Thursday, October 31, 2013

Liberty Fabric

A friend visited Toronto recently and brought me these lovely Liberty fabrics.

Bought at the beautiful Tudor Liberty Store in London, England.

She purchased them at the Liberty store in London, England- one of her favorite spots.

Beautiful colours and patterns.

What a nice friend!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Harvest Art

Artist Alice Vender Vennen reflects on her art work and its process.

Alice and her work taken at the TOAE a few years ago.

"...the harvesting nature of an art piece," she wrote.

The components are collected, arranged and assembled and the end result is something kept and preserved. Creative preserving, she called it.

My piece in progress

I took a 3-day workshop with her at the Distillery District in Toronto.

Alice explains using a sample piece.

I actually made something in the first 4 hours!...Does this mean I am "unstuck"?

I made this small piece on day 1 and the next day, I made a
larger piece that was so much more mature! (seen below)
My piece entitled "Three Days"
 13" x 17" 
It is almost impossible to photograph
an art piece that has a glass cover
 because of the reflection
so the colours are off and you can't
really see the copper pieces...but
you get the idea.

We ended the workshop with a bottle of wine and some chocolate and a feast for our eyes of our powerful pieces.

A harvest of creativity.
Alice is teaching the same workshop November 1, 2 and 3 in Toronto and I know there was a space or two left. Contact her directly if you are interested. Great workshop.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Italy Inspired

There are about 250 Jewels of Italy and the town Gangi is one of them.

Gangi is in the province of Palermo in Sicily.

The first celebration dedicated to the Jewels of Italy will be held in Gangi in 2015.

This textile art piece was done my artist Maria Teresa Sansotta of Verona, Italy. She has patented her technique of using crinoline as the outside (front and back) and fabric as the in-between layer. All her stitching is done using the Free Motion technique. By dropping the feed dogs on the sewing machine, she can draw with the thread on the fabric.

The piece was inspired by the town of Gangi and its architecture. It measures 1 m x 2 m. It was part of the touring exhibit Le Città Invisibile.

Gangi is also part of the Most Beautiful Townships of Italy. Worth visiting I'd say.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Look at the beautiful weaving.

While I was standing in front of this sculpture at the Tokara vineyards in South Africa, I heard a voice...there was someone inside it! A young girl reading a book.

The structure reminds me of the nests I saw while in Kruger National Park.

The small yellow things are birds!
(sorry the picture isn't that great)

I did see some beautiful woven baskets in Kruger but the store owner would not sell them to me. They were being used as containers for their jewelry.

These two ladies were outside a shop in Stellenbosch weaving and spinning silk... and singing while they worked.

The brown silk is from the Mopani worm which is found in South Africa. The white silk worms come from China.

And just to gross you out...when my daughter visited South Africa in 2005 she ATE a Mopani worm and got a certificate stating so.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wrapped and Unwrapped

I noticed lots of tree wrapping while I drove from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The locals told me they do that to attract attention to a neighbourhood or a fare or a shopping area.

Some of the wraps were knitted.

I noticed tree "unwrapping" in Kruger National Park.

The elephants pull off the bark and eat the sap.

photo by friend Rich Prangley

One of the elephants I saw
(acknowledging us with his fanned-out ears)
on one of the
many game drives I went on.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Driving to Kruger National Park

Table cloths for sale along the road side.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Where are you?

This isn't the night sky in South Africa.

It's a light fixture.

It's made of recycled milk cartons.

You can see the expiry date of the carton
stamped on a leaf.

It was hanging at the Tokara winery near Stellenbosch, South Africa. We were there last week.