Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Planning stage for me ... but.... What I am planning is WOW!!

I thought I would share this with you:-
It is the part of ACAD's fibre blog that deals with visiting artists.  You might like to keep an eye on it.  For example... I didn't know that kathryn Walter visited in March.... Did you? ...
Was there an opportunity to see her work or hear her talk or even attend a workshop?
Maybe there was but how would you know?
One way not to miss out on opportunities is to stay in touch - and I can help you do that....
Send me a message and get your name on the Open Network for fibre and mixed-media artists.
I will be calling for registration very soon for workshops across Alberta with Jason Pollen, and I will share this information by email... so don't miss out....

For now here is one of his works for you to drink in and savour.  Better than any mulled wine with mince pie....

Here's to a great holiday and wonderful year ahead.

Monday, December 12, 2011

This is Very Much not my work.... but ring any bells???
It is by Junco Sato Pollack

Go here to see read about the artist.
Abstract composition in hand scroll w/ Plexi rod
25" x 50" x 8"
Sublimation, embroidery on polyester organza 

Remember discussing Origami and use of disperse dye at the ACAD Residency last summer?
Omg, and note the design, squares in those powerful colours, suspended from a perspex rod using? fishing line.... hmmmmm....
I truly get what you are on about dear friends who have been discussing the complexities of working where one is constantly seeing others' work.  Where is the line between yours and mine?

Kreative Momentum Runs its 13th Workshop - not unlucky for anyone we hope.
The latest Kreative Momentum Research and Development Day was held last Friday where we investigated the use of Fosshape for 3D work under the guidance of Angela Dale.
For a taste of what we got up to go to Arlee's blog
And here is one stolen image:- ( You OK with this Arlee?)

This R&D Day  was just Soooooo oversubscribed and will run again... as a 2-day event. 
The following was e-mailed to me by a participant after the event:-
"Thanks so much for the day. It was very enjoyable, a good start on 'R&D' (perfect descriptor as there is no pressure just exploration), and a nice introduction to each other. You and Angela made us all feel comfortable and went to great lengths, esp. all the samples! Please do know that I am very grateful for the opportunity for get togethers like this in a community of like minded learners."
Name withheld for privacy reasons.

If you feel you want this sort of thing for your professional development, then be sure to get in touch and get your name on the list for future workshops and R&D days.

More pats on our backs:-
See below the wonderful press we are getting for the current Contextural show at the Epcor Centre

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Adornments - for sale

People seem to like these as brooches and (these) hair adornments; they are selling.
A take on Flexing Felt.
Should I market them big time?  Which way to turn I ask...
No time to rabbit on today...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The WIP - Work in Progress blog link (at right)  has helped me to stay focussed... and provided gratification as I aim to post something I am doing each week.
Above is  a sample - ??Quilt?? so I am a quilter now?  Yes, it has 3 layers and is quilted and padded... a type of trapunto quilting I suppose (but without the slit, I never liked the end result of that).
It is a piece I will use in the workshop Flexing Felt that takes place here on Friday.  I loved making this piece... just to do some hand stitching... now I just have to finish off the seeding and then with some more lines but of hand stitching.

It is a piece for winter.  But I think it has potential as the edging for a winter scarf. I just need to source the right type of (micro) fleece.

The Research and Development Event, mentioned last week, will take place on 9th December and all places are full, with a waiting list and list for a future session too.... I hope to post some images of the outcome.  If you are interested in Textile Techniques, workshops or master-classes please email me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WIP this is for you

Little fishy things.
Anyone know a supplier of fibre optics in the Calgary area?
And I could do with a tame electrician!

Far from eliminating things from my work load I appear to be stacking more on the pile.
Why oh why was it so hard?  I have spent hours drawing up my first emailable newletter for the Alberta Branch of Surface Design Association... I am now the representative for Alberta. If you want to contact me to talk about SDA please do.  You know where I am..... ioftheneedle[at]

I don't think I will make it to finish my Dreamweaver self-directed study because 1) My use of the trail version has expired. 2) Someone else wanted the Missing Manual from the library!

