BalducciArt Wool

BalducciArt Wool is a one-of-a-kind, artisan yarn which has been spun by hand – you could call it “art wool”! Each is unique and comes in a variety of colours, some dyed naturally, some with Ciba dye, and others yet from donated fibres. My style of spinning results in my art wool being irregular and highly textured – sometimes chunky, sometimes thin.

I suggest using it to knit with a needle set larger than 8mm. You can also mix and match the wool with any of your the favourite yarns you might have in your stash. BalducciArt wool is priced by the gram so each ball varies in price. I do my best to source as local a base fibre as possible and I then add other fibres when I am drum carding my batts and prepare them to be spun. Instructions for care are simple: hand-wash in cold water and lie flat to dry. You can purchase my yarn via email, my social media, or by commenting below. You can also find my art wool and many other handmade items at The Gorge Harbour Market all summer long on Saturdays from 10am to 1pm. I’ll be there with my spinning group, “Spinners Unite” where we offer our wares and put on wool-spinning demos on our wheels…. you won’t be able to miss us! xoxo Laura

For any questions or if you wish to purchase some BalducciArt Wool yarns, please email laurabalducciart@gmail.com or leave a comment.

Old School House Art Gallery

This week our local art gallery “Old School House Art Gallery” opens for the season. We have a very exciting season plan for our neighbors and visitors on Cortes Island B.C. We start the season off with a solo art installation by Loni Rene Taylor this Friday June 15 and is open for 2 weeks including being featured during the art studio and garden tour on the 16th.

With 2 members show one representing our digital artist called “All Things Digital” which I have a couple pieces in and for the first time sharing the video from “Senses That Sin” show casing 3 art dolls, my live doll that comes alive Namchi Bazaar, and accordin player Del Riviera from Powell River, I am excited to share the walls with many other talented artist for this show.

We also have the membership show which I am the curator for and still accepting submissions for until July 14. It’s been a great experience so far meeting and seeing the submissions that my fellow artist have been preparing for this show, I can’t wait to hang this show on the walls and share it with you. This years theme is “Space” and I also have my biggest painting to date in the show.

Look out for more info on the rest of the season coming up at Old School House Art Gallery and don’t forget ever Friday is Gallery Nite from 6-9pm with either an opening, performance or artist talks. I love art show season on Cortes Island it’s so inspiring to see all the talent I live amongst meet the artists and learn there process.

We also have art shows happening at The Coop Cafe, Hunt & Gather, Hollyhock retreat centre all in Manson’s Landing, The Coop Craft Shop In Squirrel Cove.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Twisted

As a yarn maker we go throw many steps before the wool is ready to be used!!!

I started with raw fibre I source out as local as possible, wash and dry, then I use my drum carder to create batts to begin the spinning process, create a skein and then wash again. Once the skein is dry I use my trusted ball winder to create a ball of wool to knit from or sell. You really get to visualize the Twisted yarn when you do this and check out the work you created. Here is three stages of my new art wool “Tiger Lily” hand dyed, hand spun, during the ball making process and ready to put on my table for the summer markets or create a funky scarf, bag or hat for example.

You we’ll be able to find my wool for sale at The a Gorge Harbour ever Saturday from 10-1pm starting the last Saturday in June and can purchase privately by contacting me via email or leave a comment. BalducciArt wool is irregular inconstance, novelty hand spun wool and is unique one of a kind, created with love.

For more info please email laurabalducciart@gmail.com

Wink!

Here is another installment of my Wink! project. Today I share the next 4 pages of the 365-day art challenge I set myself a the beginning of the year! I am still going strong and enjoying every day but the meaning of the word “challenge” has become crystal for me because there is only so many hours in one day. Sometimes there is more time to dedicate to my new art installation, and on others, not so much! I am happy to report, however, that I make time for a tarot card and a sketch every day!

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Over the last month, as spring has sprung and the gardening season entered its full swing, I must admit that it has taken more effort to keep up with this project than during the winter months when I could devote 3 hours a day to it. At the moment, I’ve had to cut this time in half, but once the garden is all planted I am sure it will be easier to set a little more time aside and continue moving forward with Wink! Mind you, I like to work with many art media on a daily basis, so I am still putting in a good five to eight hours of art a day. To see more of my 365-day art challenge please check out my previous blog posts!

