Friday, January 28, 2022

Week 7 in the Studio - Just when I think....

 ....that nothing much got accomplished, I find that it was actually a busy week!

I was in Vancouver last weekend for a better wifi signal (yes really!) while I presented a Zoom lecture titled Sacred Cloth - Textiles of Faith for the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters. It was a chance to visit my daughter, get some yummy Greek food delivered and focus on computer work during the day....I love offering Zoom lectures, getting to meet so many lovely artists and share our passions!

I finished off some more Colour on Ice fabrics and posted them on Etsy - you can shop until February 16th and get 20% off all my Colour on Ice fabrics HERE 

Remember that I mentioned I was filmed my Shibori Shiraz video? Its up on YouTube HERE and even my granddaughter gave it a thumbs up!

I got an order from Opus Art Supplies, I had ordered it three weeks previously but with shipping delays and staffing issues I had to wait a while - but the company updated me regularly and I was willing to wait! All such yummy stuff to try out....the Pitt Markers in blues!!!

I finished the black and white piece - here it is cropped. I'm not sure I am happy with it, I'll let it percolate a bit and I would like to see it framed...any suggestions?

And.....I started on another piece from my Industrial Shoreline series! It's always so exciting to start!

This is my inspiration - a crane in Port McNeill, BC that I took last fall.

As usual, I began with the sky and painted white over some subtly dyed fabric, cut it into square and then got very excited to see the pieces on the design wall:

It's been foggy here in the mornings and each piece felt as though I was peering through the fog layers looking at the hint of a horizon. Remember the poem by ee cummings? "The fog comes in on little cat feet"?

Here it is sewn together:

And then with the forest added....

The ocean comes next, using some of those Shibori fabrics....but that will be next week!

Friday, January 21, 2022

Week 6 - In the Studio...Time Flies!

In the past, every time I would try to write a blog post, it became a struggle to come up with something to it's more like having a chat with a friend - YOU! I am grateful for you in my life, many thanks!

So what was this week like? A couple days in the city cut into my creative time quite a bit. But there's a story here: when we packed up our household and moved full time in a much smaller house, our intention was to stay 3 or 4 years and then move back to Victoria. So we packed things up  as though that was going to happen - the "good" stuff went into storage and we took the "essentials" plus a bit more. Now we can't see ourselves moving back to the city - we love, love, love small island life! But....what do we do with the stuff in storage? It was time to go through it all - did I mention the "stuff" is stored in our daughters basement? And she lives in our Victoria house?

So boxes were unpacked and sorted, some stuff is being sold, some donated and some given to kids (yes, you do want THIS!) and some is coming back to our small island and crammed into our small house! So that's the story!

In the studio - where the fun happens:

I dyed some fabric with black using my Shibori Shiraz technique, I wanted good contrast as I hope to make a thermofax design (the lower image) I still need to tweak it a bit...

I'd like to use maps as a theme for an upcoming so I used a road atlas as inspiration for some sketches on newsprint. I worked out three different designs of roads and trails in BC.

The facings are finished and the beauty shots are taken! Introducing:  Loading on the North Shore! My latest piece in the Industrial Shoreline series! It measures 41" x 58" and its the first time I used Thermore as the batting, so much easier to use. I'll be posting this on my Gallery page and inventory list this weekend.

I've also finally, finally, finally filmed my latest YouTube video - demonstrating my Shibori Shiraz technique,  I'll edit and post it next week, but this has been a huge step for me, just a lot of procrastination!!!

Also a bit of Colour on Ice dyeing, a couple Zoom meetings and now it's time to open a bottle and add to my Shiraz collection for Shibori! How about you?

Friday, January 14, 2022

Week 5 in the Studio

Either I didn't get much done or I just didn't take many pictures! I think it was a week of finishing loose ends and tidying up - I keep the studio pretty organized, there's little room for storage but I think its time to purge a few things - maybe next week!

