Archives for category: Retreats, talks, workshops and classes

Workshops from January -May 2022

Weaving Miniature Tapestry Portraits at

In this ongoing workshop, enjoy creating a miniature tapestry of yourself, a loved one or beloved pet!

We will weave on a small cardboard loom to explore and enjoy this relaxing and therapeutic art form. Warp and weft yarns are provided, and participants are encouraged to use their own yarns and threads in their tapestries.


The weathered butterfly

I read somewhere that Wabi Sabi can be expressed as appreciating the beauty of the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete in nature.

Wabi=the loneliness of nature and sabi= the weathering force of nature

I wanted some tears in the wings like you sometimes see in butterfly wings at the end of the Summer season to show the weathered force of nature. Then I stitched the tears together to hold it together, incomplete and imperfect.

Drawing inspiration from the beautiful embroidered work of Hillary Waters Fayle, we created our own embroidered botanical embroideries with magnolia leaves.

I love the connection with nature as well as the idea of impermanence.

Hillary says that some of her main stitches are running stitch, back stitch and couching.

two of my embroidered leaves

I tried all 3 stitches- and added seed stitch from our stitch embellishment class

Thanks to everyone who came to the workshop on May 13th!

Hirsch Wellness Network at 1-2.30pm on Thursday, January 28, 2021

This workshop was inspired by textile artist Gabriela Martinez Ortiz. She is a Mexican-based designer, and creator of Ofelia & Antelmo, a textile art project based on hand embroidery.Her work is governed by the philosophy of the Slow Movement, a cultural revolution that values processes, enjoyment and the calming art of slow-making.

Learn the relaxing and mindful art of embroidery.We will work with 3 simple stitches to create different surface patterns that can be used to embellish clothing, bookbags or decorate pillows

Looking at Maria Prymachenko’s folk art drawings for design ideas for our Folk Art Embroidered Christmas Ornaments class

Maria’s fantastical beast with radiating circles for eyes
Elephant with stars

Stitch Inspiration from “Modern Folk Embroidery” by Nancy Nicholson

The Hirsch Wellness Network, Monday November 23, 2020

We had a relaxing and fun zoom class ( yes, it can be done!) yesterday. I demonstrated how to make a paper tissue bowl- adding decorative tissue paper from the dollar store. In some ways, this class was easier to teach with zoom, since everyone could let their balloons dry overnight at home without having to worry about having to transport the wet bowls from class- which we did last year.

On December 14, 2020

Join us for a Folk Art Embroidered Felt Decoration Class

With the Hirsh Wellness Network at 6-7.30pm

The fabulous colors and patterns of the Eastern European Folk Artist Maria Prymachenko, will be our inspiration for our embroidered felt Christmas decorations. We will using the running stitch and simple variations of the running stitch to decorate our felt decorations.

We will be inspired to create our own narrative, to embroider the elements of our own culture and lives. In the year 2020, how will that narrative be affected by our experience with covid?

All materials are provided. Please register to get materials kit and zoom link for December 14, 2020

I have a photograph of a male stickleback, in my sketch book.

I saw the image in the ” Landscape ” magazine and for some reason that I could not articulate, I tore it out and carried it with me, probably for months. I liked to open my sketch book and study the image. Somehow, it was comforting to  look at.

The photograph reminded me of playing in the water of Leith as a child where I would see sticklebacks or “tiddlers”  flitting about the water. These were the fresh water sticklebacks, with hardly any scales as compared to the salt water sticklebacks who have some scales (or armor.) When the male stickleback is in breeding season, he turns bright red and then prepares a nest in the river out of weeds for the female fish. After the female lays her eggs, he fertilizes the eggs and then guards the nest until the eggs hatch.

Last month, when I taught the kantha embroidery class at Revolution Mill, we were discussing the personal symbols that were used by the women in kantha embroidery in India and Bangladesh.We had examples of images of fish, turtles, birds and dancing ladies.

I decided to demonstrate the kantha embroidery technique with my own symbol, rather than the example in the book. And there it was, my own personal symbol in my sketch book-waiting for me.  I understand now that my stickleback represents associations and memories to do with :- finding a homeland; family relationships, the drive to find and build a new home, the drive for security, protection and vulnerability.

The question is this: can I create images based on my personal symbols that will resonate with other viewers?

stickleback on white cotton

stickleback with flowers on fabric base of hand painted silk and silk scarf-  work in process

Overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains

My friend Connie and I were lucky enough to get a place at the Gathering at Wild Acres Retreat, off the Blue Ridge Parkway beside Little Switzerland.

It’s a beautiful setting, on top of a mountain enclosed by higher mountain ridges. The building and furniture is very much influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, from the early 20th century.

the reception area

The reception area

The deck on the North House

Artists, writers, poets, potters, quilters, knitters, musicians and photographers gather to work on their own projects while enjoying each others company, the fantastic views and delicious food.

The start of the “Gingerbread House” tapestry

I went out sketching and started a small tapestry based on a sketch of a cabin, hidden by trees…

Meanwhile, Connie did some exciting knitted wire jewelry and some inspirational chrochet trims.

Connie’s experimental crochet trims



 Friday, March 8, 2019

Drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese dye resist techniques– we wrapped paper around wooden towels and cardboard cylinders tied on with cotton twine and rubber bands. Then we painted with different colored dyes …with some lovely results..!The resists block the dyes and form unpredictable patterns.

Our Goal? To allow things to happen without judgement. To be spontaneous and enjoy the results.

Sarah, a self confessed”non-creative person” shows off her stack of beautiful tie dye papers


Renee made some fabulous prints with plastic square resists and clothespegs

Cindy wrapped, tied, painted and …and did handpainting and finger painting

Wendy pleated her papers in different directions for some lovely herringbone effects

Elaine pleated her paper and applied plastic square resists on top of the pleated papers- then re-dyed


Reconquering Burgundy, resurrecting Charles the Bold

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Photography Art Plus

Photography, Animals, Flowers, Nature, Sky

Fibre art by Jean Ottosen

NC Alternative Crops and Organics

art in fibers and fabric

around the garden

art in fibers and fabric


art in fibers and fabric