Line, Light, & Living Things on Fabric

Janet is passionate in her work with fabric. She finds the textures that emerge from manipulating fabrics delightful. She hand dyes and paints the fabrics in her art. She loves mixing media, fabric and paper in particular. She always uses stitch to join and elevate the mix of media. Her goal with fabric creations is to excite viewers to appreciate the beauty and mystery of living thing. There is so much around us that is magnificent if only we would take the time to notice it.

Please join Janet at the “vernissage” Artist Opening Event on Saturday, March 4, from 11am-1pm.

Where Santa shops

The Oliver Arts and Crafts Fair is shaping up to be better than ever this year. And like last year, organizers are helping the local food bank by asking people to bring a non-perishable item to this great event.

You will be quite amazed by the new talents and will be intrigued to look closer. Too many to name all, but here is a sampling of what to expect:

Metal work by Humdinger for the home or yard as a decoration or functional addition is a must-see. There will be gift baskets to have a ready- made present for even the pickiest person on your list or fabulous kid’s clothes that are just too cute to pass by. Also there will be pottery with great colours and design or something for that computer friend.

Painters will be bringing their season’s work of oils, watercolours and other media for that wall accent you were looking for. More local talents at the show include wooden spoons, incredible handmade jewellery, golden honey and beeswax candles, baked goods for the season and very tasty preserves from the summer.

And then the fibre artists from in and around Oliver will again please the senses of look, touch and feel. There will be colourful rovings, handspun yarn made into garments, handwoven placemats and funky knitted socks and mittens. Check out the quilting wonders of different vendors who make Christmas ornaments, gift bags,tree skirts and, of course, great quilts.

After you see all there is to see, there will be time for refreshments or for the bigger hunger, a bowl of soup with a sandwich and a dessert to follow. The kitchen is, like every year, ready with all these goodies and never seem to run out of the good stuff.

So, don’t forget that food donation, bring a friend and head down to the best arts and crafts fair around!

Oliver Arts and Crafts Fair
Friday November 25
10 – 7
Saturday November 26
10 – 4
Oliver Community Centre
FREE Admission
Refreshments and lunch available for purchase
Oliver Food Bank items accepted.

Slow Fibre Fest is Fast Approaching

The Desert Sage Spinners & Weavers are busy preparing for their

Slow Fibre Fest
Saturday October 29
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Seniors Centre
2965 South Main St., Penticton
Vendor market, Demonstrations,
Displays, Fashion Show
Free admission – but bring your wallet for purchases!
Refreshments and Lunch available


Pictured here, members of the guild are “growing” felted blossoms on willow branches. The finished creation will be a stage decoration during the event’s fashion show.

This guild has some of the most inventive, creative, beautiful … and funny! …spinners and weavers around. The Slow Fibre Fest will be guaranteed to make you gasp with delight,  laugh, and reach for your pocket book so you can take those warm and cuddly creations home with you.  A fun and educational outing for the whole family.

Photo Credit: Barb Hicks

RipOff Artists make it official

It’s official: the RipOff Artists are the newest group to join the Oliver Community Arts Council. In their own words, the RipOff Artists are “a group of talented artists in many media who join forces every summer to interpret a masterpiece by a famous artist in their own way, to learn new skills and have a lot of fun. ” Pictured at left, they are: Terry Irvine (fibre), Kurt Hutterli (3D, found objects), Barb Levant (weaving), Thea Haubrich (encaustic), Enid Baker (fine art, quilting), JoAnn Turner (fine art on objects), Marion Trimble (fine art, collage, mixed media),  Russell Work (photography) and — not pictured — Dianne Birnie (quilting).

Nearly all its members have also been  individual members of the council, with a few serving as executive officers of the OCAC over the years. All this had given the group a long and affectionate association with the council. Group status, however, confers added benefits to the collective.  The group is now able to apply to the OCAC for financial aid (a “contracted service agreement”) for any public event such as a workshop, performance, class, or exhibit, which reflects the mandates of the arts council.  The group also benefits from publicity (like this!).

