Saturday, March 25, 2023

needle doodle / "N'importe quoi"

My neurologist asked years ago if I doodled. I told him I didn't. 

A little scribbling while I'm talking on the phone? 


On the corner of a list? 


When my writing isn't going well and I've already got a pen in my hand? A little cross-hatching, maybe a few circles?

Definitely not. 

Big sigh. There was a study that claimed all migrainers doodled. 

That did not prompt me to go home and start doodling. Doodling is something you do or you don't. 

A couple of months ago, a children's toy and bookstore in Westmount closed. A friend went in and discovered that the store also stocked beautiful embroidery thread from Germany that the owner was selling at a huge discount. My friend bought some for herself and some for me. 

I've embroidered in the past but never seriously. I like the textural look of embroidery. I go to textile museums and admire embroidery. I have a large textbook of embroidery stitches. I like working with yarn and with textiles. But to actually sit down and do embroidery?  

I decided to see what this lovely coloured thread looked like if I stitched handmade paper. I have some from a paper manufacturer on the Lachine Canal called Papeterie St. Armand. They've been around since 1979. If you want to buy excellent, handmade paper, I cannot praise this place highly enough. 
Since I'm not an artist, I get the N'importe quoi scrap bags. 

I LIKED stitching paper! Heavy paper lends itself to stitching a design much more easily than fabric that has to be fastened to a hoop. 

I liked it so much that I walked up the hill to Westmount during a snowstorm to get more of this gorgeous embroidery floss. The store was closing the next day and the owner said to take as much as I could carry. She wanted to give me a large box but I was walking. I also didn't know how much thread I would ever use. 

What a mistake. I should have stuffed my knapsack because I don't just like embroidering. I LOVE IT. Especially with these rich colours. 

Those blank moments when I can't figure out where my writing is going next? I sit on my pea-green chair in the window and stitch a rosette chain or a few Palestrina knots. I get out my oil pastels for a change of texture. I sneak into R's studio and do some finger painting. 

I can now tell my neurologist that I doodle. 


  1. Check out my friend Shari Kasman's work!

    1. Neat! I love these. Thanks for sending me the link. I'm delighted by how many people have been telling me that they embroider too. Shari's are definitely unboring postcards.

  2. Alice, I love these. How lucky to find the thread and the papers are beautiful.

  3. Hi, liebe Alice, wir hatten den Link zu deinem Blog Rapunzel verloren. Heute hat. Christine danach gesucht und nach längerer Suche ihn wieder gefunden. Wir mögen beide deinen Blog und sind glücklich wieder etwas von dir lesen zu können. Bitte schicke mir eure Post Adresse und email adresse. Dann senden wir dir ein wenig Stickgarn und einen Brief. Christine und auch ich würden uns über einen Kontakt mit euch sehr freuen.😍 Adresse: