Thursday, December 23, 2021

Week 2 - My Studio

 Another week that was spent mostly out of the studio - but still art stuff going on...I was busy getting the Cloth to Codex Online Workshop lessons set up on my website. It was fun to revisit some of the videos and look at how I might plan each lesson. Last time they were all on a private Facebook Group and it was fairly straightforward to link to them. Now I need to add more text, still images and edit the videos a bit and set them up as "evergreen" meaning they never expire. AND, there's room for you, I would love to have you join in this creative journey.

You can sign up here:

Thursday, December 16, 2021

My Week - My Studio

 Many attempts in writing a blog post where I feel I need to be profound and deep....sigh! But I thought for the next while I'll share my ideas, exercises and experiments in the studio over the past week. I'd love to have feedback and perhaps you have some similar or very different ways of working that you could share with me and other readers.

I've been selling my sketchbooks and totes in local galleries and in my Open Studio, so it was time to paint up some more canvas. I use a 7 oz. unprimed canvas and then paint a layer of clear gesso (diluted 75/25 with water) to provide a good tooth to grab the colours. These are three different colour combinations;

I then add imagery with thermofax screens and stencils over all the canvas, trying to complement the colours and theme of the  background/base colours. Each image takes time to dry, so I usually take a couple days to add enough to satisfy me.

These are the small and medium size sketchbooks that I cover with the painted canvas, I love that each one is different from the other. Cutting different areas of the canvas provides a bit of serendipity!

Then, from the smaller pieces, I back them with felt for coasters. I had precut the pieces and fused to the felt with a bit of a margin, I loved how the black framed the canvas and gave me an idea for making totes or small purses/folios with some black wool....someone else suggested hats and I thought they might have a slight "Cossack" theme to them!


I was clearing off some papers on the table and thought Id add some more marks with my favourite acrylic ink - Daler & Rowney Indigo - I just used the little dropper thats inside the wee bottle and ran it over the surface of tissue paper. In the one below I then spritzed it with a spray bottle.

Even if it never becomes anything more - I love seeing the colours moved over the paper and bleed around the edges.

These next two were painted on and left to dry - I definitely think they will get more work done - not sure quite yet what that might be!


My big accomplishment this week was to finish quilting a new piece that has been waiting ever so patiently! I had open studios, some traveling and other commitments so it took a while to get back to it!
Its fairly large - 45" x 60" but lighter than some of my previous work, I tried using Thermore for the batting and it was ever so much easier to get through the machine!

Here it is pined up on the wall, I check over carefully for loose threads and making sure Ive not missed quilting any areas. I am pleased that the difference in batting seems to keep it from distorting and it may not need to be blocked.

Here it is cropped and looking a little tidier. Once I have added the facings I will put it back up, adjust the lights and take the formal "beauty" shots for the website and submissions. I'm still thinking of a title and am leaning towards "On the North Shore" as the photo was taken of the docks on the north shore of Vancouver - any other ideas?

I cut and sewed the strips for the facings and laid them down on my table...I loved the way the neutrals all looked so soft and relaxed...


I'm cutting you up...yes I am! Every couple of months I take this piece of painted linen from the drawer and put it on the design wall...its about 25" x 35". I want to cut it up into squares and rectangles and I'm trying really, really hard to not make it "too precious" thinking that I'll ruin it....if it doesn't work out I can make something different! Do you find that a struggle too? Fear of Messing Up - FOMU - theres really no reason to think that way, but....


More Shibori between times I made more Shibori fabrics using my Shiraz technique - so easy to do with wine bottles and juice jugs....I have a very good blog post explaining my process here: 


Finally - leaving the best til the last...I'd love for you to take part in my upcoming workshop Cloth to Codex Online - seven weeks of wonderful creating with books, scrolls and folios - jammed with great videos, a private Facebook Group and Zoom meetings - you can get all the details here:

Not too bad a week, I guess I got quite a bit done and it feels good! How about you?

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Rounding Up a Few ....

 October has been a busy month for me....I started with my first Studio Tour/Fall Crawl on Pender Island! In other years we were traveling (southern Spain in 2019) or last year....well, you know what happened there!

I loved all the visitors to my studio - new name - Salish Sea Textile Art - with a nice sign for the window but hard to get a close up!

And you know what happens for a Studio Tour - major clean up - making it all nice and pretty - actually I stored a bunch of stuff in the office next door (sheepish grin)! but I got some great STAS hanging systems set up - they look so good and available through Home Depot:

I call these the "glamour" shots! I tried doing a short video tour but it was quite shaky, so I'll practise on that!

After the tour was done, we actually got on an airplane and visited family in Quebec - we loved the fall colours...eastern Canada does them far better than the west coast!

Now the studio is back to its messy/normal! I have ice dyes batching, I've started quilting this piece on the table and have a huge order for my Art to Carry Textile Totes...I love my life and I'm so happy that you're part of it!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

finally....a vacation!

