Painting, Knitting, Busy, Busy

Photo 2015-11-19 10 37 16 AM

Just a quick post today to get the blog back on track.

The last little while has been incredibly busy with knit items being made, packaged and delivered to galleries an boutiques. Tonight is another super busy one. A great opportunity for both art and handmades popped up out on the coast, so this evening is filled with painting and knitting.

Photo 2015-11-19 9 09 28 PMThe paintings are near miniature in size while the knitting is a broad range of the items I create for Handmade in Canada. One painting left to create this evening and finger puppets to knit and I will be in good shape. The finger puppets are purely adorable; Finger Fairies and Finger Gnomes just perfect for a Christmas stocking.

blog finger puppets

Art and handmades by Debra Hunter

www.debra-hunter.com

www.handmade-canada.com

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Carved Spoons – My New Obsession

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Carved spoons is my latest handmaking obsession. It is something I just had to try and I admit I am hooked. I have a thing for functional items. We live in a small house with lots of people, there isn’t a lot of room for 3D decorative items, but if an item can be beautiful and functional I am thrilled to own it.

My first ever spoon is the one on the left. Chunky and rustic, yet measures a perfect teaspoon. Great for measuring sugar and spices.

blog spoon 2_8256

My second spoon is the one on the right and in the picture above. I was able to refine the shape more to seem less rustic. The branch in the picture above is the left over part of the branch that the spoon was carved from. This one went from being part of the crabapple tree (it needed pruning!) to a spoon in two days.

A third spoon has been made and just needs oiling and finishing, while a fourth has just been started.

As the spoons are being crafted from prunings that would usually just be collected by the city’s green waste program, it is great to see “waste” turned into functional items. As I find larger pieces of wood I will be able to expand my scope to scoops, cutting boards and other usable objects.

Photography by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com

For more handmade objects check out www.handmade-canada.com

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Handmade Yarn Needles

blog wooden yarn needlesTake one dried branch, a rotary tool, and a bit of time, and what do you get? Handmade wooden yarn needles from eco sourced materials. Sourced local, made local, made by hand, and each one is unique. Pretty cool. I’ll be making more of these soon.

www.debra-hunter.com

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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.

handmade in canada badge

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.

LMYR 1

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.

 

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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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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Eco Printed Eggs

 

Eco printing is one of the natural dyeing techniques that I quite enjoy. You never quite know what the outcome will be, it is beyond unpredictable, and that is what makes it so fun.

blog eco print egg _4500I usually eco print on silk or cotton, creating scarves or stitched pieces. Generally it is a summer activity as I prefer to work with leaves and flowers gathered in my garden.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that eco printing also worked on eggs. As I had to boil eggs for a school project anyways (and I have a HUGE stash of onion skins saved), so I thought it would be fun to try.

We started with a plain old, white, uncooked egg. Wrapped it in onion skins. Secured it with elastic bands. Then hard boiled the egg just as normal.

Once the egg was cooled we carefully unwrapped the egg and ended up with a beautiful surprise.

blog eco print egg_4554Quite a beautiful and safe way to dye an Easter egg.

 

Looking for something to read? Check out my website at www.debra-hunter.com or the new project I am just starting to grow at www.handmade-canada.com .

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Tuesday….brought to you by the letter “P”

blog driftwood 5x7_0215

blog bridges road 5x7_0222Painting

Still experimenting with ink on paper.

 

blog p prototypingPrototyping

Experimenting with another “knit in the round” project with naturally dyed yarns. The yarn above has been dyed in logwood, marigold and pomegranate.

 

blog p proofingProofing

It has been a busy few weeks for Hunter Photographics.

 

blog p packagingPackaging

Updating the packaging with the new website www.debra-hunter.com .

 

I wonder what tomorrow will bring? Perhaps some gardening or dyeing. Maybe some work on www.handmade-canada.com .

 

 

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What’s Happening Thursday

Seeing as I’ve been foot powered for four weeks I’ve been tackling quite a few projects. Here is what is happening today:

blog knit crochet_4367Weaving in ends and blocking knit and crocheted pieces.

blog knit and crochet_4363Prepping cotton pieces and yarn to be scoured, mordanted and dyed.

blog crochet_4375Reworking a crocheted prototype…different hook size and measurements. Sometimes you just “know” you can make an item more functional and better.

blog crochet beads_4372Working beads into crocheted pieces.

blog spin_4386Breaking down yarn scraps to spin……

blog spin_4383….and spinning them. The ball of yarn is growing. Quite frightening to think these scraps would normally just go to the landfill.

blog stiching_4379I have also started another stitched piece. Smaller. Experimental. Naturally dyed (as usual). Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t, we’ll just see where it goes.

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Crafted by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com

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Interested in the new project I’m building? Check out Handmade in Canada.

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