Like many good fathers out there, mine is difficult to buy for. Cripes! My sisters and I wrack our brains for something (a) affordable and (b) meaningful and (c) he hasn’t gone out and already purchased. Once we find a good theme, we can overdo it a little, giddy with the ‘win’. There is quite a collection of Far Side comics in my parents home, as well as Far Side mugs. There is a closet full of Engineer Beige slacks and matching Engineer Office shirts, as well. Tools are a bust, sports are a no-go and I just can’t afford that Lexus IS-bibbity-bobbity that he so desires.

This year, I gave my first idea away to my younger sister as she happened to be closer to Mrs. Huizenga’s for the latest winner, Mado’s Pepper Sauce (I awesome-sauce this Awesome Sauce). So, I put my thinking cap on and thought, “What can I possibly make Dad that isn’t a handbag, pillow or wallhanging?” My father has often remarked that my Stitchy faces are my greatest talent. As this comes easily I can never quite agree, feeling my glass work or my elaborate wallages are more spectacular (toot!). Nevertheless, he maintains that “not everyone can do this, Katie” and “you are sketching with thread!” It blows his giant mind.

Well, he may not want a bag or pillow, but surely Dad will wear a tshirt! I dashed out to the shop to buy a blank tee. I then perused my family photos until I found my folder entitled, Dad-isms, where I located the following:

This one I like to refer to as Puff Daddy, on account of Dad’s badass arm fold.

And this:

Mom woke to this note one morning. My Father, the Engineer.

I worked those images until I came up with my the following! Here is Dad, horizontal on a different sofa, modelling my Dad’s Day masterpiece:

A Stroke of Freaking Genius

Send me your pics! I’ll whip you up a solution to next year’s Father’s Day dilemma.

A couple of Fridays ago, I woke early to host a Very-Own-Bag-Making sesh with a lovely young woman on her birthday. Aside from hosting Make-a-Stuffed-Dude birthday parties, I have few experiences creating with another person and I wasn’t entirely sure how it would work out. Turns out: Splendidly! I wonder if I had even more fun than CT, as she is known artistically ;o)

I explained my own process and we began rummaging through my vintage prints for a lining fabric. After narrowing her choices, CT then carefully considered her outer fabric and we got rolling. It was to be a Lovely Roundbottom Shoulderbag avec fish! Crank the tunes and get cutting, girl! We worked together, CT cutting wee fish and I cutting out the pattern. I had her ironing with my mini iron, placing her fish just as she wished while I kept exclaiming, “I am loving this bag! This is so much fun!” Happily surprised and abundantly pleased. I travelled to my folks’ over that weekend where Mom showed me how she assembles the Roundbottom Shoulderbags. Fantastic! CT’s bag turned out fabulously and here are the photos to prove it! (I think she likes it ;o)

For the Love of Lambton County: A Tribute in Textiles by Katie McLellan

Exhibition: October 30 - November 19, 2011

I am so pleased to post the details for my upcoming solo exhibition at Gallery in the Grove. Since returning to Lambton County to launch my career as a fibre and stained glass artist, I looked to my environment for inspiration and ideas. Early and current works depict scenes from Lambton County, such as From My Rearview Mirror at Highland Glen, Birds on a Wire, One Day in Early Spring, In the Fields of Plowing Match Road… The open skies, flocks of dancing birds and the Lake Huron shoreline are the conceptual threads connecting my work.

After many years exhibiting as a vendor at shows and festivals, I am overjoyed to be creating new work of beloved visions for my very first solo show! I feel renewed, in spite of the ongoing (never-ending??!) work. Enthusiasm abounds! Please join me to celebrate my successes at the Opening Reception: Sunday, October 30th from 2 – 4 pm. The Exhibition runs from October 30 – November 19, 2011. I promise it will be well worth the drive :o)

Gallery in the Grove, Hamilton Road at Wildwood Park
Brights Grove, ON  N0N 1C0



Butterflies bounce on warm summer breezes, blowing the sweet scent of milkweed blossoms to my nose. It must be summer!

