first fabric printing


I am so excited! I have finally found a way to combine my love of printing with my love of textiles. Now this should be a no brainer – printing on fabric – I know. The trick for me was to decide what to print on, specifically what did I already own that I could print and have some fun. It didn’t take too long to realize that practically everything in my studio is fair game where printing is concerned. After I’d carved a couple of new stamps, I looked for somewhere to use them. Here’s what the stamps look like:

newly carved stampsI found a couple of aprons that I had purchased with the intention of “embellishing” one way or another. Good to go. I went to work at my friend’s house. Susan Fae and I have such a great time working together, feeding off of each other’s creative energy. I didn’t get a lot printed that night, but I’m happy with the results. The first apron with all the words is just a fun project where I stamp words when I’m doing cards. The apron was a gift from “Mr. Cappuccino” here in Calgary. It was a lovely apron – but so white – so plain! I had to do something. Most of the ink used is not textile ink, so I doubt it will stand up to a lot of washing. We’ll see. Maybe I just won’t get it dirty…

sample apron

detail of new stampThese next two illustrate the variety of aprons I buy. What can I say? I’m attracted to color and simple form. No matter how lovely, there is always room for improvement.

green striped apron

detail on green apron

orange spotted apron detail

orange spotted apron

more details on orange apronI am always on the look-out for great linens and kitchen textiles, like aprons, that are calling out for a little something extra. The orange apron has already gone to live in Toronto. I know it will be very happy there. I’ve just ordered a supply of textile inks so expect to see more fabric prints in the future. I’m anxious to get busy!

ACAD workshop

Last week I was fortunate to spend time with Michael Brennand-Wood, an extremely talented British artist. Monday night I attended a lecture with my friend, Catherine, at which he presented content that left me anxious to get to know more about his work. Michael does mixed media work utilizing wood, fibre, wire, plastic, natural materials, synthetic materials – I don’t think there is anything that he doesn’t use and use creatively. He showed slides of his work, which included numerous large commissions. The variety was staggering.

Tuesday I attended a full day workshop at ACAD (Alberta College of Art and Design) with my friend, Pam. The whole day was incredibly stimulating – I’m still buzzing with excitement about it. Michael lectured for about an hour, and then we just went to work. Everyone had brought copious amounts of material to work with (as per the supply list) so there were endless possibilities of things to try. It was fascinating to see the differences in materials and ideas that each participant brought to the workshop. I painted, glued, sawed, wired, twisted and joined materials into a “piece” of sorts. I used old painted wooden dowels from my garden, cuttings from our Mountain Ash tree and some milled lumber for the framework. We learned how to twist wire and fabric together to create flexible, colorful wire. Michael suggested making numerous frames and then creating a 3-D form by stacking and intersecting the frames in different ways. So, that’s what I did. I also painted a number of small bamboo cocktail forks and wired them together to make a garland that I wrapped through my piece. I had fun.

An hour before the workshop ended we took time to view each person’s work for the day. There was huge variety and it was very interesting. Michael made comments on everyone’s work, and everyone was free to contribute as well. Fascinating I tell you.

An unexpected bonus was reconnecting with several friends whom I had not seen for several years, like-minded individuals still actively interested in art. All in all a fantastic couple of days. Here are photos of the class in progress and some of the work produced. The last photos are of my work.

Michael Brennand-Wood in class

work from the class

colored sticks

hanging piece with prints

my ACAD work for the day

alternate view of my project

shower time

Over the week-end my friend, Catherine, hosted a bridal shower.  I offered to bake a cake, because, well, why wouldn’t I?  I decided that something festive and spring like was in order so I set about finding a recipe. Of the hundreds of cookbooks I own, I was unable to find exactly the right cake. After some deliberation, a decision was made to assemble my own creation using components from “Caprial’s Desserts” by Caprial Pence and Melissa Carey. I’ve had great success with recipes from this book in the past.

I made a 4 layer lemon cake with 2 layers of home made lemon curd filling, and one layer of white chocolate buttercream mixed with chopped strawberries. The cake was frosted with the same white chocolate buttercream and finished off with a large heap of freshly cut strawberries. I was pleased, and I’m quite certain that everyone who consumed any would agree.  Here’s the finished cake:

strawberry lemon cake

strawberry lemon cake

Dinner in May

A couple of nights ago  I cooked dinner for my friend from Toronto, Lesley.  We have been friends since university, which was quite a few years ago.  I tried several new recipes and I want to share the menu.

cheese and crackers  (cambozola, “grizzly” aged gouda from Sylvan Star Cheese, Kerrygold Dubliner, Saint Andre triple creme French cheese, Wasa rye crackers and some of my home made seedy crackers)

spinach salad with fiddleheads, pickled red onions, candied pecans and goat cheese sprinkled on top

red snapper with brown butter, steamed asparagus and roasted butternut squash

poached pears with marsala, cinnamon and vanilla, with a dollop of date and fig Greek yogurt

I spent a fair amount of time prepping during the day, but it made the evening relaxed and stress free. We had a great visit.  Lesley is a knitter, and she brought me a beautiful pair of socks – so much better than a bottle of wine!  I’m pleased that Lesley is working on a project here and we will visit again in the near future.