Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year!

I NEVER make resolutions.  Its too frustrating to hope to make a change, and then fall back into old ways and habits.  But this year, I am convinced that I have the strength and the disciple to make two major life changes.  If I am successful, there should be more time for all my fibery and other pursuits.

#1 No more mindless TV watching.  This is a biggie for me.  Over the years,  after I would get home from work and see to homework and dinner, the television loomed like a giant pacifier; I'd get my pjs on and plant myself in front of it, not caring what was on.  What a time waster.

#2 No more socializing on the computer!  This does not include blogging.....I can spend an hour or more a night wasting time on Facebook, Ravelry, the many fiber related Yahoo groups I am a member of.

In return for good behavior, I am going to allow myself to purchase a knitting machine I want.  IF I don't give in to temptation.

Also, I just found out that I am going to be grandmother!  My daughter is due in September.  I designed this little sweater and as a holiday gift to our readers, would like to give the pattern to you.  Click here.

Suzie Jenkins

Friday, December 10, 2010

Help With Your Christmas Shopping

Merry Christmas!!!
I would like to invite you to a unique Christmas shopping event.
GRIF Arts and Crafts Fair
3765 Kalamazoo Avenue, Kentwood, MI.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM.
Admission is FREE
Walk into our Winter Wonderland.
Let us greet you with complimentary warm cider.
Meet our group of outstanding Artisans that have
prepared special creations.
Come enjoy shopping for Christmas as
every step delights your eyes and
brings temptation to your wallet!
Enjoy yourself as you leisurely
stroll down the wide aisles with
one-of-a-kind items that are made
just for you.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Jennifer Gould writes;
Hope to see you at the Urban Institute for Contemporary
' HOLIDAY ARTISTS MARKET this coming Friday, 12/3, from
5-9pm, and Saturday, 12/4, 10am-5pm.  This is an unusual
group of artists and their work.  I'm glad to be a part of
this for the 5th year.  I'll be in booth #33 on south wall.
Free parking is easily accessible across the street.

Here's more information from the brochure.

22nd Annual
Join us for the 22nd annual Holiday Artists’ Market at UICA.
This unique sale is a delight for holiday shoppers who seek
one-of-a-kind works by the region’s most exciting artists.
Enjoy free admission and parking.
Friday, December 3 5–9 PM
Member’s Preview with Complimentary Bar, 4–5 PM
Party with Cash Bar, 5–9 PM
Saturday, December 4 10 AM–5 PM
Children’s Workshop, 11 AM–3 PM
Missed the Market?
Shop our Artists’ Co-Op December 7–23.
12–10 PM Tuesday through Saturday | 12–7 PM on Sunday
Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
41 Sheldon Boulevard SE
Grand Rapids Michigan 49503-4227
616 454 7000 |
Children’s Workshop
Saturday, December 4, 10 AM–3 PM
Create your own holiday ornaments, pins, bracelets,
mini-figures or small paintings using colorful yarn and
other mixed media materials. UICA Education Staff
will be on hand to teach children new techniques and
encourage individual creativity in a cooperative and
festive studio environment. Children 6 and under must
be accompanied by an adult.

Christmas Potluck

LAKESHORE Fiber   Arts   Guild 
December 2010
Holiday Potluck and Ornament Exchange
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
6:30 p.m.
Holland Area Arts Council, 150 E. 8th St., Holland

Please join us for our annual holiday potluck and ornament exchange on December 1 at the Holland Area Arts Council.  Bring a dish to pass and a wrapped, handmade ornament to exchange.  This is always one of our best meetings since we get to talk, visit, share, eat---what could be better!

Ornament Information:
Wrap your ornament so no one will know who made it.  Sign and date the ornament so the recipient will remember who made it in years to come.  Everyone who brings an ornament will be able to choose a (wrapped) ornament to take home.

Potluck Information:
Bring a dish to pass and the appropriate serving utensil.  Plates, silverware, and beverages will be provided. 

