Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

photo of ruins in Greece

The original photo

I wanted to make something special for my son and his wife as a wedding present, even though knew I wouldn’t actually get it done in time for the wedding. Since they already had a bed quilt made by me, I set my sights on a wall hanging.

Now this was going to be a surprise, so I had to be a little sneaky! Knowing how much they had enjoyed their trip to Greece the year before, I set out to find a photo from that trip that might be appropriate to interpret in fabric. That’s where some stealth was required. I couldn’t ask my son for a photo without explaining why I wanted it, so I snooped on his Facebook page and chose a photo that was fairly representative of their trip, and that might “translate” well.

I downloaded the image and had paper copies made (enlarged to 11 x 17) – one in colour and one in black & white. The colour copy was used as a guide to select fabrics, and the black & white one helped me sketch the outline onto the base fabric (unbleached cotton).

It’s so much fun hunting for just the right fabric scraps, and I am forever grateful to the quilter who first planted the idea in my brain that sorting my scraps by colour into clear plastic shoebox-size containers would significantly streamline the process.

Arches and Blue Sky

Arches and Blue Sky

I had the perfect fat quarter of hand-dyed blue fabric for the sky on hand, from Dye-Version, and loads of scraps, from florals to plaids and everything in between, for the stonework. I used a collage technique, based loosely on what I have learned from Susan Carlson.

I took a bit of artistic licence with some areas of the piece, but I think it fairly interprets the original photo. I hope it evokes fond memories of their Greek adventure. It was made with love.

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A week ago, I was in sunny Mexico for a yoga retreat at a remote eco-lodge in the jungle, north of Puerto Vallarta.

sunshine in Mexico

This was my first visit to Mexico, and it did not disappoint. My yoga teacher here in Toronto, Catherine McFadden, organized this retreat as her first foray into “destination” yoga. What a success! Tailwind Jungle Lodge is a 5-acre treasure nestled into the lush countryside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  A great bunch of 11 yoginis (including me and one of my sisters) stayed in a range of accommodations on the property – ranging from a rather luxurious “casita” with a four-poster bed to a rustic, canvas-sided “bungalow” on a wooden platform. Check out my photo album.

There was lots of creative inspiration to be had on this trip, as well as a healthy dose of introspection and exquisite Mexican food prepared by a local gastronomic genius, the talented Abigail.

mural - San Pancho

mural - San Pancho, Mexico

I loved the “public art” in San Pancho: kaleidoscopic mosaics and celebratory murals. There’s an awesome non-profit organization we were introduced to in San Pancho (aka San Fransisco), called Entre Amigos, focused on creating educational opportunities for families. Check out their website … what they are doing is truly inspiring.

Moasic reptile created by San Pancho kids

Wouldn’t this make a great quilt design?

I had to snap a photo of a dusty old sewing machine, found on the main street. I’m not sure whether it is intended as “street art”

an old workhorse

or whether is was just abandoned (cast iron sewing machines ARE awfully heavy!

broken dishes mosaic

So today, I am dreaming about sunny Mexico … the hikes in the jungle, the swims in the ocean, the naps on the beach, the colourful + noisy birds, the warm spirits of my companions, the enlightening yoga, the stimulating contrast from city life, the gastronomic delights and even the cheery all-night chirp-0rchestra of the tree frogs. There’s way too much to cram into one post, so you can expect more highlights in future posts.  Today, a week after returning from Mexico,

winter in Toronto

I awoke to a winter wonderland. There are just a couple more days left in February, so today I’ll be going for one of the last skates for the season.

Parting advice: celebrate each season, wherever you are!

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