Notes from a very messy studio! You can see I am into making pouches. These are made of black denim and lined with colourful batiks and African screen prints. BUT, today I am heading out for Vermont — Shelburne VT specifically, and the wonderful Hooked in the Mountains rug show. I am also taking a class! Hope to share all the glorious rugs and other excitement with you here, so check back when you can.
As I sat outside sketching this famous bookstore, I was very aware of the number of tourists visiting and posing for photos. It was a cold, damp day so with scarf pulled up around my ears and fingerless gloves on, I did a hurried sketch to absorb the history of the place. A. came to meet me after about 30 minutes and we went to another favourite spot, this time in the Marais, a short walk away.
This is a bustling, in fact crowded, tea shop with great servers and good food. (I was lucky to get the shot above in the early morning before the crowds.) We sketched here twice–the first time upstairs, the second time sharing a big wooden table right by the front door. Lots happening–and room for everyone.
Another spot we loved was Le Café Campana in the Musée D’Orsay, the creation of Brazilian designers, Humberto and Fernando Campana. Surprisingly good food–and of course the amazing old train station clock.
And finally another piece of Parisian history, Sennelier, and like Shakespeare and Company, in the same spot since those famous artists shopped here. We visited here twice because we loved the atmosphere and, of course, the colours!
The picture above is by Sabine Kunz and, like the kangaroo, is on the Berliner Mauer East Side Gallery. And then there is the traditional Berlin street art — the pictures below show the Oberbaumbruke, impressive both from a distance…
and up close. The iron work is rich in detail and makes a bold impression. But tiny surprises await as well like the small carved faces like this one honouring the sailors who navigated the waters, which were tucked into many corners of the bridge walkway.
And finally, back to the Mauer East Side Gallery for a salient and hopeful message.
Many thanks to Wendie who alerted me that my photos here taken last week in Picton Ontario are examples of yarn bombing or yarn storming. There is a good explanation here along with this great Thank You Tree. And if you want to pursue the idea, there are books written on the subject, Yarn Bombing, Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti and Knit the City. Seems to me this is an elegant and non-destructive way to make a point or just bring joy to a sterile place. And speaking of thank you, Wendie has a wonderful thanks pillow in her latest post.
Today I was back in the studio. Have begun screen printing my new designs. These are for new canvas totes and bags as well as for lining of the leather bags. I love the graphic quality of these chevrons. This is the first of three new designs.
And…the cherry Gaspé bag is almost finished. I think the size and the leather combine to make a great bag. Pictures on Thursday, I hope. For tomorrow, I am off to Toronto to stock up on zippers, interfacing and screen printing ink–and maybe a leather remnant or two if I see an irresistible colour!
Thanksgiving is our weekend to close down the cottage for the winter. This weekend was cold — minus two overnight — but one of the most beautiful I can remember. Saturday we had a double rainbow, but I was a little late with the camera to catch the second.
But the exciting creative achievement of the weekend was definitely this birthday present. My younger son, Owen, made his brother a surf board bag which zipped neatly around the top and had an optional zipper for the fin.
I began a new style of tote today. It is a heavy-duty shopper. I have been looking at this beautiful cherry leather remnant for a while. It was just enough for a tote, 13 x 14 x 4″ so I combined it with mahogany leather straps . It is only partially finished, but well enough along for me to tell that I will like it. Inside it has two leather pockets — a 7 inch zippered one, and one just for your phone. And it has a zipper closing. But is unlined, au naturel. I seem to be on a run of unlined ‘rough’ bags–but when the leather is lovely and durable, it works! A great straight-forward, hard-working beautiful bag. I hope to post pictures next week of this and this one finished.
Yesterday we were in Picton where I saw this joyous tribute to fibre and flair in a small park. I looked to see who had left these ‘sculptures’ but there was no hint. But thought I had to share it with you. It is a fitting way to say cherish the weekend — for those of us in Canada, our Thanksgiving weekend. And most important, cherish all those you love.
Today we walked a mile along the Lake Ontario shoreline. There is something so grounding about walking along a shoreline. I love to pick up stones, to feel their smooth story in my hand, to bring the most beautiful home. I have little cairns all over the house. The weather was glorious and the inspiration all around. I could see abstract hooked rugs everywhere. Although I am usually enthralled with colour, I could be tempted to do something tonal like this sand and stone.
The stunning New Brunswick landscape is echoed in Heidi Wulfraat’s marvellous studio. It was a pouring wet day when I visited, but inside the colours were vibrant and Heidi a total delight, so welcoming and engaging. The CBC was playing, there were irresistible piles of wool and fleece everywhere you looked and inspiring large hooked and felted pieces on the walls. Be sure to visit Heidi’s site or her FB page — I particularly loved her sketch book.
Inspired by Lisa Congdon’s 365 days of handlettering, I decided to try my hand at illustrating a familiar phrase. Now, I know that I am not up to doing one each day like Lisa, but this was fun. I also was sketching while I was away at Georgian Bay and our own cottage. Here is the view of the island next to ours–followed by Adam’s photo of same. Look at that reflection!
and another of my sketches as I struggle with all those trees…
and some more of Adam’s cottage images…it is inspiring to see your much-loved landscape through someone else’s eyes. I find all these things link — sketching, photographing, blogging, hooking and sewing. Each one can lead you into the creative zone–a what a place that is! Thank you, Adam.
Adam, a friend of my son, is a great photographer. He visited the cottage and took these shots. Particularly good ones of Colin.
Also, a package arrived in the mail last week from South Africa. Skinny Laminx is one of my favourite designers–I ordered some of her remnants to line my small bags–and couldn’t resist a pair of her table napkins!
I’ve been working on my own new designs and hope to have some fabric for pouches and bags by the end of September. This week I will be filling orders and making more colour therapy pouches. If you wrote to me about them, I hope to have them in the shop by the end of the week.