Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Sketchbook is Traveling to New York!

That's right!  My sketchbook is complete!

It's off to Brooklyn, New York to become a part of Sketchbook Project 2011 which will tour across the USA.  Funny... I was excited and sad at the same time when my sketchbook left my hands at the Post Office.  It is a little like sending your child off to college.  Only, she never comes back.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sketchbook Project 2011: Five days and counting

Fire Truck on 1905 Street at Fort Edmonton Park        Ink Drawing:  Margaret Braun

I have five days to finish my sketchbook!

Sketchbook Project 2011 is  Art House Co-op's newest incarnation and possibly the most ambitious attempt yet.   This large art project ties thousands of artists together. Each artist is sent the same blank Moleskine sketchbook.  Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited in galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the USA.  After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view.

I chose the theme "Down My Street" because I live in such an AWESOME area of the city!  Of course, Edmonton has a lot of interesting spots.

My home sits on the top of a hill in a large western city in the Canadian Prairies.

Walking down my street a few houses west of my home lives a well-known Canadian sculptress, Barbara Paterson, whose bronze sculptures sit outside the Canadian Parliament Building in Ottawa.    Sidsel Bradley is the other treasured female artist and former owner of the Fringe Gallery where I have shown my work for years.  Each exhibits their own nearly-life-size sculpture of a female form in their front yard.

Rainbow Valley Campground  is nestled at the bottom of the hill and a few steps west of the site are the Whitemud Freeway and the Snow Valley Ski Hill.   There is a path behind the campground that leads to a forest thick with vegetation and alive with wild animals.  The path leads to the North Saskatchewan River, Fort Edmonton Park and the Whitemud Equine Centre.

Heading east down my street are the University of Alberta Experimental Farms, new LRT Station, Foote Field (football field), major shopping centre and Fire Station No. 13.   My grandson really likes fireman Martin and so does my friend Jane!

 I love living here!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Deep Freeze: More than Just a Festival!

It took me an hour to shovel the snow around my car       Photo:  M. Braun
Where's my car?

Down my street            Photo:  Margaret Braun

Edmonton has just experienced a heavy snowfall during the Deep Freeze Winter Festival!  What timing!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Arts on the Avenue: Deep Freeze Festival 2011

Once long ago.....               by Margaret Braun

Arts on the Avenue presents The Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival  January 8 & 9, 2011.  A celebration of winter merriment with many activities that can only happen in a winter here in Edmonton! 

Ample snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures begs for hot chocolate and a fire. That doesn’t mean everything is going on outdoors this weekend. There will be plenty to find indoors for those wanting a bit more warmth and a bit less winter. We’re talking live music, a dance, Ukrainian and French Canadian food and culture.

An art show is taking place at the old Alberta Cycle Building 9141 - 118 Avenue where you will find my stitched work.  Once long ago.... combines handmade paper (created from sage, rose hips, wild grasses and autumn leaves collected from the East Coulee area near Drumheller, Alberta), paint, beads and drawn with thread.

For schedules visit the Deep Freeze Festival site and enjoy the two-day festivities!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year 2011: A New Handmade Book

It’s snowing again.

My 8 x 12 foot window frames a picturesque setting outside.  It genuinely is a white winter wonderland with a labyrinth of animal tracks marking the ground.

Inside, the aroma of freshly baked golden flax bread wafts throughout my home.  The flames in the fireplace look like Persian dancers tonight.  Walt Disney's  movie The Love Bug with Dean Jones, Michele Lee, and Buddy Hackett plays in the background.

I am stitching the signatures together for a new calendar book.  With every stitch I am recounting the wonderful events over this past year.  I feel so grateful for all the new adventures I have experienced, new learning, new people met and new friendships developed.  I am also appreciative of my community of loving and caring family and friends!

Stitching Design on Exposed Spine for Handmade Calendar Book 2011                                 by Margaret Braun

As I stitch, Deborah Howe comes to my mind.  This summer, in her kindness, she taught me to make my first hard-covered book.  As well, Deborah chauffeured Tatiana, Mary and me to New Brunswick to watch the whales.  As we entered the province we were met with the scent of wild roses that filled the air.  We drove down a narrow road which lead to the ocean and made our way to a cliff where we sat in the warmth of a summer's day.  The sky was a brilliant peacock blue and the sun's rays twinkled on the ocean waves like sparkling diamonds.   We were in awe of the whales as they entertained us by surfacing, spouting, diving, and resurfacing once again.  Deborah's generousity and beautiful spirit were magnanimous gifts.  I shall always be indebted to her.

I am thrilled to be starting year 2011!  I am eager to experience, with you, an exhilarating year fresh and new like the white snow outside my window.