Met a like-minded soul this week.  We chatted and didn't notice the time, I probably got a parking ticket!!!
Check out Angela Dale's work on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

An Aside

The Calgary Public Library has a series of books circulating right now that encourage public involvement and creativity.
These are books for people to create by being creative via literature or art. But not the two together!
So I put a 'hold' in for the arty one with the title "Diversity" sounded right up my street.
I had thought I would get a book that was already half full of artworks, cartoons and sketches.  In fact I got a book that had this skillful and beautiful rendition of the Ash in Calgary, and nothing more.  In other words I was expected to be the second 'artist' to add something.  The pressure was enormous.
I held onto the book for a week or so and considered simply returning it to the library... after all, I don't do art like that and it had made me feel rather insecure I suppose.
But then I thought... it is only people like me participating that will make this thing a diverse work in itself.  So I have added my bit... consider it a doodle or playful work... both of which are acceptable additions to the "Travelling Art Book" it says this (I paraphrase) in the directives on the first page.
My piece illustrates the diversity of coral reef to deep sea... and I had fun. And if it encourages people to simply relax and have fun and put something on the pages... all well and good.
 To get hold of one of these books yourself go to Calgary public library.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fibre Fun

From time to time there has been healthy debate about what is fibre art and what is not.
I think this is fibre art.  
Calgary Farmers' Market prior to Halloween.
 The work Eveline Kolijn - Plastic culture.  This is a person I would like to meet.
in the window space near the C-train downtown Calgary.
For more window art go here.
I hope to see my life:art coach this weekend.  
See if we can thrash out time-management issues.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Amazingly geological... time management

This is one of my manipulated photoshop images - very organic, very me.  From some ceramic work I did.   I think this has potential in stitch.  Probably my other clay pieces do too...
Add it to the To Do List.

Monday - Work on Web Site Development
Tuesday - Sculpted surfaces  (A World Beyond Shibori)
Wednesday - Networking with Calgary's Dynamic International Wednesday Stitch group!
Thursday - Kreative Momentum Workshop Prep.
Friday - His Diverse Materials (The Dark Side, or see the above)
Weekends - sacrosanct = family time

Where does all the other stuff fit in?
 - Tuition/Mentorship/Consultancy/Workshops
 - Marketing
 - Designing
 - Accounting
 - Development/Experimental work
 - Proposals
 - Blogging/(web) research/online shop maintenance

I might put this rambling blog entry up for half an hour and then delete it... Unless it proves of interest to readers.... via email or comment.  What does your working week look like?

Kreative Momentum - Flexing Felt Course

 Flexing Felt 1, the latest in Kreative Momentum's technique based workshops, was held this week.  The one day workshop introduced the method of using mass free motion stitching to sculpt felt.  The photo below shows the studio in a very favourable light I think!  Classes welcome 5 students at a time.
Amazingly the participants stopped talking and lost themselves in stitch. Not meaning to be rude, it just happens that way.
Felt was sculpted into cups and nodes. Flexing Felt 2 teaches how to create vessels using this method and the participants are encouraged to create their own style of vessel using other techniques such as piecing, embellishing and metal thread work.
If you are interested in this class or others please contact me directly:
ioftheneedle[at]me[dot]com to gain access to the Kreative Momentum web pages.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"IE6 Fade Away"

One has to do something to stay sane whilst reading all this I.T. stuff.

