* * * Our Prairie in Fibre - Jan 16 to Feb 21. A diverse collection of prairie inspired fibre art by women across MB, SK, AB. Click to read more. NEW PHOTOS1
* * * THANK YOU to the SK Arts Board for a Visual Arts Grant to create a new body of work.
* * * POSTCARD SUPPLIES in the shop. My Sweet Prairie on Etsy
For commissioned work, purchases, or to inquire about studio visit feel free to email me Monika@MySweetPrairie.ca / Saskatoon, Canada

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Monday, January 26, 2015

3 Photos / 5 Day Challenge - Day 1

Goodmorning!  We are enjoying weeks of 'Sprinter'.  That's my term for spring when it's really winter.  It's been above 0C for so long now.  I missed out on my Sunday Snapshots as we've been enjoying skating outdoors, sledding, snow fort building, bonfires, even some swimming out in the back yard (hot tub under the stars).  We had an action packed outdoor family weekend and I was nowhere near my studio.

Meanwhile, over on Facebook, I was nominated for ArtChain, a challenge that's been going around.  The deal is that you agree to post 3 images related to your art every day for five days.  You also need to pass the torch and nominate others to do so.  What a fun thing!  I decided to share my images here on the blog as well.  Thank you Nell Burns of Nells Embroidery for the nomination!  I have links to her pages at the ed of this post, so stay tuned...

Image #1

This is a 'selfie' - a simple black and white image of my first evening with a drop spindle.  There's something I love so much about seeing hands working.  I remember sitting in a guild meeting where one woman worked on a little art quilt at our table, right across from me.  I don't even recall what the presentation was about.  I do remember how much I enjoyed watching her hands poke the needle in and out, drawing the tiny thread with it.  (Am I weird?)   I enjoyed it so much.  I think I'm so busy watching my own work, that I forget how wonderful it is to just observe an artist's hands.

Image #2

I realize this image isn't that old, but I really like it, and thought I would show it again.  It's based on a scene overlooking the Saskatchewan River in Autumn.  I was in the darn, but the setting sun behind me just lit up the facing bank.  It was glorious!  This was a commission that went to Australia.  (p.s.  Happy Australia Day!)

Image #3

No, it's not my art.  But it's the result of a series of workshops at the Children's Discovery Museum last year.  I had tables set up for young ones of all ages to embroider their own 'wish flag' which was based on the idea of Tibetan Prayer Flags.  You can see a section in the background.  For those who where done early or were not interested in participating, I had my bicycle in the room and invited the kids to embellish it.  I LOVE WHAT THEY DID!!  I had piles of fabric strips and loads of scraps and yarns.  They had so much fun.  You can just see the joy in this spin off of 'yarn bombing'.  I still have it in my garage, unable to undress it.  I adore my bike like this!

I hope you enjoy my week of this challenge.  It will be like five days of 'Sunday Snapshots' and 'Things I Love Thursday' combined.

Thank you Nell!  You can find her under 'Nells Embroidery' on Facebook here, and her gorgeous Etsy shop here.

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Spreading My Wings

The good thing about blogging half as often is that I'm creative twice as much.  I have such a full year.  I've been enjoying the new body of work I'm creating through the Sask Arts Board grant.  It's a whole project of larger pieces, all hand done.  This one is nearing completion.

The Earth & Heather piece I showed you earlier happens to be rolled up on the same frame, so as soon as I am finished this, I can scroll to the other piece and add the silk ribbon I planned on.  I didn't want it to crush it when rolling it again to move to this piece.  I won't be taking it off the frame until both are all done.  I did it that way, thinking I would save time by not having to set up the whole thing with a new background cloth.  Silly me.

I took an afternoon off to run some errands and stopped in at Prairie Lily Knitting.  I FOUND THIS.

SWOOOOOOON.  I don't know why but these colours are completely knocking my socks off.  I think it's the hot orange in there!  Charlene asked, "What are you going to do with that?"  I smiled, "Art."  In fact, I have just the piece that I'm going to work on.  Hopefully it will be a little more impressionistic again.  Oooh I just love this.  And there is even some sparkle in it!!!

my photo from the first year of this blog.  xo

I have several moody photos like the one above with all the colours of that delicious yarn.  Most are around sloughs or flooded ditches lined with autumn bullrushes.  Sweet Sweet Sweet.  ***Just a reminder that I use my photos as a basis for my art, so please do not print them out for your own use.

Since I'm on the topic of experimentation, I have a show booked in Melfort at the Shervin Smith Gallery with Ken Wilkinson, a ceramic artist.  I met him when I had my show at Handmade House.  I had been on the lookout for prairie themed pottery that I could have an exhibit with. He said yes.  Since then, we've been more interested in collaborating, so it's not just 'my art here, his art there'. Isn't that cool?  Ceramic and stitch.  I think that's a perfect fit for the 2015 Year of Craft.

It's fun to meet with him and watch as all these ideas pop into our heads.  If it were a retro cartoon, you'd see POOF!  SHAZAM!  and EUREEKA! showing up in bright colours all over the room.  I don't know if we will pull the collaborated part off, but it's amazing to be flooded with new ideas. On the creation end, I'd say I'm failing miserably at incorporating his work into mine.  I'll keep at 'er!  Here, I have tried my hand at creating a vessel.  I made the rope by combining yarns and stitching them to construct metres of rope. Then I did the coil thing by machine.  It was really enjoyable, but I think the next one will be hand woven.

We will have my art, his art, and then some collaborative pieces as well.  The show has been booked for the month of May 2015. That's coming up!   I have a LONG long way to go. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Those Beautiful Ditches

I've been quietly dreaming, and quietly stitching though this busy month.

I've been keeping my distance from blogging.  Here's why.  I have a new laptop and I'm finding it extremely difficult to trust.  The screen is so high res & the brightest one in the shop, but here back at home, it's greyish pinkish even at it's brightest setting.  I have it hooked up to a larger monitor to edit images and see them properly, but what a pain. (Stupid dumb laptop, why did ya have to die on me!?)  The more I read, the more I find that this is in fact what photographers have to do.  I'm still shaking my head at it all, as my last 2 laptops were brilliantly bright and perfectly set for colours.  Why can't I still have it like that?   I thought technology would improve, but I guess it's these thinner screens?

So - I feel like blogging is now one huge chore.  Ah well.  Maybe I'm just getting set in my ways.  lol On my laptop, the light yarns on the left of the above photo look like a dark mustard... maybe a hin of orange in them.  On my big old monitor the same yarns look like a bright chartreuse, almost flourescent lime yellow.  what does yoru monitor show?  And if anyone knows of a good online test screen for setting colours, please share the link.  I can't be the only one needing this.

You know... the old VCR still works of course.  Of course.

Off my rant.  Back to my embroidery.  (Thanks for listening.)

I started this large piece last July at the NB Handcraft Festival.  I worked at it some more in August where my son and I were doing public demonstrations.  It's been a slow go of it.  It's inspired by a ditch of alfalfa.  I was stuck because of not having the right colours.  Since then I've got a few wonderful bundles of yarn skeins and so I thought I should get back at it.

I think it's quite beautiful now.  The colours make me so happy.  I love the background very much.  I used those fantastic yarns from Prairie Lily Knitting - those greens & blues that I put in Where Sunlight Falls.  The foreground and flowers need more stitching, but at lat least now I am past the ugly phase and seeing the potential in this.

I'm so happy with it, in fact, that I will show you the backside.  : )  It's huge by the way, 14" x 8" or so without matting.

Have a great week everyone!

linking up to WIP Wednesday on TN&TN

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