one week to go!

…which explains why it’s been so long since I posted on this blog. I have really had my head down getting ready for…

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I am so excited to be exhibiting with talented artist Anni Hunt atFibreWorks Gallery . The opening is Saturday the 26th of March from 2 till 4 pm and I really hope you can join us, but just in case you already have plans the show is up till May 15th.

But just before heading up the coast the opening reception for Cherry Blossoms: A Textile Translation opens at the Silk Purse Gallery in West Vancouver.  The opening is Tuesday the 22nd of March from 6 to 8 pm, and I have a piece in the show!

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….it’s looking like I’ll be sipping champagne and celebrating next week…a couple of times!

Hope you can catch at least one of the openings, if not I promise some images…of both shows.

Bye for now, Catherine

 

in the pink….

…really it’s a blend of grey and pink. The soggy grey Vancouver winter continues but every now and then we get a glimmer of sunshine, it’s just enough to make you think spring may turn up eventually. Sometimes the rain clouds part and as soon as there’s a bit of light in the sky Ned and I head for one of our favrouite spots to watch the sun go down.

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While the pink outside isn’t happening very often it’s been quite pink in the studio lately, it’s cherry blossom time again and I am hard at work on my entry for this years exhibition. The deadline for entry is fast approaching and of course it’s not finished yet…but then I still have a week ( almost). I like to think I work better under pressure but truth be told it’s been so long since I have completed anything well ahead of the deadline, I don’t know any other way.

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This years entry-in-progress is dye painted cotton organdy, hand stitched onto a layer of white wool and includes some very fiddly paper blossoms. It will have beads as well…deadlines willing!

Cherry Blossoms; A Textile Translation  runs March 22nd thru April 10th at the Silk Purse Gallery in West Vancouver. The opening is Tuesday evening the 22nd of March from 6 to 8 pm and hopefully this piece will be there, IF the judges accept my entry…fingers crossed.

I’m back to life again…life drawing I mean, I really do love it. Sometimes it’s difficult to go out on a dark and rainy night after a long day, but once I get there it’s so worth it.

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My drawing style has changed  (maybe evolved is a better word?) and this year I making an effort to not get bogged down in the details but try to catch the feel of the pose. Some nights it works and some nights it doesn’t!

But every now and then drawing with a pink pastel helps to shake things up a bit.

IMG_3017I should probably try and get the drawing all on one page as well, but that might be next sessions goal.

Hope you are finding a sunbeam to bask in where ever you are…

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Bye for now,  Catherine

happy January!

Since we are more than half-way through the month, it might be a little late to wish you a Happy New Year and I’m not really sure when the cut-off is. I’ve been looking online for a guide to the etiquette and can’t find a definitive answer, but I’m thinking there really shouldn’t be an end to good wishes.

It’s a bit of a blah January here, but then for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere it usually is! the weather here is grey- top to bottom grey. I quite like the subtle colour of this time of the year but…a little sunshine wouldn’t hurt.

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The weather has been creating some really interesting effects. It’s been foggy along the waterfront walk Ned and I take some  mornings. It makes for some dramatic photo’s.

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This time of year keeps me in the house but one of the benefits of doing the dishes are the visitors that are coming round…

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…this tiny fellow has been hanging out all winter. Actually there are two of them and the only reason I know that is they have been at the feeder together.. there may be more but I certainly can’t tell them apart! According to my bird book he’s actually a she, and a Rufus Hummingbird.  Apparently it’s quite common for them to stay the winter in Vancouver, there were a few nights in December when I thought she had made a big mistake!

These fellows arrived in a flurry on the weekend- taking over the garden for a few hours. It made me think spring might not be that far away.

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There are some tiny  signs of spring in the back lane, which I scooped up and brought home with me! Doing the dishes needs to have some rewards and these are sitting on the windowsill right above the sink to spur me on.

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I love snowdrops, they always remind me a bit of sad bunny rabbits.

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January’s weather has been good for being in the studio and getting some work done, which is a very good thing! Anni Hunt and I have a show opening March 26th at FibreWorks  on the Sunshine Coast. Right now there’s work in progress on the walls and the worktable, a bit under the machine and even a piece on the floor…a wonderful state of organized chaos!

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Bye for now, Catherine

thanks for coming!

A big thank you to everyone who braved the weather to visit our open house! Elizabeth I had a great day visiting with everyone.

