TWIST Fibre Festival

This past weekend we headed to the TWIST Fibre Festival in St. Andre- Avellin, Quebec.  A short road trip this time as it was only a short hour-long jaunt across the Ottawa River and through the Quebec countryside.

I didn’t go last year (which was its first) but saw there was a lot of hype about it so wanted to check it out.  I also wanted to see what the advertised fibre art exhibit was like to see if it was somewhere that I might like to exhibit in the future.

The fibre art exhibit, while having some very nice things in it, was very small and not very developed.  I’m not sure if they are even looking to develop that part further or not.  Certainly not reason enough to head to the show.

The vendor part, on the other hand, was huge.  As my husband said, it is just a trade show.  But if you are into making fibre art of any kind, what a trade show it is!  There were tons of booths of roving (both raw and dyed), yarns of every kind, spinning equipment, dyes.  If you can think of it it was pretty much there.

Did I come away empty-handed?  Of course not.  I found several skeins of silk sari ribbon in some pretty colours and bought two small boxes of roving.  There was one booth that I spent the most time at.  She had all sorts of little bits and pieces that would be great to add to a rug for texture.  I picked up some shiny blue firestar, silk sari strands, and some blue roving.   I also got one small skein of yarn that had a thread of beads wound into it for $1.00!   She even had some yarn with plastic skulls woven into it which I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I would use it for and which made my daughter exclaim “oh, weird.”

I’m not sure right now what I am going to do with it all but I know that I went home happy!  🙂


And the Giveaway Goes to…..

I had my daughter assist me in drawing the name for the giveaway.


And Laura Salamy, you are the winner of a copy of this year’s “Celebrations”!  Please email me your mailing address and I will get that off to you.

My daughter thought this was so much fun that she drew another name after this one just to see who it would be, and it turned out to be Laura whose name was in again for being a facebook fan also!  So, it was clearly meant to be that she win the book. 🙂

Thanks to everyone for participating and for supporting and following me here in my little corner of the art world.  It is much appreciated!



Celebration XXIII and a Fun Giveaway!

Perhaps the biggest thrill of Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village was finally getting to see the Celebrations book!

I have been waiting since January to see it.  Yes, JANUARY!!   Very hard to contain my excitement for all that time.

And in the end the waiting was worth it.  The book is beautifully done just as it is every year.  I’m very pleased with my write-up and how the photo of my piece looks.  I think the book is full of absolutely gorgeous pieces and lots of inspiration.

And when I picked up a copy or two of the book, I thought it might be fun to get one for a giveaway!  I have never had a giveaway in the four years I have had this blog and I thought this would be the perfect time to do one.  That and today just happens to be my 14th Wedding Anniversary so even more reason to celebrate!

So, I have ONE copy of this year’s Celebrations to give away.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and your name will be entered.  If you are also a Facebook fan of Marzipan Road, mention that in your comment and your name will be entered twice!  It is that easy.   Comments will close at 11:00pm EST on Sunday, August 25th, 2013.  I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, August 27th and that person can contact me with their mailing address.

Good luck!



Roadtrip to….

Yep, that’s right.  The family and I hit the road a week ago and headed to Sauder Village in Ohio for Rug Hooking Week!  A long drive from Ottawa but definitely well worth it.  We had a terrific time.

Of course the main reason that we headed down to the show was because my piece “Solitude” was a finalist in this year’s Celebrations publication.  When that happens you are invited to bring your piece to the show along with any other pieces that you would like to exhibit ( I brought along two others with me as well).   It is a major thrill to make it into Celebrations and beyond exciting to be on exhibit with so many stunning pieces by such amazing artists!

All the Celebrations artists for this year who could make it to the show were invited to a private preview on Tuesday evening.  Imagine how excited I was to walk into the room and have my piece be the first thing that I saw!!!  Couldn’t have asked for a better placement that is for sure!

It didn’t take me long to realize that I was one of five artists from Ontario who made it to the show.  We all sort of gravitated towards each other throughout the evening which made it a pretty cool experience.

I have lots of photos from the show to share but in tribute to my fellow Ontarians, I’m going to show you their pieces first!

Here is a close up of my “Solitude” piece and just below it is Trish Johnson’s “Working on the Railroad.”  Trish is from Toronto and it was so nice to finally meet her.  Her piece was in the recent edition of Rug Hooking Magazine as well as A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine a few months ago.

This is Simone Vojvodin’s “My First Love.”  The best hooked horse I think I have ever seen!

 This is Gunda Gamble’s “In the Wood’s Abstract.”  I saw this piece in Kingston at the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild show back in May.  It is impossible to capture the size and the detailing in a photo- it is a massive piece!

Kathryn Taylor’s “Toronto Graffiti” was awesome!   Such a cool concept to do a hooking based on graffiti and the colours were so bright and unexpected.  Loved it!

I also brought along my “Black Sand at Vik, Iceland” and above it was Trish Johnson’s “Barn Lust”.

And of course, the big rush to get my new piece finished was so that I could take it along with me.   I really liked how it looked in the exhibit.  I got a lot of really great, positive feedback on it.  Many artists and members of the public told me that they liked what I had done with the water by not hooking it and instead sewing on the silk sari ribbon.  Someone even praised me on doing a good job of “pushing the boundaries” of rug hooking and fibre art.  When the show was opened to the public, though, I did overhear one lady expressing to her friend that the piece was not authentic because the water was not hooked.   What did I learn from this?  That as an artist you can’t please everyone and instead you have to do what you feel is right for your art.  There will be many who will like what I do and those who are more traditional in their views who won’t like what I do.  And that is ok.  As my husband said to me later, it is better to create a piece that gets people talking about it (either positively or negatively) than to garner no attention at all!


Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

“Beyond Swallowtail”

Hand Hooked Rug by Karen D. Miller

So here finally is a look at the big piece that I have been working on for so long!   It measures about 39″L x 25″W and was hooked on rug warp.   I’m thrilled with how it turned out.  There is a lot going on in the piece.  The grass has some of my “signature” fluffy yarn in it.  If you look closely I played a lot with colour – there is a lot of purple and yellow in the tree and of course also red in the rock that you don’t usually find in nature.  But my absolute favourite part is the water- it isn’t hooked but instead I sewed on strips of silk sari yarn which gives it that great variation in colour and rippled effect.

The inspiration for this piece came from a tree that we saw just past the Swallowtail lighthouse on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick.  We were there on holiday a few years back and I snapped a picture knowing that I wanted to do something with it one day.  That lone tree with deadened wind swept branches was the perfect punctuation to that sparse landscape.

My husband then worked his magic and made an “invisible frame” that wouldn’t take away from the piece itself.  Instead I think the darkness of the wood adds to the piece.

So pleased with the finished product!!