Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shameless plug

This is the cover of my son's book. It won't be out until September 1st but can be pre-ordered at either Chapters.ca, Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.
Chapters is the only one that shows the cover art.

Here's the blurb:

From the Publisher

Charles Perth intends to be the first person to walk alone across the North Pole, bisecting the Arctic Circle between Canada and Russia. He leaves behind the woman he loves―knowing he can never see her again, even if he makes it to the other side. During his journey, Charles is confronted by the extreme climate, dangerous predators and constant, blinding summer sun of the Arctic, now permanently frozen due to a drastic global climate shift. Charles is also subject to the strategic malevolence of his unstable and resentful brother who, from thousands of kilometres away, has the resources and savvy to make the solo expedition treacherous, and even deadly. If Charles is to succeed―and survive―he must overcome exhaustion, starvation, sabotage, and despair, and find in himself the strength and will to beat his brother at his own twisted game.
This riveting, anxiety-filled read is the latest winner of the annual International 3-Day Novel Contest, a notorious rite of passage for writers that has taken place every Labour Day Weekend since 1977. Hundreds of novelists enter every year, and thousands more wish they had the courage. It has spawned its own genre of risky, cutting-edge fiction, evident in the 27 unique winning novels that have been published since the contest began. The 33rd annual contest will take place this September; for more information contact 3daynovel.com.

On a second note: Mark Sedore will be reading from his book at Word on the Street on September 26th. It is a Book and Magazine Festival that has been going on for 21 years now.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Threadworks 2010 - Part 2

Continuing on with the show...

This was done by the same artist as the very first photo I showed yesterday - Frankie LeMonde-Meunier. This one is called Morning Song. 

This series of eco-postcards was mounted on painted rug canvas.

Framed embroidery in fall colours. Here in Ontario we are blessed in the fall with Nature's palette.

I took this photo because I was intrigued with the way it was bordered and then framed. The white border is machine stitched and looks like it is separate from the actual piece. It's called Big Sky Sunset With Trees. I just realized that - but I can't see the trees. (Isn't that a great wall to hang art on?)

In the artist's statement, Martha Cole said she started with a digital image which she then "painted to deepen the spatial sense" and then machine quilted to "emphasize the textural surface quality."

This piece was such a joy to look at. I loved, loved, loved all the colour.

I tried to see how the threads were placed onto the woven background but couldn't figure it out. They almost seem like they are glued on. It's one of the things I do at a show - try to figure out how things were done.

This was stunning. Too bad I zoomed in. The central piece is separate from the outer border which is actually a fabric frame in heavier weight fabric which has been machine stitched. I went to view her other piece and it was done the same way. You can see it better here, in the pdf catalogue - page 15.

A close-up so you can see the stitching.

Sharron Begg won the free motion stitching award for this piece called Georgian Bay Pine.

This shows up the stitching so much better than the catalogue.

This was a fun piece.

Details, details.
Initially, this little piece didn't really attract my attention but it has grown on me.

A face surrounded by pleated fabric (Vidarr -  Norse God of the Forest.) I loved viewing all the imaginative ways that people worked on their individual pieces.

Here's the grand prize winner. Three Leaves by Gordana Brelih of Toronto. It measures 51" X 34" which is larger than the dimensions that were outlined in the entry form BUT because it is a triptych, it was exempt from the size restriction.

Just a few close-up shots so you can see the work that went into the pieces.

I am not quite sure of all the techniques that were used and the brochure with the artists' statements doesn't elaborate on it at all.

And the final photo, just in case you wanted to see the tops.

***Ok, now I really am disappointed. I took a look at the handout that was at the show which lists the prices and gives the artists' statements - in alphabetical order. There are nine people that have two items in the show. What on earth does that mean? That out of 280+ works that were submitted, there really wasn't much that was good - or different, or worthy? To me, it means that nine other people could have had their work on display.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Threadworks 2010 - Part 1

The theme for this show was Trees. Here's the official blurb taken from the web site of the Ontario Network of Needleworkers' for Threadworks 2010. If you go to the web site you will see that there is a link to the pdf for the catalogue that shows all the works and the description. I have not given credit to the artists nor have I described them in any detail. The catalogue does a much better job of that.

