Sunday, June 28, 2009

As Promised...

I completed my latest piece and they are all dry and ready to send. We went out for brunch this morning and to a movie and I was looking forward to coming home and taking pictures. They are made from my favorite Finn wool. It is available here at: New England Felting Supply. It is worth every single penny. I can't tell you how fabulous this wool is to work with. This piece is "Adaptations 2". I have some calls to make tomorrow to follow up on some proposals I sent out last week (or was it the week before?!) and I soon must be thinking ahead to teaching at the Midwest Felters Symposium. I hope to see you all there!

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Piece

Well, today I was able to spend some much needed time in the studio and finished felting my latest pod/adaptations piece. I image shows them felted and rinsed and ready to go in my spinner so they can hang to completely dry. They are now shaped and hanging and I will post the image here when I do the final photographs. They don't look to exciting now, but wait for the reveal! This piece will go to Colorado with a set of 3 green pods and the 3 "specimens" on clay. I am happy with the piece, but always look at them and want to change something! That means I will just be making more! My friend Jane (Anglin Bay Pottery) will be making me more clay pieces that I am very excited about. I know she is busy, but I hope I will get them soon! I have family plans tomorrow, but will be going through my sketch book tonight to see what is next in line to be created. I sense some tossing and turning in the wee hours...

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Friday, June 26, 2009

So, it begins!

The first day of summer vacation...ahhh, no school lunches to make. I begin each summer with such expectations. This year is a little different as I will be away quite a bit either working or playing which makes me feel very torn. I know I cannot be 2 places at onces and I have made these choices, but I am feeling over committed. Perhaps this will result in making the very most of my days home with the boys rather than us either slothing around or sitting at the computer. I promise days ahead will bring lots of pictures of ART, so stay tuned!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More studio time soon!

I did manage to do some work on the piece that I am sending to Colorado, but life has intervened. My mother-in-law has been unwell, but is thankfully doing better. I have been checking in with her which takes time. She is a beautiful person and I gladly do so! My oldest son has also just graduated from grade 8, so we had all that excitement. He received the top academic award for the highest GPA. He has worked very hard. Last day of school tomorrow and I just found out this morning that I need to "help" the little one make a pioneer doll for his reading buddy! I welcome the excuse to sit and stitch this evening. I relish the thought of getting in the studio and getting my hands wet. I have one more rope to make for the piece (about 3 hours of work) and then I can felt all the pieces together. I have lots of other ideas in the cue and follow up to do on the proposals I have sent out! I am also planning to find a willing person with a sewing machine to sew me a wonderful apron pattern I found on-line. I hope it can be made with the oil cloth I bought so I can wear it when I felt! Not sure why the image is sideways, but you get the picture!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Playing around

After my beads workshop I lead at Wintergreen Studios, I was a bit hooked on the minute,tiny work that I have not done in a while. I took this picture in the mirror this morning! One of the many (many, many) reasons I love felting so much is the tremendous versatility. I can be really physical and roll until I am exhausted and aching, or I can sit in front of the T.V. with my magnifying glasses and create tiny details with that magical barbed needle. The necklace above needs to be properly strung and I may make it just a few beads longer on each side. I thought this would be fun to wear just with balck to an art opening or when I teach. I don't know if I could sell them. If I had orders it would just take all the fun out of it, wouldn't it!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Beads and Baubles Workshop Tomorrow

Today did not go entirely as planned, but I managed to get done what needed to get done. I am all set for the workshop I am teaching at Wintergreen Studios tomorrow. I am teaching beads and Brooches. I have added "baubles" too, as some of the "beads" would make great pendants...or rings...or barrettes. It took me all afternoon to make these fun little things and it felt good to sit and needle again after not doing so for a long time! These are just needle felted, but they can be wet felted too! I will post pictures of the workshop soon!
For some reason I cannot link Wintergreen. The website is
Google them if you have difficulty!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Visitor from Holland

While in Hollland for the 2008 IFA conference I spent some time with my lovely Aunt Suzie and also met up with some relations in Amersfoort that I had never met, Case and his wife and Richia. Since that time, Richia has been in touch with my Dad and is now here for a visit! So wonderful! I hope they come for coffee this morning.

