Category Archives: News

On Aging, Gracefully

IMG_6552“Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.


― Margot Benary-Isbert

Fibre Art Commission – “The Gospels”

I opened my email and waiting for me was correspondence entitled “Artist Request”. It was from a dear friend I’ve known for years, Barbara Billey.

Barbara Billey

“I would like to commission you to use your sacred artist gifts to create a faux Book of Gospels for my ordination. The Book of Gospels contains the four gospels, will be carried high in the processional to the table of worship and then someone will dance with it to the lecturn, where the gospel will be read. The theme of my ordination is “be fire and light our world with justice and peace.

My jaw dropped.

My first reaction was, ‘no way, too much pressure’. The weight of the request gave me pause.

Just breathe.

Who am I that I should attempt something like this? The words “carried high, processed, danced” all cried out in bold and I pondered whether I was worthy to say ‘yes’ to this request.   After a few days of thinking about it I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t accept I would be missing a tremendous artistic opportunity and challenge.

It had to be faux book, more like a theatre prop; large enough to be seen in a large public gathering, yet small enough to be carried. And it needed to open like a book and hold papers. I formally worked professionally in props for Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, so I knew I could pull it off.  I wanted it to look like an old-fashioned leather bound book. sketch

I’m not one to make drawings of my designs. I usually work more organically, just laying out fabrics. But I did do an initial sketch.


I laid out some possible fabric choices for the theme “be fire and light our world with justice and peace.” fabrics

I used a fine netting fabric trapping method taught by the wonderful Canadian fibre artist, Lorraine Roy.

yellow spiral

I used some interfacing material from a old liquid embroidery kit to stabilize the fabric manipulation. She loves trees. So hidden inside is one!IMG_5348

I wanted the lettering to be in gold leaf so the closest thing would be to use a foiling method to apply the text “The GOSPELS”.IMG_5339

I trapped actual pieces of real gold leaf into the cover.

IMG_5350I applied some random vermicelli stitching, including a tree and a hidden message for the recipient to the back of the book.IMG_5365

For the construction of the actual book I used acid-free foamcore board inside as the guts to build the front, back, sides and spine. Most of this had to be stitched by hand.IMG_3482

Gold lame replicated the idea of gold leaf page edges.

IMG_3483  I was thrilled with the finished product. But would she be?  It’s always the unveiling which is the moment of truth.

She cried with delight.

At her Ordination Service she held it high and danced down the aisle.imagejpeg_2

Oh, did I mention that she is a Roman Catholic Priest? Women can’t be priests, you say. WRONG. Just check out this group of empowered women.
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests imagejpeg_2 2

Can you hear the sound of the church bells ringing there?
The birds singing in the voices?
The waves washing through our minds in rhythmic breath?
carrying all the debris away away
healing the struggles of yesterday
clearing the way for the morrow
when women walk as Catholic priests!
Ordination service

Read more about Barbara Billey’s Ordination Service here and here.

Art Making as Self Love

“As artists it takes courage to create when the world around us keeps saying that there are better things we could be doing with our time. There is often little recognition or money in being an artist, and yet I invite you to consider art-making and creativity an exuberant act of self-love. To say, “I am an artist,” is to remember the great love that calls to you moment by moment. To be an artist is to say I will no longer retreat and meet the expectations and conventions around me. I will risk loving myself and living from the brilliant and glimmering truth I find there.” Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, Abbey of the Arts.

This new public art installation blew my mind. Janet Echelman’s sweeping fiber art sculpture above Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, USA.

Evelyn’s Studio

Evelyn’s Studio. Since 1999 I have used this logo on my sew-in labels on all my artwork and products.

logoI love this logo, with a labyrinth hidden in it. In later years it was my frameshop sign as well. It was designed by a dear friend, Scott Martyn, who died some years ago from cancer.

Image 2I finally ran out of labels last week. When I phoned the company Laven Labels to reorder they couldn’t find my file, because it was so long ago and before the days of ordering online.

So it has prompted me to rethink my logo and name. If someone were to attempt to find me online using “Evelyn’s Studio”, they wouldn’t.  Evelyn Ward de Roo is a bit of a mouthful when it gets transcribed to a 1″ x 1″ label. I go by WaveSong on Etsy. WaveSongArt on Instagram. So I’m playing around with something in that vein.

Image 3

But I’m so reluctant to give up my pretty logo. It’s funny how necessity can prompt change.

November 4th UPDATE:
My new label design…..