Sunday, March 23, 2014

Quilt Canada, FFAA and Fibre Fling 3

I managed to avoid getting sick for most of this long long winter but it caught up with me a few weeks ago and I succumbed to a nasty virus which turned into sinusitis.   Finally I am returning to the land of the living.

Throughout all of that I have been preparing for our third annual Fibre Fling 3 show and sale on April 4 and 5 at Kitchissippi United Church, 630 Island Park Drive in Ottawa (see my Exhibitions page for details).   I will have several pieces in the main exhibition - both embroideries and art quilts.  I have just finished a second mushroom piece (the first was part of last year's colour challenge - tomato red - and was a mixture of applique, machine and hand embroidery).   This one is from a photo of two groups of mushrooms which I photo transferred to fabric and embroidered by hand.   I am also submitting a piece for this year's colour challenge - turquoise.

I call this one 'The Conversation'

This view of Trout River Pond and Elephant Head is called Local Colour in celebration of the colourful place names in Newfoundland

 In the sales area we will have smaller items that people can purchase and take away with them.  I plan to bring some of my fibre jewelry, journals, art cards, bookmarks, postcards and mini embroideries.   Here are a few samples of items I may have for sale there. 

Please note the snowstorm outside the window on March 22!

two postcards in a double frame

another framed postcard

3 piece set of fabric landscape jewelry

I found these 1 x 2"horizontal trays that work so well with tiny landscapes
The array of art to be exhibited is amazing!  We have art quilters, mixed media artists, felters, embroiderers, clothing and costume makers, doll makers and much more.  

I am saving the best news for last!!  This year I submitted items for Quilt Canada and my quilt "Kitchen Party" has been juried into the show.  This piece has special meaning for me. The photo inspiration for this work was taken by Neville Hamilton who passed away last summer.  Last week, his widow and my friend, presented me with a framed copy of that photo which now hangs on my wall.  
Kitchen Party

I also submitted three pieces for jurying for the Focus on Fibre Arts Association show 'Prairie' in January.   I was thrilled to find out that all three pieces made it into the show!!  I was drawn to this theme because it meant lots of embroidery, skies, fields, grasses.......and I channelled the love of prairie that I have seen so often in people who live or hail from the prairie provinces.

Prairie Dawn - machine stitched, painted satin sky - based on W.O. Mitchell's book 'Who has seen the Wind'
A River Runs Through it - hand stitched

'Prairie: Where Earth Meets Sky' - hand stitched with painted satin sky

The show begins on May 4  in Edmonton and runs into the fall  Prairies

Well I wouldn't be Canadian if I didn't talk about the weather.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  So here are three thousand.....
march 20 - first day of spring

march 22 -third day of spring

march 22 - view from my front window
When will it end?   Today the sun is shining but bitterly cold!

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday    Click on the link to see what fibre artists are doing this week.

Friday, February 21, 2014

More Fibre Jewelry and Other Stuff

This week (in spite of a wickedly sore back) I managed to finish up a few things and make a few more pieces of jewelry in the evenings while watching the olympics (Go Canada!).  Most of my days have been spent on  publicity work for our upcoming fibre arts show.

Besides my little landscape pendants I tried out a new idea.  I embroidered tiny trees on fabric and made pendants out of them.  The big ones are approximately 1" x 1 1/2", the small are 1" square.

I added some sparkly paint to this one

Then I ordered some earring backings and made a few landscape earrings (very small - about 13 x 18mm).  Here is my first pair drying in a bowl of rice to keep them upright.  They have a little sparkle too.

These are waiting to be glued into the settings

I also embroidered some tiny flowers to make into a pendant.  I like the embroidery but the finishing was a bit messy (that's why I am not showing the finished piece:) so it's back to the drawing board.   It's quite small as well - maybe 2.5 inches wide.

 Since it seems I am into jewelry making I designed myself a new business card just for the jewelry.  I used my basic computer editing program and was surprised (after several hours of work) to find that it uploaded to the printer's with no glitches and two weeks later the cards were in my mailbox.

At last I finished my embroidered tree.  The stitching was finished weeks ago but I needed to back it and zigzag the edges.    It still doesn't have a name and I agonized over how to display it - over a mat, under a mat, on a canvas........

