Over the last 3 years I have participated in this great residency that is organized by a local fiber/textiles cooperative called ‘Contextural’.

It’s been a great opportunity to get back into repeat printing. Here I was able to fine tune and refresh my skills outside of the studio while in a community environment with like minded folks.

What follows is there call for submissions and for further information make sure to visit here

On another note make sure to come on over to my new website and blog at

1Seeking Participants for the 7th Annual Contextural Self-Directed Summer Residency Program

For the past six years, Contextural: a fibre arts cooperative has held a hugely successful summer residency program within the studios of the Alberta College of Art + Design, Fibre Department. We are now getting ready for our 7th residency and are currently inviting expressions of interest from fibre artists and students who are interested in working within a co-operative studio setting and are seeking affordable studio space with specialized dye and print equipment.

We are seeking individuals who:

- Are interested in working within a co-operative studio setting

- Will be actively involved in, and contribute to, our community

- Seek access to affordable studio space and specialized equipment

- Are interested in sharing their knowledge and skills through teaching and collaboration

- Appreciate and practice the diversity of textile arts and craft

- Embrace an environmental approach to studio production

- Are ready to commit a fee of $250 for a three-month, or $150 for one-monthsummer studio rental and access to equipment

- Will contribute to the end of summer residency exhibition.

Interested parties should send an application to: with the subject ‘2014 Summer Residency Application’

Deadline for submissions is Sunday, March 30th 2014 @ midnight.

If accepted, residency fees are due with the acceptance form and supply order form by May 1st.

Dates for the one-month residencies are May 25 – June 29, and July 20 – August 24 with mandatory attendance for orientation & move-in Sunday, May 25 at 1:00pm or Sunday, July 20 at 1:00pm

Dates for the three-month residency are May 25 – August 24 with mandatory attendance for orientation/move-in Sunday, May 25 at 1:00pm.

Again this year, Contextural is offering the Contextural Summer Residency Scholarship to individuals applying for the three-month residency. The scholarship includes studio fees for the three-month summer residency ($250 value) and $250 for supplies. The scholarship will be awarded based on the quality and completeness of the application.

**Please note: Contextural Members are not required to submit a full application to participate in the residency. However, members must submit a full application for consideration for the Contextural Summer Residency Scholarship**

For questions regarding the Contextural Summer Residency, please direct them to Julie Baratta at

Small Biz Planning & Goal Setting

January is always that ‘get organized’ month for me in the studio.  It generally starts with a little reflection of the previous year which leads to a few weeks of goal setting and finally action planning.  This whole process has been a lot more relaxed for me in the past, however, the anticipated arrival of a new family member has put a bit of a fire under my you know what.  I’m feeling pretty motivated to get a bunch of work done earlier in the year to accommodate the big change that is going to happen in our lives this June.

MindNode1Planning to take time off has meant some busy weeks of figuring things out and putting them in order.  MindNode is where this process all begins for me.  This handy app available (for free) from your local Mac App store makes mind mapping so much easier and a heck of a lot more fun. Much like a hand written mind map, this app helps you visually outline information.   In this case the map was for my 2013 Biz Goals, of which I have six major ones.  In each of these areas I spent some time developing action plans and setting myself some deadlines. In some cases I get detailed and down to the day for hitting deadlines in other cases it’s a little more relaxed. For the most part it’s more about recognizing the work that needs to get done. In the day-to-day things often get shuffled around and I try to be flexible. Really, I do work for myself and that’s one of the perks of being self-employed! MindNode The next step is taking that information and putting in into my year planner, monthly planner then day-to-day. I’m sure that this sounds like major over-kill on the calendars but hey, this is what works for me.  I need both the visuals in the studio as a reminder of the bigger picture and monthly breakdowns while on my computer I track the day-to-day so I can see what I’ve accomplished.

Monthly PlannerThe yearly planner is an overall visual of what needs to happen in each month so that I stay on my game in the studio as well as in the industry.  Being in the textile and design industry I have seasonal deadlines for print, creative, buying, production and delivery.

The monthly calendar helps me to focus in on my goals and incorporate the bigger picture.  I break down my workday into am activities, pm activities and evening activities. I find that the morning is good for thinking and writing, in general my mind is fresh after I’ve rested.  In the afternoon I schedule physical studio activities.  It’s like a reward for getting through the brain twisting in the morning.  The evening is relax time this means reading or research. After some quality time with husband over dinner, I gear down with some light reading or surfing the net.

Lastly and most importantly is my daily activity planner.  This is a Microsoft Word calendar I keep on my desktop. For the most part it’s where I give myself gold stars for accomplishments.  I only plan out activities a week at a time to allow for flexibility.  The best thing about this calendar is looking back on the year’s work, everything I’ve done and how far I’ve come in that period of time.

Day-to-DaySo that’s it really… now I just need to stick to it for the next 6 months and everything after that will be the reward for all my hard work!

Inspired by Instagram

After a busy holiday season in the studio, I’m back at it and have acquired some new tools. While I was away from the blog this past month I was constantly reminded about the importance of social media.

1 Being on the road and having access to all the social media platforms is a great way to stay connected with customers and the community.  This past year I connected with the world on Twitter and about 3 weeks ago I connected to Instagram, thanks to Samsung!  Seriously – what a cool tool!  It really is a fun, creative way to upload images to the web and share what you’re doing in life and the studio.  I have to say I’m hooked…


It seems that there are so many ways to connect these days that it’s almost hard to keep up with them all. I’m slowly figuring things out, deciding on my fave’s and getting connected.


Here are a few fun shots of some outdoor activities from my time off after the busy holiday rush!


In Al Swanky’s Studio

Spent a great day in Al Swanky’s leather studio to get some tips.  It was fantastic seeing another ‘garage’ studio space in action.  Al has some 25 years on my studio – his is really well laid out and organized.  Thanks Al for having me over and showing me the ropes…