Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ok, so after many weeks of writing blogposts in my head I think I'm going to take the risk and say "I'm back!". 
There have been a lot of changes in my life, pretty much all great, and I feel good about the route I'm on.  Why am I back to post now? Well, in honesty, because I got called out.  A former teach of mine, now good friend and mentor (we'll call him C. Pops) suggested I write a blog post about a workshop I recently did (and I will, but not now) and jabbed at me about how it's been 3 years since my last post.  A slight exaggeration of course - it's only been just over 2!
That got my brain thoughts rolling and I have found myself photographing any work I'm going constantly and writing blog posts in my head.  I decided to take the plunge and get myself to jumpstart doing something the only way I know how - just sit down, don't think too much, plow through, and hit "send" (or whatever final button/action thingy is appropriate to what I'm doing - unless it's something that is REALLY important in which case then I'll edit, sort of).  For me, the first move of a thing I've procrastinated on is the hardest to do.  So I'm just sitting down, doing this, and then I hope to rekindle the blog posting as I did find it quite interesting and I learned a lot about myself through doing it last time.  I'm hoping to do a post a week (at least every 2) until I get into a good habit of it.  I've been really inspired by some students at NBCCD (oh ya, I teach there now! One of the great changes in my life!) who have been keeping their public profile up through facebook & blogs, etc.
Speaking of whom, check out:

Emily McCumber (The Spinner/ Weaver)

and Jasmine Landry (Le Petit Jardin)

Two lovely ladies who put their heart & soul into their fiber and are embarking on a new fiber life.  They're great!  Stay tuned for others, including Anna Haines.

Soon I'll write about some new forays into workshops: sewing for beginners and a really special workshop where people learn to sew by making a quilt that we then donate to a local charity - it's all about sharing skills, learning, and building community which are, I think, important values that were very strong in the community I grew up in.  Also, a new (and really incredible) experience of mine - a craft every day challenge that has really changed the way I work.  And I'm gonna say it now so I have to follow through - many many more posts about the work I'm doing, the talent of others, probably some words about sheep & fibers here and there, and many other exciting things.  This is dedicated to you, C. Pops (and I think you owe me a beer if you ever read this).

Happy Living
-Rachel Mac

Monday, February 6, 2012


OK, so yes...I seemed to have taken a bit of a break (erhmm.... ok like a 7 months break *cough*) from this blog.  Summer was a flurry of kids camps and being out doors, but once I got back into the swing of a (very much reduced) art process I started to think in terms of blogging again.  So, for the last 5 months I've been blogging in my head, but not in real life.

There have been some big, big, BIG changes in my life and I've been constantly meaning to get back to blogging (no excuse, I know) but today I was inspired to get back at it by something I strolled across on the internet.

I started out at Oh! Crafts and eventually came across Geninne's Art Blog
It was one of her pieces that made me want to blog again.  I just needed to share it.
A water colour & acrylic ink on paper that for some reason I just can't get enough of.  I especially love the sauve lil guy down in the left bottom corner; seems like he's telling tall tales!

This is what the artist has to say on her blog (PLEASE check it out, her work is amazing!)

"Lots of people consider the great-tailed grackles a noisy pest
but I really enjoy their raucous ways."

Most posts will be coming soon about big changes, new projects, and dyeing with mud! yes... dyeing with mud! wahhoo!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Memory Lane: New Title

quick update while I write the artist statement/ bios that were due weeks ago!

Found the most perfect bed ever!! Thank you Craiger - you are the bestest person/ teacher ever!!

Now, the issue of naming that always comes up for me.  It's not my favourite part.  Sometimes when I know a name for a piece, I just know it.  If I don't though, it's a struggle.

Was going to "Memory Lane" with this piece, then as I wrote my artist statement realized my other piece was called "Ghost of a Memory" and my statements all talk about memory.  Too much memory (which, incidently is not an issue I have in real life - not enough memory is more my thing!).

So, brainstorming with K-unit as we speak, via facebook.
Possibles: For Your Eyes Only (although it's fairly James Bond-y), 4 ur eyes 2c, write back soon, comforting thoughts, remember us?...

something to do with memory, friendships, reflection, comfort, dreams, lying in bed, teenage yearnings, fading memories,

"Fading Friendships"?

Do you realize what just happened? You all just got front row seats to my brainstorming session.  Think I have something to work with here.  "Remember Us" or "Write Back Soon".   K-unit agrees.  Now it's just time to make a decisions (not my strong suit!).  Will keep you all in suspense!

