Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Today we picked up our UHaul truck for our move to Halifax. We've spent the day packing most of our stuff into the truck and our studio apartment looks very bare. Our stuff mostly consists of boxes and pieces of wood. The wood makes up my two looms, our bed, some tables and shelves. We are very happy we were able to get a 14 foot truck instead of the 26 foot truck they were originally going to give us - my persistence with convincing the UHaul people that we were not comfortable driving such a large vehicle (almost the size of a transfer truck) paid off and they drove us a smaller truck in from Stephenville last night. We've got some odds and ends to tidy up, kitchen stuff to pack, one more sleep in Corner Brook tonight and then tomorrow we hit the road and head to Port-Aux-Basques to catch the overnight ferry to North Sydney, Cape Breton. From there we have a five hour drive to Halifax and should arrive at our new home Friday afternoon. Now that we've got our truck and almost everything packed in it, my anxiety has been replaced by excitement at how close we are to our next adventure.
And last night we had a lovely farewell potluck hosted by the amazing Barb Hunt and her partner Gerry. It was wonderful to see Shawn, Shannon, Nicki, Nancy and family, Steven and Tea, Ruha, and of course Barb and Gerry before we leave. Most of the friends who came last night were the wonderful women who make up the West Coast Craft Collective, a group of kindred spirits who have embraced me and offered me friendship and creative wisdom during my time here. I will miss these incredible women but know that through the magic of the internet we will be able to follow each others' endeavors and keep in close touch in the years to come. Thank you thank you thank you and lots of love to you all.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thinking about my art practice, the direction of my art practice: what it is made of, could be made of and how I feel about it. My last two pieces based on statistics felt like a breakthrough: small blankets woven with one-ply wool, inlay inserted directly into the woven pattern to build statistical landscapes. Building a place through the hard numbers of lives lived in Atlantic Canada. Thinking more about blankets - their function: warmth, comfort, protection, sleep, illness, story-telling, heirlooms, making due. Their physical state/presence: folded and stacked, draped on a sofa, pulled up over a bed, covering something/someone, creating a patch of domestic comfort in the outdoors (picnic), the amorphous way a blanket will cover yet indicate what is underneath through the inherent nature of cloth.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
This is our last weekend in Corner brook before we move. Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day and I was wishing we had a car to take a drive out to Bottle Cove. But we don't have a car, so we walked and walked. We packed a small picnic and walked up the steep hills to Captain Cook's Lookout. From up there you can see all of Corner Brook in one direction and all the way out to the Blow Me Down Mountains and the Bay of Islands in the other direction.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Since moving to Corner Brook a bit more than a year and a half ago, I have been ever grateful for the Corner Brook Stream Trail. This is a series of inter-connected trails all over Corner Brook, mostly organized around the Corner Brook stream (more like a river) itself. I have jogged and walked the central loop many many times and it has been my way of getting out into the wild while not having a vehicle to actually leave Corner Brook. Yesterday turned into a beautiful, bright sunny afternoon so I went for a walk and brought my camera along and took some video. The river was rushing with spring run-off.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
As we enter the final week before we move, I feel like we've got the packing under control. With a little bit of packing and organizing each day, we should be ready to go by next Thursday. This means I've got a little bit of time to get around to those projects that never get done. I decided to paint this shelf that I had a chocolate milk brown. My purple shamrock is doing marvellously and is benefitting from some tlc.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
I can't bring my self to get rid of all my weaving scraps from the past couple of years. Short and long pieces of yarn, some fabric cuttings. Silks, wools, cottons. I figure if I keep carrying them around long enough, I will use them for something worthwhile. It seems wasteful to just throw them away......
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I have finished weaving until I get settled into my new studio in Halifax. Both my looms are taken apart and my silks, cottons and wools are organized and packed away. My last batch of scarves before the move was 12 Echo scarves in various shades of reds, pinks and corals - any red shades seem to be a hot commodity theses days and some of my clients are specifically asking for them in their orders, so I figured I can never have too many. And to make me feel the thrill of the anticipation of warmer weather, my lilies and tulips are in bloom on a day when I can finally feel the heat of the sun after the temperatures plunged last week. I think we're in the home stretch!
