Sunday, July 13, 2014

Solo Bent Threads booth at the NBCC Craft Fest in Quispamsis, NB

Here's a shot of my first solo booth!  It's at the NB Crafts Council's annual festival held this year at the Quispamsis Memorial Arena near Saint John, NB.  There's still one day to shop.  The festival is open today 11-5.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

January report

Well, I put on four warps, took off four warps and have four new scarves woven (and still in my possession).   Plus I taught a workshop (for 18 people, no less) and participated in a group exhibition at the UNB Art Centre.  So, I'm well on my way to my 2013 weaving goals even though the big picture looks a little different than I imagined.  The four warps off include the piece for the exhibition, another warp I started in 2012 and finished this month, the warp for the workshop that was actually woven by the students, and a new scarf warp, one scarf of which has already gone to its new owner to replace one she received as a Christmas gift but that didn't suit her (so I have that one back).  The four warps on were the one for the workshop, the new scarf warp mentioned above, and two more scarf warps which are currently on the looms, one of which is half woven and one of which is just begun.  The four new scarves are two pink-based ones from the Christmas lady warp, a black shawl from the 2012 warp and one currently woven though still on the loom.  Confused yet?  I'm writing it down for posterity - and so I'll remember when it comes time to do all my finishing for the fall shows.  I think I said one of my goals was to have 40 new scarves woven by the end of October, though I may just have said 20 warps - and there is a slight difference :)  So the current tallies are 5/40 new scarves woven (that includes the shawl, the one gone to its new home, the two pink ones ready for finishing, and the one woven but still on the loom), 2.5/20 new warps complete (if I count the one put on for the students, which is technically a profitable one since UNB is paying for the service, plus the pink one and the one that's half done but still in the works).  All for now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December Arts and Crafts Market

Well, we had two successful Christmas Arts and Crafts markets at the Exhibition Grounds in Fredericton this year.  "We" being the Fibre Arts Network of which I am a part.  It was my personal best year and December my personal best sale so far.  The success inspires me to challenge myself for the new year.  So here I publicly declare those challenges:

1. Create 20 warps between January and October 2013 - that's an average of one every two weeks and will require some focus and dedication on my part as I also have a full time job and some other pursuits.

2. Get help to get the web site to a place where I actually want to use it!

3. Take photographs of work and post pictures on the newly launched site.

4. Announce my progress in a blog (likely this one - if I can figure out how to get it to do what I want!).

See you in 2013!  In the mean time, I still have some scarves and some felted catnip balls if anyone is interested!

Friday, August 17, 2012

NB Crafts Council sale coming soon

Getting ready for my first participation in the NB Crafts Council show and sale at the Fredericton Convention Centre in a couple of weeks!  (guess I'd better make sure to get myself registered!)  I'll be demo-ing as well.  Such fun.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Land of Grazers

I’ve just spent the last few days in the Canterbury Plains area of New Zealand – a land of sheep, cattle, flatlands, very tall windbreaks, and monstrous irrigation systems!  Actually, the number of sheep in NZ has been diminishing with quite some rapidity as farmers move to the more lucrative dairy industry - there are merely 40 million sheep to the 4 million people compared to what was once near 70 million! (as I was told by a retired farmer).  This is still farm country though, without question, but now the cow reigns supreme (though maybe not yet in numbers).  They are definitely herded tightly and I understand that they are moved from paddock to paddock over the course of a few weeks allowing each area to recover and then be chomped down again.  I wouldn’t be surprised, quite frankly, if New Zealand is among the top dairy producers in the world.  They have huge processing facilities where they turn their liquid gold into powdered milk and ship that to many Asian countries (no, they don’t cut it here, that was done in China – after they received their shipment!)

But back to the sheep: for the “fibre floozie” in me, this place has been close to heaven!  Most of the sheep that are raised for their wool seem to be Merino (softest fleece on the planet, I think), Corridale, and maybe some Romney. The garment of choice in NZ seems to be the “merino” which basically describes a long-sleeved t-shirt made from 100% (remarkably non-itchy) wool.  The term can refer to other garments made from the same fabric including undergarments and lots of different styles of sweaters (a.k.a. “jerseys”) etc., including some garments where the merino wool may have been blended with something else, usually a synthetic like nylon.  The fabric is often very lightweight and the garments can be found in almost any shop.  They’re a bit on the pricey side but absolutely delightful.  Scarves, hats, mitts, and socks are often made of a blend of merino and possum fur - making the merino even softer than it is on its own.  Possums, although perhaps endangered in their native Australia, are overwhelmingly considered to be a very unwelcome pests here. They, like other mammals have been introduced to the islands and have a tendency to wreak havoc.  They have ferocious appetites for both the native trees and the indigenous birds and this has the kiwis tied up in knots. They hunt it whenever they can and the skins and fur are widely available.

