Follow by Email

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Winter Work.

I can't believe we're deep in to January...I'm not ready! For years I've thought of the post Christmas/Holiday months of January and February as my 'down' time. I have no shows at this time and the ones that are coming up are far enough off not to think about yet...hopefully my custom orders were all done in time for the holidays or soon after and I can devote time to updating my web site and healing my foot after surgery. The nicest thing about doc's appointments at Hotel Dieu hospital is the view from Johnson 7!

Kingston in Winter.

Not this year! I have been involved with Passionate Artisans, a local artisans store in Kingston which opened as a 'pop up' store last Christmastime. Lynda decided to reopen in this past February and keep it going all year, we had a first birthday party and were busy through the holidays.

I was a part of a store in 1990 ('91?) in the my old Beach neighbourhood of Toronto. We ran it as coop involving six artisans drawing on each of our strengths. I lived close by so walked my Filter Queen vacuum each week up to the store to clean, others were great with display, banking and so on and we all put in time in the store. We got ourselves on the radio, in the media and papered the town with flyers (no mean feat in the days before social media and personal printers and Staples). We had a great season and made bunches of money (I dropped out of the One of a Kind show to do it) and not a lot of investment. We shut our doors on New Years Eve.

Passionate Artisans brought this back for me so I kinda threw myself into it, working the web site, social media, taking some of the photos and the odd video for Facebook. I also found a  couple of planters left over from my home outdoor decorating and plopped them down out front of  the store's frond door with some plants and flowers in them which lasted beautifully all Summer. Whoever was working each day would have to remember to take them in so they wouldn't get stolen...as it happened someone did take the red sparkly baubles out of our Holiday plantings!!!!!





Lynda decided to close for two weeks in January to freshen up the store, do some renovating in this old building (it used to be Wilmots Dairy in my high school days!) and throw on some paint.






Viviane, Me, Lynda...hard at work



Though, some foot surgery has slowed me down over the past month I finally was able to put on a pair of old running shoes, a pair of overalls and get up and down a ladder.  Lynda, Viviane and I had a fun day (especially the pizza and wine for lunch) and got the job done in great time....I was pooped when I got home....the store reopens January 25th.
Coffee for now...and a little something for later.
 I keep forgetting that this is the time show applications come in, I have o decide which, if any this year, shows I will do. Some involve applying, some just require signing up if I have done them before and my quality is known. I'm cutting back and haven't done the One of a Kind since 20014, quitting after 30 years, so it's a nice feeling moving into a different way of getting my work 'out there', exhibitions, one day shows, retail, but apparently I still have to pay attention to that so this is no down time!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Busy Christmas Season 2015

Sheesh! It's been a busy time this December....and there's a tiny spanner in the works...my foot!
With arthritic big toes needing work I had my right one worked on in 2008 by Dr. Mark Harrison at Hotel Dieu Hospital here in Kingston. Now it was time to get my left toe worked on as it slowly worked it's way into a diagonal direction on the end of my foot.

I spent the days before surgery getting all my standing up and running around stuff done. felting a vest for a client...I knew I could sew it together in a few days but felting is a standing process all day with me using my feet as well as my arms for the rolling.

Passionate Artisans
Having surgery is the only way I slow down so I actually looked forward to it. It also coincided with my friend Georgia Ferrell of Artemisia Gallery in Westport house sitting for a mutual friend across the road so she hung out with me when I got home and we worked online on web site designing and building. We're experimenting with a new company and online software PageCloud...out of Ottawa. We bought in early and got the Beta trial version and have been 'playing'. My sister Judith Goldie of Judi Goldie Photography needed a web site so we became a tech trio with emails flying through cyber space when we couldn't actually be together! It's a lot of fun and we're learning new things....I plan to have my new web site up over the Winter. Georgia and I have been building web sites for years, my sis is new to this but is learning fast.

L'Artelier du Village

Also, I've been putting in a bit of time at Passionate Artisans here in Kingston...the artisan gallery/store where there is the work of 38 local artisans from Kingston Soap Company to Creations by Viviane. Yes...of course...ME! 


