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Archive for July, 2009

Amazing Art Students

Yesterday, I attended the annual Kitsap Arts and Crafts Festival.  This year it was moved to Kingston . . . which was wonderful since the weather was hot and this location is near the waters of Puget Sound and the breezes off the water are the equivalent of nature’s air conditioning.  It’s not the biggest arts and crafts festival in the area . . . however, it is one of the events in my area that showcases local artists and their crafts and I had been looking forward to going for quite a while.

I always enjoy going to arts and crafts festivals.  It’s great to see other artists that have worked hard creating and then display their work for the public.  I’m enthused and inspired at the same time . . . and usually, a bit poorer.  Although, this year I was especially thrilled to walk through one of the exhibits, the Student Art Show.  Local students in junior high, middle school, and high school are eligible to enter their art for the judged exhibit.  Elementary school students may also enter . . . although, their work is not judged.

Walking through the students’ exhibit was a real treat!  I was impressed with their talent and creativity . . . demonstrating impressive skill regardless of their age.  Several of the pieces were for sale and most had been sold by the time I arrived.  However, there was one piece that caught my attention

"Chanel" - A charcoal drawing by Helena Peterson

"Chanel" - A charcoal drawing by Helena Peterson

I was struck by the image of a girl peering out into the world . . . and then I read the information about the charcoal drawing “Chanel“.  It was completed by Helena Peterson, an 8th grader  at West Sound Academy, a college preparatory school for grades 6-12 in my area.  8th grade!!!  Wow!  I hadn’t graduated from stick figures at that age.

Chanel” was for sale for such a modest amount that I knew she had to come home with me.  I plan on having her hang in my studio to inspire me . . . and to remind me of the potential of young people.  They’re capable of so much more than we sometimes remember . . . afterall, I was learning to weave at that age. 

With the ongoing demise of art programs in our schools, it was refreshing and comforting to see such an impressive collection of work by students and know that there are some communities that endeavor to maintain and grow art programs.  I hope the students that entered the exhibit recognize not only their talent and potential, but the courage necessary to publicly display their work . . . and allowing the public to judge it.  They have inspired me!  Great job . . . and thank you!

Lavender Chill

I don’t know if I would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself . . . mellow crowds of people!  Yesterday I headed to Sequim . . . which is pronounced ‘Squim’ . . . about 90 minutes north of where I live for their annual Lavender Festival.  Sequim, WA is located at the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula and looks over the Straights of Juan de Fuca and across to British Columbia.

For several years I have wanted to attend the Lavender Festival and this weekend was perfect for a visit.  The Lavender Festival is a collection of events taking place on numerous lavender farms and the downtown area.  First stop was Street Fair Lavender Central with over 140 booths of lavender and lavender products and local artisans.  As soon as one steps out of your car you are hit with the intoxicating aroma of lavender . . . The entire town is engulfed in it!  Normally I stay away from crowds since I’m often stepped on by taller people that don’t see me . . . however, this was different.  Everyone seemed mellowed out by the unavoidable lavender scent.  Even the smells from the food vendors couldn’t compete.  No one seemed to mind getting bumped into or accidently elbowed.  Perhaps there really is something to the calming effects to lavender aroma therapy.

 Second stop was Jardin du Soleil Lavender . . . one of the seven large lavender farms participating in the festival.  I loved the sight of people serenely walking through the lavender fields. Lavender field

 No one seemed to be rushed . . . Just enjoying a beautiful day.  http://www.jardindusoleil.com/

 Third stop was Purple Haze Lavender Farm http://www.purplehazelavender.com/ . . . This is probably the best known of the lavender farms in the area.  Everything is lavender . . . including the ice cream.  It was here I ran into two fiber artists, Renee Emiko Brock-Richmond and Dixie McAndrews, from the North Olympic Shuttle & Spindle Guild . . . a guild I’ve had the opportunity to speak at a couple of times.  It was wonderful to see fiber artists thick in the middle of the festival.  It was through them I learned about the upcoming North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival  scheduled for the first weekend in October.  There are workshops from beginning spinning to using your personal computer to print on silk to sewing a rice paper scarf to parfait dyeing.  Every workshop is extremely reasonable in price with modest materials fees (if there is one).  Now the key is figuring out what I want to sign up for.  If you’re interested, check out  http://www.fiberartsfestival.org/ for more information.

Lavendar field

 Next year I’ll plan on an earlier start so I can visit more of the lavender farms . . . when one is under the spell of lavender, taking one’s time is a given.  I was so inspired by yesterday’s adventures, that I’ve decided to create a lavender swivel treadling pattern.  Lavender swivel pattern

Hello, World!

I have finally decided to begin a blog.  I spent last weekend with my friend, Penny Peters, in Berkeley and after our adventures and her encouragement . . . here is my first blog post.

I made this trip to learn more about The Woven Pixel . . . which is using Photoshop to design and draft weaving patterns.  It’s an ominous learning curve, but I have a start and look forward to seeing where it may take me.  While I was there, one of the things I was fortunate enough to do was see the Connections: Small Tapestry International exhibit.  It’s a wonderful and impressive collection of small contemporary tapestries . . . an exhibit that must be seen to be appreciated.  To learn more about it, check out http://www.sjquiltmuseum.org/exhibitions.html

I hope through this blog I’m able to share with others the people and places of my textile adventures.  Every once in a while I get to spend time with someone or see something fun and unusual . . . like the cows that greeted me last year when I was driving to Oliver, British Columbia to teach a workshop.


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