Today I am going to work on the piece I began felting a week and a half ago and wait for my dear, beautiful and brilliant friend, Tracy, to come for lunch on her way through town. My Cheongju entry is being tracked and went from rural Ontario-Toronto-Memphis-Anchorage-Korea. It has cleared customs so hope it will be delivered tomorrow or Monday at the latest to make the deadline. I have no idea which work they are looking for and will be anxious to hear if I am in. I must admit, I will be disappointed if I am not! Send positive thoughts, please!
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mystery at the Market

I had just left the dentist and had stopped at the famers market to browse before meeting Jane for lunch. I was strolling from booth to booth looking for something yummy and local...*gasp*... what is that?! I catapulted past the berries and sugar snap peas toward the basket of strange spiny pods. A very kind woman (keeping her distance, I should add) went on to explain how to cook it. "Cook it !?", I thought. I nodded as she spoke "...very sour...stir fry...sugar...tamari". mmhmm, I muttered, not really listening, as I admired this fabulous form. You may all be laughing at me and saying. "Duh, it is a bitter melon" (and you would be right!), but I have never seen one before. Will I photograph it? Yes! Will I create a felted piece inspired by it? Most certainly. Will I cook it and eat it? The jury is still out, but I wonder if the inside is as cool as the outside?

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Ka-Ching...Entry sent to Korea

This is the Postal truck leaving my little village of Odessa with my entry for the Cheongju Biennale! I think it should make it. I'm actually looking at the picture and wondering where the driver is, Hmmm. Okay...I have been trying to complete my entry on-line and would have been just fine if only I could read pop-up's in Korean. It would not even let me cut and paste in a translator! I was left feeling completely inept. I decided they only way my entry would make it to the grand Republic of Korea is if I mailed it and I had to do it fast as the deadline is next Monday. I could have played around another day and waited for a reply from Korea hoping I communicated my problem effectively, but then it would be too late to mail. So, to the post office! $70 (yikes!) and miles of paperwork later, my 2 sheets of paper and a disc of images are on the way!

Stage two of the jury process is sending the work. I will have to worry about that when the time comes! Sending art internationally can be an incredible headache. In North America, I basically send it in a box regular Canada post and cross my fingers! Less information is more!

Proposals have been sent out and my book is marked to phone and follow up in a week. Back to work! For those keeping track it has been 7 days since I have felted. See previous post regarding how professional artists really spend their time...

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The REAL life of an artist...

Long days in the studio reflecting, sketching and felting...calls from galleries and publishers...patrons sending cheques with commission requests? Don't we wish. Every single exhibition, book opportunity, teaching gig, award, and every other opportunity that presents itself comes from lots of hard work that takes place not in the studio, but in front of the computer etc. This is done by updating websites, cv's, and statements, watching the bank account dwindle, then...attending events, passing out cards, promoting ones self shamelessly, even when our confidence is low (like, uuuh, most of the time). We complete proposals and on-line entries, photograph our work, schlep from place to place to teach, perform, entertain, don our fishnets (forget I said that) ....then, "Oh, crap", we better make some Art (some we can actually sell *novel idea* and some that feeds us creatively) We then reach deep within our murky melancholic artist soul to produce something fabulous to support all the groundwork we have laid. There is also switching gears to motherhood, business owner, head chef, teacher, student. Next time someone asks "How long did this piece take to make?", smile (broadly)..good..., try it without clenching. You can do it! I wouldn't trade it...all worth it to do what I love.
I have just completed three packages to send out to two galleries and one museum that I am hoping will consider my work for exhibition. Two of them I am hoping for solo shows to take place in the same year and the same body of work would likely travel from one to the other. Once (this is me thinking positively)I get dates booked, I will apply for an exhibition grant, or rather, I will ask fabulous grant writer, Lindsey Fair, to write my grant. I have a juried exhibition to enter "Frayed Around the Edges"...the entry is due tomorrow and I haven't completed it yet, but think I will today and send it electronically. Will I make it to the studio before tomorrow??? Wouldn't that be nice!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What a great day! I met Faye Wilkinson for lunch while she was in town from Haliburton where she teaches and has her studio and home. We went to a favorite place of mine, Pan Chancho. We had a lovely visit and being with her seemed oddly familiar even though we had never met face to face. I checked in at home and head out to the Art Among the Ruins. A stunning setting at the home of mosaic artist, Stacey Anderson, on the rapidly flowing Napanee river. Many artists, lots of traffic. A beautiful place. I wanted to move in! Home now...I am getting discs ready to send off and CV's ready to print to send off to some galleries to book some exhibitions. I really need a 5 year calender!

