Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Fish Story

This is Mr. Fish and is my "collaboration" with illustrator, Trevor Waurechen. By the way, you can see what we have all been doing at Kollaboration Kingston and blogging about here
Trevor had this illustration of the most awesome fish. I am a huge fan of Dr. Seuss and this little guy really looked "seussical" to me. Thankfully, I told Trevor this and his response was, "Thank you"! I asked if I could create him in 3D and I think he has taken on a new dimension, so to speak! I floundered a little but decided to make him... just for the halibut. (bud-um, chhh!)

Visit my site

Monday, March 29, 2010

Did it...

Yup. Did it. Bought a machine (again) from Feltcrafts . I did have one of their earlier machines and, at the time, did not (a.) have a specific plan for it's use and (b.) was not willing to spend the time for the learning curve. Anne and Don are fabulous and I adore them, so I am back! I have ordered a 60 inch machine. They have a variety of sizes and I feel very good about making the very affordable investment.
These machines don't save "time" per say and, I stress, you already need to know how to felt and read you wool. Although, for me now making many scarves, I can design while others are rolling and also save some wear and tear on my (currently aching) elbow and shoulder.
I just had a message from the OCC Guild Shop that I have the 2nd highest sales numbers for the month and sold 7 pieces. I find it amazing that people have purchased winter weight scarves in March, but hey, not complaining! Today I will finish 3 scarves on my table, photograph them all and tomorrow get them delivered to a friend who is taking them to Toronto for me :o). Then I get to lay out a bag for my class samples...felting, felting, life is nice!
Visit my site

Sunday, March 28, 2010

3 Scarves done...

These 3 are done. I finished felting them by noon as the layout had been done the day before. I then also laid out 3 simple laminate scarves (not the collage scarves which take much longer to layout) I have 3 more laminate scarves laid out the felt this morning. I have been asked to make more collage scarves by my galleries, but with spring here and summer approaching think lighter weight is the way to go. I will need to continue production on the scarves this summer so I am ready for Fall for the Guild Shop and my other galleries.

I am seriously considering buying a rolling machine. I did have one that I sold. It was when they first came out and it had no speed control. I found I was too impatient for the learning curve on using the thing (I just want to felt!)
But now, with the aches and pains in my elbow and shoulder think it may be time. I know they do not save any work and sometimes things take longer on the machine, but saving my body a little wear and tear may be worth the investment again. I only have to sell 57 scarves to pay for it (argh)
Visit my site

Friday, March 26, 2010

What I've been up to!

I have laid out some scarves for either the Guild Shop in Toronto or New England Felting Supply (or both depending on how many I can get done!) I will wet these out tomorrow and get them done and start 3 more to finish before the weekend is done. I'll show you when they are done!

This is one of my samples I made for the Bags class I am teaching at NEFS...see below for the "in progress"

Felted and getting ready to gently full. Note the body of the bag seems large as I need to allow for the side depth...

Back of bag and front of flap. Wet out, resist encased.

The "Girly Bag" complete. Kinda Cute...

Visit my site

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The fun that lies ahead...

Oh! The silk has arrived and I want to drop everything and make some collage scarves!! I have a "pod bag" on the table in the making and will post an image later along with the "girly bag" that I finished and is now dry. Once I complete the pod bag, I will lay out some delicious scarves to take with me to New England Felting supply. I ordered some prints I had not ordered before not being certain the weight of the fabric and I am excited to design them. I am certinly not short of projects and need to consult my list before I get ahead of myself. Lucky for me "scarves" are on the list! Must run...more later!

Visit my site

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An image from this morning...

I had mentioned a collaboration in the making. This morning, I met with filmmaker, Lenny Epstein
and photographer (image above), Tracy Olan to film and document one of the stages of this collaboration. This piece speaks to our human ability to view difficult things in a way that allows us to cope, to only hear, read, or understand the things that challenge us in a way we can distill and process. This may come in the form of denial or creating our own truth.
An event in my past left me with a letter that is full of more questions than answers. I create my own story, make judgements, excuses, fill in the blanks to cope with an event that can never make sense. In this piece, a film of someone writing a letter will be projected through and on felted panels of varied transparency. Sound artist, Matt Rogalsky will record the letter being read and distorted and the sound of the pen on paper. Not sure what the completed piece will become, but I hope the concept is translated and will leave the viewer considering the "truths" they create for themselves and why they do so.
Visit my site

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reading Between the Lines - Distilling Truth

We had a second day of Kingston Kollaboration today and I am working with: Lenny, a filmaker, Matt, sound guy and Tracy the photograher. I have long had an idea about using felt as a filter, as an instument that distills harsh reality. Softens and obscures the truth allowing the reader to justify, accept or deny and, thus cope with Good-Bye. Using film, sound and a piece of my past we hope to create a thoughtful piece for exhibit at the Sandra Whitton Gallery.

