Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Street Art

When I looked down enroute to the beach I saw a giant feather formed from pine needles and water that reminded me of the large feather I sewed on my piece. Earlier today I saw the Threads in the City show at the Martin Batchelor Gallery put on by Fibres and Beyond. Lots of variety and interesting pairings of the fibre artists with artists working in other mediums - a pleasure to see.
This week's class is focusing on raised stitching - from different types of applique

to couching.

More types to come...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Making Tracks

The stitches are slowly securing more items down and tracks are appearing in the snow here and there... although I lost half a day to work on this because of a migraine. I was careful around these sharp points:
And this heart nest is not entirely secure yet:

I was thinking about decomposition as part of the life and death process - the running stitches seemed like they might be leaf bits or a leaf ghost echoing the shape that was once fuller.

I also stitched down driftwood, the large feather, a stick and an arbutus leaf. I'm about half way done.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Knotty and Nice

Yesterday I laid out the leaves, feathers, pinecones and other things I found on my walk onto a rectangular linen piece with a handstitched edge - a garage sale find from awhile back. I am thinking about the tradition of stitch and the women who passed their handmade treasures to their daughters and granddaughters. Since it is a feminine art, it seems appropriate that offerings from mother earth join with this cloth to continue their life and the cloth's in a new form. It is snowy white like the snow I walked through. And here the stitching has begun - you could miss noticing if you only saw what you expected to...
And this morning on the beach, I again saw a mirror of what I had stitched - seaweed thread through sandcloth to secure down a log.

Ever since I saw this chartreuse silk in the class scrap box, it was flirting with me so I added felted wool, silk gauze and french knots to make a Christmas card.

Quite a bit more stitching ahead this weekend...

A Walk on the White Side

A few days ago I had stitched some objects onto a painted and fused canvas ground I'd made, when I decided to go to the beach for a walk as part of an assignment where we were to observe our external and internal environments enroute, as well as collecting objects to become part of a piece arising from the journey. Look what caught my eye - rather synchronous, I think! The snow was wondrous, and I saw many animal tracks:
And altered shapes and colours.

Here is some of what I collected, including a huge feather gift that I think is from our local heron:

Next came choosing a ground...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Counting Snowflakes and Stitches

While our class was inside exploring stitches on different guages of painted canvas yesterday, the environment outside began to change colour...
With the strong wind painting the asphalt

and tires creating a line design.

Staying within the little boxes of the canvas feels restrictive, even as I know the value of trying new things and am learning how the technique might be used in novel ways.
Maybe I'm going inside the box to get out of the box?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Claiming My Space

A few ragged organic edges are now on this cloth, and I'm liking how they seem to age it, alluding to it having seen and experienced a fair bit of time and life. As I was stitching the eyelets, I was thinking about the circling motion and the centre spaces, which led me to imagine them as planets orbiting a green sun, and to think of how each of us is like a world unto ourselves, even as we touch one another and are connected to a greater whole. Our differences make us interesting and this cloth speaks to the protection of our individuality and of bringing that uniqueness forward to claim our space.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Not Finished Yet

Due to a series of synchronicities including the recent beast in progress - which is a deer/goat/antelopish sort of yet unnamed species - and this deer photo that came out with glowing green eyes - the colour I'm working with and deepening my seeing of - I added more to this piece, moving it towards a talisman:
I stitched the large foreleg and small creature without prior drawing of them onto the fabric and was more interested in the energy and feel of that, than anatomical accuracy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


My eyelet piece is ready for class tomorrow. While I've backed it with silk and cotton, it's not meant to be a finished piece, but will go in my stitch dictionary - unless I take it further in the future. I cleaned the studio this morning and spent the afternoon following this beast, who is in motion so I only captured it's tail end :) The piece is ready for basting if I can pin it down...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More Openings

Small experiments to add to my stitch dictionary: For some reason, this reminds me of a magic lamp.
Two thread colours through my double eyed needle - although putting both threads through one of the eyes worked just as well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010


