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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Painting on Knits.

Winter and I'm working through my custom orders. I didn't to a Christmas or 'Holiday' show as I have done over so many of the past 32 years so I have't a lot of pending work. That could be good, no one likes to have no work, but it gives me more space, makes me go into the studio and push myself to do 'something. You know what they say 'if you want something done give it to a busy person' and that is soooo true! So I always keep busy.

One order is a pink cotton knit collarless cardigan...very Springlike, Summery. My sample has a purple Morning Glory motif and the order is to be worked in hot pink & khaki.

I had my student put in a few hours and had her work with me as I mixed the colours and held down the stencils...she was also very handy to hit the sink to wash off the stencils & brushes.

I first saw painting on knits back in 1988 when I went to Secaucus NJ for a Mac Knit of the neatest thing's I've attended. There was a mother & daughter duo - one knit pullovers in and the other painted on them...beautiful work. I learned lots that weekend but that stuck with me and I have used it since.

Not being a painter I cut my own stencils and Pebeo Setacolor...I have used many different ones over the years and have stencilled sweaters, dresses, walls, nightdresses, bags and more. After putting down the basic colour I use some shading and accents to give more depth and interest.'s fun!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cochenille Design Studio Update.

It's that time of review your life, what you are doing and how you are doing it. I've been updating some web sites that I've built (check out the list at my other business site) and some still need a lot of updating....including mine!

Anyway - Wow! I got an email this morning about Cochenille's design bundles. I've been using Garment Designer for years and though Susan Lazear has been sooo active in workshops, teaching, travelling and updating I've long thought the site needed ... um.. 'freshened' up.

Well, it has and I love it! It keeps up with her blog which is so fun to read and inspirational.

If you are interested or just curious...check out this page where there is a video overview of Garment's such fun to work with and it helps me get the fit I need for myself and my clients.


This Winter is a bit less stressful as I'm not heading to the One Of A Kind anymore and digging down the back of the couch cushions for those last few pennies for the hefty booth fee! So now I have more time and energy for is the link to my web site and to the email I sent case yo aren't on my list....

I'm also up for travelling in case I need to come to you in case your group is in another town.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Show Time! A New Year.

Well, it's that time of year for artists, artisans and craftspeople...time to send out those applications, forms and cheques to sign up for this year's shows.

I wrote a post last year on my return to the Beach neighbourhood in Toronto, my old stomping grounds, to celebrate their 20th anniversary.  Thinking about the upcoming year and what to do I can breathe a sigh of relief that I don't have the One Of a Kind show to stew over and decided to ask if I could be on the Beach Studio Tour again this year. A space came free so I high tailed it down to Toronto on Sunday for the first meeting of the 2015 Spring tour.

It was wonderful to be among these wonderful artists and crafts people again (they're very rigorous about everyone's participation) and as no one is allowed to sit back and wait I volunteered for one or two tasks.

I met new participants and old  and I'm so looking forward....I guess I'll be burning up the 401 highway a few times this Spring.  Here's a shot of the gang with some of their work (mine's on my iPad!).

I had better start working on some new Spring designs and upgrading and updating my web site!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Mesh & Knitted Treats

These two things came about because of Christmas ... the first beforehand and the second was a little gift from my niece.

 I wanted to make some felted soaps as Christmas gifts and needed some mesh for the process. A colleague - Robert from Kingston Soap Co. said he had used mesh from a scrubby to hold the roving together around the soap so I found one to cut up.

It gave me a long tube of mesh of which I needed about six inches....there must be something useful to do with the rest...of course! Fruit/veg shopping bags. I had bought some in an Eco shop in our old neighbourhood in Toronto years ago and I have but one left...I cut lengths of this mesh and tied a knot in one end of each length of about 18". Now I have washable, reusable bags to take with me when I shop for fruits & vegetables! Yeah.

I just had to share these little items which my niece got from one of her always resourceful friends. The little crocheted wreath went on my Norfolk Island pine tree, the little knitting basket will go in a special place in my studio.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Two Hats Simple Sites....New Business!

Two hats...what's she talking about? Well, I started building my own web site many years ago as I always wanted to keep it up to date.....then got onto building for others.

I found working with technical stuff challenging and fascinating and fell in love! My husband even updated my laptop for me this year as I do so much work on it and my old one just couldn't keep up.

Trying to think of a name for my second business I hadn't come up with anything but I knew I'd have to put a link from this site to my Carolyn M. Barnett Designs site as I seem to wear two hats.....two hats! That's it! That's how the name came about.

I love working with the technology, images, people, balance, creativity and it's a great alternative for me from travelling for shows and always being in the studio....I can work elsewhere and one on one (seated) over coffee with my clients.

I do end up doing a bit of instruction too, with how to take decent photos of work for the site, working with your Mac computer, Mail Chimp for your business and so on.

So, check out my site and see if there is anything there you or someone you know might need.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Buggies? Old Lady No More!

Yesterday I went, with a friend, to visit the One of A Kind show in Toronto. As I always schlep stuff around and pick stuff up and also shop I took my lovely handy dandy Ikea bundle buggy. We had a cooler with sandwiches, apples (no show food for us) and water...a bottle at the show went for $4:25!!!!

Also, it meant we had a place to store our coats and gloves and all the brochures and cards we picked up.

When we arrived, walking past the office supply place we spied these lovely little wheelie bundle buggies. The pic shows mine (with it's funky Swedish design) and the box buggies. They have a slide up handle and also contain a cooler bag for food.

These innovative buggies rented for $10 or purchased for $30. You paid $30 up front and got $20 back if you took it might just want to take it home....very sturdy and useful.

By the way, do click on the OOAK web site and watch the video celebrating the 40 years. I was there from 1982 to this past Spring and one of the folk I was fond of was Marty Rumack (as we know him) he'd show up in a slightly rumpled suit and hang out at your booth catching up with was a great loss when he left years ago, so glad to see he's involved in the video.

Martin Rumack

The show has changed, lots of 'production' work, of course the younger generation are using modern technology...probably to produce. I see that the show seems to have lost it specialty, personal edge...which is one of the reasons I left. It's still a great place to find wonderful hand made Canadian products and art though.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fashion Shots

I just got my five shots back from Steve Di Monte of CYL Photography. Steve was once again at the Wearable Art Show taking pics of the fashion show and of our work. He was offering five shots for $40 right at the show and had three models with him. I took this offer last year and really liked the shots.

This is a shot of my LBD (little black dress) which I knit with the Garter Carriage in Cannele Mercerized cotton. I sat in front of my machine working the shaping as it came up. The set in sleeves are elbow length I worked some beading at the top front and back. It has a boat neck and I found that the texture of the knit hides a multitude of sins (bra lines and so on).

It looks great on me especially when I tried it on before I had knit the sleeves!

This little number took me neartly a week to make.

This shot is of two of my recent jackets....I love the hot pink one as it ruffles a bit at the hem and has silk along the edge of the hem front and back and on the left pocket edge. It has four buttons.

The purple one has a felted spike closure and a ruffly v neck.

Both of them have holes cut into their hems...for fun!

As an old wearables maker I have had photos taken before so the only think I didn't like is the eye contact made by the models with the detracts from the garment and makes it look like its supposed to be a photo of the people. However, Steve did have a great location to work in...lots of room, depth of field and no rain....last year it was raining and he only had the front steps of the building.

I am glad that I have shots of my work on others that I can can't do that with everyone without permission. I have a shot of my niece taken years ago on my web site (archives page)...where I've tried not to use her face too much.

Anyway, I can't do everything and I was grateful for this opportunity and will take Steve up on it next time it comes up!