Monday, December 2, 2013

sun dyed eye glass cases

One of the many things I was working on during the summer and early fall was my 100% silk eye glass cases.  I find sun dyeing works best on this product because it showcases the individual leaves, flowers and seeds within the vibrant colours.

There are so many tiny, intricate leaves and flowers found in nature that are suited perfectly to the size of the eye glass cases but would get lost on a large item such as a scarf.  Although it can take a long time to go around the garden gathering tiny leaf combinations, I usually work on many cases at the same time which can help to keep the cost of producing them down. It is a savings I try to pass on to my customers as I want everyone to be able to afford my art work.

My eye/sun glass cases are a double thickness of silk inside and out to keep your glasses scratch free.  Practical and stylish in one small package!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Come Visit at Artisans@the Archives today and tomorrow!!

I am all set up with a lovely display of new scarves, tiles and place mats and table runners!!!

Please stop by if you are in Ottawa for the day and say hello!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Autumn Splendor

I am very blessed to be able to work at something I truly love, creating beautiful, wearable art.  Although most of what I do involves long hours and meticulous detail, the hours spent in my studio or out in my yard sun dyeing are some of the most rewarding and stress free times of my work week.

Sadly, sun dyeing is over for this year and I must turn my attention to other techniques.  The summer of 2013 will be remembered by me as one of the worst sun dyeing summers on record.  Too many rainy days, far too much wind and the hot, still, sunny days were few and far between.  I was beginning to feel restless and tense toward the end of August knowing that I was going into the winter without the stock I can usually build up.  Then along came the most glorious autumn on record as far as sun dyeing conditions are concerned.  I was outside most days in September and continued until into October, I was in heaven!   While the Ottawa Valley was ablaze in spectacular autumn colour, it inspired me to make not only silk scarves using the beautiful maple and oak leaves but also table runners and placemats depicting the array of colours all around me.  The Autumn Splendor table set I displayed at the Library Art Show in September drew lots of attention and compliments.  It sold quickly and was sent off to a distant place as a reminder of Canada. 

Now, I am turning my attention to the art shows I have pending in the month of November.  On Saturday November 9 I will be doing a one day show in Kinburn Ontario along with my friend and fellow artist, Nancy Trottier.  Then we are back on the road again over the weekend of November 23 and 24 where we will both be displaying and selling our work in Ottawa at the beautiful Library & Archives Canada building.  This show is hosted by the OVCC guild and we are both excited for the opportunity to introduce our creations to the city of Ottawa. 

Along with my silk scarves and home decor I’ve also been working on some new artist tiles that I will be selling at the November shows.  Now that sun dyeing is over I am back trying to master alcohol inks on ceramic on a more regular basis.  My work with inks is becoming much more fine tuned and less random.  I am much happier with the results I am getting now as opposed to even 6 months ago and this gives me a sense of “growth” as an artist.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I’ve been working really hard to get ready for the Library Arts Committee Show opening on September 23 in the Deep River Library Program Room at 7pm. 

I managed to get a shower curtain sun dyed with the help of my oldest son, Joshua.  He stood by with a spray bottle of water and kept the material wet for the entire duration of the process.  It took quite a long time and things got intense a couple of times as I worried a section might dry before the next part could be painted.  It was a hot, still day, and perfect for sun dyeing but also a day when the material dries quickly.  I was happy with my first attempt at doing a very large item and am entering it into the show as my feature piece. 

Along with the curtain I have made a selection of sun dyed pieces for the home as well as my signature scarves which will also be on display. 

I have some large Artist Tiles I will also be showing along with a collage of coasters which will represent a good cross section of the images I have managed to achieve with the inks over the last couple of months. 

I iced dyed a few scarves late last winter that I was particularly proud of and stashed them away for the Art Show.  The day to present them has almost arrived and the colours are spectacular.

I will have a few pieces in each medium for sale along with a broad selection of items that will simply show the art of sun dyeing, ice dyeing and alcohol ink work.

Come to the opening reception of the show on September 23 at 7pm to meet me, see my work, share some desserts and enjoy the evening. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Sun Dyeing

Another road show over and it is time for me to get serious about the creations I will be making for the Library Arts Show in Deep River, Ontario starting in September and running into the beginning of October. 

I will be focusing on some big items that I have never attempted before, like a sun dyed shower curtain.  Just the thought of the conditions I will need to pull this off makes me shutter.  Usually I sun dye relatively small items out on tables set up on my deck.  The biggest item I have attempted so far is a table runner, and if the conditions are good, lots of sun with no wind, it’s no problem.  If the conditions suddenly turn bad, I’ve lost a table runner.  I can’t image how I would feel losing a shower curtain if a wind suddenly appeared half way through the process of laying down the botanicals. 

The curtain will have to be done on a tarp laying out in my yard in the full sun.  The biggest problem I anticipate having is keeping everything wet until all the masks are in place.  Sun Dyeing cannot be done in sections as an overlap line will appear if one section dries before the next section is done.  Also, I have been wondering ( read worrying) what I will predominately use as the botanicals on the curtain as whatever I choose, I’m going to need a pile of it!  I’ve never collected that many plants at one time before so keeping them fresh and useable for a long period of time will also be challenging.

