Over the last two months I have had the good fortune to work on three special embroidery projects. First is a project initiated by a good friend from Victoria BC – Diana Weymar – the second piece was a contribution to the You Are So Very Beautiful (#YRSVB), a Craftivist projects by an idol of mine Betsy Greer and finally, the third project was one created as a gift for a sweet friend, Mikaela Comella, upon leaving our province to pursue important new opportunities and dreams in Ontario..
First pictured here is the piece which I created for artist Diana Weymar‘s Interwoven Stories community project. (I finished this project last week on an Air Canada flight to Toronto, hence the ‘cafe’ pretzels featured in one image..)
For this Community Stitching Project, Diana Weymar invites all Princeton-area residents to share their stories through embroidery. Over 200 fabric pages – created to look like traditional 3-hole lined paper – will be distributed to community members of all ages to document a favorite place, a memory, or personal experience through embroidery. -Princeton Arts Council
Your absence has gone through me
Like a thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.
-W.S. Merwin, Separation
Given that I am not from Princeton, and that my trip there this past spring was in fact my first visit to that special little city, my bank of memories from which to stitch was very specific. Diana’s request for this community embroidery project was to stitch something (text,image, or a combination of both) having to do with your connection/memory/history of Princeton therefor, I chose to copy and embroider the amazing ‘Welcome Home’ card that my nine year old daughter created for me upon returning home to Canada from the opening of the Every Fiber of My Being (I should say that this exhibition, in which my work was featured along side that of Maira Kalman, Amy Meissner, Cassie Jones, Diana Weymar, Caroline Lathan-Stiefel and Katie Truk, was such an amazing privilege in which to participate). Each of the squares from my daughter’s card represents some element or aspect of that exhibition. This community project, Interwoven Stories, will eventually be installed in the Princeton Public Library this coming November.
For the second project I began with two vintage embroidered works, both pieces were created by members of the New Brunswick Craft Guild (this information was printed on the back of the frame when I found them at a thrift store, and a major element in my having selected them), overtop of which I embroidered the words You are Ready, & You are NOT your Anxiety. Upon completion, these works were mailed to Durham North Carolina as part of Betsy Greer’s You Are So Very Beautiful project (to check out more of the fantastic pieces created by other craftivists for this project of Greer’s, search the hashtag #YASVB on Facebook and/or twitter). This craftivist project is currently being featured in the exhibition CounterCraft: Voices of the Indie Craft Community at the Fuller Craft Museum on Massachusetts, and I understand will be connected to other art-drops in Atlanta, Vancouver, Melbourne and London. Yay Betsy!
A special friend of ours, Mikaela Comella, moved from New Brunswick back to her home province of Ontario last month. She will be sadly missed by those of us left behind here in beautiful NB.
As a “see-you-again-soon-gift”, I made the first ever ‘GAG Bag’ for her where I printed with a block print (I had already carved the image, as my plan is to make GAG T’s this summer) and then embroidered a ‘I (heart) NB’ in the official provincial colours of wine and olive green front for her onto the bottom.
GAG bag, will travel…!
Stitching together the events of a life, I am so very fortunate (and grateful) for each of these memories..