Wednesday, December 30, 2009

never neverland

Well, it's the week between Christmas and New Year's and it feels like Neverland. A place where there is lots of time to sleep in, visit with friends and suspend all concerns until we've passed January 1st. I am still on PEI for the holidays but will be back in my studio on January 5th. All the best for a happy new year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Damien and I are heading home to PEI tomorrow for the next two weeks or so. Depending on the weather tomorrow morning of course (it sounds like there's a winter storm a-brewing). Christmas vacation! Good friends, close family, good food, good drink and cozy times. A much needed massage and some yoga. And then it will be the new year. Amazing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

filling up the store

I am finally getting around to photographing my scarves and getting them up on my Etsy shop. I'll be adding more daily as time allows, so keep checking in! The photo above is of my Wave scarf in Winter Dusk, and below is the view out my kitchen window last evening as the sun was setting.....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

toronto trades

Despite not doing as well as I had hoped at the One of a Kind Show, one of the wonderful things about craft fairs is the trading that happens between artists. Usually I am very self-disciplined and rarely let myself make a purchase, let alone a trade until the last day. This year's One of a Kind was no exception, and the trades that I did make deserve attention.

My little neighborhood of booths was fantastic this year. Great people, great conversations, helping keep each other sane during the marathon 11 days. Directly across from me was the Raging Bowl Pottery, functional ceramics made by two potters, Dan and Melissa. Lovely lovely people and beautiful work. I traded a scarf for three of their "tumbly tumblers", perfect little cups with rounded bottoms that allow you to literally spin your cup to mix your drink. And they feel so nice in your hand...they've already been tested with a couple of celebratory gin and sodas.

My second trade was a big one. In my few chances to wander around the show, I found Jack and Marjorie bags. Made from recycled military surplus, these are understated and luxurious bags. Simple, functional, well made and beautiful - there was one bag in particular that I couldn't get out of my mind for a couple of days. And with a price tag that was higher than what I could ever afford, I just went to visit it on occasion. But, on the last Saturday of the show, a man came to my booth before opening and was asking me about my scarves and how he wanted to send one to his mother in Germany for Christmas. After talking with him for a few minutes, I noticed his name tag said he was Manuel from Jack and Marjorie. I told him I loved his bags, and we left it at that, saying we would talk again about the scarf. After thinking about it for maybe 5 minutes, I walked over to his booth and proposed a trade. And on Sunday, I traded two scarves for my Jarvis bag. One bag was for Megan, one half of the the couple that make the bags and the other was for Manuel's mother. Very sweet people and a wonderful little company that has an aesthetic that I aspire to. And they told me that they had actually been checking out my scarves on-line before the show. Big compliment!

The third thing I got at One of a Kind wasn't actually a trade. I bought a little button from Jenna Rose of flying Canada geese printed on cloth. Jenna was a couple of years behind me at NSCAD Textiles and has gone on to great success in her textile design - her work is constantly featured in Canadian magazines. Lots of great NSCAD Textiles alum success stories.....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

moving slow

I meant to have taken photos of all my scarves and to have had them up in my Etsy shop by now. But I am moving a little slow. As you can see in the sidebar at the right, I only have to listed at the moment. I have many many more! I guess I've been taking my time and recovering from a busy month - enjoying catching up on sleep instead of photographing inventory. I promise to take a running start and fill up my shop over the next week.......

Thursday, December 10, 2009

to toronto and home again

I got back from two weeks at the Toronto One of a Kind Show on Tuesday afternoon. The longest Christmas retail show I've ever done. 11 days, 11 hours a day (except for Sundays, which were only 8 hours).
Lots of it was great: meeting customers and fellow weavers who are so appreciative of my work, meeting other exhibitors in my little neighborhood of the show (wonderful group of people that I need to stay in touch with), spending some time with old friends, watching the amazing abundance of people that is Toronto, and all the stimulation of a big show that prompts growth and excitement about the direction of Marshall Arts. Some of it was exhausting: being in a large exhibition hall with no natural light for 11 hours a day, the long transit trips to and from the show everyday (especially the night-time ones at the end of a long day), the roller coaster of having high and low sales days, and the incessant stream of humanity.

My booth changed a lot from the beginning of the show until the end. I had to keep re-arranging my scarves, removing ladders and tiers of dowels, as my scarves got thin on the racks. I sold a bit more than two thirds of my stock. Sadly, in my rush to take down my booth, I forgot to take a very last picture on the last night when I had only two or three scarves on each was a pretty drastic transformation!

