Thursday, June 19, 2008

Small Felty Bits

After I completed all of my school work, I felt an urge to felt. Having not much space, I felted up these small pieces which I then embroidered over (the perfect little portable projects- I actually did much of the sewing on the bus). The first became a thank-you gift, the second became jewelry to wear on the opening night of my grad show. I used merino wool (which is absolutely dreamy for felting) and silk thread. As you can see, I have a thing for French knots.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Perfect Cookie?

Summer is the perfect time to cleanse one's diet, what with all the fresh fruit and veg available. I have resolved to do this, therefore, it was a bit of a stumble when I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies last week. I blame it on PMS and the spate of cool, cloudy weather we've been having here in Vancouver. I am crazy about the chocolate chip cookie. I have had wonderful chocolate chip cookies containing five kinds of flour, nuts, dried fruit, and/or various seeds, etc. But I remain devoted to the chocolate cookie in its pure and simple form and when I crave a chocolate chip cookie, I have a particular cookie in mind: tender and chewy. I have not always been successful in baking said cookie and for quite some time I have been on the prowl for tips on how I can succeed. I am pleased to report that last week I baked my best batch of chocolate chip cookies, ever. (Andrew and I are confident of this, however, there is no third or fourth opinion as we did not share the cookies with anyone else.)
Here is the recipe I cobbled together from various internet sources, using Mark Bitman's How to Cook Everything recipe as a base. There is nothing profound, because as I stated, the goal was simple, tender and chewy.

The Perfect Cookie?

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1 stick (1/2 cup) shortening (I used the non-hydroginated kind), softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 (or slightly less) cup brown sugar
1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cup flour
1 heaping cup of rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
Cream together butter, shortening and sugars in a separate, larger bowl. Add eggs until well blended.
Add flour mixture to the batter; stir until blended.
Stir in vanilla and chocolate chips.
Drop onto baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Spring Rabbits

Here is a series of yardages I printed for my final Surface Design project. The pink one represents my first attempt at silkscreening with thickened natural dyes. I used cochineal and osage orange. I had mixed results with this particular fabric (smooth, shiny cotton with a very high thread count-- lovely to touch but not very good at sucking up the dye). In the end it was a very satisfying experiment and I hope to do more printing with natural dyes in the future.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back to Earth

We've been back a week from the fabulous Thistlethwaite family vacation to the British Virgin Islands. What a time! The highlights were sipping cocktails while relaxing in the sun with my wonderful family and snorkeling among the reefs, just a stone's throw from our door (I wish I had pictures of the sea turtles and the scores of beautiful fish that we saw every day!)

Here is my nephew, Michael's first snorkeling excursion. He is accompanied by his dad and Uncle Andrew.

and on a craft-related note: I made myself a skirt for the occasion.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The Ferry Building Art Gallery is in a fabulous location- on the beach in West Vancouver.

Opening night of the show went really well. Quite a few friends and family members came out and a good time was had by all. It rained and poured and most of the pictures from that night were dark and dreary. Here's one of the good ones. My sister Maryka made the trek from Bellingham, WA to West Vancouver.
The rest of the pictures were taken on the day the show closed, when I went to pick up my work.

A quilt by Emmily Stephens. Shibori, indigo and mineral dyes.

A fabric book by Gayle Ramsden. Silkscreen, cotton, lace, knitting needles.

A weaving by Maddy Andrews. Copper wire, wool.

This is an extension of my crochet project. It turned into quite a compulsion .

Rose was weaving all week at the Silk Purse Gallery just down the lane from the Ferry Building.

And here I am with the lovely and talented Kimberly Francis, just before we took all the art off the walls.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Grad Show

Today is the opening of my grad show. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Moth: The Final Weaving Project

Our final weaving project was an open one. I chose to revisit tapestry (my first foray into tapestry was in my first semester). The image of the moth in light came from Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard, which I first read ten years ago. There are many passages within that little book that have stayed with me. One the most striking involves a moth that flies too close to the flame of a candle. Her wings burn and shrivel and her abdomen is caught upright in the candle's wax. The abdomen is hollowed out by the fire, but holds the flame. What is left of the moth burns as a second wick until she is blown out, late into the night.
So, this tapestry is an attempt to capture part of that story. It is 9.5" x 8.5". Woven with cotton warp and wool, silk and other unknown fibres in the weft.

The golden-tan wool was dyed using arbutus bark. The greys was dyed with arbutus and then dipped in an iron post-mordant. Arbutus is a tree native to the Pacific Northwest. Incidentally, they are plentiful on the Pacific Gulf Islands were Annie Dillard wrote Holy the Firm.