For those who couldn’t make it- here’s what you missed!

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We had my big work table covered with Elizabeth’s Farmwurx ceramics , there were lots of mugs, bowls and treasures of all kinds. And my favourite Word Ware  bowls… with their sometimes cheeky saying about for and eating. They are  on the right hand side of the image below. If you see anything you can’t live without contact Elizabeth.

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Those are my Imprint scarves hanging in the background- or at least the two that were left! It was so busy when we first opened I completely forgot to take any images…I know!I know!  I do it all the time.

Our “flight of fancy” managed to survive the rain and damp, which is no mean feat when you consider the paper our birds are made of are reclaimed outcasts from the pulp mill. The paper itself is very stiff and difficult to work with -until it gets wet- or even thinks about getting wet- then it turns to mush!

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“flight of fancy” ( I love this definition – “an idea which shows a lot of imagination but which is not practical or useful in real situations”) was hanging in the greenhouse- not the driest of places at the best of times but as you can see- it was raining, which made the definition really ring true!

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As I mentioned above – and always seem to be saying – it’s been raining  here. Ned and I have managed a few walks by the river but there’s been no swimming- he would be swept away!

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Bye for now, Catherine

sneak peek

It’s our open house on Saturday and hopefully you will brave the rain and come over for a visit!

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Just to tempt you out here’s a sneak peek of our installation, though it doesn’t look like much yet…it will!

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I’ll tell you all about it after Saturday, complete with pictures.

I’ve been printing up a storm! and have gotten quite carried away with the process so…rather than drowning in eco-prints these silk scarves will be for sale at the open house. I promise to iron them first….

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Bye for now, Catherine

it’s almost time!

for our open studio….

Elizabeth Harris  and I have joined forces yet again for our 3rd annual ( I can’t believe it’s been 3 years!) open house.

It’s “getting ready” time around here…Ned and Runnerbean have their hair appointments booked and I’ve been scrubbing and cleaning out the greenhouse, which really isn’t as much fun as it sounds! We are planning and preparing for our “flight of fancy” installation in the greenhouse …it’s going to be amazing!

Hope you can make it…

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Bye for now, Catherine

fall colour

….and a very Neddie post.

I love this time of year!  beautiful crisp mornings and brightly coloured leaves against blue skies are some of my very favourite things. I must have a million images of leaves…leaves of all types and colours and every year I take more.

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Ned and I have been getting to the park early enough to catch the morning light through the trees…and chase the squirrels of course!

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I had a wonderful week at Sorrento Center in Sorrento earlier this month,  the one in British Columbia not the one in Italy. I was leading a workshop called Exploring the Natural World, which was a perfect subject for that beautiful place. A group of talented ladies and I explored design ideas, a lot of different techniques and had a laugh or two!

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We had a great big room with loads of natural light that we filled with papers, drawings, and ideas over our time together.

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I set up an eco-pot outside and everyone bundled up some leaves in a lovely silk and wool scarf . The bundles above have just come out of the pot, ready to unroll.

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and here they are…the terrific scarves and their makers.

After my time in Sorrento I headed even further away from the city to do a little fishing, a perfect way to spend the Thanksgiving weekend. This is Fawn Lake…

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an incredibly beautiful place.

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Ned loves fishing…he spends lots of time carefully watching any ducks that paddle by, or might think of paddling  by. Thankfully he stays in the boat….so far.

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I caught this fellow! a 3 pound Rainbow trout….

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…and it was delicious!

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Now we’re home and back to work. But there’s always time for a walk on our favourite paths.

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Bye for now, Catherine

 

new work….

I don’t know if you remember, but awhile back I posted on this blog that I was looking for a creative kick-start and going through a creative “shift”.  Well I have new work on the wall and the ideas are swirling again, which is a really good feeling, but I will admit to finding these changes of direction a bit exhausting!

I have been printing up a storm- “eco-printing” or at least a version of eco-printing- my definition of what I’m doing is using plant material to create pattern and colour of fabric. I really feel the need to find a new “name” there are so many versions and variations of printing using plant materials.   Textile artist Anni Hunt and I have a show coming up in April next year called Whisperings. The title is taken from a poem written in 1929 by Emily Carr, a staunch proponent of the forests and all the wonders found in them. 

It’s a wonderful topic to explore for me and has me really excited and bursting with ideas. We spent a day at Anni’s prepping some bundles for the pot.

