handmade

Maria Nunes and the art of crochet!

I am so fortunate to be collaborating with a local craftsperson – Maria Nunes. Her hand made crochet jewellery is beautifully designed and crafted. Maria learned to crochet as a child, growing up in Portugal at a time when there was still no television, not even electricity! In school they were taught to knit and would make simple scarves and hats. At home, Maria’s mother taught her to crochet to make doilies, table scarves and trim for her ‘enxoval’ or trousseau.

Hand dyed crochet cotton in fuchsia and green by Doris Lovadina-Lee Toronto Textile artist
Fuchsia Ombre and Blue to Green Variegated Hand Dyed Crochet Cotton

Maria has continued to crochet and over the years has made many household items using traditional patterns. Recently, she has changed her style to reflect modern tastes, creating handcrafted pillows, wallhangings and of course jewellery!

pair of indigo hoop crocheted earrings with blue glass beads on black surface
Indigo Hoop Earrings with Blue Glass Beads

Variegated, ombre, and with colour changes over very short areas have been a challenge for me. I have had to rethink my process as well as the amount of dye used! But it has been so much fun! I will also be indigo dyeing this spring and I can’t wait to see the jewellery she makes. I gave Maria all the indigo dyed cotton thread left from one of my projects. All of the pieces she made have been sold! It shows that blue and white is a much loved combination.

round crochet beige circle earrings with natural coloured beads on black background
Beige Cotton Circle Drop Earrings with Glass Beads

Magazines, and books are still places Maria finds inspiration, but more often she finds herself turning to Pinterest. Inspiration for her designs also come from working with the materials. A bead, the colour of the hand dyed cotton thread can start her on a new design. More and more often her jewellery includes beads, they really excite her with opportunities!

Crochet cotton round earrings and snow dyed scarf in fuchsia
Fuchsia Hand Dyed Round Earrings by Maria Nunes Designs on Snow Dyed Wool Scarf by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Maria believes that crochet is a dyeing art. She has tried to teach the next generation but with the competition for TV watching, and the internet with its so many social media outlets, it is a hard sell. Maria finds that crocheting is a relaxing and imaginative art. It has a calming effect allowing room for imagination.

Maria Nunes of @maria.n.designs crocheting

I am collaborating with Maria on dyeing some new crochet cotton. More experimentation with colours, ombre effects, indigo and more. Follow Maria on Instagram @maria.n.designs to see what she is creating.

Set of 5 Chakra Quilt note cards

Set of five of my Chakra series of quilts is available in my shop.

set of 5 blank note cards with photos of chakra quilts by doris lovadina-lee toronto textile artist
Cards from left: Chakra Quilt, Modern Mosaic Quilt, Danielle’s Quilt, The Vibrant Path Quilt, Radiant Light Quilt

These all occasion cards are blank inside and come with envelope. They are printed on glossy paper that show the beautiful colour of the original quilts. On the back of each card is the title, the medium and size of the original artwork.

These greeting cards would make a wonderful gift for the holistic seeker, yogi or quilt lover in your life.

Individual fine art photo mount cards of these Chakra Quilts are also available individually in my shop.

My favorite hand dyed scarves

So many factors of the dyeing process contribute to making each scarf unique: fibre content, dye colours, amount of snow used, amount of dye used and folding techniques. 

watercolor linen/rayon scarf dyed with snow original gift for women by toronto artist doris lovadina-lee

Every time I hand dye, I am surprised and happy with the results.  

original snow dyed pink woman's scarf by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada

Even so, there is always one from each small batch that captures my heart!

pink shibori snowdyed scarf for woman hand dyed by doris lovadina-lee

I’ve chosen a few of my favorite snow dyed shibori scarves that still remain in my shop.

pale blue soft cotton rayon scarf for woman shibori hand dyed toronto ontario canada

I would be happy to send one of my favorite scarves to one of your favorite people (including you!) 

women's pink shibori hand dyed with snow scarf uniquely made in canada DLL1842

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Handmade pop-up and gratitude

My hand dyed scarves, housewares, pillows and photography are available in a pop-up at my day job. I am so fortunate to be able to share my love of dyeing, creating and crafting with my coworkers. 
corner of handmade pop-up ryerson university by doris lovadina-lee

Empty corner desk now filled with hand dyed gifts. Perfect time to pick up a unique handmade item for your mother, father, sister, brother, girl friend, boy friend, anyone you love!

green cotton gauze scarves, butterfly with hearts on aluminum, radiant light chakra photograph on metal by dorislovadinalee

Cotton, silk and cotton, cotton double gauze, cotton voile, cotton/rayon, and cotton lawn indigo scarves. Many fibres and many colours are available! One will suit you.

blank note cards with chakras and flowers on strathmore cards

A mix of quilted art postcards, light up postcard, and fine art greeting cards.

indoigo table runners, placemats, napkins hand dyed by doris lovadima-lee hostess gift canadian made

One of my co-workers persuaded (threatened) me to bring in the first few scarves I made after having taken an indigo dyeing workshop. She was the first to purchase two scarves from me. She encouraged me, rooted for me and supported me. I will be forever grateful for the friendship we have.

