Monday, December 27, 2010


Will she remember?

on the back...

Work? Play? Where does one begin and the other end? I am really not sure. When it comes to felting, it is always both. I made 2 simple treasures yesterday, toyed around with the idea of keeping them for myself, as I often do, but know today that they will be sent off to others. One a gift for the most lovely friend ever, the other, a long over-due commission to another dear friend, who is likely to have forgotten the request.

The house is quiet. We have settled easily into the holiday routine of indulgent, late nights and lingering in our warm beds a little too long in the morning. I peer, now and again, at the Artist in Residence schedule on my desk as though it is something long in the future. My time in the studio yesterday was completely unplanned and spontaneous. The next few days involve a little maintenance and repair in my studio so perhaps it was my subconscious fitting in some wool time while I can.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

They came, they ate, they went...

Fabulous Holiday. I love my family.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Closer to my reality...

Yes, the sterile, airy space from the previous post would be very nice. However, until we can function with a lot less "stuff", this is closer to my reality. Not so bad either.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

House Clean

Just looking at this makes me breathe deeply.
As the holiday approaches (and all the days preceding, frankly) I am wishing I could purge all surfaces, hidden spaces, and those cupboards that you close real fast, of all extraneous matter that clutters up my subconscious head space. It all really makes me crazy. Living in a house with many others requires great patience and hope that, at some point, I will have a minimalist space. The studio does not count, of course. I think I will, however, make it a resolution to transform my studio space to a more peaceful, zen space. This will require the installation of a door, however!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Where have I Been??

The bag I managed to fit in amongst the chaos! Details below!

Ahh yes, nothing like getting together with my favorite gal, wearing matching acrylic sweaters and charring up some polish sausage. Life is grand, no?

Okay, could not resist this picture. I do have more that are equally entertaining. In any case, I know, I know, I have been a neglectful blogger. Not like me, I know. Not sure where the days have gone as I have been neck deep in family, studio and my retail business that I feel shackled to!

After operating a small retail business with my wonderful mother for 6 years, we are clearing out some things and switching gears which has meant mark-downs and lots of orders leaving time for little else. I will be very happy to see Friday arrive when shipping out and deliveries are done.
Yesterday I had a wee flood in the studio (via the ceiling under the boys' bathroom floor-don't ask) and today I broke a glass plate. While this sounds like a quick clean-up, quick it was certainly not. Shards of glass were in the dishwasher and every place possible requiring a good hour of my day. It has just been one of those weeks, in short!
This past weekend, however, I did make a fabulouso bag! I am in love with it and have an idea for another design. I am sorry I did not photograph the process, but will for the next one for you all. I made a piece of prefelt with a cotton fabric and corriedale, accordion folded it while stitching in strips of resist. I then laid this on the surface of my bag right after I wet the fibres out. Once it was all done, the resists were cut out with a lovely effect. The body of the bag is C-1/Pelsull in a really dark charcoal. The dyed black takes a bit longer to full and I was feeling wimpy and not unusually patient. This technique is similar, I believe, to Marjolien Dalinga. The result looks similar, in any case. I am going to play with the technique and materials and make effort to create a unique twist on the technique.
The next two days involve some tying up of loose ends, deciding what I am going to have to let go and not get done and then it is time to spend long days in the studio, drink hot chocolate and hang with the family. Fa La La La La!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December is here. Say what?

2 layers. Ready for pocket resist.

Adding some colour.

..and some "stuff".

resist is buckling. Time to cut it out.

the first cut is the deepest (or scariest)
December? Wasn't it just September or July or something. Craziness. I am totally low energy the last couple of days. I am battling a throat that is on fire and have not decided if I am going to sit for hours at the clinic. If I pretend, maybe it will go away.
I had a conference call Monday, so got a bag laid out and then took 2 more days to complete it. I am waiting for a wool order (inpatiently) that was placed weeks ago to start on my teapot for the Morgan Glass Gallery invitational show. I now only have 3 pieces to send to the Guild Shop in Toronto...2 bags and a yoga monster, but with samples to make for my artist in residence, should probably just ship 'em out.
I am taking the family out to the thea-tah this week. I am sure they will complain, they always do, but I am hoping when they are all grown up they wiil appreciate all the live music and culture I have forced on them!
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What's New

My Bubble Wrap delivery!

