Sunday, October 21, 2007
Joanie and I are off to Toronto to attend The Quilt auction at The Distillery District and see our " Girl Crazy" meet it's new owner, along with 50 other quilts that will go to loving new homes. I hope to take a few photos while there so will be posting soon with news of this fabulous charity event.
We're quite excited about it all, as when I put the last stitch in " Girl Crazy" and with much relief shipped it out of the studio, I had hoped in my heart of hearts that it might fetch $500. Cdn. Well, it is our understanding that the opening bid tomorrow night will be $ 450. And that does not take into account funds that have been raised via the tote bags and prints or the PR work it has done to raise the profile of the charity as the corset travelled across Canada.
We are over the moon about it's success and looking forward to schmoozing with fellow stitchers, prospective buyers and overall enjoying an evening of fun and laughter. A big thank you to all our friends and special appreciation to Dave and The DA for your love and support throughout this venture. We are truly grateful to all of you!
Watch this space for final results!
I hope my American friends enjoy their time at Houston and my Canuck buds enjoy Creativ Fest.
Talk to you soon.....
Friday, October 12, 2007
located on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. They were excellent to deal with and not only did they give us swift and efficient service but also sent along lovely quality ball point pens for each of us with their compliments! I'm sure there must be a US supplier but the Stitches Quilt shop would not be too far Allie for you to deal with from your location if you had problems getting it elsewhere.
Here's some other information I've gleaned that might help:
Aquabond can also be obtained through Bernina dealers and it is called" Aquamagic Plus"
For Irene and others in the UK : Aquabond or Aquatic Bond can be obtained through Barnyarns
The clear soluble that you put on top of the Aquabond is also called Avalon Fix and it can be obtained through Madeira suppliers.
Also, one can use Solvy as the top soluble but it is a bit foggy looking as opposed to clear so not as easy to see through when stitching .
All of these items are cheaper by the yard or metre from the roll than in packaged forms.
I think a yard would go a long way unless you are planning a very large wall hanging.
I hope this is helpful to some of you who would like to play with this newer product and
I'd love to hear some comments in time from those who have tried this technique. I LOVE the fact you can hand stitch through it without needles getting sticky or having to force your needles through the fabric, thread layers.
Monday, October 08, 2007
It seems most gals can't resist " trying on" Girl Crazy" and Carol Miller, the founder of The Quilt Project is no exception as she shows it off at a PR presentation in Stratford. http://www.thequilt.com/sponsors/media_room.html
Deb Deichert, Executive Director, The Quilt Project
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Jean's latest craze ( besides her obsession with pavement and potholes) is pushing the limits on the embellishing machine. I always had reservations about the Embellisher as I wondered if it was really worth the investment. Having spent a couple of days with Jean ( who will embellish almost anything that comes within her grasp) I have decided to purchase one. Seeing firsthand what the machine is truly capable of and having thoughts of creating your own fabric is just far too engaging!
Jean has a piece of her embellisher work in the new book " Embellish and Stitch" by the late Val Campbell-Harding and Maggie Grey. You can check it out via Maggie's blog http://www.magstitch.blogspot.com/ I've just ordered a copy for myself so will let you know more about it first hand when it arrives. Maggie was invaluable to me and CEG London a few years ago when I was teaching mask making, by sharing teaching materials and helping me to track down the then elusive " softsculpt". Thanks again Maggie!
Jan and Jean also have a wonderful series of books ( and a couple of new ones coming out shortly) available through their Double Trouble Enterprises http://www.doubletrouble-ent.com/ and they can also be obtained on this side of the pond through Barb at http://www.joggles.com/
A very special thanks to Jan and Jean for yet another fantastic visit with us. They had each and every one of us on stim overload and left our minds racing and our fingers itching to create!
While here with us, Jan and Jean stayed with Connie Jefferess, a highly revered and beloved member of our guild. All three were close friends with the late Constance Howard who was our guild patron for many years and it was wonderful that they could enjoy some quality time together while the workshops were going on. Below is a photo of Connie, Jan, Johnnene Maddison, our guild workshop convenor and Jean.
Notable quotes from the workshop:
"It's not what you have, it's what you do with what you have" - the late Constance Howard
"Life's too short and I'm too busy"- Jean, on cooking
"Some of you are too good and tidy for your own good" - Jean
" Make it atmospheric and textural not applique plonked on" - Jan on creating work on Aquabond
"Don't let your beads sit there like measles "- Jean, on adding beads as embellishments
Aquabond samplers laid out
Jan critiquing our pieces
As is the usual case with our guild members, the work was very diverse. They are such a creative , talented group and it's a joy to see everyone's individual take on things. Many pieces had a lacy effect to them and others specific design layouts. I incorporated small pieces of fabric into mine and made mine more dense. I was seeking a forest floor /grassland type of thing. I left some threads intentionally long as I could not decide whether to cut them or not and didn't want to be disappointed later on. I added some pieces of silk rods and of course, beads. I will lay it over another piece of printed fabric when I get back to work on it. Jan refers to me as the " wayward one" as I always tend to do my own thing and push the limits when trying new things ( and some old ones too!). I really enjoyed this technique and definitely want to play with it some more.
The "Wayward One's" piece
The ever ebullient Jean
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I'll be reporting back to you on what transpires - so watch this space!
What you may not be as aware of is the fact that Betty is also a passionate herbalist. Betty and her husband Dan, own an idyllic piece of property in the heart of the Catskill mountains in upstate New York, where they run a small family owned herbal business. They have worked diligently over the past few years to turn this pretty but once bare piece of land into three acres of paradise ! I would like to congratulate Betty and Dan on having their property certified as a Botanical Sanctuary this summer! Kudos to you both on being rewarded for your intensive labours and love of all things herbal and natural!
You can see photos and learn more about their endeavours at http://www.greenspiralherbs.com/ and check out Betty's new blog http://www.greenspiralherbs.com/ where you can follow their adventures, trials and tribulations and ultimate happiness in doing what they love.
Now to tie this back to needlework - many of us know all too well the aches and pains of repetitive strain injuries. It can be agonizing and debilitating! I have discovered a few sources of relief via Green Spiral Herbs that have helped me immensely and you may want to check it out for yourselves when surfing their site. I am not affiliated in any way with the business, other than I've been friends with Betty for a number of years and know the Pillsburys to be hardworking, honourable and dependable folks to deal with. In addition, I have personally found their natural products to be quite effective in dealing with stitching pain issues and let's be honest, anything that can give comfort and keep us doing what we love has got to be a plus!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
This is $ 200. Canadian.......
Toronto 's Queen Street West can soon part you with your cash. This was one stop but when you are in supply land, like all good Canucks, you stock up for winter! I spent all Wednesday afternoon on Queen Street West, in Toronto. I never made it to Chinatown or Kensington market both of which were a mere kick in the butt around the corner. I had several projects in mind for the next few months and Queen West is a veritable wonderland for beaders with several new shops appearing in the last year or two. I am still more than loyal to my regular haunts but did manage to take a look/see in one or two of the newer shops which had a few unique items but quite frankly overall they don't hold a candle to my old faithfuls. In addition, I made a must-visit to Mac Fab for their amazing buttons and Sussman Bridal for trims and millinery supplies unequalled. I even managed to grab lunch today, something I seldom do when I go alone but it's been a bit of a frenzied week and I was near one of our favourite bistros, Shanghai Cowgirl and was drawn in. I mean, who could resist an offer like this one:
One has to keep in mind that Queen West is a very old district in Toronto and the shops , on average, are quite decrepid and packed very close together. I've often pondered about the fire codes and sirens play like constant background muzak in the district. Some shops are so crowded when you get inside, you can hardly swing a cat around. Known as the Arts and Design district on the newer street signs or just the " Textile district" to us oldies, you can expect that the shops are as individual and diverse as the owners themselves. Shanghai Cowgirl is a new business in the overall scheme of things but has existed on Queen for a couple of years or more. It is an eclectic place with an old forties type bar in the front with stools and a few tables and booths at the back. The infamous Brit chef, Jamie Oliver, has graced the premises and given it his thumbs up! The staff are all quite young and all very individualistic in their dress...no uniforms here, except perhaps for the tatts which are prolific, varied and colourful! In spite of the old worn wooden floors, the place is spotless and it is a kick to sit back with a " pop" and take in the atmosphere and "people watch" while you wait for your order. I think I was the only one there not sporting a pair of PF flyers ( or a tatt)! Oh, and did I mention the food is fabulous? I had a wonderful strip loin steak on a toasted bun with crisp tasty teriyaki vegetables and a side order of sweet potato fries ( one of the house specialties.) After a pleasant laid back break from arduous shopping, I headed out into the madness and flurry of Queen Street and dashed over to my old faithful, Arton Beads. The original shop, shown to the left in the picture below, is a tiny place which is packed to the gunnels with beads and findings. On the weekends, you literally cannot move in this place for shoppers and that's no exaggeration! It's literally " bum to bum" and every man for himself! Owners River and Alice, have opened a second shop right next door where you can buy one of a kinds, crsytals and more exclusive items. It is always a pleasure to shop at Arton's and you are welcomed with open arms. River in particular has a photographic memory and knows the prices of every item in the shop. When you take your baskets of merchandise to the counter, he swiftly writes everything down in pencil on a small pad and I actually priced everything on paper once myself as a little test and he hit every one spot on, right down to the tiny charms! He's a mathematical whiz as well as an excellent purveyor of beads .
And what would a trip to Queen West be without a stop at Mokuba? The name speaks for itself. The ribbons are to die for! Their newer location is so light and bright with a wonderful skylight and a contradiction to everything on Queen W. Very classy and upscale and of course, right in the heart of the textile district where you want and need it to be!
As six o'clock rolled around and weary shopkeepers were closing up, I lugged my loot towards the parking lot where my grateful bod sank deeply into the seat cushions of my car. Physically I felt knackered but mentally I was on a high and so satisfied with the day's acquisitions and events. Now to jostle and manouvre my way into the traffic ( a feat unto itself!) joining the surge to the Gardiner Expressway for the Formula 1 rally drive home!
Farewell beautiful, engaging, energizing megacity until October!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
In addition, I've added a few sites for you to peruse more medieval stitchery and costume. They are but a few out there but these alone could keep you busy for hours on end and contain some fascinating information:
Now back to the 21st century for a moment! I'm off to Toronna (that's affectionate Canadian slang for Toronto) on a " supply run" tomorrow and will be back with lots of news on what's happening in The Megacity. Thursday is the opening day of the Canadian Embroiderers' Guild Fall session so there will be lots of textile, stitching news and photos towards the end of the week!
Take care, be safe, stitch well and talk soon......
Monday, September 10, 2007
In addition, there is a link to a most interesting colour and design blog, which I have enjoyed for some time. It's a fascinating read and will educate you daily!
After getting psyched up with all this colour stimulation, now go through your stash, beads or threads and pick out some colours you don't normally gravitate to and put some together...... mix and match and play! You'll be surprised what can develop from these exercises.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
There has been a discussion on the Crazy Quilt Embellishers list regarding the use of satin cord ( commonly called rat tail) as an embellishment in crazy quilting. Victoria Adams Brown, http://ribbonsmyth.com/ a dear friend and Grand Mistress Poohbah of the Art Bra calendars and A Way to Women's Wellness Foundation has kindly asked me if I would post a picture of the square I did for this year's Art Bra quilt ( see above).
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
It was a bit daunting at first but I am slowly catching on and after a month of on and off frustration, finally managed to post a pic in my profile. I had a charming one of myself when I was much younger, but decided who the hell was I kidding, so went ahead with a more recent one - scary but a little more realistic! Ha!
I thought with my guys away, I had this week to myself but I've spent a few days with my Mum and it's been very rewarding. I am so lucky to still have her in my life and try never to be too busy that I can't enjoy her company for a while. Today we went shoe shopping and saw some amazing filigree leather shoes from Brazil that would knock your socks off. But, having toyed with the killer winkle pickers in my youth, alas, I could only admire them! I digress, but the experience reminded me of a book I am reading by Nora Ephron, called " I Feel Bad About My Neck". It is a light read but a hilarious accounting of women dealing with getting older. I love her line" Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was 26. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini and don't take it off until you're thirty four." Ah yes, great thought in retrospect Nora!
But back to the shoe foray today, it reminded me of the Shoe Challenge Barb at Joggles is hosting. It is going to be so much fun and I for one, have taken Barb up on her quest for altered shoes! For further info, check it out at: http://www.joggles.com/shoe-challenge.htm
And while I'm at it, congratulations Barb on your four year anniversary of starting the Joggles company. You've done an amazing job in the time frame. My best wishes go to you for your continued success in the future!
( And P.S. I'll be teaching the online Intermediate Bead Embroidery class with Joggles starting in January - so watch my blog and Barb's web site and newsletters for information on Joggles mid Winter classes!)
Monday, August 27, 2007
Here's the link to the article:
There is also an online site about the collection and pictures via this link:
Saturday, August 25, 2007
If you know anything about Sharon, you will appreciate that's a lot of material to move! Sharon is a natural communicator and has generously contributed so much to the online stitching community. Her online stitch dictionary alone is worth it's weight in gold Please take time to drop in on Sharon's new blog and offer her your thanks and support! A new addition to Sharon's blog is a lovely photo of herself so you can now put a face to the generous spirit!
Friday, August 24, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Special thanks go to my two " tekkies", my son, affectionately known as The DA, and my friend Kevin in Wales, for their sage advice and patience in " teaching an old dog, new tricks".