The first textile artist I visited on Mayne Island was Judy Taylor.
I ran into her at Astrid's Kitchen with old Guild friend Dani Lacosta
and she invited me home with her to see her inspiring house and for blackberry scones and sweet English tea.
I am easy to pick up when offered a crawl through someone's studio and fabric stash.
Judy was generous sharing who she is as a person and an artist. She was also the head nurse around these parts for a number of years and keeps her hand in by helping out by driving and visitng the sick and infirm. Like me.
Her strong and completely giving personality and outspoken Northern English way fit me like a glove.
Her talent and sense of colour and design are wonderful. She has shown me piles of quilts, fabric bits and new textile constructions and she, in turn, has climbed through some of mine.
Judy, like nearly every textile artist I know, lives happily with her textile piles. She has stray threads on her coat and little pigment stains on her hands. Blue that day.
I just had to share some images of her lovely quilts. And a little bit of her. All the colours are deeper and more vivid. I took the pictures with my phone on a very sunny day.
Judy leading me through a version of textile heaven.
Dragged out the Conte stick, a sketchbook, needle and thread and hot poker and said " Time don't wait for no-one!"
So I played with my rusty hands and forgotten tools for an hour.
I spent half the day in the lab letting the vampires suck away and decided that this energy I have left is precious and needs to be nurtured like a cranky baby. The other half I spent curled up in my cozy bed and napped for 3 hours. In between I played with making marks and sloppy stitches and scorches.
Radiation is an amazing process.
Tiny beams have been blasted at my spine to destroy a little tumour that has been making movement challenging. The flares from the radiation and inflammation left me stunned. I was expecting some pain. Just not that pain. Last weekend was a challenge because my morphine was not on Mayne and I was.
I went to radiation support and pain management at the hospital and am now drugged up.
The new oncologist was very firm about making sure I manage the pain cycle. And that is was going to get worse before it got better. I know now. So I am a pill popping Mama.
I have these friends and this husband who show up in the early morning and late at night.
I love them so much for doing this. So much.
Trying to get a handle on the emotions pouring out of me and trying to hold in the panic.
Some of it drug induced and some of it real. Tim has a sixth sense and knows when to
just wrap himself around me. His patience. His calm. His emotional generosity.
I asked him how he managed to do this. He said, "Because you are still Patricia Chauncey."
Who needs a Valentine after that?
So I will jump up on the radiation spaceship table and trust.
There are times to be dependant and other times to give. I will relax and understand that needing help and support is all o.k.