the CEO! Creative Eternal Optimist! Blog
Monday, March 18 2013
Celebrating National Craft month continues, as part of the Smoothfoam Design Team, we have a crafty new project for every day this month on the Smoothfoam blog!
Several months ago I moved into a beautiful heritage home along the river in picturesque Fredericton, NB. After months of renovation we are now open as Quartermain House B&B! In the spacious attic I was able to add another bedroom for visiting family and a fun studio. The view of the river from both rooms is beautiful!
While taping Quilting Arts this summer, I mentioned about my new place and Pokey Bolton the sweet host of the show passed it on to the sister publication Studios.
The current issue is on the newstand now and here is my studio! Being a Scorpio, our color is violet and I am really embracing it these days! A paintable wallpaper hides all of the wall imperfections, my darling fiancee applied it all and built a storage work counter along one entire side. I love the peacefulness of it, my sewing machine table and work counter look out over the river. A comfy leather chair to relax in and a supply of my favorite movies by the fireplace, it makes for a cozy inspiring space! The chandelier, the mirror my two favorite pieces. The chair covers were dyed with Rit Dye, love how they came out!
The space is divided into zones, with a comfy chair and books, a large table to spread out projects on, a sewing and ironing area along with a higher work counter to finish small projects on. Trims, fabric and buttons are in one area of the storage counter by the sewing area and paper related items together at the lower end.
Having a place to create in, to be surrounded by color, bins of trims and fabrics is wonderful. Being creative needs space, solitude where ideas and imagination can flow. I feel very grateful to have such a beautiful studio to do that in. Where do you create?
Monday, November 12 2012
In two weeks 300 guests will tour four beautiful homes decorated for the holidays. This has been a tradition in Frdericton for almost thirty years. This is the IODE's main fundraiser of the year and the funds are used to support school programs, charities and scholarships throughout the year.
I love the holidays and decorating. I had always wished one day I could have a house on the tour and this year it has come true! Although the house has been under renovation for the past month I am excited to deck the halls for the big event!
I have decorated one of the mantels for the morning for an article to appear in the local paper Wednesday. As I put out the lights and glittery accents the warmth and excitement of this special time of year, the magic just happens! This year this beautiful home will be filled with lights, with holiday magic and most importantly with family, friends and love!
Friday, September 07 2012
Finally Fowl Friday with Fran & Freda! Debra has been apparently too busy to remember what day of the week it is lately. Freda is quite upset and even her own room with flat screen has not appeased her feeling neglected! Today Debra was out again at the local artisan's shop doing something with the windows, perhaps cleaning them? (these chicken lips are chuckling)
It is officially fall and time for the annual Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, the shop needed the windows done so Debra decked them out with a pumpkin band called "The Artful Persuaders" with an appropriate musical theme. The downtown streets come alive with music everywhere and most of the store fronts create musical themes. There is a contest involved so keeping our feathers crossed for Artful Persuasion, a collective of twenty six local artists and artisans.
Monday, June 18 2012
(photo courtesy of www.MAGGbrucedesigns)
Glenda Bruce is one of the Graduates of the NB College of Craft and Design. I attended the opening of the Interdisciplinary Show by the Graduate Studies Class "Cross Processed" on the weekend. The pieces in the gallery were both stunning and evocative. This piece above is representative of the artistry showcase at the College.
Glenda based this earlier gorgeous felted piece on the Slavic folklore character Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga has been portrayed as both a violent antagonist and a purveyor of wisdom.
Another very young and talented fiber artist www.alexandrakeely.com created a wall of exquisite felted scarves, whimsical sea inspired lengths of luscious color and movement.
Such artistic vision and technique! I was inspired! I hope this will begin your week with inspiration too! Follow the creative joy!
Sunday, June 03 2012
(photo courtesy of Fredericton SPCA)
What do we believe in, it is a question we inherently know the answer to but sometimes we have not put it into the specific words or statement we are looking for. Lately I have been trying to find clarity on what my artistic vision is, what I truly do believe.