So, now I am home again, enjoying relaxing and puttering. Damien's Intermediate Sclupture class had a group exhibition the night I got back - a great way to return home again.

I have a few custom orders to get done before Christmas, and I need to get my Etsy shop back up and running by the weekend. I'm also enjoying re-organizing our home for the winter and doing some tidying up after a few months of neglect while Damien and I have both been very busy. Home again home again jiggidy jog. The past month feels like a blur......

Monday, November 23, 2009

Toronto One of a Kind Show

I will be at the Toronto One of a Kind Show with my scarves from November 26th - December 6th. Direct Energy Centre, booth T-21. Come by to say hello and maybe find that perfect scarf!

Home Terrain

My solo exhibition opened at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on Saturday night after two days of installation. The whole experience was wonderful and it is so gratifying to see this work presented in this way. Thank you to everyone for coming, the staff at the gallery, curator Pan Wendt (who wrote a fantastic essay to accompany my exhibition) and for all the appreciation from family and friends. The exhibition runs until February 28th, 2010 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Damien and I drove to and from Charlottetown for my exhibition. The sun was beautiful and bright the whole trip. Driving back to Halifax on the bridge to New Brunswick, the light was magical.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things of Desire interview

Last Friday morning, I did a phone interview with art journalist Mike Landry for his weekly alternative art blog Things of Desire. The interview about my exhibition Home Terrain was "published" online today, you can read it here. I was more coherent and articulate than I thought I was at 10 in the morning.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Since getting back from St. John's last week, I've been getting ready for the installation of my exhibition Home Terrain. Opening this Saturday, the exhibition takes place at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown and runs until February 28, 2010.

I've mostly been preparing my woven wall pieces to be hung. Hanging textiles is difficult, but I'm trying something different this time to suspend my pieces out from the wall using dowels (hand stitched into casings) and 3.5 inch screw hooks. I think it will work nicely. Right now, all my hanging pieces are ready - dowels drilled and sewn into cloth, test hooks screwed into a piece of wood to make sure each piece hangs correctly. I'm excited to see them in the gallery instead of piled up on my living room floor.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


In St. John's last week, purple was a very popular colour for scarves. After the show ended, I was short on purples, so I assessed the colours I did have and separated out which scarves could be over-dyed to make a purple shade. I sent the rest of the scarves directly to Toronto to meet me there when I arrive for the One of a Kind Show on Nov. 24th. The shades of pinks and reds and blues I brought home with me to over-dye. I've still a got a few more sitting in the dye pots, but they are mostly dyed and ready. Lots of heathers, periwinkles, and blue-purples. With some browns, yellows, fuschias, and greens thrown in for good measure....

Friday, November 13, 2009

the key: original graphs re-drawn

I'm going to exhibit these graph drawings with my weavings in Home Terrain. Luckily when approaching this project this week, I discovered I had all the original graphs tucked away in my sketch book. I'm enjoying re-drawing them for the show and retracing the paths I took in the already completed woven work. I have a pad of really nice graph paper I found at a yard sale over the summer I'm using to map each graph.

Home Terrain is a solo exhibition of my work and opens on Saturday, November 21st at 7pm, at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

thank you St. John's

I just got back last night from a week in St. John's at the Fine Craft and Design Fair.

I had a great time and got to meet lots of wonderful people. I even had some return customers.

People were so responsive to my work and I sold lots of scarves. I'll be back there again next year.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Off to St. John's Newfoundland

I will be at the St. John's Fine Craft and Design Fair at the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre from Nov. 4 - 8...if you're in the city, check it out! The fair is organized by the amazing Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

last batch

Yesterday and today, I dyed and felted my last batch of scarves. That's it, maybe even until the new year. Its feels good. Today is amazingly warm (a whopping 18 degrees) and they're drying out on the line.

Yesterday I got a package in the mail from the One of a Kind Show. Way back in the spring they asked if they could use one of my photos of my scarves for the Christmas flyer. I said "of course", but I didn't know which one they chose and hadn't even seen the flyers. So I emailed them earlier in the week and asked if they could send me some. I guess to them, some means a lot. They must have sent me at least 100 of them. Pretty nice to see my scarf printed and used to advertise the show.....

Friday, October 30, 2009

breathing space and winding up

This is my last weekend before I start the month of travel and shows. Between November 3 and December 8, I will only be home again in Halifax for one week. From now until Tuesday, I've got things under control. I have less than two scarves left to weave and a pile of Seaweed scarves to dye and felt (fringes beautifully twisted by my studio assistant Jenny Fife).

