Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Day of 2012

Time to look at last year's promises and make some new ones for the coming year!

I wish you all a guardian angel for 2013.

(picture taken last summer in Avignon, France.)

Friday, December 28, 2012

A White Christmas

It's the week after Christmas.

The presents have been wrapped and given and the cookies have been baked and eaten!

It's time to relax. 

We did have a white Christmas where we were.

I hope you had a wonderful time with family wherever you were.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Another Last-Minute Christmas Gift

It is amazing what you can do when you are creative!

Take these fire-breathing dragon mitts (idea from Martha Stewart).

Buy a pair of mittens from the dollar store.

Cut out some felt 'dragon-spine' shapes and sew by hand on the top part of the mitt.

I used two colours, sewed them together
by machine and then hand sewed them to the mitts.

Sew on a felt tongue and some button eyes (or you can embroider on the eyes)

Accompany them with a short chapter book- My Father's Dragon (1948) by Ruth Stiles Gannett.

the first in a trilogy....
but this one is my favourite of the three

Put them in a nice tin...

and there you go!

A perfect gift for a little one!

Here's another colour combination.

(for another gift idea from last year's December post, click here)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dijanne Cevaal Made the Cover

I picked up a magazine in anticipation of my upcoming train ride to Montreal.

Australian textile artist, Dijanne Cevaal,
 has her travel blanket on the cover of
Quilting Arts, December /January2013 issue

My friend Dijanne's work has made the cover of the latest Quilting Arts magazine.

They have a good article about her- she's in the Spotlight.

Last spring, I signed up for her on-line travel blanket course. I am sorry to say I have not finished the work. I had planned to stitch during the summer but that never happened. I still will get it done. It will look great. Her on-line class was really fun to do! Here is another look at my blanket.


If you are interested in her class, click here.

When I was in Parma, Italy, translating for Dijanne in her free-motion class, I bought this small piece from her.

Dijanne Cevaal's free motion work.
I did frame it...ah, framing artwork...
I will comment on that in a future post!
You know not all ART has to be framed!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Faces you have one?

Painted face in downtown Toronto

It would be a fun thing to try.

graffiti on Canada Post property,
somewhere in uptown Toronto
Street collage, Kensington Market.
Couldn't find the artist's name
Student's art from Branksome Hall
(detail of thread work)

Last week, in the midst of the crazy holiday preparation, I spent an afternoon at the Art Gallery of Ontario in the quiet, reflective atmosphere, surrounded by the art of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Frida is best known for her self-portraits.

photograph by N. Muray

Photograph by N. Muray, 1941

And here is a real version of Frida!

My friend in her Halloween costume!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Toronto School of Art

Normally, this would be the week to get the Toronto School of Art space ready for the end-of-term exhibit,

Donnelly Smallwood's collage class #2

 which highlights works from the term by all students in the entire school,

 but as you probably have read in the Toronto paper, TSA has gone bankrupted.

That is particularly discouraging for students close to graduation.

It attracted a great community of artists and I was glad to have taken classes there in the past.

(All works are from D. Smallwood's collage class which exhibited in the hallway gallery a few weeks ago.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


My thoughts have turned to holiday preparations... a wreath make-over.

I spray-painted my tired red wreath...

and turned it into a more interesting my opinion.


I do that with my textile work as well. I take something that I made and that I don't like and paint over it and stitch over it and turn it into something wonderful. Sometimes that new layered fabric piece finds its way into a work at a later date.


This next image is courtesy of my daughter who lives in Paris. She noticed this wonderful tree along a hidden passageway...on her way to pay her first French TAX!! It transformed her day.

photo credit, Sophia Reford

Monday, December 10, 2012


I taught my last class for this term at a Toronto high school. Last week I taught the students Free Motion stitching. Today the grade 10 students saw a presentation about different effects one can achieve with Free Motion sewing.

Cathy Bredyk-Law's work, detail of Laurentian Hills,
a piece that was part of Tradition in Transition

I showed images of textile work from Canadian, French and Italian artists. All recent works.

Italian artist Maria Teresa Sansotta,
"Le Tue Rughe Le Mie Radici", detail

We talked about cut work,

His Twinkling Perch, detail,  by Francie V-
a great example of cut work

I introduced the addition of materials that are not fabric,

painted and melted tyvek
Birth detail

I showed them works that had image transfers,

detail of an old piece of mine

I also brought some of my works to show them as well as works by other artists.

Some traditional quilts and some contemporary fibre art.

It is a technique that will open up many possibilities for them as creators. I look forward to seeing their creations towards the end of the school year. It will be interesting to see how they integrated this sewing technique in their art work.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Blue Star Quilt

detail of the blue-star quilt

detail of the blue-star quilt
Machine pieced, hand and machine quilted, blue cotton scraps, 2005

I used all my blue scraps to make 12 floating stars and 6 connector blocks. It is approximately a single bed size.

This quilt was bought by a Polish-Canadian who sent the quilt to Poland as a gift for a new baby. I am sorry I did not photograph it entirely before it went off to make someone happy. It was really beautiful and interesting with all the variety of blues.

When I first started getting my work "out there", an established artist advised me to get all my work professionally photographed. I didn't take her advise and really do regret it now.