Monday, September 14, 2015

Mixed Feelings...

Hand stitching French knots ad naseam...
I have real mixed feelings as I write today's post. 

When I started writing this blog I was going through some challenges due to my recovery from an accident and the subsequent physical and mental health issues that reared their ugly heads. My daily art time became a lifesaver, in some ways quite literally, and this blog gave me a way to reach out and share what I was doing with ;o)...when I couldn't bring myself to interact with people in a physical sense.  It gave me a connection to the world from the safety of my studio!

A Wafer 'selfie'

A lot of time has passed, and with that has come a lot of healing and acceptance of who I have some ways very much who I was before, and in other ways a very different person.

Happily, I have been in a much better place for quite some time, and I'm back out in the world living life and giving back to others. 

As you know if you've followed my blog for a while, I now foster future dog guide puppies for the Lion's Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.  Wafer, now 8 months old is my third foster puppy and puppy number four is due to be born in around ten days and will come home to me in early November.

Mom and Wafer check out a little black lab
while we stop by Dog Guides to pick up food.
This little one went home with it's
foster family later that same week.
My mom, pictured here the day before her 88th birthday, enjoys the puppies immensely and takes great delight in being able to cuddle the little ones. It was by luck that she got to meet this little fellow since she was in the car with me when I stopped by to pick up some more food for Wafer.

In addition to doing my fibre art and some art journalling, I manage to do an occasional 'traditional' quilt too. This 'I Spy' quilt was made for my niece and her darling little ones. They're now enjoying it both as a game and a quilt to cuddle up with on family movie nights.

Next up is a queen sized quilt for my son to replace the much loved and used quilt he has...the first one I ever made.

The cottage is another great part of what takes up my time. In addition to providing relaxation and time with family and friends...boy did we have a never ending full house this summer :o) also gives me incredible opportunities to teach the puppies. Wafer is fascinated by the chipmunks, and would love to play with them, but she knows that she must "leave it". As you can see, she watches closely while I hand feed them, and they have learned not to worry too much about her either.

I tell you all of this to say that life is great, and busy...and so, I have decided the time has come to let this blog go. This summer was a bit of a test, to see if I could in fact do just that and I found that my need to post regularly is no longer the driving force it once was.

I thank you all for your company over the wouldn't have been the joy it was without knowing you were there to read my posts and share in my art, photography and puppiness! And a special thank you to those of you who regularly left comments. I feel I have made a lot of friends and I will miss that connection.

Having said that, I will continue to be active on Facebook and Instagram, where I will share my art, both in progress and completed work, as well as pictures of my foster puppies.

Thanks for coming along for the ride...
...too cheesy, right...but the sun is setting on my blog journey ;o)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Group of Eight Fibre Artists Show...

Our Group of Eight Fibre Artists show is now hanging at the Halton Hills Cultural Centre, in downtown Georgetown, 9 Church Street, Halton Hills, ON, L7G 2A3. We hope you have a chance to come and see our work. The show runs from today until September 20th.

Here's a peek of what you'll see. There is work from seven of the nine artists currently in our group.

Those Lines Aren't Straight!

You know it's time to tidy the studio and inventory your work when you happen upon a piece that you started a couple of years ago, finished many months ago, and realize you still haven't put a label or hanging device on it!

As I considered what to call this piece, I was reminded about something that happened while working on this piece at a show one day. I got such a chuckle out of a young boy who said to me, with some concern in his voice, "Those lines aren't straight!" 

And so, I have decided to use that as my title.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Summer's Busy, But I'm Checking In...

Summer posts are just not happening this year, but I thought I'd pop in to share a couple of things I've finished.

 "Snakes and Ladders" is now finished and framed and will be showing at the Halton Hills Cultural Centre as part of our Group of Eight show, running from August 18th until September 20. If you're in the area, I hope you'll stop by to see our work.

"Stitch Meanderings" is also finished and mounted onto a stretched canvas. You can come and see it in person at the show too.