Tomorrow we meet to shoot the film portion and I hope Tracy will shoot an image I can post to give you a peek at the process.
Visit my site

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Local Zebra

Tunis wool and merino....for a pillow front.

Visit my site

To Do

My day begins with my growing "To Do" list. I leave for Massachusetts in 17 days (but who's counting?!) and top of the list is completing sample bags for my bag class. I am also teaching landscapes, but there is little prep needed there. I also have a half day tomorrow for my "Kollaboration" group. It's funny we had "assignments", but I have kind of gone off and done some different stuff and even collaborated with someone outside the group. I love the spark the group has fanned. This is my list as I wrote it last night....make sense if you will:

1. Finish bag
2. Layout new bag (finnwool)
3. Red cord for wood
4. Small raw wool sample
5. Sample for Stefan

I could have added a few things to my list last night, but already feel my list is a little ambitious for the next 2 weeks with the rest of my busy life intervening. I'm on coffee #2, time to pour #3 and head to the delicious solitude of my studio where a cold, wet prefelted bag awaits! I will post an image when it is done....

Visit my site

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The last couple of days and the dreaded common cold

This is what is on my table right now. It's a bag sample for my class I am teaching at New England Felting Supply in a few (couple?) weeks. It's a "girly bag" with loops and bows and a resist insert, if I am brave. I had intended on finishing it today, but my stuffy nose and itchy eyes would have none of that. I did get the loops and ties mostly done and the handles measured out and started, but will have to get at it bright and early tomorrow.

This is "BGB" (before girly bag). A clean slate. Ready to begin. I love this.

This was my "OMG, I have one day to make fabric to upholster something that it going to be on the Discovery channel piece". This is a bit of a long story (a years and years long story, to be precise) Carolyn Butts, of Bon Eco Gallery (check out their site-great stuff) and I have been discussing working together for years and she has developed some amazing things. I have finally got my shit together and we are going to make some things happen. She and her partner came and saw my show and mentioned one of their high-end products will be featured on the Discovery Channel. Well, what eco friendly product would be complete without a local wool, made my local artist fabric for that said product? I am not in love with my design, but there will be more to come...

This is the beginning layout. The 45 inch starting width just fit on my table. This is local icelandic/romney and it made a fabulous upholstery fabric!
Well, my nose and throat are ablaze and need extinguishing with tea or ice cream. Perhaps both or, better yet a hot toddy,...j-nite all!

Visit my site

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Soooo close, but not quite.

Subject line: "Your work impounded by Italian customs"

Hmm, not so nice to receive in your in-box. I am pretty disappointed that my piece encountered difficulty, despite my ample labeling. I did jolt awake the morning after it was sent with regrets on the value I had given the package. I forgot the "under $500 rule". I am sure this is not an actual rule, but something I had been told long ago and have followed without incident. With the shipping being outrageous and being in a rush, I tacked on a bit and should not have. So...where does this put me? Another 100 euros in the hole is where it puts me! I personally prefer to be paid to exhibit, not be out of pocket (imagine that :o)). The cost of doing business, I suppose. My work had arrived the first day the Museum is taking the exhibtion work and I will be very curious to know if anyone else from other countries has difficulty! This is a very important international felt exhibtion. I hope it is smooth sailing from here!

Visit my site

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bark Bag

Finished and hanging to dry (made with c-1/pelsull)


Finished on table. Ready to dry.

the resist is in the body of the bag. This originally had lots of colour as I was attempting to add some "wow" to the brown. I woke up this morning and decided that neutral was the way to go. I am very pleased and, as with each piece, I learned something along the way.

Visit my site

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Little" Project

Collar and cuffs layout in progress. cuffs have 2 sides and were felted around a resist.
In the felting process- one with resist cut out-other intact.
Well, the "little project" that I was going to start my day with ended up taking much of my day. Not sure why. I will, however, blame it on the time change. I am part of a collaboration group with 15 artists that include a dear friend and talented knitter, Carolyn. I have taught her how to make felt and she has been adding felted cuf and collars to her knitwear. I made her a set of bell sleeve shaped cuffs and a collar. The collar may be too small (time change, ya' know), but she can cut it up and use it as a pocket, if she likes.

