Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Art Every Day!

Are you like me and have far better intnetions than actually happen? Do you want to get into a regular habit of sketching, drawing, creating? When I go into my studio, I want to make something, but often I gravititate towards my computer.....and then time passes and the art doesnt get done!

Well, I thought i might share my frustrations with others and see what happens! So I started a Facebook Group titled Art Every Day! Its been great to see others share their art and be enthusiastic about what we are creating...

OK, so I'm still at the computer, not making art but at least I'm learning about art, right???

So I also checked out a couple of websites about Art Every Day and found this one:

Daily Art Fixx began in April 2009 as a way to share art – for education and inspiration. Since then DAF has grown beyond expectations to include artist profiles (both historical and current), most visual art genres, and themes such as Women in the Arts, Art-e-Facts, E-Learning, videos, and more.

Plus the site is by two Canadian women! Cool! They have featured artists, a bit of history, lots of great visuals and a wide variety of mediums shown. There's not much fibre, so will have to work on that! I've signed up for their newsletter, lets see what happens!

In the meantime, why not trot on by to the Art Every Day Facebook Group and see what's happening? Check it out here:

Here's one of my latest Ice Dyed fabrics, because every post has to have a picture, right? Now I'm off to my sewing machine.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

It's All in the Details!

I really should have been paying more attention when groups asked for help to hang a show. I didn't think I needed to learn because someone else was better at it than me.
So when it came time to hang my own show, I realized I'd never done it before.....ooops! But my DH (the tall guy) and my friend, Barb were part of my very wonderful crew, and I couldn't have asked for better and more patient people!
First, I packed my suitcase.... this suitcase once belonged to my grandmother and I keep meaning to "pretty it up", oh well.
I put in everything I thought I'd need:

  • hammer
  • eye screws
  • hanging wire
  • tape
  • sticky stuff for the labels
  • pens and marker
.....but I forgot the measuring tape!

 I folded the larger pieces into fabric so they wouldn't get knocked about:

I did some last minute preparations:

I bought some plants:

 And then we hung the art!

The show looks wonderful, people actually came to see it and I'm thrilled!

It's still hanging til February 2nd, It has to come down by noon, I'm teaching that morning, so 1/2 of my set up crew (the DH) has to take it down! I haven't told him yet, do you think he'll mind?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

More Ice, More Beauty!

I've been doing some more Ice Dyeing, trying to keep up to a wonderful group of students. Here's some of my latest patterns:

Aren't they gorgeous? the secret is working with fabric folded into equilateral triangles..... the top two fabrics are just as vibrant as the bottom one but I took the picture with my iPad and not my phone...

Friday, January 8, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016

Save the Date....

Keep January 22nd aside on your calendar, because you're invited to my first solo show! Please join me from 4-6 pm and see my new series, entitled [Insert Here] Textile Art Inspired by Structure. Of course you can come anytime to see the pieces, be sure to sign my guest book!


Friday, January 1, 2016

Be Careful What You Ask For!

One of my goals for 2016 was to read more good books! I've always been an avid reader but have found in recent years that I've kinda gotten lazy about finding something to capture me between its pages.
So I went to the best source of all knowledge, Facebook and asked all my friends! Wow, you all amazed me, thank you, thank you! I am now equipped with reading material for the next 12 months and more. Some I'll buy and some I'll look for at the library. One person keep a list on Pinterest to share, great idea and many suggested

