Samantha recently purchased an older AVL loom. This loom works with a computer to produce lovely weaving patterns. After reassembling the loom and figuring out what cable was needed to connect the loom to the computer, the loom was ready for a warp. Sammi hand dyed a cotton warp and with the help of Cassie, has begun the process of putting the warp on the loom. This begins with winding two inch sections onto the back beam.
Every once in a while I get in to painting miniatures, as you may know. I love the idea of having a small image of someone/thing you love that you can carry around with you. Well, I painted a mini of my little buddy Mer looking grumpy. I took it along with me to Scotland and it was an excellent totem and I think it brought us good luck, along with plenty of heather.
Later I decided to paint his friend at the time, Zeebee. I thought that they would go along well with my pissed-off-settler portraits; Mer would be a grumpy settler and Zeebee would be nobly hopeful.
The Mer and Zeebee were a big hit, which prompted my aunt to request portraits of her furry family members too.
It was actually more of a struggle than I expected to paint at someone else’s request, and with a deadline! I managed to finish them all and they were met with great pleasure. The following are some process pictures and the final outcome.
This year, 2016, being the 60th Anniversary of the Guild, it was decided that the challenge would be “Diamonds”.
The challenge items are to be displayed at several events during the year, the first one being the Fibre Arts Show and Sale. Of course I left it until about a week before the show, to decide what I was going to do. I thought I would weave something with a diamond pattern. With the help and encouragement of my daughter Cassie, I began the project.
First I made the warp. I used a white cotton. Because my loom isn’t built for uneven weaving, it was a bit of a challenge to get the weaving done. I practiced with a couple of different yarns, in yellow shades, that I had spun myself.
Then for my project … for the weft, I used a navy blue wool. After a certain length… small rug size… I cut it off and hemmed the ends. Then I could use this as my challenge item for the Fibre Arts Show & Sale. Of course there was still quite a length of warp left so I used it up with a red wool weft. For this rug, I left tassels on the ends. They turned out quite nicely. My cats loved them . . .
Cassie needed a project to use up the wool that she had spun using a drop spindle. She had died it with Woad seeds. We found a pattern on the internet for Lala’s Simple Shawl lalasimpleshawl_eng-2 . It is similar to the small shawls that we made before, but this shawl is much bigger and the pattern is a bit different. I decided that I should make one too. It seemed like a good way to use up some of the wool that I have spun and dyed. I started out with a large ball of wool that had been dyed with onion skins. Of course this ball ran out before the shawl was finished so I found another similar one. It ended up that I had to use several different types and weights of wool with different intensities of onion skin dyes.
The finished shawl has a striped look as each ball of wool was different. I quite like the results. The one picture shows Cassie wearing her blue shawl while working at Lang. I thinkshe ran out of wool and had to spin more to finish. Sammi also made her version of the shawl with wool that she purchased a while ago from Harrisville. Of course she made hers in half the time it took me. Candace has also started one with some lovely wool that she bought in Toronto.
So I”m moving slowly, but I plan to do a bunch of paintings from various trips in my life. Here is my second from the trip to Paris with Candace. It is from a picture I took of a sad and lonely looking man on the brightly lit nighttime streets of Paris. I feel that it speaks of the loneliness of travel and the regular let-down of visiting places that were once lively with new ideas and human creativity, that are now just tourist traps.
Here it is, at least mostly done. You never know when I’ll change it up a bit… They guy I painted actually looks a little more hopeful than he should. Maybe I will change it.
Since living in Keene, I’ve had the dilemma of only having one bike, but often being in Peterborough while my bike is in Keene or vice versa. There’s so much enjoyment in cycling in and around the Peterborough area, but I also have the need to jump on my bike and burn some energy when at home. I also wanted to spend more time on my bicycle with my avid cyclist boyfriend, Hodge. We decided to undertake a full bicycle rebuild and found a couple sad-looking bikes online. We found this cute one and bought it for $35.00.
The first step was to take check the condition of the bike overall with the help of the awesome bike mechanics at B!ke. We made sure the seat post was moveable and not permanently bonded to the bike frame. Next was checking the quality of the tires. They needed to be replaced as they were original to the 1987 Supercycle. Then we moved on to truing the wheels by adjusting the spokes two at a time. This was likely the most time consuming part of the repair.
Then we replaced the cables and housing for the brakes and shifters.
This summer and the last two I have spent working at Lang Pioneer Village. Sometimes when working in a historic village, you take a selfie. Sometimes when you are going through the kindling bin you find a piece of wood that makes you think of a project. This year the bin had a bunch of pieces that had been the ends of cedar shingles. As I was collecting kindling, I came across some of these ends which told me that they needed to have mini portraits painted on them. I knew I had a pissed-off pioneer selfie from the year before, and I felt that this was a good place to start.
Later, I decided that it would be a good idea to make a companion portrait. Curtis had been looking like a stern settler lately, so I found a picture of him from my cousin’s wedding and painted a Curtis to match.