Friday, April 17, 2009
This week, the weather has decided to put time in reverse. After weeks and weeks of sunshine and warm weather that melted almost all the piles and piles of snow, we woke up Wednesday to almost a full-fledged snowstorm. The temperature has also dropped from a balmy 10c to below 0c. The snow is still here and the temperatures likely won't rise until the start of next week. I know it's winter's very last hurrah before spring, but it is still depressing. So, yesterday I decided I needed to buy a couple of tulips and a lilly - a little encouragement for spring to come on back.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
A couple of weeks ago, one of my first scarf customers, Maggie Brown, a reporter for CBC in PEI, sought me out through facebook. She bought a scarf from me at my very first craft council fair in Charlottetown, PEI in 2006. The scarf she bought was one of my very first prototypes for what is now my line of Seaweed scarves. She was searching for me again because she wanted to know if I had any scarves for sale and if she could buy one. She loved her other one, but it was a little too short (as a prototype, I hadn't taken into account the shrinkage in length that happens through felting) and was hoping for a longer one. Well, do I have any scarves for sale! I filled her in on my burgeoning little business and directed her to my Etsy site. She picked out a beautiful wide Seaweed scarf/wrap in a dusty mauve (pictured above). I sent it to her over two weeks ago, and by this past Tuesday, it still hadn't arrived in PEI. I was getting a little nervous, but the tracking number said it should be delivered that day. Lo and behold, yesterday, I got a lovely email from Maggie saying it had arrived, she was wearing it as she emailed me, she loved it and would direct any admirers to my Etsy shop. It is a wonderful feeling to have loyal fans who actively seek me out when they feel it is time to invest in a second scarf. And you never know, maybe Marshall Arts scarves will become a hit in the CBC offices and next thing you know, Peter Mansbridge will be wearing one on the National!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I decided to try and get my two big spring orders out the door ASAP so I can concentrate on the packing that needs to be done. Because colour is so important in my work, I've been photographing a new client's orders before sending them off to her to make sure the colour palette is what she wants and nice and balanced. This is a bright, springy palette of colours.....a little bit of everything in terms of style.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Yesterday I took apart my 60" Cranbrook countermarche loom. This is no small feat! Everything comes apart and is reduced to solid maple lumber. I got this loom four and a half years ago, after I graduated from NSCAD. It used to belong to a friend of my parents who had been storing it in a basement in Cape Breton for 20 years. After I got it, it took a while before I had the space to actually set it up because of its large size. Before this loom, I had never worked on a countermarche weaving system. With some research, I discovered that this loom and its shed system is really the Cadillac of looms! The engineering allows for the warp threads to both rise and fall when a shed is opened by pressing the treadles, creating a larger space for throwing weft material through. Another great feature about this loom is the fact that the treadles can lock into place when pressed with your foot, enabling the weaver to stand up, move around and work on sections of the weaving with tapestry or inlay. It is an eight harness loom, but so far, I have only set it up to use four of the harnesses...I hope to play with eight harnesses in the next year. This is the loom I use for my artwork and larger woven works - sadly that means it doesn't get used as much as it should because it often gets sidelined by scarf production to bring in my income. Another amazing thing about this loom is the fact that I paid only $200 for it - brand new, this loom costs approximately $7000, it was a steal!
Monday, April 13, 2009
After a surprise snowfall yesterday (was it really a surprise? we do live in Atlantic Canada), today the sloppy stuff is all melted. Hard to believe it is the middle of April, but am very glad May is on the way.
I sold one of my new Wave scarves on Etsy last week to a woman in Washington DC. Because of the long Easter weekend, it still hasn't made it to the post office. Tomorrow! People have been responding so well to the pinks/reds/purples lately - maybe it's the colour palette of optimism, able to make us feel warm, hopeful and alive.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
My partner and I are moving to Halifax from Corner Brook at the end of April. Aside from working to fill some big orders before we move, we also have a lot of purging and packing to do - it will be a busy next 3 weeks! I've also been spending lots of time daydreaming about our new home in Halifax, in particular my new home studio. I've been thinking about efficient use of space, building new shelves for all my supplies and the novelty (it feels like a step up) of having a studio that I can close the door to at the end of the day. My studio will be in the dining room of our ground floor apartment, connected to the living room by french doors. The photo above is the dining room in its current state (being lived in by another young couple) - now imagine it filled with looms and yarn!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Well, I've got lots of work to do, which is great!! Another large spring order rolled in yesterday from Lucia Studio in Chester, Nova Scotia. Lucia Studio is a new wholesale client (a retail shop) who found me at the Atlantic Craft Trade Show in Halifax in February. The owner, Anne, started off with a small order of samples and would now like another 28 scarves for May. Basically, everything I make from now until the end of May is claimed for orders! Amazing...it is a lovely feeling to be very busy doing what I love and getting paid for it.
On another note, I got an email last week from Shmap Toronto Guide letting me know that one of my photos of my booth at the 2008 One of a Kind Show (I've posted it above) has been shortlisted for this on-line map: http://www.schmap.com/shortlist/p=40336211N00/c=SK28042934
having a web presence pays off!
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Well, I got one major order of summer scarves finished and in the mail yesterday. Now I've got to top up my inventory for a massive order from the NL Craft Council to go to the Craft Biennale in South Korea by the beginning of May. And then at least one or two smaller orders for new retail clients...i love being busy!