* * * TEACHING * * * Beginner Embroidery / Stitching Mandalas @ Refinery in Saskatoon. Series of 3 mornings: Wed 17, 24, 31, 2018 Phone 306.653.3549 to register or sign up online HERE. All supplies provided.
* * * TEACHING * * * Pixel Stitching Project for Kids age 10-13 (all genders) @ Refinery in Saskatoon. Feb 23, 2018. Phone 306.653.3549 to register your child or sign up HERE. All supplies provided.

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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Into the Swing of Things

I think the best thing I could have done for myself this new year was reorganize my studio.  I do a deep cleaning a couple times per year but this time I created DEDICATED SPACES.  It's been a month, and so far it has really paid off.  (Sometimes my studio has been such a disaster that I don't even want to set foot in it!)  What are the spaces dedicated for?  Well...

I have one big table for thread painting.  That's where I have my machine and my thread bins and nothing else.

I have a table set up just for yarn embroidery work and nothing else.  It looks like mounds of rainbow spaghetti piled all over, spilling out of bins.

I have a table dedicated for framing, matting, hardware and nothing else.  It stays clean and under it are all my mats and frames and foam core.  I never had this before and when framing time came, I'd have to find a space for that or (shudder) put away an art project.

I have a desk which is where I'm sitting now with my laptop. 

Finally, I have a table dedicated to drawing, sketchbooks, doodling, dreaming, art journaling, painting.  It's my space dedicated to developing ideas.

It's brilliant.  In the past I would have mats, sewing machines, pens and paper, a power drill, thread and a laptop all piled together.   This is so much better.  My studio has specific work stations.  It doesn't matter how cluttered any of the stations become when everything on the table is dedicated to one particular process of my art.  Also, I never have to clean up to do something different.  I just move over.  lol  It's fantastic.  BIG EXHALE.  Why didn't I think of this before!?  I've always had dedicated storage space so I knew where everything was.  I've never had dedicated work space broken down in this manner.  It makes so much sense.

So, here are some things I've been creating in preparation for new embroideries.  I took a bundle of my old pastel sketches and began to fill the negative space with paint.  It's so inspiring!  They look like brand new ideas.

old sketches get new life

I've been really working on sketching and putting them to stitch so much more than before.  It feels so good and so expressive.  This next work in progress is quite wild and wooly.

sketching, stitching

We've had some crazy cold weather and then some more melt down.  Now we are in the cold again but still hardly any snow.  The best part about our -35C winters is the SUNSHINE.  I love to get bundled up and run around outside with my dog.  We spent an hour out there last week and he did NOT want to come back in.  Look at the beautiful blue shadows!!  The top photo is taken while standing in the middle of a pond.  The shadows are so long with the low noon hour sun.  These were taken at lunchtime!

Me and my Buddy out enjoying the Polar Vortex

My house is full of big south facing windows so the house is flooded with sun.  It's gorgeous inside and outside.  (Can you tell I'm a big fan of winter!??)

I also happen to love architecture.  No kidding.  I'm not sure if I've blogged about this yet, but I have a big project underway for a summer exhibition in Saskatoon that will be all thread sketches of local gathering places.  It's like sketching with the needle and thread.  I'm super excited to tell you more, but that will have to wait another 6 months.

Thread sketching some local architecture for an upcoming solo exhibition

As for my classes, the hand embroidery workshop of the Refinery is nearly full.  There are ten signed up and space for 2 more.  Later this month I'll be doing some children's classes too, so I'll have plenty to show you there.

No worries, I'm still thread painting the prairies.  I have loads of work completed and available at the SK Craft Council as well as a second big solo exhibition at the end of the year which will feature my prairie art at a beautiful downtown venue.  !  It's going to be a GREAT year for me in Saskatoon.

Stay warm, and have a great weekend!

