Monday, June 29, 2009

Work in Progress - Sun Mandala

I love, love, love work in progress shots, so this will be the first of a probably more than a few.
This is a sun mandala I'm working on to make into a broach. It's on some delicious burgundy felt used to be a sweater I found a the thrift store and felted up in the washing machine.

Mandalas are interesting to make -- basically it's a circular pattern that builds upon itself, the whole emerging as you stitch.

I started this sun mandala after spending the morning in an office with no windows.

I'll post the finished piece next week - it's changed quite a bit, but I like the simplicity of the design in these photos. I often have trouble figuring out when to quit.

Now, maybe someone can tell me what the secret is to photographing red! The color of the felt is closest in the top photo, but the stitches that look white are actually ecru, and the yellows are washed out. The red isn't as overpowering in real life, I find.

Farmers' Market - Take 1

My first Farmers' Market:

I'm so glad I went because I learned a lot. Talking to people about your product and seeing their reaction to what you're offering is invaluable. I got a lot of comments that people liked my work, but so many of them want pins (broaches), not barrettes. I had a really nice conversation with one lady who said that embroidery is a bit of a lost art - it's one of those things our grandparents knew how to do but we've not passed it on. She knew what she was looking at.

Here's my table set-up. They gave me a 10 foot space and my table is 4 ft wide. It's a perfect table for my stuff, but it looked small in the space. The market is in a gravel parking lot which gets dusty, especially for kids playing. I was lucky to have a really nice day - I can see that I am going to have to figure out a different way to display things because when the wind comes up it catches the cards and everything flies away. Nothing like running around gathering your wares up from the gravel. Also, I was one of the only stalls without a canopy of some sort. I watched everyone else slide back in their camping chairs enjoying the cool shade on a very hot day (ok, hot for here, we're not used to hot in Alberta).

This is how everything packed up to go to the farmers' market. We live about 7 minutes away(walking) and I just couldn't justify taking a vehicle. Half of the stuff is for the kids - toys and snacks. What you don't see is the baby on my back. We must have been quite a sight rolling through the market that morning. The older sister stayed home and slept in with her daddy and joined us after lunch.

Now, I have to tell you, about halfway through I got pretty depressed about the whole thing. Me and my baby were feeling pretty lonely and hot at our table and we hadn't had a single sale yet. I just wanted to make my table money back at that point, and I wasn't sure that was going to happen. Thank goodness things picked up later and the inlaws came to visit and play with the kids in the shade.
I'll certainly do it again, but am working on diversifying my product line - broaches and purses are only 2 of many ideas. You haven't seen the last of me yet, farmers' market!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The email received this morning:

Hi Gisele,
Thank you for your application for the market. Yes, we do have space for you at the market this week if you are wanting to join us. Please confirm whether you will be able to attend.
Hope to meet you on Saturday!
Kindest Regards.

Jumping with joy.

Boy, do I have a lot of work to do before Saturday!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Well, I guess some introductions are in order.

This is me:

I’m the mother of the sweet silver sisters. They and their father all have locks of white hair which is how they got named the silver sisters.

These two girls could not be any more different. Elder daughter is always kicking her shoes and socks off. We find them in the strangest places. She loves to eat vegetables and rearranging things (read lining them up) She likes to think things over. And over and over again. She plans and talks about her plans at length. After an afternoon in the garden she’s as clean as when she began. And of course, she's five, so her favourite color is pink. She wants to build condos when she grows up.

Younger daughter loves her shoes. Her first word was shoes and she’s always running around looking for her shoes or trying on someone else’s shoes or rearranging the shoes (read dragging them around the house) or putting things in the shoes – you get the idea. She doesn’t sit still for long. She gets antsy before dinner’s even started, and only lasts a short time in a carseat. After an afternoon in the garden (or a particularly good supper) she needs a really good scrub in the tub. She's a year and a half old and likes to spin in circles until she gets so dizzy she falls down. Of course, everyone laughs, so I'm sure that doesn't help.

And this is my hubby who said he had a great weekend even though I failed father’s day by loosing the cards the girls picked out for him and then falling asleep after breakfast so that he had to clean up the messy kitchen. Need I say more?
He was born with a wrench in his hand always has some sort of vehicle torn apart in the garage (swapped engines on the mini-van this weekend). More often than not it’s his jeep which he (responsibly) off-roads with glee.

So, that’s the clan as it were. There are also two shaggy dogs – a young annoying one and an old grumpy one as well as several fish that I get to be the mom of.

And then there’s me. A nomadic obsessive. An artist (I like to think) masquerading as a normal person. I’ve always got some project on the go. This week (year?) it’s embroidering and felting old wool sweaters, and I’m getting ready to sell some goodies. I love researching obscure embroidery stitches on the internet. I have a full-time day job in an office shuffling paper around, so all this is around and in between that. I tend to bounce back and forth between having a vibrant, full life, and needing to simplify and pare down. Until I get obsessed again and work on something else. It's a good life.

I can't spell and I suck at technology (being over 30, afterall). So now you know it all!

Trying to see if this gives me a larger image...

::crosses fingers::

YAY! I think we have a winner here! The work process is thus: Hubby downloads photos off of my camera onto the computer at home and posts them onto photobucket. I save them to my work computer and then post them to the blog from there. I can't tell you how many tries it's taken us to figure this out, but persistence pays off! So, here we go - that was the biggest hurdle.
OK, this is a test to see how well these photos upload. This is one of the barrettes that I am planning on listing. It's an Algerian diamond in the middle (for you embroidery fans).

It's hard to tell in the pictures, but there is silver thread woven in all of the stitches on this one.
It's subtle but adds some light.

The lovely model is the eldest silver sister. She was so patient with me that day!

Hmmm... and this one needs cropping...


And that's the end! Let me know what you think- I'm new at this!

First Post

Well, every blog has to have a first post.
Here it is.
There, now that that's done we can
get down to business.