First off, I made more of my Shibori Shiraz fabrics - I have another piece I want to work on and I need LOTS of water fabrics...

Each colour requires a new dye bath, so while it takes a while each step is fairly quick. Here they are drying on a rack....

They get washed and rinsed by hand and then ironed before putting back on the bottles. The top one is finished, the others will need at least one more dye bath.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Week 4 in the Studio - I'm Starting to Like This....

While in the studio today, I was thinking about what to post in this blog and finding myself looking forward to it! Normally I'd be dreading what I could write I'm excited by what I've done  - not much this week.

Let's see...we had a snow storm...and I forgot to take the pretty pictures!

Then a day without power, although I did a Zoom call using the hotspot on my husbands cell phone - not great, but it got done!

So just a couple days in the studio - trying things out, experimenting and testing!

First I prepped some tubes for shibori dyeing ... and no, I did not drink all of that!

and did a couple of colours....I have a mostly unused lamp that is good for drying the tubes. The fabric will have at least one more dye bath but they have to dry in between.

Then I painted some papers, getting ready to make some vessels for an upcoming show. Lots of ink and using masking fluid for lighter lines.

The papers were combined with dyed silk into a vessel, a whole new learning curve! I searched on YouTube for paper bowls but didn't find what I wanted, eventually I looked for potters cutting clay slabs into different forms and tried out one shape, similar to a Maltese Cross! I found a few other shapes by the same potter that I'm excited to try!

The corners are cut out and then the edges are overlapped and stitched in place.

The bowl is very light and delicate and provides an interesting form - well worth further explorations!

I also had a FaceTime art session with my granddaughter - do you like my puppy?

I had taken the black and white piece home (mentioned in my last blog post) and was excited to start working on some cross stitches in heavy black and white thread. After half a dozen stitches I realized that it wasn't what I wanted - darn!

So with a small square as a test piece, I stitched straight lines with invisible thread - didn't like the look of that!
I pulled out some variegated black/grey thread which turned out okay but I preferred the black/grey twist (both are poly threads) and by playing a bit I found I liked the diagonal lines that cross each other at an angle - sort of diamond shapes but the parallel lines are irregularly spaced. It's going to be a LOT of stitching! 
I want to test out the markers and see if they'll come out with water - the fabric had matte medium or gesso applied and I'm not sure if they'll be easy to remove!

And I revived the sourdough starter that had been at the back of the fridge for a very long time...I think this looks good!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Week 3 in My Studio

Welcome back to the studio - it was energizing to be back at work, visiting family and celebrating Christmas was so special - even with an "unusual to us" snowfall....that kept me at home for a couple days. But we kept the fire burning, hummingbirds fed and just enjoyed the rest!

I'm working on creating small vessels that combine paper and fabric with a bit of stitch - its been challenging to figure out the sizing and where to cut - lots of paper mockups were made and destroyed! I have a busy week as some of these will be going into the next exhibition at our local gallery.

I'm planning on a video tutorial on the process soon. With a bit of research I also discovered many other shapes that can be made - endless possibilities!

Last week I showed some images of painted sweeps of black across some vintage linen, I had cut them up and was playing with the arrangement. I got one that I was totally happy with and sewed it together. I am planning to "quilt" it with small x stitches across the surface rather than using more traditional machine or hand quilting.

The other pieces have not played well together and still require some work....we will see!

 I'm happy with this one, the hint of a large X in the middle is appealing and it seems well balanced.

This one is not behaving and I have already made adjustments from this image, it will end up smaller and may even be smaller still.....coasters, anyone?

I have some new Art to Carry Textile Totes set up in my Etsy Shop - they are so much fun to make, each one is different and its a great way to experiment with surface design ideas...

You can check them out here: Art to Carry

There's still time to register for my Cloth to Codex Workshop, I would love to share my ideas and inspirations with's a little video that explains what you'll be learning:

You can sign up HERE