Category Archives: BAZAART

It’s Apple Blossom Time!

One of the things I DO miss about living in the Annapolis Valley, NS is Apple Blossom time. I used to have a an apple tree outside my studio in Swift Current and 2 years ago I used some of the blossoms to sun print some silk scarves.  Those scarves have all been sold.  Last year I missed the blossom window (it’s short here due to wind/rain) so I didn’t get to make any.

Flowering crab loaded with flowers

Flowering crab loaded with flowers

This year all the Flowering Crab trees in Maple Creek seem to be loaded with blossoms.  Their scent has been quite strong all through town.  My neighbors across the street had one just loaded with blossoms. I went over and asked permission to pick some blossoms to use.  They were surprised/amused but told me to help myself.

Still a few unopened buds on the tree

Still a few unopened buds on the tree

Last Thursday morning I decided I had to go pick the blossoms before the predicted wind and rain arrived to strip the blossoms off the tree.  I gathered up my blossom picking equipment and headed over to pick some.

my Ziploc bag and hands would collect the blossoms

my Ziploc bag and hands would collect the blossoms

There were some blossoms already scattered on the ground so I was glad I opted to pick them. If you actually try to pick the petals off the blossoms, they tend to tear.  So my method is to put the branch in the bag and bump the loose ones off.  Some times the whole blossom comes along. I managed to get about 1/2 of a gallon Ziploc bag full of petals.

My blossom harvest

My blossom harvest

When I went home I called the local florist for her recommendation on how best to keep the petals until later that day or the next. We discussed several options and I decided to divide them into 2 ziplocs to give them more space plus add a wet paper towel to each bag to keep them fresher.  One went in the fridge and one stayed on the counter.  The next morning they were still very fresh.  I put the 2nd bag in the fridge as I wasn’t sure I would get to sunprinting on Friday.

Saturday I had a scarf dyeing workshop booked, so it was Sunday am before I got back to the petals.  They were still in excellent condition in the the Ziploc bags with the damp paper towel.

Sunday morning was great weather for sun printing outside.  Very little wind (often an issue here) and temp predicted to be in low 70′s later on.  I don’t often fabric paint or sun print out side due to the wind issues here so this would be a nice treat.  I set up in the shade at the side of the garage.

set up to start painting scarves

set up to start painting scarves

I got my butcher papers prepared for 30 scarves in 3 sizes hoping I could do that many in one day. I had my paints mixed and set up on my trusty bus cart and ready to go.  I generally mix a palette or colours to work with for the session.

fabric painted silk scarf with apple blossom petals ready to sun print

fabric painted silk scarf with apple blossom petals ready to sun print

As each scarf was painted and sun printed it was moved on the butcher paper backing to the grass in dappled shade on the other side of the yard.

View from work table of scarves drying

View from work table of scarves drying

As you can see I went with a light bright palette for spring.  It seemed to suit the blossoms.

Finished painted and sun printed scarves on line

Finished painted and sun printed scarves on the line

Next in the process is ironing, signing and labelling the scarves.  I hope to finish that this week so they will be all ready to go to Bazaart on June 15/13 outside the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. Watch for more photos as I get them done.  You may be able to scoop one up before they get to Regina.

I’m hoping to try sun printing a few scarves this week with lilac and caragana blossoms.  I have those in my yard.



Bazaart 40 Countdown

Yikes! Where has the time gone.  When I send in my application it always seems like a long time to go before Bazaart will happen. We usually find out in late March or early April if we’ve been juried in this year.  It still seems like a long time until mid-June.  Somehow that time gets shorter every year until BOOM – it’s only a month away!  This year is a special one – it’s Bazaart’s 40th Anniversary on Saturday, June 15, 2013 outside the MacKenzie Art Gallery on Albert Street in Regina, SK


Bazaart40 button.

What is Bazaart?  It’s the largest outdoor arts and crafts show and sale in Saskatchewan. It’s juried,  which means that every year a committee chooses the vendors who sell there. You have to be juried into Bazaart EVERY year, even if you’ve previously been juried in. Bazaart is about quality workmanship and unique and interesting items from artists and artisans.  There’s music and food creating a wonderful creative atmosphere for shopping. It’s a lot of work for vendors to get there and set up for a one day show but it’s worth it! It`s always great to see fellow artists and artisans and welcome new ones.

This is my 3rd Bazaart.  I have return customers who look for me there in Booth #119 - the same booth I`ve had every year .  Since Bazaart is my 1st Sale of the year, I often premiere new types of snow dyed items there.  Last year it was chiffon scarves.  This year – well, I’ll keep that under my hat for now.

Bazaart is a fund raiser for the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina SK. You can check out all the details here  including a map of the booths and information about participating vendors.

You can follow me here or on my  Skyswept Designs Facebook Page  to see what I`m up to getting ready for this year`s Bazaart.

Hope I see you there! Stop and say hi.





BAZAART – 7 Days and Counting

Here is one of the apple blossom sunprinted scarves drying.