Last night my friend Joanna helped me screen print my new booth sign at NSCAD. I printed it on unbleached cotton twill in a dark chocolate brown. It was so much fun printing again after five or six years and I am so happy with it! Over the weekend I will sew it to a backing and attach dowels. Monday I will do last minute things like printing more business cards and packing. Almost there and feeling like I can breathe easy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

excited for St. John's

I'm excited to return to Newfoundland next week. I love St. John's, the city where I was born. I'm excited for the Craft Council show and to see my Nana, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Monday, October 26, 2009

out the door

Today I put together a BIG box to mail to St. John's. I will meet it there at my aunt and uncles' house when I arrive next week for the St. John's Fine Craft and Design Fair. Mostly scarves, but I also threw in my lights and black drapes for my booth. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the contents of the box before I taped it up, so I'm posting a photo of last year's shipment that met me at the One of a Kind Show.

I even used the same giant smoked salmon box again this year. I haven't shipped all my scarves, I'm holding onto my medium and narrow Seaweed scarves to take with me on the plane because I haven't finished topping up those styles with the weaving I'm dong this week. It's always a bit nerve-racking putting so much of my work in the mail, but I insured it and sent it Expresspost so it should arrive safe and sound in a day or two. Cross my fingers it all travels smoothly....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

bringing it all together

I'm down to my last week in my studio before I leave for the St. John's Fine Craft and Design Fair in Newfoundland from November 4-8. I'll then have one week back in my studio doing final preparations for my exhibition before I install it at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in PEI in time for the opening November 21. And then I have to be in Toronto for November 24 for eleven days at the One of a Kind Show. It will be an exciting, exhausting month. And then I will enjoy a relaxing holiday. Phew.

Friday, October 23, 2009

logan and christina

My younger brother Logan moved to California this past summer to be with his girlfriend Christina. They met while they were both teaching english in Korea four years ago and have been trying to live in the same country for the last two years, Logan being Canadian and Christina being American. Logan finally cleared immigration and got his visa this summer. He immediately booked his flight down to San Jose and they were married in a civil ceremony shortly thereafter. Logan recently sent photos and a video of the marriage to my parents and they sent them along to me. They both look so happy! Hard to believe my "little" brother (at 6'3", he's hardly "little" anymore) is married....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

advanced style

I recently discovered this great blog called "advanced style". I highly recommend checking it out for amazing photos of stylish seniors and inspiration.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

new sign

I've been trying to decide what to do about my need for a mannequin or poster for my craft fair booth. A mannequin or bust would great to display one of my scarves on - but it is difficult to find one that is easy to transport via plane or post. The other idea was to get a poster made of a photo of someone modeling my scarves - easy to roll up and travel with. But this reminds me too much of a Sears catalogue. And on another note, I haven't found a way to make a satisfactory sign for Marshall Arts....again, a sign that is easy to transport and hang.

So I needed to resolve display and signage. I was letting it percolate and last night I noticed my old hang tags. I stopped using these hang tags last winter when I started using Moo mini cards. The tag was a black line drawing traced from a photo of myself wearing a Seaweed scarf and framed within a cameo-like oval. I thought it would make a great sign/poster: with my business name and image of a scarf being worn. Originally I thought about getting it commercially printed (Damien works at a commercial printer here in Halifax), but then I thought of screenprinting it onto fabric with the help of my friend Joanna Close who teaches at NSCAD. With her help (I haven't done any screen printing since graduating from NSCAD 5 years ago), I'm going to print it on a heavy natural cotton twill in a dark brown or black, weighted at top and bottom with encased dowels.

So, last night I set up Damien's projecter, some big pieces of paper, pencil and black marker and enlarged the image and font. Now that I have it full size and contrast on paper, I will trace the image onto acetate. The acetate will be exposed using UV light onto a screen coated with photo emulsion and the screen will work like a giant stencil. I think I would have really enjoyed graphic design in the pre-computer era.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

thanksgiving morning light

New colour in the form of many shades of cotton from Maurice Brassard Fils Inc. arrived in a box this week. I quickly set them on my shelves so I could look at them.

Some new "man" colours in the form of Tidal scarves drying in my studio.

Friday, October 9, 2009

dye day

It's been a couple of weeks since I dyed any of my finished scarves. I've been stockpiling them for Jenny to twist the fringes and now that all the twisting is done for 30 scarves - it's time to add more colour.

So today I've been spending my time dyeing all these Tidal scarves.
I still have 8 or 9 to dye, but the dyed ones looked so great on the line - especially on this gray fall day - that I had to take some shots.