Fibre in the Classroom!

Last week I had a fantastic time teaching the kids in my daughter’s class of 7 and 8 year olds how to make hooked fibre pieces!

I went to the class with 17 prepared frames that my husband built for me.   They were small enough that the kids would have a chance to actually complete a full piece in the time allotted but big enough that they could still work easily with the materials.  We then stapled a small square of burlap into the frames and voila- the kids had a sturdy piece to work on and it was then already framed and ready to hang once completed!

school 2

I started by getting everyone to sketch on their own design.  I wanted it to be completely their own art and for them to hook something that got them excited.  There were houses, flowers, Pokémon characters, hearts, trees, bunnies- a little bit of everything.

As anyone who has tried traditional rug hooking knows, there is only one “stitch” involved so in that sense it is easy to learn.  But at the same time, the act of pulling up the loops and having them stay there and not get pulled out when you hook the next one takes a bit of practice.  So initially some of the kids were a little frustrated when the technique didn’t immediately work for them.  In only a little bit of time, though, everyone had gotten it figured out and were hooking away on their pieces!  Not only that, but everyone said that they were enjoying it and wished they could work on it all day!

I was there for two hours and in that time about half of the class got their piece finished and half did not.  The teacher decided to give those who wanted to continue to work on theirs some time later in the day so I left some hooks behind for those students to complete their work.   When I saw the photo of all of the completed pieces I was so thrilled to see that everyone had finished their pieces!    I even heard that at least one student has continued to add to hers at home using the hook that came with her Rainbow Loom set.   I feel like definitely a new generation of rug hookers and fibre art enthusiasts has been fostered!

Here’s a photo of all of the finished pieces together.  The teacher graciously provided all of the photos that you see in this Blog post.

school 3

So much fun!  Can’t wait to do it again sometime soon.  🙂

Karen

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Inspiration Photo #38

 

What: Art that my daughter made last year in Grade One.

Why did this catch my eye: I have loved this picture since she brought it home at the end of the last school year. The other day I finally got around to hanging it on the wall in my studio. I love the colours. I love the simplicity. I love that she made it. It reminds me that art is beautiful.

Karen

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I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Inspiration Photo #37

 

What: A winter scene.

Why did this catch my eye: Had to snap this photo a few weeks ago when we were picking out our Christmas tree. Recently I have been drawn to very abstract inspirations. This photo reminds me of the beauty to be found in a very traditional landscape scene. Still loving the effect of red in a landscape.

Karen

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I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Inspiration Photo #36

 

What: Designs on the outside wall of the local library.

Why did this catch my eye: While standing outside the library one day, waiting for it to open so I could pick something up for my kids, I noticed this patterning on the wall. I got lost in the design- it has a lot of movement in it and keeps the eye roaming.

Karen

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I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Fibre Art by Karen D. Miller

Postcards from Newfoundland: Sunset on the Rock

 

I recently posted on Facebook that I had dedicated the month of December to experimenting with new techniques and new ideas. I have some things that I want to try out and I feel like I am always racing to get ready for the next show and never have the time to just play around with techniques. So now was the time! Some of those experiments worked out great and have gotten my wheels spinning with where I can take them. Some of the experiments, well, didn’t go so well. But even in the failures there are lessons. I plan to do a blog post soon about the new directions that I want to take in 2015- some of my ideas are very different from what I have done to this point and it is my ultimate goal to debut a lot of these new ideas at my solo exhibit in Ottawa in August!

For the past week or so, though, having a few experiments under my belt I decided to take a break and make a few small Newfoundland pieces. Although my solo exhibit in Corner Brook isn’t until October, my logic was that I wanted a few new pieces so that I can soon make a poster and other advertising for that show. So I am pleased to present the first of my new pieces that will appear in my show at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre in October, 2015! It is called “Sunset on the Rock” and is part of my ‘Postcards from Newfoundland’ series. I really love all the yellows in the sky- it is something I have wanted to try for awhile and is not my usual colour scheme so I feel like in some way my growth as an artist is even manifesting itself in these smaller sized pieces.

I have one more thing to do to my second new piece and then I should be able to show it to you early next week. Enjoy your weekend!

