Thursday, February 26, 2015

How Time Flies

As you can see from my last post, we have been busy with preparations for Fibre Fling 4.   Now I need to get down to work and prepare some pieces for the sales table at the show.

I haven't done much lately but I did finish my colour challenge - magenta - piece.  It is machine stitched and covered with a layer of fine tulle.  Then mounted on a stretched canvas.   The truth is I got my inspiration for this piece from a shot I took of a sunrise from our rental cottage in Cape Breton.   Then I turned it into a sunset!

This piece will be part of an exhibition which will travel to venues in Ottawa and hopefully end up at the Almonte Textile Museum in  2016 as part of an Out of the Box group exhibit.

Red Sky at Night: Sailor's Delight

I also managed to finish 5 new journal covers.   It seems I am into sunsets right now.   This idea came from a customer who was looking for a journal and was interested in an image of a previous sunset piece -Red Sails in the Sunset - which was sold last fall.   I have finished two so far.

For this journal I used fabric that I stamped with my own Tree of Life stamp made in a workshop with Connie ten Bruggenkate.  I stitched a gold tree and on the back I added a stamped butterfly which I also stitched.

 Another stamped piece from the workshop was used for this journal cover, this time stamped with an orange and kumquats in metallic paints.

These are front and back views.

This last hand embroidered journal is similar to the one I made for my friend's birthday.  I just had enough material to make this cover.

I also finished a small stitched challenge piece and some stitched jewelry which I will save for another post.   Now I need to get to work on more jewelry and post cards if I want to have enough for the upcoming show.

Announcing our Fourth Annual Fibre Fling

Spring is just around the corner - honest it is!!   And it is almost time for Fibre Fling 4 - a collaboration between Out of the Box fibre artists and the Kitchissippi United church.  I am reprinting here the information that is posted on the  Out of the Box  website

Fibre Fling 4 Show and Sale!
April 10th – 11th, 2015
Friday 10am-8pm
Saturday 10am-5pm
High Tea  Saturday 12-5

Admission $5    High Tea an additional $10
Location: Kitchissippi United Church, 630 Island Park Drive, Ottawa

Out of the Box Fibre Artists are pleased to announce our Fourth Annual Fibre Fling and Tea at Kitchissippi United Church, 630 Island Park Drive, Friday, April 10, 10 am to 8 pm, and Saturday April 11, 10 am to 5 pm.    A delicious high tea will be served on Saturday, April 11 from 12 to 5 pm.  Light refreshments will be available throughout the rest of the show.   Once again we are partnering with Kitchissippi United Church to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation which supports AIDS orphans and their caregivers in Africa.   At the same time we hope to raise awareness about the rich diversity of fibre art being created in the Ottawa area.  What could be better than an art show coupled with a delicious high tea and at the same time providing much needed help for a worthy cause!      
Our members are passionate about fibre art.    Last year at Fibre Fling, 34 members of Out of the Box exhibited 171 pieces from framed art work, quilted wall hangings, mixed media, wearables, felting, embroidery, beadwork, rug hooking and much more!   This year we will also have on display art work from our hand stitching challenge along with this year’s colour challenge pieces.  We will have an expanded sales area where you can purchase small artworks, wearables like scarves, hats and bags, jewelry, bookmarks, art cards and other creations.
Admission is $5 and if you wish to indulge in the High Tea the cost is an additional $10.     An array of mouth-watering sandwiches, scones and sweets will be provided and served by volunteers of Kitchissippi United Church, raising much needed funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.    Fibre Fling has raised over $10,000 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation over the last three years and we hope to raise more this year for this important work.    So please plan to join us for our fourth annual exhibition, tea and sale!  Bring your friends to enjoy the artwork and sales area then take a break for tea surrounded by colourful works of art.  We hope that our exhibition will be eye candy for people who love fibre as well as those of you who are being introduced to fibre art for the first time. 
 You might even be inspired to join Out of the Box or visit one of our meetings.   We are happy to  answer your questions about our group and process your membership form on the spot!  We are always pleased to welcome new members to Out of the Box - a place where we can learn from each other, challenge ourselves, and grow as artists.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

I wanted to start the new year right with a blog post.  I have not posted for ages and it is amazing how easy it was to get out of the habit of checking in online.  So here is another of my long winded posts...

