Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Keeping Very Busy...and a Little Sneak Peek...

For those of you who think I may have fallen off the edge of the earth, I've been keeping very busy lately, but unfortunately not much of it has been in my studio.

Yoshi and I have been babysitting Lana, another future dog guide puppy, until a foster home can be found for her. Although Yoshi just turned 6 months old today, she's being a real little momma to Lana!  She's sharing her toys, grooming her and always staying close. Of course there is a lot of puppy play going on too!





A Special Happy 1/2 Birthday Cookie!
Lana, could you eat any slower???


Mom, Yoshi got my head wet!


But, I have managed to do a bit of art.  Here's a sneak peek at a little piece I'm working on during puppy naptime. It currently involves a lot of machine thread stitching and later will have extensive hand stitch added. Hopefully I'll be back in the not too distant future to share my progress.  Until then, have fun and stay busy!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Seriously Behind...

My fibre art group, Group of Eight, has our next group challenge due November 12th. The challenge is "behind" and I am seriously there! Although I have ideas floating around, one after another is not panning out. And to make it worse, I've been finding lots of things to keep me busy and out of the studio (read procrastination...).

However, yesterday's distraction turned out very well so I thought I'd share these cupcake creations. I took them to our family Thanksgiving dinner and they were a hit.

There were two dozen, so I made two each of the various mums, nine pumpkins and the rest were the ones with the leave piles.


 

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family!



Monday, October 6, 2014

Giving Back...

I'm please to share that for the third year, my fibre art group, the Group of Eight is donating beautiful journals to our local women's shelter. It is our hope that the journals will bring some joy to these women, while allowing them to journal about what they are going through, make notes and lists or keep organized for appointments, etc. as they continue on their journey toward a safer, happier and healthier life.

Here are most of them, but I am still waiting to receive a few more before I deliver them later this week!












Monday, September 29, 2014

Yoshi's Beach Vacation...

Yoshi has been exploring the east coast of the US from Cape Cod south to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and she's now seriously considering becoming a beach bum instead of a service dog (LOL).  She has been really enjoying playing on the beach and all of the interesting (and stinky) things she's finding!

Hopefully I'll be back to some fibre art soon, but until then I thought you might enjoy a puppy fix!

video

"My mean Mom wouldn't let me keep any of these great treasures, but I did find a tennis ball and she did let me keep it." sigh, Yoshi




Monday, September 22, 2014

You've Got to Love When a Plan Comes Together!

Last week I posted about the hand dyed batik fabric I made and the little quilted piece that resulted from it (see that here).

Well, after many hours of thinking about my design and mulling over ideas, I finally sat down and got to work making this fully lined and totally organized puppy raiser carry-all bag.





It's amazing what you can do with a recycled old pair of your husband's jeans, some colourful quilted fabric, muslin and a repurposed adjustable strap from a bag that's never use.


Here are various views:

 


The front zippered pocket allows me secure but quick access to a bit of cash and/or my iPhone.
The back outer pocket, for puppy training treats, is lined with a piece of an old denim shirt. This will allow me to turn it completely inside out to shake out crumbs that inevitably end up in the bottom of the pocket in which I carry dog treats.
I decided to add grommets with brass rings through them to attach the strap.  Since I have a small carabiner attached to my keys, this also gives me a great way to attach my keys to the bag and tuck them inside so I can get my hands on them quick and easy!  You can see all of the internal pockets for everything I need...no more digging around trying to get my hands on what I'm looking for!


It's big enough to carry extra little things I might pick up while shopping, or to carry a light jacket or umbrella, or my DSLR camera when I want it, yet not so big and bulky that I can't comfortably wear it wherever I go! I'm thrilled with how it turned out!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blog Hop - Mary Beth Shaw's Book: Stencil Girl

The inspiration for this piece came from Mary Beth Shaw's book, Stencil Girl (and when you buy the book, you get an exclusive stencil/bookmark with it!). Mary Beth uses paper for a wonderful paper batik 'quilt', but since I have other plans for the finished fabric I have used cotton muslin instead of paper.

