* * * PUBLISHED * * * My work has been included in Pauline Brown's 'Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques' 2nd Edition, Search Press Classics UK
* * * PUBLISHED * * * Artist Review #3 of a 4 part series in the new issue of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine, Canada
* * * PUBLISHED * * * Stitch (UK) feature article, 'From Sketch to Stitch' Issue #105

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Monday, 20 March 2017

Gardenscape Art Show & Sale

Happy Spring Equinox everyone, and Happy Autumn to those Down Under : )  Our prairie winds have blown in fast and fierce, a sure sign of Spring making it's grand entrance.  Can you believe it's that time again?  GARDENSCAPE!  I'm shaking my head in disbelief at how suddenly this big event has arrived.  It starts on FRIDAY!!!

GARDENSCAPE @ Prairieland Park Trade & Convention Centre - MARCH 24, 25, 26

I have all my threadpaintings done and ready to frame.  Tomorrow I spend my whole day doing that and making up the title cards.  Then the show goes up.  It's always so exciting.   Prairieland Park is a HUGE venue and the place smells like fresh earth and live flowers.  It's wonderful.

As always, I work elsewhere on Friday.   I will be there for some of Saturday and all day Sunday as well.  Of course, my contact info will be available on my art board.

Here's how it works:
If you are looking to buy any of the artwork at Gardenscape, simply locate a volunteer in the area and they can put a sold sticker on the piece of your choice. They'll collect your contact info and the artist will contact you to collect payment and arrange delivery after the event.  We are asked to keep our display boards full, so it's not typical that you can purchase on site and leave with the art.  Payment includes cash, cheque, credit card, or e-transfer.  (Haha yes people around here still use personal cheques.)

Here are some of my pieces:

Afternoon Drama, 2017

That last one makes me crave my birthday.  Every year I get a good thunderstorm, usually the first one of the year.  The next one is another take of the hills around Pike Lake.

After First Frost, 2017

And there are four of these!

Kitchen Window No. 9, 2017

All total, I have thirteen threadpaintings, including canola of course, and the 'Kitchen Window' series inspired by Jack Frost. The thread shines and has a beautiful glow that the camera cannot pick up.  I hope you enjoy the art and the plants and the food this weekend!  There's entertainment and demonstrations, and of course, the ever-popular plant auction.

See you soon!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Teaching Marathon

Well hello!  Long time, no see.  I will begin by wishing you a very Happy (belated) International Women's Day!  There were so many fantastic events all week long, and there seemed to be flowers and roses everywhere.

(I apologize for the quality of my images.  They are all from my cell phone / IG account)

Over the past week I've been on a teaching marathon. Last weekend I began with a birthday party!  A young fan of sewing turned 12, and for his birthday, I came in with all my classroom machines and taught the small group of friends how to draw with a sewing machine.  We started with collaging a fabric background onto cardstock paper, and then each child drew out a picture of their choice on another paper.  That drawing was then transferred onto the cloth as a continuous line drawing with black thread.  They did fantastic!!

Here I am explaining the project to the children and showing samples.

Here they are stitching out their line drawings.

Kids are so great at this.  Not a single machine needle was broken.  Everyone stitched at a terrific, steady and even pace.  They were all so focused.  And honestly, the boys love the mechanics of the motorized machine to make pictures.  I'm pretty sure none of them had much sewing experience with the exception of the birthday boy.  Didn't they do fantastic!?


A couple days later, I was on Broadway Ave in Saskatoon, teaching Threadpainting to a group of women at Periwinkle Quilting.  The colours...   gosh that shop is so gorgeous!

Michelle, the original / former owner, now runs a long arm studio in Saskatoon!  I'll have to check that out.  My friend Patti is the new owner of the quilt shop now, and she encouraged me to come in and teach there. Since my studio would take FOREVER to tidy these days, I was up for using a space elsewhere.  Thank you Patti!

The first day, I taught Threadpainting.  The second day I taught postcards to a good sized group!  I haven't taught that class in a year and half.  It sure was fun to do.  It's a very relaxed and light hearted energy compared to the technical work of learning threadpainting.

Our theme was 'hot and cold'.  That could be interpreted by the weather, hotflashes, or the colours of fabrics.  I plan to do a couple of bigger postcard classes in Rosthern this summer with the Station Arts.  Keep a watch for that!

Now I'm preparing for a 2 part workshop with an immigrant and refugee women's group at the Saskatoon Open Door Society.  It will be along the lines of visual storytelling, and I am excited to have established a public exhibition space for their pieces a little later this spring!  If you have black cardstock or coloured scrapbooking paper scraps or small fabric scraps or embellishments to donate to me for this project, please let me know and I would be happy to pick up.  I would pass the remainder of the supplies on to the group for future use.

I think I mentioned that I work at Open Door every Friday.  Art & creative expression is always welcome there.  And so, at the end of the day on Friday, a coworker and I spent the last half hour 'yarn bombing' some of our office supplies.  : )  I filled a mesh wire pen holder with woven fabric strips and it looked so great, we thought we'd do more.  They make great canvases.

I start the Creative Women's Group project on Wednesday, so I have lots of supply shopping & prep work to do before then.  Have a good weekend everyone and enjoy the warmer weather coming your way.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

New Year, New Commission

I got this commission last year, and just finally got to working on it.  Thanks so much for your patience P.!  :)  She sent me her image of Bog Orchids.  It's quite beautiful, and I could totally envision it in thread.  It would be fairly straightforward, though it certainly involves a LOT of stitching and a good handful of greens as well.  I start as always with the photo up on my monitor and a blank piece of coloured fabric in front of me.

I build back to front generally, using self-guided (free motion) machine stitching.  The ground cover was solid jump stitches, going back and forth.  There were layers and layers of different greens.  It was very repetitive and a smart thing to avoid blinking while doing it. : )  I spent a few afternoons on it before I started adding the flowers themselves.  I go slow and take lots of breaks.  That's how I do my best work.

I always enjoy going through the image with a fine tooth comb.  As I'm looking back and forth stitching it, I notice details that failed to catch my eye when I first looked over the picture.  As it turns out, there's lots of black, yellow-green, and even pinks.  The white Blog Orchid petals themseves were stitched out in a couple of hues.  You might not be able to see, but they weren't all perfect, pure white.

I'm sure there's things I don't always notice.  It's surprising how much we take for granted.  It always drives me batty when people make trees a milk chocolate brown (so very rare) and the shadows on the snow are made grey or black (never happens).  It kind of irks me, but I bite my tongue.  However, next time you are out, look around for chocolate brown trees and you'll see what I mean.  Also, look at the shadows on the snow to see that they indeed have a particular colour. Things are often so much more interesting than you thought they were! :)

So, after a bit more tweaking on the embroidery, my last step will be to trim the piece and finish the edges.  The plan is for this piece to be mounted as an artifact, in a shadow box style frame.  The edges will be exposed and so I'll stitch them up nice and tight like I would on the edges of a postcard.
This is the first piece in 8 years that I have not been asked to frame a commission.  I have my own framing style but they want to match it up to their own space.  I can't wait to see how their framer finished it up!

Happy February,

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