I also sent a batch of work to L'Artelier du Village in Pointe Claire where Roxana sells amazingly funky work of all kinds, art, fashion jewelry. Two things went flying out of the store soon after she opened the box I sent her!


Along with custom orders to finish I'll be putting in some time at Passionate Artisans this weekend both days...but Sunday I will be taking in a knitting machine and demonstrating while I make some small item...(because you always make mistakes and slow yourself downs when being watched!).






I got myself involved with a suspect group: SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) which meets weekly in a local pub....right around the corner from me!!!1 What fun that is....as far a I can see... no rules!










I did spend a day doing buttons for my orders...here's a shot of them with a vest that needs to go out today.



Well, now to the post office, Passionate Artisans and other errands....I still have my driving foot but then I need to get home and rest the poorly foot!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dyeing to Have Fun

I finally got to go over to my friend Heather's place to do a couple of hours of dyeing which we had been talking about for ages!



Heather is a textile artist, teacher and rug hooker so she dyes her own materials much as I do but more so. We followed the dye mix recipes in one of her books which she had borrowed (they are expensive!)

We mixed Yellow, Navy and a Magenta red.



Here Heather is starting the dye drizzling process....it's like painting and we each drizzled as we saw fit.

I had put in a piece of Merino wool prefelt and also had brought some of my late Mother's hand spun yarn.



Here we're getting down to all the colours and adding more so they mix. We got greens, purples and oranges.


Covered and ready for the oven


After a delightful walk along to the Common Market coffee shop and along the lakefront we returned back to the kitchen to take our efforts out of the oven.  We decided the pans needed about 10 more minutes.....


Heather had put in a piece of silk.


Here are my efforts, my prefelt and some of Mum's yarn.



Mum's yarn before and after dyeing.



I put a piece of the rainbow prefelt on the front and a sleeve of this new jacket. There are some other pieces of felt that I've been dyeing in small pots lately.

I took this photo at the Craft Ontario Craft Show a couple of weekends ago at Wychwood Barns in Toronto. These lovely old stone walls were once overlooking old streetcars as they were maintained and repaired.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Felting My Way Forward

It's been a busy Summer and I can't believe we're into September...however, a wonderful paddle with the group SUP Kingston on my paddle board this morning was just the height of Summer. It was so good to get out as I had spent last week indoors mostly at a workshop with Australian felter Pam de Groot.  It was hosted by Lesley at Rosehaven Yarn Shop in Picton.




The workshop was 'Mosaic Dress'....well, when we came to designing out garments I said you'd never get me into a wool dress...I'd have a hot flash and rip it off...so I made a vest...as did one or two others.





First we needed to create our 'prefelt', this is what we were shooting for.







This is my layout before wetting....we had 6 metres to work on! It took all of Monday and them some!




This is one of the dresses Pam had made that she brought to show is. It is a wonderful combination of dyeing on wool and silk. Modelled by Lesley's lovely daughter.


 After spending Tuesday with one wall of the room full of tables with burners for the dye pots this is what I ended up with. I cut up my 6m of prefelt into random bits...I didn't really know what I was going to do with them but I knew I needed enough colours and pieces to create the mosaic garment.
Some of these were dyed solidly and others the shapes and resists were marbles, discs, rubber bands, string, a wine bottle, pvc piping.....




Wednesday & Thursday - here are two shots of the back while I was playing with what to put where....
.....what to do with those circles and squares....hmmm

Here is are my pieces wetted down for the front, with my resists in place....

Lots of work for two days and we all ended up with most of our garment done....maybe a bit more tweaking at home.
....and here is my finished vest, I finally got the buttons made!





And...after a little more work at home...it fits!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Getting Older....Another Road Trip

Well, I am, as well as everyone....(the alternative is just not an option just now....too much life to live). Anyway, August 15th found me turning 65 in another country, on one of our road trips. This one took us by WEBS in Northampton MA in the USA, an even though every CAD $ I spend is really only about .76cents USD they give enough of a discount to even it out somewhat.

My WEBS purchases.

