The Room

This is the architectural piece that was part of the same show as Song of the Earth.

The Room

The Room is a mysterious place where something is about to come into being. The Green Man, in past mythology, a symbol of rebirth and the cycle of growth each spring, steps through a wall. Three ambiguous figures are floating above also seemingly ready to enter the room. They are behind a curtain (mesh that is not visible in the picture). What is behind the door? Where does it lead?

The 2 side walls are painted muslin layered with organza and hand embroidered with variegated thread. Candy sticks are covered with a thick layer of gesso and painted. The three figures are embroidered applique. The ceiling is soft leather layered with black mesh and the floor is machine stitched on a taffeta like material. The green man is sculpted from polymer clay and painted.







This is another example of playing in Photoshop with the NASA photo of a Greenland glacier. It is commercially printed on cotton. I enhanced the colors with paint and colored pencils and then embellished it with embroidery and beads.  Some lines are outlined with hand and machine stitching that give a quilted effect in places. The rising figure is an applique.

Song of the Earth

Rapt Threads is a special interest group, a part of the Embroiderers’ Guild of Victoria, whose members want to explore their own designs. In preparation for a show, we decided to make bowls and create an architectural piece. The following is my bowl.

The bowl sits on a mirror so that the underside can be seen. There are thread “twigs” with needle lace leaves attached to them. the background is a gold silk like fabric that is free motion stitched

The bowl is constructed of Tyvek that has been painted and then heat applied to create a lacy effect. At the bottom of the bowl is a burnished copper sea turtle, a nod to the Indigenous People’s concept of Turtle Island. In this piece, the turtle sings a song that rises and creates the land, the plants, and the threads of life that will eventually become their final form. Each section of the bowl has needle felted silk, small stones, beads, and backstitched thread twigs



Scottish Diaspora Tapestry

This absolutely beautiful and amazing tapestry is coming to Victoria. I embroidered on 2 of about 300 of the panels that make up the tapestry depicting the diaspora from around the world. Don’t miss it!!Diaspora Poster1

Current Threads 2015 Garden Tapestry

Medieval Garden

Medieval Garden

arbor panel close up

The background is painted linen with an applied centre panel of silk fusion. Various embroidery techniques are included – surface embroidery, machine embroidery, machine embroidered slips, hardanger, blackwork, and raised embroidery in the casalguidi style.

The basic format is inspired by the old tapestries and by historical descriptions of life in a medieval castle and  loosely applied to a band sampler style. The size of this piece is 12″ X 60″. It was part of 2 shows by the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association in Duncan and Sooke. All the pieces in the shows were similar sized panels.



Greenland Glacier

Greenland Glacier124This is one of my entries into the Embroiderers’ Guild of Victoria exhibition opening Sept 5 at the Tulista Gallery in Sidney BC. It will be on display until Sept 20.  It was inspired by a NASA satellite photo of a Greenland glacier that I have modified in Photoshop.

The background is painted linen and the glacier is needlefelted with surface embroidery. I also wrote a haiku deriving from an experience I had while viewing a glacier in Alaska. Up till then, it had not occurred to me that a glacier could be so noisy. Everything was so quiet until the ice cracked very loudly and this was followed by a huge clap of thunder reminding me of my days on the Canadian Prairies during a severe lightening storm when the thunder can be deafening. It all made a memorable impression on me.

More Digital Printing

The Forest

This abstract originated from a satellite photo of a Greenland glacier. Every once in a while I like to just play in Photoshop with a photo and see what happens when I apply different filters and this was one result. In this case, I even changed the colors from white, blue, and navy blue to the browns. When the picture turned to the browns, I immediately saw huge tree trunks, a river, a waterfall, trees in the distance, and a rock ledge, all superimposed on each other.


This image is one of the three that I took to the digital printing workshop but not one I worked on during the workshop because that workshop’s focus was landscape. It is commercially printed on cotton. I have enhanced it with transparent acrylic paints and colored pencils. Then I machine and hand embroidered select areas on the surface using a lot of copper metallic threads.  It has also been partially quilted and beaded.  It is 16″X 20″

This is a closeup of the waterfall.

The Forest was part of Warm the Winter: Abstraction at the Coast Collective Gallery in January 2015.



Digital Printing Workshop

Path-to-Prospect-Lake-editFor this workshop, I was to print a large scale image onto fabric. I chose this pathway to Prospect Lake on Vancouver Island that turned out to be a less than good choice for this particular technique because it is too detailed.  The size is 16″ X 24″.

First I overpainted many areas with colored pencils and transparent acrylic paints to bring out the colors, especially the moss. I then outlined many of the branches with free motion machine stitching and added highlight stitching along the grassy parts of the path and in the ferns. This also served the purpose of quilting the fabric to the underlayers and to give roundness to many of the areas and depth to the overall image.

I enjoyed this workshop but it is not something that I will pursue to any degree in the future. Having said that, I took 3 printed images to the workshop, 2 of which are abstracts. I have finished no. 2. It just needs to be stretched and mounted and no. 3 is a work in progress. So stay tuned!

Scottish Diaspora Tapestry

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry is a project to involve communities around the world in the celebration of Scottish heritage and culture.

Scots have migrated to every corner of the globe and have often had a profound impact on the areas where they settled.  This embroidery project will record the stories of 25 such communities worldwide.

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry will consist of 250 individual panels, embroidered by volunteers in each community.  Their Scottish links will be documented and incorporated into the panels, which will all be assembled and displayed in Scotland as part of 2014 Homecoming.

The Embroiderers’ Guild of Victoria stitched 4 panels. They are about 18″ square. The drawings and materials were supplied by the designers in Prestonpans, Scotland

The four panels we worked on are for Robert Dunsmuir, Agnes Deans Cameron, Simon Fraser, and Sir James Douglas. As a member of the Guild, I stitched the hair, face, and cravat of Robert Dunsmuir and the section showing the Arctic ice floes and mountains in the lower right hand corner of the Agnes Deans Cameron panel.

Below are the embroidered panels ready to be sent to Scotland for the final finishing and incorporating into the tapestry.

DunsmuirPanelROBERT DUNSMUIR, was a coal-miner, entrepreneur, and politician, born 31 Aug. 1825 near Kilmarnock (Strathclyde), Scotland. He was highly influential on Vancouver Island leaving the city a legacy of a castle he built for his wife that is now a major tourist attraction in the city.




AgnesPanelAGNES DEANS CAMERON, educator, writer, lecturer, and adventurer, was born 20 Dec. 1863 in Victoria, the youngest child of successful Scots immigrant parents.

Cameron’s initial choice of a teaching career was not an unusual one for a young Canadian woman in 1880. Her distinction lies in her level of achievement in the patriarchal public school system of British Columbia and her contributions to the western Canadian debates about education.


fur-trader and explorer; was born at Mapletown (near Bennington, Vt) in 1776. He died on his farm near St Andrews, Stormont County, Canada West, 18 Aug. 1862. He was the eighth and youngest child of Simon Fraser, who was descended from the Frasers of Culbokie and Guisachan, a cadet branch of the Frasers of Lovat. The Fraser River is named after him as well as a university.


Hudson Bay Company officer and governor of   Vancouver Island and of the crown colony of British Columbia was born 5 June or 15 Aug. 1803. He died at Victoria, B.C., 2 Aug. 1877.

A “Scotch West Indian,” as he was known in the fur trade, James Douglas was the son of John Douglas and nephew of Lieutenant-General Sir Neill Douglas. John Douglas and his three brothers, merchants in Glasgow, held interests in sugar plantations in British Guiana.