Old School House Art Gallery

I am really excited to announce that I am coordinating this year’s annual members show at the Old School House Art Gallery and I would like to take this opportunity to invite new and ongoing members to submit their artwork. It is a really fun event and a great way to share the walls with our fellow artists. You don’t have to be a full-time resident but you do have to be a member (details below on how to do that). We are so fortunate here on Cortes Island to have such a beautiful gallery, with an amazing crew of board members and volunteers – our gallery is run on donations and the hard work that goes into every season, from solo art shows to group shows. So without any further ado, here is the 2018 schedule of the many exciting shows we have planned for this year and we look forward to seeing you at the gallery.

ANNUAL MEMBERS SHOW

Theme – SPACE

Call for submissions to participate in our Annual Member Show.  July 27 to Aug 5.

The Theme this year is SPACE ……which has, of course, many and varied interpretations:  “an area, extent, expanse, lapse of time” or “to set some distance apart” or how about, “the unlimited or incalculably great three dimensional realm or expanse in which all material objects are located and all events occur.” Space can be seen as a landscape, a concept of the space between things, or outer space, deep space. Feel free use any medium you wish and any genre that tickles your fancy – abstract, pop art, contemporary art, textile art, watercolours, acrylic, oil, glass and/or a sculpture… to name a few. We welcome all media and interpretations …..

The deadline for committing to the show is Saturday, July 14. Laura Balducci is our esteemed Coordinator this year, so please email your intent to participate to Laura at laurabalducciart@gmail.com.

Here’s how you can participate and have your work shown at the exhibit:

First make sure you are a member of the Gallery: new and renewing memberships are $10. You can mail us a cheque, payable to the Old Schoolhouse Gallery to Janet Turpin, Box 203, Whaletown, V0P 1Z0. Or you can pay at the Gallery during any of the season’s shows. Then bring us your pieces on Monday July 23 from 1pm to 8pm. You can submit up to two new pieces, and depending on space we’ll do our best to include all, though no guarantees!

Earth Day – Every Day

I think it’s great that we take one day a year to celebrate Earth Day, but I think we can all do better than that and do our part Every Day!!! There is so much more that every single one of us can do on a daily basis to make things better on our beautiful planet. This includes the obvious such as “reduce, reuse, and recycle”. Today, I would like to share my thoughts on this very important topic.

Unfortunately the obvious 3 R’s are not enough and this being proven a little more every day. There are other key things that we can each put into practice which are really not that difficult to achieve, considering the impact they have.

The first thing I would like to mention is part of the “reduce” but it involves choices that are not made by everyone and it involves reducing our carbon footprint. My suggestion is to carpool wherever and whenever possible – this just takes a bit of networking and planning. Another option is to walk more and/or ride a bicycle (we could all use more time outside, more exercise, and some fresh air). Another thing is to grow our own food. There is no doubt it is a healthier choice for our body and soul, it eliminates plastic and packaging and also less pesticides. And since we are what we eat, it would be a good thing to care about what we put in your body! Now I do believe there is some limits here depending on where people live, but here is a case of “thinking inside the box” because it is easy to create a garden in even the most restricted spaces by using boxes or pots, and even a herb garden on a window sill brings down our packaging (which means less plastic) and has many health benefits – fresh herbs are filled with nutrients!

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Another one of my favourite ways to do my part is to not support “fast fashion” or disposable items. This means thinking about where we put our money. And it’s really no that hard to do. Here are some questions you can ask yourself: Do these items define who you are? (NO). Do you really need them? (NO). Fast fashion equals slave labour, pollution, and a ton of waste that ends up in landfills. It also mans cheap goods that break down in the laundry and barely last one season. The alternative is to buy quality clothing that is well-made, and to choose timeless pieces that never go out of style, that you can store appropriately for each season to enjoy for decades to come. Another option is to buy recycled and upcycled clothes.