October to December was a busy time for me with art and artisan shows, looking after my cat who was under the weather and had dental surgery, choir gigs, and Christmas prep. We had a lovely Christmas at my son's home - a combination of traditional and Italian - my son preparing the turkey and trimmings and his partner preparing the cannelloni etc. After many years of doing Christmas dinners it was a wonderful treat for me. 

I had two very successful shows - the annual Glebe Craft and Artisan Fair and Baz'ART at the Shenkman centre.   I sold lots of jewelry and a good number of embroideries and art pieces.   After the hot, crowded show I was in at the Bell Sensplex in September, these shows were just the thing for me!   Now I am in the process of looking for just the right local shows for my work for 2015.  I have made a list and am researching each possibility.  I will be taking part in the Fourth annual Fibre Fling at Kitchissippi United Church on April 10 and 11 and would also like to find another show to do before  Mothers Day.  I might also approach some businesses to see if I can find venues to sell my jewelry.

Here are some of the pieces which sold in the fall.

Red Sails in the Sunset 11 x 14

Small embroidered piece

Another small embroidery
 The piece on the top right (below) which was one of my first paint and embroidery works (Bonsai in the Bog) sold as well.  And the ones on the bottom left (Tenerife 3) and Centre bottom (Black Eyed Susans) are also gone to new homes.  Some of the pieces were made just before the shows and it seems I may have neglected to photograph them individually in my haste:(

Testing my Set Up

 I took part in a Out of the Box Playdate in November where we learned how to turn tissue paper into a medium for stitching by layering tissue with glue, adding colour into the layers, painting or using bleeding art tissue for colour etc.  So much fun! And I have had some ideas of how to use this technique in larger mixed media pieces.  In the meantime, I painted them up, added tiny snowflakes I cut from rice paper, hand stitched and made holiday cards.  I also mounted one horizontal piece on stretched canvas.

In September I got myself a Square reader but was depending on WiFi at shows in order to use it since I don't have a smart phone.   I am saving my $$$ :)   Nevertheless I am now able to send invoices through Square to customers wishing to purchase items with a credit card from my website, blog, by email or by phone.  Until I have saved enough money for an ipad with cellular, this is a great way for me to do business from my home and gives me an alternative to selling on Etsy.   I have posted some new items on Etsy before Christmas and will post more shortly.

I have work to do making some new necklaces, a colour challenge piece which is due in February, a hand stitched embroidery, and more postcards.  Soon time to start planning our next Fibre Fling.

I managed to finish a UFO that has been in the works for a couple of years.  I just need to mount it on a stretched canvas - unless I decide to quilt it instead.  It will be called "Ode to Newfoundland" I think.   It is my impression of life on 'The Rock'.  I included some lyrics to a song I wrote about Newfoundland called "A Land of Contradiction" and I plan to include the complete lyrics on the back of the piece.

.......A land of contradiction is rugged Newfoundland
So generous a people you will never find
There's beauty in the rocks and stones
Tragedy in the sailor's bones........

Ode to Newfoundland

I bought some tiny frames from Michaels (2" x 2" inside) and am framing tiny hand  embroideries of a tree of life or a dove because peace is on my mind these days.   I think I needed a reminder to help me keep my focus on the kind of world we could have - and can only imagine - free of poverty, hatred, violence and oppression.



Saturday, October 18, 2014

More Hand Stitched Scenery

My next show is coming up soon so I am finishing up my three small hand embroidered pieces.   These were inspired by photos I took of the moose chewed trees in Cape Breton - on the Acadien Trail, the Jack Pine and Skyline.   I have added water to the first piece - artistic licence:)  I painted the background first then stitched over it.  For the background hills I used one strand of floss - thicker threads in the foreground.  I have a few more finishing touches for these two and then I will matt and frame them.

