Monday, 19 January 2015

Long spaces of time!


It's been a while since I've been on here. Life has a habit of interrupting when the best creative moments hit. A typical day sees me trying to fend off RSIs while attempting to finish a painting long overdue to its intended.

Lately I've been vetting a space to exhibit my artwork. Wish me luck in the submission process!

Happy 2015 and may your days be bright and your nights filled with bliss!


Friday, 16 May 2014

One big pot of tea and onward back into the beading realm!

I make earrings and other assorted Aboriginal items that have patterned beadwork on them. I use the lazy squaw stitch, peyote and lots of loom work as well to create some neat items to use in everyday life.

(I'm sorry. I am having issues with uploading photos, so please bear with me while I sort this out :(  )

It is a gloomy cloudy day here. It makes for a good creative day.  :D Now all I need are white walls and I'll be set!

Hope your day is going just as well!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Since my last post I have been working odd jobs and various contracts. I recently wrote an article which I am copying here:

Striking your Fancy: The Aboriginal Ceremonial Shawl

Recently I took on the project to sew up a ceremonial shawl for a friend and I am going to walk you through the process.

This shawl was made to celebrate the passing of a daughter of the Earth. I only met her a couple of times, and on each occasion the joy, wonder and vibrancy of life could be felt radiating outward from her.

My friend, who was closest to her, spent a long time finding the materials that would make up this wonderful shawl. The colors represent her spirit and soul, the fabric and ribbons made wonderful swishing sounds of her footsteps and her totem animals.

The size of this shawl was cut to seventy (70) inches and shortened to thirty-six (36) inches not including the length of the fringe. A standard size I've seen is 60-68 inches by 60 inches.

Gathering of the materials:

While on many trips to the fabric store during their sales days, my friend found the material that would make up this beautiful shawl. She had walked by this bright pink fabric numerous times only to stand in front of it near the end of her shopping time to find her friend's spirit urging her to buy this one. She also bought ribbon in 4 colors (one that was the same pink) for a total of eighty-five (85) meters. The ribbon was cut to twenty-five (25) centimeter lengths. My friend had purchased in Tucson, Arizona, another ribbon in a pattern from the Natives there. Next she found gold, white and a beautiful purple fabric for the applique pieces.

The layout:

My friend spent time with pen and paper to map out all the pieces going on the shawl. This was the final design.

The applique pieces:

The center piece comprised of four (4) arrow bands cut out of white and purple and 4 feathers cut out of white material and gold felt. This piece matches the pattern of beadwork on her regalia.

The bottom left applique of purple and white material with gold embroidered paw prints of her friend's pets.

The bottom right applique was cut out of the gold felt in a goblet shape and white material for the wings which were embroidered to accentuate the feathers. One extra feather was cut out to be placed falling from the wings.

Strips of purple satin bordered the whole shawl.

The sewing:

First up was sewing the purple border onto the pink shawl.

Next I glued the ribbon pieces onto the ribbon band and then sewed that onto three (3) of the four edges of the shawl. Each of the ribbon pieces were side by side with no gaps between like you do for the chainette fringe cording.

 NOTE: If you are going to do the fringe properly you cut the cord in 14 inch lengths and attach it to the shawl by punching holes along the edge of the shawl a finger-width apart. You attach each fringe length by folding it in half and pinching a loop to push through the hole. You then pull the dangling strings through that loop and tighten the knot at the shawl edge. You can knot one, two or more in one hole to give the lengths of cord a fuller fringe.

Since the main fabrics were satin I used hot glue to attach pieces and fabric glue for the edges so it wouldn't fray. The completed applique emblems were then sewn onto the shawl.

The photo above is the finished shawl. It took two days to make since there needed to be a second infusion of ribbon to finish the sides. Even after that run, there was only enough to do two-thirds along the sides.

Each and every shawl is unique to the spirit guide/person it is intended to represent during the dances at the powwow. This spirit is happy that that spirit had a wonderful ceremonial dance to send her on her next journey.

Mína ka wapamitin
(I will see you again)

*View the full article with images on my website (click Metis on the main page and the Dance Shawl link on the left)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Just getting over a sinus cold... definitely wiped me out that I stayed in bed all day yesterday watching TV and movies.

Onto today where my head is finally allowing me to get back to my painting. I think I'll go get another set of brushes since my last set I bought seems to be 'molting' LOL. Not fun having strands of brush on the canvas surface... can't remember how many times I've had to hunt for my tweezers to pick them off...

So, paint! Read! Quiet with the occasional squawk from a crow for today!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Ahhhhhhhhh Fall! The time of year where the leaves change color and make a wonderful blanket on the ground on all the paths I walk!

A good portion of the summer has been mostly viewed through my camera lens and LCD screen. It ended up that most of the time I would use my little digital camera because I couldn't afford the film for my other camera. I really prefer my SLR film camera though... Many reasons come to mind. Mainly, whenever I want to focus on a scene my digital camera is set for the center spot in the composition, but when I change it to use the Auto setting it picks the spot! Most annoying!!!!!

I can't wait to have enough to buy a really nice professional digital SLR camera... can't wait...

Anyways, I've been slowly working on the two watercolors I had posted images of earlier. I'll get around to taking pictures of them soon...

I finally put brush to canvas recently on my first large oil painting in years! I am so excited. It's been a summer of taking pictures to compose the image for this painting and I'm just beside myself somedays!

Ok, off for yet another of my walks and then back to work on paintings!

Have a great day, rain or shine!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Middle of Summer!

The summer has been hot and the house (not my room) has been ice cold! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I spent most of the time taking photos for creations that are in the works in various forms...

Some of the days I would find a nice shady spot outside to sketch and dream.

Can't wait for September with TIFF hits Toronto. I'm visiting friends and hoping to get to see some stars and attend a movie or two!

Happy travelling everyone, wherever you may go. Stay safe!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

What's your hot beverage while creating?

I sit here staring at my cup of Earl Grey tea while pondering my next chapter in a book I am writing. I have so many projects on the go that I celebrate extensively when I complete one.

So, I put to you -- What is your hot beverage of choice when creating that fine piece of work? -- a question that always comes up in my mind when I choose a particular drink for each different project.

The Earl Grey aroma evokes a dreamy quality in some of my paintings so much that I change back to Orange Pekoe a lot for the caffeine.

Well, off to create, go for a walk, and more creating when I return!

Happy day to all!