BCA Residency Showcase

After a morning of mending, the community and I enjoyed an afternoon of discussion, snacks, and art. Our community weaving turned out Beautiful. All of the wools were naturally dyed with local materials the community grew, foraged or used food scraps. They dyed the materials with the solar dye kits they picked up throughout the summer and then brought in their finished piece to add to the weaving. 

It was so lovely to hear about peoples experiments and stories of how the project brought families and neighbours closer together. We enjoyed snacks and stories and a friend of mine even came out from Medicine Hat to surprise me. 

Along with the weaving I showcased three photographs from my partner Mike which were of my dye plants I have grown and rusty bits I use for dyeing with. I also had two pieces, a bundle dyed cloth and a stitched and rusted piece. 

An afternoon of Visible Mending

This workshop at the BCA really made my heart sing. In a world of throw away culture and fast fashion I wasn’t sure what the turnout would be. I was blown away, in over three hours we had about twenty six  people attend of all ages. Some brought items to mend and others came to do samples. I was so impressed with the eagerness to learn. From the man who came to mend his work pants, children learning to stitch, and women from our local seniors home having a morning of socializing and learning new skills. It was a blast and enjoyed by all, the workshop was three hours but many stayed to stitch for another hour until our showcase started.

A few Projects I’m Working on

It’s been a busy summer with my residency and markets with The General Bean

But I have found some time to work on a few things. I’ve started a new sweater top from wool I dyed with marigolds. It’s a sport weight local wool that I used. Pictures coming soon!

And here’s a rust, indigo and stitch piece I’m working on for the showcase at the BCA.


Movie in the Park!

Movie in the Park was a blast at the BCA!

I set up a booth at the park with the helps of Bean and Mike. Bean got her face painted with our logo of our small business The General Bean which was fun.

I had the weaving set up for participants to continue adding to. It’s really coming along. We have only a few more days to finish it up. By the end of the evening it was pretty much there.

I also set up a table for participants to try out needle felting and create hearts to take home. Which I didn’t get any photographs of but I did get some of one of the attendees learning from Mike how to mend her Hudsons Bay Blanket. She was delighted to be able to mend a hole in her beloved blanket.

Another participant was having so much fun he stayed at the table for the whole three hours and moved beyond hearts to a favourite character.

Such a fun evening connection with neighbours and teaching new skills.

Make sure to join us next Saturday for visible mending and our Showcase with the unveiling of our weaving!


Pumpkin Felting

This Saturday we had a full room of pumpkin making!

The BCA has a lovely studio space and we filled it with all ages from kids to adults, families and neighbours enjoyed learning to needle felt while creating a sweet pumpkin to take home. It was so lovely to connect and hear about how peoples dye experiences were coming along and the excitement of the weaving coming together.

We made many pumpkins and even adults who only came to watch were quickly joining in on the fun.

Students got to take home their materials and a sheet of instructions for reference for future pumpkin making.

August Long Weekend

The August long weekend is an eventful time in my neighbourhood. On the holiday Monday we have the Tour De Bowness which is a bike race and festival on the main street in Bowness. This year I set up along beside the BCA booth to hand out more solar dye kits, encourage people to add to our weaving and let them know about our upcoming events.

In preparation I dyed up some more wool. The lighter is mushroom and the darker is black tea.

Join me next weeknd for needle felting pumpkins at the BCA!

Rust Dyeing!

I’ve been playing around with rust dyeing, which is my current favourite thing. I took a class over the winter through Maiwa with Natalie Grambow. Such an amazing course, I highly recommend it.

I started with some rusted pieces 

Wrapped them in cloth

Dipped some in Indigo ( Later)

and also did up some cotton and wool for the Community project at the BCA

Travels and Residency Set Up

My first week of July was actually spent in BC. We headed to Kamloops for Art in The Park on Canada Day. We had an amazing day connecting with new customers, sharing our wares and chatting natural dying and felting. We camped up near Sun Peaks at Kneouf Lake. It was a beautiful camp site and a nice escape from City life. In our haste to get out the door Mike forgot all his sleeping gear and the pump for his mattress ( thankfully the one Bean and I share had a built in pump) so it was a chilly weekend as we shared our blankets and he slept on the ground.

After the weekend we headed to Kelowna for a few days to visit family and friends and chill for a few days. We visited Kangaroos, Bean swam in the lake and enjoyed unplugging.

Thursday was a long drive home and made a little longer as my facebook gardening groups blew up with news of intense hail in my neighbourhood which lasted 45 minutes. As we drove into the city, there were cars that had slid off the roads and water pooling in many places. Once we got home I ran to check on my plants and many were snapped and decimated. So my dye garden this year will be very minimal unfortunately.

Friday was spent setting up part of my art display at the Bowness Community Association and then an assembly line of solar dye kit making. 

The annual Bowness Stampede breakfast took place on Saturday and I set up to hand out solar dye kits. It was a lovely day connecting with the community and hearing everyone’s excitement for the project. I handed out about 80 jars/kits. I can’t wait to see everyone’s projects. If you are participating please share on Instagram #localcoloryyc

More kits can be picked up Monday-Friday at the Bowness Community Association if you missed out. Or create your own using our instructions.