So I promised the list to everyone and they are not in any particular order. If you've read the books listed, then look for others by the same author! At the bottom of the list are authors that are recommended by other but not any particular books. I've not vetted them or checked spelling and I didn't look up the authors for books if they weren't provided (I know, I'm not very helpful, sorry!)
Let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Title                                                                       Author
Left Neglected                                     Lisa Genova (Still Alice)
Puny Sorrows                                      Miriam Toews
Ragged Company                                Richard Wagamese
All the Light We Cannot See               Anthony Doerr
Ru                                                        Kim Thuy
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox    Maggie O'Farrell
Guns, Germs and Steel                       Jared Diamond.
Life after Life                                      Kate Atkinson
God in Ruins                                       same
Road Trip Rwanda by                         Will Ferguson
 914                                                     same
The Girl on the Train                          Paula Hawkins
Boys in the Boat
Shit my Dad Says                                Justin Halpern
What we Keep                                     Elizabeth Berg
Maude                                                  Donna Mobry
Bone River                                           Megan chance
Dreams of Joy                                      Lisa See
The Game of Thrones                          George RR Martin.
Water for Elephants                              Sara Gruen.
A House In The Sky                            Amanda Lindhout.
People of the Book                              Geraldine Brooks
When I Found You
The power of One                                Bryce Courteney
Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times
A Light Between Oceans
Deep Down Dark
Loving Frank
The Glass Castle.
Old Filth                                              Jane Gardam "
The long way home                            Saroo Brierley
A House in Fez                                   Suzanna Clark
Mao's Last Dancer                              Li Cunxin
Colour                                                  Victoria Finlay
The promise of Iceland                       Kari Gislason
Chocolat                                              Joanne Harris
The Invention of Wings                       Sue Monk Kidd  
Bone Clocks                                         David Mitchell
The Reason I Jump                             Marcus Zusak "
The Book Thief
What the Pilgrim told the Psychic      Jane Christmas
Anne Cleeves                                      Jimmy Perez series set in Shetland Islands
The Saints of The Lost and Found.      T M Causey
The House of Niccolo Novels             Dorothy Dunnett
Big Magic                                            Elizabeth Gilbert.
Marie Bostwick
Three Day Road                                  Joseph Boyden
The God of Small Things                    Arandhti Roy
Never Let me Go                                  Kazuo Ishiguru
The Book of Negroes.
Orenda                                                 Joseph Boyden.
A Tale For The Time Being                 Ruth Ozecki
Second Skin                                         India Flint

Favourite Authors
Margaret Maron, Louise Penny, and Anne Emery
Wanda E Brusetter
Bill Bryson
J K Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith has written a trilogy featuring a detective Cormoran Strike.
Anything by Bryce Courteney, Colleen McCulloch, Tom Keneally
Jodi Picoult
Toni McGee Causey
Henning Mankell if you enjoy Swedish noir,

Monday, December 21, 2015

Ice, Ice, Ice, Ice

Well, I've been dyeing up a storm recently, but playing with ice and powdered dyes. It's been a blast and I'd love to tell you about some opportunities for you to learn more about the technique and all the exciting possibilities it has to offer!
If you aren't living around Victoria, then you can learn about ice (and snow) dyeing in my online workshop "Ice Dyeing Revealed" that starts on January 7th. We'll be covering all the equipment and supplies that you need, plus the basic techniques for creating luscious fabrics like this:

Then I'll demonstrate different folding techniques to achieve some more wonderful patterns, similar to Shibori. All the while you can play with colours that you never dreamed off, as the ice melts and the dye drains through the fabrics, you'll be instantly hooked on this. In the video you can see dozens of wonderful fabrics that I've made and learn how you can as well! There will also be a private Facebook group to showcase your fabrics and meet other students.
Won't you join me? I already have students from the US, Canada and Australia registered, come and meet some other keen colourists!
Register here:

If you live near Victoria, then there's a couple of opportunities for you to learn about Ice Dyeing in my Studio Workshops!
On January 11th I have a Studio and Scarf Open House that you can register for here:
You'll see samples of all my new workshops and then learn to "ice dye" a silk scarf. After the Open House, I'll wash, dye and deliver your scarf to you. If you register for any of my workshops at the Open House you can have a 10% discount or 20% if you register for 3 or more workshops!
Here's some work from other students:

If you'd like to get into the nitty-gritty of "ice dyeing", then I have a couple of 3 hour workshops of my "Ice Dyeing Revealed" planned for Feb. 2nd or April 7th. You'll be able to learn exactly what others are learning in the online workshops.
I hope one of these opportunities appeals to you! Don't wait long though, they are filling fast!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Your Personal Studio Tour

This past weekend I had dozens of friends and strangers walking through my studio to see my art work as part of the Oak Bay Studio Tour. It was fun, it was affirming and it was exhausting! I was in bed by 8:30 last night....
Of course when you embark on having the studio open, it needs to be spiffy and neat, so everyone is impressed with my work space. I'd love to say that its like that all the time but sadly, thats not the case....
So before it goes back into its normal state, I thought you might like a tour.