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Friday, June 12, 2009


Ahh, the evening routine...I cook dinner, eldest washes, middle drys, youngest puts away...and all of them argue, non-stop, as to who is doing what incorrectly. Makes me crazy(er). I sit and hold my tongue and remind myself that working it out is an important life lesson. Ironically, I am sipping a local wine called "Sibling Rivalry". It has a picture of three boys on the label. Clearly created by a vintner that understands my plight, not to mention the need for red wine when you have three boys.

I did not make it to the studio today, but I am considering heading there right now! I must work on pieces for my exhibition in Colorado with Jorie Johnson, Gail Perrone and a few other extraordinary feltmakers. How did I get invited to this one? Well, the stars must have been in line, I am telling you! I am truly privileged. Tomorrow a feltmaker from Haliburton, Faye Wilkinson will be in town and we are meeting up briefly after her keynote speak and before she heads back to the studio. I will then head to a nearby art event to say howdy to dear friends and artists, Jane Thelwell and Lindsey Fair and others at Art Among the Ruins. Busy day.... But, wow, life is good!
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Repair man blues...

Oh repair man, repair man, where are you?? I don't know what people with real jobs do. Spending hours waiting in vain for the elusive man with the plumbers crack and toolbox. The person on the phone was kind enough to give me an 8 hour window in which he may arrive. I know all the Sears repairs men by name. I believe I am waiting for "Art" today (how's that for irony!) He was on vacation last week. Family in the Ottawa Valley (Okay I am kidding- I don't know where he went for vacation) The problem was diagnosed 2 weeks ago...tricky one to figure...a broken handle. Arriving with the right part was just too much to hope for. So, I continue to wait...

I did get my desk cleaned off and the desk cupboards organized. My eldest will be impressed. I could hear him cleaning last night at 11:00. This is how I know I have been neglecting housework!
This evening I hope to get in the studio and continue the piece I am working on. HEY, if you are a feltmaker, You MUST go to the Felt United site and join the party on the first International day of Felt. Please participate and let them (Cynthia and Elis) know what you are going to do. Go to "happenings" page to see what is planned near you. Don't see anything? Start something!!!

Okay, Art, my friendly repairman, fixed the handle to the dryer in about 3.7 minutes (about) and then I asked him to have a look inside the washer under the drum. "I think one of the boys left a marble in his pocket, little scamps, careless boys, ya' know". Art took a look and called me in to take a peek...$16.53 in coin...I kid you not. I couldn't blame that one on the kids. Thank goodness for those outrageously expensive warrantees.

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Monday, June 8, 2009


This was our view on the way home. They have repainted the stripe on the water tower. It was bright blue and now it matches the sky and looked like someone cut the top off and it has levitated! They also did a sloppy can see the drips. Guess it can't be too much fun painting from a cherry picker. "Hey, a job for ya"! ...No thanks!

