All posts by susanlgriffin

Susan Jaenen-Griffin grew up surrounded by art and craft. On her parents Saskatchewan farm she was exposed to the beauty of nature and had access to a bountiful array of crafting material. With the long winters of temperatures reaching forty below there was time for creative pursuits. As a child she was always ‘crafting’ something. Eager to learn new crafts and try her hand at many genres she learnt to sew, cook, cast ceramics, fashion paper crafts, style candles, and embroider, among many other crafts. While attending high school she was instructing over 150 students a week in ceramics as well as designing and painting pieces for retail sale. She produced thousands of ceramic containers for her family’s honey enterprises which found their way around the world. She has formal training in Ceramics, Interior Design and Floral Design. She enjoys scrapbooking and is also a self-taught gingerbread and sugar flower artist. Several of her sugar creations and decorated cakes have been featured in national bridal magazines and International publications. All of these creative activities developed her love for unique artistic expressions which she transformed into her love affair with fabric and thread. Her enchantment with quilting started in 1979 when she made a water-bed sized cathedral window quilt entirely by hand. Along her quilting journey she has created many quilts rarely following a pattern preferring instead to add her own individual touch to each one. In addition to traditional quilts she has produced an impressive array of true miniature quilts and non-traditional quilts as well as award winning art quilts. Susan has had the honor of having five of her quilts juried into the “O Canada” exhibits at International Quilt Festivals in 2010, 2012 and again in 2013. She is now concentrating full time on her art. Her website is www.laceflowerdesigns.com

The Art Show

lymediseaseshow1lemonaidewithatwistoflymeOn Saturday April 8th, 2017 I held my first solo art exhibit “50 Yarns of Lyme – The Lyme Dis-Ease Series” in my hometown.  I was blown away with the response and grateful to everyone who came and/or sent their best wishes.  The turnout, comments and reaction was a lot more intense than I had expected.  As I told the newspaper when you see the tears and the recognition on people’s faces and they tell you their stories and how they related to your work you have received the best compliment an artist can get.  It helps to know that all the years ‘working’ at your art and that the risk you took by putting your work out there has been worthwhile.  These 50 pieces of fibre art were originally completed not for exhibition purposes at all.  I made them as my therapy and had no intention of showing them to anyone.  After being encouraged by fellow artists I determined that while they are not competition pieces these pieces did actually have stories to tell.  The main reason that I had the showing was to illustrate the value that art plays in the healing process.  I wanted to show that art can and will help you heal.  Not only because it relaxes you, giving the treatments the best chance to work and your body to heal physically but also,  because it can on a more internal level bring healing to your soul.  In the coming days I plan to get the pieces photographed and begin the process of preserving the stories as best I can.  For today I will post a few pictures of the day and must carry on with my family duties.  I need to put my cake decorator apron on and decorate some cakes for an engagement party this weekend.  It takes me a  lot more time (and effort) to decorate than my pre-Lyme days but I’m going to keep working on it – not that I will ever do it professionally (i.e. for money) again but I really want to see how many of those skills I can recover as well.  Then when it stops freezing at night (and day!) I will be enjoying the sun on my back in my gardens and orchard.  Happy Spring everyone.

The following is a picture of my family at the show with my triptych “Days, Weeks, Months” in the background. We are covering up the web and slug.  More photographs to come one day….

april8 2017

Advertisements

Almost Ready~.~.~.

I am nearly ready for my art show “50 Yarns of Lyme – The Lyme Dis-Ease Series” .

This collection will feature 50 different fibre art pieces portraying my journey with Lyme Disease.  I hope to show the value of creating art in the healing process.  Traditional quilts, contemporary art quilts, 3D fibre pieces, abstract and mixed medial pieces will all be represented at the show.

I have just “hung” a piece called “A Shadow of My former Self”  This two sided whole cloth quilt hangs from a 7 foot hangman frame and represents the depth of destruction that Lyme wages on its victims leaving them just a shadow of their former selves.  The morgue-like toe tags are pretty on one side because some Lyme patients “look fine” but the reverse outlines the destruction the disease assaults on your body.

Everyone is invited to join me on Saturday April 8th at St. Alban’s Parish Hall – 703 Ellice Street Moosomin, Sk. to see my work.  The viewing times are from 11 AM to 5 PM.  There is no charge for admission.  http://www.laceflowerdesigns.com

 

 

Ashadowofmy

Getting ready for my April Art show

Well, it’s been a while since I posted but my time has been limited as I continue to spend time with my parents.  My Mom had a fall and has been dealing with a serious concussion and this has not helped my Dad’s condition but the sun is shining and things are improving so I’m back to the computer getting artists statements ready.  I’ve now completed 41 art pieces for my show on Saturday the 8th of April in Moosomin.  Canadian Quilters Association and Quilter’s Connection have listed it their upcoming events.

The metal frames for the 26 quilts in the “Lemon-Aide with a Twist of Lyme” series are finished and they are perfect!  I am still working on three more quilts.  I have given myself till the end of the month to create and then I have to STOP and do the paper work.  There is much work to be done with that if I am going to have the artist’s statements and the ‘about this quilt’ done.  I usually put the quilt labels on with the binding but because I will have so many to do I am going to do those I haven’t done all at one time.

