Monday, April 30, 2012

Fibre Arts RETREAT

Courtesy of my mother, I have pictures of the most recent retreat that we attended. The Fibre Arts Retreat happens in Nova Scotia at the end of March/beginning of April. It is for anyone interested in Fibre Arts of any sort. My buddy Sarah found out about the FAR somewhere and said "Let's go!" Never one to give up an opportunity to spin with fellow Fibre Enthusiasts,  I replied "When do we leave?"
With Piggy as out faithful co-pilot
Mamoo behind the wheel,
Sarah as the relaxing beauty in the back seat,
and me.....well, just being me

Off we set!

This will be the third time that I have been and it just keeps getting bigger and better! The first year we were in one half of the "ballroom". There was a wedding in the other half (the dividing doors were closed) and so we were rather entertained.
Last year we had taken over the rest of the ballroom because there as so much more interest.
This year, about half of the spinners ended up in the foyer between the ballroom and a smaller conference room.

I was a little miffed at first, but I quickly came to accept our move as A Good Thing. We had comfy chairs. We were closer to the bathroom and the refueling station. And on Saturday night when everyone else was kicked out of the big room at 10 pm so that they could lock everything up, we were told that we could just lock the door behind us. Some of us had gone for a quick dip in the pool and a quick soak in the hot tub (heaven!) and so we had a late night pajama party.

Inside the big room were the rest of the spinners, quilters, hookers, weavers (table looms only) felters (needle only), tatters, and this one lady who had a display and was giving a demo on bobbin lace making. Amazing!

Here are out fearless organizers! A huge thank you goes out to Sharon and Richard!

Next years retreat takes place April 5,6,7, 2013! If anyone out there is interested, let me know and I will put you in touch with Sharon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Blanket Weaving Workshop 2013

Just to let you all know that I am once again teaching a blanket weaving workshop as part of edventures. This year it is July 9-13. The hours are 9-12 and 1-4, although I have been known to stay a little later if someone needs to catch up a little bit. This is a perfect workshop for beginners or someone who is a little rusty.

I am also doing a week long workshop on Overshot Weaving. This one runs July 30- August 3. We will be doing name drafts on a computer and then weaving our designs. Name drafts are when you take a name, word, or phrase and by giving the letters a numeric value of 1-4, use the numbers to create a pattern. Sounds complicated, but is not. I think that it is one of the most fun things that you can do on a loom!

For more information on Edventures, just click HERE!

Sunday, April 08, 2012


Last year when I went to visit my sister and her new baby I happily booked myself a flight, and since I am not the most seasoned traveler, and since there was only one direct flight a day between our two cities, and because that one flight departed at 6:30 a.m., which meant getting up at 4:00 a.m., I found myself Very Disappointed when the airline said that there were some problems with the weather and that none of the luggage and some of the passengers would have to be left behind. It so turned out that I ended up being one of those passengers. Very Disappointed Indeed.

However, it came with a small compensation. I got a guarented window seat on the next flight that they put me on and I also got a $200 travel voucher. Good for 1 year. Anywhere Air Canada traveled.

Which puts me to March of this year.

But first we have to go back to November.

My friend Rachel has family just outside of Ottawa and frequiently flies home. Which puts her on the list of people who get e-mails about specials that the airline is having. And last Novemebr she found a deal that was too hard to resist. Flights one way to Ottawa were $79. And seeing as she likes me and knows that I have a nephew in the Ottawa area (not to mention a sister and brother-in-law that I am quite fond of) she let me in on the deal and the special "code" that you needed to know.

So I booked my flight. The same 6:30 a.m. flight. But this time there were no delays. Well there was the small delay when my sister and I were on either side of a divider waiting for the other one to show up, but I don't really count that. I had a great time and was amazed at how much my nephew had grown, and was charmed by him once again. I also enjoyed hanging out with my sister and brother-in-law too.

It came time for me to fly home. Once again a direct flight but this one was in the early evening.  Just as the sun was setting. And we were flying into the dark.

I had a window seat, and although I had a book that I was quite interested in, I spent most of the next 30 minutes with my face pressed to the window looking down and out. I was quite intrigued by the patterns on the ground. More specifically the patterns of the street lights. The dark with that spark of light. We have all been on residential streets and have seen street lights and most of the time I am sure that we were happy that they were there. We have all looked at maps of our neighbourhood.

This was the first time that I had seen the two melded together.  I was intrigued. And inspired.

When I got home I had an idea of how I was going to translate this vision into a felt vessel. Cut holes in a black vessel, stitch in beads, and add a light.

So I made a small black vessel and started cutting holes.

With scissors.


But it worked, so I continued clipping until I had enough holes to give myself an idea whether or not it would work. I stitched in the beads and liked the preliminary results.

But there had to be a better way.

After thinking for a bit about ways to punch holes into fabric, I realized that you can get punches for inserting grommets. Off to the store went I and found a punch that looked like it would work with my chosen beads. I put a stick in a vice and the upper end inside the vessel to have a hard surface against which to hammer and punched a line of straight, even holes.

Small punch tool
Now I could continue onto the final piece.

I am still stitching beads into the holes but should be done in the next couple of days.

Check back soon for the continuing story of March!

Saturday, April 07, 2012



The shortest month in terms of days and yet it is the month that somehow seems the longest to many people.

The excitement of Christmas and New Year are long past and although the days are getting longer, there is still more dark night than sunlight, and there is that cold to deal with.

There seem to be many fire celebrations that have been historically celebrated in the month of February.
St Bridget's day, Candlemas, Imbloc, and Groundhog Day. All seem to have something to do with the return of the sun. Which is a big ball of fire.

So I decided that February would be about fire.

Prototype of fire.

 The prototype was not exactly what I would call successful. It was rather blob like and not as defined as I thought that "fire" should be. But I learned from my mistake. As often happens, I learned what not to do.

I didn't like the black on the bottom so I removed it. I stitched the vessel that was soft felted in a shibori technique and then felted some more.

Stitched vessel
 I then undid the stitches and using a small stick pushed the sides out to resemble the traditional flame.

Here is a detail of the texture created by felting while stitched. I see a whole world of possibilities opening up!