This weekend I trade bike rides for road trips to the following Summer Shows:

Muskoka Arts & Crafts’ Summer Show: July 15-17, 2011

Hillside Festival: July 22-24, 2011

Shelter Valley Folk Festival: September 2-4, 2011

I’ve been busy making new work including mushroom finger puppets! glorious handbags and wallages! stained glass and more Stuffed Dudes! Come see my latest and greatest and we can catch up on the past year.

Sure hope to see you out there! Many thanks, Katie :o)


swan in snow

swan-on-the-lawn is swimming through snow

The wind is really blowing. It steadily pushes at the snow, sculpting it into drifts. Driving down the lane tonight, I was mesmerized by the snow snaking over the road. Always changing and in motion. Wind is change.

My woodland walk today was work! Wading knee-deep through snow that gave way to every. single. step. left me breathless. A couple of deer paused in their tracks, perfectly still, waiting until I had moved on before continuing their day. I love seeing deer; they’re wild and beautiful. Feels like a blessing, witnessing wild creatures in their natural home. Watching them run over the front field amazes me; it’s their speed and strength.

Once I saw two deer run through the field, across the lane and into the woods, passing close to a dogwalker. Her dog went bonkers, barking and running, excited by these great, bounding beasts. And then came this barrage of screeching shrieks, the likes of which I have not heard since Mrs. Druitt hollered through the twilight of my childhood neighbourhood for her drunken husband to git’on home. (!) I guess I found the scene amusing because I laughed. I think I was wondering how effective a tool screeching is for commanding excitable dogs, or whether it might be a touch counterproductive. Regardless, I’m with the dog: running deer is exciting!

winter grasses

monochrome meadow

monochromatic meadow

[Hm. Something is… chewing? at something else in my walls. It makes me angry/afraid, a dangerous combination. A position which has found me hopping around on a tabletop, squealing instructions for my roommate to squash a something with our broom. I must remind myself to live and let live. I can handle some things, but somethings… we’ll have to wait and see.]

Ominous:o| I won’t leave you here.

chipped paint

looking closely at patterns in chipped paint

When I came in from the cold this aft, I put on the woolies I’d left warming on the rad. I’ll say it again: Rad. Oh, it is. This is my winter wish for you all: to embody the feeling of putting on warm, snuggly clothes and revelling in the heat transfer. That’s just good stuff.

queen ann's lace

the bones of queen ann’s lace

It’s all go here at the studio. I applied late to the Christmas One of a Kind show and was accepted! I’ve been on the fence for so long with regards to the OOAK, it’s a tad surreal knowing I’m doing the *gulp!* full show.

November will prove to be a brilliant month of shows, beginning with The Maker’s Hand in Picton (November 5-7), followed by Fair November in Guelph (November 18-21) and finishing with a full One of a Kind show in Toronto(November 25 – December 5). Email me: to join my mailing list and receive an online coupon for the OOAK entry fee!

Signs of fall abound in the woods around my home. Morning walks mean sweaters and legwarmers, chipmunks are scurrying about in spite of their overloaded cheeks and the fall colours begin to tell of what is to come. Glorious anticipation! I have been loving the mushrooms, blessed little wonders, and even ate part of a giant puffball the other week! Maybe it’s time to put my plan of mushroom finger puppets in action… the Stuffed Dudes need more of a plush woodland for frolicking.

This and other new tricks are up my sleeve. The squeeze of time before shows is when my creative mind really ramps up. Stay tuned!

Birds on a Wire, Cedar Needles and a Forest Elder

My oh my, this feels like a long time coming! What better way to celebrate spring and new beginnings than with a fresh batch of dudes. In honour of getting my online act together, I have posted some stuffed lovelies in my recently resurrected Etsy shop:

Stuffed Dudes now in my Etsy shop!

I have been enjoying these last days of winter on the farm, snapping inspiration shots of worn wooden fences, mosses and lichens; scenes from the wee world. Such a welcome visual buffet–with show applications in and pending, my production mind is waking me early with a twitter of urgency. It’s Go Time!

Wee world scapes

Visual buffet in macro!

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