In my Garden

In my Garden this year I decided to plant various colors of tea roses and other favourite flowers of mine. I have decided that I am addicted to tea roses. They are so beautiful and unique with so many colours and types to enjoy.

I am back on my blog and will continue to post a variety of things I enjoy and make here. I am currently dealing with Arthritis and have decided I need to change my focus and have more FUN.

You can still purchase my unique elegant designs, patterns and beautiful yarns, buttons and more at www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com

Have an amazing day today.

Artist Spotlight…Thanks for including me!

Calming Waters Shawl.
Calming Waters Shawl.

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!! ūüôā 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

Artist Spotlight: http://www.albertacraft.ab.ca/artist-spotlight/

Victory in Victoria…Yarn finds of course!

Wall of  Yarn
Wall of Yarn

Victory in Victoria, B.C…..Yarn finds of course!¬† One of my favourite things to do while on holidays is to check out the local knitting stores to see what they offer.¬† I find most knitting stores are very different and each have their own unique style and character.¬† I managed to squeeze in two fabulous knitting store visits while in Victoria, I wanted to see more of them, but that will have to be on my next trip.¬† You can only make your family wait so long before they get antsy.¬† You know how it is, “I will only be a few minutes”, turns into a few hours. LOL

Beehive Wool Shop
Beehive Wool Shop

The first store I sought out was the Beehive Wool Shop downtown Victoria.¬† It was just a few blocks away from where we were staying.¬† A beautiful walk along¬†the downtown core of Victoria, B.C. with amazing architecture and interesting and unique stores¬†and of course coffee shops!!¬† ūüôā¬† I walked into to this beautiful architectural building and was¬†pleasantly surprised with the vast amount of various yarns.¬† This is a knitting store worthy of a visit and a great place to get¬†your friends together and spend some time relishing over the unique and vast array of yarns and other wonderful accessories.¬† I personally have never been in a yarn store so large and I was in my glory.¬† Didn’t want to leave and could have easily spent the day there, or maybe the¬†whole weekend. ūüôā¬† ¬†Very friendly staff and everything you would need or want just waiting for you to enjoy.

Yarn was everywhere, but what impressed me the most was how organized it was.¬† The colours didn’t overwhelm you as they played amongst the store enticing you everywhere you turned.¬† It was like a work of art in front of you each skein and ball of yarn perfectly placed.¬† Sounds strange, but it was really very lovely just to look around and around.¬†¬† Next visit I will be spending a lot more time in this wonderful wool store, it was like being in yarn heaven.¬† http://www.beehivewoolshop.com/

Local Yarns and more
Local Yarns and more

My goal was to find some locally made yarn that I could use in my Water Ways Collection I am currently working on for this Fall and Winter season.  It was an easy success at the Beehive Wool Shop.  I choose three different yarns all made in Canada as I wanted to add a local feel to this group of designs.  The 3 balls of yarn on the right are the Rowan Kidsilk Haze Glamour.  I just had to purchase these for me, hmmm what to make.  This yarn is absolutely beautiful to work with an added sequin nicely spaced.

On the top left the yarn is by Sweet Georgia Yarns and is hand painted in Vancouver, B.C.¬† I choose it as it has the wonderful greens and browns of the very large cedar trees in Victoria and Vancouver.¬†Made with¬†superwash merino wool and nylon. ¬†I have always loved these amazing trees and the aroma that eludes from them.¬† I even put in a cedar deck at home just so I felt like I was near them.¬† Felicia,¬†Sweet Georgia Designer of this¬†wonderful yarn was inspired to make this colour way as: “Grouse is one of my favourites… it’s actually named for Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. It’s where I first learned to snowboard and where my husband and I held our wedding reception two years ago. To me, it feels like an Emily Carr painting of the woods”.¬† http://www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com/