Too Many Desserts?
Once upon a time, long, long ago (mid-80s?), our guild's potluck had 11 desserts out of the 13 dishes that were brought!  Thank goodness, our President Stacey Broas brought a green bean casserole---it was devoured immediately.  Since that one time we've never had a problem.  Fiber people seem to be such incredibly good cooks!  And we’ll eat whatever is brought!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Who Are You???

Dear Guild Members and Blog Readers!
If you would like your work featured in a blog post, please write me at

Saturday, November 20, 2010

YT Galleria Annual Show Invitation

Jennifer Gould is busy preparing for the annual show at YT Galleria with her
painter artist friend, Ann Willey.  Their reception will be a
wonderful time for food, visiting, shopping and meeting new
friends.  Hope you can be with us on Dec. 9, Thurs., 4-8pm.

Click on image to enlarge.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kimono in Retrospect

"Etta Hesselink gave our guild the opportunity to not only
ask questions about wearing kimono but to touch, and even
fondle, up close the fabrics and garments she brought to
illustrate her talk.  Of course, the visual favorites were
the two wedding kimono---bright, intense, rich coloring and
gold thread embroidery, padded hems, huge garments worn over
a white inner kimono.  Mrs. Hesselink also illustrated her
talk with a group of haori:  jackets worn over the kimono to
both protect the kimono as well as add more clothing during
cold and rainy weather.  The DVD showed us many different
ways that an obi can be tied---big folds that look like
birds or the traditional round curl at the back, as well as
all the ties needed to keep the kimono and the obi in place.
We also realized that the wearer can't put it on by herself
but needs a kimono dresser!  The entire evening was a visual
and sensual feast for the eyes and hands."  Jennifer Gould

Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't Forget!

This Wednesday, November 3rd is our monthly meeting. 
"The Complex Nature of the Traditional World of Kimono' 
a talk by Etta Hesselink'  at 7pm at the Holland Area Arts Council, 150 E. 8th Street, in downtown Holland.  The public is invited to attend with a $7 donation for nonmembers.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Traditional World of Kimono

The Lakeshore Fiber Arts Guild will present "The Complex Nature of the Traditional World of Kimono," a talk by Holland resident Etta Hesselink on Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 7pm at the Holland Area Arts Council, 150 E. 8th Street, in downtown Holland.  The public is invited to attend with a $7 donation for nonmembers.

Mrs. Hesselink, who spent 20 years living in Japan and collected kimono and the related accessories such as obi, says “To the casual observer, wearing a kimono may seem to be a simple matter, but to the knowledgeable Japanese, it is an exceedingly complex and expensive choice filled with innumerable pitfalls. It quickly becomes an investment, not primarily a choice of vestment." She will show a DVD about wearing kimono and illustrate her talk on the beauty and artistry of kimono with many actual pieces such as wedding kimono, obi, fabrics and books for up close viewing by the audience.

The Muskegon Museum of Art will begin an exhibit on Oct. 21 of a portion of Mrs. Hesselink’s collection entitled, “Splendid Threads,” running through January 23.

Earlier this year the Saugatuck Center for the Arts exhibited many kimono in her collection. The collection included fabulously embroidered kimono, indigo dyed, ikat woven kimono, and kimono for children. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Boisali Biswas Intersections of Cultures and Traditions: A Fiber Artist’s Journey

At our October meeting last week, we were inspired seeing Boisali's work.  Sue Vegter wrote; "The thing that impressed me the most about Boisali's art is that she is constantly changing and evolving, and yet she stays true to her inspiration of nature and her love of the primitive.  She uses many different colors and techniques, and yet her pieces are integrated and in many cases tell a complete story as in the case of the quilts involving her daughter."

Suzanne Shirey, a guest at the meeting, said that the quilts involving Boisali's daughter incorporated photo transfers, and a three dimensional  booklet she had written at the age of four.  She was impressed by the variety of techniques Boisali uses.

Following is Boisali's Artist Statement....

