Category Archives: other spaces i ocassionally inhabit

ACC Exhibit “X3”

 X3   January 16-March 26, 2016, Alberta Craft Council, Edmonton Alberta

X3 January 16-March 26, 2016, Alberta Craft Council, Edmonton Alberta


Posted by on January 2, 2016 in A Birth of Silence, Contextural group, shows


better detail shots of “A Birth of Silence”

Still not the whole thing as i am finding it hard to find a good spot for space and light!

detail shot dec 30_15 ABOS

detail shot dec 30_15 ABOS bAnd now it’s time to turn my thoughts to new work. I have goals again, one of them being not to get SO immersed in something that it becomes a Herculean effort to finish! I’d like to work a bit smaller again, with colour and more sculptural (ly?).

Probably my last post of the year, so i wish you all the best in whatever *you* wish/plan/desire/do. See ya on the other side of the calendar.


“A Birth of Silence” makes her debut

I can’t believe how slow i was with this one! Started at the beginning of April, i had some real time lapse moments–as in, i let it lapse in time to work on! Don’t know why i had such a block with it: Padded Cell took 7 months, and it was at least as much stitching as this one, give or take a hundred hours! *I sort of kept track at the beginning of how much time i was putting into the handwork, and gave up at around 142 hours–add another 76.675459 or so, and that means a lot of myopic moments!

So, nine months later, here it is, “A Birth of Silence”.

We are losing our habitats, our rivers, indeed much of our planet, to irresponsible stewardship, on global and personal levels. Without pollinators, our food supply and natural reserves will be devastated. I have chosen to represent these necessary life forces in “A Birth of Silence”. Bees hover around a butterfly egg, the honeycombs and pollen grains are suspended in space, perhaps to disappear forever. Without the key element of pollinators in the world, there will indeed be a colossal birth of silence, a death rather, of everything we need and desire in our world.

I am truly horrified by how even locally this mismanagement is so striking. I learned this past week that my beloved Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and the local “wildlife habitat” area are in jeopardy of becoming simply open spaces with no real natural benefit to the local ecosystem. Invasive plants, non-native plants, no water in the marsh areas, plowing over the area that was used as flood mitigation repair which opens it to more invasive and non beneficial plant life, plowing which also destroyed the natural land formations of small hills and barrows and all of the trees remaining after the flood, no long term plantings for birds and small mammal food supplies and nesting/shelter areas, removal of beaver populations, improper stewardship of new plantings, construction of touristy buildings and well meaning but spurious “art projects” gawdz, the list goes on and on……….I suspect some eco-activist action may will be upcoming in my future.

Through the local fibre arts group Contextural, this will be part of an exhibition at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta. X3 features 3 organizations on the cutting edge of fine craft: Alberta Potters’ Association, Contextural Fibre Arts Cooperative and the Nina Haggerty Centre.


This is the starting fabric, the base, created in my 2012 residency at ACAD. I had deliberately done large pieces, intending to use them as start points for future work. (Some of these are still sitting in the stoodio, waiting for inspiration.) You never know where these will lead you until the time is ripe. Through the last few years, my intent is faster than the implementation though, truly “Slow Cloth”! (Note though, “slow cloth” is NOT just about hand work–it’s about intent and commitment.)  I know too that sometimes–for me at least–my ideas can’t come to fruition until i have the skill set to make them real, whether it be a particular technique, or a concept, or a deep seated NEED to do that specific work.

I flipped the fabric though so the orientation is this way (hence the upside down ©) :

big expanse orientation

After exploring this technique for the past two years, i am still thrilled by the dimension and texture created.

ABOS pre exhibition 1

ABOS pre exhibition 2

ABOS pre exhibition 3

ABOS pre exhibition 4

ABOS pre exhibition 5

I don’t yet have a photo of the whole hanging properly (the top 6″ of this is folded over behind), but am hoping to amend that by seeing it at the exhibition on January 16th–i might just finally show for an artist reception 😉 Measuring the final result with the draw-in and tension, the size is 36″ wide by 43″ height.

(I just realized, the conception, gestation and birth of this one was indeed 9 months……..)


 *I don’t normally count the hours, but i was curious myself to see how much time does go into these works. It doesn’t make me any “better” than anyone else who puts time and serious effort into their art, but i had to laugh after seeing an article about a young man who puts THIRTYFIVE HOURS into each piece 😉 HA! There are many of us who put in much more than that!


home again, home again, jiggedy jig

After travelling for almost 3 years with FAN (Fibre Arts Network), i am so glad to have “The Difference Between A Plum” home again!!!

arlee-barr_the-difference-between-a-plum-cThe deep purple of the iron enhanced brazilwood has muted a bit, but still purpley and wonderful.

tdbap detail on return

tdbap detail 2 on return

tdbap detail 3 on returnI’m craving colour again again, and will be digging through the recently sifted, sorted and re-organized threads. Maybe more work like this, smaller, more manageable and finishable!!! Lord knows too, i have a few “failed” ecoprints to use again, as i had done with this one. Make something beautiful from something ugly!


24 days and counting (still)

off the list

Except that every time i look at it, i see another spot where a pollen grain could go!  Fortunately, i am also a fan of void space on these works, so i THINK i can safely say there are *only* 6 left to do. Maybe 7. 8.12………………STOP!

Off my list by then, i also hope to have this finally finished!

pear fix 1

There’s more done on this actually than the above photo from April 2014, but i want it outahere!

pear fix 2






1 Comment

Posted by on December 8, 2015 in A Birth of Silence, Contextural group, in progress


running out of line

I am PRAYING that i have enough of this particular thread to finish! I’ve already gone through a full skein (36 yards) of my favourite Caron Waterlilies “Pebbles” colourway, and have less than a third of one left to finish two bees. I’ve ordered more (the last two in stock from my favourite thread supplier 123Stitch!!!), but if i run out, am also crossing my hoofies that they get here in time!!! The whole thing must be done by Dec end so that i can get it to the show organizer to go to Edmonton!

3 bee

unfinished bees

I always have it in my head too that the faster i stitch, the longer the thread will last, like i can fool it somehow…i don’t know how that works……..of course, it hasn’t actually to date…. 🙂

I love this thread because it goes well with anything  iron and brazilwood dyed. Soft but with good colour changes, not too shade breaky, and easy to blend into natural dyeing, looking naturally dyed itself. Believe me, if i could, i’d figure out a way to dye this one……(Note to self: maybe…but not right now.)

My list is getting smaller. All the DNA strands are done, the bees all have antennae, there are only 1 and a half bees left to finish–and then on to the rest of the Countdown List!

off the list


Posted by on November 30, 2015 in A Birth of Silence, Contextural group, in progress


fair flying

nov 10 abos

The centre of the butterfly egg has really lovely raised texture and height—-partly planned and partly serendipity in attaching the whole.

nov 10 abos detail

Four hours yesterday and four today have resulted in most of the bees and pollen grains being done, the centre holes of the butterfly egg attached and the final vision for what this will be is cemented in my head.I had to push through to get enough done to photograph for our next Contextural show at the Alberta Craft Council in January. My eyes are so tired, but my fingers, while sore and pricked, are loving the textures.