I've also been busy making an I Spy quilt. I'll post pictures of that when I get a chance. Until then, I hope you're having a wonderful August!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

DLP Week 25: Hometown Memories...

Week 25's prompt for the Documented Life Project was 'Hometown Inspiration' with the quote 'There's no place like home.'  I am working on a fibre art piece using this globe, and since I had it printed on paper I thought I'd play with it and add the quote in fun lettering. I coloured it using Inktense pencils and my waterbrush. Simple but fun this week!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

'Three Squared' is Finished...

Yesterday I shared with you the wonderful weekend workshop I participated in with Alice Vander Vennen (see it here). So I'm just quickly popping in to show you this piece, which I've called 'Three Squared', finished and framed.

The first shot shows it with the mat, and the second after it's signed and framed (but sadly with terrible do you photograph art behind glass?).

Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekend Workshop with Alice Vander Vennen...

I just spent the most wonderful weekend with my Group of Eight friends and the incredibly talented Alice Vander Vennen. It was a fun filled workshop and the work that was produced was fabulous. Here are the pieces I have come away with...

We started with a couple of small exercises to get us warmed up. These were intended to be used for cards so we mounted them on card blanks.

The next exercise was a little larger, but we were still working quickly and loosely. I love the juxtaposition of the various fibres and textures combined with the minimal hand stitch.

This small square piece, framed in a 10" square frame, started out as a card, but I worked back into it a bit and decided to frame it.
These two photos are close ups of individual components of a larger piece. 

There is still a little more work that will go into this piece before it's ready to be framed.

This piece is the start of a work in progress. I honestly don't know where this will take me, but I love the relatively fast, intuitive manner in which it's coming together. Time will tell where it goes and what it becomes ;)

Wafer was a most wonderful companion during the weekend. Although she loves little silk scraps and thinks of them a bit like chewing gum, for a six month old (today's her half birthday) she did very well during the two day workshop. I'm proud of my silly girl!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Amanda McCavour Workshop: Culminating Project...

After creating several samples while working on exercises in Amanda McCavour's workshop (see them here and here), it was time to start work on our 'big' project.

I decided that I wanted to use a range of neutral colours. I've included a couple of in process shots of the piece at the sewing machine. Because you work with the fibres trapped between layers of water soluble stabilizer, it's very easy to threads and bits to get caught on as you sew!

I put the piece up on the design wall (stabilizer still in place) for a while to decide where I wanted to go next. Then, after adding a little more machine stitch using the ivory coloured thread, I rinsed out the stabilizer and hung it to dry.

In this final shot, I'm auditioning it on a loosely woven piece of fabric that I may use as the backing fabric for the piece. I plan to add some hand stitch and possibly some beading or other embellishments and then mount it on a stretched canvas frame.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

More Thread Lace Exploration...

After making many of my sample pieces during the Amanda McCavour workshop, I decided to play around with a realistic thread lace version of Wafer, my future dog guide puppy.
I had this picture of Wafer on my iPhone, so I put a piece of Fabri Solvy over the screen on my phone and traced it with a black pen.

Working from light to dark, I started stitching the foundation of the piece. At this point, the black lines you see are only drawn onto the water soluble stabilizer.
Shading was added using the darker thread, and then the black thread was added to outline the piece and add the facial features, etc.

I didn't get pictures, but when I washed out the solvy I lost an eye, and part of the shoulder area had a hole...not enough connecting threads (which you can see if you look carefully).

After some additional stitching to repair as needed, I again rinsed
out the Solvy and this time I had a cute little puppy to hang from my rear view mirror in the car. A fun little exercise that taught me a few things and now makes me smile whenever I'm in my car.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DLP Week 24: Recording Memories...

With all the craze over adult colouring books these days, I decided to do this week's Documented Life Project page as a black and white doodled drawing that I can come back to and colour at my leisure. It loosely records memories from our road trip along the east coast of the U.S. last fall, the favourite being camping among the wild horses of Assateague!