Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just Fred photo shoot.

For some pictures of me working on my weaving during my residency click here. Then click on the forward button to the upper right above the picture.


It does indeed seem as if the picture number changes every time new ones are loaded. Not a very good system indeed. When I clicked on my link above, it showed what looked like a dog wash for the SPCA. Fiber of sorts, I will admit, but not what I am into.
I will try a new link to the album and we will see if it stays current.

Me dyeing wool....... here .......maybe.

Me weaving........ here......... maybe.

If those two links show highland dancers now, you can click here and scroll down to "Art in the Barracks- Jacqueline Bourque"

And there I will be....... hopefully.

Mira's New Pet

Some assembly required.

Mira has become fascinated with bones as of late. When she went on a bike ride with her father and brothers a few weeks ago she found all sorts of dead things in the ditch. Thankfully they were all well rotted dead things. I am not quite sure where she is going with all of the bones but it will be interesting.
When she first started carting things home we had a bit of a talk about germs and so she is very careful when picking up bones. She wears gloves when gathering and everything is bleached before it comes in the house.
I am amazed how she has this thing all laid out. So organized. But then again, she is my one child who keeps her room clean just because she wants to so maybe I shouldn't be too surprised.
Plans are in the works to go and pick up some of a deer skeleton that they spotted on their trip last week.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A.I.R. 2008

The Friday Edition. On Saturday.

I was rather tired yesterday after finishing my residency. And I had a few more things to do, hence the late update.

Amber had to leave on Thursday afternoon to go to a music festival in Nova Scotia so I was at the residency by myself yesterday. Despite the pouring rain, there were a fair number of people that wandered through. Again it was a mix of the truly curious who asked a lot of questions and were fascinated by the demonstrations and those that peeked in the door and scurried away.

Because I was by myself, I rearranged the space to suit myself better. I put the two tables end to end so that I could paint warps all day. I also did a bit of spinning and weaving as demonstrations.
This was the last warp that I made up. It is silk noil. Three scarves worth. I steamed it when I got home last night because I didn't have quite enough time to finish it before I left.

Here is one of my silk warps being painted. I lay down a trail of stretch wrap and put the pre-soaked warp on it. This is enough for two scarves and two purses. Then I apply the dye, let it sit for a bit, soak up the excess water, wrap the stretch wrap around it and roll it up like a jelly roll. I then put it in my pot and steam it for an hour. It has to cool to room temperature before I rinse it out and hang it to dry. Speaking of drying, nothing dried yesterday. Everything that I had out needs to be hung in the sun today so it doesn't start to mildew. Even all of my finished pieces. The humidity was so high yesterday that everything feels damp even though it wasn't in the rain. Ick.
Here are my dyes ready to go on the last warp. I had my dyes all premixed and I just added some citric acid solution to the dyes and applied it straight to the yarn. I didn't get any pictures of me applying dyes because I had my gloves on and they were spotted with dyes. No so good for the camera.

Here are my dyed warps. I like the green, purple, orange, and half of the last warp, but the other half of the last warp just looks muddy to me. The blue on that warp turned out really pretty, so I just may end up dunking the ugly half in turquoise and hoping for the best. Maybe I'll end up with blue mud.

My last warp still needs to be rinsed out. It didn't finish steaming until after 7:30 or so and has needed the night to cool down. I'll let you know how it tuns out.
All packed up and ready to go. Thankfully there was a tent setup for the edventures participants and I was able to wait for the cab out of the rain. I was equally thankful that there was a beer waiting for me at home.

Good bye residency, I hope to do it again next year.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A.I.R. 2008

Thursday Edition.
Yet again, I talked to people, wove some, spun some, dyed some, started a new warp.
Here, as promised, is a better shot of the building and the shops below.

Here are my three finished scarves. I think that I am going to do a little experimentation and dye these. The ends will be darker and the centers will be lighter. At least, that is the plan.
Here is the handspun that I have for sale.
I dyed a silk noil boucle warp.

I warped and threaded the very controversial "key lime pie"
Spun some of the orange roving.

Finished plying the purple superwash merino.
Here is my "wall of roving." This is what I have dyed so far this week.
And here is a small peek at beneath my work table. It is a bit of a mess, but I know where everything is. REALLY!
Tomorrow I will be spending most of the day dyeing warps.
Tomorrow is your last day to visit me in a studio setting.

Come on down!

had to share

I found this while looking for information on my dorset loom that I have down at the residency.

