unparalyzed: great news

arlee barr_how The Light Bends_2015



I have been paralyzed since i entered this and two other pieces for the “Materialities” exhibit, and/or catalogue. I’ve done only a wee bit of stitching in the last month, a very wee bit, as i can’t seem to focus and do anything. I received an email today from the SDA executive director and am very very pleased to say that “How the Light Bends” was accepted for the 2015 Surface Design Association “Materialities: Contemporary Textile Arts” catalogue.

I have to admit reading the first email that i had not been accepted into the exhibition was a bit disappointing, in fact honestly,  i was devastated until i opened this particular email…and the catalogue will be around longer than the exhibit :) :) :)

Again, this piece is 21×26, ecoprinted and rusted cottons, with fabric manipulation and every embroidery stitch worked by hand.


Receiving this news was wonderful, and maybe the needles will come out again soon.


gone gardenin’

with slight alterations :) for the gardeners and dye plant lovers (though i know some of you *are* boys ;) )

The WoMan Born to Farming

The Grower of Trees, the gardener, the WOman born to farming,
whose hands reach into the ground and sprout,
to her the soil is a divine drug. SHe enters into death
yearly, and comes back rejoicing. SHe has seen the light lie down
in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn.
Her thought passes along the row ends like a mole.
What miraculous seed has She swallowed
That the unending sentence of her love flows out of her mouth
Like a vine clinging in the sunlight, and like water
Descending in the dark?

-Wendell Berry

Ol’ Wendell of course wrote it as though the only farmers were male….

I’m spending more time outside than in the stoodio, so bear with me. I make hay as the sun shines and once the equilibrium is established, there’ll be our regularly scheduled textile programming here.

Unless we go to re-runs in syndication for the summer.


hope is blue

That poor frozen-for-three-winters-in-a-row-and-generally-ignored-forgotten indigo vat that has been sitting on my back patio is being re-activated.

possible indigo reactivation

Above, what it looked like when i finally took the lid off to have a brave peek. The green gives me hope for blue.

Hoofies crossed, because i want to do this again:

indigo overdyed ecoprint



Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Indigo Dreams




It will be a glorious weekend, weather-wise. I really do think that Alberta has Ontario’s weather this year! That being said, there will be some serious fencing and planting going on.

I am also reminded by recent cruisings of other sites, that i have a stockpile of natural dyes that are languishing in the cupboard. “Saving” things does no good to anyone, and things get old and weak, so best use them.

The indigo vat i started 3 years ago was very successful, then i forgot about it (????). It has also frozen through 3 winters, and at last year’s Wada Workshop, i asked Yoshiko if it might be still useable. With the liquid in it still being green, it’s a possibility, so that must be reactivated.

I also have brazilwood, sandalwood, madder and walnut. The walnut pot had been started two weeks ago and is going well, revving up some ecoprints that weren’t that fantastic.


(Sorry, it’s already gone to a good home :) )

Since i am still having problems getting into the stoodio, these things can be done while gardening. Waiting is a big part of the dye process and gardening, so might as well make good use of both wait periods!



Posted by on May 20, 2015 in dye experiments


in the backyard

The “May Long Weekend”, aka Victoria Day weekend, is traditionally the start of gardening season in Canada, and especially for such climes as Calgary’s Zone 3 conditions. If you’re interested in gardening–and mine is going to be featuring dye and ecoprint plants–you’ll find me happily (though today quite wearily) ensconced at my “dirty” blog, The Dangerous Mouth of the Rose.

My stoodio creativity is at the moment on hiatus, so i will concentrate on my second passion, that of grubbing in the dirt and exclaiming over growth of a half inch at a time—-if you are not a gardener, don’t feel obligated to visit.

It’s satisfying my soul and that’s all that matters right now.





flow slow 2

I mentioned at the end of March that as much as i enjoyed making the Mister Finch bulbs, i wanted to do other things that were more original and personal. These aren’t meant to replace actual work i am doing in the Stoodio, but little bits to develop ideas, stitch strategies and spatial forms. (And my fingers need rest from rust!)

pitcher plant inspiration

It took me three hours of sketching, swearing, redrafting and re-sewing test pattern pieces. I hope the end result will be as wonderfully whacko. I’m using Deb Lacativa’s delicious hand dyed cottons again.


I have also fired up Lalage. Recent advice from a friend, as i noted in a previous post, has me doing some R&D with no fixed results in mind. I haven’t done a lot of this for too long now, instead myopically working on pieces that “have” to be completed. It’s wonderful to be able to DO the serious stuff, not have it lost in a UFO pile, but part of stoodio life is some playing too, yes? Tying in with the previous post, i am working with text again, in my own egocentric way!



And by the way, that dear friend (Karin Millson) and i will be teaching again in September, in Regina, Saskatchewan. This time we will be “abusing” our machines with Karin’s extreme tips, and then doing some ecoprinting! I will post details as i get them–we are still “formatting” and working out details, so stay tuned :)



Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Jam Days, media experiments


THIS is why i tell people i will not follow their blog, just because they have followed mine!

Got this in my email today, after i left a comment on a truly vile, sensationalistic, depraved and contemptible blog that i would not follow just because he had hit the “follow” button for my blog.

I wonder how You are getting dragged into a scandal you had nothing to do with. One man’s junk is another man’s meat. You cannot have a skunk in your house and say the smell belongs to someone else. You must own both the smell and the skunk. Your blog is worse than a skunk!

Obviously this jerk has nothing better to say, or anything remotely intelligent, indeed nothing even worth saying, period. Comments like this immediately land you in my SPAM filter, and are in serious violation of courtesy and common sense. Repeats get you reported to WordPress as scum.

Again, i say: don’t bother. If you have nothing that interests me, and i mean whether it’s a repellent and degenerate show-photos-of-of-dead-people-in-war-torn-areas blog (SERIOUSLY? ARE YOU SICK????) or a subject like gaming, teeth, life coaching, sunshiney fashionista, whiney teenager, bad poet or whatever, i have NO interest. Just as i/we don’t join groups that don’t interest us, neither do i/we follow anything else that has no pertinence to my/our world.

Blog on, True Hearts. All others can bite my poison garden plants.


Posted by on May 13, 2015 in blog and net etiquette


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