Today was spent hand painting scarves – using the apple blossom petals to sunprint.  How many people get to say that part of their days’s work/art making involves picking apple blossom petals!  They are already falling off the tree so just tapping a loaded branch sends them cascading into the basket, on my hair and clothing.  I wondered what the passersby were thinking as they saw me reaching into the tree for the blossoms.  I wanted to use the apple blossom petals first as they look to be on their way out.

sunprinted blossoms on painted branches

As I worked through a number of scarves using the apple blossom petals, I tried to use them in a variety of ways.  I will be interested to see how the final results turn out when the silk scarves are ironed.

more small scarved drying

 One of the people working in an office in my studio building is also a quilter and interested in learning how to do fabric painting when she retires in July.  She checked in early this am to see what I was working on – and quite intriqued with the whole process of sunprinting.  She offered to bring me some tall grasses from her yard at lunch time if she had a chance.  She dropped them off after lunch.  I was ready for a change of palette by then, so I mixed up some colours that would showcase the grasses and leaves.

sunprinting with grasses and leaves


more leaves sunprinting

 It will be interesting to see how these leave sunprint.  They are very fern-like but not that easy to keep flat on the fabric. 

scarves drying in my "retail" area

 By the time I left at 3:30 to drop off my art at the courier company and go to the Art Gallery of Swift Current to do the walk and talk with the current exhibit’s artists, there were scarves drying every where in the studio, on the tables, under the tables, everywhere! 

scarves drying everywhere

I pretty much covered all open available flat surfaces!

End of the day shot of work tables

 This is what the TOP of the work tables looked like at the end of the day!

Due to a volunteer commitment this evening, I wasn’t going to be able to attend the usual Artist talk for this exhibit.  I was able to attend the “walk and talk” for the art club at 4 pm.  I’m so glad I did!  The exhibit is “Chance Operations 2″ with both artists in attendance.    Rhonda Neufeld and Rodney Konopaki decided they wanted to work together in collaboration.  As part of their process they had to work through what that meant.  The exibit is a result of their explorations of working together.  I am still processing what they said.  I found it extremely interesting and thought provoking to think about working like that.  It makes me think more about my own work, the how, the why etc.  I am exceptionally glad I made the time to attend!

I’m off to the Lyric Theatre to volunteer at tonight’s Showcase event – Tastes of Asia – doing my usual stint selling liquor tickets.  It’s going to be a late evening for me. Hope I can still be productive in the studio tomorrow.  I have a quota of scarves to paint!



BAZAART – 8 Days and Counting Down

Today was off to a slowish start after having disrupted sleep last night – I was awake for several hours in the middle of the night due to not eating before/when I took the analgesics for my knees (I skipped supper).  When I got to the studio I ironed the remaining snow-dyed scarves that had dried overnight after being washed.  I decided to leave the hand-painted ones I’d washed to iron, etc when I process the scarves I’m painting today.

I set up my tables to accomodate painting scarves – cut about 30 pieces of waxed butcher paper (10 for each size of scarf) for them to rest on while drying.  I picked out the transparent Setacolor paints I plan to use.  I tend to do things like this in batches and pick a palette to work with each session.  I figure that doing 20-30 scarves each day should give me a good variety of colours and styles.

Ready to start painting scarves

 When I took my 2 day fabric painting workshop with Mickey Lawlor, she told us about having some petals drift on to her painted fabrics while drying in her yard. (This anecdote is also in her SkyDyes book).  Since I have an apple tree in bloom outside my studio window, I decided I would try sunprinting with some of the petals – they are almost done blooming. So I went out and “picked” some petals to use on the scarves.  Tapping the branches gave quite a cascade of petals into the bowl, on my hair and on me. 

Apple Blossom petals for sunprinting

After living in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia for close to 30 years, apple blossoms are definitely a part of my art-making but this is the first time I have sunprinted with them.

scarf with apple blossom petals in place "sunprinting"

My goal is to try to paint 10 scaves of each size today – this may be a bit tricky since I have less available floor space to lay them on to dry while I paint others, especially the larger ones.

small scarves drying on the floor

 By the time I go home tonight, the tables, floor and any leve surface will likely be covered with drying painted scarves.

BAZAART – 9 Days and Counting


Ironing/Tagging station

I spent today ironing scarves, checking all their tags/labels etc to make sure they are all ready to pack next Thursday (don’t want them to wrinkle any more than they have to).  I only planned to iron the hand-woven cotton ones, but it morphed into doing the ones that were left from the big snow-dye a thon I had in March.  This also included washing any that were soiled from travelling to galleries, etc.  Some just neede the price label added (I’d run out earlier when processing them).  I’m feeling much better about how many snow-dyed scarves I have left for BAZAART.  I have a feeling I may run out before we get snow again (OOPS there’s that 4 letter word).  there are few hand rolled hems that have a broken stitch or 2 to be repaired if I have time as well.  The only thing left to do with them is add them to the BAZAART Inventory and Sale spreadsheet so I have a record of what is going.

Snow-dyed scarves ready to go to BAZAART

My new collapsible racks on wheels were very handy to use while processing the scarves.  They started on one rack, and as they were completed processing, they were moved to the other one.  As I have painted scarves dried and heat set, they will go onto the “processing” rack by my ironing labelling station at the end of my work table so I can sit and iron a few for a “break” from other things needing to be done.  All my labels, tags, tagging gun, sewing kit, etc are in one place now which makes it much easier to get this work done in small pockets of time as I find them.

I think I’m going to have set a daily quota of snow-dyed fabric yardage to iron and process each day so it can all be done before next week as well.  Some is ironed but needs labelling, pricing and placing on hangars, ready to pack next week.