Who knew? Daleks! To knit! Thanks to Wooly Stuff.

For those of you who are wondering what Daleks are, they were/are the nasty aliens on Dr Who.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A.I.R. 2008

Wednesday Edition

A rather short day for me because I had an appointment at 1:30 so only had a couple of hours in which to work.

But I managed to finish weaving the last of my three scarves, dyed a warp, spun some, and have the new warp wound on the loom and half threaded through the heddles.

I was also visited by George who works for a site called Just Fred. It is a web site that features things that are happening in and around Fredericton. And apparently I am one of the things that have been happening in Fredericton this week.
He told me that he would post pictures on the site probably on Thursday so I will let you know and provide you with a link.

Tomorrow we are back to our regularly scheduled hours and will probably have more to report.

Until then, live long and prosper.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A.I.R. 2008

Tuesday edition.

Today I talked to more people, spun some, wove a bit. I also put a warp to soak, dyed another half pound of fleece, made up two warps (one silk and one handspun), and rinsed and hung to dry my fleece that I dyed yesterday.

Here is the warp that I am working on now. I am about half way through my third and final scarf. It is a mixed warp scarf and I am going to try dying it after it is woven. I may get to that this week. I am also going to try and finish weaving it tomorrow and get one of my handspun scarves on. The warp is that I made today is from this skein

It is going to be soooooo pretty!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A.I.R. 2008

The Monday Edition.

I think that it is time to answer a few questions. Questions that perhaps I should have addressed when I brought up the subject of Artist In Residence in the first place.
For the past 6 or so years, a local group called the Fredericton Arts Alliance have been sponsoring an Artist in Residency series. It is funded by grants from municipal and provincial governments and so every year they are unsure of how much of a program can be provided. There have been a couple of years that the residency program has been able to run from mid June until the end of September, but this year they only received enough funding for the months of July and August. Every year at the beginning of April a call for applications goes out to past participants of the A.I.R program and to the general public. We were asked to submit a proposal for what we would like to do during the time that we would be on site, as well as images of our work, a bio, etc. I submitted spinning, dyeing, and weaving of scarves.
Each week has two different artists on site and we are required to put in at least 24 hours each. That is no problem for me because every hour that I am there is an hour that I get to do work. It is also the artist responsibility to talk to the public about what they are doing. Not a hardship for me because I love to educate people about the basics of weaving. It gives them a little idea of why I charge what I do for my weavings. At the end of the week we receive an honorarium (money) and that is always helpful for us artistic types.

Fredericton was first established as a military garrison in the "new world" in 1784. For those of you who would like a more in depth history you can look here.

The case mates, as they are called, are a series of arches that are on the ground floor of what used to be the solders barracks a couple of hundred years ago. They were used to store the munitions. Nice eh? The soldiers used to sleep above the explosives while the officers had their own quarters a couple of hundred yards away. In the rooms now are a series of small artist shops. I took this picture right around 5 when some people had already closed their doors for the day. We are opened from 10 until 5 Monday through Saturday and 12 till 5 on Sunday.
This building is located right across from the Craft College, so I get to go home at the end of the day.

So today I finished making a second warp and set up to start a third. Both warps below will be dyed. The one on the right is silk and the one on the left is merino.

I also rinsed out the roving that I dyed yesterday.
And hung out the roving that I dyed on Saturday. It was almost dry and I needed that bottom of the sign to hang out the green roving (it needed to drip) , so I had to find a new home for the orange. I noticed a couple of big hooks on the door and hung it up.
I also wove a bit, spun a bit, talked to a bunch of people again. I also dyed a bit of roving that I had, along with some feathers for Erin and another small piece of silk for Amber.
Here is some of my stuff under my work bench. It is looking a little disorganized, but now that I am settled in, I know where to find everything.

A.I.R. 2008

Here is my "studio" for the rest of the week. I am in with Amber and it has been great!
Amber is working on several different things. She has been working on stiffened fabric which she then puts through her old typewriter and after embellishing the fabric with type creates books and art works. She also silkscreens photos onto clothes and tie-dyes baby clothes.

Yesterday I talked to a bunch of people, made a warp, started a second warp, priced all of my hand-spun yarns, wove a bit, spun a bit, dyed some fleece and a piece of silk that Amber wants to make into a hat.