Under a tan coloured mat

On top of a mat
I finally framed it in a reddish brown frame under a 9 x 12" tan mat but the mat covers part of the embroidery so I may need to re think.

And lastly, I put the final hand stitch on my new mushroom piece (Small Wonders II).  It measures about 8" x 8".

 And now the fun of figuring out how to finish it.   Originally I had chosen two fabrics to use as a border then wrap around a canvas but it was not quite right.    Then I had an idea which involves photographing part of the background and printing it out on fabric then using it to cover a stretched 12" x 12" canvas.  I would add a narrow plain band of colour around the piece first.  Might be fine or might be too busy.   My other idea was to extend the background in paint on a canvas again with a narrow border around the fabric part.  I really like the idea of combining fabric pieces with painted edges.  Or I might just add a mat and frame.  Finishing sometimes takes as much time and effort as the stitching, doesn't it?

I have started watching a bit of my linear landscapes course (Gloria Loughman).  I have made a pattern and enlarged it - all ready for use.   I've chosen some fabrics but I want to paint a sky piece for it.   I don't have enough time to really focus on it yet so it is on hold for now.    I have to finish my turquoise piece for the colour challenge - almost done - just need to mount it on a canvas and add hanging wire and a label.  Oh, yes and we need to deliver it in a fabric bag - that's the hard part for me.

I guess I have been busy!

This post is linked up to Off the Wall Fridays    Check in to see what other fibre artists are creating this week.

Sparkles and Shadows on Snow

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mark Your Calendars for Fibre Fling 3

Out of the Box Fibre Artists and Kitchissippi United Church are partnering again for our third annual Fibre Fling Show, Sale and Tea on April 4 and 5 at Kitchissippi United Church in Ottawa.  Please note our trendy orchid poster!

April 4-5, 2014
Fibre Fling 3 – Textile art show and sale
Kitchissippi United Church, 630 Island Park Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Out-of-the-Box Fibre Artists and the Kitchissippi United Church invite you to a show and sale of fibre and mixed media art on Friday and Saturday in the church hall. This is a fundraiser for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Hours: Friday 10 am-8 pm and Saturday 10 am-5 p.m. Admission is $5. High Tea will be available on Saturday 12-5pm for an additional $10.  Light refreshments available throughout the show.  For more information visit the News section of our website under Exhibitions at  

We are excited about this unique show after last year's success with 43 artists exhibiting over 200 pieces of fibre art - art quilts, mixed media, beading, embroidery, dolls, and much more.   Our membership has grown and so have our colour challenge pieces which will be part of a special showing.    We have expanded our sales table where you can purchase smaller works of art, art cards, jewelry, felted items, scarves, bags, journals, bookmarks....And of course there is the delicious high tea on Saturday!   We hope to continue to raise awareness about the quality and variety of fibre art in our Region.  And we hope to be able to raise money for a foundation that touches many lives.  We are so proud to partner again with Kitchissippi Church and to be part of a fundraiser for the Stephen Lewis Foundation which continues to do grassroots work to turn the tide on AIDS in Africa and better the lives of AIDs orphans and their caregivers.  This organization is based on a strong desire to work with local organizations to fight the spread of  AIDS.  

If you are in the Ottawa area in April please come and join us!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Colour Challenge in Fabric and Work in Progress

Last year I took part in a colour challenge with my fibre arts group.  The colours were midnight blue and orange (tomato red) and I chose orange.   This year's colours were yellow, turquoise, or black and white.   I started a turquoise piece in the summer but wasn't sure where to go with it (some stamping on fabric didn't work out so well) so I put it away.   Time is getting short so I have started working on it again.  It is a scene from Newfoundland (Trout River Pond and Elephant Head) and I got to thinking about all the colourful place names in NL.  

So I decided that I would embroider some of those place names on the solid turquoise section of the piece after embroidering some tone on tone on the same sections.   The finished piece will be 12" x 12" and I have finished the middle section which is the landscape and I have done some embroidery on the top and bottom sections.

middle section is 4" x 11"

It will be surrounded by tone on tone embroidery
    My next step is to embroider place names around the central part - Trout River Pond, Elephant Head, Heart's Desire, Conception Bay, Fogo, Come By Chance, Cupids, Fortune........I will call it "Local Colour".    I hope it works out.  If not I will be picking out a lot of embroidery.......