I had also wanted to hit New England Felting but I wasn't travelling alone (with my other half) and circumstances left us hitting Northampton MA as they were closing...5pm! We've lots of time on our way back but they're not open on Sunday's. I'll have to make another trip someday. I did pick up some hand dyed roving at WEBS but ... it's just not the same!


As usual, I'm all about design when we travel and the inn - Proctor Mansion Inn, we stayed in in Wrentham MA for my birthday treat (a Jimmy Buffett concert) was old and being restored. The rooms were beautiful and the new owners have taken care to keep it as it was originally bar the bathrooms and electricity. It was beautiful and a wonder too. I had to take a photo of this floor which was in the area which would have been servants and tradesmen...it's a wooden floor painted to look like marble tiles...they've left it alone.


Here is a shot of the ceiling in the formal dining room....you can't believe all the decoration folk used in their homes (well, the better off) back before TV! All this is hand painted and it was all over the mansion.

I'm hoping to head back next year and won't miss NEF!!!




Friday, June 12, 2015

Joining Kingston Fibre Artists.

Recently I was asked to join a very interesting group...Kingston Fibre Artists. This is a small group of women who gather to work on and promote their wonderful work with textiles, fibre, dyes, needles, beads....etc. I have always attended their group shows (about two per year) and been asked if I am a member....now I can say yes.


I was driven to a secret location and inducted....no not really but I was picked up and driven to the country home of one of Frankie LeMonde-Munier for a yummy lunch. It was also the birthday of Sylvia Naylor a longtime friend, so we got to eat our cake too!

This means I will be putting a piece of my work in the Mississipi Valley Textile Museum show Timeless Textiles. Now that's exciting as it's one of my favourite places and I love to visit Almonte ON.




A new thing I tried was to use the inspiration I got from one of my sister's  photographs. She is now Judi Goldie Photography and I found this one photo that sent me to the dye pot and digging through my dyed silk.



Photo by Judi Goldie Photography


It was fun and a challenge trying to get the colour....I used three or four in my pot. But I think my translation was pretty good....I plan to do more in conjunction with JGP.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

More Shopping - Silk & Pink Wear!!!!

Last year on our way down South we got stuck in horrible traffic on our way though Hagerstown MD so we deeked off the highway and found ourselves on 15 Southbound towards Gettysburg. What a find...the countryside was beautiful, even in the rain, and we drove past a corner junction in the hamlet of Lucketts with some beautiful old vintage stores...one is Lucketts Store, in Louden County VA.  The one pictured here is almost a whole field with a couple of buildings and tents full of antiques and vintage finds on the weekends. You can't miss the pink spotted cow!
This year we stopped here and ventured into this pink room full of vintage clothing, mostly prom dresses!!!!!!! What a treat! All things to wear to a garden party on MadMen and before!

Are there enough ruffles?
I think this little number might have been worn by one of the mothers of a prom queen...I thought it was beautiful! Wish I could have seen it on a mannequin.























Deep in one of the rooms we came across some bolts of silk, now, my husband, who is a great shopper glommed onto this one and I'm still not sure why, but he's really good with colour and just held it out in front of me.  I said I'd recover the cushions in our living room as we have a beige sofa and chairs. The tag on it said $20 which isn't bad for silk as I've made dresses from silk I got from Designer Fabric Outlet in Toronto and paid $18 a yard back in the '90's. When I asked if I could get a couple of yards we were told $20 was for the bolt!





When I got home and measured it there are 3.5m of silk....a bargain! Cushions covered....and maybe a little something for me!
One of the things I love to do when down in the Outer Banks (NC) is go bead shopping. I have no time at home and they have lots of bead shops where vacationers can go in and make items on a rainy afternoon, on a 'girl's' weekend away or when the guys are out windsurfing on the sound.  (I used to windsurf but now I wait for the wind to die down so I can go out on a SUP ... stand up paddleboard). So I grabbed these as inspiration in the way colours are put together...I'll work some ideas into felted jackets. The little black and white shells have holes in them...I'm sure I'll use them somewhere.

Now I'm back home and need to find space somewhere to stash my new purchases until I can use them...leaving them out to look at just clutters up an already packed studio!!!!