bringing tourists to the wonderful place we call home.

After hours of fresh sea air, Quinn napped peacefully while Elizabeth set up a fort in the garden for her latest special friend (before finding a pot of water which, as custom, was made into mud soup). I had a most enjoyable, indulgent few moments with a coffee, chocolate and a beautifully inspiring magazine "Artful Blogging". Lovely, lovely, lovely.

After a little read about those visually inspiring blogs I took the camera for a walk around the garden. The sunflower (that was a tiny sprout in June) now towers well above 8 feet. Lush David Austin roses bloom and are as fragrant as ever (one sadly made it into the mud soup when I wasn't looking!), lavetara grows from every nook and cranny in the secret garden. Meanwhile, Buddha sits quietly evoking a feeling of peace. Even the birds were chirping exuberantly, obviously also finding joy in this sunny pre-autumn day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Here is that little garlic sack that was requested. The burlap was from the used coffee bags - loving up-cycling! Simple bag sewn together on two sides and a mustard colour grosgrain ribbon secures the little sack at the top. Easy to make and functionally great.

While I was at the machine, also had to whip up two more toy bags - one to keep a jigsaw intact and the other for a used train set that a neighbour kindly gave us. Our toys sacks really help with tidy-up-time and they keep the toys organized and managable.

I wonder what will be next application for these old burlap coffee bags....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I have been doing some sewing with old burlap coffee sacks. So many thanks to Coyote Cafe( ) for donating their huge coffee bean bags - they are by far the best (and my most favourite) place in town to get a Soy Latte. Thanks for sharing and keeping them out of the recycling bin!!

My inspiration came from GreenCraft Magazine - a wonderful Stampington publication that showcases reclycling, eco-cycling and up-cycling projects. I was instantly smitten and had to get busy creating with burlap. So far I have made a chef hat for my Chef husband, a tote bag and coffee cozy. Also a unique burlap pillow that I have submitted to GreenCraft Magazine (fingers crossed).

This mag has made me so excited about working with materials that would normally go into the recycling bin. I've used old coffee packaging and twist ties in bold and interesting ways. Now I am saving any colourful plastic bag to use in further creations. (If you have any, please send them my way).
In fact, have just had a request for a small burlap bag from John (husband) to store the garlic he just picked from the to the sewing machine I go. Will post the finished bag soon!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


The other morning we were invited over to Fiona's house ( for a most wonderfully creative play date. She brought the easel and paints into the backyard for the children to unleash their inner artist and explore the world of colour through acrylic paints.

Quinn cautiously applied paint to his paper canvas with short brushstrokes while Milly got down to business and used her hands to boldly apply her bright colours. The bigger girls (Elizabeth & Pip), meanwhile played with Lego under a blanket "tent" and awaited their turns at the easel.

What better way to spend a late summer morning than with fresh air, art supplies and a bounty of fresh snacks from Fiona's garden. Thanks for the cuppa and fun AND loved the new outfits you made for your girls. Keep up the sewing fun!