I believe a work of art bears the stamp of individuality and the national bearing of its creator when it springs from self, devoid of pretensions.   Being from India, I have always had a deep-rooted attachment to traditional folk art and culture of India and owe my stylization to its captivating traditional patterns.  The rich array of colors, used in Indian Art, crafts and textiles have always played an important role for me. 
My coming to this country in 1990 and exposure to other contemporary work in fiber art opened up a new horizon for me.   I am always trying to explore and incorporate new directions in my work and am fascinated by the endless possibilities of the medium.  I   had my BFA from Visva-Bharati University at Shantiniketan in India (a centre for Indian Culture, a seminary for Eastern Studies and a meeting-place of the East and West).  The university had been founded by the poet, writer, painter, musician, educationist, philosopher, Nobel Laureate (Literature) Rabindranath Tagore (  The setting and teaching methods of Visva-Bharati are awe inspiring.  All the curricular and extra-curricular activities are in tune with nature.  It lives up truly to its motto ‘Where the world makes a home in a single nest’ in every step of the way.  The years and the education at Visva-Bharati have had a profound influence on my mind and my creative abilities.
During my initial stay in Columbus, Ohio, I worked for sometime at various art centers and had many solo shows, in the area.  I later decided to do my MFA, and went to Bowling Green State University (OH), with graduate assistantship.  My MFA helped me tremendously and gave me ample opportunity to get exposed to the numerous techniques and materials. 
In spite of living in this country for so many years and embracing new techniques and materials, my works still reflect my innate cultural heritage.  The traditional folk motifs consciously and subconsciously appear in my work, however, only for their imagery.   Though the application and significance of color is central to Indian art, just like the motifs, I have used them extensively with my interpretations and not with the traditional symbolisms.
My other fascination has been prehistoric and tribal arts from around the world.   Their influence has also made recurring appearances in my work.   My subject matter is drawn from my own life experiences, thoughts and surroundings and they find expression through a blending of tradition, cultural heritage, modern and traditional techniques and materials.   My primary goal remains to enhance the integration of Indian flavor into contemporary fiber arts.  I feel like my journey has just begun and I have a long way to go…

For more information and pictures please go to Boisali's website.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Intersections of Cultures and Traditions

Fiber   Arts   Guild 
October 2010

Intersections of Cultures and Traditions:  A Fiber Artist’s Journey
Speaker:  Boisali Biswas
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Holland Area Arts Council
150 E. 8th Street, downtown Holland
6:30pm Social Time, 7:00pm Business/Program Meeting

The Lakeshore Fiber Arts Guild will present Boisali Biswas speaking on”Intersections of Cultures and Traditions: A Fiber Artist’s Journey”on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at the Holland Area Arts Council, 25 W. 8th Street, Holland at 7:00 pm. A $7 donation is requested of nonmembers.   Boisali’s work is a combination of weaving, painting, screen-printing,  surface design, beading, and wrapping, besides other inventive techniques.


Blue Coast Artist Fall Studio Tour

OCTOBER 2nd & 3rd
Saturday-Sunday 10am-6pm
For over twenty years the Blue Coast Artists have
been delighting and educating the public with
their annual Fall Tour of Studios. Viewers are invited
once again to experience the creative process in action.
See a piece of pottery form, watch glass beads take
shape in the torch, or watch colors come alive with
spun wool. These are just a few of the demonstrations
that art lovers of all ages are sure to enjoy during this
annual West Michigan autumn event, from 10AM-6PM
both days and is free of charge.
The 2010 tour includes seven working artists' studios
located between South Haven and Saugatuck. Each
site features demonstrations, original artwork,
refreshments and more. Hands-on art making
projects, unique art abodes, a haunted garden and
fall color makes this creative experience fun for the
whole family.
The tour can be completed in one day.
Guild member, Suzie Jenkins is a member of Blue Coast Artists.  For a map of the tour, click here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


 The ArtPrize website states 'Designed as a very different art competition, the goal is for the general public and artists to collide, exchange ideas and come away changed.'  We are lucky to have ArtPrize  in Grand Rapids this week, and to have the connection of fiber artists we know exhibiting their work.

Guild member Alice Breese has taken recycled cotton mat board,  a small amount of abaca fiber mixed in for the background sheet and very finely beaten cotton fibers and with these humble materials, created pigmented pulp painting on handmade paper.  These beautiful pieces are currently on exhibit.