 Like so many of you, we've been looking forward to getting away from the same four walls and seeing something outside of our little community! While we're not quite ready to travel internationally, we did want to explore a new place so we chose to travel north on Vancouver Island and visit Port McNeil and nearby islands. 

One thing that drew us up there was a chance to visit the Passagemaker, a retired Royal Canadian Navy Diving Tender which my husband had driven many, many years ago when he was a Clearance Diving Officer in the RCN. Back then, it was known as YDT the Navy to give it such a fancy name!

 DH welcomes me aboard!

We explored Alert Bay with a world class Cultural Centre stopped by Telegraph Cove where I had visited over 50 years ago, now a nice tourist stop. We also drove to Port Alice and had a day trip to Malcolm Island and the community of Sointula - settled over 100 years ago by a Finnish immigrants hoping for a perfect, harmonious community. All in all, a lovely trip, even with  three days of almost non-stop rain!

So all this brings me to some photos to share of interesting shapes, angles, textures and then some new art work at the end!

so...onto the new work! As you have seen in previous posts, I've been making multi-coloured shibori fabrics and incorporating them into my art work. In the back of my mind I wanted to create a piece using those fabrics to give the illusion of water, shimmering and reflecting the surroundings....after a few trial runs, I think these two pieces are successful!

Stormy, Stormy Night - 12" x 16"

Stormy, Stormy Night - side view

When the Sun Dances - 12" x 16"

When the Sun Dances - side view

These pieces are now being shown in Surrounded by Water - an invitational exhibition at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council.

I admit that I was nervous working on a wood panel, but it turned out better than I thought and now I'm considering how I might use this same concept of the shibori fabrics put into larger works...stay tuned!

Monday, September 6, 2021

Small Shifts = Exciting Results

 As I have blogged before - my series, Our Salish Sea, has been a wonderful adventure, I have enjoyed exploring using paper and fabric in collage and the sales have been very good.

I have two concurrent shows happening at the end of the month...oh plus... the Studio Tour here on Pender, so I need to increase my inventory BIG time! But I didn't want to do "more of the same" however much I like the theme and the format.

And I have enjoyed using my shibori fabrics as "water" in my recent work so a little experimentation has led to three new pieces with a small shift = exciting results. 

These are 10" x 10" - mounted on wood cradle, I love the size! Message me if you are interested in purchasing, each is $95 CDN

Sometimes just tweaking what is successful provides an opportunity to explore and move in a slightly different direction....I wonder what might be around the corner?

Lookout at Razor Point

Towards Swanson Channel

Side View - Mounted on Wood Cradle

Friday, August 20, 2021

Our Salish Sea

At Grimmer Bay

At Grimmer Bay

Crossing Swanson Channel

North from Shingle Bay

Towards Navy Channel

Sunday, August 1, 2021

New Work - The Magic of Blue

 Lately, I've been leaning towards more mixed media work, incorporating/combining both paper and fabric together and using mark making with collage for a series of work that focuses on the beauty of indigo. I have found an ink that is very close in hue to natural indigo and love using it with black and white mono printing as well as text.

I have built a webpage that is dedicated to small, new works for sale and I hope to rotate small collections through the page with a reasonable price point. This first exploration I am titling The Magic of Blue!

Enjoy these few and then have a look further here:

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Ice Dyeing Revealed Update! New Content, New Colour, New Folds

 Over the years I've discovered that to make changes you can start from scratch or improve and update what you already have. In my online workshops I've done both...making new videos and updating what I already have. In my Ice Dyeing Workshop I started out by making a short instructional video, then I learned more about the techniques, folds and colour combinations and made another video. That was a few years ago and I've learned even more, so I've added two additional videos to my workshop and its better than ever! And it's better because I listened to the comments and suggestions from my students....

So.....whats different?

  • one lesson entirely devoted to different fold designs and you know, its all about the folds! Well, its about the folds, the colours, the ice and much more!
  • additional information about my set up and process - I now have an ice machine!
  • how to ice dye clothing, yardage, vintage linens and table cloths...
  • colour combinations that I use...
  • an updated webpage for simple, easy access
In all, there's almost 2 1/2 hours of video in this workshop - totally devoted to helping you master the process! Here's some totally awesome new fabrics!

So, pretty awesome right? Well, there's more to tell you....if you've already taken my Ice Dyeing Revealed workshop - the new content is there in the webpage for you! Just log in and you'll see it.

If I've tempted you to take the workshop - you can buy it in my Etsy Shop here: 

....but wait....there's more! I have yards and yards of new Ice Dyed fabrics in my Etsy Shop here:

...still more! I am now ice dyeing 20" squares - perfect as little treats, small projects or ??? Plus there's free shipping in Canada! You can buy them here: