Monday, December 31, 2007
Happy New Year To All!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
This is the one that might actually turn out okay. I'm going to thread paint around the while flowers and then might bead and handembroider as well. You have to let the paintstiks dry for days, so we'll wait and see if this actually gets finished or not. I love this fabric! A tip: Most places in Canada are selling a set of 12 sticks for around $79. Dick Blick sells them for about $1.64 Each. You can also get student grade if you just want to muck about. I bought the professional grade ($1.64!).
- The Thread Studio
- Fembellish's Tutorial - Fabrications in Bloom - Part 2 and Part 3
- Art Lady Confidential's Insider Hints (She works for Shiva apparently)
- Laura Murray's Instructions on Using Paintstiks and some discussion on chemistry
- Harmony Hand Dyes has downloadable instructions in pdf format (as well as lots of other instructions on dying and painting fabric)
- Stitch Magazine's online article on Making Your Mark with Markal Paintstiks
- Stich N Patch's Blog has been exploring Markal Painstiks as she finishes her City and Guild's Course
- Moderne Quilts
- All about Hand Dying
- Cox Hardware article on Markal sticks and markers
- Cedar Canyon Textile's Learning Center and Diva's Painstick Project
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The owner (I think) Randy called me to apologize on Christmas Eve. He was very pleasant and said that they would be looking into it after the holidays. He asked me to look on the box for a handwritten number, which I did and provided to him. I told him that the box had been open; those large staples keeping it closed pulled out and then covered with tape. Christmas came and went.
Yesterday, I received an email from the original Salesperson that included a copy of an email from Randy (the owner) asking her to deal with the matter. We have now reached the point in our story where I keep getting seriously pissed off.... be back in a second, I need to go and have a smoke and calm myself down.... again..... Okay, this is part of the email I received from the salesperson:
"Randy e-mailed me about the EMB7 that you had received. To my knowledge that was a new embellisher. I do not ship floor models out to customers unless they have been informed before hand that it is a floor model. I would not do anything underhanded. My customers mean too much to me."
The customers who don't complain anyways. She is refuting my complaint. Anyone get that she is tad defensive? This is my translation and interpretation of the email:
My boss sent me your complaint. How dare you complain. I don't really care about the state of the embellisher you received - I'm doing my job. I mailed you a closed box, what more do you expect? If a floor model got mixed up with a demo model - well that's not my problem. It was probably a mistake - you're just one customer, no one else complained.
It gets better (or worse).... she continues in the email "We would like to compensate you for your trouble and grief by shipping you a pkg. of needles...". and then the email ends with a nicety. Okay, it is at this point that I now switch from 'oh, how lovely, they are dealing with
it" to a point where I am bubbling with anger. I am fuming. Little puffs of steam are coming out my ears! THEY ARE GOING TO COMPENSATE ME FOR MY TROUBLE AND GRIEF BY SENDING ME NEEDLES THAT I ALREADY PAID FOR!!!! HELLOOOOOO!! THEY ARE GOING TO COMPENSATE ME BY GIVING ME NEEDLES FOR THE ONES THAT I HAD TO REPLACE IN THE ACTUAL EMBELLISHER (WITH THE ONES THAT COME WITH THE EMBELLISHER) BECAUSE THE NEEDLES IN THE EMBELLISHER WERE BROKEN BEFORE ARRIVAL. UHM....wow!
Anyone else struck by their overwhelming generosity? Are you in awe by those crackerjack customer service skills? Excuse me while I pause again..... I'm starting to well up from the humanity of it! How...how.....ARGH!!!!! As an afterthought in the next email that says the needles are sent - she says that the extra needles I purchased were very small and perhaps I should look through the packaging material again (I did that by the way - every piece of newsprint and shredded paper - a number of times since!).
No, oops, the needles were small so we taped them to the box so you could find them easily in the first place; or to the invoice, or to the packing slip. No, we're sending these separately or we put them in a large envelope so they wouldn't get lost; or even we taped them to the Embellisher itself.... just... your fault, go through the packing paper, you must have overlooked them... you idiot!! Okay, they didn't say 'you idiot' but it was implied! Remember, dear readers this is a fair sized box containing another fair sized box with the Embellisher in it and lots and lots of packing material. I am at the point in this whole schmoggle, where I want to send an email back saying "Stuff the needles up your nose, I'm happier being out the $40 bucks as payment for my indignation". I won't, but I want to. Then I could righteously fume for the next century or so. Oh, what the heck, I think I still will.
The moral of this story. A little letter from Randy apologizing would have worked so much better. A small "oops we're so sorry for the trouble, we won't let it happen again. We don't know what happened. Do please forgive us". You know what, I would have let it go. I may even have been inclined to continue shopping at Central Sewing in Edmonton. Unfortunately, Central Sewing took a minuscule step in fixing this problem, instead of taking one normal step to put things completely right. A normal step might have been a coupon (and the missing needles); or the needles and and additional package of needles; or $50 off the price of the Embellisher because it had been demo'd.
