Tag Archives: basket

Art-Inspired Tote Baskets

I’m experimenting with creating vessels which are inspired by views of nature. These baskets are traditional rag baskets made with tiny strips of cloth sewn over a core.Image 30

So this basket inspired by Emperor Penguins first appeared.penguin basket













IMG_2268I love the look of canola fields in bloom in Manitoba.IMG_3494

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Just big enough for Moses

Just big enough for Moses


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Then I was inspired by famous works of art. Starry Night by Vincent Van Gough.


IMG_1596And The Kiss by Gustav Klimt.Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 7.30.49 PM


in progress on the sewing machine

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IMG_8026And finally Claude Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk.


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These turned out so well, and SOLD, that I’ll make more next winter.



Everyday Bag

I just pressed the “SEND” key on an submission email to a juried contemporary fibre art show which celebrates the tradition and history of textile arts. This show will be part of an exhibit at Dufferin County Museum and Archives called Stitches Across Time.  It calls Canadian fibre artists to produce work that is inspired by one of six artifacts specially selected from the museum collection in Rosemont, Ontario (northwest of Toronto). These are rarely seen textile pieces.

Of the six possible inspirational pieces I chose a vessel, this dainty, century-old evening bag.

Evening Bag open

ca. 1920. Embroidered in oriental-style flowers in shades of blue, turquoise, green, pink and coral on ecru silk in satin and Pekinese stitches, this bag is a vibrant and charming piece of work. The bag is lined in textured coral silk, complete with a small interior pocket. A metal filigree frame with hinges at both ends and in the centre of both sides facilitates access. The handle is a metal chain and the entire piece is finished with a turquoise stone mounted on the centre front of the frame. The finished size is 13 cm across the top, widening to 18 cm at the bottom, with an overall depth of 14 cm.

I love to make vessels, especially coiled baskets from scraps. Essentially they are stitched versions of the old-fashioned rag basket.

My entry is called “Everyday Bag”.


“Evening Bag” inspired me as a women’s vessel, a purse, and also because of its colour scheme.

Evening Bag

2014_EDWR_Stitches1c finished edge

My entry is also a ‘purse’ stitched from pieces of deconstucted clothing, a 100 year old Chinese silk scarf, dress lining, dupioni silk, a hand dyed flour sack, and quilting cotton. The metallic thread which I employed in the top coils mimic the metal filigree frame. Due to the nature of wrapping thin strips of cloth over a fibre rope core it has a ragged everyday appearance. It has miles of thread and about 20 hours of construction.

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A sturdy, but classy market basket replete with turquoise stone.

2014_EDWR_Stitches1d back

“Everyday Bag” back

The exhibition, Stitches Across Time, opens on September 12, 2014 at 7 pm and will continue to November 9, 2014.

I hope my bag is chosen.

Last year a piece of mine, But Will it Hold Water, was accepted into Threadworks and is touring Ontario for 3 years.

UPDATE JUNE 2014: Everyday Bag has been accepted by the jury into the show!  Opening Night Sept 12, 2014.

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UPDATE Sept 13 – My piece has won a Juror’s Award!

New Year’s Prayer

I Hold My Life Up to You Now
Patient God,
the clock struck midnight
and I partied with a strange sadness in my heart,
confusion in my mind.

Now, I ask you
to gather me,
for I realize
the storms of time have scattered me,
the furies of the year past have driven me,
many sorrows have scarred me,
many accomplishments have disappointed me,
much activity has wearied me,
and fear has spooked me
into a hundred hiding places,
one of which is pretended gaiety.
I am sick of a string of “have-a-nice-days.”
What I want is passionate days,
wondrous days,
dangerous days,
blessed days,
surprising days,
What I want is you!
Patient God
this day teeters on the edge of waiting
and things seem to slip away from me,
as though everything were only memory
and memory is capricious.
Help me not to let my life slip away from me.
O God, I hold up my life to you now,
as much as I can,
as high as I can,
in this mysterious reach called prayer.
Come close, lest I wobble and fall short.
It is not days or years I seek from you,
not infinity and enormity,
but small things and moments and awareness,
awareness that you are in what I am
and in what I have been indifferent to.
It is not new time,
but new eyes,
new heart I seek,
and you.
Patient God,
in this teetering time,
this time in the balance,
this time of waiting,
make we aware of moments,
moments of song,
moments of bread and friends,
moments of jokes
(some of them on me)
which, for a moment, deflate my pomposities;
moments of sleep and warm beds,
moments of children laughing and parents bending,
moments of sunsets and sparrows outspunking winter,
moments when broken things get mended
with glue or guts or mercy or imagination;
moments when splinters shine and rocks shrink,
moments when I know myself blest,
not because I am so awfully important,
but because you are so awesomely God,
no less of the year to come
as of all the years past;
no less of this moment
than of all my moments;
no less of those who forget you
as of those who remember,
as I do now,
in this teetering time.
O Patient God,
make something new in me,
in this year,
for you.
coiled basket - Evelyn Ward de Roo

coiled basket – Evelyn Ward de Roo

~ written by Ted Loder, in Guerillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle.

Sydney Harbour Soundscape

Sitting in front of The Museum of Contemporary Art of Australia this captures a typical sunny day in Sydney Harbour. Just add a kalimba!

I had just viewed an incredible exhibit called “String Theory” in the museum, a melding of basket weaving, dolls, and sculpture all involving string, thread or fibre. It particularly made my heart sing.

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I hope that my soulful musical meditation lifts you to a good place.

FYI, the necklace I am wearing in this video was made by The Enchanted Shaman.


Threadworks 2013

Sunday April 28th was the wonderful day I received my award at the Threadworks 2013 exhibit of needlework at the Wellington County Museum and Archives in Fergus, ON, Canada. You can read about my entry here, But Will It Hold Water. The quality and creativity of the needlework was outstanding. And the show was beautifully hung in a lovely exhibit hall. I was thrilled to be included amongst such amazing handwork.But Will It Hold Water

Jenny & Ev at ThreadworksIMG_0109

Below the Surface by Laurie Lemelin

Below the Surface by Laurie Lemelin

Spring Thaw by Tracey Lawko, Free Motion Embroidery Award

Spring Thaw by Tracey Lawko, Free Motion Embroidery Award

Besides having my family and close friends in attendance, one of the many blessings of the day came in the words of one of the jurors, Judy Martin, a textile artist from Manitoulin Island. She spoke with passion about the life of an artist, why make art and the juxtaposition of thread, cloth, touch and water.

Award Winners with Juror, Judy Martin

Award Winners with Juror, Judy Martin

Photo credits: urbanspool.comIMG_7187IMG_7188