Here's the entrance area into the studio, there are stairs from the upper level to the right:

Then a look into the studio, it's in the basement without much natural light but lots of good fixtures for a bright and cheerful work environment:

To the left, there are two bookcases, filled with books, reference material, small bits of things...I can see some tidying is needed...

To the right of the bookcases is my cutting table and my design wall. Where the yellow art quilt is (my #2 favourite) usually has a bulletin board: the art on the right is in progress, visitors enjoyed seeing the way I work and considerations for my design decisions.
Here's another view of my cutting table, I love the drawers and shelves....its an Ikea kitchen island! Another spot to tidy underneath...

The right side of my design wall, the wall is about 6' x6', I'd love it to be larger but that's all the space I could manage. My work "Appia" is on the wall, but usually theres another bulletin board.

My sewing machine is underneath the table, I love the mechanized lift for it. I often put it down and use the space as a light table.... You can also see a wall shelf that's handy for putting bits and pieces and more art above it.

The one window in the room looks out onto grass and the neighbour, not the best view but it is south-facing so there's good light. You can see the "office" too. The open area to the left was meant to be an "art" area but thats not too practical, I might try again, not that its tidy....

Here's more of the "office" with "Lupine" in the background, thats usually another bulletin board space :) My Thermofax machine is below.

Here's my fashionable fake fireplace, just an electric one but it does have nice fake flames too! The fabric on the left covers my printer that usually sits on the table. More art on the right!

Here are the Ikea wire baskets that store my fabrics and projects. In front is another Ikea kitchen island that is my pressing surface and it usually lives somewhere else. I had my ice dyed scarves set up on the island with a mirror for the Studio Tour.

Then finally, we have gone full circle with another set of bookcases that store books, beads, boxes and more.... the door out of the studio is on the right.

Thanks for stopping by, if you're ever in the neighbourhood, let me know and you can see it for real! But I can't promise it'll be this tidy. Now I have to get the bulletin boards back up!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

You Will Love This!

For the past couple of months I've been obsessed with Ice Dyeing, also known as snow dyeing (but we don't do snow here on the west coast)! I am totally in love with the fabrics I've created, each one is a surprise and absolutely beautiful..... I just ordered a dozen silk scarves to work on for my studio tour next month, can you imagine wearing this fabric as scarves?

 Or this one:
 Or this one:
 Or this one:
 Or this one:
I'll have these up in my shop soon or you can see a good video on how to ice dye here:
Interested? I'm having an "Ice Dyed Silk Scarf" workshop next month, where you will design and make a gorgeous scarf for yourself or a special someone. Since the fabric needs time to batch, I'll rinse, wash and dry the scarves for you and then wrap them up ready for gift giving!
I'll let you know the date soon!
PS. I guess you've noticed I'm back to blogging.....

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Coral Reef and Little Fish

When we're involved with fibre and thread, I've found it useful to be open to all possibilities, dont you agree? You just never know when something will blow you away!
I was teaching in Espanola, Ontario this month as part of their Fibre Arts Festival, a city wide celebration of all things fibre. Espanola is a small town near Sudbury, the part of Ontario that has thousands of small lakes, multi hued rocks bursting out from the landscape and autumn colours like no where else on earth, beauty all around!
There were spinners and weavers, lots and lots of yarns, classes for smockers, recyclers/upcyclers and much more, as I said..... lots of fibre!
But the best part was an art installation that brought together fibre artists from around the world, a Coral Reef, like no other! The reef was the work of Jody and a host of volunteers who knitted, crocheted, wove, tatted and laced a myriad of wonderous sea creatures to illustrate the importance of sea life to our environment. Have a look:

 School children made long spiky papier mache coral as an art project
 Check out the knit moray eel!

 Amazing brain corals!
 White areas of the reef depict dead spots from pollution and damage to the fragile ecosystem
Can you see the tiny little fish above? one weaver made over 100 of these for the reef!
The installation will be visiting other communities and galleries in northern Ontario. I hope it will find a permanent home sometime.
I think this shows how amazing it can be when a community takes on a project and works together to make it happen. The Espanola Fibre Arts Festival happens each year in October, plan a trip to visit, you will love it!