I finally got around to laying out a bag sample for my class in April. It took me a couple of hours to make the strap and the bag right now looks like the dogs breakfast, but I have a plan. It's a bit brown right now and kinda wild. I was going to wet it out tonight until I realized it was a hour later than my studio clock told me it was. I almost feel like I could do and all-nighter in the studio, but know I will regret it tomorrow! I will wake with anticipation knowing I will finish the bag tomorrow! I will post pictures when it is less brown and dogs-breakfast-like! Ha, ironically, I have been calling it the "bark bag", for entirely different reasons.

Visit my site

Doing the Numbers

It is not often that I am the passenger on a trip to Toronto, so I had ample chance to doodle in my sketchbook and really think about my business path. My "job" as a professional artist has evolved in some unexpected ways. I have been very lucky that things have happened the way they have and that I am in demand as an artist and instructor. Yes, I have worked hard at this the last eight years and I am at a point where I am revisiting my business plan.

I have been balancing selling work, exhibitions and teaching in a "as it comes" manner and feel I need to create more intention in my path ahead. Whether this expectation of predictability is a practical idea, remains to be seen. My art career is kind of like a amoeba and always changing, shape based on my encounters and the reactions to my work.

I figured how much I need to bring in a month to cover my many expenses and then figured out how much I would like to "make" and put in the bank over and above that (to then somehow disappear into the abyss!) So, here I have this "number" (I have a contentious relationship with numbers) and I have the freedom to decide where I would like to place my energy to bring this in. While it may seem this would be scary, I find it exciting to have this goal and control. I jsut need to make some good stuff, teach some fun classes and hope the rest will fall into place!!

Today I will head into the studio and make a set of cuff and a collar for a collaboration piece with a knitter friend, Carolyn Barnett and a sample for another collaboration and finally begin a bag for a sample for my 3D class at New England Felting Supply!

Visit my site

Saturday, March 13, 2010

King Tut

Okay, are you singing the "King Tut" song in your head? I find it almost impossible to just say "King Tut" without deepening my voice on the "Tut" part.

I am headed to Toronto today, delivering scarves and, Yes, I can't believe I am going to see King Tut (voice lowered on "Tut", yet again) As a child in the 70's, I recall Tut touring Canada and all the hoopla, never dreaming that I would, in my lifetime, get to see him. I think the story of the discovery of Tut to me as a child felt like fantasy came to life. I love that we now know so much more about the boy king with modern science and that I will see him with my own boys, who are not much younger than this celebrated and still mysterious figure and icon was when he ruled.

It just occured to me (duh!) this morning that this trip may provide lots of inspiration as I am preparing to make some samples. I am also looking forward to showing my boys some of my favorite Group os Seven work in person! It's going to be a great day!

Visit my site

Friday, March 12, 2010

Next in the Que

Yesterday, before my lecture, I finished up 3 scarves to send to the Ontario Crafts Council Guild Shop . One is a commission from a guild shop customer and the other 2 are laminate techniques for all season. One is a "shabby chic" design. It looks fragile, but is well felted. The other has a little more wool and has some great greens/yellows (both on hand-dyed silk)

Next on the table will be some bag samples for my class at New England Felting Supply
It will be an intermediate level class with resist and 3D details. I am going to have so much fun making samples! I also need to make a quick black vessel for my collaboration. I have a nice chunk of time with only a couple of meetings scheduled and a private student next Saturday, but other than that, I am studio bound. I better pour myself a cup of Java, turn on my heater and get felting. Lucky me!

On another note, I am once again toying with the idea of having an external studio. It would be a great teaching space and so many other things. I think I need a pro's and con's list....

Visit my site

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lecture Today

My wonderful MOM, Moi, and my Auntie

Talkin' with my hands (always!) I think I am taking about the $5 footlong sub sandwich special (advisory: this will likely only make sense if you live in my part of Canada.)
The lecture went well today. Had a technical glitch to start, but the gallery IT dude (gotta love the IT dude) had things up and running before we knew it. I think they purposely shake their head and mutter for a bit so they will be superheroes in the end (fine with me). A few familiar faces and lots of new ones, so that's nice too!
I did a powerpoint with 110 slides which takes me an hour to go through. Depending on the size of the group, I invite them to ask questions as I go. This only really works for smaller groups (under 30 maybe-or I can not control the timing). I then always invite questions at the end. They asked some good questions.

I finished a few scarves for the guild shop before I left and will sew on the tags and get them sent in the morning. Then BAG samples. WhooHoo!

Visit my site

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Big Things are happening in Fibre!