Today I am expecting it to be a little less busy as far as visitors go because it is raining. Finally raining. It has been about 3 weeks since we have had any significant amount of rain fall and things were getting dry. The garden will be happy.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A.I.R. 2008

Today was my first day of my week long Artist in Residence for the Fredericton Arts Alliance. It started out a little disorganized for me (I forgot my weaving basket with all of my little things that I need like measuring tape, scissors, stapler, bobbin winder, etc.) but eventually I got everything set up, settled down and got some work done.
So today I talked to a bunch of people, dyed some roving, finished weaving a scarf, finished blending about 2 pounds of alpaca, silk, merino, superwash merino, and mohair.
And forgot to take pictures. But there is always tomorrow.
If any of you are in the area, stop by and visit. I am in the casemates across from the craft college on Queen Street in downtown Fredericton.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Flood Damage Revisited

You remember how my parent's house flooded in the spring and how mom's ceramic business was flooded.
She is finally assessing the damage. The farm needed to be cleaned up and set back in order first. And then the garden needed to dealt with. Now she has time to haul all of her damaged molds out of the basement and catalogue them for insurance purposes. What a monumental job. What you see below is a small sample of the molds that she had damaged during the flood.
As you can see they are stacked quite deep along the garage. I was surprised at how much damage the water did to them. The detail on some of them was really eroded. You could even see where the rubber straps had prevented the water from coming in contact with the plaster as it was the only place on the outside of some of them that was not worn away.

The insurance company wants her to list all of the molds that were damaged by the flood, when and where she purchased them, and their current replacement value. So while she is recovering from her surgery (she has been told to not lift anything heavier than a cup of tea!) she is attempting to put all of her molds in order by hunting up current price lists (you should see the stack of papers that cover that!) and looking for approximate dates of purchases. Some she knows, but others are a little harder to find. A lot of her papers were in the flood too. She is doing a lot of detective work by looking through stacks and stacks of receipt books for the first mention of some of the more elusive molds.

What a job!

Flood Damage revisited

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why does this happen?

I just found out today that a colleague of mine lost her husband to cancer on Sunday. They found out four weeks ago that he had colon cancer. Four weeks, and now he is dead. They have two sons who are in their late teens. How do they deal with such a thing? Four weeks.
Janice is a very talented fiber artist. She has taught at the college for many years and is well liked and respected. I had never actually met her husband, but he was well liked by all that knew him. He was 49.

I also stopped off at my LYS to sell Trish some stitch markers and pick up some embroidery floss. She was sitting on the back couch chatting with a woman who's husband has brain cancer. Trish's father was just diagnosed with lung cancer. My mother had breast cancer a few years ago. Charlotte died of ovarian cancer last fall.

I think that that is just a little too much use of "the 'C' word".

I just looked up the Canadian statistics for cancer and 40-45% of Canadians will get cancer and 1 in 4 will die from cancer. I will assume that the statistics are pretty much the same for the US.

When is humanity going to realize that we are poisoning the planet and thereby poisoning ourselves?

Guess what I made!

My favorite!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Garden update July 08

Yesterday was a garden day. Things are not going very well. We seem to have at least one four footed visitor in the garden. We think that it is a deer because they have been seen in the area before. I'm sure that he/she/they took one look at our garden and rubbed their little front hoofs together while smacking their lips.

My beets have had several sever haircuts. We like beets, but we love beet greens. There have been several beets pulled out by the roots and left behind. The same thing happened a couple of years ago with the carrots.
We also have had some sort of fungus attack the eggplants. They were fine last week and this week it looks like they have been burned. Seeing as they were planted more than a month ago, I don't think that the sun is to blame.

I don't like the deer any more. It ate my peas! I planted 5 rows of peas because summer isn't summer without fresh peas. We did manage to pick a few and eat them right in the garden, but it was no where near the buckets full that I had hope for.

And it looks like our wet June has led to blight on the tomatoes again. Last year was the first year that we hadn't had blight in a number of years and I thought maybe we were done with it. But alas, no. We will get some tomatoes but no where near the record numbers that we had last year.

On the good side, the broccoli is doing very well! We picked and ate out first broccoli head. The taste is amazing! It is so much different from the taste of the broccoli that you buy in the grocery store in the winter.

And the cilantro is also growing well. Most of this was picked after this picture was snapped and made into a hot sauce that we have on samosas. I planted another row before I picked this one, and I hope to create a store of hot sauce to see us through the winter.
My mother also had an operation last week. I went to visit her on Saturday in the hospital and the nurse commented that she was such a wonderful person. I could only agree. She is home today and has been told to take it easy for the next 6 to 8 weeks. Knowing mom, after a couple of weeks, she may have a hard time doing that. Especially in the summer when there is so much to do!