Karen

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Inspiration Photo #35

 

What: My little guy’s boot print on our front step.

Why did this catch my eye: On the face of it this one seems a little lame- it is just a kind of fuzzy photo of a boot print in snow. But this photo is inspiring to me in that it reminds me to look down, especially at this time of year. All sorts of things leave prints and patterns in the snow and a failure to look down and appreciate them means they are overlooked. In addition, I adore my children so this little reminder of them making their way in the world inspires me greatly.

Karen

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I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Inspiration Photo #34

 

What: Slushy ice on our car windshield.

Why did this catch my eye: Today was a milder, slushy, freezing rain kind of day. When I looked out the window at one point I noticed this build up of slowly melting ice on the car windshield. I loved the patterns and textures that had formed within it.

Karen

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I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Photo by Karen D. Miller

Inspiration Photo #33

 

What: Lights on our Christmas tree.

Why did this catch my eye: Every year I capture this same look- the lights on our tree slightly out of focus giving a blurry over-rounded appearance. This year I also managed to capture some of our colourful outdoor lights through the window. I like the shape and the blurriness that this kind of an effect gives to something so simple as a string of lights.

Karen

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I committed to posting 40 inspiration photos on the blog in 2014. The purpose of this exercise is to get me out of my comfort-zone: finding inspiration in my everyday surroundings. This series will continue throughout the year.

Hooked fibre art by Karen D. Miller

Now at Harbour Grounds….

 

My “Moonlight in Twillingate” piece just sold at the Harbour Grounds coffee shop in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Thank you so much! I have had tremendous support this year in Newfoundland and it is very much appreciated!

You can now find my piece called “Along the Shore” on exhibit and available for purchase at the coffee shop!

Karen

Photo by Karen D. Miller

What I’ve Been Up To….

 

 

I feel like it has been forever since I have done one of these posts as I have been so busy playing catch up on the Inspiration Photos.  Only 8 more to go before the end of the year!!

There has been a lot going on around here.  On the personal side I celebrated a big Birthday (let’s just say the number I selected as my goal for the inspiration photos wasn’t completely random….) several times over now with various friends and my family.  It has definitely been an ongoing celebration and I feel so fortunate that I have been able to celebrate it with everyone that I hold dear.  It has been amazing!

All of the exhibits that I have been in are now wrapped up.  This past weekend we headed down to Niagara-on-the-Lake and picked up all of the pieces that were in the “Colours Caught in Fibre” exhibit.  So hard to believe that after a year of planning and work that show is now over!  I learned so many valuable lessons while organizing that show.  It was a real learning experience and a pleasure to work on.  I’m so proud of our group and the show that we put on!

The “Prairies” juried show that has been running out in Alberta at various locations since May is now over.  My “Heading West” piece is probably in the mail to me as we speak.  It was such a thrill to win a Second Place ribbon in that show and to have a piece of my art travel further west in Canada than even I have been!

And this past weekend marked the end of the “Kids at Heart” show at Swoon Gallery in Nova Scotia.  That show was an amazing experience because I got to work with my daughter and be on exhibit with her.  I hope it is just the beginning for us, and since she is only seven it seems there may be many more such opportunities ahead of us.  🙂  I was sad to hear that Swoon Gallery will be closing at the end of December but I believe there is a plan in place to do a number of pop-up exhibits so I am sure its success will continue in other ways!

I have already started to look ahead to 2015.  In March there is our group show in Toronto.  I am working on a few new pieces that will be in that exhibit.  Then of course there is my solo show in Corner Brook, Newfoundland in October.

And I just recently found out that I was successful in my application for a solo exhibit at Trinity Gallery at the Shenkman Arts Centre here in Ottawa from August 20-September 22, 2015!!  So exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time!!  My work is moving in a whole new direction (more on this in a blog post to come) and I plan to debut a lot of new pieces in that show.  It will be nice to have an exhibit right here where I live and it is a beautiful gallery space!  I will share more on this as the promotional material comes out for that show.

So, I’m working hard on art, getting ready for Christmas and constantly dealing with a head spinning with new ideas!  Hope all is well with you where you are,

 

Karen