About Me

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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Japanese Room Shoes

I finished another pair, the same pattern as I used for Alice's, but I added 6 rows to make them longer to fit my feet.

Last day of 2011

We had a lovely typical Saturday today. We went to recycling in the morning and picked up the Globe and Mail newspaper and some milk at the store. We had a simple lunch then JM watched hockey in the TV room and I played with origami over at the studio/cottage. Then I had a nice 40 minute walk up Wren Road at 4 PM, during which dusky time I saw 4 deer and a flicker. Then home to start our New Year Eve's dinner, macaroni and cheese by special request of the other diner. In honour of the occasion, I made Cheese and Pasta Gratin from Alice Water's Simple Food.

The house looks very welcoming as I return from my walk.

The Cheese and Pasta Gratin, aka Mac and Cheese, prior to its final 15 min at 400F in the oven.

This is a wonderful cook book.

The recipe.

The bubbly was poured once I had finished preparations.

The studio/cottage at dusk.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boxing Day walk

The day after Christmas and many of us are out for a walk. I remember this phenomenon since I was a child; a true if unacknowledged Canadian tradition. After being cooped up inside with so many people and excitement, and eating and drinking too much, on December 26 we feel the need to get fresh air and exercise and maybe some solitude. I remember doing this in Alberta at minus 30 degrees, so our local maritime temperature of plus 8 degrees is much pleasanter.

Where Chickadee Lake meets the shore

The Chickadee Lake trail

The boardwalk over the adjoining marsh

An ant hill with deer footprints

An old cedar rail fence

Memorial bench for Marilyn's mother

New dressing gown for JM

One of the Christmas gifts that I made this year that I enjoy seeing in use on a daily basis.

New dressing gown and the New Yorker
Here is the list of what I made for gifts this year:

  • sewed dressing gown for JM
  • knitted socks for JM
  • crocheted Japanese room shoes for AB
  • knitted hat and scarf for MMc
  • knitted socks for JRC
  • knitted socks for KEC
  • knitted socks for KJC
  • sewed dress for MLM
  • knit Aran vest for RJM
  • knit scarf for GM
  • sewed tapestry tote for SP
  • knit socks for MB
  • crochet covered rocks for KT and VB
  • sewed  2 small bags for Quilting gift exchange and school raffle basket
  • made blackberry and mahonia berry jam for 12 family members and took 1 jar as a hostess gift

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

The tree

The table

A lovely gift

Friday, December 23, 2011

December Solstice Foliage

Wild rose hips

Bracken fern

Mushrooms in the moss

A moss covered rock

Mossy tree trunk

Frost on the grass


The stream is level with the foot bridge

Fungus on a mossy stump

A Red Huckleberry is starting to grow on this nurse stump

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All knitting done!

Ta da! I finished Katie's socks this morning, then J. and I rode our bikes in the beautiful winter sunshine down to the store to mail them off.

This pattern is called "Genome Socks" because the cable pattern looks like chromosome pairs. Perfect for Katie! I bought the lovely Hazel Knits 'piquant lite'  9 ply hand painted fingering yarn at Sock Summit last July, 2011 in Portland.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Another present done!

Phew, I have been knitting like a fiend. Here are Kim's socks, just completed last evening.

Ferry Lights

I drove home from a Tai Chi workshop in Parksville, and arrived at the ferry terminal just at dusk. I was able to get a quick photo of the ferry in the dock. By the time I was actually on the ferry at 5 P.M. it was very dark.

The ferry in dock, with Christmas lights around the upper bridge.

The lights as viewed through my car window, from on the ferry.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Decorations

We really love Christmas decorating because it brightens up the house at the darkest time of the year. Also, I can drape the living room in quilted items, one-off socks and various fabrics without regard for taste or discretion.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

You never know what is living below . . .

 I finally moved the summer plant pots from the old stump in front of my studio, and discovered a small lizard living underneath.

The lizard is just above the rock on the left.

And then it started to move . . . 

The lizard is about 5 cm long.