But they didn't do that and I'm mad and they'll have to live with that ire's consequences. I had plans you see to buy a bigger better sewing machine with one of those fancy dancy stitch regulators sometime later this year. It's a major investment. I have no intention of aiming that investment their direction. Will I tell the next quilter in my guild warm and fuzzy stories about Central Sewing - No! Will I recommend them? Nope. Will I link every keyword in this blog so that search engines pick this post up and the next time someone is looking for a sewing machine retailer in Edmonton, Canada, they'll find this rant - Yep! It's the only power I have, so I'll use it. They have tarnished the reputation of themselves and of Babylock Canada (who is no longer on my list to purchase from too...just because I'm spiteful... njah njah). Will it make any difference? Sadly, No! But do I feel better? Okay, a little. I still want to shove the felting needles up their noses though. I have violent tendancies! Therapy might help?
Friday, December 28, 2007
The embellisher and I have reached an impass of sorts; keep breaking needles (it or I is yet to be determined, but I suspect it might be me). It's not like I'm wedging 2 feet of felt under the needles. I've done some small stuff that I need to turn into something more substantive - which means pulling out fabric, irons, cutting mats, etc.. and the house is so clean at the moment, I'm loathe to do it. Still, I've been enjoying the process and am catching up on my audible downloads at the same time.
I have also been mucking about with denim strips and enjoying the results. When I slipped and fell last spring and the Ambulance folks had to cut off my jeans (sniff, they were a good pair tooo) I kept them - and am slowly turning them into an exploration of blues. I'll post photos later (gosh I promise that often don't I?).
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Kunin on kunin with some roving and free motion thread work.
It's a wee bit distorted - camera or photograph (go with the latter).
May hand embroidery foilage in this one. Turn it into a 'slow cloth' perhaps?
Friday, December 21, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
This first challenge is the Take it Further Challenge being organized by Sharon B of InAMinuteAgo. This is an offshoot of the Take a Stitch Challenge that Sharon ran this year - of which I quietly participated. It was a great way to add some stitches to the repetoire. I'm also debating taking one of Sharon's classes at Joggles. I think she is offering sumptuous surfaces this time around. I also want to take one of Barbara Schoenoff's classes. I've been kicking myself for months that I missed the Temple Dancer class, and haven't seen it on offer in the near future, but her new one will be my methodone alternative.
The second challenge is our quilting guild challenge. I love the fabric we received (above); so I need to incorporate that into something (I love orange!). Speaking of loving fabric - this summer, I had bought a metre of cheap bali at Wallmart - that my sister decided she liked so much that she couldn't trust me not to ruin it (just kidding, she's usually very supportive). Since we have a lovely blank wall in our kitchen which I've been threatening to paint orange - we compromised and I attached it to a set of stretcher bars - for instant - voila, art (at least until I need the stretcher bars).
I have a digital photography class weekly assignments to work through (to justify the camera purchase), and I'm finally ready to commit to my 50 classics (or near classics) of literature. There are a few other creative challenges in the works as well, but the details of my commitments still need to be worked out. I want to try some from the Fibre and Stitch group as well as a few from the other Yahoo groups I belong to. On top of that are the various personal challenges I've set for myself and my festival commitments. So 2008 is looking to be a busy, if not creative year. I'm looking forward to it (especially in light of the last half of 2007 sucking big time!). I did manage to clean out the closet (studio) this weekend (always do stuff like that anytime before I have to either travel or participate in something that has odds that I might not be coming back (even if the odds are teeny)); so atleast it is ready and waiting for my glorious 15 days (the best ever Christmas gift to myself I'll receive this year).
I leave you with this - because in a grumpy cranky sort of way - it lifts my spirits every time I watch it! I also recommend watching a few of the others that'll come up afterwards - my second favourite is the As It Happens Choir ... for a canadian perspective.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
In the past, when I get this way, I start purging (with a vengeance). Old supplies, scraps, WIPs - all get tossed. I'm trying to avoid that this time, because there is always a sense of regret about it - especially the WIPs! I'm also so behind on my course. 'Stress stress stress stresssssss'! The big mental thing I'm trying to work on right now - is to switch my thinking about my art from "indulgent" to "daily practice". It is easier said than done. I'm going to try and set aside an hour every day where all I do is something creative - instead of just 2 hours on a Monday at guild or a couple of hours on the weekend (haven't even managed that!).
Alright, enough griping, back to the arty stuff! Since I don't have anything to post - I'm posting links! Since some people gripe "Where the heck to you find all this stuff" at me - I'm posting some of my regular visits. But first - go to the following website:
Other links (I'll update over the course of the next few weeks).
Podcasts and Blogrolls
Faery Di's Fibre Feats http://faerydi.blogspot.com/
Studio Threads http://www.studiothreads.blogspot.com/
Layers of Meaning http://www.layersofmeaning.org/wp/
The Art Biz Blog (includes Podcasts) can be found at http://www.artbizblog.com/.