Last year I submitted an appliqued and embroidered piece called "Small Wonders of the Forest" inspired by photos of a grouping of tiny orange mushrooms.   It is still part of the colour challenge travelling exhibition soon to be joined by this year's colour challenge pieces.

 I recently started a new mushroom piece inspired by another photo of those same group of  mushrooms.  It is mostly embroidery on a photo transfer.   The positioning of this group of mushrooms reminded me of a conversation taking place between two groups (maybe I should call it "The Conversation"?).   It is still a work in progress with lots of hand stitching needed on the background.  I am thinking of adding an orange red border and finishing with a stretched canvas.  I have the perfect piece of fabric that I dyed in a class awhile back.)

I finally got some of my new landscape necklaces up on   ETSY       When I can find some time I would like to work on fabric beaded necklaces as well.   Right now we are busy with publicity for our annual spring show in April.   More on that later.....

Friday, January 17, 2014

Focus on Fibre Art Entries

Wow!  It sure takes a lot of time and effort entering pieces in shows!   I just loved the theme of this show - Prairie - lots of opportunity for hand stitching!!  I spent the most of my time this week  photographing my work and re photographing my work - wishing again that I had better equipment, lighting and space to take photos.  Because of the weather, I had to take them inside so I opened all the curtains to allow as much natural light in as possible.  Eventually I had enough photos that reflected the true colours of the pieces.   Finally all the applications are completed and it is ready to go.

The following are just small portions of the detail shots I took of each one (a close up of a close up).  As you can see there's lots of hand stitching in two of them and machine stitching in the other.  The skies are painted in two pieces.  Two are stitched over the pieced fabric landscape, the other is stitched over a painted fabric landscape. 

That's all I am able to show you for now.

On another note (a musical one), I brought my necklaces to choir because two members had expressed interest.   They ended up being passed around and I sold 7 of them without really trying.  I was running out (I only brought 10) so they asked me to make more and bring them back.  How encouraging to me when trying out a new item!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

I Had an Idea

These tiny landscapes are 1" square
For some time I have had an idea rolling around in my head but needed to do some research to figure out how to do what I wanted to do.   In another life many years ago I made coloured porcelain jewelry.   In fact I layered coloured porcelains and manipulated them to create patterns - checkerboard, swirls, etc.   I also sculpted miniatures into tiny earrings and pendants.   So you could say I like to challenge myself to make things that are smaller and smaller.   Recently I experimented with fabric beads and made a few fabric beaded necklaces which people seemed to like.  I also made some tiny fabric landscape pins which a friend suggested I turn into necklaces.   But I wanted a way to protect the fabric and make them look finished.

Well, I looked online and found tiny metal pendant frames and glass cabuchons.  I ordered a few but wondered just how small was do-able.    I cut tiny bits of fabric, ironed them onto thin fusible craft bond to make the tiniest fused landscapes.  Then I glued them onto the back of a glass cabuchon and glued the cabuchon into the metal bezel 'frame'.

And these 'large' ones are about 1 1/2" x 1"

I looked at several types of glue but was worried about the toxicity of some of them so I ended up using a gel medium to attach the fabric to the glass and a non toxic glue (Weldbond) to attach it all to the bezel.   I made sure the Weldbond came in contact with the glass sides to have a stronger bond.   I have been wearing one to see how sturdy it is and have a few volunteers ready and willing to try them out.  I also purchased a glue called E6000 which was recommended on several sites but I haven't used it yet.  It says to open windows etc when using and the weather here was not condusive to doing that just yet.

Since the fabric is under glass it is protected but it does make it difficult to photograph (again inside because of the winter weather).  The small ones have flat glass and seem to photograph equally well with or without the flash but the larger ones are curved and the light tends to bounce off them so they are better without the flash.

I think I will put some in my Etsy shop but first I have promised to bring them in to choir so people could have a look.  Here they are drying in their little plastic box - just about ready to go...

Next up I am trying to decide which piece(s) to submit to the Prairie themed show (Focus on Fibre Art Association).    They are due in February.  I have four which are suitable and it may come down to which ones can photograph most accurately.  I have some photos already so tomorrow I must tackle the rest and start writing up statements etc.   I really want to prepare something to submit to Quilt Canada as well so I guess I will be busy for the next couple of weeks.

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesdays over at the Needle and Thread Network where you can see what Canadian Fibre Artists are doing this week.