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!).

blog painting wip_7718a

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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Katherine Weisse – Alberta Author

An Albertan author has recently joined my other site http://www.handmade-canada.com . I thought I would share her post here as I am sure many people are interested in local authors and independently produced books.

Handmade in Canada

katherine weisse_writer_book

Katherine Weisse is a Canadian author who embraces her life experiences and uses them as inspiration for her writing.

Katherine’s book, “Straw Hat, Rubber Boots and a Cat” is a whimsical collection of stories about the author and the many animals in her life as she revisits her journey through time. It is a story of the life of an ordinary person, and is filled with excitement, adventure, love, and times of sadness.

Katherine has lived and worked in Canadian cities coast to coast, and now calls Red Deer, Alberta home.

To purchase “Straw Hat, Rubber Boots and a Cat” by Katherine Weisse, please contact the author by email at strawhat@telus.net .

katherine weisse_writer_illustration

www.handmade-canada.com

Handmade in Canada
A site profiling Canadian artists, artisans, growers, writers and musicians. Support Canadian. Buy local.

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What we’ve been up to……..

blog watercolors

Stealing a few minutes from a very busy life to paint a small watercolor.

So I thought I would take a quick moment to do an “update” post as my blogging has been a little sporadic recently. Life has been busy to say the least.

blog _3193Over Easter we went for a longer than usual break out to Pender Island on the west coast of Canada. It was a break we desperately needed as all the major issues we have been dealing with all collided the week before Easter; what a week it was.

blog vanAfter over a month without our vehicle the van replicated the problem with a flashing dashboard while the technician was setting off for another test drive. First, it proved I wasn’t crazy. Second, they finally had something to go off. In the end they decided the remote start was the culprit, they removed it, and the van made it out to the coast and back without issue. The Uconnect still has issues…looks like it’s a case of “suck it up buttercup”….I guess you can’t win them all.

blog snowy cabin_3878That same week we also met over the cabin issue and it was determined that we were right when we first reported that we thought the issue was caused by the hot water tank. However the exploration that the most recent crew did discovered HUGE issues. Structural issues. Potential mold issues. We’ve been told NOT to go in the cabin. We are now waiting to hear more. It is going to be an interesting spring, summer and fall as we won’t be spending our weekends at the cabin. Perhaps we will go back to tenting this year and let our children discover Banff, Yoho and Kootney National Parks. I’m trying to somehow put a positive spin on things.

handmade in canada badgeOur time on the coast was a little bit of fun and a little bit of work. We met with a woodworker and a musician who is joining our Handmade in Canada site. It is exciting to get the project moving along. An author from Alberta is also hopping on board; her profile will be up on the site in a few days.

blog knit items_9716 aOn the coast I also met with the new owner of a resort on Pender Island who has decided to use some of my hand knits in the rooms, cabins and Airstreams at the resort. I’ll share more about this very soon. Needless to say I have been knitting A LOT which explains the rather patchy blogging.

blog boots

How to keep mice out of your boots!!!!!

On top of everything it appears the mice are back…or at least mouse (I saw it). Another story to share at some point. Mice make for a lot of hassle and a lot of work.

instagram-logoAnd last but not least, I have now set up two of my other blogs with Instagram. “Debra Hunter – Photography & Art” shares my paintings, handmade items, and business related photography. “Handmade in Canada” is my new project and will be of interest to anyone interested in Canadian artists, artisans, writers, musicians or growers. The project is in the building stage, so pass it on if you know of someone who is a Canadian creative.

If you are into Instagram you can check out the links here:

handmadeincanada
debramhunter

(….and follow me!!!!!…..and share too!!!)

leaf red 3x3 square 100dpiIt has been a whirlwind the last few weeks. Hopefully life will start to calm down, my knitting will be completed, the car will continue to run, the cabin will be fixed (or rebuilt), the mice will be evicted, and I will once again have time to blog.

Thanks for reading!!!!

Deb