I will be watching the weather and the plants that are coming into their own in the month of August because one of these days soon, the conditions are going to be perfect and I will be ready with my curtain. 

I will keep you posted when the time comes and perhaps get one of my sons to photograph the progress as I create a Sun Dyed Shower Curtain for the Library Arts Show in September. 

Until then, enjoy the summer!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Eganville Park Art 2013

Renfrew Art in the Park was a big success this past weekend!  My scarves and tiles were well received by the many visitors to the show.  The crowds were steady both days. 

It was scorching hot Friday through Sunday and staying well hydrated was a must from beginning to end.  My banner was very eye catching and allowed me to explain to customers that the art work used in the banner came from a sun dyed creation I made a couple of years ago on rayon fabric.

Since the show, I am finally getting some excellent sun dyeing days and have been working nonstop since I returned from Renfrew in order to be ready for my next show in Eganville this coming Saturday July 20th.  The weather is expected to be nice and not quite so hot which is just fine with me!  Potential visitors should look for the tourist information booth in Eganville as the artists will be in the surrounding area.

I had so many interesting comments about my new artist tiles while in Renfrew.  Some customers had never heard of Alcohol Inks before and were fascinated by the process I used to show off their vibrant colours.

Customers were also amazed by the fact that all of the botanicals in my sun dyed scarves come from my own garden, picked moments before they are used for impressions.  It really hit home to most people how very hands on and personal my creations are.

There is blue sky outside right now.....I’m heading out to the garden to collect more flowers and leaves for my next scarf! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Getting ready for Renfrew Art in the Park!

It has been a busy last couple of weeks in my studio.  I’ve been working hard to prepare for an upcoming two day show in Renfrew, Ontario over the weekend of July 13 and 14.  This show promises to be a big event in the Ottawa Valley and one that I am looking forward to taking part in.  Renfrew Art in the Park is being held at Haramis Park, across from the big Walmart in town and runs both days from 10am to 5pm. 

This show is being hosted by the Renfrew Art Guild and there will be no admission price for visitors wanting to come out and see the great selection of art along with demonstrations.  There are over 30 unique artists taking part in the show as well as guests from Stone Fence Theatre entertaining kids and storytelling.

Please click HERE if you would like to download a printable PDF copy of the information shown above.

I recently ordered a huge banner with my business name and website address on it to display on my canopy during the show.  Hopefully it will arrive in time and get noticed!
Unfortunately the weather so far this year has not been conducive to sun dyeing.   I have found myself getting frustrated with dreary, rainy weather day after day.  Typically by this time of year, I have had many opportunities to get outside to create sun dyed items from my gardens.  This year has been far from typical and I’ve only managed to get out a few times.  I have been forced to work with ice more than sun so far but am still in good shape for the show.  The few good sun dyeing days that presented themselves were very productive.
I will be introducing a few new lines in Renfrew to test the market.  I will have sun dyed aprons and table runners and even something very new to me, artist tiles.
Alcohol Inks dyed tiles
I’ve been creating Artist tiles for several months now and put them through vigorous testing before introducing them into the market.  I use ceramic tiles and decorate them with Alcohol Inks.  

I’ve been working with about 30 different colours to create a further kaleidoscope of secondary colours.  The patterns I am achieving now are amazing!   

After the main surface of the tiles are dyed,  the sides of the tiles are painted, and the product is sealed with 3 coats of sealer.  The back side is finished with cork.  I’m offering them in coaster size and trivet size. No two are the same! Perhaps they will appear on my website at a later date if all goes well.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Where has June gone?

June has been a wild ride for me and my family.  My oldest son turned 20 near the beginning of the month followed closely by my youngest son getting his driver’s license on the same day I graduated from college.  And then of course was the launch of my website.  I truly thank those who supported me through this tumultuous month when I was stressed right out at times. There were many times I felt like I was in over my head and needed to step back and re-evaluate; sometimes I felt like backing out altogether.  Special thanks to George, Mike and Nancy for their help, support and timely advice at times when I was lost. 
I have a love of art, especially when it involves vibrant colours.  I’ve never had a particular love of computers so this step has been challenging to me.  One thing I am however is a determined person.  For those that know me well, they would laugh at that remark and say” that is an understatement”.  When I made the decision to launch a website, I also made the decision to learn about a world I am unfamiliar with.  I will do it, I am determined.   Like anything else I have taken on, eventually it will become second nature to me and the stress of a new environment will fade.  I’m looking forward to that day.
Like most artists, I am happiest when I am in my studio creating or outside in the garden sun dyeing.  I have learned that procrastinating the other “stuff” in my life away only brings more stress.  Thus I am still the chief cook and bottle washer around here and the one who makes sure everyone has clean clothes to wear.  The life of an artist is only glamorous when all the other work is done and the creative juices can flow.  In my own little, brightly coloured world, I often work odd hours and sleep odd hours too.  When inspiration strikes, it is like magic and I am driven to test the vision as soon as I possibly can even if that means going into my studio late at night to put paint or dye to fabric.  I feel very fortunate to be able to have such flexibility in my life and art.  It’s been quite a journey.