Monday, November 30, 2009

Commissioned Work

Although I have thought that I wouldn't take on any commissioned work at this point, I have since changed my mind on two recent occasions.

After the two TV shows appeared showcasing my animal bags I had received beautiful emails and phone calls from viewers of the show, people I had never met called or emailed me to congratulate me on my show and my business! Words of praise that humbles me to the core :)

One of the viewers is interested in purchasing one of my bags and wants to commission another bag of a bird. I love birds (they are my passion) and thought "yes" I would very much like to make that particular bird bag for her.

I do not however want to make bags of certain animals (ie cats or dogs) or some other creatures that I've been asked to do in the past. Those animals simply did not interest me enough to want to spend the huge amount of hours I pour into designing and making them. I have seen various cat and dog bags etc made of fabric mass-produced in other work is not of this type.

Therefore I feel I have to take each idea given to me with much thought and if I feel inspired by it then I will do so. I do not want to get into the rut of making something just for the money...this is not my goal. I have to have the passion and the desire to do a specific creature.

My goal is remain as "the artist" and have the freedom to show my artistic "flair" in my creations :)

TV show "Regional Contact"

here is the link to see the episode of Regional Contact that I was on. Click on the link for "Willowbird Designs" (Oct 31, 2009) under the caricature drawing of Kathie Donovan and Joel Hasslam.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Regional Contact!

Tomorrow night I will be on the Ottawa T.V. show "Regional Contact" (CTV). This is a half hour show broken into two parts showcasing 2 different local businesses or artists etc. I'm rather excited as I have been watching this show for over 20 years....hard to believe I'm going to be on there myself! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Willowbird Designs featured on a T.V. show!

On Saturday Oct 17th I was one of the people featured on the new CBC TV show the "Creative Block" (show on the "Bold" Channel). I feel honoured to have been asked to do this interview. It is a bit surreal to see oneself as a highlight on a show..... :) (scary even lol). Lucy van Oldenbarneveld introduced me and talked about my work, the rest of this spotlight showed me doing all the talking (oh boy) and showing my leather "Whimsical Animal Bags" :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Studio Tour this coming weekend

On October 17th and 18th I will be on my second "On Common Ground Studio Tour" in the Mountain/South Mountain area.

This tour highlights the collection of works for sale of 25 local artists and artisans. With a great variety of works from pottery to paintings, silver-smithing to woodwork the "On Common Ground Studio Tour" sustains a high level of juried works within this group.

It's a lovely tour all neatly put together in close proximity of the various studios,houses and farms where the tour members live and produce their works. One could easily drive the whole tour in one day or break it down into two days.

Please see our website for a map and a brief synopsis of the tour and the artists/artisans.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Whimsical Animal Bags

These are my leather "Whimsical Animal Bags" that I have created from my own design. I spend a long time designing each bag and use only the highest quality leather or suede hides and hardware to make these one-of-a-kind unique bags.

Depending upon my design the individual bag may be made from either Vegetable-tanned or Garment leather often with a mix of other animal skins or feathers added to the design.

I will then spend many days or weeks hand painting the bag, working on the finer details and then hand-sewing the bag together.

The animal kingdom is so vast that I have unlimited ideas for creating new bags, showcasing the diversity of these beautiful creatures from the land, sea and sky.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Update on my business

It's again been several months since I have last blogged, but I will be doing more now as my business is picking up quite a bit!

Over this past year I have worked on my new "Whimsical Animal Bags" and have quite a few in the painting process. I like to work on several bags at once as it takes a day or so to dry each coat of paint properly between layers. Some of my brushstrokes can be fairly heavy and I need this time to dry it. Thus I'm able to go from one bag to another - alternating the painting days. As well I have other things to do in between such as drafting patterns, punching holes, sewing other bags or working on my Medieval goods.

Speaking of Medieval, I attended both the Upper Canada Village Medieval Festival and the Kingdom of Osgoode Medieval Festivals this past summer. I was a merchant at the Upper Canada one and did very well with my leather business. I had a lot of interest in my looped belt pouches (which not only can be worn with Medieval Garb but with a pair of jeans!). A lot of my leather water bottles with Celtic or Medieval designs painted or burned onto them sold...I was happy to see what types of patterns people liked.

It's always a learning curve to create, some things take off and others simply don't. I love the challenge of experimenting with ideas!

For the second year in a row I will be a part of the upcoming "On Common Ground Studio Tour" in Mountain, Ontario. I will be on stop number 9 at the hostess "Pam Sherrer's" farm house along with Pam and 2 other artists/artisans. I'm quite excited about this, it was a wonderful fun experience last fall!

Here is the link for the tour....

Cheers, Barb :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gallery and Tea Room!

It's been many months since I've last posted (and that was my first posting!).

My first studio tour went very well ( and I've been accepted to return for the Fall 2009 Tour!

After the tour my work was accepted at a new Fine Arts Gallery in Kemptville, Ontario. This is the Homestead Gallery. I am very excited and honoured to have been asked to bring my work in there! I have grown up dreaming of one day having my art on display at a Gallery. It is a huge honour for me, I feel very humbled by it.

I also have some other leather work (not the Whimsical Animal Bags) for sale at another local place. This is a smaller gallery/tea room/gift shop in Morrisburg, Ont. It is called "The Basket Case".

Owners Hanna and Carl of the Basket Case can be reached at 613-543-0002 for more information about the works of mine that they carry (mainly purses, pouches and water bottle holders...the Whimsical Animal Bags are at the Homestead Gallery).