Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An At Home DOL

For Howard, the first robin sighting is a major event. It's not that he loves spring. It's more that he hates winter and when the robins appear, it's over. Typically, they eat all the old berries off of the mountain ash tree in our front yard before moving on. This year...

... we're running a robin hotel. The window in my studio looks out at the underneath the back deck. There's a main beam running parallel and then joists running away from the wall. In-between nine of the joists are nests. It should be a chirpingly happy place sometime soon. I'm intending to dig out this area and put doors out from the studio to a deck... but probably not this year... although I should clean it up before next spring so they don't come back especially as the word seems to be out that Myrna's place is open for nesting.

I'm working on a bag from recycled jeans using the plain and striped pair above as well as another darker pair. Whenever I grow out of a pair, I cut up the pieces and put them in stash. Denim is one of my favourite fabrics. 

I wanted a project to practice applying studs to before I add LOTS of them to a bag for my daughter. They were a lot easier than I thought they'd be and I'm happy with the look. The front is finished and I'll work on the lining next. Refashioning is - in the scope of my years spent sewing - a relatively new past time that I really enjoy and one that has given me greater confidence...

... to cut into expensive fabrics. This piece of linen is one of my souvenir fabrics which means I bought it on a trip for more money than I'd pay normally. It's from and has an absolutely gorgeous drape. Just before I cut out the pieces, I had one of those what if I wreck it thoughts immediately followed by oh well, then I'll make it into something else. The remnants will definitely become something else. They're too yummy to throw away.

This month, I had planned to be in Ashland, Oregon for the Design Outside the Lines Retreat with Diane Ericson. For several reasons, the trip didn't work out so I decided to have an at home DOL and focus on learning how to wire wrap. I treated myself to a set of starter tools and the proper wire supplies and signed up for several workshops at Craftsy. I've been working through them doing the samples and have shifted from absolutely horrible to not so horrible. This is progress. You can see in the image above, that I make one error consistently. Eventually, I'll get smoother but for now, my solution is to sew a bead on it - LOL.

I'm intrigued with my reaction to wire wrapping. In home economics, I sat down at the sewing machine and fell in love and I have loved sewing in many forms ever since. I breath in fabric and my mind is constantly jumping around with ideas. I've tried numerous other art forms in the over forty years since and none have resonated in the same way.

Knitting is perhaps the closest and while I've studied it at a high level including design, it's more of a meditative, social, out in a group or sitting in front of the TV with Howard, nothing too complicated, kind of thing for me. With wire, I started wrapping and fell in love. My mind is already jumping with ideas that are completely beyond the scope of my abilities but I know if I persevere, I'll be able to incorporate the texture, flow, line, and colour that I see into my head into actual pieces I can wear. YES YES.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - new adventures


  1. Sorry I won't see you down this way this year, but I understand. Enjoy your staycation DOL--I'm sure it will be full of fun and discovery!

    I'm sticking to sewing, myself. I have enough to keep me busy w/out adding in another craft..... ;)

    1. Possibly we'll see each other. I'm still debating a trip to Eugene in the fall to visit a friend. It depends on the exchange rate and timing.

      LOL - I know what you mean about overload. This is working for me for now. Today, I went to the thrift store and picked up some bracelets to use as a base and add wire wrap to. Apparently, I'll have a new "possibilities problem".

  2. Interesting that you already have robins getting ready to nest. Even tho we see them all winter here way south of you I don't think the actual nest building has started. There does seem to be a lot of bird romance going on, however so it will be soon!

    I need to adopt your brave approach to souvenir fabric!


    1. I notice the birds here a lot more than I did in Kamloops. Perhaps nesting now is partly due to the climate although it was A LOT warmer this time last year. Maybe cold equals crawl in "bed".

      For me, I've had so many experiences refashioning or working with scraps or saving a project that went sideways that I've come to enjoy that journey. It builds your confidence. I recommend making some mistakes and seeing where they lead you.

  3. Congratulations on all fronts, Myrna! I'm always excited to see your posts in my inbox. You're an inspiration.
    Thanks for sharing,


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.