This weekend I did the decorating once again for the Chickadee Cat Club's ACFA Cat Show. I also was delighted to do the decorating for one of the SPCA's cats Tiny, you can follow his story on FB, Tiny's Weight Loss Challenge. The Theme of the show is "Cats, the Mewsical" so I decorated Tiny's cage to resemble a stage with the dapper Tiny as the star!
Tiny was dropped off at the SPCA animal shelter in the middle of winter in a taped up wine box. He weighed 30 lbs, so overweight he could not move. He has been fostered by the sweetest woman Nancy and on a special diet has now lost 8 lbs! At 22 lbs he can now even run!
Seeing the people and their love of animals, supporting worthwhile causes that benefit all of our local animal organizations this weekend has touched my heart.
What do I believe, I do believe in my artistic statement "Inspiring the Joy of Creativity" in whatever I do I wish to inspire other people to create, to find joy in their personal creativity and in the creativity of those around them.
Creativity is not just found in areas people associate with being creative like sewing, crafting or painting but it is found in how we daily create our lives. How we live crafting a way to a life that brings us joy, to what we do, to what we surround ourselves with, what we give and what we share. Creativity is a way of life and a gift inherent in all of us for we are meant to live inspired, to live creatively and to live with JOY! Be "Inspired with the JOY of Creativity!"
Thursday, May 31 2012
What a weekend coming up!
Artful Persuasion would like to announce their Grand Opening in Fredericton. Featuring 26 local artisans, Artful Persuasion is a true local collective operated by the artisans themselves with a goal of providing quality products to their community and sharing their love of craft. In an effort to contribute to the well-being of those with developmental delays, their Grand Opening day will feature gift basket draws and treats for sale in support of Opal III. And you won't want to miss a live acoustic performance by Sleepy Driver frontman, Peter Hicks at 6pm. Drop in and enjoy some food, drink, and music. Meet a few of the artists and most of all, see some great art! Friday, June 1st, 10am to 7:30pm at 79 York St, Fredericton -- www.facebook.com/ArtfulPersuasion
Saturday and Sunday the ACFA Cat Show at the Capital Exhibit Center. Proceeds to benefit the Kindness Club. Cat entries from all over North America! I have the privilege of decorating the venue. My daughter Kate of Kate Bakes will be there selling her yummy kitty inspired treats.
Saturday, May 26 2012
This week I am busy preparing for several events, one of them being the ACFA Championship Cat Show being held. Proceeds for each show go to benefit a local animal charity. The show also gives animal charities exposure to several thousand visitors to the show. From Greyhound Rescue to the SPCA all of those involved in animal rights are at the show.
The photo above is of Tiny, he was dropped off at the SPCA in a box. He had been someone's pet and was extremely overweight. You can follow his story on FB, Tiny's Weight Loss Challenge. He has become a favorite at the shelter and is enjoying foster care as he regains his way into a more active lifestyle.
Tiny will be at the show for fans to see him, "pawtographs" will be available and his signature bowties for sale, proceeds going to the SPCA. I am decorating his area for the show, the theme being Cats the Mewsical!
Our local cat club The Chickadee Cat Club hosts the most successful show in Canada, judges come from all over North America and the entries do too. The club is active year round with worthwhile events, pet therapy at senior's residences and participation in any event to raise awareness of responsible pet ownership.
Passion and dedication, the club embodies the spirit of both. I am proud to be associated with the club and the fun undertaking of transforming the exhibit center into a catextravaganza!
Reflect on what animals have met in your life. Your favorite pet? Have a wonderful weekend!
Wednesday, May 23 2012
2012 celebrates Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee, 60 years she has reigned as Queen. In 1784 New Brunswick, our province became an independent British colony and our ties to the monarchy remain. A Queen's representative the Lieutenant Govenor is appointed every five years and resides in historic Government House along the river.