Finished bag...cute outer pocket.

New bag

Check the shrinkage!

Prior to felting...

Not sure why my days have been so short. I could have used that extra hour every day (and then some). I shipped out lots of work to the guild shop and have made another "Urban Monster" (Yoga Monster) I will post images of her on the next post. I did make the above bag over the last couple of days and was playing with a different design to shake things up and keep life interesting, because, you know, life is never interesting (yes, sarcasim). I really like it. It is very wearable and functional with pockets in and out. It is c-1/Pelsull and the top layer is corriedale. I am oddly attached to this one, perhaps it will remain mine or it will be gifted to someone special.
I am getting materials and equipment ready for my artist in residency and received my roll of bubble wrap today! Glad it is not raining!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Urban Monsters

I have been playing between wet felting! After the great reception (and subsequent sale, I might add), of all my "standard garden bugs" at the OCC Guild Shop, I have now created 2 (so far) "Urban Monsters". You know, those monsters you see at the subway stop. Mom monsters, salesman monsters, student You say you don't see them? Really?

These guys are in a box on the way to the OCC guild shop and a couple more will follow.

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Shipping out...

Copper and teal clutch bag. I really like these colours together.
Lay out

Spiky creture bag


I feel like it has taken me forever, but I have just shipped an almost complete order out to The Guild Shop in Toronto located in swanky Yorkville. Go ahead, say "swanky", you know you want to! I say "incomplete" because I still need to make half a dozen bags. Rather than having the rest of them sit here, they may as well be on display, especially given the season. I have posted a few pictures here of 2 of the bags in progess and complete.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Workshop Announcement!

Yes! Finally...I have scheduled a "Pods" workshop at NEFS (New England Felting Supply in Northhampton, Massachusetts!). Details are being finalized, but I am sure they would love to hear from you if you are interested! I will also be teaching a fabulous bags class with 3D elements, like I taught last year and back in October here in Ontario.

I have been busy cranking out the scarves and making fun bags. I just love to play with the forms and shapes and can't wait to be in the studio this weekend uninterrupted by my driving duties!

I will also be thinking about an upcoming invitational show that I will be part of at the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery in Pittsburgh (I love Pittsburgh!). Get is a teapot show. I had a feeling I would be invited and had actually done some sketches back in the summer. I have a great design and I'm ready to play. It will most definitely be fabulously non-functional.

I also need to decide how badly I want to enter the annual juried show at the Tom Thomson Gallery. I won the big award a couple of years back and have entered since, but with gallery production in full swing, not sure what I have in my reserve to create this week to mail by week end. Maybe I will surprise myself!

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Artprenuer Conference"

Darrell Dennis (writer, comedian, actor, CBC guy, and speaker with me on the arts panel)

Yesterday, I took the trek to the metropolis of Cornwall, Ontario to speak at the Artprenuer Conference. The panel I was asked to be part of was 9 artists and performers speaking for a couple of hours. It was really interesting to hear all the stories and get the perspectives from some talented, successful artists. We then had a little wine and cheese and I headed home.

I have lots of art things on my plate, but my house and creative environment has been neglected, so I have spent the day performing mundane household duties and picking up my organic chickens at the farm (dead... frozen tighter than cannon balls). I had to remove wool from my freezer to make space, so need to tackle my raw tunis fleece, in particular.

I also needed to order $800 of wool to maintain my wholesale status with one of my suppliers. So, over 25 kilos of wool ordered, and I am wondering how the hell I am going to make space. I think another shelf will be required. I am back in the studio tomorrow, so will keep you posted.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Production mode

Not exactly planned production, but how it has turned out! A gallery where I show in neighbouring Belleville has added a gallery shop, the OCC guild shop has asked for a ton more stuff and another local-ish gallery is another new addition. So, between the three of them, I have been busy making scarves, bags and hats....when I did not think I really made scarves bags and hats. Oh, the irony.

Once I finish this holiday season "production" madness, I really look forward to getting back to completely frivolous, non-functional, won't match your sofa Art! I have a call for entry for the end of the month and an invitational exhibit in Pittsburgh that I am looking forward to sinking my teeth into!

