A Finish and a long forgotten UFO unearthed – long post, you’ll need a cup of tea or something

It’s another beautiful Monday in the Bay. A bit of cloud coverage today is helping to keep the worst of the heat in check and later N and I will go for a swim. His swimming “lessons” with me are not going well. He has always been terrified of the water and putting his face in (even in the bathtub), is torture. Up until now, we’ve let him be. (really, really terrified – as in diarrhea before his lessons. I even paid for him to have private lessons with a girl who is the kindest most patient soul I’ve ever known and he wouldn’t leave the stairs to go into the pool – sweet mercy, the screaming. Now, we live on an island in the summer, so life jackets and super vigilant behaviour have been how we’ve handled things so far and fortunately he was not an adventurous toddler, but the time has come. Next year at school, every kid in grade 3 (this may be province wide, or maybe just our school board, not sure) has to take a series of lessons called “swim to survive” and I figured he would rather get over the screaming and crying here with me in the lake than in a pool surrounded by his friends. He will now just barely go into water where he can’t quite touch (with the life jacket on) and can dog paddle quite well forย a very short period of time. He will NOT put his face in. The screaming, the crying, the begging, the shrieks of “I HATE THAT YOU”RE MAKING ME DO THIS!!!” are truly heart breaking and I’m certain that neighbours all over Georgian Bay (trust me – sound carries over water) think I am just the most horrible mother in existence. But, we will carry on – maybe today is the day!

So, I’ve been stitching! I finished up this wee counted canvas that has been patiently waiting its turn in the stash. It’s a Needle Delights Original design and was kitted up by Kathy and Neale from Thread and Eye for an annual retreat a few years ago. I was teaching at the retreat that year (Temari) and felt totally left out of the other kids were doing so had to buy the kit to make my own. It’s so sweet, but I can’t quite bring myself to use it as a coaster, so I found a little corner on a wall (a wall!! I have some actual real walls up here now – a stitcher’s dream!) and hung it proudly this morning in the kitchen.


Now, for my buried treasure. Remember my William Morris tapestry? I actually stitched this piece first from the same Beth Russell book. It was to be a lovely bell pull. I had been called for jury duty (murder trial – certainly a life experience I can check off the bucket list never to repeat, I was required in court every business day for weeks and sequestered for a night before giving the verdict) Anyhoo. I armed myself with a canvas, a lap frame, the pattern and a ton of wool. Kathy had measured everything based on the Penelope canvas I was using and I thought little of it, other than rolling the extra around the bars and stitched away. A lot of time was spent in the jury room – a lot. It was quite boring a large part of the time, but as you know – a crafter is never bored. I stitched, and rolled the completed up fabric as I went. Eventually I finished it and took it off the frame. To my shock, it was just over 6 feet long. It looked ridiculous. Seriously ridiculous, but so much work had gone into it – I couldn’t just get rid of it? So I tucked it into a drawer until a few years ago when I brought it up here and thought that maybe just maybe I could do something with it that would make sense. It’s taken three years of thinking but I think I’ve got it now and finishing off that canvas last night gave me an idea. I have a bit more work to do on it now because the border will need to be a bit wider, but stay tuned…… Maybe in a week, I’ll show you what I’m going to turn it into.


If you’re still with me after the novel I’ve written, I’ll leave you with a funny Daria picture. She sleeps like this all the time, letting us walk around and over her – never more soundly than after a swim and a rootle around in the mink hidey holes. I’m waiting for the day she gets a nasty surprise on her snout.


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8 Responses to A Finish and a long forgotten UFO unearthed – long post, you’ll need a cup of tea or something

  1. Fawn says:

    Wheeee!!! I love long posts!
    You are being a good mama to N! I was always terrified of water too and was mortified when I had to show up at school swim lessons still unable to swim.

    Love all your projects as always. I am SUPER curious what you are going to do with that 6 ft long work of art!

  2. margo says:

    O M….. I thought the little picture was a quilt, it came up as a small picture on my tablet, I was thinking ‘oh what lovely warm, cosy colours for a snuggly quilt ‘ oh well it will be a joy to look at in the kitchen.
    So sorry to hear N is afraid of the water, I taught swimming for a while and on the first day I asked my 5 year old ( class was same age) to do a dead mans float, he launched himself into the pool and just floated , face down, calm as you please, the other kids could see that he didn’t just drown so were very keen to listen and learn.I would paint my toenails a different colour each lesson and they had to put their face in the water to tell me what colour. It takes tricks and games to get kids learning water confidence.
    N’s fear is irrational, so being kind and patient needs to be added to with tiny steps of outsmarting the fear response, I have only dealt with shower and bath play for babies and toddlers to prevent this, so I have no other helpful ideas.
    I am sure it is hard for you to come up with ideas that might work as N is so frightened, sometimes the best teacher is an older brother, sister or cousin who they admire and would do anything to please . You could try ringing a big learn to swim group and asking for some tips, it is not an unusual problem.
    Has N been able to talk about exactly what he is most afraid of, it might be somewhere to start with , but kids can’t reason in a rational way before about 7 so that may not help.

    Fingers crossed you can help him,……sending good thoughts for a happy solution and many Summers of water fun.

    • caroline says:

      Thank you Margo for your great suggestions, I managed to get him to blow some bubbles and we dunked his head a few times. Slow and steady sprinkled with masses of patience and we will get there, past the fear.

  3. Laura says:

    Your dog is adorable, but I couldn’t help but notice your gorgeous wooden floors! Love!
    Good luck with the swimming lessons. My youngest was a pool drop-out too, now he is a great swimmer. It all just clicked one day…

  4. Debbie says:

    New to your blog and really am enjoying it. Love the tapestry, will anxiously be waiting to see it’s development.

    • caroline says:

      Thank you so much Debbie!! Hopefully I’ll have something to show next week – there’s a long way to go around…. ๐Ÿ™‚ nice to meet you!

  5. Gracie says:

    WOW! a murder trial and 6ft. of tapestry! I am so curious to know how you plan to use the tapestry.
    I taught swimming lessons for a bit too, and I think you are headed in a positive direction…slow… and steady. I appreciated Margo’s suggestions, too. xx

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