Monday, March 29, 2010

props for props

I finally got a mannequin this past weekend. I found it listed in the local Kijiji classifieds for only $40 including free delivery in Halifax. I've had my eyes peeled for a display mannequin for a while now, methodically checking eBay, Etsy and Kijiji. This one is pretty good! Very lightweight for easy shipping to retail shows if needed, it's only a partial mannequin: neck to hips with a adjustable/removable metal stand that I might replace with a nicer wooden one. I've been wanting a mannequin for displaying my scarves at craft fairs for a while now. I think it makes a big difference when customers can actually see an example of my scarf being worn as part of my display. I can dress the mannequin up in short dresses or shirts to cover the white I just need give her a name!

Friday, March 26, 2010

hat cloth

Melanie of Meversible Hats wants greens and purples for her handwoven cloth from which she will sew hats. I like working with a limited palette and I'm enjoying tweaking subtle colour variations. The image above is a combination of soft turquoises and greens in the warp, and army green in the weft. The cloth will be dyed later on, colouring the white silk warp stripes but leaving all thos subtle shades of cotton untouched.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I'm designing a new scarf at the moment. There's a few reasons: the first being that I want to have a scarf that is one step up in terms of price point from my Echo scarves, 7-8 " wide, lightweight using only cotton and raw silk, that I can have ready for the Halifax Crafters' spring market in April. Another reason to approach a new design right now is because my friend Melanie Fontaine has ordered handwoven cloth from me for making her wonderful hats and she needs cloth that is 7.5" wide. I've been wanting to do a Herringbone striped pattern for a while, and I love how the warp stripes make the pattern have a three dimensional effect. The woven cloth will be hand-dyed after weaving to colour the white silk and make the stripe pattern a little more subtle. After this first sample, there's still a little tweaking to do for both the hat cloth and scarves, but it's so much fun to be making something new!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

wood and dirt

Two weeks ago, I bought a folding antique drying rack on Ebay from Conneticut and today it arrived. With an expandable tripod base, the arms on top fold out like an umbrella - a great space saving way to dry fibre and scarves, and a perfect rack for displaying scarves at local craft fairs (where I have a table). It's missing two arms, but they are easy to replace with the right sized dowel. The arms are all a little wonky and rest at different angles, but I kinda like the effect.

It is unbelievabley warm in Halifax today. 13 degrees Celsius. I planted a bunch of seeds to get started on transplants for the garden the other night, and I'm hoping the sunlight pouring into the kitchen in the afternoons will get those sprouts growing in no time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

stocking the shop

Yesterday, I finally got around to photographing some of my new Echo scarves for my Etsy shop. I'm rather fond of this 'ginger chocolate" scarf above. The Echo scarf is a perfect spring scarf, just in time for warmer weather! I've been wearing mine a lot lately - so nice underneath a light spring jacket so you can zip or button all the way up (for extra protection from chilly breezes) without lots of bulk.

Monday, March 15, 2010

March sunlight

Another sunny March day. Doing some application paperwork for next fall's craft fair season. Thinking of my next batch of scarves, weaving a baby blanket for a friend and the fact that the sun won't set tonight until almost 8pm.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

venturing out

The past week has been beautiful and sunny. It's gotten me thinking about starting seedlings for the garden. It's also gotten me looking through my 8 shaft pattern book and trying out something new on my loom in my "new" second studio.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

building stock

I've been slowly puttering away at building up my inventory of Echo scarves. I'm sending a consignment order to the Textile Museum of Canada Shop (in Toronto, my first shop outside of the Atlantic provinces) tomorrow, including 8 Echo scarves. I'm also doing the Halifax Crafters' Spring Market in April and will need a nice selection for sale. Production work seems a little slow going though, and I feel the pull of my new studio calling me from across town....

Friday, March 5, 2010

studio time

Yesterday, Joanna, Keeley and I organized our brand spanking new studio. Figuring out where all our equipment would fit the best and generally feeling excited that it is really happening! My giant loom only fits in one part of the studio, by the big storefront window. Over the next week, I will put in the "guts" of my loom: putting the string heddles on the harnesses, hanging the harnesses, and attaching the lamms and tie-up chains. I am going to finally set it up for the full 8 harnesses, something I've never done before. I think my first project will be an 8 shaft pattern sampler and see where it takes me for my next piece. I have that new studio anticipation.....

In the meantime at home, I'm weaving up another batch of Echo scarves. The Halifax Crafters' Spring Market is coming up April 17 and 18 and these narrow scarves are perfect for spring and summer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

etsy inspiration

Every now and then, I find something really amazing on Etsy. The latest artist I wanted to share. Her shop is called Spinthread and she makes these amazing geometric/fractal embroidered pendants. Her colours and textures are rich and her designs have that math/science inspiration that I love.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

moving day

Today's the day that my big Cranbrook loom is moving to it's new home - my shared studio in Halifax's north end.

This morning I brought all the parts up from storage in our basement and they have now taken over the hall before they are loaded up into a friends truck and moved along with Joanna's loom to my second studio this afternoon. This will be my fourth time setting it up in the past 5 years, turning all that lumber into a loom again.

I'm putting my camera in my bag right now so I remember to take pictures of our studio space for some before and after set-up shots.......

Monday, March 1, 2010

could it be....spring?

Today we're seeing the first sunshine in Halifax for days. And on March 1st no less. Not that March 1st necessarily means we're home free where winter is concerned, but it feels so hopeful to have a mild, sunny day to welcome in the new month.

This will be a busy week, juggling multiple things.....I haven't mentioned this at all yet in my blog - I don't really think I've had that much time to digest it - but I have a second studio. Yup, a second studio! A shared studio way up in the north end of the city. This will be a place to set up and use my large Cranbrook loom which I dismantled after Christmas because it was taking up way too much space in my home studio. I'll be sharing the space with Joanna Close and her loom, and Keeley McLean and her sewing machine and serger. The three of us spent three days ripping up carpet, painting the wall and the floor and generally sprucing the place up since the middle of February. This means that I will be devoting time consistently to creating artwork with the goal of exhibiting and seeking some funding and grants to do this. It also means that I get to share a communal creative space with other artists - very very important as I spend most of my time working alone and I know I could benefit from more contact...there is also so much potential for a workshop series in our studio space, open houses, and making a little extra income with our "sellables" from walk-ins (we do have a storefront window).

I won't be moving my loom over there until Wednesday. Until then, I'm going to keep plugging away on Echo scarves, stocking up for the spring season.