Since it was a cool day and we needed a little fire to warm up the cottage, I melted my wax on top of the wood stove.









After melting the wax, I kept it at temperature using an electric melting pot while I worked on the kitchen counter.  I layed the stencils over the fabric and applied the wax with a brush. I used soya wax since it was all I had on hand, but I wasn't thrilled with the results. If I do this again I'll go back to a combination of bee's wax and paraffin. I've used this combination for batik before with good results.

Once the wax was appied I used these liquid dyes in little misters to apply the colour.








This image shows how the soya wax let some of the colour through.  Not quite what I was going for, but the end result is pleasing non the less.



The pieces were put into little ziploc bags and left over night.



 The pieces were then hung to dry outside on the line.



Unfortunately, when they were rinsed the colour became a little more pastel than I was counting on.  Oh well, they're still lovely bright colours.  These next images show the quilting that was done, inspired by the stencil patterns.

 And these images show a few of the stencils that were used. Some of the pieces didn't turn out as well, so the original stencilled image was lost.

Stencils used:

Buildings Stencil by Carol Dube 
Gears Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
Greek Key Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
Dots and Dashes Stencil by Jessica Sporn
Trees Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
Pods Stencil by Jane LaFazio

My plan for this wonderful piece of quilted fabric is to make myself a carry all puppy 'diaper' bag for all the things I need to have with me for my Future Dog Guide foster puppies. I'm still designing the bag, complete with lots of pockets inside for maximum organization.  I'll post a picture of the finished bag when it's done.  Until then, thanks for visiting and joining in another fabulous StencilGirl blog hop! Please make sure you visit all of the other blogs on this wonderful week long hop!

Giveaway: 

One lucky winner, chosen at random, will receive Stencil Girl the book with exclusive stencil bookmark and (3) 6" x 5" stencils designed by Mary Beth Shaw. 

All comments left on all of the blogs will be entered into the draw.  
Giveaway will close: Sunday, September 21st @ 11:59PM Central Time

Good Luck!


Hop Stops:


If you missed the first few days of this week long blog hop go here to find the start.

Didn't win the giveaway...buy this incredible book here


Monday, September 15, 2014

Stencil Girl Week Long Blog Hop...

I'm excited to be participating in another fun, week long blog hop, featuring Mary Beth Shaw's inspiring book called Stencil Girl. My day isn't until Thursday, but I thought you might like to get in on the fun today.  Start by going to StencilGirl Talk and then you can follow the links from there.


One lucky winner, chosen at random, will receive Stencil Girl the book with exclusive stencil bookmark and (3) 6" x 5" stencils designed by Mary Beth Shaw. 

All comments left on all of the blogs 
will be entered into the draw.  
Giveaway will close: Sunday, 
September 21st @ 11:59PM Central Time

See you on Thursday!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Focus on Texture...

Fibre Content is now open (Sept. 9-16) and today I was acting as docent for the afternoon. While I was wandering around the gallery, I was so enthralled with the incredible texture in the art! I took some close-up detail shots of many of the pieces to share these fabulous snippets of texture.

I do hope you are able to go and see the show in in person!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Fibre Content Opens Tomorrow!

It's finally here! Yesterday I was at the gallery helping to hang the show, and I'm so excited with the outstanding quality of the work!

I thought I'd give you a bit of a behind the scenes sneak peak...(scan down below the poster)

It's amazing how many people it takes to hang a large show like this!  Yoshi was with me, as always, and she was an excellent supervisor!



From blank walls...
 






 


 

   
Yoshi found that the job of supervising was exhausting yesterday!

We're back at it today, hanging the remaining work, adding the labels to the walls and tidying up to get ready for the opening tomorrow.

I do hope you can make it to see the show. You won't regret it!