Oh, I love this picture! (From

I thought I would start with a bang as my day seems somewhat mundane, but in a very good way. I need to get my feet back on terra firma and my head in reality.
I have been commissioned to make a scarf for a client at one of my galleries, so I have laid out three (I am making one, I may as well make three). I have crammed both tables in to get the right length around my *new* shiny sinks and look forward in the next few months to doubling my studio space. Two of them are more laminate-ish scarves than my collage (ish) scarves, as the weather is warming up and they are more "all season" (much like my tires). It is just the thing to get me back in the studio as they don't take too much out of me physically or creatively!

Tomorrow, I will give a lecture at the John M. Parrott Gallery in Belleville (2-4, please do come!)I promise it will be enlightening. If not, I will give you your money back. Okay, it's free, but that is beside the point. I can then begin making samples for the bag class I am teaching at New England Felting Supply in a few weeks (yippee!) It will basically be a resist class with lots of 3D elements. If you are interested in sculpture, it would be useful.

The next week brings March break and a couple of meetings about some exciting creative projects! I will keep you posted! Juicy stuff and a bit of a new felting direction, but long in coming.

Visit my site

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Visit my site

Monday, March 8, 2010


Chris and I...I still can't believe she and her husband came to surprise me...sneaky, sneaky!

My dear friend, Tracy, me and Chris White (another dear friend! I'm so lucky!)

Mike, me and my middle kiddo.
After my opening Chris and Mike hung out with me and my family at my house for a while. The next day, I had to "work" (in quotes as working with other artists is not work!). I slipped out a bit early to have coffee with Chris and Mike and hang out until we met some friends for dinner. When I got home, I realized I had forgot about another opening with the Kingston Fibre Artists! My piece and all their glorious work was hanging within walking distance and the opening reception in full swing...and I friggin forgot!
I felt like I was in an altered state yesterday with Chris and Mike here and an all emersive art experience at Kollaboration Kingston. The energy in that room was incredible. I may not have expanded on the event as I have been focused on my opening, but 17 artists met and we were put through some exercises by our facilitator, Lindsey with the goal for a true community was one of events you can't really describe. I forgot I was in Kingston and felt like I was part of some big artistic Thing. I can't even define it right now, but I can see my next year unfolding. The path is being laid with some things that will come from my opening, teaching and collaboration from the event and outside of the event...How I will mold this all and where it will go has put me in complete overload today.
Life resumes as the kids needed lunches made and wisked off to school, grocery shopping today felt surreal as I floated through the aisles, my mind on another planet, food mysteriously appearing in my cart. I have a commission and classes to prepare for. All this stuff continues. I must sit and quiet my brain and my churning tummy and regain my footing....Stay tuned!

Visit my site

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I had an amazing day...pedicure, lunch out with my beautiful friend, Tracy...I show up at my opening and who saunters in?! Chris White and her husband, Mike! My sneaky friend had been conspiring and planning and drove all the way to Canada to see me. I was so happy to see them ..unbelievable! Still floating and looking forward to our day tomorrow!

Visit my site

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A window into my day...

I was so happy to see Tracy and Laurie today...such sweet souls they both are. The day went too fast and I abandoned them at the gallery leaving them to toil with the felt, lights and curious on-lookers. Tracy was on an interesting path when I left and Laurie and I were seeing some exciting shots. We realized for the catalogue of images, we need to take it outside (as they say). We are on a potential time crunch for a few good images for another purpose, but we have a bit of time to play for the catalouge...things are cookin'....


"3 Large Pods" installed

One view in the gallery...


Visit my site

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Weekend to come...

I, of course, have my BIG opening in Belleville on Saturday. I hope to see some of you there and chat over some punch, cheese and crackers and lots of felted work!

On Sunday, I am double fibre group, The Kingston Fibre Artists, has it's group show at the Wilson Room in Kingston. I have some guilt as I am only sending one piece, as all my work went to Belleville, but I think they will understand! I will likely make a quick appearance, but will be spending the bulk of my day at Kollaboration Kingston. This is an amazing starting point with some local artists that I am very excited about. Inspired by an Ontario Crafts Council event I participated in in the Toronto area, my friend and artist, Lindsey Fair, decided to apply for a grant and bring the concept to our community. We totally got it and will spend it very wisely. Big things are going to come from this, I know this for certain. I am at a bit of a turning point with the show hung and this body of work almost feels "done". I am ready to evolve and see where the tide of all this energy take me. Several of the artists I have worked with before and I can feel the momentum. I love that we are all dedicated to our crafts, serious professionals and ready to play. Stay tuned...I'm going to have some great pictures to share after this weekend!
Visit my site

time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus