Mixed Media Journal

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I started this many years ago – I think 2012.  Finished it last weekend.

It is comprised of 5 individual journals.  Each journal is made up of different papers and fabrics.  Some eco dyed watercolour papers, rust dyed fabrics (cotton, old linens and silk), purchased papers, tea stained papers.  I had family and friends collect their ephemera for a month and included many of their words and pieces on the pages.

The outside cover is eco-dyed wool that I embroidered.  The fabric covers of the individual journals have been embroidered also.  Buttons, ribbons, jewellery and beads have been added.

I look back on some of the things that I embroidered and it really reflects what I was going through and what I was doing at the time.  For example – I participated in a ‘plankathon’; I recorded an MRI and gallbladder surgery, some emotional situations that I was going through with family.  One entry says “PAIN” – I’m sure that related to my gallbladder flare (but it could easily have been emotional pain).

I have only written in one of the journals.  I kept it down by the TV and each night (for a couple months) I would record some tidbit of our day – whether it was a rugby game or a surf or a sit-and-read-at-the-beach.  Sort of a window into our life during that time.

I’m not hugely into journaling anymore – most of my journals I have destroyed  because I made the decision that I didn’t want anyone reading about my life once I no longer walk this earth.

I do like the journal though.  And I’m glad I finally finished it.  I suppose I’ll just put it on the shelf.  Maybe I’ll take one of the journals with me next time I go on a holiday?

Inspiration for it came from an Australian gal by the name of Ro Bruhn.  HERE is her blog.  She does amazing work and I’ve often thought attending a workshop with her.

Under the Bridge




Under the Bridge

My latest improv/liberated quilt.  It’s about 45×60″.  Multiple freeform techniques used.  My favourite blocks are the drunkards path blocks.  These were done without templates or rulers.  Just cut freehand with my rotary cutter.

I am very pleased with this creation.  To me – it doesn’t mimic the work of others.  It’s me.  It has influences of others but you don’t look at it and say “oh – she took a class from XXX” or “she is a huge fan of XXX”.  Having said this – if there are quilters out there that are doing work like this – I would love to see their work as I simply love this hodgepodge look.

The name?  Under the Bridge?  There is an entire story behind it.  The short version is that my ex-husband once told me that I would turn out JUST LIKE MY FATHER – an alcoholic, living under a bridge.







She Let Go

My favourite poem/writing.  It has always spoken to me.


She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments. 
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, 
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a 
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back. 
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. 
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go. 
She didn’t journal about it. 
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. 
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. 
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go. 
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. 
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. 
She didn’t call the prayer line. 
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened. 
There was no applause or congratulations. 
No one thanked her or praised her. 
No one noticed a thing. 
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle. 
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. 
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be. 
A small smile came over her face. 
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

The Bro’s quilt


I had so much fun making this quilt.  I hated the process to end.

To recap – when we were home last year, my brother asked if I would make him a quilt out of his military camouflage shirts and his collection of Crown Royal bags.  This is a man who doesn’t ask for much – and I was totally thrilled and honoured to do it.  He will be retiring in 2017 after 37 years in the military.  Quite an accomplishment and I am so incredibly proud to be his sister.


To his uniform shirts and the Crown Royal bags, I added Cherrywood hand-dyed fabrics, hand-dyed wool (the flying geese) and a few Japanese taupe fabrics.


I used inspiration from Sherri Lynn Wood‘s book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.  LOVE this book.  I suppose the ‘score’ that I used is closest to her version of ‘Patchwork Doodle’.  Basically, I just played with shapes and color.  It was truly like painting with fabric.


Sherri asks for you to evaluate each creation once completed.  She encourages you to look at it for surprises, discoveries, satisfactions and dissatisfactions.  I sat in my favourite coffee shop the other day and wrote this:


What surprised me?  First that I thought about K3 nearly the entire time working on this quilt.  My memories of him, of family, how proud I am of who he is, what he has accomplished, how he and L have raised such good men.

It also surprised me how many ideas I had – I couldn’t use them all.  They just kept coming and coming.


What did I discover/learn?  I guess my continuing lesson to go with the flow and trust my instincts.  The organic style of designing is very pleasing to me.  There are no mistakes.  Perfection is over-rated – at least for me.


What was satisfying about the outcome?  Well, I think he is really going to like it but more importantly, I love it!  And, it just feels like a gift of love that I’ve made especially for him. It came from my soul, from my creativity, from my heart.


What was dissatisfying?  It’s a very heavy quilt as the uniform fabric is much heavier than quilting cottons.  I’m glad I added the hand-dyed cottons for balance and lightness.

Additional thoughts:  I wasn’t exactly sure in the beginning if the crown royal bags and military camo fabrics would go together but I’m pleasantly surprised.  I actually think they complement each other!  Also, I think the purple is a great tie-in to L (his wife; her favourite color is purple) as she is as much retiring from the military as K3 is.

I was planning to take it back next year when we visit but I’ve decided to mail it to him instead.  Better for him to have it to curl up under this winter than for it to sit on a shelf here.




Sue Spargo has a **Free** BOM program called “Instastitch” going right now that I’m participating in.  We’re 7 months into it.  She’s doing 2 versions – one in wool and one in denim.  No surprise here – I’m doing mine with a more neutral focus.  I started with the few Japanese taupe scraps that I have left and added other fabrics.  I’m taking a fair bit of liberty with not only the piecing but the embroidery.



It’s the stitching that attracted me to the program in the first place.  For years, I’ve been wanting to do a crazy quilt – but not the traditional Victorian type crazy quilt.  Thinking back, I think embroidery was probably one of my first crafty LOVES.  I can remember as a teenager that I was doing embroidery on denim jackets and denim skirts.



These are my 7 blocks as they are right now.  I’ll add at least one more section of embroidery to each block.  My plan is to do a line of stitching along one more seam in a crazy quilting type manner.  Sharon B, releases a new stitch every Tuesday, called TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) from her web site, Pintangle.  I’m planning to challenge myself to use her stitches.