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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Alton Mills

About once a year my sister and sometimes our sister in law get together for a girls weekend. this year it was just my sister and I and I went to visit her over family weekend (yeah a 3 day weekend).I was really looking forward to it, my cancer treatment has kept me more or less house bound for the last nine months and it was great to get out of the house and out of town.
Alton Mills in the fall

Next to the dam


The old machinery
Saturday we went to a little village north of Toronto called Alton Mills. The old mill has been made into a group of galleries and artist studios.

Gallery space
I confess I did not take these picture, they actually come from the mills web site.  I had my camera and wished I'd used it for a couple of shots. Basically a lot was to hard to get to with all the snow.
After seeing all there was to see we went for a wonderful lunch at the local 3rd generation bakery called "Rays". One of the artists at the mill recommended it. I would do the same. Great food and they had a talented musician playing his guitar and singing, mostly Gordon Lightfoot songs. He even sounded and look a bit like Gordon. Ah, memories of youth. He did play  others as well such as Neil Diamond, etc. A lot of 60's/ 70's music. Great stuff.
I'm hoping to take a few friends back to the area come the nice weather. Lots to see including some great old houses, including some derelict places...great photo ops. Lots of inspiration for future work.

Friday, February 8, 2013


I've been on a campaign for buttons to use in a new project. Several friends have sent me some or have sent me in a new direction to find some. However, one of my Gallery 96 mates gave me a real treasure, his Grannies sewing box. I had buttons of course...from another era as well as an unusual needle threader, pin cushion, spindles etc. The box itself is priceless.
I think I am going to make a scroll/book out of the 2 spindles. Am still thinking on a piece to commemorate his Granny. Meanwhile another Gallery 96 friend didn't have buttons but gave me a bunch of bone beads from Kenya. He use to teach medicine in Nairobi for several years
How lucky am I ?
Meanwhile I am also involved in a surface design fabric swap. this is the first month of it and I have received these one so far. Top to bottom; reverse stencil print, rust dying and snow dying.
Meanwhile , my own work continues and as usuall I have a couple of things on the go. Here is some more embroidery for the "boro" jacket project. I've given myself  a deadline of the 2nd week in March. When, hopefully the weather starts to change into something warmer.

 I have also started building to figurative bases for some felting. One is a 1/2 torso for  the moss, ferns and toadstools of the forest. The full torso is for another coral reef. Here is how far I've gotten so far. the first one is cast from my old judy....when I used to be that slim (40 yrs ago). the second one is cast on the body of an actress/dancer that I know. Probably the only one willing to pose nude and get covered in coopy plaster.
Adding the head
6 layers of heavy brown paper

                                             Adding pumice gel and beads for texture

Front view, first coat of laytex and aersol stone paint
Back view
Final coat of paint and the beginning of felting next week.