I have grown up with the Queen, she has reigned more than my entire life. When I was in high school her husband the dashing Prince of Wales came to our school and I had a chance to meet him. I remember I chose a dress very carefully, black and white with matching shoes. I had a slight accident and the heel of one shoe broke off! I stood in line to meet the Prince of Wales with one foot raised and the heel behind my back in my opposite hand!
This week marking the Jubilee the Queen's son Prince Charles has been visiting NB. He along with wife Camilla have participated in many events. The Prince trained at our local base CFB Gagetown and remarked fondly of his time there on his visit.
In Saint John they visited a school, the Prince some impromptu road hockey with some kids. The Royals have a much more personal friendly approach to their tours and the crowds still gather as always to celebrate.
Our College of Craft and Design presented the Prince with an Aboriginal hand carved paddle, one of the instructors at the school maintains this historic art technique. The Prince's great great grandfather Edward while touring here was fascinated by the canoe and paddles taking an impromptu ride in the Saint John River. He was presented with a paddle later and so both descendants replay history today.
History, we live history every day, we are part of history, it is a state I am more keenly aware of with each passing day. There is much to be learned from our past as we create our today, our future becomes the past.
Monday, May 21 2012
It is a holiday Monday in Canada, Victoria Day in honor of Queen Victoria, the longest reigning monarch who reigned from 1837 to 1899. The Victorian era had a huge influence on on every aspect of life. Our quaint city has many examples of Victorian Gothic architecture, Christ Church Cathedral being the most famous one.
Today is also the last day to enter the ImpressArt fabulous giveaway! Go to their FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/ImpressArt/155664424487844 for all the details to enter by midnight EST tonight! The stamps will imprint on a variety of materials besides metal, like wood, clay and mat board.
This week I get to play with Rit Dye and t-shirts creating some fun fashion. I love the liquid dyes and the website has extensive tips and color charts to create endless vibrant colors!
Looking for a fun crafty site to hang out and get inspired, connect and share, check out Westcott Brand's new community site CraftingRocks!
It is Monday, a creative week ahead, get inspired, get creative, it is all about the Joy! Inspiring the JOY of Creativity!
Friday, May 18 2012
Spring is here in NB, Canada. The trees are a fresh green and spring flowers pop with color everywhere. I walk everyday and find both inspiration and mindfulness in nature and the history of this lovely city.
The old train bridge over the river has been converted into a walking bridge connecting to trails along the water on both sides. I walked it the other day and took some photos from the bridge. This summer I am so very grateful to be moving to a beautiful heritage home along the river where I can walk the bridge every day.
This is my town, my home where my heart resides. Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 16 2012
Yesterday was the unofficial opening of our new Art & Craft Co-operative, Artful Persuasion in downtown Fredericton, 79 York Street. We have 26 local artists and craftsmen who have come together in a year round store front. You can find us on facebook and like us too! https://www.facebook.com/#!/artfulpersuasion Our Grand Opening is June 1st!!!
The benefits of such a co-operative are numerous beginning with it requiring only a day a month from each member to work in the store. Led by three experienced artisans who have organized large groups before we have everyone pooling strengths and resources. I am doing window display and will help out with the blog when we get it up and running.
I am enjoying working more locally, I love my city and connecting with the artistic community here. Our creative setting is filled with hand crafted items plus yummy chocolates and cupcakes.
It has a special energy one which draws you in to wander the displays and savor color, texture and craftsmanship. Inspired artistry beckons from the original art pieces on the walls, jewelry sparkles beneath the lights, natural is celebrated, soaps, candles drawn from nature's herbs and bees. Here is my display in the shop! If you are local please come by and enjoy!
Monday, May 14 2012
It is an exciting creative week ahead!
First Saturday's DCC Blog Hop which featured designs with ImpressArt Metal Stamps.
It was my first time using the stamps and it has opened a whole new realm of design inspiration! I am indeed going to soar!
Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/ImpressArt/155664424487844 and like them, their products are awesome to work with and they are having a contest!
Thank you to the talented Theresa Cifali for organizing the challenge!
