* * * EXHIBITION (and works for sale) Shervin Smith Gallery for the month of May in Melfort. Reception is 7pm on Friday May 1.
* * * TEACHING @ Melfort Creative Quilted Postcards (1-4pm Thurs. April 30) & Threadpainting (1-5pm Sat. May 2) Monika@MySweetPrairie.ca to register.
* * * PUBLISHED - Stitch (UK) Magazine feature article issue #93. 'From Sketch to Stitch' pp 18-21 ***On Shelves in Canada (indigo) sold out in Saskatoon.
And published again - 'Let the Yarn Speak' technique article issue #94 (not in Canada yet... I'll keep you posted)
For purchases, or to inquire about studio visit feel free to email me Monika@MySweetPrairie.ca / Saskatoon, Canada. I am able to take new commissions beginning in September. Thank you!

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Finished it Friday

This is done!  It's big at 8x10".

It's framed - now it's 13 x 16 inches.  

And, it's ...        sold.  

Yup.  Quick as a wink.  Maybe even quicker than that.  (thank you!!)  To top off my excitement, it's like it sold twice I suppose, as a friend from my highschool days just commissioned me to make a similar one for her.  That's incredible!  That's all because of Facebook.  It's my best gallery shop, hands down.

I enjoyed stitching this so much.  The repetitive motion for the entire scene was very enjoyable.  I didn't have to think to hard, though it was a long time in the creation phase.  If you go back to the top photo, you should be able to click on it to view it larger.  Would you believe it was all self-directed free motion stitches?  No zigzag was used.  When I I started it, I was expecting to be able to zigzag that whole thing, but it was ridiculous looking.  So I ended up 'drawing' the pine needled branches out all manually (if that makes any sense).

I sold the crocuses in spring embroidery and a canola  on the first day also.  I have this available as well - you've seen it before.  I've been holding on to this for the Gardenscape sale.
Deep Into Autumn, 2015 (sold)

This was my first time in 5 years I was able to spend the first day of Gardenscape working the floor.  The kids regularly have that Friday off for parent teacher interviews on this last weekend of March, so I never make it.  This year, my husband took over those duties and I luckily got to meet some of my 'regular' and out-of-town shoppers who come to Gardenscape first thing.  It was awesome.  I got to see so many of my 'guildees' too from the Saskatoon Quilt Guild and the Bridge City NeedleArts Guild.  Hugs and laughter and lots catch-up conversation left me feeling pretty grounded.

Available at SK Craft Council Boutique, 813 Broadway Ave in Saskatoon (excuse the glass glare)

Oh, and I have to tell you about this.  I had such a wonderful experience connecting with the half dozen or so very elderly people in wheelchairs pushed by loved ones through the areas to enjoy the flowers and art.  *** I have not met an elderly woman who hasn't sewn.***  Knowing this, whenever a caretaker parked a wheelchair near my area, I would take an embroidery off of my display wall and hold nearer so they could view the art more easily.  Some of the woman weren't able to speak.  But I would say, "look!  It's all sewing.  It's prairies in thread!"  Each woman, regardless of ability, would break into a moment of smile and twinkle in her eyes.  I would hold it still for them until they were ready to move on and then I would hang it back up on the wall.  Over and over, the opportunity presented itself.  I was doing it for them... but oh my gosh it felt so special for me too.  I loved those connections.  I bet it's been a long time since they've been out of the city to see the prairie too.  It was bittersweet.

(woah, pass the tissues!  aaah it's good to cry over happy things though, right?)

Saturday - I have a day of Badminton with a bunch of 10 year olds.  Ha!  Talk about switching gears.  Sunday, I will be back at Gardenscape to see what's left.  If you interested in any art while you are there, simply approach any of the volunteers and they should be able to help you.  If you see a red dot, it's sold.

Have a great weekend and enjoy Spring.  I'm pretty busy for the weekend but I'll try to catch up with you all on Tuesday.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

My Hand at Mixed Media

Yes.  Mixed media. You weren't expecting to see that headline, where you!?  Well, here's what happened.  I have tens of thousands of photographs that I took over the past decade.  Thanks to blogging, they are all sorted digitally into into years, and individual months.  There are so many that I have one file I call my, 'gosh I like these photos so much that I will have to turn them into art someday' folder.  They happen to have animals in them: birds, deer, bison to name a few.  It's not that I can't threadpaint animals, but the nature of these photos are such that the background is SO out of focus, it serves as just that - a blurred background.  In my opinion, these photos would look entirely overdone if they were loaded with thread.  You know?  Like, they wouldn't 'breathe'.  I'm not interested in printing off the photo and framing it.  So, I very subtly embellished the images. Seriously?  I LOVE it.

This photo happens to be my facebook banner.  It's a photo I took a few years back on a hot day in September.  I think this is a good crop.

Two in the Bush - embellished photo on cloth

I chuckled.  Is it a 2013 artwork or is it a 2015?  I think it should be dated 2015 as a new art piece.

Here's a photo I took the day I went out with my friend Michelle and out pack of combined children to see the Solstice sunrise.  It is also 'two in the bush'.  (Ha - that's funny, I just noticed that.)

You see what I mean by 'subtle embellishment'?  Only the things that are in front of the deer are stitched, which I love because it gives the impression that the deer are distinctly behind the foreground.  Believe it or not, I did use four or five colours in that one:  white, grey, grey, another grey, and a blueish grey.  Pretty fun.

I'm considering hanging these in Gardenscape if I can get them framed in time.  At least I can see what the response to these are.  I'll set these prices lower than my threadpaintings.  If they flop, no matter.  I love them and I will keep then in my home.  If they are are loved, I can make more for me, couldn't I?  : )

see you soon,

Monday, 23 March 2015

Gardenscape Art Show & Sale This Weekend!

It's that time of year again!  * GARDENSCAPE *  I think this is my fifth year, maybe six?  I lost track.  I look forward to Gardenscape for so many reasons.  First, it SMELLS AMAZING.  It's Saskatoon's 'Backyard Lifestyles' trade show at Prairieland Park and the building is packed with fresh plants and spring flowers.  Second, I get to hang out with some artists I haven't seen since last Gardenscape as well as meet some new people.  Third - it's always a thrill to hang up a wall full of brand new art and visit with people who enjoy it very much.

The art will be in Hall E which is a new area for this.  Usually we are in Hall A.  This time, you can find us inside the very first doors you get to when you arrive in the parking lot (same doors as the Quilt Show fyi).  There is an entrance fee and lots of great entertainment, events, demonstrations, and displays.  You can find out more online.

The artists volunteer to take shifts during the even on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I will be there Friday morning, Friday evening, and Sunday as well - though you can purchase art at any time through the volunteers that are on shift.  It's been hard to attend in the past since my children always have that particular Friday off of school.  This year, I plan to be there on the Friday, right at opening and all night long.  I have a lot of art ready in a variety of sizes (threadwork under glass).  When I'm there, I'll have my square reader on hand.

I spent the weekend working on one last piece.  It's from a detailed photo I took of an evergreen.  I have been holding on to this photo for so long, waiting for the nerve to threadpaint all those individual needles.

Well, that 'nerve' arrived!  I'm stitching it on TAP, or transfer artists' paper that I got from Meinke Toy years ago.  Maybe I could have done it without the image transfer, but this image I took is rather heavy on the details (no land, no sky, just evergreen needles).  This was planned to be an experiment for embellishing the paintings of Paige Mortensen, but I think it might be good enough to frame and put up for sale at the art show.

a very small portion of a larger work in progress

By the way, it's all stright stitched.  I expected to fill it in with zigzag stitch, but that looked horrible.  So this is back and forth, back and forth by hand under a machine needle.  I'll show you more when I'm done.  Maybe we'll see you on the weekend!  Enjoy your week everyone,

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