Introducing The Craft Lab

I’ve been working on the idea for this company for a long time, and now it’s time has arrived. We are hosting textile workshops in and around Vancouver BC starting with Indigo & Shibori on Saturday May 23rd from 10-4pm. More info here. In June, we will be at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire with an Intro to Weaving Workshop, followed by a Block Printing Workshop held at the Toast Collective.

Have a look at our brand new website, Facebook and Instagram links.

Hope you like it!

shibori sampler

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boro textile IMG_5630 IMG_5818Top photo of Japanese Boro fabric. I’d like a dress made out of it.

Middle photo are textiles from a collaboration with Eugene Choo for Spring 2015 – more to come on that later

Bottom photo is printing with string and gold paint to make patterns.

Let your socks be your mittens

 Many hands made light work today when we decorated our friend Rebecca’s bench at Trout Lake park in east Vancouver. It’s been eight years since she passed and I think about her often. She was a a talented artist, patient and loving mother and good friend. For her birthday tomorrow, we decided to spruce up the bench with ribbons and yarn.

 

This building sits opposite from the BCIT building on Seymour Street downtown. You can’t see the Arts & Crafts sign from the street, but from the 6th floor it’s a stunner. Originally built in 1913, it makes me wonder who and what it housed. Why so decorative and detailed? Was it a building for artists?

Happy Valentine’s Day (better late than never)

Fair isle

It’s been at least 2 years since I picked up some needles and knit something. I found a pattern in my notes and my fingers were very happy to be clicking away. The design was pretty advanced for me, but after counting every 25 stitches, I was pretty good at finding the mistakes and correcting them. Another treat from Clement. I have turned into that mum who posts her child’s artwork on the blog…hello pokey head.

 

Burnt orange

My lovely friend Jen purchased a linen dress by Fog Linen Work at Much & Little in Vancouver, and afterwards realized that white was not going to work for her . She asked me to dye it and I was very excited to say yes. We talked about colours and she produced a photo of a burnt orange skirt from a magazine. I went through my notes and found a recipe using Procion MX for linen. When I was ready to start, I dyed linen swatches to test the recipe and ended up with 2 orange colours that were not what I wanted. With some adjustments, time and colour wheel analyzing, I took the plunge and went for it. Whenever I dye, there is an act of faith that I put into the project and hope for the best. I’m really pleased at how close the colour came out to what we had discussed.

If anyone out there needs a colour change in their garment, shoot me a message and we can talk. I say, if you’re not wearing something you love because of colour, all is not lost. IMG_5560

Dye pot

Dye pot

Results

Results

I have to include a photo of Clement’s wand from Halloween. He whittled a piece of wood and we painted, wrapped and glued stones to make it fit for a wizard.

How to Flip a Collar

I spoke to my uncle Ed recently and he asked if I had ever flipped a collar. I had no idea what he was talking about , and he explained that his collar was worn out on his favorite Tilly red flannel shirt and wanted me to remove it, and sew it back on but flipped. I asked if this was common practice back in the day, and he said “Yes!”. I have a real interest in mending to extend the life of clothes and was up for the challenge. When I inserted the collar, I used a zig-zag stitch to ensure I caught the under side. He recently gave me a sack of walnuts still in the husk for dyeing. I had to open and dry them out and it was a lot of work. Who still holds this kind of knowledge? One cool dude.worn out collar lowres2 lowres3 lowres4

I’ve been playing around with more rag weaving on my simple loom. Happiness.

lowres6 lowres7 lowres8

McLean park fieldhouse night

extracting the wool from the carding wheels

extracting the wool from the carding wheels

weightlessness

weightlessness

drop spindle demo

drop spindle demo

weaving using pegs and graity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastnight I dropped in on Sharon Kallis and her band of spinners, weavers and knitters at the fieldhouse in McLean park in Strathcona, Vancouver. I was delighted to see all the hands at work, and conversation flying. I tried my hand at carding (easy) and then spinning (not easy at all). I look forward to more Monday evenings spent with fine company and shared passions.

Kool Aid

Last week I ran a Kool Aid dye class for kids at College College. We made tie dye patterns with 3 colours. The best part was giving the kids a silkworm cocoon, and then they all decided throw them in the dye pot. genius. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I always get a hankering for pumpkin pie and whipped cream this time of year. I’m enjoying the red, yellow and orange leaves on the trees before their flight down to earth. Now’s a good time to be collecting leaves for making eco print bundles.

Robobird made a rare appearance in the after school backpack. Compliments of 7 year old Clement.

Robobird made a rare appearance in the after school backpack. Compliments of 7 year old Clement.