I thought that this one needed a pond so I added it

the colours are more intense in the actual piece

   I have just started stitching this third piece.

mostly painted - I have started stitching the background and grasses

I am also working on designing some fabric ornaments for my upcoming shows.  I have a few in progress and one finished so far.  It took some time and lots of false starts before I found two designs  I liked.  I have a couple of painted birds as well which I hope to use for 3D ornaments.  I will add text to each of them.  They are fused and hand stitched and are time consuming so I will probably just make a few to try them out.  The chickadee below is completed with stiff interfacing and fabric back.

I have a few more things to work on but have lots of jewelry and art work prepared for the two shows.   I have finished my piece for the library exhibition and will drop it off on Monday - yeah!.

Also on Monday I am attending a marbling workshop.  I am looking forward to it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Glebe Craft and Artisan Fair


 My next show this fall is the Glebe Craft and Artisan Fair.  This show has a beautiful venue in the Glebe Community Centre and the quality of artisans at this show is excellent.  I do enjoy this one and am happy to be juried in for another year.  Here is a link to their site with more details about the exhibitors.   Glebe Craft and Artisan Fair 2014

On November 29 and 30 I will be at the Shenkman Centre in Orleans for  Baz'ART.  This is my first time at the show and I am looking forward to it.   For more information about this art, craft, and live performance event and its participants go to Baz'ART

Having worked very hard this summer to prepare for the falls shows, I do have lots of stock and will spend this month making some new items.  

I took part in the Ottawa chapter of the ETSY Made in Canada Show on Sept 27.  Successful advertising brought thousands of people to the show.   But it was unbearably hot that day inside the fieldhouse and vendors and customers alike were sweltering.   I think I made the majority of my sales in the morning before the heat escalated although it was pretty warm when I arrived at 8 am.   Wishing I had brought an electric fan.   Also the wifi was not working which made it difficult for vendors like me who planned to use my Square Register with wifi.  Attendance does indicate an interest in Etsy and hopefully will bring more people to online shopping.  Who knew there were so many great craftspeople from the Ottawa area selling on ETSY.

I am also putting finishing touches (labels, wire etc) on my piece for the Stittsville Library show in November with Out of the Box.   The theme is 1914 and my inspiration was the Women's Mock Parliament in Winnipeg in January 2014.(see previous posts).   This interesting exhibition of fibre art will run throughout November at the Stittsville Public Library, Main Street, Stittsville, ON

That's all I have to share for now.   My small hand embroidered landscapes were well received at the Etsy show and I have painted three more backgrounds for mini embroideries which I am just starting to  stitch.  I'll post them when I have more stitching completed.    These new ones are all inspired by photos taken in Cape Breton last month.

Here are a couple more CB sights.  And no, we didn't take the lift up!   I love it, love it, love it there!!
View from the Top - What a Climb - Smokey Ski Hill

Wildflowers at Fishing Cove

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Etsy Made in Canada

I have just returned from another fabulous 10 days of Hiking the Highlands of Cape Breton just in time for my first show of the Fall season.   

Etsy, the online market for vendors of hand made goods is holding its first  ETSY: Made in Canada  show in venues across Canada this Saturday, September 27.  I will be taking part at the Ottawa venue - at the Bell Sensplex in Kanata from 9 to 4 pm.   We have 154 artisans registered for the show.   Here are two links with further details.

It will be a treat to meet some of the local Etsy sellers.   Hope you can make the show!!

I am still on a high since returning from my hiking trip to Cape Breton.  I took tons of photos and hiked every day for 9 days - oh my aching calves! We renewed old friendships and made new friends.  It was wonderful!

View from Jack Pine Trail in Cape Breton

Seabirds Taking Flight

Highest waves I have seen at Cabot Landing Beach

Sunset at Skyline Trail just before the Fog Rolled in

View from the top of Roberts Mountain
 We had a great hiking experience and hated to leave.    We almost didn't leave since our plane had engine trouble and we were grounded overnight in torrential rains in Halifax.   We took that as a sign from above.   We were meant to stay:))