Today I spent the morning helping to mount the grade 8 art project at Welborne Ave. Public School in the courtyard windows. I will post an image tomorrow of the completed project. It looks fabulous! I then spent the afternoon on the phone with fellow fibre artist, Tina Barnes. I have this great headset that I can talk and listen while I work in the it. Talk radio this aft on CBC was a little boring and Tina and I are never short on conversation topics! I was felting away making ropes for my latest "Adaptions 2" piece. Not sure what it will look like finished. less surface design on this one, more about the form. I will be sending this to Colorado with "Adaptations" and "Specimens". Loving my studio time. I am at an all day stitching day and meeting for the Kingston Fibre Artists tomorrow...get to hang with my peeps!
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Working in the Studio

Once I start a piece, I am so preoccupied with working on it any moment I can steal away...even while I am waiting for the toast to pop. I am working right now on the ropes for my "pods" so it takes a lot of time and patience as they need to be truly fulled (as all good felt should be). They will be traveling so I need to know they will look the same at each stage of their travels. I have yet to grasp where my things are going when as there is some overlap and some come home and go off somewhere else. Very confusing when my head is is art mode! Kids to school, a quick errand and back to the studio

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday...a day of promise

Wow! It's a beautiful day. My husband, Mark, is headed to Ottawa for the day with our middle boy for some daddy time. I am headed to an art event this afternoon and will see if the other boys would like to come. I am suspecting not! Other than that, I am going to have a look at my week ahead. Make some decisions about teaching proposals and exhibtion deadlines and hopefully spend a couple of hours in the studio. I am pretty crazy about my latest piece, which always seems to be the case and want to expand on some mixed media stuff but with a strong focus on felt, of course! so may swing by the hardware store for some inspiration. I also should write up an agenda for our upcoming Kingston Fibre artists meeting.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Great day in Toronto

Hey, check it! Carolyn (she's so darn tech savy) told me how to add an image for each post. This is much better as I like lots of pictures, Don't you? I had a great day in Toronto yesterday. I spent 2 hours nosing around the AGO checking out the Group of Seven (my fave is Lawren Harris), Picasso. Matisse, Magritte and Dali and lots of fabulous other stuff. I then had coffee (Peppermint green tea, actually) with a friend I had not seen in 30 years. Oh, I know you are thinking, "How can that be? Andrea is way too youthful for this to be possible!". Well, it is. Tracy and I were 10 when we parted ways and I only recently found out how close she now lives. What fun. Then I grabbed a cab to the trendy Gladstone Hotel for the Ontario Crafts Council for the AGM and awards. I was welcomed as a new board member and Carolyn and I both received awards. She is going to use hers to learn how to felt...from ME. That's what I can a win/win! The opening for our exhibition followed and we have a tentative booking for 2011 for our Women's work exhibit and I made some great contacts with some exciting things coming up that I will keep you posted. I am actually full of anxiety over the time I will be away from the boys this summer. I have made a vow not to scehedule anything next summer except studio time. There, I feel better (okay...I don't, but I will have to work on that!)
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Headed to Toronto

Tomorrow morning I am headed to Toronto with my friend and machine knitter (one of a kind fine wearable art!) Carolyn Barnett. We are going up for the Ontario Crafts Council AGM and the awards exhibition opening. Carolyn and I are both receiving awards and have work on exhibit. I was going to go up tonight as there was a patrons evening tonight, but decided to save the hotel money and share the gas instead! I had a meeting today and did a bit of volunteering for a grade 8 art project. No studio time today, but have lots of time blocked off next week. I have some teaching proposals for next year to get in and a one day teaching to plan at Wintergreen Studios in a couple of weeks. I have added a picture of my latest pieces above. My kitty wandered in as I was shooting. She is a shy little thing so this is a rare moment. Well, need to decide what I am going to wear to schlep around TO tomorrow and what I can add to dress it up for the evening awards! Should be fun!
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time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus