medium /// textiles/fiber arts

christina t. carrozza


The softness of fabric and thread, face to face with the harsh devastation of natural disasters. This is the work of American artist Christina T. Carrozza, and these are her words about this series:

“The disaster quilt series … was born from my experience of living through hurricane Sandy, in my new home in Staten Island … I began exploring the theme of natural disasters, using aerial photography as my primary resource. I am currently working on several pieces in this series depicting the earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti, as well as hurricane Katrina. On the surface the quilts appeal to the senses with abstract beauty but when examined more closely, the viewer is made to recognize these devastating events as well as question the way in which they have been represented. I hope the viewer will experience a quiet realization as they peel back layers of signification and process.”

So good. And because I have always had a soft spot for artists who use traditional “craft” techniques to create fine art, I also have to include this bit from her artist statement: “I intend to break boundaries between fine art and craft by using embroidery, quilting and painting as an expression of the contemporary experience of women. I am exploring my relationship to craft, gender, style and authenticity.” Love.

“you can’t make art in the cracks”


Oh. Jessica Bell. She is one of the most lovely people you’ll ever meet, and someone that changed my outlook on my own artwork in one magical, caffeine/chocolate filled afternoon. She’s smart. And determined. And a self-taught artist who just finished her MFA. Yep, she has an undergrad in Art History, started making art on her own, got a teeny tiny studio space with a tarp instead of a roof {for real}, worked for years, applied for her MFA and then rocked it out. I was so excited to talk to her that, well, we just kept on talking! After we “hung up” I kept recording, so if you want to listen past the BEEP, please do. You can listen right underneath Jessica installing her thesis show, or you can subscribe on iTunes. First up, some of her mixed media work from a few years ago:


Ah. Paint, paper, tape, fabric, thread. And color. I absolutely love her sense of color. Now, as if finishing her MFA wasn’t momentous enough, she’s also just been nominated, for the second time, for the RBC Canadian Painting Prize {the winner gets $25,000 and their work in the RBC Collection… so yes, it’s a pretty big deal!} In 2013, as she was driving from Vancouver to Ottawa to start her MFA she had just been nominated, and two years later as she packed the moving truck to leave Ottawa and head back to Vancouver… you guessed it, she was nominated again! The two pieces are very different, yet you can absolutely see Jessica in both of them:


The winner {there are only 15 finalists} will be announced at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver on November 18, 2015. Good luck, Jessica… we’re cheering for you!

We talked a lot about her MFA experience. Turns out, quite a few of her final paintings were inflatable. Yes, I said inflatable:


I want to hug a painting! So, jumping back to the speed round, I purposely asked a question that would lead to this answer because I really wanted to show you the knitted wall hanging she made for me. I thought she was sending one of these smaller pieces {which would have been wonderful too}, but no, she sent me a huge, heavy, beautiful piece that gave her carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s hanging in my living room right now:


Love. So much. And with that, we finished things off. Jessica is exhausted after her MFA, so I suggested she take a nap for the winter. Look, she can do it on one of her inflatable paintings…


Shhhhhh. Thanks Jessica. And thanks to you… see you next week for another episode. xo


Other links mentioned: Sarah Gee Miller, Ben Skinner, Being Boss podcast, Heather Craig {Heather was the artist who told Jessica, “You can’t make art in the cracks.” That might be my new most favorite saying}, and Initial Gallery in Vancouver. ps. Conan… Jessica is waiting for your call.

jessica dance


London based Jessica Dance describes herself as an art director, model maker and prop stylist… but I’m going to throw artist in there too because, damn, I wish I thought of this. Comfort food. Yum! Knit by Jessica and photographed by David Sykes. Now, if these plates full of delicious stuff are too comforting, ie., you’re trying to watch the waistline, may I interest you in this much lighter menu from Jessica’s portfolio:


“Paper plates” … get it? Ahh, so good. Happy Monday.

{via Booooooom}

art-a-porter : a group show … kinda


You guys, this is crazy  {I’m not very good at keeping secrets, and I’ve managed to keep this one since last winter… #miracle}. I’ve curated shows for galleries, created online collections, and now I’ve curated an art-inspired clothing collection. What?! Yes. So, so crazy. Last winter, Montreal based fashion house Art-A-Porter reached out and asked if I would curate an exhibition, that instead of hanging on a wall, would be displayed on clothing. Originally I said no, I was too busy {and nervous that there were no walls involved} … but I couldn’t control myself… it just sounded too fun! And so they gave me a huge folder of artists to choose from and off we went. This lovely, limited edition collection is the result, and I’m so proud of it! Here is my “curatorial statement”, and then a peek at some of the artwork/pieces:

From collage, to painting, to mixed media – the work of Joe WebbMonica Trastoy, J.D Doria, Niki Hare, and Erin Case is very different, yet all of the individual pieces come together beautifully, creating one unified collection that is dreamy, modern, black and white – with just the perfect pop of vintage-inspired color. I chose these pieces because, well, each one is stunning on it’s own, but when brought together the combination of organic shapes and geometric lines was something I couldn’t resist – amazing on a gallery wall, and even more exciting when you can actually take this exhibition off of the wall, and wear it.


Gah! I love it all! And there is so much more to the collection… see it all right here. Thank you so much to AAP for giving me this bizarre and wonderful opportunity to curate on something other than a wall, and thank you so much to all of the amazing artists who are involved… it was an honor working with your art!

{Artists in order of images above: Monica Trastoy // Joe Webb // JD Doria // Erin Case // Niki Hare}

*A great article about AAP and this idea of wearable art came out yesterday. Read it here.

ximena escobar


Felt collages? Love! And those color palettes? Love… again! This is the work of Colombian artist/pattern designer Ximena Escobar, and these pieces are from her series, titled “Blooming”. She posts some pretty fantastic work to her Facebook page as well, that you can see right here.

jay mohler


I was in the girl scouts when I was a kid. I made A LOT of these “Ojos de Dios” or “God’s Eye” pieces … well, these just put all of them to shame! North Carolina based artist Jay Mohler has been weaving since the 1960’s. Here, in his own words, is a small snippet of Jay’s story:

“I starting making Ojos de Dios in my hippie days, back in the late 60’s, after seeing Ojos sent as part of an exhibit sent by the Dalai Lama of Tibet. These ojos from Tibet were almost exactly the same as ojos I’d seen earlier made by Hucholes in Mexico. Since then I’ve evolved my own work to 12-sided designs that I believe encompass patterns of many beliefs around the world.”

Oh, they make me want to find some sticks, grab some yarn, and put my girl guide sash back on! If you want to try making one, Jay not only sells his work, but he also sells DIY kits for just under $30. Fun!

{via Honestly WTF}

land of nod : fall 2015 collection!


Ok, I know it’s July, but in the world of Land of Nod, Fall has arrived! This is my second collection for Land of Nod, and I could not be more excited about all of the gorgeous work, and talented artists who made brand new pieces for this project. Watercolor, tapestries, papier mache mobiles, paper cats… I love it all so much! Oh, and this is a cool little tidbit … those two sweet little wiener dogs, by Canadian artist Louisa Jensen, are named after my dogs, Stella & Murphy! ♥  You can find all of these, and pieces from my Spring 2015 collection, right here.

adrian esparza


Sarape blanket, wood, nails, enamel… now that is a fantastic materials list! Texas based artist Adrian Esparza deconstructs and then reconstructs Mexican sarape blankets, viewing them as “an evolving self-portrait.” He transforms them from their traditional, original form into stunning, modern geometric installations poetically exploring the idea of his identity as a Mexican-American growing up on the border of these two cultures. I would love to see this work in person… this is the best I can do today:




{all images via Taubert Contemporary; found via Pattern Pulp}

hagar cygler


Tel-Aviv based artist Hagar Cygler started this on-going embroidery series, titled Families’, in 2008 and is still going strong. She lays layers of silhouettes from family photos {hers, friends, found} on top of each other, and then embroiders them onto canvas. I love the overlapping, but I can’t decide if it feels like 1. a special, entangled bond of closeness, or 2. a forced together, over-involved, all over each other’s lives, situation. Hm. Depends on the day, I suppose.

elin thomas


I have never been so happy to see mold. In fact, this might be the prettiest “mold” I have ever seen! UK based artist Elin Thomas crochets and embroiders these little art-meets-science specimens in the prettiest of palettes. Hurray for spores and fuzzy growths!

{via Brown Paper Bagps. if you’d like to own some of this pretty mold, you can find it in Elin’s shop.