colour fields, a shop update

I’ve been having a blast the last few days, with my natural dyestuffs–tansy, brazilwood, hollyhock and indigo all fired up and in various pots and cauldrons around the house.

A little taste:

hippie chick 2b

tansy and bw snake b

lightning strike b

Offerings in the shop now!


thus it begins again




context C

mad textile scientist

Firstly, let me thank you from the bottom of my wizened little heart, for all the kind and thoughtful words on my last post!!!!!!!!! I never meant to have a pity party, it was facts, albeit facts dispensed with a very emotional edge ;), but with a shared experience came lots of good advice, concrete help and much food for thought.

When i was packing up the art in my despondency and self sabotage, i came across a piece i made many years ago, perhaps the Universe’s way of giving me both a boot in the backside and a hand up to self respect again. Those first four photos in this post are from my “Emergency Self Esteem Kit”, made in 2008. So, all the art that came down is now outside in the shade, being aired, dusted and vacuumed, and will go back up, in different spots and configurations, but up nonetheless. The Wallow is SO over.

Why i do what i do when i do DO it  Read the comments as well please. And interesting that the SDA “Materialities” show is this focus :“What do textiles/fibers and their associated processes offer artists that cannot be achieved in other media?” I do wish i could hear Namita Gupta Wiggers’ talk on the subject!



why i won’t be showing “internationally” anymore

I’m sure a lot of you have come to the same realization. It’s not the shows/exhibits themselves, but the cost of getting something there. There’s a lot of paperwork to fill out, forms that demand details about what it is, what it’s made of, where it came from, what it’s “valued” at. There’s a risk that some customs agent is going to sneer, have a bad day and hold your work either to the gallery initially, or when it comes back to you as the rightful owner-creator, and demand either more details down to where your maternal great grandmother was born to what it “really” is worth. There’s another risk that it will either not get there at all (i had sent work a couple of years ago to Texas and it went to Florida and was then sent back to me, missing the show entirely)–or that it will be lost or damaged on the way back, if the precious thing didn’t attract a buyer, if the exhibit items were also for sale, not just for exhibit…………….

The cost of “doing” a show can be astronomical really. Never mind the jurying fees, which sometimes in themselves are ridiculous. I’ve even heard one show say theirs were high to weed out the ones who “are not serious about art”. WHAT????? I get the fact that jurying is a necessity, i get it that fees are charged to offset costs and to attract the high profile jurors, to lessen the cost of administration and logistics, but when you add that to the hoops you have to jump through to get something there if it is accepted, it starts adding up to a high price to have your baby hanging in a room with other people’s babies.

Don’t get me wrong, i am thrilled when i get those emails that something has been accepted, but now i realize that i simply can’t afford to do it anymore. I work a day job, i have a husband who works hard too and though we are not poverty stricken, we are regular joes earning a living, with not a lot of leeway for costs that could eat into the budget for luxuries like needed car parts, winter boots and pet food.

There is a great divide in my house today. My husband is furious at the cost of shipping something to Gatlinburg TX for the SDA “Materialities” show. I am in shock and let the bloody thing go anyways. I’m embarrassed that i did, knowing the damage it has done to our budget. I’m hurt by the thought that my work can’t go out of the country again and that i will never then be on the “world stage” simply because i cannot afford the cost—never mind the costs of creating, the time, the skill, the agony and the ecstacy of the art making.

NONE of this is either the SDA’s fault, or the fault of any other exhibit that is not in Canada, by the way. I support the SDA and love what it has enabled me to do. It’s the shippers, the rules and regulations, and the inflated sense of importance given to packages that may or may not be “dangerous’, fraudulent, or illegal.

I paid $125CDN to get “How the Light Bends” to the lower US. I also have to pay probably the equivalent in AMERICAN dollars to get it back when the show ends. I paid a jurying fee of $40US to be vetted for the show. And let’s not forget that i also paid for the materials, the time to create, the skills that went into making it, the experience that came up with the idea and the actual MAKING of it. Is it any wonder that most people don’t get why art is so “expensive”???????

What it comes down to in the end is i simply cannot afford this. Was it vanity then that made me let it go? It still would have been in the catalogue, just not physically there. It almost makes me want to stop completely. You know what i did last night when we got home from the shipper?

I took down every piece of art from our walls. I packed up my stitching corner. I cried.


Posted by on July 28, 2015 in "Art, fear and permission"



I’m spending as much time admiring this, and running my fingers over it, as i am stitching :)  I’ve been trying new angles with the camera, hoping it shows the texture and dimension, as i wish you could see and touch it in person! first rondelle done first rondelle done c I see a few areas where i will add more of the bars too–using photographs gives a more objective view!

These will be the last photos for awhile of this section, because it’s going to have to be covered and protected while i work the other areas. The detached buttonhole bars are strong for their size, but i fear catching them on something as i move the cloth around. I’ve hooked fingernails, pins and needles, needle keeps and assorted other strange things before on “flatter” work, so this could be a nightmare snare if left free!



abos july 21 C

abos july 21 b CA little wee bit more done, and a daylight look at the texture. I’m in love.


Posted by on July 21, 2015 in A Birth of Silence, in progress


a blessed unrest

abos july 20cThe weekends are usually full of house chores and gardening, so i had to wait until i had today with no interruptions to continue on this. The light has to be really good also for those little woven circles! This is one of the few times i got into that almost zen, disconnected/connected state, and several hours flew by with no distractions.

abos july 20 detailI wanted to finish all those so that i could move on to the detached buttonhole bars, but fading daylight, and tiring eyesight stopped me at this point. I’m anxious to get this part done, so that i can move on to attaching the larger honeycomb/hex pieces, and a smaller rondelle, and then start working on the background. I have a vague idea that a deadline happens in September, but am not sure when.

“No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest.”  ~ Martha Graham



Posted by on July 20, 2015 in A Birth of Silence


possible future projects….

I can easily get ahead of myself. The actual work takes a long time with each piece, but i think ahead to what else could be achieved.

fire tree  This isn’t set in stone yet, but it’s a distinct possibility, combining the words from original tree “poetry” and the newly dyed piece of silk charmeuse. I’ll let it percolate for awhile. I’ve never worked on silk as a background before, so that could be a challenge, a learning experience, a wondrous achievement or a disaster.

I’m disturbed (as we are all) by the wild fires that have taken over the northern parts of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan, and that seems to me to be what this could be. When we drove through the mountains between Banff and Jasper National Parks last week, the mountains were almost invisible due to the smoke haze created by these numerous and massive destructive forces. We had returned home already when parts of Jasper were evac’d, but i have seen first hand the results of these fires when several years ago, i drove home through Jasper to Edmonton right through an area that had been destroyed. There were still puffs of smoke, small hotspots being tended to by vigilant fire fighters, and an eerie sense of the end of the world in the ashy silence.


Posted by on July 14, 2015 in "Art, fear and permission", journal


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