I'm on Chapter 10 (p400). Unfortunately my 30 day trial of Dreamweaver will expire tomorrow.
I have to consider buying it now or doing nothing more until I  can get on a course for Dreamweaver CSS5 through which I will, no doubt, learn very fast AND be able to purchase the software much cheaper via a student discount.  Meanwhile, though, I am sure to forget everything I have gleaned over the past 4 weeks.  What to do?

a) Dream about violet squirrels popping up all over Calgary - Must have something to do with our popular Mayor Naheed Nenshi who, one year ago, chose purple as his campaign colour and won.
b) 3 hours + of stitching with fishing line tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Work in the Window

12 members of Contextural (a community of textile artists fostering a cooperative creative environment in support of the production of new artistic works) a group in which I actively participate, are exhibiting at the Epcor Centre Calgary, Canada... There is an amazingly eclectic mix of miniature pieces all no more than 3" in any direction, I believe there is something to appeal to everyone in the two window spaces.  As well as that, other very talented artists are exhibiting in adjacent windows (see the link below).  I hope you can make it to take a look either on the reception night... or at some time before the end of the show (Dec 30th).

A catalogue for the show is available at:-

Thanks for your continued interest in my work - For those of you who live close enough... I hope to see you at the opening.

Go to:-
and scroll down to see the other artists' work and a couple more of my 'Strange Creatures"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Museum of Anthropology does the kid's head in!

Yes, it is true the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology has several Apple computers with (big) touch screens... how is this possible?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

John, Adam, Alice, Aden and Laura
The work of Sally Michener at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver
 There is much stunning modern art alongside Canada's cultural heritage. This image is off-centre because I wanted to catch the inlaid woven fibre at right. 

 These guys I do not know but the colourful juxtaposition of their pink Ts against the photographic imagery of Salt Spring's Stephen Friedman was a stunner and quite put me off my pesto-pasta

For clearer images than those shown below click on 'News' above and scroll
Contextural's collective show is up at Epcor along with 100s of mice! If you can get there please do.
Check out the details - click on 'NEWS" above
And congratulations to all the exhibitors.  The windows look fantastic.
A Blurb book will be available shortly.... pop back to find it, Follow me, or contact me directly.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Art Central

This looks like a good reason to get myself down to Arts Central, Calgary.   Work by Megan Dyke and Nathan Mizera.  I wont see it this week as I am in town only in the morning... but maybe stitching gals will want to visit next week.  

Nothing much doing on the stitching front but pleased to report I am nearly a third into my self-imposed, self-regulated, self-directed "How to create your own website" course.

I could do with a break from all this CSS stuff (and it is only Tuesday).  Thanksgiving is coming up - there is a show to see on Salt Spring Island (where we are spending the holiday) - with a piece by Diana Thompson, check out the story of Lens.... for a good discussion starter.

Reminds me of my blue ceramic balls sprinkled across terracotta shards in a garden in England (sorry no photo available).

Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy New Year

Dreamweaver the missing manual (for CS5 from out of the Calgary Public Library) is 1074 pages of information, tutorials, hints and even some extra advice for those who are experienced in all of this.
So that would be 11 days at 100 pages a day.  I have had it since Tuesday night and am on page 109
Don't expect to hear from me for at least a year!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Art around the city

We were thrilled to see an artist (Mary-Leigh Doyle) at work en plein air.  What could be more wonderful -  just at the Elbow Drive, Glenmore Trail junction... which I drive by every day (school run).  So we will have happy memories of chatting with the artist as she, firstly, prepared the background and then made it come alive with her everyday scene?!? of shoeing magpies.
Like my daughter Mary-Leigh loves puns... Hope you get them.

This isn't to say that we wont miss the ghosts that used to make random visits to this area... indeed, at this very spot, some months ago.  I am sure they will have gone to better place.

And what of my progress re-website?  Well, I find that a combination of some knowledge of Photoshop + my age, such that I do remember some code ( from typing up my thesis in one of the first versions of word processing ), put me in a good position on the exponential learning curve for Dreamweaver..... though still on the uphill and struggling part...
Thanks to all who messaged me advice.  I'm really encouraged, thanks.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Iran do Espirito Santo - Wall Drawings

Whilst on a visit to ACAD this morning I dipped into the work of Iran do Espirito Santo  at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery.
Below are a few images of some of the 7 large pieces on show.

Tape 2007/2011 latex on wall
Is is the result of a month long residency at ACAD and involves precise drafting, drawing and painting of latex, acrylic and marker on wall.
What a timely opportunity for me to visit 4000 square foot of line and mark since I am currently devoting some of my time to practicing and investigating design principles once more.

