I love that we get a long weekend in the middle of winter. An extra day at the cottage. I get a few more days to prepare for Registration day.


February 25th, this Saturday begins registration for the new term.

Truly we have some fun things instore.  Pick up a brochure in the shop or download it from web site. Come in and see Barb’s beautiful display of the samples.  Sorry, I know the images are not on the workshop page yet, I am working on it. Check back later in the week.


Read carefully because we are changing things up a little this term. We are doing a more intense focus on some of our favorite things. For example Cindy is doing a whole day of etching on metal and Catherine has an amazing new seed bead class, Life is a Circus which is the beginning of April. I am doing four “Playdays”. Enrolment is limited to four people, and ideally I would like the same four people to join me for all four days so that why I have made it so affordable. Nan Smith is doing two full days on Polymer Clay this term. Sue Henry is back and in full swing with some great classes. This term may be short but it is going to be a wonderful ride so don’t miss any of it.




stay-focused-stay-productiveIt is hard for me to believe that Christmas is almost here. I have had my head down and working hard. It is certainly my style. Once again this term has been extremely exciting. Ok really really busy but exciting. I have learned so much and the ideas are flowing.

Genevieve’s classes stimulated me to start this fabulous pieces that combines basket weave and ndebelle  (which is really one in the same) but I use, both two hole beads and  the original one hole beads in the same piece, magic happens. Eva and Nan’s dip into polymer clay has opened a door for me that I shut along time ago. I find myself wanting to refine my skills in this area to add this amazingly useful and simple clay to my repertoire. On my own I have explored a new wire technique that I am loving and several new methods of adding colour to metal. The results of both are pushing my work forward in leaps and bonds.  I dreamed of a  whole new concept that would make an amazing  jewelry line. The idea seems to be incorporating all that I have been learning for the last 20 years.  So my resolution for the New Year is to spend more time in the studio. Talking about studio space I have added another metal bench and a long work station. So in the New Year I will be offering some rentable time in the metal shop !


Twenty years!! and I still have the passion and excitement for this little corner of paradise. Ok, not ever day is happy go lucky but every single day brings learning and growth.free-snowman-clipart-holiday-clip-art-of-a-festive-winter-snowman-decorated-with-colorful-christmas-tree-lights-on-white-by-djart-634

May all of you be blessed with happiness, learning and growth for this holiday season and for ever moment of the coming year. We are so very lucky to be exactly where we are and at the stage of life we are at. Let’s enjoy it.

Ok some important dates. I will be closed between Christmas and New Years. We will close at 3 on the 24th  and reopen on Tuesday January 3rd.  The first week of January I will have my one Sale of the year.

Thank-you ! Thank-you ! Thank-you !! Sale

Tuesday January 3rd  20% off

Wednesday January 4th 30% off

                                                                              Thursday January 5th 40 %  off

                                                                                    Friday January 6th 40 %  off

Saturday January 7th 50 % off

One more thing. Proposals for new classes are due January 4th and samples due the 7th so get your ideas together.






The Hubble

Do you know the Hubble stitch? The Hubble stitch is fast becoming a staple in the bead community. Genevieve Habib has developed a series of classes that will allow you to become an expert with this new stitch. The designs are Genevieve own creations and show how versatile the stitch is


embelished Hubble

but also how clever and unique the designer is as well. Genevieve has style to her work that I have not seen elsewhere. I believe it has to do with her years of working with fabric and costume design. Come and study with this talented artist and glean some of the magic that she exudes.


The Hubble Wave


She starts with the basics Hubble stitch 101 (October 16th and December 11th.You can see you will have lots of time to play with the stitch and become really comfortable with it and then she will show you some embellishing techniques in December. The Hubble Wave (October 16th) is for those who have already taken the Hubble before and want to go


The Hubble Twist

further with it. Both groups could continue with the Hubble Chain Rope (January 22nd ) and\or Do the Hubble Twist.(January 22nd )

Edited by Wendy Keir-Mattice


For those of you that read my blog on the 19th this was later the same day (August 8th 2016)

I also did the The Textile Museum of Canada. The Textile Museum of Canada is truly a hidden gem. The shows that day where “Worlds on a String: Beads, Journeys, Inspiration” and “Bliss, Garden Real and imagined”.

After all these years of studying beads this world never ceases to educate, entertain and excite me. I have shared a few images here with you. I went through several battery changes and filled a camera card that day. The museum was so quiet and civilized compared to the ROM. The little gift shop is not to be missed and a great place to get some unique Christmas gifts for reasonable prices. They will let you in to shop for free. Also the library! Yes a whole library on the world of Textiles. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this. It is also a place to donate your books. I’m not sure if you know, but all Louise’s wool went to this great place. They really appreciated the donation and said her tent of wool was the highlight of their fund raiser this year.

The second show we attended at the Textile Museum,

 I called it the flower show but it was really “Bliss: Garden real and imagined”. I went because I thought my girlfriend would enjoy it and I could endure. Not so much! My friend loved it but so did I. I liken this to the time I decided to put the word GOD back in my vocabulary. Why I removed GOD from my vocabulary was because of my own prejudices about religion.  Then I discovered the accumulated energy around the world and it was powerful. Well … flowers are similar.