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  I'm already gettin' down to business.  First I'll show you a new Threadpainting I'm working on.  I just finished up the free machine work this morning and now I'm ready to add the handstitching.  It's from one of my first prairie photos from when I started fibre art.  I've had it hanging around for some time and finally decided to stitch it. : )  It's a little bigger at 8" x 8" and will be framed to about 14x14inches with matting.

work in progress - first prairie threadpainting of 2018

It was nice to finally clean & reorganize my studio.  I've been working on some collaborations on one table, stitching at another, and sketching at another.  The more tables, the better.  I used to pile and pile and it was difficult to keep on top of everything.

My youngest is sketching up a storm.  She draws until about 11 pm each night.  She's been quite an inspiration and has some really interesting supplies.  One of them is a half dozen alcohol ink markers in various greys.  I outlined a photo I took onto traciing paper and finished it off the the markers.  It turned out so great!

click to view larger - University Bridge and City Hospital

I love the way the alcohol ink clings to tracing paper.  So, Every night I try to sketch as well.  I think this will be my new year's resolution (among many things).

I'm also taking the opportunity to announce a class I'm teaching this month!  It's at the Refinery on Dufferin Avenue in Saskatoon.  It's a beginner class for hand embroidery.  I will be going through a variety of stitches with their variations as well as formal embroidery tips and tricks (threading, weaving tails, stretching, etc...).  The class is in a really amazing setting downstairs in the Basement Gallery and will run over the course of THREE mornings: Wed Jan 17, Wed Jan 24, Wed Jan 31.  The idea is that when the course is done, you will have a finished project that is personal, meaningful, colourful, beautiful, and ready to hang or display.  A circular mandala-style art piece is suggested, but I have more ideas for you to chose from as you wish.  : )  Bring a friend!  I really look forward to teaching this.  It will be stitching from the heart, creating something with spirit, while learning and practicing hand embroidery by filling in space.  No experience preferred (art or stitching). : )

click to view large or go to www.emmanuelrefinery.org/classes

If you'll notice also, I have a half day class for kids age 10 to 13 that is on during mid-winter break next month.  It is for any gender, so ask your boys and don't assume it's a girl's only class.  : )

I hope to see you there.
Have a beautiful day.  : )

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Year End

Well, Hello there!  I thought since I have some down time, I'd make a long over-due blog post.  As 2017 draws to an end, I'm thrilled to stop and look over the whole year.  There was lots of teaching, community art, exhibitions and art made & sold last year.  I was busy!  I thank everyone so very much for the opportunities, support and encouragement.  I also have a half page published in the current issue of UPPERCASE regarding public art projects.

Every year is bigger and better.  2018 is already looking just as fantastic.  I'm especially excited about new collaborations and expanding the scope of my art.  I've cleared a space in my sewing studio to make room for more sketching and drawing.  I have some fantastic opportunities around the theme of architecture, so I've been drawing, drawing, drawing.  I've even had some play time to paint on old sketches to create some mixed media.  I've never been a fan of mixed media, but there you go!  I'm having fun.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased my art this year.  It's been another incredible year for both my prairie threadpaintings and my yarn embroideries alike.  That feels so good!  In my busy worklife, I've been resorting to FB and Instagram must more.  I have some big out-of-the box surprises for 2018 so stay tuned.

And finally, just in case you need to see that I'm still taking photos, here you go!  We are in a Polar Vortex and have been for about a week.  The temps have wavered from -30C to almost -50C with windchill.  It's far less horrific as it sounds.  There's been hardly any wind and we've enjoyed nothing but sunshine all week.  Today my dog and I went to play on the pond.  We played and hiked for about an hour.  If you are dressed for it, you don't even get cold.  Plus - it's so incredibly beautiful out there.

He looks pretty rough and grumpy when he's all iced up like that, but he loves it out there and never wants to come back in the house.  Clearly however, he doesn't like getting his picture taken.  : )

Have a Happy New Year everyone.  I'll be back blogging a post or two about upcoming January & February classes.

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