It runs until May 21st, you can enter to win The Grand Prize valued at up to $120.00 and contains:
1- ImpressArt alphabet set of the winner's choice
1- ImpressArt Steel Stamping Block, small
1- ImpressArt Metal Stamping Hammer
1- ImpressArt Stamp Straight Tape
An Assortment of metal discs
Here at home, Tuesday May 15th, Artful Persuasion opens downtown Fredericton, we are a collaborative of twenty five talemted artists and craftspeople. I am doing the window displays so today is a busy day!
We have everything in the shop from original art to dolls to wood and yummy chocolates and cupcakes! Come by and visit!
Friday, April 13 2012
It has been a full week and I have neglected my blog! My youngest daughter Kate the pastry chef was here for the week and my oldest Amanda was over for Easter celebrations. I so enjoy my girls, they are the love of my life!
The last couple of days I have been busy preparing for the first Fredericton Women's Show at the Fredericton Convention Center Saturday 10:30 to 6:00 and Sunday 11 to 5. There will be a wide variety of services and products showcased, door prizes, give-aways, demos and a fashion show. Free admission at the door, will be a great event!
Friday, March 16 2012
The Fowl are in the house for Fowl Friday! Our stats are through the roof and we got to spend the afternoon with the textile students at the NB College of Craft and Design. We are a couple of cheerful chicks, happy hens and fabulous FOWL!
Debra does not take us out very often so was a very big deal! We got passed around the entire class. Our feathers were ruffled and tickled, we gigled especially Freda, she is super ticklish!
Debra talked about her designer career and the steps along the way. Much to Freda's dismay she related the story of Freda and that weekend! That weekend Freda had a rooster in, apparently one she had met on Hatch.com! The textile students are a talented group, they create their own textiles, papers by hand with a variety of interesting techniques and use Illustrator Photoshop to design repeats.
It was a great afternoon a break for us and we finally got to leave the apartment! Things are looking up! Follow the Fowl!
Wednesday, March 14 2012
Today I am making a presentation to the textile students at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton, NB. I am both excited and slightly nervous as they are a young innovative talented group and I am hoping I can make an interesting presentation.
In putting my presentation together meant a trip down memory lane and to all the experiences I have had along the way in this creative journey. Many happy accidents and mistakes I have hopefully learned from. I did not have a plan but fell into a path and followed it, I have learned now to realize preparation is a huge part of it but also serendipity plays a part too. However that means putting yourself in a place, being visible to make that happen. To be open, to be yourself and to believe you have a gift to share.
To today and the bunny that began it all! Follow the JOY!
Saturday, March 03 2012
It is interNational Craft Month! I am celebrating this month with lots of crafty goodiness! Several workshops and classes coming up locally for all ages. Creativity is a gift we all have, it is as necessary to life as breathing when the hands and mind are involved in making art we relax, unwind and find a special joy!
I am offering workshops for all ages from Mom & Me 5+age, Tweens & Teens 10+, to adult classes. With an easy step by step approach, fun tools, techniques and products come experiment and explore your own unique creativity. No experience needed just a desire to play! Coming up next Saturday, March 10th, Make a Sock Monkey or Kitty Workshop for ages 10-Adult. Full schedule on my Class Page. Happy crafting!
Saturday, November 26 2011
Handmade & handcrafted gifts are special, they are created from the artisan's vision and hands. There is an energy that flows from each piece carefully, lovingly crafted. No matter how many pieces created each one has its moment of being held up admired with pride and satisfaction before being offered up to a new home.
I am taking part this year locally in a couple of holiday shows, it has been busy but very rewarding, it has spurred my creative juices and I have enjoyed connectiong with so many freinds and former customers.
This weekend is the annual Christmas in the Villlage in the picturesque village of Gagetown, NB just a few miles away and on Sunday 1-4pm we are hosting a Holiday Open House at Three Elements, 300 Wilsey Road in Fredericton, NB.
Don't forget to submit ideas for the Flip-Pal Tm Mobile Scanner and get entered for a chance to win one! Perfect for the holidays! Happy creating!