I found it v. amusing to see the ripped off edge on one piece of 'tape'  After many hours of using this nasty plastic for my packing boxes I know these shapes only too well.  The stunning feature is that it isn't plastic tape at all but rubber.

Fence 2007/2011 Permanent marker on wall.
Was rather disorientating for me - perhaps the interplay of the light and my vari-focals! was this the exact effect the artist wanted.  It appears that the fence is suspended some distance from the wall.
 Such brilliant variation in line... you could feel the bends in the wire.
A piece of ebony - probably a veneer leant up against a wall?
No, "A large square in black is carefully etched in minute detail, suggesting a faux ebony wood grain"  wrote Wayne Baerwaldt, Director/Curator, Exhibitions
 Detail of line...

Pieces are at times humorous, intriguing, illuminating or disorientating.  But always very fine.  "His work aims to critically engage or unhinge high modernist ideas associated with "progressive" architecture and design."  This from the documentation accompanying the exhibition... along with "Wit and paradox" So if you are interested in these things... what a great place to visit.

And what of my meeting at ACAD with the Extended Studies team?  Very positive I would say, very positive.

Web site for ioftheneedle - revisited

Thanks heavens I didn't go down the iweb route.  That is being discontinued with no replacement.  Thank you... v. much Apple.
So what else is there out there for a web developer newbie...
Saw  Susan Sorrells simple and lovely looking website....  powered by wix... but that works in Flash which wont load on some mobile devices... iphone/ipad unless I develop a mobile version of my website too.  What about Realweaver then?  Well, as a beginner I would probably work it more like a blog using their own themes... and that might cause some problems later if I discover I want it to do something and the theme I chose doesn't allow for such modifications.
Hmmm... is this a case of a little knowledge is a dangerous thing?  It is certainly out of my comfort zone.  But I am the sort to rise to a challenge.
Better get some more knowledge... Spent a happy hour in the library reading about Dreamweaver... or was it dreaming about Reed-Weaving...
Do I really want to spend precious arty time learning about web development when I could be weaving reeds.
As they say in Lancashire "Think on."

Off to ACAD this morning to discuss possibilities for future collaboration to bring in more visiting artists... Here's to wishing and dream-weaving.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Norwegian art in a Triangle

Friend and I went to Triangle Gallery to see Construction - an exhibition of Norwegian works of art (all textiles by the way) and here are some of the works...  Details of their titles, makers and construction can be found at the link above, as well as more photos.

 Inger Blix Kvammen -  A necklace of crochet silver wire
Inger Johanne Rasmussen – Magnetic House hand stitched patchwork
Lillian Dahle – Star Grille - Note the use of eggshell as lining to this wonderful bowl made of stained cherry wood (if I remember correctly) and egg-shell

  Anne-Gry Loland - beautiful "Rose 2"  a hanging of deconstructed fabrics created by use of devore
 Side view to show layering and wonderful shadows.
 Black Meadow by Astrid Lovaas and Kirsten Wagle
Lars Sture "Untitled No 1, No 2 and No 3".  1999 - 2000.  Embroidered and painted wood. 
 Reminiscent of Hardanger and Omani silver embroidery on leather.

  Inger Blix Kvammen

 Anne Lene Lovhaug 

  Marit Helen Akslen - "White Dress" (is made entirely of shirt collars buttoned together)

Havard Larsen "Garri" birch burl with reindeer antler
Kristin Saeterdal "Seen Through Tears No 10 , No 11. Stunning weavings of spelsau sheep wool on linen.

All images taken with permission (Catalogue available from Triangle Gallery).

Friend with Marianne Moe's "Anorak Bag and Salmon Bag.
This was a great exhibition,  thanks to Triangle Gallery for continuing to support fibre arts when so few galleries in Alberta and elsewhere are prepared to do so.  This is certainly one exhibition I would recommend.