End of Season shop update, UPDATED

All fabrics on sale at 40% off for end of season! I’ll be adding as the shop empties, but if you see something you like, grab it now. 

Because the Canadian to US dollar is around 80cents US, that means you save a BIG chunk of coin!


This is a “sticky” post–scroll down for current blog entries ;)

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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in FybreSpace, hand dyes and ecoprints


Art in the shop

barr arlee_Expose_2015_full view sm C

barr arlee_Expose_2015_detail view C

barr arlee_Expose_2015_detail view 3 C


“This woman smoulders.
A bed of white roses flames
in her heart. Touch her
and soft petals open.
fire caresses the bud.”

An original softly erotic tanka for lovers, this yearning little artwork embodies passion and waiting.

Walnut dyed lace, cochineal and madder dyed silk, rusted and ecoprinted cotton, some threads naturally dyed with madder, cochineal and sandalwood. Hand embroidery. Hanging sleeve attached to back.




deadlines deadlines

A collaborative book page project, How the Light Bends and a mini personal “challenge” with (Intake of breath) someone else’s pattern.

worktable mar 1Deadlines: March 15, March 21, March 31 and April 15.

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Posted by on March 1, 2015 in How The Light Bends, Jam Days


How the Light Bends progress

I made myself a list! There are many steps in this one, and sometimes, i admit, i get so carried away with each area *as* i am working it, that i forget what comes next. That usually causes a stall, often a looong one, because i know in the back of my vasty head there was a plan–and sometimes the intuition is actually NOT to be trusted!……

Parts are not all attached (or done!) yet, but here’s a general idea of what she/it will look like:

to date feb24 HTLB C

I have to fix the cut i accidentally made at the bottom. I was going to put one of the bees there, but it looked like it was flying up her butt, so nope. Will have to figure out something else. It doesn’t have to be completely hidden, just disguised!

The centre ring has been prepared for its next steps, eucalyptus dyed cotton thread holding the circle:

feb 24 htlb circle CAnd one whole bee has been attached and legs done:

bee feb 24 htlb CUnfortunately, i am almost out of the hollyhock dyed cotton embroidery floss i used for the legs…..with three more to do, i’m going to dirty up a bit of DMC 4145 (Sand Dune) and hope that works. It doesn’t have to be exact, but i’d like an approximation!

I’ve also decided to submit this to a show, and have an April 15th deadline, easily manageable–because i want to do this one and am not feeling “obligated” to finish it just to finish it.



Posted by on February 24, 2015 in How The Light Bends, in progress


Bee the UFO

I don’t know about you, but when i finish something that i have worked on for months, there’s a period after fraught with anxiety, excitement, fear, pride and restlessness all wrapped in one quivering package of Me.

I tossed piles this morning, looking for something to grab my attention. I want to start new work, but i still love and WANT to finish the unfinished work, so i duggeded through that pile too. I love this one even more now that a bee has attached itself.

vaguely threatening first bee attached

vaguely threatening first bee attached b

Vaguely threatening and lacking three legs yet, but this could be the cure for a severe case of Ambipathy.


Ubiquitous Poppy Project done

Poppies (and roses and daisies ;) ) are almost a cliché when it comes to textile work. Almost everyone uses them as inspiration at some point, whether it’s scribbled sketches or highly detailed and amazing translations to machine or hand work. Google the image search and see what comes up! I’m not really knocking the subject matter, as i did it on purpose :)

All cliché aside, i did enjoy this one. At 30×40″, it initially seemed a manageable size to work with, as i was able to experiment and go larger with the technique–until i got to all the background stitching! I didn’t want to cop out with a lot of echo lines or running stitch to fill space, but even breaking up areas with the chosen elements took longer than expected. The wrapped backstitch i love for clear lines is a great stitch, but essentially it’s a stitch you do twice so it takes longer than using one simple one, running stitch for example :) . I finished it yesterday in a marathon session with old movies and a snoring dog keeping me company.

Deb Lacativa‘s gorgeous hand dyes were being hoarded until i realized they had to be used, or what was the point? I’m not a stasher who drools over her collection as just a collection–i want to use the cloth in art, not be wrapped in a shroud when i die! (I think it was Robbi Eklow who said that a loooooooooooong time ago.) Deb’s cloth is truly magical, soft and rich, saturated in colour and perfection for hand stitch.



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Though i have half jokingly referred to this all along as The Ubiquitous Poppy Project, it’s really “All the Gardens Dreaming”, still a tongue in cheek reference to the subject matter’s use everywhere.

By the way, if you prefer seeing the photos without the arty slideshow, they are in my Gallery 2015 :)


Posted by on February 22, 2015 in hand embroidery, slow cloth


dry thrills :)

Now that the Grevillea ecoprints have been washed, dried and pressed, i have to say this plant’s leaf is my favourite “commercial” material. (I say “commercial” as in i have to buy it, and it’s not something local that i can source in our short Alberta growing season!) The only downside to these is that they are quite expensive, even with my fffFlower mines staff discount!! (Another reason i’m glad they did work :) )

These were done with a bit more decision in layout, but i have plans for the next batch to be even more “controlled”. That’s the true beauty of these materials: you can just splodge them around, but i like the clarity and precision of an actual Design. When i use them myself, i like there to be spaces where some story can be told, where other elements can be added, and some focus. I’ve never been a flowery fancy overloaded pattern kind of girl, and neither do i want these to be.

On a cotton/bamboo blend:

grev 1Details:

grev 1 detail


The same one below, but with bad lighting–which gave me the inspiration to over dye this, perhaps with solidago or tansy, or in a tannin bath (which will darken the iron as well)

grev with possible tannin added

And a second piece, also on the cotton/bamboo blend:


grev 2 cotton

grev detail on cotton


On habotai silk:

grev  on pre ecoprint silkAbove, pre ecoprinted with maple that didn’t quite work.

Below, “sisters” to the above cotton/bamboo blends.

grev 2 on silk


grev on silk

On pre-rusted cotton:

grev on rusted cotton


Both sides of all of these are quite useable (with the exception of the pre rusted cotton–i think the rust was substantive enough to block “bleed through”), with only a bit of a colour depth loss, which means that if one were so inclined, one could use them as a “ghosting” in the same piece. A lot of leaves will mark through with only minimal marks on the reverse side of the fabric. Another bit of excitement is the use of the face side in contact with the fabric makes an almost negative space, with a bit of an edging. (The most effective ecoprinting is done with the vein side of the leaf in contact, the face side up.)

grev contact points

Now back to the stoodio and cook pot!!!


Posted by on February 18, 2015 in hand dyes and ecoprints, media experiments


grevillea ecoprint testing: UPDATED

I have drooled, positively DROOLED over photos of Irit Dulman’s ecoprints using Casuarina. There is nothing even remotely like this tree in Alberta, though i hear it *may* grow in BC.

Every time i come across something needly and fine at the fffFlower mines though, i test it. This time, i got it. Not quite as fine as casuarina, but damn close and quite exciting, this is a variety of grevillea. (On a side note, the flowers didn’t last very well, in or out of the cooler…i wouldn’t recommend it as a cut.)

These were all rolled fast and furious so there’s no real “design” to them, unlike my usual process. They remind me of fossils, old ferns, pictoglyphs, hobo markings, very graphic and clean, something to further explore.

grevillea and rose on cotton

grevillea and rose on silk

grevillea on cotton 2

grevillea on silk

I’m hoping something may result also, combining them with maple leaves i have in the freezer.

Edit: 2 and a half hours later :) YES!!!!!!!! (The brown in these though is bad camera lighting because i was too excited to set it up properly, and the fabrics are still wet, but Oh OH oH!)

gr 1 C

gr 2 C



Posted by on February 17, 2015 in hand dyes and ecoprints, media experiments


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