I’m struggling with a canvas piece that I want to use for a Spirochetes and Ladders game.  (Spirochetes are the Lyme bacteria that invade every cell in your body)  It just doesn’t want to cooperate.  I’m going to have to accept that it won’t be straight as an arrow and go for that look! or toss the idea????  I have also been stalled with how to attach the toe-tags to my Skelton piece.  I challenged myself on this one using a textured poly for the backing but it did achieve the look I was after.  I intended to use copper wire for the toe tags but it doesn’t work with the elegant textured polyester so I may need to dig into the silk ribbons.  As if you would find them in the morgue!  LOL…

 

Fallin in love with fall leaves…

I’m back in my quilt room and playing with some techniques I picked up from the beautiful artists that I attended Art Quilt Campus under the direction of the amazing Anna Hergert this summer.  (  see her here:  https://annahergert.me/about/)

I gathered up some leaves from my yard and drew their outline on felt.  The kind you can get at a dollar store or Walmart.

leaf

Then I stitched the outline and veins on like this:

stitchedfeltsusanjaenen-griffin

Next they were cut out and I burnt worm holes in them with my Hot marks gun

hotmarksandleafsusanjaenen-griffin

holeinoakleaf

I turned a hotgun onto the edges to melt back them back to the stitching.  Using a fork I held the leaf in the air and applied the hotgun to it.  This made the leaves curl just like they do when drying in the fall.  Below you can see them pinned to my design wall.  I’m working on a “slug” quilt for my Lyme Dis Ease series and will use the pale ones in that.  Watch for that soon (I hope) and the brighter ones are going to be used in a quilt that is still in my imagination.  I think this technique is perfectly suited to making realistic leaves.  I will post an update on how well they attach to my project.

Of course I used my protective mask and suggest you do the same.  It smells bad but on a bright note I feel good that this felt is made from recycled plastic bottles so I’m recycling right?  LOL…

feltleafsusanjaenen-griffin

 

Mixed Media Artist or just scattered ?

So I have tagged myself as a mixed media artist.  This means that I work in several mediums.  My real love is fibre art but I float back and forth in other mediums as well.  It works well because then I can justify buying “tools” and supplies.  I often use a tool I’ve purchased for one form of my art in another form.  Most of the time I find this works well.

With the planting of over 700 garlic bulbs this past weekend the gardening, harvesting and preserving has almost come to an end for this year.  I also, covered all my precious herbs and fruit trees with a soft warm layer of straw for the winter.  The rain fairies smiled upon me and scattered a welcome 1/2″ of rain on top of my hard work to ensure the garlic was taken care of and that the straw didn’t blow away.

Since the launch of my first Gingerbread book the first of October I have been busy with the 2nd book in the series.  My kitchen has been enveloped in the smells of warm gingerbread and the floor has bore its share of sticky candies and rock solid royal icing.

When I had finished drafting the blueprints for the Christmas cottage I went to work baking the gingerbread and building the structure.  There were a few modifications required to the final design (Of course) but it went fairly smoothly and I enjoyed the decorating.  It was great to be relearning techniques that I had lost to Lyme disease.  I am a long way from where I was when I created the massive carousel in gingerbread complete with gingerbread reindeer and extensive cornelli lace work!~  But I am also a long way from where I was three years ago when Lyme had robbed me of my ability to even turn a doorknob, and for this I am gratefulgingerbread-carousel I didn’t even have a digital camera in 2002 when I was making gingerbread but I still have this photograph of that gingerbread structure albeit it a very poor photograph.

So here is my first photographs of the gingerbread house that will be in my second book. (hopefully, to be uploaded to Kindle in the next week or so.)

frontview

and the back features fondant: Is that chimney adorable or what?

backview

and here’s a look at the two side views.

My creative brain has been spinning with ideas for my next fibre art and I am looking forward to getting into my sewing room but first I must get back to the least favorite part of publishing a book the editing!  and the editing and the editing…

Until then take care and enjoy your art.

 

 

 

News!

Its been a busy summer with the garden and also, I was working on my first book.  As of October 1st, my book How to Make A Halloween House in Gingerbread was up on Amazon Kindle Edition worldwide!  Here’s a peak at the gingerbread house I used in the photo shoots.susan-jaenen-griffin-halloween-gingerbread

and the link to the book is https://www.amazon.ca/Make-Halloween-House-Gingerbread-Weekend-ebook/dp/B01LXEO5EC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475619675&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+make+a+halloween+house+in+gingerbread

I am a multi-media artist and swing back and forth from culinary art to fibre art to the other art that takes my attention! LOL …

Anyway, now that the book is finished (Book 2 in the series will be a Christmas Cottage but I need to wait for the Christmas Candies to hit the shelves) and the garden almost finished I plan to get back to my quilting. I canned, preserved, dried and froze a lot of garden produce for the long cold winter that awaits us.  I also saved my own seeds again and will be planting my garlic in the next couple of weeks!

Next post I will share my latest quilting thoughts with you.  The main purpose of the book writing was to get ready for my book on quilting and healing.  I plan to have that one ready for my art show which is to happen in April of 2017.  I have a lot of quilts to finish to make that date as well as all things that go with planning a show.  Every time I think I have enough done and can start working on finishing them and writing the artists statements etc. I come up with another quilt idea.