Thank you to all of you that have supported me by purchasing handmade!

Fuchsia snow dyed shibori scarf accessorizing handmade!

Hiding under this pile of coloured snow is the accessory that puts the final touch on a handmade outfit by Anne Johnson of @anne.makes.things.

Fuchsia fibre reactive dye with a sprinkle of brown transforms the lightweight lambs wool shawl into a colourful piece of art to wear.

wool shawl in pink and beige draped on mannequin by toronto textile artist doris lovadina-lee

Anne chose this beautifully patterned snow dyed shibori shawl to compliment her handmade outfit. The tailored skirt and hand knit sweater were created by Anne.

Anne Johnson wearing wool shawl, hand knit sweater and handmade wool skirt in Ryerson's DME

 I am honoured that Anne chose to accessorize her beautiful ensemble with one of my artisanal small batch scarves. Thank you for supporting handmade!

Chakra series note cards

I am happy to be making my series of Chakra quilts available on blank note cards. Photographs of my art quilts are mounted on heavy weight card stock with matching envelope. 

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that means wheel of light. These spinning centres of vitality move energy up through our bodies keeping our physical, spiritual, and emotional selves in harmony. 

Danielle's chakra quilt wallhanging blue figure on green and turquoise background by toronto ontario artist doris leeDanielle’s Quilt was the first chakra quilt I designed and made for my sister-in-law whose body was out of alignment – she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Each chakra is appliqued in the colours and symbols associated with that area of the body.
blank note card from doris lovadina-lee's original art quilt The Vibrant Path
The Vibrant Path quilt was entered into the Sacred Threads Exhibit and I documented the process in previous posts.
Chakra Quilt female figure with red and orange background seated on lotus blank card lovadina-lee

The Chakra Quilt above was a commissioned piece. It is the largest in this series at 90″ by 105″. I love the flames of orange and red behind the seated figure!

radiant light quilt on blank art card by doris lovadina-lee

Radiant Light was purchased by a healthcare professional and is hanging in their office. This quilted art piece has also been published in the book: Quilts and Health by Marsha MacDowell, Clare Luz, and Beth Donaldson. More about this quilt and book is in this post

art quilt photo on blank greeting card doris lovadina-lee

Simplifying the chakra symbols into their most basic elements, I used hand dyed fabrics to create Modern Mosaic Chakra.

Each blank note card is 12.7 cm x 17.8 cm (5″ x 7″) and comes with an envelope. This Chakra series of cards as well as the Flora & Fauna series are available in my shop.

Ice dyed shibori tops for Flora

Purple and pink are her favourite colours and mine too! so it wasn’t difficult selecting the dyes that I would use to create some special gifts for a little girl.

Ice dyed cotton top in purple hanging on black hanger back of child's ice dyed top by dorislovadinalee

The tops were white to begin and with some folding, ice and time they became colourful, fun and summery!
Racer back t-shirt shibori ice dyed with purple and fuchsia back of shibori hand dyed t-shirt using ice by doris

They will look great with the shorts and leggings in pink, blue and purple. For extra flair the blue leggings are sparkly! Just what every little girl wants!

ice dyed shibori cotton top on hanger by doris lovadina-lee back of ice dyed girls t-shirt in pink and blue

I can’t wait to see these on her. She will be the best dressed, most colourful child on the playground this summer!