Friday, July 11, 2008

What's that movie again?

We were discussing which movie to watch tonight and Nicole starts to give her suggestion. Nicole loves movies. Actually, I should have said, Nicole LOVES movies. Anyone with a VSP (very short person) in their lives knows how many time they can watch the same movie over and over and over and over, etc.

Nicole is still learning this.

N: Hmmmm. I want to watch.....Hmmmm....

Me: Don't forget, we have the power of veto.

N: Oh, I haven't seen that! That sounds like a funny movie.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another Day in Paradise

The paving guys (and flag person gal) were around today. The first thing that happened was one fellow went around with a watering can full of a tar/oil (?) like substance and wet the edges of the pavement where it had been torn up.
Next, the dump truck came and laid down a bit of asphalt (note the arrow showing where the asphalt is coming out) Also note that the dump truck is dumping sideways. I've never seen that before. There was a dude who was doing a quick bit of raking but I thought that it may be a bit intrusive to go and cross the street to photograph him.

Then another fellow went behind the truck and did a little better raking job. I missed the roller guys (they took to long to come around) but they will be doing my side of the street soon so I may catch them in the act.

And during all of this I have been slowly working on some superwash merino. I love dyeing and spinning this stuff. It sucks up the dye like nobodies business and spins really smoothly. The only complaint that I have about this stuff is that the roving is not continuous. It is from a local mini mill and when I purchased this roving, I also purchased about 4 pounds of white superwash. The white was beautiful. The gray and black that I bought are in, well, lets call them "uneven" bits and pieces. Some bits are in the form of pencil roving, some regular sized, and some are just clumps. All in the same bag. I am almost out of roving and if I order more from them, I will specify that I want fat roving, not end bits.

So here is the dyed clumps and bit of roving.

And here is the yarn.
I love spinning.

And I was just thinking about how wonderful summer is and one of the small but happy things that happens in summer is that butter is much easier to spread in my house.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Feeling hothothot

The temperatures here are soaring. I know that they are nothing like what some of you in the deep south experience, but I am feeling the heat.

The street workers were back for a few moments today. These guys walked down the street, following a backhoe and shoveled the excess dirt away. The backhoe just scooped about 6 inches of dirt away. I think that the pavers will be coming within the next few days.
And today I saw a new sight. I didn't really notice until I looked at my photos, but this gal's hard hat is pink. And backwards. How's that for a statement!

So what have I been doing in all of this heat? A bit of spinning of course. Here is my mystery yarn. So called because it was a failed experiment and I dunked it in another dye pot. It is one of my "never to be repeated" yarns.

This is just more red. It is merino that had been sitting around for quite a while and had felted a bit. I predrafted it, but still had a bit of a problem with the slubs.

We also have been doing a little gardening. The weeds were beginning to take over and so we all managed to do a bit of weeding. Well, actually a LOT of weeding. This was the first time that everyone pitched in and helped without complaint! I was so impressed. Even wee Nicole helped when it was time to do the watering. And speaking of watering, we were suppose to get some showers this afternoon but there is no sign of any rain. And hot sunny days for the next few days mean that we may have to go water again.
Everything in the garden is growing well. Except the peas, swill chard, lettuce and beets. And they would all be doing fine if the local deer would find somewhere else to have a buffet. The little devil has even taken to eating the strawberries. Or at least a bite or two off a fair number of them. We are not amused with the deer. I was told the other day that marigolds will keep the deer out of the garden, and as luck would have it, I did plant marigold seeds this year. Unfortunately, not a single one of them sprouted. Not one.
Ah, well. I just say the gardeners motto......"maybe next year"

Friday, July 04, 2008

I did a WHAT?

A painting!
A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a school mother who asked if I was interested in doing a painting for an art auction. The money goes to support local kids. So I dusted off my paints and brushes as well as my memory of painting abstract expressionism.
When I was in school, I did a series of paintings in the style of Jackson Pollack and Jean-Paul Riopelle, but added my own special twist.

Here is a detail.

I hope that some one likes it well enough to buy it and raise some money for the kids.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

After a couple of weeks of mostly overcast skies, the sun is shining through on my part of Canada. There are all sorts of festivities arranged in the downtown area including fireworks tonight.
Where ever you are, I hope that you have a great day!