I never use flowers in my work. Somewhere along the way I decided I am not a flower person, I filed them under too feminine, too over used and too pretty.  It must have been in a less enlightened time. I can’t believe I would discount such amazing beauty, such opportunity, and such accumulated history. My eyes have been opened, I am awake now!

The images are just a few from the show. It examined ways garden images have been used on textiles throughout history, all over the world. A timeless universal language.

Edited by Wendy Keir-Mattice

I’m not ready to leave summer behind, but the fall term is on it’s way. I have had the best summer, even though it was way too hot for me. I actually bought an air conditioner for my studio and even slept outside one night to escape the heat. This summer I took a trip for entirely personal reasons, I went north to the Yukon to visit my youngest son. The Yukon is truly amazing, the space, the landscape, the people, the food, the artists, the used book stores and just relaxing (okay … I did bring back some fantastic enamel pins by an artist in Juno.)

I never actually get away from the shop. It is a reflection of who I am, what I like and what interests me. I’m a pretty lucky person because I get to pursue my passion every day!

Near the end of the summer I treated myself to a day in Toronto with a girlfriend. It was supposed to be to celebrate my birthday but with our schedules, it didn’t occur until August 8th. Wow! What an amazing day. I saw four different shows that day so next four blogs I will give you an idea of what a great day I had.




The first show we went to Chihuilly exhibition. If you haven’t seen it get your butt out of that chair and get yourself down to the ROM. You only need coloured glass and light to alter your state of mind. Now seeing the glass, the colour, the forms, the contrast, the structure, the evolution of his work was truly mind blowing and humbling.  Take me at my word when I say “mind altering”. The whole thing was viewed from that artist’s state of mind. I loved it so much. Please don’t miss the reflections and the shadows. The displays are so powerfully vivid it’s difficult to look away, but look at the walls and down at the floor for the reflections and the shadows. For me half of this exciting show was the magic that occurred in the reflections and shadows. I was also lucky enough to be there with a room full of kids. The eyes of the children and the unbridled reaction, the joy spilling over and filling the room. I so wished I had brought my granddaughter to experience the magical fantasy world of Chihuilly. Please don’t miss it.

Edited by Wendy Keir-Mattice

I have a confession. I am cheating on you. I hope you will forgive me. I truly believe what I am doing will make me a better and more consistent blogger.

Every morning even before my coffee I write three pages. This exercise is called Morning Papers. I am re-establishing the pattern from years ago, in preparation for doing another one of Julia Cameron’s books. The first one I did, easily 25 plus years ago, was the Artist Way. The one I am planning on starting is titled  Finding Water. During this exploration I have come across two more books that I am working on The Accidental Genius by Mark Levy and Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice by Todd Henry. Both are demanding  my attention at the moment.

Both these books have shaken me to the core,  I am in transition.

I seem to be swimming in murky water, unknown territory! Every so often, these beautiful  sparkly or sometimes crystal  clear patches come floating by.  I get all excited  and head towards them but I can’t stay  within them. And I find myself once again in the murky unknown. Only this time I have a gurgling or bubbly sensation deep inside that in some way gives colour to fog and add a sense of excitement and hope,  for what is out there, or is it in here and gurgling up.

Other times, I feel  I have easy access to thousands of ideas kind of like I am reading a book, where all new ideas are stored. It is exciting and  yet overwhelming. I  am now trying to keep list.   Things are going by so quickly I seem to  lose whole concepts as they  pass through me.

Why am I telling you this, Good question? I just want you to know I am nearby, I am safe, I am searching, learning and changing. I treasure our time together and I am preparing to spend more time with you. Your attention, the fact you stop by and read this blog means a lot to me. You are a life raft.

I’d love to tell you I miss you but truth be told I am almost afraid to blog these days. I feel jagged and raw!  I am afraid to get out of the water. If I get out and sit in boat, I may never get back in.  I am out on a limb and as long as I keep looking at the view I am fine. It is when I look back at the tree or down at the ground things start to  slide  sideways. I want to write-through it…. but the consequences could be disastrous.

I am working on all kind of new ideas for the Fall term. Way too many! I hope I settle soon.

My summer is starting out with a trip up north to see my son. Dave and I are so very excited. Not only to see Aaron and Jess because it has been way too long but to see the north. I have only been up in the winter and experienced its silence in its colourless state, and Dave has never been. Also we haven’t had time off since the Japanese trip which  was cut short. We do love to travel and we love to travel together. I am giddy with anticipation.

This morning  I am teaching my linking leather class. I am so looking forward to it. It has two of my loves, leather and seedbeads. I am very excited about all the wet forming, I have been doing and exploring ways to share it in the fall. It is just  I know there is so much more to explore. I sense something major just beyond my reach. I know it has to do with my belief in myself not my  work. It is all so exciting.

Not only is my work changing… but my approach to my work is changing. I am changing I am becoming new!!











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