Handmade in Canada…things are looking good…..plus a link to some great music

LMYR 1I may have mentioned my new project in passing on this blog before. The project is called Handmade in Canada. The concept is to profile Canadian artists, artisans, musicians, writers and growers (and food producers).

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Being an artist and maker myself (and knowing many other creative people), the most difficult part of our craft is promoting what we create, showing people what we do, and letting people know where and how to purchase our creations. Most of us want to be tucked away in our studios working away rather than marketing ourselves. After a lot of thought I made the decision to create a site to do just that, and the site/blog is www.handmade-canada.com . In the last few weeks interest has been growing. We are seeing some great things made by Canadian makers and hearing some great music. We are also meeting some really cool people. This is turning out to be a fabulous project with great potential.

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As I have a ton of readers on this blog, I will also on occasion be linking through profiles from the Handmade in Canada site. It won’t turn the blog into an on going infomercial, I wouldn’t want to rob readers of updates on my seedlings or the ongoing war with the insurance industry (near the end now…report for scope of repairs was 14 PAGES long….I’ll share more in another post). I want to give each of these creative people as much exposure as possible ( and show all the readers some pretty cool stuff too!).

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If you follow www.islandhomeblog.wordpress.com I will also be sharing west coast creators on that blog, especially since home studios are so much of the island culture.

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Today I am going to share a link for Liam MacKenzie and Young Rust. Check out their bio by clicking HERE, and definitely listen to their music……it is really, really good.

Hopefully by sharing links, blog readers will find some new music that they love, a book they want to read, some art to admire,  handmade items to cherish, or even locally produced food.

The site www.handmade-canada.com is also a WordPress blog, so feel free to follow along and discover some talent that has been home grown here in Canada.

 

Donations Are Ready To Go

Deb:

Sharing a fundraiser from my other blog (www.debra-hunter.com) just in case anyone is interested in supporting the gala.

Originally posted on Debra Hunter - photography & art:

blog donations_7838 aThe donations for the silent auction for the Our Lady of Victory Camp are all ready. This selection includes a Wine Wrap, Coffee Sweaters, a Coffee Mug Sweater and some naturally dyed and hand tied bracelets. All the knit items are made of 100% Canadian produced wool milled in Alberta. The dyed items are all hand dyed in micro batches of hand crafted natural dyes. Each item is created completely by hand.

For information on the gala taking place on May 8th, please click HERE.

Knit items by Studio H (Debra Hunter) can be found at Sunworks (Red Deer, AB), The Whyte Museum Store (Banff, Alberta) and at Woods on Pender (Pender Island, BC). For more information on the items offered, we can be contacted through our website at www.debra-hunter.com .

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www.handmade-canada-com

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Taking a Break With Some Beads

b_beading_7726 aThe knitting order is done. A painting has just been finished (post to come soon!). Panels have been primed with gesso. It seemed like a good time to mix things up a bit and spend some time on fibre art.

b_beading_7727 aI’ve taken a different approach to this piece compared to everything I did in 2014. First, this one is small; 10 inches by 12.5 inches or so (unmounted). Secondly, it is completely unplanned, it was a case of drawing out the image with stitch. I needed to loosen up the pieces to enjoy working on them and let them evolve and not have rules. I needed to shrink the size of the pieces as on large works the bead work was being lost in the scale. The beads worked wonderfully when viewing a piece in person (lots of “wow” factor), but on a computer screen the detail was completely lost. Unfortunately the reality now is that work needs to look better on a screen than in reality, that is how shows are chosen. So in keeping with “playing the game” I am going small with the fibre art pieces so that the beaded detail shows.

Now I am starting to flesh the image out with glass seed beads. Each bead is about 1mm in depth. Time consuming work. Last night I sat down to work on the piece, BBC documentaries playing in the background (slightly addicted to BBC docs!), and when I finally looked up at the clock it was 4:00 am. What is more, only a small portion of the area is done. Slow, slow work…and morning comes way too quickly when you work until 4:00 am or later.

b_beading_7728 aThe piece is again made of naturally dyed threads and fabrics that I have hand dyed in micro batches. The base piece is cotton dyed in marigold, the blue thread in the image above is indigo. There are also, to date, appearances of logwood, cutch, and a funky lac/madder combo (seems to be a weird personal favorite on cotton….no idea why).