Outside the Artist Studio Blog and Podcast can be found at http://www.outsidepodcast.com/.
Websites - Inspirational and Educational
Home Sewing Association - lots of free educational materials and projects (not that I do any of them) can be found at http://www.sewing.org/educator/educator.html.
The Costume Manifesto at http://www.costumes.org/
Shameless Promotion of Projects I'm associated with:
Here is a video uploaded to YouTube by John Sabourin. He's an NWT artist whose work has cost me a few paycheques so far! The video is from the Great Northern Arts Festival 2005. I'm hiding in there someplace.
Great Northern Arts Festival - http://www.gnaf.org/
Travel Blog for GNAF - with a link to a video of a man whose singing makes me cry! He's also a great artist. http://www.travelblog.org/North-America/Canada/Northwest-Territories/Inuvik/blog-192391.html
Northern Art and Artists (including some reference sites)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Hope that helps? I won't be posting for a few weeks as I have to go out of town rather unexpectedly. Later.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I thought I'd post some of my non-traditional traditional work. First there are the Mukluks - which still need the moosehide soles and beaver around the cuffs. Then there is the baby belt (messy studio shot behind). The baby belt is a little big (width and length) - so I'm not sure if it will actually become that. You'll have to bend your head sideways to get an idea of how it would look. It would make a neat wallhanging - except that I designed horizontally rather then vertically and hanging it would present some huge challenges. Both are done with applique and embroidery on stroud (the real stuff - I love this stuff - needles go through it like butter!). I was crushed when the only shop to sell it in Canada (ironically in Yellowknife) closed and am now hoarding what little of it I have left. It's about $70 a metre - and worth every penny! I have been working on another encrusted piece this evening - still in the formative stages and my hands are starting to cramp from the french knots!
It snowed last night! Only 9.5 more months till it melts - Whoopee!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Found the camera! Here is where we are at the present. Full view of the landscape on the above left - detail on the above right. Full view of my old woman on the below left, detail below right.
Click an image to see the photos LARGE!
For the past week I've been coming home from work and putting the Kenmore through its paces (and its a little cranky about it, but that's another rant). I haven't ventured very far away from what has been working for me this summer. Mostly fabric painting on cotton and then embellishing the heck out of them with threads. I still feel that I am refining my technique (another grandiose word for "learning how to control the fabric under the needle"). Here are a few shots.
The photo on the above left is a landscape (or the rough colour block of one). It's very similar to the one I sketched out for the festival - basically because I thought that one was a fluke and am trying to see if I can keep playing with the effects. The one for the festival - was done using watercolour crayons - I've actually used acrylic paint and textile medium for this one. The photo right is drawn from a photograph (I have the photographer's permission). You'll see it again below - but in this one I added the grandchild of a friend between the hands of the old woman. I haven't started this (except for the painting) and I wanted to test it out - which leads me to the final photo. This is working out rather well. I've been using some of the threads that I bought in Birmingham - which are driving me nuts (or it could be the Kenmore). So I've had to scale back and literally recheck everything: am I using the right needle, what are my settings, etc... All of this is frustrating, but probably teaching me patience.
Oh.. and sorry the photo is so dark. Anyways - I took all these photos last week and I've spend most of the weekend working on them - so I'll update a wee bit later (once I find my camera).
Friday, September 21, 2007
I was talking to a friend (KR) last night - as we will be participating in another swap (well 2 of them). She was bemoaning the fact that her last two swaps have yielded only 'junk'. It was obvious by the quality of the work that the participants hadn't put in any real effort and seemed only in the swap for what they could get out of it. It's one of the downsides to the overall upswing in fibre arts and the current popularity of 'swaps'. There will always be people trying to get something for nothing - but it does make me feel a little sad. That being said, I've turned a few of the guild members onto swaps - and we are even doing some challenges at work. Oh, and finally, the photo on the left was from the Festival - you can see little red dots on all but one of them (visitors to the north don't buy flowers!).
Friday, September 14, 2007
I do mean to update on the festival. Sales opened at 10:00 am on Saturday and at 11:15, someone came up to me and told me I'd sold out! My response to that? I cried.. and then promptly had to go and throw up. I only had 12 pieces and some were small - but I honestly never suspected that everything would go. I do mean to try and post some photographs of the finished work - since all I've posted so far were photos of the WIPs. The photo on the right was made during the festival and sold about 30 seconds after being priced. They graciously sent me a photo of it framed.
Now, I've turned my attention to continuing exploring "thread painting". I've worked up some sketches of some more drum dancers and have some painted. Also did another of the landscape that was so popular. Not sure if I'll put any in the craft sale or not, but I've had some requests for commissions. I hate commissions! I don't think I live up to the pressure and expectations at all well.
Enough rambling for now - threads are calling....
Friday, July 6, 2007
The one on the right has a lot of depth. I think they are way too busy - but I've been enjoying the process. Now if only I had an Embellisher!