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It’s all very experimental at this point! we are using materials from the garden, the forest  and a few from the florist as well.

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I’m being as patient as I can and letting the bundles sit for awhile…..but it’s like waiting to unwrap a present, you really don’t know what’s inside.

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I love the colours in this one and have a few ideas of what to do with it- maybe. It’s printed on a silk Charmeuse with a gorgeous sheen, but the shimmer of the fabric only shows a little in the lower portion of the image, sorry about that.

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I am pleased with the piece below for its subtle colour and texture (which you can’t see well in this image either). It’s a wool Challis and has the most amazing drape. I found it in a jam-packed shop in Birmingham, UK – on one of the 4 floors!! of fabric.

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I’m always on the hunt for more ideas and since the forest is one of Ned and my favourite places to be, it’s a very enjoyable hunt for both of us. We’ve been stomping around camera in hand, well my hands.  I’m quite taken with these… it is Chamerion angustifolium or “fireweed” around these parts. (I understand it’s commonly called rosebay willow-herb in the UK)  I love all phases of this plants life and have strong memories of it from my time in the Yukon, so watch this space – there’s some  ideas brewing,

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It finally rained! and boy did it rain….but really, I’m not complaining, honest I’m not.

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I’m off to Sorrento Centre in early October, we are going to be Exploring the Natural World…I couldn’t think of a better fit for me right now!

Bye for now, Catherine

catching up again….

I’ve been half way round the world and back home again and haven’t posted here for a while …I did think of all the things I wanted to share but, true confessions, I never quite got round to it. So here’s a quick round-up of where I’ve been and a little bit of what I’ve been doing since my last post.

First up was Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK. This year we went all out on the Mettler stand! I made a banner to go all around the very top of the stand which is  28.5 meters or 93.5 feet for those of you who have feet! These are the pieces all laid out on the carper at Edwina’s, we were planning the colour sequence, or trying to!

IMG_2130 We had one hour workshops going on the stand all day and everyone who participated got a goodie bag of threads and other treats, not to mention an hour with one of us. If you look carefully you can see the Lutrador banners Edwina made at the corners and a few extra “Mettler” banner pieces.

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Edwina and I had a gallery of our work around the outside of the stand and we showed our pieces from our “unravelled” show. The show is based on our shared experiences and using those experiences as a source if inspiration. It’s so interesting to see how differently we interpret things. Below is “misty matera” my piece inspired by time we enjoyed in Italy and the corner of Edwina’s- not a good photo I know!

IMG_2153 Festival is an amazing event, if you haven’t been it’s worth the trip. There is so much to see….

IMG_2181…some very large quilts…

IMG_2187…and some very small!

IMG_2188…and everything in-between. This year that included TV camera’s! yikes. We were both filmed/interviewed over the 4 days of the event. I can’t say I ever got used to it …as you can see it’s a rather intimidating thing. Here’s Edwina holding her own behind a wall of camera’s, recording devices and the men that operate them. I hope I managed as well as she did.

IMG_2197 When all that was over we took a day off and went to the Worcester Flower Show, it was a lovely afternoon! I really enjoyed seeing the plates of “matching” vegetables. I’m quite sure that not how they are judged but it was so interesting to see how the growers had arranged and presented their harvest and which ones had taken the medals.

IMG_2229 We did manage a little personal creative time and headed out to almost Wales to spend 4 days with Bobby Britnell at Moor Hall. Moor Hall is a 400 year old farmhouse and is an amazing place to spend some time. The area is stunningly beautiful, this is the view from the bathroom window where I was staying just down the road ( Ok, it wasn’t much of a road by North American standards, more of a lane)

IMG_2241And below is my ideas board at the end of day 2, it changed a lot over the course of the 4 days but this is the only image I have. There is a lot of new work in my sketchbook (and buzzing round in my brain) just waiting to come out.

IMG_2237 I arrived home just ahead of an amazing storm that caused power outages all over and blew down trees everywhere including our favourite walking trail. The dogs loved the weather, there were all sorts of new smells and a few “changes” on the path that required a little clambering.

IMG_2268I’ve even managed to get a little stitching done! this is the very beginnings of one of my pieces for an upcoming show in April 2016! It’s a really early start for me but there’s going to be lots of hand work and it’s a largish piece…I must be turning over a new leaf, possibly blown in from the storm.
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Bye for now, Catherine