Catching Up!

A lot has been going on so I thought it would be best to just do a large recap post to bring you up to date!

The other week I taught a really fun class to a group of young girls at a Birthday Party!  I knew that time would be limited because there are so many other things on the agenda at a party, so I chose a design in advance.  I went with a Peace sign and I painted the really cool heart frames that I found purple.  I thought that that would be much more in keeping with a Birthday party feel.  I stocked up on some really fun yarns too- some fluffy, some shiny, lots of pinks and purples.  The girls had so much fun.  Always interesting to see how each child will approach their project.  Some are happy to just do a little bit and then call it a day.  Some become completely focused and give it their all.  The finished projects were fantastic and I think they were thrilled to take them home with them to show their parents.  We wrapped up just in time for Birthday cake- always a fun time teaching kids!

tulips

Right after I finished teaching the class, we hopped in the car for an impromptu staycation at a hotel downtown. Sometimes a little change of scene goes a long way and this certainly did. We had a fantastic room on the 23rd floor overlooking the city. We wandered the Tulip Festival, had a wonderful breakfast the next day and had a swim in the hotel pool. Loved every minute of it and it has made me even more excited about all the little road trips and bigger trips that we have planned for the coming months!

outdoor

My friend Monika Kinner-Whalen of My Sweet Prairie recently posted about a fabric bombing that she did with some others in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  I loved it so much- truly a creative endeavour.  And it got me thinking.  We have a large gap in our backyard hedge and I have grown tired of everyone passing on the street being able to look in at us.  Then it came to me- what about doing a large hooked installation piece that would both block the gap and be interesting to look at!

The next day my son and I hit the hardware store and thrift store, loading up on wire fencing and old bedsheets and shower curtains.  The colour selection was guided by hostas as inspiration.   This became our weekend project.  My son was not so interested in it but my daughter and I put in quite a bit of time together, ripping strips, looping them through, and chatting.  She coined the term ‘finger hooking’, which is essentially what we were doing- using our fingers to pull up the loops as it soon became apparent that using a traditional hook was not going to work very well.  For this project I quickly had to embrace the imperfection- it would be almost impossible to get a lot of detail on such a large scale, and I wanted to really encourage her to take an abstract approach to her hooking rather than having it all mapped out.  As well, I know that being outdoors, it will face the elements.  Likely by the end of the summer the entire thing will look pretty ratty.  But the beauty of it is that we can then just rip out the loops and replace them with a new design next year!  I love that it can evolve in this way.

The whole thing took a bit longer than I thought.  I think I had imagined that it would only require one loop per square, but in the end it required three to hold it all in.  It is all completed though and waiting for the weekend when my husband will wire it to poles and we will install it in its location in the garden.  I will post photos once it is in place!

contest1

And last but not least are these! I love these! I had some blank greeting cards made up with some of my kids pieces on them.  There are five in total, and they are available for purchase- $5 Cdn each (plus shipping) or 5 for $20Cdn (plus shipping).  If you are interested, send me a message and we will work out payment!    You may also be interested in the giveaway that I am having on my Facebook page!   I am giving away one set of 5 cards to someone that I will select by random draw.  You just have to like my facebook page and leave a comment on the giveaway telling me who you would send a card to if you won.  The contest closes on Monday, June 6th!

Karen

 

Hooked Fibre for Kids Class!

A week ago I taught a Hooked Fibre for Kids class at my home.  So much fun!  The kids were between the ages of 8 and 10 which is a great age for kids to really figure out the technique quickly and give some thought to colour planning and design.

I let each child design their own piece.  It was amazing to see how each one was so different from each other!

This piece was called “Smile”.  The artist didn’t finish the whole background in class, but his mom told me that he raced home when the class was over to finish it up and she sent me a photo of the finished piece.  I love the bright colours and the humour behind it!
kids hooking 7

This artist decided to do a mixed media piece that she called “The Red Dot.”  The red centre was hooked with yarn and the background was coloured in with black sharpie.

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Mother’s Day was on the minds of a lot of the students.  This artist decided to write a message of love for her mom.  She stayed really focused on this piece right until the end and enjoyed it so much she asked me to run another class sometime soon.  🙂

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“Seagrass” was inspired by an intensive project on the subject that this artist had been doing at school.  I really liked how she incorporated the water in between the patches of grass.

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This artist also wrote a message of love for her mom.  She had some trouble with the technique at first but showed dogged determination and by the end she had really mastered it.  She planned to finish it up at home.

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“Field of Flowers” was the abstract design of the class.  Initially she had planned to continue the colourful design through the piece.  But in the end she liked the concept of a mixed media approach and so balanced the colour with black sharpie.   I really like how it turned out.

kids hooking 6

There was a lot of enthusiasm from all of the kids.  A lot of fun was had which is the most important part of art!  There is definitely something that kids love about the tactile nature of working with fibre. I think there will be another class in the near future for sure!

Karen

Panel 6 is finished!

Hard to believe my series inspired by my kids is now done.  Truthfully, though, it is a series that I could easily add to whenever I want and especially as the kids grow older.  I could see myself doing a second series inspired by where the kids are at in their lives in say, another five years and it would be just as fun.

They have all been a challenge, but Panel #6 was especially so.  Having the kids so close together made it tricky to keep each of them distinct from each other.  My biggest fear was having them turn into one big blob, where it was unidentifiable where one child ended and the other began.  A lot of time went into making sure that didn’t happen.

This series was tremendous fun to work on.  And I really did learn a lot from doing it.  First of all, I am no longer afraid to do faces.  When I think about how long I have avoided them, to get to this point is huge.  It was also a great opportunity to practice shading and thinking about how to truly infuse emotion into a piece.  I really hope I have managed to capture my love for these two little beings in these pieces.  And I learned that body language is just as important, if not more, than perfecting facial features.  When I look at these pieces, even those that are pictures taken from behind, I instantly know they are my kids just from the body positioning and movement, set of the hair, tilt of the head, etc.

And equally cool and unexpected is that people are writing to me and saying that the pieces make them think of their own children and their own journey through motherhood.  I think it is wonderful that the pieces represent more to people than just a depiction of MY children.  I love that they are a meaningful way of capturing my memories, but at the same time are bringing back memories for others.

Karen