I am using up bits and pieces from my stash of naturally dyed materials; making what I currently have work before I end up with an unmanageable amount of naturally dyed fabrics and threads. Next in the “stash busting” will be using some of the eco-printed fabrics, perhaps incorporating stitching and beading (of course!), and maybe going with creating functional items for a change.

Fibre art by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com
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Also check out the project I am building at
www.handmade-canada.com .

A project being built for for Canadian artists, artisans, writers, musicians and growers.

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Works in Progress, Finished and Things

It seems to have been another busy week that has whizzed past at break neck speed. A combination of trying to finish the order for Woods on Pender, working on Handmade in Canada, plus life, has made for a week of very late nights (well technically early mornings when you work until 3 am!).

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Work in progress. Acrylic on panel. 24″x24″.

I finally managed to put in a few hours painting the panel that I had started before Easter. It is still a work in progress but coming along. The piece measures 2 feet by 2 feet and continues with the Roe Islet theme. This theme seems to provide never ending material. A couple of weeks ago I shot several hundred reference images while walking the ever changing islet, including macros of spring lilies. Hopefully I will get a few of these images up on Island Home Blog sometime soon.

blog painting wipI work on panel differently to canvas in that I tend to prefer to work flat instead of on the wall easel. The upside to this is that it is a much more social way of working. Mark and I each choose our ends of the table, we turn on the “wireless”, he works on “something”, and I paint and argue with CBC radio (and their endless agendas). Sometimes it is BBC Radio 4. We fell into this habit out on the coast and it has now become a great way to spend an evening no matter where we are.

1_coffee press sweater 6x6_7642The order for Woods on Pender is complete. Knit, finished, blocked. I will do the packaging this evening and then the order will be ready to ship. The complete group of items can be viewed by clicking HERE. Each piece is completely unique except for the resort’s logo that is featured in the center panel.

blog planA few days ago I also tackled playing with cabin floor plans. We still don’t know exactly what insurance is going to do. If they can fix the situation it will be great as we won’t be without the use of our cabin for as long, but the reoccurring dreams of the cabin collapsing makes me wonder if the verdict is going to be that the cabin is a tear down. It has been full of water for so long. Common sense tells me that I need to consider all the options for how we may need to deal with this property

So in an effort to be proactive I started drafting floor plans. My goal is to shrink the actual foot print from that of our current cabin. I know this seems counter-intuitive considering the size of our family, but more land and less building makes sense to me when we are at the cabin. The plan above is the ground floor at 780 square feet, plus we would add an enclosed loft portion over part of the cabin to work as a bedroom/studio/study space. The portion not enclosed would become a covered balcony which will give lake views. We’ve learned from the house out on the island that big spaces with high ceilings are hard to heat when you aren’t there full time, so the goal is to scale it back and make heating the rooms, especially the bedrooms, easy.

We are also thinking of putting the water tank and pump in a separate utility building and going with on demand hot water. We are determined to never have another water disaster again.

I figure if we have plans of action in place for all the different outcomes that things will be less daunting when the time comes.

handmade in canada badgeHandmade in Canada is ticking along. We spoke with another interested artisan the other day. Hopefully in a few days I will have another maker’s profile to share.

Well off to package and paint. I have a chance to actually accomplish a few things this evening as the rest of the family sits in front of the hockey on T.V. …..or plays Minecraft.

( I may have been premature in thinking everyone would be firmly parked in front of the T.V. (A.K.A. “out of my way”). Interest is now lagging as the Canucks have scored twice. Hmmmmm.)

Coffee Press Sweater Order – Knitting Complete

b_knit coffee press sweaters The order is knit. The design in the center is the resort’s logo. Just a little bit of finishing to do and then the order will be off to Woods on Pender located on Pender Island (British Columbia, Canada).

To see more knit items check out www.debra-hunter.com . Knit items are available to both individuals and small scale wholesale for businesses interested in unique handmade pieces.

Also if you are a Canadian maker, grower or creative check out www.handmade-canada.com as it may be a project you are interested in joining.

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