The top piece titled Cosmic Dance is at the Holland Area Arts Council on 8th Street in Holland.  The lower piece, Laughing Waters, is at ArtPrize at 38 W. Fulton in Grand Rapids.  

The description of  Laughing Waters as written in Alice's profile on the ArtPrize website follows;

"This piece combines the healing aspects of water and laughter, inspired by the moment after a friend’s passing, when as we all wept by her bedside, someone said, “We need to celebrate her love of the lake.” Together we ran screaming into the roaring surf, replacing our grief with an appreciation for life.

Papermaking is a time-consuming, meditative process during which the hands work and the mind floats. For this piece acid free cotton mat board scraps were soaked, hand-torn, and macerated with an electric hand drill equipped with a plaster mixing bit. Then the fibers were beaten for about 20 minutes in a Holland Beater. The beaten fibers were diluted with 40 gallons of water, agitated, and transferred to the surface of the mold and deckle. The water is then allowed to drain away, leaving the background sheet of paper. Pigmented pulp painting is done while both the background sheet and the pigmented pulp are wet. The artwork is then pressed and dried as a single sheet of paper."

ArtPrize is a show that should not be missed.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Exploring the Love of Fabric

Jennifer Gould grew up playing with fabric.  After years of spinning wool into yarn and tapestry weaving, which included time studying weaving in a kimono factory in Japan, Jennifer began designing dolls.  Jennifer says,
"I am continually fascinated by the techniques and fashions that our cultures have worn to express themselves - from medieval and Renaissance clothing to today's experiments in spinning stainless steel into thread."

You may see her art dolls, hand printed fabrics and jackets, her unique doll patterns, and silk scarves at the Fallasburg Art Festival (booth #76), Sept.25-26, 9-5, (north of Lowell, Michigan).  This is Jennifer's last outdoor show this season, and a wonderful opportunity to get something really special for holiday gift giving.  For more information about Jennifer's work, her art, and classes, go to

By the way, Jennifer is our guild President!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Beauty in the Design

Karen Hoekstra is an artist.  Her medium is thread, her canvas precisely created strip piece quilting.  We were mesmerized, and maybe even a little shocked, when she took a beautiful quilt and began to layer organza and stitching on its surface.  What appeared to be a random maneuver of her machine resulted in a perfect leaf shape of purple organza on the background of autumn colored strip piecing.  It was beautiful.


What makes the difference in her work is that it, in her words,  'reflects a process of change that takes place in our lives.'  There is a flow to her work in which change is evident. 

This summer, a show of Karen's work was at the Muskegon Museum of Art 82nd Regional Exhibition.  She has also exhibited at the Festival of Regional Arts Exhibition in Grand Rapids, and at shows in Grand Haven.  It won't be long before the rest of the fiber arts community nationwide finds out about her inspiring and thought provoking work.

For more information about Karen, go to her website

Monday, August 23, 2010

Get Inspired in September

“Creating with Layers and Free Machine Embroidery”
Speaker:  Karen Hoekstra
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Holland Area Arts Council
150 E. 8th Street, downtown Holland
6:30pm Social Time, 7:00pm Business/Program Meeting

After 30 some years of teaching art on all levels, elementary through college, and after helping raise some 30 children, Karen describes herself as “sliding into that third stage of life, retirement or otherwise known as new adventures. No more trying to squeeze in creative time, but now I have the luxury of choosing how much time I spent in my studio.  Working with textiles has been the main focus of my art explorations since I discovered tapestry weaving 40 years ago. In recent years, arthritis has not allowed me to comfortably work at the loom but the sewing machine has nicely taken its place.”
Karen continues, “The process of creating my fiber art reflects a process of change that takes place in our lives.   I rely on a rigid under-structure of precisely created strip piece quilting. There is a beauty in the design of that structure but there is also a finite quality to the design. It begs to be worked on. With layers of transparent fabric and thread used as painted lines, I begin by nudging the shapes to expand their horizons and move into their neighboring spaces. Each color and shape changes, and is changed, by its surrounding so that the rigid structure evolves, following a flow of action into an organic and growing form, the way life should be."