Spring is here and Show Season begins

I hesitate to start this blog with the title "Spring is here" because last night, April 9th, Mother Nature dropped almost 3 inches of heavy, wet snow.  It has pulled the branches of the trees down along with everyone's mood.  But it won't stay long as it is predicted to be 23º on Monday!  That's the best thing about Canadian weather, if you don't like it, just wait awhile and it will change again.  Besides, it's our God given right as Canadians to complain about the weather.

So what have I been up to, you ask?  You did ask, didn't you?  I'm going to tell you anyway!

My work has taken me in a new (old) direction and that direction is towards designing my own textiles.  I just love to experiment in different techniques, and by experimenting, I mean playing.

I spent three years at Sheridan College learning how to make silk screens and to print my own designs so have been itching to get back to that.  Since it's been awhile, I took a refresher course with Gunnel Hag, in Toronto, one of my former teachers from Sheridan. (Here's the link: Gunnel Hag Workshops) and had a fabulous time!  

 Working with positives and negatives at Gunnel Hag's workshop.

Working with positives and negatives at Gunnel Hag's workshop.

I would highly recommend any of her textile design workshops if you live near Toronto.  She is a wonderful teacher and a warm and spirited person that has a wealth of information to share.

So, armed with my refreshed knowledge, and a palette of pigments for printing, I set out to design and create some of my own screens.  Basically, I just played with ink on paper to make something simple.  When I do my bags, its best to keep the designs simple and fairly unobtrusive as purses are an accessory, not the outfit, and a little pop of colour or pattern is all that you need.

 In my two part 'Houses' screen with paper, I cut around the outside of the houses by mistake, so the whole thing came out!  Had to fix that little boo boo.  

In my two part 'Houses' screen with paper, I cut around the outside of the houses by mistake, so the whole thing came out!  Had to fix that little boo boo.  

You don't need to shoot an actual screen every time, but an use newsprint as a resist for your design.  Wherever you cut out will be the printed area.  I used one side to fill in the colour for the houses and the other for the black outline (once I corrected the ones I cut out completely!) so printed this design twice.

They turned out quite nicely, so I made a few pouches from it.  They are on my Etsy shop if you would like a little happy pouch for your collection of makeup, lipsticks or whatever.

"Houses' made into a cute little pouch

 

Then I started to get creative and really have fun, so came up with a few more ideas, and paper screens.  Here are a few of the purses that resulted from these screens.

 'Gretel' Small zippered tote bag in black cotton with grasses print, leather base and strap

'Gretel' Small zippered tote bag in black cotton with grasses print, leather base and strap

 "Doris, the Day Bag" in linen with silk screened paisley design and a hand cut leather strap.

"Doris, the Day Bag" in linen with silk screened paisley design and a hand cut leather strap.

 

Where can you find these lovely purses?  You keep asking all the right questions!  They are all currently listed on my Etsy shop .  Take a moment to browse around.  If you like anything, there is a coupon for 10% off you may use, with my thanks for reading this blog.  Just use Aprilblog10 at the check out and you will receive 10% off anything in my shop.

If you'd rather see it them in person, and live near Toronto, you have two upcoming shows to choose from.  In Port Perry, there is a wonderful, free, self guided Scugog Studio Tour that has gone through some amazing transformations this year.  There are prizes at every site, and demonstrations, so you can see how some of this amazing work is made.  This year we are focusing on emerging artists, as well as returning to an eclectic mix of experienced artists and makers of fine craft.  I will be the grateful guest of Kimberley Price, who makes amazing statement jewellery, Site #23.  Hope to see you there on May 6 & 7th.

In June 10th & 11th, the Beaches Arts and Crafts Show in Kew Gardens is a perfect chance to see over 150 artists and makers in the beautiful Kew Gardens Park, just north of the board walk in the Beach area of Toronto.  

Thank you for reading all the way to the bottom and don't forget the Aprilblog10 discount code on my Etsy shop.  Just a little reward for your time.  

 

Cheers m'dears