So, That little segment was for my "fibre floozie" friends (you know who you are!).  Now I'm off to Oamaru and Dunedin for a bit of time along the east coast of he South Island to see some art, and hopefully a few penguins!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New York, New York

I spent a bit of time in NYC recently.  I've been back home for about a month and I think the experience has distilled enough for me to get the relevant bits recorded posterously in a few paragraphs.

NY, the city, is INCREDIBLY dense - so many people living in such a compact space.  It's quite incredible, and unless I didn't know any different, I wouldn't want to live my life that way - but it's a neat place to visit, and there's SO much to do!

I stayed in Brooklyn.  That was my first visit to that part of town as far as I can recall.  I didn't spend much time there though.  I found a very inexpensive room through a web site called  From my brief experience with that site, I would recommend it and I do plan to use it again.  I was able to travel down by coach with a group of fibre fans from Fredericton (isn't alliteration fun?), so though the trip was long, it was very economical and a good opportunity for me to get to know better some of these people with whom I share a common interest.

The things that are standing out in my brain at this point are two museums that I visited: the Brooklyn Museum, and "The Cloisters" (which is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art).  I have an affinity for museums in general now, born of my experience having worked in them for about a decade.  I have an awareness of them in a way that I didn't before and I'm curious about them.  I visited the MoMA as well during this trip but as I'd visited once before, it didn't leave the same impact this time around as it did on my first visit two years ago.  Apart from the fact that it was too crowded for my taste, I had a bit of "been there, done that" experience. 

But it was my first visit to the Brooklyn Museum, which it  might be safe to call a "hidden gem" - even though it's huge!  I was particularly impressed that they offered some "behind the scenes" bits to the general visitor.  You could go into a climate controlled room with shelves and drawers full of items and conduct research on a computer by accession number if you felt so inclined.  I'd only ever seen this before in museum libraries and as an "insider" in the museum world.  Aside from that, it was eclectic enough to hold my interest and housed everything from art deco to historical furnishings and some "international" art forms - and while I was there I felt as though I had the place virtually to myself, which I think is a nice way to visit museums.  I highly recommend this "attraction" (I'm not a fan of the word but I have to mix it up a bit to keep you interested!).

At the very northern tip of Manhattan island is the other museum that I enjoyed so much on my visit.  I did not know about this place before I boarded the bus in Fredericton.  Either someone mentioned it or I read about it in one of my travel guides during the journey.  Oh WOW :) - so different from other museums I have visited.  I would rank it up there with the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, which has long been my favourite.  I chose to visit because I have a longstanding if casual interest in the medieval period of European history.  This place was a stunning example of some of the highlights from that period.  The most memorable item, for me, was a book that was hand written in calligraphy and featured the painted edges and borders that I had only read about in novels.  The whole place was a delight and if you have even a slight interest in that period, I would HIGHLY recommend a visit.

Among the other things I spent my time at were a number of hours in Times Square and on Broadway.  If you've never been to Times Square, it's the crazy, crowded bit you always see on TV.  It's completely over the top as far as consumerism goes but I don't think there are too many other places on the planet quite like it - Tokyo maybe, though I've never been - it's certainly unique in the North American context.  That's where I think I saw Mark Harmon (actor) and that's where I watched two Broadway productions: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (which was entirely outrageous but starred, among others, Canadian actor C. David Johnson whom I've also seen perform for TNB - and on TV of course!) and Mary Poppins (which was delightful in every way - and very family friendly!).

Oh, and thanks to my friend Trish, I had the opportunity to meet a really neat lady in Harlem as we visited her apartment for a few hours and learned about her current felting schemes.

That's likely enough info for now.  If something else from that trip starts nagging me to write it down then I'll share that too - later!

See you!