Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year!

View from my front window!
Wishing you a Very Happy, Healthy and Productive New Year from snow covered Ottawa!  We have some serious snow here but we miraculously escaped the ice storm this time!   I know it has been a nightmare for some of you who are without power.    Let us hope that everyone has their power restored soon.

View from my back window

Last month our fibre arts group had an exhibition at the Stittsville library called "First Lines".   Here is a photo of my friend Connie holding her submission.  Can you guess which book it is from?

Has anyone read Andrew McCall Smith's series - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency featuring Precious Ramotswe?   Precious runs a detective agency and describes herself as "traditionally built".    Here she is with her little van out in front of her agency.  Isn't it great?

Before the holidays, I had almost finished my latest hand stitched piece which is still unnamed - For some time (years!)  I immersed myself in Atlantic Canada.  Now I have quite a few prairie/field pieces under my belt - Prairie Sky,  Prairie Sky II, Prairie Dawn, Fields of Gold,  Prairie Grasses, A River Runs Through It etc. and I'm running out of names......This one is mostly hand stitched with lots of texture and, as usual, the satin sky is hand painted.  I still need to mount it onto a canvas.  I didn't really depict any particular season but was looking instead to represent the many colours of the prairie and its bounty.  However, whenever I look at it, Connie Kaldor's song "Spring on the Prairies" keeps running through my head.......

Monday, December 9, 2013

More Trees...

I have made some progress on my tree pieces.  I added leaves and tulle and machine stitched the tree trunk and the foliage. I solved my dilemma with the tulle (to tulle or not to tulle) by cutting away the tulle from everywhere except the tree because it was obscuring the hand stitching on the flowers.  I have layered it and will now attempt to hand quilt the areas around the tree.  I think I'll just finish it with a satin stitched edge.

When I looked at it through my camera lens I wasn't sure about those poppies.  the foliage may blend too much with the background.  I may add a few stronger highlights to the stems and leaves.  Or I may decide to just leave well enough alone.

close up of tree trunk

close up of poppies

I have also been stitching away at my other tree piece (right now I am calling it the "Are you Crazy!!!?? piece).   The same subject but this one is going to be completely embroidered on a lightly painted background.   It has been a lot of hand stitching!  I am integrating some of my new variegated threads from LES Designs and they look so nice!   Here is a little preview.....lots of stitching still to do on the background - lots of areas to fill in - but I am concentrating on the tree right now.   Hope my fingers hold up.  

I've been using mostly chain and straight stitches for the trunk, some fly stitches for the foliage in the background.   This one is my 'evening in front of the TV' piece. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

My New Threads!

I just love getting things in the mail especially when it's fibre-related.   Earlier this week I ordered some dyed threads from LES Designs.  Today they were in my mailbox complete with a colourfully decorated envelope.  Aren't they gorgeous!!  But don't take my word for it. You can see these lovely threads in a rainbow of colourways at Lorraine's Etsy shop   She also has a blog called  Creative Daily 

 I ordered a variety of twisted silk, perle cotton, and rayon threads, and a sampler pack, and Lorraine slipped in some extras.  I was looking for mostly earthy tones and greens.  The variegated colours are beautifully dyed and will be just the thing for my tree embroidery.  I can't keep my hands off them so I'm off to stitch.......

Cool Packaging!
See sampler at right
 Thanks Lorraine!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Progress on Tree Project

I think this is going to be the one!!   The ash tree is made up of tiny pieces of fabric fused to a thin background.  I hand stitched some colourful poppies around the tree base.  Next I will add a few leaves (but not too many) under and over the trunk and the tree will be ready to applique on to the background.  I actually think it would be a great winter tree but I have already committed myself by adding the poppies (so maybe tree #4 - winter -  is coming up?).   I am leaning towards machine applique because I think it will blend with the trunk nicely.  I think I will hand quilt the areas around the tree.

My one decision is whether to add tulle over the whole thing.   The tulle softens it a bit, pulls it all together, and gives the trunk a sheen but the hand stitching on the flowers is not as prominent and using a variety of threads on the trunk may be sufficient.

Without tulle

With tulle (it's harder to get a good photo with the tulle)
I need to look at it for a day or two.   This is quite a small piece (7 x 10") so each bit of fabric is quite tiny.   Please note the beautiful background fabric.  It is one of Elaine Quehl's hand dyes.  They beautify any piece!

I am still hand stitching version #1 but it's too soon to show....

I was able to add my mini Etsy link to my sidebar.  It was easy to do or maybe my tech skills are improving?   My son is always teasing me about my early reaction to computers and the way I have moved into the tech age since then.

This post is linked to the Needle and Thread Network WIP Wednesdays

Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Etsy Shop and I Can't Believe It's December!

Already December and I haven't blogged for ages.  My big news is that I finally opened my ETSY shop -  JuanitaSauveFibreArt on Etsy     I created the shop last month but didn't have time to add items.   For the last week I have been experiencing some nasty nosebleeds (an old issue) and was forced to stay quiet for a week.  Rather than waste my time altogether I prepared my policies,  took some photos, and added items to my shop.  I was pleased to see that there have been some views already.  It's a little scary but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.  Now I just have to figure out how to add the etsy logo to my blog.

I had a successful show in mid November and was pleased that I sold a good variety of items.   My mini landscape/postcards sold well as did my funky fabric beaded necklaces (I'll post some photos soon) and bookmarks.  I sold some framed pieces and journals and lots of cards.  Here is a photo of my booth.   I had great booth neighbours and I also got to see some old friends and customers with  lots of lovely feedback.

The show is held in the beautiful Glebe Community Centre in Ottawa.  I wish I had taken some photos of the inside of the building.

This little piece was one of my favourites.  I called it 'simplicity' and it sold the first night of the show.  It is tiny - maybe 3.5 x 3.5 -matted and framed in a larger square frame.  I think that sometimes I make my work too complicated and one of my goals is to keep it simple in some of my pieces - know when to stop!

Before the show I spent one morning dyeing more silk ribbon with my dye kit from  Ribbonsmyth .  I was happy with the results and used them for ribbon embroidered bookmarks and a couple of ribbon embroidered framed pieces.

drying in my basement

It is so much fun adding drops of dye and creating all sorts of colours of ribbon.  So many of the results are serendipidous.   My favourite was a lovely periwinkle blue.

My present theme is 'trees'.   Inspired by my first 'sacred tree' which has just returned from an exhibition at the Stittsville library, I started piecing a tree together on a lightweight background (which I have since cut away around the tree).

tree in progress

I plan to applique it to a stitched background so I started one, then a second, then a third background.....why so many?   Because each one took an unexpected turn and I am still trying for a certain effect.  I think the latest will work if I 'keep it simple!'       The tree was too powerful for the first background I stitched.  In the second instance, the background was too distracting.   So now I think a hand dyed background and a few flowers in the foreground will be enough.  The others are morphing into different pieces and were not wasted.  More on this one as I progress.
This post is linked up to Off the Wall Fridays     Take a look at some great fibre art!