Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy New Year!

My dear friend Anne wrote the following on a card
'wishing you a year as rich as a tapestry, as "full" as a handwoven blanket and as connected as the seasons...' with love
I wish this to all of you as well - have a wonderful year of creativity and joy!!!

A photo I snapped one day because it called to me...

Speaking of tapestry - just to let everyone know that it is moving along centimeter by centimeter and it is so beautiful - Anne, Barbara, Ann Marie and I all do our part - it is a community tapestry, so others are welcome at any time.

a couple of details....

Barbara Birke

Goddess of the Birch
So I have decided that I would try to showcase someone each blog - I have just too many interesting people come through, working and creating in the studio, that both humble and inspire me which, leave little snippets of wisdom and make me feel like there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish all one would like to accomplish. So this month I would like to feature a woman that I have known for about 30 years and who I didn't really know until she came quietly into the studio and said she would like to weave on the the community tapestry! And now when she doesn't come in on Thursdays, I feel that my week is not complete.
Barbara came to Canada 32 years ago from Germany. She had studied at the Academy of the Visual Arts -  Kunstakademie in Stuttgart. Her focus being textile and to begin with explored fabric painting which evolved into teaching at the Academy in the printing department. She then switched to weaving, and worked on many hangings and was paid by the meter! One of the biggest was approximately 18 X 4 meters and then it was hung in the Heidleberg Cancer Institute.
Working with another weaver, she was accustomed to working with others in a 'community' way - just as she is now in the studio - lucky me!  This hanging was done 'rya-like' - which of course piques my interest as I so want to weave a rya - perhaps then next community weaving.....
Barbara discovered bobbin lace in the Cowichan Valley and is a crackerjack bobbin lace maker - unbelieveable. She submits her designs to Lace Makers Gazette and Die Spitze.  Barbara is also well known for her knitting and everytime I see her, she has another sweater on that she has designed - and she is so humble...
Barbara's personal statement, she expresses, "I love every thing what you can do by hand", in her lovely accent and continues, "I love working with my hands and using nature as a springboard. It is important to work along with other like minded people." After asking her what she can offer the world - she was reluctant to answer - but after some discussion, she likes to bring awareness of the textile world to youth through demonstration and feels this is one way to keep the craft alive. Her work can be seen at the Sooke Arts Faire every year, the Tzouhalem Weavers and Spinners annual show, and various fibre fairs on the island.  My creative world is enriched by this wonderful artist.
Who will I showcase next time..........
I have been playing as usual - Summer and Winter Lace these days - just to stretch the threading - white on white for the most part which of course bores me to no end - but I do want to paint it or dye it once I have finished - I have been inspired by Lynette who writes in her blog Le Tissier Designs who submits to Vogue Knitting magazine - amazing lace knitter. Check out the latest Vogue Knitting  magazine and see her socks!!!!
And then I have been obsessed by pink...........thanks to my friend Sherry of Vintage Treasures who now has her store in Chemainus.....
A raw silk flower thread painted 4 X 4 inches sitting on a blanket in cream and white - two blankets one in white woven with Eastwin mohair blend and the second a Fleece Artist kid mohair.....Pretty pretty pretty!
It is the season for submitting for craft fairs in the summer and Christmas, Convergence, brochures - deadlines everywhere -  slowly but surely everything will get done....I keep weaving, and teaching and being inspired every waking moment - it cannot get any better than this.

I leave you with an adage that came my way by Susan's husband Bruce when we were talking about getting old and retirement etc. - that talk!! He described this ideal moment at the age of 14, he was in a canoe with an older gentleman, fishing and enjoying the summer day - his Finnish friend, George Wala gazed out over the water and turned to him and said -

Too soon old
Too late smart
He told me this just after I had the pleasure of teaching a dozen young women, the Renaissance Women they call themselves, aiming to learn as much as they can - which made me feel just a little old - but good because I have been blessed with the ability and the good fortune to be learning everyday - all the things that I love to do.
I have much more to tell you and to share with you but will do that in another blog - lots of stimulating conversation, amazing art sites etc. Create everyone!!!


  1. Great Blog space. Well done!

    1. Thank you so much - I wish I could blog more often but the studio keeps me so busy. Already though I have more to publish!!