"Threadworks is a special project of the Ontario Network of Needleworkers'(ONN) 1,000+ members. It showcases exceptional and creative needlework by artists from across Canada. Wellington County Museum and Archives (WCMA) in Fergus, Ontario is proud to host, sponsor and support the inaugural exhibition, and acts as the organizing venue.
Threadworks is a juried exhibition that is mounted every three years and travels across Ontario to many museums and galleries.
This year, the interpretive theme was "Trees". Practitioners of the needle arts were invited to submit up to 3 pieces (the actual work, not photographs).
All pieces had to be substantially worked with a threaded hand- or machine-needle and be of original design.
The maximum size was set at 36" x 45" (although diptychs and triptychs are acceptable).
Of the 230+ pieces of work received this year (2010), 61 were chosen for circulation around Ontario for the next three years."

This was the first piece as you entered the room and turned to your left. It was called Trees Dancing for Joy and won the Curator's Award.

I think this was one of my favourites.

There were a lot of techniques at the show and one of them was threadpainting.

Here's a close-up to show you what I mean.

Another detail of threadpainting - for those of you who do it and also to give an indication as to how much work goes into it.

There were smaller pieces, there were totally embroidered pieces, there was all kinds and all sizes. Although there was a limit to how big the piece could be (36" X 45"), triptychs and diptychs not included, there was no restrictions on how small a piece could be.

This was called Northern Blues. I think it was the only one done on a canvas.

Another piece with machine stitching.

Here's a close-up.

This one was called Indian Summer. For those of you who don't know about Indian Summer, here's a Wikipedia description.

What I did find, after viewing this show and taking one last look around, was that many of the pieces were framed. I took a look at some of the past show catalogues that I found online and didn't see many that had been to a framers. It appears that having a piece framed is the way to go - at least for these artists and judges.

Another smaller piece but effectively embroidered. I think it could even be an entry into the next Threadwork's show in 2013 which is Water.

I will upload more tomorrow. I don't want you to get overloaded with photos.

***My one critcism about the show was that, since there were 230+ pieces that were submitted (each person was allowed to enter up to three pieces), and 61 pieces were chosen, why did the judges choose two pieces from at least three artists? Why not just choose one (the best one) from each artist, leaving more room for other artists' works to be shown?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Friday outing

Last Friday I went to the university. That's the University of Toronto. It was a wonderful warm, sunny day and I remembered to take my camera. I thought you all might want to join me. The main reason I went there was to meet my eldest son and enjoy the half price frappuccino that Starbucks was offering during happy hour that day.
I should have taken some photos of the subway station or the street I walked down but I forgot.

This is where I turned off the street. I had many choices of walkways and they all led to the same place but I love this archway.

Green. It seems that everything greened up so fast. After coming out of the archway, this is what I saw to my right and ...

this is a zoomed-in photo of what I saw to my left. Although this building looks to be on its own, it is actually part of University College.

The path I took led me to this wonderful part of University College on King's College Circle.

A view of the building from the other side.
This is Knox College.

I do love doors - and windows.

This is another walkway at the side of Knox College that I could have walked across but it isn't nearly as interesting.

This is the door of the building where my son works and...

at the side of the wall, I found some really old ivy growing.

Opposite to where he works is this wonderful round park campus where everyone goes to take photos and meet family and friends on graduation day. That is University College in the distance.

And this is King's College Road where I walk down to sit, read and wait to meet

my son Mark who treated me to a frappuccino but couldn't stay to take a break because he had to get back to work. His Friday office attire - normally he'd be wearing a shirt and tie.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hidden Treasures revealed

I belong to a group that is composed of 20 women from all over the world who meet challenges in fibre. It is a new group that was formed a couple of months ago. The first challenge was called Hidden Treasures. Here's my entry.

And here it is REVEALED.

To find out all about this piece, the thought and the work that went into it, go to http://challengingourselvesfabricarts.blogspot.com/
There, you will find how 20 people interpret one theme. Individual and thoroughly enjoyable. Almost like going to a quilt show.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010



 This was what Baxter looked like before May 1st and before he went to a brand new groomer. This is the third groomer he has had since we got him a year and a half ago. It's not that he is a problem, it's just that we like to see what the various groomers in the area are like, their prices and how they treat the old guy. Kinda looks like the dog in the 1959 movie "The Shaggy Dog." Go look that one up all you young'uns...


Looks like a brand new doggy, eh? This groomer was the only one to give Baxter a neckerchief. He wore it for a few days and then I took it off him. I will put it back on for special occasions. I really do think he feels much better with his winter coat off although the temperatures are a bit cool right now. This groomer didn't keep him all day (like the second one we brought him to) nor was it really pricey, like the first one. Maybe we'll return to this groomer when he needs to be clipped again.