Thursday, June 30, 2011

rainbow colours

In 1978, the rainbow flag came to mean diversity in the gay community. This weekend, Toronto will host its famous PRIDE parade.

ROM sporting the rainbow colours

thread in beautiful colours

"Map",  2006
my inspiration for this wall hanging was a geophysical map.
It was exhibited at the Oakwood Public Library
in Toronto in 2007.
It now hangs at my husband's office-he's a geophysicist.

a table runner from Guatemala- a gift from Grace

my purse

In Italy, these colours mean PEACE.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I recently was interviewed by Laura D'Aprile from OMNI ONE, the local italian television station.

Laura D'Aprile at work at Side Space Gallery

It gave me an opportunity to speak about my artwork and my italian heritage...all in ITALIAN!

Laura filming my art piece, Many Moons

We had a really fun few hours together!

It will air July 1 between 8 and 9 pm on OMNI 1

If you cannot see it then, click here, from July 2nd onwards. It will be there for about six weeks.

Friday, June 24, 2011

art exercise

I am back to my art routine. I create a small piece every morning in 15 minutes! I put a timer and do finish it within the time span...well, sometimes I go over by a minute!

I do have the base pre-cut and ready to use. In that limited time, I just create. I may try something I have been thinking about or I may just go without any direction at all. I do not have time to question my art decisions.

I do this instead of sketching.

Today's mini work started with the new transfer paints I bought yesterday.

4"x6", morning exercise with past mini works behind

This is my inspiration for the quilt design.

window grate, Casa Mila, (also known as Casa Pedrera)
building designed by Gaudi
Barcelona, Spain

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

International Textile Contest

I urge you all, whatever level you are at, to enter the 2012 Verona Tessile's international contest! (contest guidelines are in english and italian on their site).

This is my piece from the 2011 'The Silk Roads Meet in Verona' International Contest.

title: "From Orient to Adige", 80 cm x 80 cm
silk, discharge dyed cotton, paper, machine and hand stitching
photograph by Heidi Leverty

I used silk the colours of spices. The bands on the side symbolize the tents the traders set up while travelling. The blue paper strips are the rivers they came upon as they travelled along the Silk Road. I love they way they reflect the light. The horizontal bands of blue silk are the oceans.

As in all my work, the fabrics I used were repurposed; a blue bridesmaid dress, some magazine paper, bits of silk curtains, and very old black cotton used for discharge dying.

The images below are from last year's contest. All works measure approximately 80cm x 80cm

Arcobaleno di Seta, by Teresa Abbate from Verona, Italy

Ascent by Phillipa Lach from Wyoming, USA 

Ceci ne sera pas un Papillon by Silvia Dell'Aere from Dresano, Italy

I Remember You by Els van Baarle from CGDreischor, Holland

Passaggi by Paola Pavan, from Padova, Italy 
To view more of last years' entries and other exhibits during Verona Tessile 2011, click here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

birthday cake and presents

I had so much fun celebrating my birthday last weekend. I would like to share some of the textile-related highlights.

The cake:

custom made by Madeleine's, Cherry Pie and Ice Cream

icing inspiration is one of my art works!
Great idea kids!!
Made with fondant.

detail of Bougainvilla di Rossano, the art work used as icing inspiration-
 view the entire piece here 

inside of the delicious cake...good inspiration for a quilt?...circles and stripes?

The gifts:

a gift...paper in the box could be an inspiration for a quilt design...
the colour and the pattern and the circle

another gift. The kids had several of my textile art pieces printed
to make blank notecards.
The titles are on the back. Nice!
To view my other art works click on my website.

Everyone should be spoiled once in a while. Feels good!

Monday, June 20, 2011

la di da!

The Fibreworks show was reviewed in the Saturday, Globe and Mail! It is Canada's largest-circulation national newspaper with a weekly readership of about 1 million...I wonder how many got to the ARTS page and the few lines that were written about us!

No matter! It was an exciting moment for me to see that!

under In Other Venues, second heading, or
view here and go to bottom of article

Thursday, June 16, 2011

my birthday

Today is my birthday. I am 50.