A little door opened for me today. Do you remember when you stitched your first french knot? I did mine today, after first making a series of loops (interesting but not what I was after) and then Lesley showed me a few and my little baby was born in the far left corner :)
We are also exploring some open stitches:
I am enjoying seeing all the ideas of my classmates and am appreciating the wealth of knowledge they bring, in additon to all the rest of the learning!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Show Day

I had fun at the opening of my art quilt group's show at Satin Moon Quilt Shop today, which is where I saw these flowers with their incredible colour. It was great to see everyone's work! And I've got my stitched fibre piece ready for class tomorrow, when we will post them up, to see and discuss each other's work.
Here is a back view, which has its own appeal.
Tomorrow we will be learning more stitches.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More Greening

If this was a swirl of ribbons, I'd be using them in my stitch piece! I'm having to dig deeper into my stash to locate more varieties of green. We are to have several fabrics coloured with our colour of choice for our next class. I painted cheesecloth (top left) and next to it is felt and below are two close ups of cotton that I dyed with two different greens. I was hoping for a bit more contrast and may add some later. I do like the patterning on the cotton, though.
Tomorrow I will be part of a show opening at Satin Moon Quilt shop, along with the other members in my art quilt group. I've put four pieces in this year and expect a fun time looking at everyone's work.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Seeing Green

Lots of learning today! We spent some time with colour contrast, and here's a bit of frosty contrast I saw this morning, before class - I must have guessed we'd be discussing temperature :)I made various colour scales exploring green - the colour I've chosen to work with - to deepen my understanding of its value, intensity and temperature. I'm appreciating the learning, which is amplified by seeing and hearing about the colour explorations other students are doing.
And I've begun stitching a design focusing on contrasts of value and intensity. Some of the fibres are strips of silk and I'm delighting in combining various kinds of 'threads', because of all the delicious textures.
The colour green suits this class - Lesley uses a timer to keep us on track and growing!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fish Stitch

Today was my first day taking the textile art course 'Mark Making', with Lesley Turner, at the Victoria College of Art. We are exploring four types of cover stitches this week, seeing the variety we can come up with for our stitch dictionary. I enjoyed the running stitch but have much more to discover with it - as well as with the other stitches.
Some of these remind me of the salmon I watched spawning recently:

Friday, November 5, 2010

It was raining at the beach, today. I like the peacefulness of the neutral palette.
I've covered my journal for the upcoming textile art course I am taking with this cotton that I had previously monoprinted with leftover thickened dye when I did some deconstructed screenprinting. No neutrals, there!

And here is a video of the surprise I found while at the beach:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuning In

Reflection time is important to me. The sun this morning looked like a keyhole.
I wonder what wisdom might come to light?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Noticing What I Notice

When I go for a walk, I like to open to, and look for, surprises. I was thinking about that this morning, as I have been walking daily at the same beach and noticing what is new each day, like this red revealed beneath the peeled away bark.
Some changes or surprises that I see are due to the varied time of day or season – things like lighting, what’s growing and tide fluctuation - and others arise with the weather
or might just be what I notice, meaning that the surprise might have been there before and I missed it, so it becomes one today. And there are little surprises:

and big surprises, which have to do with my valuing of them. I see gull feathers all the time and this is probably one too, but it's small size and beige spot near the tip are less usual a find and what is rarer stands out. I once arrived at this quiet, small beach to find a movie about to be shot on it, complete with props and a security guard! What I encounter also depends on how tuned in I am to noticing and acting on my intuition – like when I was drawn to venture onto the rocks at the point, I saw ten otters playing in the water – hard to see in the photo from my pocket digital camera - and not all of them are in it, but I'm glad I didn't miss that!

If I took photos of what isn't novel to me, it might still be a surprise to you. I think what captures my attention is a flag marking potential growth and learning that might surpise me all over...