Wanted to thank the Alberta Craft Council Gallery, (Edmonton, Alberta) for the Artist Spotlight for November. They have encouraged me over the past few years to grow and develop my designs. The opportunities they have given me are amazing and continue to push me to new levels of Wearable Art. Always a pleasure to work with on special projects such as the Opera Art Project. I am honoured to be part of this great community of Artists and staff. If you are in the area pop by for a visit and see the wonderful works by local Artists. A great place to buy that special gift for someone or even yourself.
Thank you for all you do!! 🙂 You are an amazing group who have helped many an Artist reach their goals and more. You can see more about the Alberta Craft Council Gallery at http://www.albertacraft.ab.ca
West Coast Inspiration…embellished broches from my visit this past summer. One of my very favourite places to visit as noted previously is the West Coast. In my travels there this year I visited several amazing knitting stores such as the Beehive Wool Shop where I found some amazing Canadian dyed yarns. Here is the outcome of some of these yarns I discovered.
These broches will accompany my various Calming Waters scarves and shawl as well as other Designs this Fall and Winter. I used a variety of yarns for each broche trying to keep a bit of Canadian on each one.
This is the Tide Pool broche, made with Alberta Made Alpaca in the sand colour base from www.albertarosealpacas.com The purple starfish are often seen in the Vancouver and Victoria tide pools and on the rocks by the shore. The Beach Stone and Seaweed are also strewn amongst the tide pools along the beach. The Seaweed is done in beautiful yarn by www.ancientartsfibre.com with the stones being made in Rowan Felted Tweed www.knitrowan.com
The Beach Stone Broche is a combination of the sand with beach stones and the various plant life and seaweed that are placed around by the strength of the waves. Bringing fond memories of walking along the beach with sand between your toes listening to the sounds of the water on a wonderful sunny day. I used Ancient Arts Fibre yarn in this design as well adding a bit of Alberta to the design for another Canadian touch.
The Coral Reef broche is full of different types of coral with a starfish hiding amongst it. The vibrant colours are seen in coral that dances along the bottom of the ocean
with surprises like the starfish nestled within. I was inspired to make coral by the Zen Garden yarn from www.zenyarngarden.com as the colours spoke of coral and other wonderful colours in the ocean life.
The last broche is the Grouse Mountain Broche that was inspired by the yarn from www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com in their Grouse Mountain Colour way. I embellished this broche with a mountain range in the back, stones and rock in the centre and surrounded by the beautiful trees of Grouse Mountain and the Cedars around the area. For those who don’t know Sweet Georgia Yarns is a Vancouver Company, which is very fitting for the design.
This venture was truly enjoyable. Designing some of my favourite memories and sights on my trip is a great way to record what I did and saw. I am already looking forward to my next travel adventure. You can view some of the scarves and the shawl below in the links.
The Calming Waters Scarf with the Beach Stone Broche is the smallest style of scarf in my Calming Waters Collection. Made with Malabrigo Rios Hand Painted Merino Wool base with two different colour ways with Alpaca from Alberta www.albertarosealpacas.com for the sand, Rowan www.knitrowan.com and Malabrigo yarns for the stones with seaweed and ocean plant life done in a wonderful yarn by www.ancientartsfibre.com as an accent. (I previously Blogged about this wonderful yarn in my “Victory in Victoria” blog.
Done in the two different Ocean colour ways of Blue, greens and hints of purples, sometimes other colours. Accented with Alpaca, Blueface Leicester and Merino Wool. The broche can be worn on the scarf or on another piece in your wardrobe.
This design is based on my many trips to the ocean and the West Coast in particular. The inspiration
comes from the wonderful moments by the waters edge. The Calming Waters scarf is the movement of the water splashing on your neckline, or “beach”. The darker yarn shows the rippling of the water and the lighter becomes the waves. The broche is a combination of the sand with beach stones and the various plant life and seaweed that are placed around by the strength of the waves. This design was made with crochet.
I wanted to design a piece where you could bring the calm of the ocean sounds, feel the sand between your toes with the memories of warm days by the beach. I will be doing this design in a orange, blue and sunset colour way for the ocean at sunset! Now you can bring your favourite warm memories by the beach with through the cooler days of Fall, Winter and Spring. It will also be available in a longer scarf and the Shawl/Shrug earlier in one of my Blogs.
Inspired by your heritage is something that can be exhilarating to do and of great importance in ones life. Who you are is greatly influenced by your family’s history and background on various levels. I recently spent a fantastic afternoon at the Local Heritage Festival. I highly suggest you take a visit to your local festival of similar type. The air was filled with wonderful aroma’s of all kinds of delicious foods. One of the tents we just had to stop by was the Ukrainian and Romanian venues. My family just had to have their fill of pyrogies! And were very satisfied with their choice.
I was pleasantly surprise how much I was inspired by this day at the festival. It was a wealth of beautiful items and traditions to excite my artistic goals. Everywhere you looked there was something else to dance in your mind of all the things you could make with that inspiration. This first picture is of the Romanian tent with hand painted eggs and other wonderful items. I especially loved the vest in black and white. Just stunning.
These incredible Ukrainian Hand Painted Eggs were so beautiful and detailed. Just look at the amazing colours and designs on each one. This inspires me to do some intarsia and fairisle knitting, something I haven’t done in years. These two techniques used to be such a big part of my designs. Perhaps I need to knit a Ukrainian Easter Egg! Hmmmm.
You could spend a whole day at the Heritage Festival in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and constantly be inspired. All the different foods and artifacts to view and enjoy makes it one of my new favourite things to do in the summer. Edmonton happens to be call the Festival City as it has so many different festivals each year.
One of the things I loved the most was all the different fiber related history and items I found. Below is a collection of stunning works and such that I enjoyed looking at. You realize that fiber arts have been around forever and to be a part of it in the present is a true honour. The history of fiber arts is amazing as a necessity as well as an art form. Take some time to look into the past for inspiration and make something new from it for the future!
There were so many Countries to visit and many pictures later I felt like I had taken a trip around the world in one afternoon. It was amazing!
The Alberta Bound collection was designed by request of the Alberta Craft Council Gallery Store at www.albertacraft.ab.ca The goal was to design a group of designs with an Alberta theme. Some of the designs include fibres grown right here in Alberta.
This collection is the Alberta Bound Cozy Collars with an Alberta Rose broche that can be worn on the design or another piece in your wardrobe. Malabrigo Rios Hand Painted Merino Wool was used to make this group of unique designs with a bit of Alberta grown Kid Mohair on the broche. The themes are Alberta Sunrise, Alberta Hay Fields, Flax Fields of Alberta and Aurora Borealis. I will continue to change the themes as I go on the bases of the collars and pull inspiration from other areas.
Try taking your local inspiration and adding a touch to your knitting or crochet. An embellishment can add that special touch to your wardrobe. Put it on a broche and you instantly have a portable unique accent. Try it! Create something new, I must warn it’s addictive!
Inspiration is the key to great design. You can be inspired by the smallest thing you see or a moment experienced. It drives people to expand their inner creative desires to share with the world. I love that with each of the Neck Warmers I can just design what I feel that day or add a touch of something that inspired me to share with those who purchase or just enjoy a peek into my design world.
You view more of my unique Valerie Baber Designs, Wearable Art pieces on my website at www.vbaberdesigns.com
I love what I do, it is the best job I have had the pleasure of working in. I must get back to working on my Peter Pan Collars, the are waiting for my inspiration next. Have a fantastic, creative day!