Tomorrow I head to Cornwall to attend the Artrepeneur Conference where I will be speaking as part of an artists panel. I agreed because one of my favorite public radio guys will be on the panel too. Promised my son an autograph. Big salad for lunch and now time to see what I can get laid out in the next hour before I switch hats!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting stuff ready...

I will be laying out more scarves today and a bag and have them ready to take to a gallery along with some of the above decorations for *gasp* Christmas (Argh. yuck.) I'm waiting for some special cello bags to package them in groups of three. They look like candy all wrapped up! Such delicious colours. Gosh, I love wool!

Today I also have a customer/client picking up a wooden "branch" from my Liberatio Captivus series that was commissioned last week. It was a pleasure to do as I know the recipient and fellow artist. Oh, I can't wait to work today!!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Week...

Yesterday, it was still dark as I left my sleeping family and the overcast skies were, once again, closing their lids as I headed home. I had a lovely day with a favorite group of mine that are always happy to be together, laughing and teasing. They are wonderful hosts and I look forward to visiting them each time they invite me. Our hostess, Sandy, managed quite well to fit us all in her generous dining room in her charming, eclectic home. With every turn one found stacks of books and visual delights from travels or treasured heirlooms. I wished I could hear the story behind each one, as I am sure there is one.
We made simple felted beads (needle and wet felted) and flowers at our wet felting "station". They all turned out very nice and I was surprised at how fast they all worked. It was a laid back teaching pace and, did I mention, a great day? Thanks, lovely women. I look forward to next time!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wising I had an extra day every weekend!

Scarves from yesterday... (Yes, I know. Same old, same old)
The bag I laid out while scarves were on le Machine! When I take scarves off machine to re-roll, I put the bag layout under the table. Works well.

Scarves after fulling, in a heap, waiting for me to full the bag so they can all be rinsed and spun together and finished.

off the machine and ready to full (by hand)

My "extra" day! spent hours cleaning out the garage, cleaning up dye kitchen (see under window?!) Ready to dye some silk for more scarves. I need to do a little more setting up!

Today is a pseudo-long-weekend for us, as today is a "P.A." day for the schools. It is like the clock stopped and we are given an extra day. I just love it. The weekend is alway full of all the things like chores and the like and to have an extra day that I don't have to drive is like having 2 extra works days. I had one of those weeks where everyday I had a mid day interruption. All it takes is someone needing a half hour or hour of my time and it takes me out of the studio for the whole day. Even on a good day, my day is short, but add an interruption, and I am screwed. This day is making up for last week and I plan on making good use of today as well. Making scarves and bags again, shipping them out and then....I am going to work on some ART!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010 reverse order

Tah Dah! A cute bag (post below) (C-1 pelsull from New England Felting Supply)

The other side of said cute bag

Awww, poor crumpled felt after rinsing and a go 'round in the laundry spinner. Does not look too promising, but I have faith.

See resist? See shrinkage rate?

Gettin' there...still fulling.

felted enough to cut out holes for handles. Don't cut too early, folks.

Inside out cutting resist from pocket.

Cutting out main resist.

Oop, there it is...resist starting to buckle while fulling.

All laid out and wrapped around edges. Not felted yet.

After watching my students make some great bags this weekend, I could not resist (I know, boooo) making a bucket bag today. It was helpful that I spent over 3 hours on the phone yesterday on conference calls, so I was able to work while I listened on my handy-can't-do-without headset! Layout is possible on the phone, anything else is too loud. I ran water once and wondered if they thought I might be in the bathroom!
The first call was over an hour, so I tidied my space and put away things from the weekend. The evening call was 2 hours and, in that time, I did my lay out, wet out and very little felting, maybe 10 minutes and picked up where I left off today.
A couple of students asked how long it would take me to do a bag. This small bag took me 5 hours start to finish and the break down is this...
-2 hours+ for layout and wet out
-1 hour hand rubbing felting
-2 hours fulling, rinsing and shaping
This is a small bag (oh, 12 x 13) with no 3D elements, so if it had been more complex or with a handle you could easily add a couple of hours. Just a rolled strap takes 1-1.5 hours. So, there ya' go! Easy stuff and I feel like I deserve to pour myself (another) cup of coffee, and tidy up for another project! What are you waiting for?

time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus