Category Archives: journal

Bags of colour=thread porn!

Because i had thought i was going to run out of my trusty Caron Wildflowers “Pebbles” colourway, i had ordered more. (Fortunately, i didn’t run out for “A Birth of Silence”.) When it arrived, i realized my thread drawers were a royal mass of mess! Some of the threads were colour grouped, some were lumped together for dismissed projects and some were just all adanglish and twangled.

I spent a happy three hours sorting, tidying up and organizing. My naturally dyed threads have their own cabinet now as well–what a treat to go to Princess Auto again ūüôā I used to store my flosses on those stoopid little cardboard or plastic “bobbins”, until the day i realized there were almost permanent kinks, and i had waaaaaaay too much to wind this way! I like these little drawered storage units, because the whole floss fits in, unwound and with label still attached, i can see the colours, and they look rather cool grouped on the shelves in the stoodio!¬† Admittedly though, there are also three drawers in a larger unit, but all the threads there are now bagged, and organized by colour range, thread type or “value” (as in this one is silk, this one is cotton, this one is hand dyed.) I keep ziplocks on hand in various sizes for organizing project use, or possible combinations!

Since i have had some of these threads a long while, there are colours i rarely use now, except as flashes of contrast. It might be time to work some dedicated pieces with less favoured minions.

I thought i had a lot of threads in 2012:

thought i had a lot in 2012Nope. But now i do!


black grey white ecru

oranges specialities blues

white thread cabinet


purples and browns

yellows and reds

red thread cabinet



mostly variegateds

naturally dyed threads

unfiled for project

thread journal

thread journal pages


And with the Canadian dollar so low in comparison to the rest of the world, well, i best be getting on with using what i have! My last purchases worked out (factoring in exchange to US$ and the shipping) to almost 7.25 for each skein, and unfortunately, even if i had bought in Canada, there wouldn’t have been much of a difference in savings……




filling the heart








nessie dec 17 2015 ings mine alberta

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Posted by on December 18, 2015 in journal


almost ready to show!

off the listI have the backing to add, the signing and the final pressing, and it will be outahere!


Posted by on December 14, 2015 in A Birth of Silence, in progress, journal


well, damn it and lesson learned

I realized that i had done enough of the stitching with the soluble backing, and could get rid of it now as a sample only it is.

OOPS! When the soluble had been washed away from the stitched silks, i pulled too hard on one piece when i was straightening them out—–and ripped a chunk right off…..

ohohFortunately, it ended right above some of the stitched poetry. I’ll take this as a reminder to be more gentle with old silks (a piece donated by a generous friend).

I fluttered and flapped the piece around before i laid it on the background. I can see that the larger planned idea will work, but that the ends may need a bit of weight to stabilize the “hang”.

I have decided for this test/sampling piece that it *will* have an indigo background–mostly because it makes me happy, the colour contrast and the blue of a river fitting right in. And i guess the Universe is just saying “well, stitch more in that void then” where the silk tore off.

sampling with indigo background

And it’ll be something on it’s own after all,¬† when all the other stitching has been added.



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!



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



I decided to NOT cut the background smaller–i’d hate to lose those beautiful markings–especially when i intentionally create these pieces at that size!


Laying the piece on the floor to photograph it gave me a different perspective. I’ve been thinking of it in a vertical (portrait) orientation, originally working as the right photo:

orientation 1 and 2

But now i’m thinking, the horizontal (landscape) layout would be more effective, choosing the one at the top of this comparison panorama:

orientation 1 and 2 b

There are still 5 pieces of the longer “cell wings” and one of the rondelles in process. I’m not quite sure of the layout of them yet, but they will take up some background without hiding or detracting from the rust and brazilwood marks. (The completed “components” are not attached yet.)

In the back of my head too, are wanderings in what the actual background will be augmented with, in the form of “flat” embroidery. I’m setting myself a deadline for this piece–i’d like to have it done by the middle of September. (HA. Maybe, maybe not, maybe.)

And the blue words i showed here will not be used on this after all. Plans for those too elsewhere….


Posted by on July 5, 2015 in A Birth of Silence, in progress, journal