Less than Two Weeks Away!

Yep, that’s right.  It is almost time for my exhibit in Corner Brook, Newfoundland to open.  Hard to believe it is finally here.  I think just like with most exhibits, they are booked so far in advance that they seem like ages away.  And then just like that they sneak up on you.  I have officially finished making all of the pieces that will be in this exhibit.  My most recent and last was this one called “Overcast”:

overcast

 

I spent today labelling and making up the tags for each piece and organizing all of the other bits and pieces that go along with the exhibit.   Next I have to wrap them all up and do a trial run with packing them to see how I’m going to go about getting them all there.  Exciting times for sure!

There is actually a fair bit on the go.   I am also sending two of my pieces to this upcoming event in Vancouver, British Columbia.  I am very proud to be a member of Guild Trip and this fantastic event will be the prelude to the launch of the site.  I so wish I could go to check it out, meet some of the other artists and see the absolutely AMAZING venue that it is being held in.  But alas I can’t be there so I will have to be content with having my pieces there and seeing photos!  If you are in the area, be sure to mark it on your calendar and check it out.  My “Ghost Trees” and “Through the Trees” pieces will be there and available for purchase along with many other Fine Craft works!

guild

So other than these two upcoming exciting events, things have been fairly quiet. I’ve sketched out my next piece.  This one is completely for me, to hang on my wall.  It is a project that has kept getting pushed to the backburner with other things and now I have decided to carve out the time to just do it.  I have lots of other ideas percolating away that need some time to sit anyway so it seems like the perfect time.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

 

This was the original framing of “Undeveloped Memories”.  As you know, it got a major framing facelift.  So now I am going to use this frame which sits empty and am going to fill it with six panels, each with a picture of my kids.  Two panels will be for my daughter alone, two for my son alone, and two for pictures of them together.  I think it is going to be a really fun and meaningful project that will capture them as they are right now.  So as I mentioned, the first panel is sketched out and I just have to get down to picking out the colours and then getting started.

A huge part of starting a new project, sadly, is tidying up from the last one.  My studio becomes an absolute mess of yarns- especially when I was working on the Postcards from Newfoundland pieces because I was changing colours and pieces so often.   Things stay a little more organized when I am working on a bigger piece.

I don’t know what it is about mess and clutter.  I swear it multiplies by itself.  I have done so, so much decluttering over the past couple of years and have absolutely curtailed what we bring into the house.  I’ve said before that my mantra is that if something is going to stay it has to either be very useful or extremely beautiful and meaningful.  There are so many other ways to find self-fulfillment than shopping for more and more stuff.  Especially mass-produced “made in China” kinda stuff.   Yet even with that philosophy I still feel like my house is full of clutter.  I think partly it is from the kids’ toys- toys these days all seem to come with a million pieces that inevitably get scattered around the house.  I remind myself that these are short-lived days and I am quite good at passing along toys as they are outgrown by the kids.  And my daughter is really great about things too- she doesn’t like a lot of stuff, is great at telling me when she no longer wants something and isn’t really into cutesie knick-knacks and the like.  I hope that I am passing along to my kids an appreciation for valuing experiences over things and a love of handmade rather than factory-made.

That feels like a ramble, but I think with all that has been going on with my exhibits etc. mess has been inevitable and sometimes it reaches the point where it drives me nuts and when that happens I notice that it also affects my productivity.   Physical clutter really does clutter your mind and take up way too much time tidying it up and cleaning it.

So, I’m taking my time moving onto the next project.  I’m getting my space in order, choosing my colours carefully and looking forward to getting into a slower rhythym in my work- at least for now.

Clearing my calendar a little bit and clearing my space is really helping to clear my mind to make way for more creativity.

 

Karen

 

Weekend in Montreal

This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving so we went on a little adventure!  We usually go away that weekend- I think last year was the only year we didn’t because we did so much travelling the rest of the month of October to Niagara and Vermont for hooked fibre shows, that we decided to stay home.  We love going away at this time of year- the weather is usually great, the fall colours have started and it is great together time heading into the Fall season.  Sometimes we drag our turkey with us and cook it wherever we are, sometimes we change it up and have a nice meal at a restaurant.  This year I cooked up our dinner when we got home so it was a nice way to end the trip!

This year I chose Montreal.  I booked the trip way back in the spring and no one else in the family knew where we were going- they just knew that they were going somewhere.  My husband didn’t want to know until we were heading out the door, but in the end he and my daughter guessed it the night before we left.  Still a surprise for them though, and a lot of fun.

The day we left was my son’s 3rd Birthday so I thought it would be fun to take the train.  And, frankly, we find driving in Montreal slightly nightmarish so it was nice to just leave the car at home and not have to worry about anything.

Montreal1

Our hotel was in a great location and only a fifteen minute walk to old Montreal so we didn’t need a car at all anyway.

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There is lots to see and do. We’ve been to Montreal before, but it seems like there is always something new to see. And we only scratched the surface. We’ll have to go back to see some of the other things that were on our list but we didn’t get to.

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Montreal is a real mix of old and new. And very artsy- there are art galleries everywhere. And great restaurants everywhere. montreal5
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We had a great time and taking the train added an extra bit of fun to the weekend!  I can’t seem to shake the travel bug these days so I am looking forward to whatever our next adventure may be!

 

Karen

 

Exhibit Prep!

I’m still working away at new pieces for my upcoming exhibit in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.  This is my most recent one called “Cedar Cove”.   Here I’ve combined my ‘sewn silk sari ribbon’ technique with the hooking.  I really can’t seem to get enough of this technique.  Originally I had started to hook the silk sari in an attempt to avoid the sewing.  But after a few rows I knew it wasn’t going to give me the look that I wanted, so I pulled it all out and got sewing.  There’s just something about the crinkly look of the shimmery ribbon sewn on in strips that gets me everytime.

bottle good

This one is “Bottle Cove”.  I’m really happy with how this one turned out.  It is exactly how I remember it looking in real life.  On our first family trip out to Corner Brook my sister organized a really fun bonfire on the beach at Bottle Cove.  And since then my kids have spent many a time playing on the beach here.  I have fond memories of this spot.

driftwood

 

“Driftwood” is an experiment in bringing my larger tree series work to a smaller scale.  This one is inspired by the bleached, twisted look of driftwood.  I’m really pleased with how it translated down into a 5″ x 7″ size.  Lots of shimmer in this as it is done entirely with metallic yarns!

boat resize

 

“Western Brook Pond” was inspired by the boat tour we did a few years back through the fjord in Gros Morne.  Such spectacular scenery!  Gros Morne never disappoints!

I’m currently working on my last piece for this exhibit, which I’ll share when it is done.  Then I have to prepare the tags for each one, organize all of the other things I’ll need and wrap up all the art.  Almost time to get packing!  Can’t wait to see them all hung together.  And I’ll have a few larger pieces with me too.  Hope you can make it!

I also received some good news at the end of last week- my “Gros Morne Scenic Route” and “Gros Morne at Twilight” pieces both sold at the Harbour Grounds coffee shop in Corner Brook!  I am always so appreciative of all of the support that I receive from Newfoundlanders!

 

Karen