Saturday, April 26, 2008

An Artist's Date

Though I've been very sloppy about following Julia Cameron's recommendations for creative inspiration, today I took myself on a delicious 'date', with various stops around the city.

I began by turning up as the doors opened on the first annual Grandmothers to Grandmothers Spring Yarn and Fabric Sale. All proceeds were going to the G to G, part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which helps grandmas in Africa who are raising their grandchildren (and sometimes those of other families!) because the children's parents have died of HIV/AIDS.

On the left, the results of my visit to the Buck-a-Bag room. Great fun! Included are some tapestry yarns for wool work, and a huge piece of blue linen-weave fabric that I plan to use for stitchery. On the right, you see some fabrics bought individually, including 2 rolls of velvet/velveteen for 50 cents each. Perfect for crazy quilting! The books were $1 (paperback) and $2 (hard cover) respectively: Embroidery Skills: Applique by Pauline Brown (Merehurst Press, London, England, 1989) and Quilters' Almanac: Quilt Block Party Series No. 3 from "Quilt in a Day!", Eleanor Burns, 1991. What fun I'm going to have will all of this!

I almost forgot the yarn! The selection was at least as overwhelming as the fabric. Then there was a 'craft room' that featured beads, sewing patterns, and great rolls of fabric. There I found a package of various-sized stretcher bars for $1. On my way out I purchased a packet of bulky yarn, perfect for a small lapgan or a prayer shawl:


My 'date' continued with a visit to the library, where I picked up some great listen-or-watch-while-I-stitch stuff: the audio-book, "Winter at Thrush Green" by Miss Read, read by the delightful Clare Higgins (doing all the voices!); and 3 DVDs: CBC's Life and Times: Carol Shields, about the late, great Canadian author; The Vicar of Dibley Series 1 (see, Bess, I finally took your advice to watch her!); and last but not least, A&E's presentation of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, starring my favourite Miss M actress, Joan Hickson, in "They Do It With Mirrors" -- one I don't recall having seen. Each DVD has a 1-week loan limit on it, so my evenings will be deliciously filled with good viewing for the immediate future.

From there I drove south to Out of Hand Needle Arts for a 'fix' of art quilting. My friend, C from my grief support group was there; she and 2 of her stitching buddies showed me the wonderful work they were doing to finish pieces from their class with Sue Spargo. What samplers of colourful delight, hand and/or machine stitched with wool, silk, sewing thread, variegated flosses...fabulous! I was very impressed!

No stop at OOH is complete without browsing. I did have a couple of items on my list, though: first, a spool of purple silk thread with which to applique my second piece for my QU class with Nancy Chong:

I also found a packet of milliners' needles with which to do it. (Up to now, I have had only two such needles in my needlebook, and though I made do, at least one of them was rather heavy for this work.)

I also found this for my upcoming online class with Sue Bleiweiss:
Delicious, non? The supply list called for silk rods as well as cocoons and, well, I had a few cocoons in my stash, but no rods... You should see the colour selection! It was tough to make up my mind! (I'd have preferred a packet of rods only, but you can tell from my tone than I'm not exactly ticked with having to select a packet that includes threads etc...)


I followed the library with a light lunch, and a quick drop in to the CAS (Calgary Artists' Society) show in the hall of St. Andrew's United Church on Heritage Drive S.W. I was rather disappointed this year; there were fewer artists than I remember from prior years. There was also nothing I could afford, but I took the card of one Patt Scrivener, a mixed media artist of whose work I want to see more. There was one little piece...if I see it again, I just might pounce!

Interesting, she's also part of Calyx Distinctive Arts, which was my next -- and final -- stop for the afternoon. Their show runs over 2 days, and the artists tomorrow are going to be completely different, so I expect I'll wander over to the Crescent Heights Community Centre again then. While there today, I ran into Vickie Newington, a local fibre artist who had some work on display at the Calyx Show. She's part of the local group, Articulations, and a neighbour of one of the other members of my Free Spirit Artisans group. She and her associates have been very supportive of our fledgling efforts, and she promised to come out to see our display at the Heritage Park Festival of Quilts here on May 24-25. What a blessing and an encouragement!

I was wishing I could afford her prairie landscape, created in 'fabric pixels', as she calls them. Alas, not right now. But I did spot this, by another new-to-me artist, Julie Mears, entitled 'Underwater Miniature #1:

She also makes knitted/beaded jewellry and handbags, but I thought this little piece was just right to hang near my studio space for inspiration! Yep, it's mostly knitted, with some crochet, and to my mind, an absolute gem. I came home very happy and all fired up to keep creating!

4 comments:

paulahewitt said...

what a great day out. The underwater miniature looks great. ps I like the Miss Read books too!

MargB said...

I envy your 'artist day out' - sounds lovely!

arlee said...

Oh pooh, i missed that sale and had really wanted to go! Looks like your purchases are wonderful!

Nancy S. said...

Nice to find your blog site. i was looking for a report on the GtoG fabric sale..it was wonderful and I hope they can repeat it next year. I think they had more fabric than could be sold in one morning though, since the donations were just awesome in variety and quantity. Luckily for me, I walked there and thus could only come away with "two bags full", which approximated what I had donated a month earlier, just different stuff! Otherwise I would have been tempted to buy much more. It was all very reasonably priced. We had found out about the sale in our guild, CGNFA, from an e-mail. I saw some other guild members there too, busily poring over all this booty! It's also nice to see in your website reports on local fibre artists and stores. Nancy S.