Need to catch up on all four of the RipOff challenges over the years? Missed any of the following exhibits: Wheatfield with Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh (2007), Emilie Floge by Gustav Klimt (2008), Pink Tulip by Georgia O’Keeffe (2009), or Mount Lefroy by Lawren Harris (2010)?  You can see them all at once at the

RipOff Retrospective
May 12 – June 23, 2011
Leir House, Penticton, BC
Opening reception: May 12, 7 – 9 p.m.

The RipOffs have chosen their fifth annual challenge: American Gothic by Grant Wood.  You know it: the dour looking farmer with a pitchfork and his spinster daughter in an apron (not a couple, as many assume). The title of the painting refers to the architecture of the farmhouse behind them:  a gothic style window is visible in the second storey.  The image is iconic, and much parodied, so it will indeed be a challenge for these nine creative people to really “stick it to Wood” as the RipOffs say on their website.  watch them in action during the

Fifth RipOff Challenge!
“American Gothic” by Grant Wood
July 4 – July 9, 2011
Quail’s Nest Art Centre, Oliver, BC
Opening reception: July 4, 6 – 8 PM

Take a look at the wonderful retrospective of their art at their very own website:

Art at the Owl

Members of the OCAC or the Oliver Sagebrushers are invited to enter now for the Spring Art Show and Sale kicking off Arts and Culture Week April 17 – 24. The Oliver Community Arts Council, together with support from the Oliver Sagebrushers, are soliciting local artwork from artists in a variety of media: fine art, photography, and some smaller 3D installations.  The venue, the guest house at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, is a marvelous location for showcasing and selling local art. To receive an entry form, or to find out more information about the show and sale contact

Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers

jen-and-yarn“Tromp as writ”, “Overshot”, “Throw the shuttle” “Tabby”, “Pickup” — these unusual expressions are just a few phrases to be heard in the Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers Guild. Weaving is an age-old art of forming lengths of yarn into cloth.  In early human society, weaving satisfied the need for clothing and shelter. Garments and dwellings were constructed from woven animal hair or plant materials.  Today, the possibilities are endless with an array of  threads, yarns,  fabrics, dyes, animal hair, plants, and synthetics – and centuries of creative techniques to draw from.  


Desert Sage members practice a number of skills including felting, spinning, dyeing, weaving, and knitting to create works of art. Anyone who likes to work with fibres is welcome to join! The Guild’s sixty members span the South Okanagan and the adjoining Thompson valley.

The Guild holds regular drop-in sessions every Thursday, September to June, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oliver Community Centre.  The monthly business meeting  is on the second Thursday of each month beginning at 10 a.m. (same location). There are frequent workshops, demonstrations, exhibits, and sales.

We’re growing! Currently our membership sits at between 65 and 70 artisans. Between four and six new fabric art lovers join the guild per year. You might be one of them!

 Desert Sage Spinners & Weavers Guild
P.O. Box 1473
Oliver, BC
V0H 1T0

Our guild is a mixture of ages, backgrounds, lifestyles, skill levels, and artistic preferences. Our common thread is our keen interest in an unusual and somewhat obscure pursuit of yarn and fibre craft. Our crafts are an expression of human ingenuity, a sense of continuity with our past, and linkage with other cultures and generations. The pursuit of excellence in our projects forces us to slow down, pay attention to detail, and allow our creativity to flourish.

 Photos by Penelope Johnson




jen-spinsComing up for the Desert Sage Guild:

The Association of NorthWest Weavers’ Guilds Conference
“Weaving Waves of Colour”
May 29-31
Gonzaga University
Spokane Washington

Visit us at

Summer Studio
July 6 – 11
Opening Reception: Monday 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Displays and Demonstrations: Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Kids Day Activities: Wednesday 10:00 – 12 noon
Studio Building, Quail’s Nest Arts Centre