Help with Monetizing Your Craft

I’ve been following Jess Van Den from Create and Thrive for a couple of years and have listened to most of her podcasts. She began her career as a science teacher in Australia, started making jewellery for fun, then selling it online which then led her to eventually make Epheriell her full-time job in 2010. Jess set up an etsy shop to sell her handmade jewellery and had many people ask her questions about selling online. She began Create & Thrive to teach others how to turn their handmade hobby into a thriving business. To listen to her complete story tune into her first podcast: Episode 0 – Jess’ Story.

cup and sugar bowl on indigo dyed cotton placemat by doris lovadina-lee toronto canada
Indigo dyed handwoven cotton placemat by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Jess offers many ways to help individuals learn the business of selling handmade items online. Some of these are free like: 10 Essential keys to successfully sell handmade products online. Others such as, Set Up Shop are fee based. All of her information is very practical, down-to-earth, and realistic. One of her sayings: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”. It takes time, patience and the willingness to persevere to attain your goals. 

doris lovadina-lee hand made indigo cotton scarf nui shibori
Indigo dyed cotton voile scarf by Doris Lovadina-lee

Part of being successful is knowing what your goals are. Jess is offering a 30 day free course that I am participating in called: #MakingItPodcourse. Each day for 30 days, Jess talks about mindset, money, marketing, and business management especially for those who are makers. None of the podcourses are long, ranging in length from 10-20 minutes. She refers back to her podcast list for those who would like more in-depth focus on the topic. Each podcourse has an action item for you to consider each day and a printable one-page course summary. Although this course started the July 1st, it’s not too late to start. I encourage you to do something, don’t wait until everything is perfect before you begin. There is no perfect time or set of circumstances. Just begin, remember it’s a slow steady marathon!

Kumo shibori Indigo dyed pillow hand dyed by doris lovadina-lee
Indigo dyed pillow by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Surround yourself with a support group. They could be your family, a group of friends real or virtual who are on the same path as you. I am going to share a meal with a few real life friends this week so we can share, commiserate, celebrate and help each other in our businesses. What will you do to turn your dream into the successful business you desire?

Liberating Linens!

I love fabric in all its forms, especially linen. With age and use, linen becomes soft and drapes beautifully. Linen is extremely durable, it is absorbent, strong, doesn’t abrade and is stronger when it is wet. Linen or flax has been used for clothing, bedding and other household uses for many thousands of years.

Vintage linen hand towel textiles with crocheted monogram Doris lovadina-lee found in Guelph Ontario Canada

Although linen has had a resurgence in popularity, it’s been primarily in the clothing industry. It makes me sad to see beautiful linen napkins, hand towels and tablecloths in thrift shops. Some have beautiful handwork – tatting, crochet, embroidery, cutwork. Someone has lovingly and painstakingly created these precious and useful items.

detail of crocheted edge linen towel Doris lovadina-lee

So, I recently liberated a few pieces of linen from a thrift store. The bureau scarf above has a few small holes but the crocheted monogram and the detail around the entire piece is still pristine.

Doris lovadina-lee vintage bureau scarf white linen with edging
This hand towel with the beautiful deep crochet edge is in excellent condition and just needs to be pressed.

vintage hand crochet textile edges on linen tea towel dorislovadnalee.com

The tatting on the linen hand towel below has a little damage on one end. If it can’t be repaired, I will probably dip it in indigo this spring and then use it in an art project. I could also remove the damaged end, hem the towel. It is just to beautiful to toss!

tatted edge tea towel vintage find Toronto Ontario Doris lee

The hand embroidered flower garland is made of a coarser linen. I’ve washed it a couple of times to remove some stains, but they are stubborn. I will probably cut this one up for a project I have in mind.

vintage textiles tea towel with garland flowers embroidered on edge Toronto doris lovadina-lee

The puppies are also stained but too cute! This too will be cut up into a project.

hand embroidery puppy dogs on yellow tea towel Doris loading-lee

Liberated Linens

Liberating linens is not a new endeavour for me. Whenever I find napkins, towels, table runners or any other linens, I can’t help but bring them home with me. But, I can’t keep them all! 

hand dyed vintage cocktail napkins doris lovadina-lee shop online

The cocktail napkins above are dyed a beautiful purple. The set of 6 would be a fun addition to your next tea party. They are embroidered with a small flower on the corner and hemmed with a beautiful scalloped edge.

vintage napkins hand dyed shibori green repurposed doris lovadina-lee online shop

Two shibori dyed green cocktail napkins. Best with a dry martini!

for sale Thrifted textiles cotton napkins green and blue shibori handdyed by doris lovadina-lee

This set of 2 cotton table napkins in blue and spring green are just perfect for a fun luncheon with your best friend.

doris lovadina-lee online shop blue shibori set of three vintage hand-dyed damask table napkins Toronto

Three elegant napkins are shibori dyed in blue. Enjoy take out in style!

Look for these napkins in my new online shop. If you have any ideas for my newly liberated linens, let me know.

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