Category Archives: learning


I feel a little like a two-timer. I needed to create a blog for my design class so I’ve been spending more time there than here. But now I’m ready to share! We’ll see how the two blog thing goes. I have my suspicions . . .

The new blog is more about my working process and is intended to share my student work, inspiration, process etc. I think I’ll keep our family adventures here for now.


You can find it at woodtextilestudio(dot)wordpress(dot)com.

I have to say I’ve been enjoying the chance to do it all again without making the same mistakes I made the first time. Hope you like it! I’d love to hear some feedback.

to this day

Thank you Shane. Thank you for reminding me to be kinder. For reminding me that mean words hurt just as much as any physical pain. And for reminding me that inner strength and believing in myself can help me move past it all.


colour swatch-container copy

My ever talented partner in life shared a little trick with me for creating colour palettes using the eye dropper tool in illustrator. So fun! I imagine this must be how those clever people at Design Seeds do it. I so love their palettes but it’s nice to create my own purpose specific ones to keep with my project files.

I’m using this palette based on a painting from Brian Wildsmith’s 123’s in the surface design project I’m currently working on. I love getting colour inspiration from children’s books. I think I’m going to have to do one for Caps for Sale next!

time and space

Today I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be. I have been so lucky to experience some amazing speakers as part of our program. Meghann O’Brien came by to share her weaving process. I was spellbound by her delicate treatment and combination of diverse issues like cultural appropriation, materialism, history and tradition and even physics. The way she talked about her journey towards traditional Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving and incorporating contemporary themes was very inspiring. Her fine detailed work and her commitment to her process struck me most.

Image from Meghann’s blog

I held this tiny, delicate cedar basket in the palm of my hand and I could feel how important attention to detail was to her and I was reminded to slow down, breathe and be aware of things a little more deeply.


There is so much more to going back to school than simply learning the content. Not that that part is easy because it sure isn’t! Learning to be kind to myself and to accept my mistakes has definitely been the hardest part so far. It could be another three credit course for me. I’m working with all kinds of meditation and cognitive thought techniques but still struggling. Intellectually, I know this is part of the learning process but when deadlines loom and perfectionism rears up it’s pretty hard to remember. Nevertheless, I’m keeping at it. Making lists, putting in as much time as I can muster and trying to work through it. Anyone out there have any tips for defeating that inner critic?

Part of the work I am doing involves going back to the elements of design. It’s pretty exciting to go back to simple forms and really pull them apart and think about them. It’s shape week for me so I thought I would share some of the amazing shapes I’ve been inspired by recently.

Frank Josef

Akihisa Hirata

field trip

Yesterday our weaving class headed to Van Dusen to meet Nicole Dextras, the creator of the Little Green Dress Projekt which is part of a larger curated body of work at the garden called Earth Art. It was interesting to see how she talked about the project and how she filtered comments from the public. Being outside the gallery atmosphere, the works are quite tactile and accessible and the artist is expected to discuss them more often I think. It seemed like the kind of approach a very confident, experienced artist could take. It was also interesting to note that the art itself is only a piece of the work. Selling rights to photographs and looking into publishing will also create further value from the experience. She is planning to leave them up into October if you want to check them out.


A few interesting representations of line that I’ve seen this week.

Road repairs and oil spills in late afternoon sun:

Shadows – my legs and a tree:

Sarah Boyts Yoder

Swimming Pool Love

Mixed media on paper

via Pinterest

first impressions

We survived the first week of school! I can’t say it went as gracefully as I would have hoped but I think it’s going to work out well with a few adjustments to our regular routines and a little extra planning. I’ve been excited and surprised by how interested the boys have been in my making explorations. At dinner time we discuss what we did at school. It’s become a very special moment at the end of the day. And it’s remarkable how much of my learning process parallels primary school structures.

I am learning to look at the everyday with new eyes. So many of the exercises we are doing are beautifully simple and inspiring. Like looking for faces in the everyday.

These shots from campus remind me of Monsieur Moustache back in Montreal.

the deep end

Our nomadic summer is winding down and we have begun preparing for fall. It feels like we have just found our lazy ways and here we are about to give them up again. A last minute trip to the island was the perfect way to round out the season and to help work on that muddle. We had such an urban summer, it was wonderful to rediscover the nearby lakes and oceans.

I’ve been savouring these moments with the boys before the early mornings and packed lunches start up again next week. For there are big changes ahead for us all! The littlest man is heading off to kindergarten, his big brother is starting a new school and I am going to art school. It feels like both a huge step forward and three big steps back. I’m simultaneously terrified and thrilled and more than a little peevish to tell the truth. I’ve thought about pulling out so many times. At this point I’m just focusing on breathing and not driving my family too crazy! For now, the shop will remain closed as we usher in this new chapter. More later. Wish us luck!


…But let yourself go. You are inclined to get muddled, if I may judge from last night. Let yourself go. Pull out from the depths those thoughts that you do not understand, and spread them out in the sunlight and know the meaning of them.

Mr. Emerson to Lucy in A Room with a View by E.M. Forester

Like dear silly Lucy, I am prone to muddles. My week long absence is testament to that. Bear with me as I work through the latest. While I am in the process of airing those unknown thoughts and feelings I may be absent from this space more often. It’s my experience that these things take time and thoughtfulness to resolve.

I will be keeping my shop closed for now to give myself the time to reflect and plan my next making adventure.

If you are in need of a good read, do go out and find some Forester. He has never let me down.