Saturday, October 15 2011
I spend time on the weekends wandering around my town Fredericton, NB, I love the historic homes, tree lined streets and there is always something happening in this creative hub. I had to redefine my mode of travel as my daughters have threatened me about using the word walk all the time so I now will "wander" on the weekends!
This weekend was the Elm City Quilt Guild's Annual Show at the historic St. Paul's Church with its high ceilings and balcony provided the perfect backdrop for the stunning display of quilts, wall hangings, wearables and bags.
On my way to the church there is an elegant array of ghosts, bats and tombstones in keeping with the stately home they occupy.
The quilts were arranged in themed areas and tastefully accessorized which added to the overall warm, tasteful ambience. The tea room was decorated with a clothesline filled with bright cheery pieced, patterned placemats.
Upstairs were some quilt supply vendors. I was so pleased to a see a friend Gerri Richards of Cool Craft Creations up from Saint John. Her lovely line of bag and purse patterns are bold, bright and make a dramatic fashoin statement. Congratualtions to the Em City Quilt Guild for an inspiring,
Friday, October 07 2011
It is our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. We have been blessed this week to have had most of our family and close friends come together for a very special event, the official opening of the Quartermain Earth Science Center.
Photo courtesy of the Daily Gleaner, full story here http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/front/article/1445860
My brother is a wonderful, generous man who has given back to the University and his home which means so much to him. As I listened to him speak from his heart, I could not have been more proud and filled with love. To my brother, my friend thank you for what you have given and to the difference you make and continue to in this world, with love. Deb
Wednesday, October 05 2011
On the weekend there was a local craft show filled with great food, art and crafts. Near me were a couple of young artists who made a statement with their art, their display and their style! Kent Jensen "a commision based designer with a flair for helping you to stand out from the crowd." His surface embellishment and contemporary playful design make his ties, scarves, cards and fashion pieces both unique and appealing! I loved his outfit with his tie pinned with a kilt pin. I see a new trend! Kent teaches at the NB Craft College of Craft and Design.
Across from Kent was a lovely young woman Amanda Gollinger of Simply Chic Jewelry. Her display was striking with shades of teal and chocolate brown. Her cute gift boxes in teal and brown reminded me of classic Tiffany boxes. Her mannequins all dressed beautifully accented the jewelry perfectly. Kent and Amanda are both passionate about what they do, their attitude when interacting with customers at the show was so engaging and inspiiring. It is all about doing what you love, creating what resonates with your heart and spirit!
Monday, September 26 2011
It was a beautiful day on Sunday, sunshine and warm. Summer lingers here and there while the trees turn glorious shades of auburn hues. I took part of the day to wander downtown, I appreciate the pretty town I live in more each day I adventure.
Fredericton has a long rich heritage and many of the buildings downtown have been lovingly cared for and/or restored. Around the corner from my place there are several homes over the past few months that have been rejuvenated. Watching the progress has been both interesting and enjoyable.
Today I met Amy who lives in one of these lovely homes, she was filling the window boxes with luscious bunches of autumn leaves and plump pumpkins. If ever a house was a perfect fall home, this is it with the bright orange door, striking black trim and window boxes. I love my town!
Thursday, May 12 2011
Been a busy week, out for meetings on creative things but no time to actually create. Ready to dive in to all the new products that are arriving. They will have to wait a couple days. Another meeting today and reports to do!
The city of Fredericton has such a lovely historic downtown area where the past comes alive each summer with the Changing of the Guard, the Calithumpians in period costume giving tours of the Garrison district along with re-enactments of different historic events.
Part of the old Barracks has been converted into Artisan shops for the summer by the city. I am excited to be part of one of the shops this summer along with seven other local artisans, potters, jewellers, artists, needlework, textiles, photographers, woodworkers all comprise the ten shops. We share working and only work one day a week at most so it is an easy venture.
People from all over the world visit here so as an "official Fredericton Ambassador" I will get to promote this beautiful city. Life is full of possibilities and adventure this summer here and away! Follow the Joy always! Debra, CEO!