My present to myself was a mini concert by friend and concert pianist Julian Gargiulo.

Julian sitting in the Henry Moore sculpture last year at the AGO in Toronto

He has recently returned from performing in Singapore and he skyped me from London, England.

While he played, I painted.

My painting evolved into looks very serious but what he played WAS serious.

work in progress

What a beautiful morning!

Thank you, Julian, for agreeing to do this!

And the door bell just rang...a surprise from my daughter.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Side Space Gallery Show

It is the 4th year the Hillcrest Fibre Artists exhibit at the Side Space Gallery in Toronto.

Every year there is a wide variety of works.

"Honouring Hmong Women"
headdress made of silk, beads, silver leaf, wire
by Shelley Fowler and Pam Woodward

side space gallery, south end

"Breathing Exercise" by Anna Payne-Krzyzanowski
straight pins, thread, dry cleaning plastic bag

antique blocks from Stephanie Levers' great grandmother.
Stephanie added the sashing and hand quilted it.
I love the 'mistake' on purpose- it adds a little unpredictability

Three of the contributing artists:
me, Gunnel Hag, Marion Spanjerdt
in front of my work, Many Moons

We always have a quote.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Art Show in Toronto

The Hillcrest Village Fibreworks Artists are having their annual exhibit at the Side Space Gallery.

I will have two pieces exhibited. Both were exhibited for the first time in March 2011 in Verona for Verona Tessile. Click here to see them at that exhibit.

detail, Pages of my Life

detail, Pages of my LIfe

detail, Pages of my Life

detail, Many Moons

detail, Many Moons
I will be at the opening, Sunday, June 12, from 2 to 6 pm. The gallery is located at 1080 St Clair Avenue West, in Toronto, NW corner at Lauder.

You can see the textile works close up at the opening or through the gallery's wall-to-wall windows throughout the month till July 16, 2012. The gallery is well lit in the evenings.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Siamo Donne

We are women...and one man.

Daniele Mendini and Marina Tavella, the brains behind Siamo Donne

Marina is primarily a textile artist and Daniele is a professional photographer who has photographed some of my art pieces for catalogues.

Back at the end of May while I was in Verona, they invited me to film 3 video recipe segments for their website, siamodonne

setting up
microphone check

They asked me for Canadian recipes so I chose pancakes with maple syrup, of course, chocolate chip cookies and apple pie.

apple pie with Siamo Donne logo

You can view one of the clips here:

(I am never that serious! LOL)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I did a 2-hour demo for Aurifil at Abilmente in Vicenza, Italy, back in March and they sent me a box of thread as a thank you.

It came while I was in Italy!!

12 beautiful spools

Saturday, June 4, 2011

next year's Verona Tessile event

I am setting up activities for next year's Verona Tessile trip, March 6 to 11. I plan to bring another group for 10 days to Verona. Anyone interested should email me so I can keep them up to date on the itinerary, costs and the like.

Ponte di Castelvecchio, also called Ponte Scaligero,
in the beautiful city of Verona

The pre-requisites for the trip are: open-minded, independant travellers, people who quilt or create textile art, people in good shape for walking.

Last week, I went not-too-far out of town and saw an amazing place, Hotel Delser, that I am considering renting for 2 nights for the group. It will officially open this summer.

It is an old sistern renovated into a beautiful hotel with amazing views and expansive spaces. The structure has been preserved and the vaulted ceilings everywhere are impressive as are the roman stone pieces decorating the open spaces. The owner, Alberto Delser, has an attention to detail I can appreciate; the doors are made of repurposed antique wood, the lights go on in the hallways without a switch, the circular cut-outs in the ceiling of the rooms and the library let in the natural light, even the door hinges that were lazer cut from a hand-drawn image and hammered for an antique look add a special touch.

It was all so romantic that I forgot to ask all the important things, like how much a room costs!

We went up the hill for lunch -an amazing view of the Valpolicella.

no camera that day, only a friend's iphone