And now for a biggie and a no-brainer: disposable items! This includes getting a new TV every couple years or just having to have the latest smart phone! When appliances are concerned, buying a cheap version means they will break down as soon as the warranty wears out instead of lasting for years like they could. Other habits to watch for include buying new and unnecessary house items for one season which are mostly made of plastic, as well as such items as swiffer mops, coffee pods, disposable diapers and cloths, unrecycled toilet paper and paper towels, non-biodegradable soaps and detergents, and any of the things that give us a quick fix of instant gratification that will just end up tossed in some landfill, and that we never needed in the first place, or for which sustainable, and environmentally-friendly alternatives exist.

These are just a few thoughts that I think everyone of us can put more in to practice, and this goes for me too. Let’s all work together to help create the Earth we want for the future. I believe if we all do just a little more than the obvious, and make a conscious decision to think before we buy, as well enlist the help of our friends and family to make this choice together and keep each other in check, these few simple changes can make a big difference. Of course there are many other ways but for now I will leave this for the curious mind…

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Awakening

Spring is in full force, with all the flowers and seeds Awakening from their winter slumber and their colours bursting Open. I have to say it’s a pretty inspiring time of year! I love watching all the action and the surprises that appear a little more each day. One of the things I love about planting perennial flowering bulbs is that they reproduce yearly with more foliage, depending on where I planted them; some comes up in bunches and others in spots I had not imagined a flower would be. Tulips are one of my all time favourites, maybe because they are some of the first ones to unfold from their cocoon of leaves. But don’t get me wrong, I love all plants. I wish everyone a wonderful gardening season…

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Celebrating 100 days!

Today marks the 100th day of my 365-day challenge “Wink”. I am really stoked to have made it this far, as it takes some serious dedication to complete a project that involves creating something, every single day. So far, I have learned a lot about myself and my process, and feel that I have come a long way with this challenge of pulling a daily tarot card and a drawing a daily sketch. My confidence in creating art is growing and my desire for experimentation is at its peak. Today, to celebrate this milestone, I am sharing the next four pages of my sketch book “Wink”. I have 265 days to go, so stick around to see more! And I thank you all for the encouragement, your comments and the loving support  I have received so far in this challenge. xoxo Laura

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Smile

Billie was the second dog I ever had in my adult like (so not counting my family dogs). I rescued her when she was 3 years old from a very abusive situation. I had her for an amazing 13 years and she was a totally amazing dog – in fact even people who were not “dog people” loved her. She also was the first dog I ever had who actually smiled – and yes, this is her smiling! She smiled a lot and often, and I like to think it was one of the many ways she used to show me how much she appreciated being rescued. I loved her so much and miss her dearly. She is forever in my heart and now rests in peace after a long and wonderful life. xoxo ❤️img_8732

The Art of Growing Food

There’s something to be said about growing your own food. And that something is, “Do it”!!!

To me, growing a vegetable garden is a form of art. It is a well-known adage that “we are what we eat” and that we are all walking canvases. I also have as soft spot for yard art and let’s not forget that when we cook, all our wonderful produce becomes part of our culinary art… So when you put it all together, growing food is indeed an art form!

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It is also one of the ways in which I contribute and give to my family, since the more food we grow the less we need to buy, and the more money we save. Growing your food also saves the planet by bypassing any need for packaging and no gas is used to bring it to your home, and of course you know where your food came from and the love that went into producing it.

 

My process starts with the seeds; some of which I have collected from the previous year and some I buy from a trusted source. Then my man preps the garden beds, and then when the soil – which we build and nourish throughout the year – is thawed and the weather is warm enough, the garden gets planted. All of this is very exciting to me as I love to watch everything grow as I water it throughout spring and summer. By the time fall comes around, all the preserves have to be done and the shelves and freezer get stocked… total gratification is how it feels. I hope to encourage everyone, no matter what size of space you have to give it a try, whether you live in an apartment, have a patio herb garden, a backyard garden or, like us, a farm. The picture above is the seeds I have recently planted; they include lettuce, peas, basil, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon, and cantaloupe… and there is so much more on the way. Stay tuned to watch my garden grow!!! xoxo