Memory Lane... Is the End in Sight?

yyyyyeeeesssss.....  so it's a 1 am finish.  Or is it?

Here's a very first hand look into the creative world.  I am within MOMENTS of finishing this piece.  I've go the whole top sewn together, the overlay is laid out, pinned on, I love it.  I spent the last 2 hours putting together the backing, laying it out, pinning it up and around the edges of my blanket.  The only step left is zipping it through my sewing machine (and oh yes, I do zip) BUT I found the most absolute perfect blue broadcloth for my backing.  It's exactly what I've seen in my head for the last month or two.

And... here's what happens when you're making:
Perfect?  In my head yes.  In reality, no, not so much. 

What does this mean?  I'm not spending 4 months on something to take the easy but not perfect road out in the last hour.  So, I'll bring it to school tomorrow, set up my installation, then re-do the whole backing over the weekend.  Yaaay (is my sarcasm coming through there?)

I'll try some muslin, some tea stained muslin, and i'll try blotchily tea staining this blue fabric then decide what works best.


Now I'm off to bed.

(It's just too new, and clean looking.  See??)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Memory Lane Pressure

So.... for those of you paying attention and biting your nails in anticipation: will she finish it? won't she?? I am officiall at T-minus-minus 12.5 hours into completion.  Meaning ya... it was supposed to be done at 10 am this morning.  But no worries, will be done for tomorrow (please dear goodness, let it be done for tomorrow!)

Anyway, no time to write a lengthy post (you lucky dogs you!) but the top part is all sewn up, with maybe a few changes to do when it's all done.  Now i'm sewing together the innards (had to Franken-innards it because I realized I couldn't rip apart my old blanket (read my second to last post to know what I'm talking about. no time to jump break it!) so I took some cotton batting I had that was too long & narrow, and am piecing it to make it fit.  Then the backing goes on.  I'm figuring I'll be done by 2am.  Anyone wanna make any wagers?

Here's a coupla pics of the progress so far!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Memory Lane Snag

It happened.
No, my bed didn't explode, taking my quilt with it, but because (I'm convinced) I said everything was going well the apartment gnomes decided to take off with my thread (or I misplaced it, or it rolled off my bed, whatever).  So, now what do I do?  I can go on in a different colour or tear my bedroom apart.  I was using the pink from my other grad piece, and the pink just worked so well with this one, but I suppose I could grab a blue or a beige. Or put together everything else and wait until tomorrow to buy more thread to sew it tomorrow night (officially 1 day late).  Blurgh.  Dunno what I'll do, but I swear, once I get a little ways in with sewing with a new colour, I'll find the one I want right in front of me.  This is not a new occurance.  I will sip a tea and ponder.

Update: After tea, starting supper, then some polite asking/ begging of the apartment Gnomes to bring me back my thread/ help me find it, it was found.  On the other side of my floor....

I'm glad too, the pink really does work best I think. 

Memory Lane

"Memory Lane" a possible new title for my second grad piece (thank you K-Unit for inspiring it!)

I'm down to my last 14 hours or so before we need to start setting up our show.  I'm still down one bed, but no worries, Craiger has a stand-in for me, and then hopefully I'll be able to get what I need on the weekend.

I am furiously sewing away, and thanks to my good friends C-Dubs & K-Unit have the fabric I need to back the piece (something I forgot about until a couple days ago) but alas (how often does one get to use THAT word in a sentence? love it!)  forgot to pick up batting for the inside while I was uptown and so have decided to tear apart a bigger blanket I made last year and use it's insides.  Franken-blanket may be a more fitting name for this piece!

I've been taking pics all the way through the process of this piece, but don't really have time right now to do a bunch of posts.  Will probably do that in the next week or so, once it's done.  For now though, I leave you with some pics of the hand sewing process, which to be honest, is going a lot smoother than I thought I would.  (Now, because I said that, my bed will explode or something taking the piece with it...)

More tea and chocolate will get me through me (lucky for me, David's Tea has many tea with chocolate IN them!).

hope you enjoy the pics!

Also, business plan update: Got it all printed and handed in to Craiger yesterday.  All 40 pages of it.  Have fun reading Craig!

I forgot my pincushions (all 3 of em) in the living room.  Rather than just get up and get one, this is how I roll.  Also - included all these pics cause close up I imagine this is what a forest made of pins would look like.

Forest made of pins gets a stiff breeze?

Seriously, if these pins were huge, and this were a forest, wouldn't you traipse through it? And yes, my brain is an original and scary place to live.  Pray you never have to traipse through it!