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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Art After Dark and Other Discoveries.

Two of my three exhibit items.
Thursday evening ... downtown Kingston, Ontario .... damp, warm and raining .... buy Kingston Glass Gallery and Studio is hopping! The second 'Art After Dark' gallery tour is well under way and I'm exhibiting three items among the work of wonderful colleagues. Laura Donefer's glass, her mother Vera's paintings, jewelry by Maggie Axford, pottery by Jane Thelwell and other artwork all along with the gallery owner's work, Mariel and Alexi at the Glass Gallery. The food was catered by Chien Noir restaurant and there was, of course, wine and the speciality of the Mariel and Alexi and Cheryl's gallery.... the Chocolate Fountain!!! Of course, greedy guts here dripped choc all down her nice white front!!! The big thrill was when I popped in today to take a photo of my little display and found a piece missing!!!! SOLD! How exciting. This is me today when I dashed in and Alexi took this pic.

Apple blossoms outside my studio.

While slaving away in my studio, catching up on sweater orders, making buttons, trying to keep the studio tidy, pay bills, keep paperwork straight and... and .... and... I spied apple blossoms outside my rear studio window. The tree has been there for as long as I have been in this house and in this studio (14 years) but I don't remember it blossoming like this. Yes that's my original machine there... the HK 100 that I got in 1983. Rather like the peony we have in a back corner of the garden behind the house where we rarely go (well we walk past it on the way to the composter), it now blooms beautifully though nothing for the first few years we were here.

Yes, we came back to baby robins again in their usual place outside our bedroom balcony door. The nest is on top of the screen door which is bifolded up for the Winter. I just caught them before the fledged, it's a wonder there was any breathing room left with these overgrown chicks. Next year I really have to find a child to give the nest to for 'show and tell'!

This just in: my friend Lindsey says her little boy would love to take the nest to school... so I know it's now going to a good home (well at least for a while!)

On a recent jaunt to Picton on business I chanced into the new big book shop with attached coffee shop in for a latte and ..... creativity abounds in the county....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Post Show Spring Roundup.

The April Fool's Day display at this year's Spring OOAK

Surely while I'm on vacation I can find time to post. Taking my laptop with me (and printer this time) to the rental by the shore with friends I can keep up with my email. This is good as I am getting emails about a) One of a Kind Chicago application deadline (I sat up until midnight editing new photos and digging out my credit card for the jurying fee, something we don't have in Canada, and uploading but I got it done), and b) the award event when I receive my Mary Diamond Butts scholarship/award that will enable me to take some felting training from my colleague and friend Andrea Graham... what a treat. I can pop down to the rental office to fax off the appropriate forms. BTW, this is my first award/scholarship/grant in my 27 years of business!

Meanwhile, I'm sorting out the photos I took at the two Spring shows and photos of my new items to put on my web site (also working on that while on hols). This this the back of a cardi I did for a client waaaay back and she/it showed up at the Ottawa show. I was so pleased as it still looked fashionable and in good nick (she takes care of it). I forget some of my designs, especially back when I didn't photograph everything, so its wonderful to revisit my babies.

Here is my 'Wedding Coat' from the exhibition 'Women's Work' shown in the fashion show at the One of a Kind show in Toronto. Cool that they showed it with black leggings and some funky jewelry.

On the last day of that show, sort of at the eleventh hour, I was asked if I could knit a wedding dress for a second wedding that was (is) to take place in the Caribbean. I had so little time I didn't know if I could but - long story short - I made it.... and loved it.... so does the bride. I'll post about that after the wedding had happened. I'll be looking for a wedding photo in my mail box.

I had a smaller booth in Ottawa, the economy, my reduced stock/finances due to six weeks recovery this Winter, 10'x5' instead of my usual 10'x10'. We found it worked well and will go for it again.

I had a large post in front of the space beside my booth so that was a good place to stand my mirror. The woman further down who sold purses had her clients come down to look at themselves!

I have a Summer cardi that I have worn and worn but not put out as a new style because the hems were serged and I wasn't sure about that detail. However I wore it in Ottawa and took two orders on it for Summer. Here is one of my repeat clients and a lovely friend modelling 'Wound Wendy'. I love this style as it has no hems just the raw curling edge of an 'e' wrap cast on. I love this and get a lot of wear out of it. The ribbons on the back are reflected in the buttons. The colours of the buttons are actually the colours of the best serging colours I happened to have. Now that it's 'out' I'm going to have shop for more serging thread....four cones at a time.

With just over a week between the end of the Ottawa show and my teaching gig at the Fingerlakes Machine Knitting Seminar I tried to get work done, deal with a ton of things in the studio, my family and pack for both the workshops and the holiday. Got it done and the seminar weekend went really well according to attendees. I had a blast getting people churned up design wise, especially in the button making afternoon (Friday) and morning (Saturday).

On the Friday afternoon the room got so hot we were peeling off our knits! Hence me in my camisole. This was the first group to tackle the button making, they did very well and some got some delightful surprises when they mixed the clay colours they had chosen. For a fee each participant gets two tools, a knife, a roller, a tile to work on and a selection of clay. As we didn't have the number I had prepared for there was a bit more clay for them to take home.

I seem to have collected three pasta makers and did demonstrations of just plain conditioning and mixing and also the Skinner method of blending two colours. Unfortunately the toaster oven I had been lent had no thermostat and many of the buttons over baked, even though I stood over the damned thing!!!
The Saturday morning class was with a quite different group of women so it was a very different class. It seemed this group had ideas of their own
and went to town on them, really trying out different things. I did not use the toaster oven. You can see it sitting being ignored on the table here.

One participant even attempted to start Sweater Pins. We discussed what to use as the slide through pin part and someone came up with using a bamboo, or some wood, double pointed knitting needle and putting a ball or bead on one end to compliment the larger round part. I'll really have to try it, my pc kit of course is here with me and I'll give myself a few hours of play...........

I had a couple of large classes
at Inspiration 07 in Cleveland and apparently it was well absorbed, particularly by Carol who showed us many of her works at the Fingerlakes Fashion Show including this jacket (Chanel like) for which she made her own buttons. Very lovely work.

Here is Carol holding her jacket with a couple of participants/machine knitters.

Carol is one of a group of friends who drove up from Albany to Kingston in a blizzard (and after two sunny days drove home in a blizzard) to take a machine knitting workshop in my studio. She was already an accomplished knitter. It is always a pleasure to work with someone who knows their way around their knitting machine so you can discuss design and how to implement the
tried and
true methods in different ways.

A few more of the buttons made in the workshop.

Some 'beribboned' buttons

Rainbow mix

Assorted in one theme.

I'd like to see the sweater that goes with these.

..... and now back to the web site that tells me the high and low tides..........

Scilla House

Long time no blog, it's been a busy Spring so far and now that I've been on vacation for jus a little over a week I can pull myself together and post anew.
On one of my Spring power walks that I managed to squeeze in between the One of a Kind and Originals shows I noticed to my delight that the 'Scilla House' is still earning it's name. Long story about this lovely house built in the late 1800's but towards the end of the residence of the last occupant (youngest daughter I think) gardening was impossible for the elderly lady and her maid so the let it go and every Spring the front lawn was a carpet of beautiful blue scillas.

Upon auction and resale the grounds were dug up and re sodded, oh, I thought, I'll miss the scillas in the Spring, then low and behold!!!.... there they were in April, pushing their way through the sod! I knew then that everything would be alright!