Tag Archives: art

God’s Nest of Creation

I’ve been weaving a series of coiled basket creations mounted on driftwood, which I call “Bird Nests”. IMG_7419.jpg

Recently someone purchased this one and sent me this beautiful story.


Nests evoke all kinds of emotions and bring forth thoughts of birthing, creating, preparing, anticipating and incubating. This Christmas I am gifting one of your nests to a very good friend who is undergoing chemo for breast cancer.

When I first saw your creation I thought of all within her that is being nourished and cared for and lovingly healed, in anticipating of the creation of health and a life filled with grandchildren, friends and family. The nest holds so many possibilities. It is the vessel for life used by feathered beings who fly free, seemingly effortlessly. It is safety, a sanctuary, a haven for life.

The nest is a place of living into hope. At Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of hope, peace, joy and love in the form of Jesus, we are reminded that God breaks into our world in tiny, fragile ways. Indeed we are the inhabitants of God’s nest of creation.IMG_3878.jpg

Thank you Susan, for sharing.

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. http://arcwp.org
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.

Artist’s Quandry

Image 9Having to dig out my cash box from under a layer of renovation dust in preparation for tomorrow’s MORE THAN JUST a BOOK SALE at Brescia College sort of gave me pause. I don’t like promoting consumerism. But normally the upshot of being an artist is that you want will to show your work to others. And sometimes those people will want to own your work for themselves. (In the olden days they were called patrons.)

Mostly I sequester my art to my little corner of the internet called Wavesong. I create what makes me happy, take photos, post and sometimes it appeals to someone who happens to find it in the huge Googly world.

Quietly I throw things up to see who catches them. A little ring holder was mailed to South Korea, a framed fibre art piece to USA, a basket to Australia, a tote to Boston, a chair pad to Newfoundland a set of fibre art pictures was purchased by a CBS set decorator.

In preparation for the first craft/artisan market I have done in a decade I have been unabashedly flogging Facebook with my wares.

As a sorry Canadian, I apologize for blowing my own horn, for telling the world about myself, for wanting you to see what I do in the recesses of my studio. I can’t help but create.


Award Winning, “Over-The-Shoulder-Boulder-Holder”


wrapped stone


“The Mending Way”

I do admit that I for the most part like creating useful things. Perhaps it is my Protestant work ethic showing its pretty little face or my mother’s voice saying ‘it’s lovely honey, but what’s it for?”

Image 12

Chakra Vessel Set or Montessori Sorting BowlsImage 5

Like any artist I could just keep it until my house overflows or give it all away but I desire to be fairly compensated for my work. The fact is that most of us do consume and like to be surrounded by pretty things, hopefully ones that have some meaning. I know that people will buy things anyways. I would rather that they spend their money supporting local artists rather than multi-national companies who barely pay a living wage.*

I often wonder if the greats, like Monet, Michelangelo, Tom Thomson (not that I am anywhere close to being in that classification!) struggled with creating versus promoting. Did they have to pull out their cash boxes?

*If you want to buy fairly traded goods try online shopping at Ten Thousand Villages.