ready to stretch

My thumbs actually cramped at some points with “The Weight She Carries”. I don’t use a hoop, finding it very inhibiting, and some evenings, the left metacarpophalangeal especially would go whooooong and lock up, while the other would join company screaming in unison with the sore pads of the right hand pushing fingers! I also started hitching my right shoulder as i’d manipulate the fabric to get the right angle and direction for stitching from. Lordie, i *do* have “an old embroidery injury” now, several maybe!


After thinking i had an extra day and a half to finish, it turned out i didn’t, so the push was ON. Fortunately, there wasn’t as much as i thought there was to do, since this one has more void space than normal in my work. I didn’t want to clutter up the figure, preferring it be implied rather than obvious, so a bit more of the roses and we were done that part. A slight scattering of honeycombs, some rootie vining across the gnarlied areas and BOOM, ready to stretch/mount on its frame.

Here’s the “official” Contextural exhibit poster. ACAD is in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, something not mentioned on the poster.

contextural end of res 2014

A few days “off” from stitching because of the Yoshiko Wada dye workshop on Wed and Thurs,(i have plans for those results, though we are doing only small small samples) and then i’ll be back at it with something i’m working on to submit to the Canadian SDA national exhibit “Edge of the Forest”. Can’t show it though, as it will be blind jurying! Suffice it to say, that it too will probably result in more phalangeal phuzting, comphlaining and phpain until the Oct 1st deadline………oh, what we do for love!

I need to finish some projects too, but may end up doing that by cannabalizing and revamping!

While i am “relaxing”, how lucky i am! A friend entrusted lending her big beautiful very expensive copy of Dominique Cardon’s “Natural Dyes” book to me for a few days of personal reading, research and note taking! I WANT A COPY!!!!!! My dye garden is not that extensive after all, it being a strange summer weather wise, from 30C+ temps and intense sun to days of 12C and pissin’ cold rain, so the poor plants can’t make up their minds whether to grow or seed, or something in between which results in rather strange little reproductive games. Ah well, i did get things to grow, and learned what to do for next year, and with the help of this wonderful tome, i will have new information and ideas to try out. EDIT: After perusing this book, while i learned a few new things, some history and some science--very important to this dyer—it’s not something i will add to my library after all. Very spendy and no recipes really, though a wonderfully clear and beautiful book. If someone *gave* me a copy however :) , i’d be happy, but just can’t justify the expense.

Today though, i’m just going to dance in my garden!



First one flirts with the Idea, you go on a date, then, a second date, and if Idea is strong and soulful, on the third meeting you do the long dance with it. Conception happens, growth and gestation, forming buds here and a heart there, a wing maybe, and finally she is born, heaving and pushing, exhausting and exhausted.

The Weight She Carries_2014_arlee barr_fullview C

The Weight She Carries_2014_arlee barr_detail 1 C

The Weight She Carries_2014_arlee barr_detail 2 C

The Weight She Carries_2014_arlee barr_detail 3 C

She’s done and hung at ACAD. “The Weight She Carries” arlee barr 2014, hand dyed and hand embroidered, cotton and silk, 24×40″


Dedicated to Patricia Chauncey, for all her strengths and heart.





six hours to go

I figure 6 hours of stitching left to do–good thing because i DON’T have an extra day and a half…………..


1.5 more days!!!

Oh PHEW. One and a half more days means it’s not such a daunting time to get this done. I thought it had to be delivered by noon of the 24th, but it’s really the 25th. I’m still dragging it everywhere i go, for those pesky spare five minute sessions, even going with me to the “pre workshop” info session tonight for the workshop by Yoshiko Wada i am participating in next week. (It’s watching DVD’s and chat and she’s not there, so it’s not rude of me :) I do some of my best stitching listening to things! )

threads for rosesI had chosen these five threads to do the bottom roses, but as i worked the area, left out the paler pink and the rust. Not necessary to the look after all.

roses bottom


My biggest task at hand is hiding the holes that were left by the gnarly stitching i tore out to use this background. Not worried, i have a solution, and even if some of the marks show, i can go with it.

have to fix the gnarlies

The majority of the stitching is done, but there are small areas that need attention, feathers to attach, and then to mount the whole.


But i have to write a little statement too–ugh. My least favourite part of exhibitions! Below is the group statement.

contextural poster res 2014


if 18×2″ = 2 hours…….

then how many hours more does arlee have to go to finish the rest?

18 by 2 equals 2 hours C

and how many hours are already in it?

hours to go TWSC

i figure at least another 20 hours scattered over the next 4 days, because then it’s due at the show.

and in my head is another piece waiting to spring forth.

and lesson plans for a stitch class in October.


Posted by on August 19, 2014 in "Art, fear and permission", in progress, journal


oh so close

aug 18

roses for hope and loss, memorial and memory, honeycombs to sweeten reflection and anticipation



i’m sweating the details and finishing of this: we took time this weekend to escape for a long hike in Horse Thief Canyon near Drumheller, a necessary ‘decompression” time, but now the deadline is really looming!!!

1 Comment

Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Contextural group, in progress


a better stronger heart

aug 16 b C7 days, one week until deadline!!!!

1 Comment

Posted by on August 16, 2014 in in progress


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