The skein below this one is by Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts, from the Calgary, Alberta, Canada region. This skein is the 100% Blueface Leicester fingerling weight in the Abalone colour way.¬† I purchased this skein to use for the amazing plant life in and out of the water ways and ocean.¬† I love finding out what other Artists are inspired by. ¬†Caroline, the Artist who dyes this beautiful yarn, quoted: ¬†“This is a very popular colour way and came about as part of my love of the west coast. ¬† I called it Abalone as it is meant to capture something that feels sublimely west coast to me… Sea otters and shell fish! ¬†I¬†was particularly struck as a child by the idea of sea otters eating abalone while wound up in sea weed, and of course these shell fish are rare and desirable themselves, so put them together with sea otters and they are rather exciting. ¬†And of course they have very pretty shells. ¬†I remember the¬†first time I saw an otter in the wild in the ocean – it was tremendously exciting as I had read about them as a child, but being a prairie girl I wasn’t able to just go see an otter. ¬†When I saw the otters I was out canoeing on the ocean (no kayaks for us) and it was a gorgeous day. ¬†We watched them playing for quite a while and it is a cherished memory. ¬†We found shells on a little beach nearby later on. ¬†So abalone the colour way captures the colours of the water, the trees on the shore, and of course the colours of something an otter really likes to eat!¬†¬†http://ancientartsfibre.com/

I was excited to find that these Fibre Artists have a story behind their colour choices which are consistent with what I purchased them for.  They obviously do a great job at choosing their colour ways as I was instantly drawn to them all. Ancient Arts Fibre also has a wonderful collection of yarns that benefit rescue cats.  Be sure to visit her website for more information.

And the last skein is from Zen Yarn Garden, based in Ontario, Canada.¬† This wonderful yarn is a superwash merino wool, cashmere and nylon blend.¬† The colours will be perfect for the coral and other sea creatures alike of the West Coast.¬† Lisa quoted: ¬†“most of our colourways are created to be complimentary, saturated and rich in colour so that’s our inspiration for the majority of them”.¬†¬†¬†¬†http://www.zenyarngarden.co/

I wanted to support the local yarn Artists in my venture to design with a Water Way theme.  Check out these wonderful yarns and your local Fibre Artists to see what treasures you may find.  Be sure to visit the websites above and see what inspires their work and take a visit to the Beehive Wool store when you are in Victoria, B.C.

While in Victoria I found another local knitting store and spent some time looking at these amazing hand made clay buttons by a local Artist and of course bought more yarn! ūüôā¬† I will blog that on another day.¬† As¬†well we have a wonderful yarn local yarn store in Edmonton, River City Yarns, where I purchase many of my other unique yarns but I will save that visit preview for another day as I need some pictures of all their new yarns.¬† Check out their fabulous workshops at www.rivercityyarns.com

Off to be inspired by these amazing yarns and the memory of a beautiful holiday and fantastic wool store.  Here are more pictures to tease you into a visit to this wonderful wool store.  A link to their website and more information about them. Did you know they have been around for over 100 years.  Wow. The changes they have seen over the years.  http://www.beehivewoolshop.com/about.html

Another wall of yarn
Another wall of yarn
Fibre galore!
Fibre galore!

Inspired by our Heritage

Eastern European
Eastern European

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.

Ukrainian Hand Painted Eggs
Ukrainian Hand Painted Eggs

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!

spinning carding20130804_13403820130804_12544020130804_134046

 

Oh’ Canada Day!

Canada Day was such a wonderful day!  Started out with beautiful sunshine and amazing weather with a coffee on the deck.  My family and I decided to take in breakfast at the Local Fairmont Hotel and sit outside near the beautiful gardens.

Fairmont Hotel
Fairmont Hotel

We have taken on a new type of mini vacation on the long weekends this year and having a wonderful breakfast or dinner at a fancy hotel making it feel like you went away on a lovely weekend retreat at a fraction of the cost.  A real treat sitting in the wonderful garden café restaurant enjoying the sun, coffee and wonderful delights.  Here are a few pictures of the view, hotel and gardens.  Great way to celebrate Canada Day in a historical building full of memories of the past.

Flowers at the Fairmont
Flowers at the Fairmont
 River View
River View

Off we went to see what else we could find and came across one of the wonderful local parks.  This one is famous for the manmade lake where you can paddle boat at one end and just enjoy the feel of being at the lake in the center of the city.

Came across some adorable goslings with their parents.  Baby ducks were busy in the water swimming under the water and sunning themselves.

Baby Geese
Baby Geese

It kept us busy for a while just watching the nature around us.   We went on to check out a few other places on our way home and had an amazing Canada Day.  Happy Canada Day and July 4th to all.