Thursday, September 27, 2007


Someone asked me what Stroud was. It is a really really dense wool broadcloth. It is not thick like duffle; it is about the same as melton - but the fibres are much more densely intertwined. It is warmer than both melton and duffle. Usually comes in a cream off white - although some native groups in the US dyed it red or blue. It is used for parka linings (if you can get it and can afford it); mukluks, mittens, etc. Not that you will be able to distinguish it very well in my photos - but the cream/white fabric is Stroud. The black fabric in the mukluk is melton.

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

Mukluks and Baby Belts

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

Quick Update

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!

A weekend worth of stitches!

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 have every intention to spend some time updating the blog this weekend. I've been sketching like mad from a batch of photos taken at the festival - now I just need to work them into something. Keeping with the creative themes I'm forcing my life into, I've been voluntolded into helping out at the craft table at a fall festival. I may live to regret this! We will have to see if a) I enjoy it thoroughly or b) By the end of the day I'll be ready to reach down my throat and rip out my ovaries!

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

After a month of so of roaming!

I'm back! What? No clue I was gone eh? Oh well. The Birmingham Festival of Quilts was inspiring and overwhelming! and just a great time. Several hundred quilts of inspiration and sadly I was 7000 km away from my sewing machine... so what's a girl to do? overcompensate by purchasing several hundred pounds of .... "stuff" (pounds as in the British equivalent to $). I am swimming in threads, cottons, dyes, fat quarters, needles... and basically anything else that caught my fancy and I was sure you couldn't get at the Northern Store. The photo on the left show just a small sampling...(btw I'm rather proud they actually made it into a drawer and are not littered about on the floor). Unfortunately I'd left my 'studio' (my grandiose word for closet) in such a mess at the end of July, that I couldn't do anything once I got home anyways, and what with start of term stuff, it wasn't until last weekend that I actually got to get at it again.

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....