I think that the Curtis turned out a little better. The mini me was the first mini portrait I had painted in a long time and that bit of practice made a big difference for the outcome of the Curtis as well as sped up the process. Both are wonky, but I think it gives them a certain charm…
I’m running with my theme of ‘Curation is Creation’ and posting my lineups from previous years for the next little while. Since my primary creative outlet is booking music, I thought it would be nice to celebrate that here.
It’s not often that I reflect on my successes, and I’m really bad at self-promotion, so it’s something new I’m trying. I’m trying to focus more on the things I take pride in than the various mistakes and mishaps that have happened with the various events I’ve worked on. But really, these lineups are my pride and joy; I take a lot of satisfaction from looking back and surprising myself by how much I still love most of the musical lineups I’ve created.
Over the past decade, there’s really only been a year or so that I haven’t been actively booking music, and I found that year really dissatisfying and stifling. That’s why I recently incorporated my small company, Secret Frequency, as a non-profit; I’ll be pursuing arts grants and sponsorships, and working towards doing more and more autonomous booking at venues of my choosing. The artistic freedom to book bands that I think are the right ones is important to me, and important to my work as an artist and curator.
Last month, I shared my 2015 Music City Summer Series, which is now underway in the Distillery District; this is the 2014 Summer Sunday Music Series, which ran June – August last year.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I like alliteration and assonance an awful lot.
Led by powerful vocalist Tamar Ilana, VENTANAS weaves in and out of upbeat Bulgarian dance tunes, Greek, Turkish and Sephardic love songs, and heart-wrenching Flamenco dances, leading captive audiences through windows into other lands and cultures.
An indie-folk-acoustic made up of two acoustic guitars (Chris Blachford and Kim Wexler), a mandolin (Stella Green) and wonderful harmonies which have mesmerized audiences from their first song together.
Quique Escamilla was born and raised to a family of six in the warm, tropical southern lands of the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Today, Quique Escamilla is multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer living in Toronto. Since his arrival in 2007, he has rapidly become a rising star on the Canadian music scene. In 2011, he was discovered by a CBC radio producer and has since become a favourite on popular CBC Toronto shows such as Here and Now, Metro Morning, Fresh Air and Big City Small World. He won a JUNO Award in 2015.
Eh440 is a mix of 5 people from 5 very different backgrounds and musical genres. Joe’s been a low bass singer his entire life, Luke’s an urban beatboxer, Janet identifies as a country/pop singer, Stacey’s soul/pop, and if that isn’t confusing enough, Mike’s even more of a musical chameleon who cites blues, folk, and “anything with a good groove” as his influences.Together they form “an unforgettable combination of crazy beatboxing, sassy rapping, killer harmonies, and fresh, urban, RnB-influenced compositions”.
Part velvet, part gravel, Melissa Payne’s voice stands out – her playing on fiddle and guitar a demonstration in passion and graceful restraint, her songs stomp and holler like a heatbeat leaving audiences enthralled.
SEAN CONWAY is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist currently residing in Peterborough, Ontario. An avid musical explorer, he effortlessly blurs the bridges between the classic sounds of 60’s-era country music, early Brit-pop and doo-wop rock n’ roll with his delicate eye for detail, all the while embracing his spontaneous nature as an entertainer and musician – constantly challenging himself as an artist and performer.
“His songwriting—which celebrates the basic, small-town, homey pleasures of things like bare feet on a gravel road, strawberry season, and autumn leaves—while universal, is precise and beautifully integrated into the music in a way that seems inevitable.” – Barry Hammond, Penguin Eggs
Folk songwriter Claire Morrison was born where two rivers meet, and makes music because she must. Spurred by a fierce devotion to beauty and tempered by sharp realism, hers are songs characterized by both light and dark, sweetness and melancholy. Breaking onto the scene in 2010 with Winnipeg-based duo Fire & Smoke, the 22-year-old poet delivers haunting solo numbers with fearless intimacy. Her rich, resonant voice can take you away and bring you home, her words can cut you deep and lift you up. Whatever the case may be, this Manitoban songstress offers up spare, stormy folk with a lot of heart.
A traditionalist at heart, Sarah Jane shows her signature flair for the roots of roots music, ranging from Western-swing, honky-tonk, Cajun and Appalachian string band music and a hint of the Maritimes. With respect for these roots, she writes from her own perspective, rather than taking on a persona or copying a style, and only writes about what she knows profoundly.
Kristine’s songwriting somehow manages to sound both vintage and immediate. Brand-new tunes with an old-time urgency, you’re never quite sure if what you’re hearing was written last week or whether it’s a tune that’s been around the block a few times.
Just a quick post, as Candace informs me that it’s my week. I painted this little guy up for Candace for Christmas. I knew that I wanted to paint something for her and foxes are a theme we’ve been going with for her. I searched online for a photo of a fox I might paint from and found a sweet little sleeping fox. This is how it looked after one night’s painting. I wanted to leave the background, but of course white paint mysteriously showed up on the edge.