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Val Hearder
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada
Passionate about the power of the stitch to tell a story, to heal. Trextle artist, quiltmaker,author, speaker and leader of tours to South Africa.
Interests: Textiles,cultural tours,quilting, embroidery, African stitchery, art,design,nature,grandmothers.
Recent Activity
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I've got a new website and blog on Wordpress http://www.africanthreads.ca/threadlink-blog/ where you can read my recent post about my retreat to Manitoulin Island with Judy Martin, Penny Berens and Margi Hennen. Follow me there! Love, Val Continue reading
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I'm just back from South Africa and I have so many fabulous textured images to share!This display was at a wonderful gallery shop called Africa Nova in Cape Town. Telephone wire baskets along with ceramics, beaded dolls and the traditional circular red hats worn by married Zulu women. African icons from Ethiopia and beaded giraffe from Zululand. Continue reading
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The San left their mark in these fascinating, vulnerable paintings. Priceless treasures, they are our earliest human art and speak of a cohesive culture connected to nature. Many of the paintings are fading due to lichens, weathering time and sometimes senseless vandalism. I found it profoundly moving. Continue reading
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African bead aprons and finely woven baskets. Kim Sacks Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa. Continue reading
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We saw this large telephone wire basket at the African Art Centre in Durban, South Africa. Vibrant colour and textur Continue reading
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Detail of a beautifully textured Shangaan beaded fertility apron, Limpopo Province in South Africa. Continue reading
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Deeply textured hand built pots by a Zulu craftsman paired with indigo dyed cotton. Love being in South Africa. Continue reading
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We are in South Africa and visiting the wonderful embroiderers of the Mapula Embroidery Group in the Winterveld . Mapula means Mother of Rain. We love visiting the Mapula ladies with our tour group. I've known these ladies for the past 10 years when I was importing their goods through my business African Threads. Their embroidered tapestries are highly collectible and noteables from Queen Elizabeth to Obama have pieces. If you want to add a piece to your collection, I can help you find a piece directly from the group. You can lean a bit more the embroiderers here. Continue reading
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One grandmother who received a pair of reading glasses said it changed her life. She'd had to stop sewing because of poor eyesight, and that was the only income for her family of 10 she was supporting. Now, with those magnifier glasses, that cost under $10, she was able to start sewing again. This meant food on the table. The glasses were the thin divide between dire poverty and making ends meet. Continue reading
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We met this delight woman in Limpopo Province when we toured there last year. Her husband is a famous carver and she is is second wife. My friend Janine Hunt from Bainbridge Island was in our group and both being quilters, we wanted the scissors fabric that the lady was wearing. So she sold it to us! Continue reading
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This stack of folded kuba raffia cloth exudes texture, colour and energy. Abstract designs are appliquéd on to a background fabic. The colours suggest the essence of Africa. I spotted these fabrics when we visited Kim Sacks Gallery in Johannesburg on our last tour to South Africa. Continue reading
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The Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan. We got up at 4:30 am to get to the market and see the fresh fish ready for sale and distribution. it was full of pattern and texture. These are fresh octopus. Continue reading
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Whalebone vertebrae, many hundreds of years old. I found this at Red Bay Labrador at the earliest known Basque Settlement in North America. the Basque hunted whale and returned to Spain with the oil. There are 9 holes drilled in the centre of the vertebrae, perhaps made by researchers looking at the DNA of the whale, I don't know. Continue reading
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Detail of a stone wall built by Andy Goldsworthy at Storm King, New York. Continue reading
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I photographed this detail from a piece of handwoven raffia cloth in a shop in South Africa. Decorated with beads and cowrie shells. Some of the squares are dyed with indigo. It has a kind of pom-pom edging. Continue reading
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Cabbage field, Second Peninsula, Nova Scotia. This farm at the very end of the Peninsula is a sweet spot. I took this photo many summers ago when I spotted this field of crinkly cabbages, so like crushed velvet. Continue reading
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Dorr wool scraps for baby Scarlett's blanket. A contrast for this white snowy day. Continue reading
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via www.yankeemagazine.com A wonderful interview and tribute to the work of Jo Diggs. The video shows Jo and her wonderful landscapes. I met Jo in the early 1980's and we became friends as we were both had a love of making appliqué landscapes. See her beautiful work here. Continue reading
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Today, when some in our world seem hungry to divide people violently along racial and religious lines, I find myself thinking about growing up in Apartheid South Africa. In Durban in the late 60's, I was not supposed to go alone to the Indian Market, in the heart of the city. Here I found community and my world grew bigger. Continue reading
Thanks Kay, I've got a lot more African stories planned for future blogs!
Thanks Alan.
... and see you on Tuesday.
It has been lovely to stitch around the frame with you and Susan.
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We gaze at the patchwork, the fine cotton, the tiny quilting stitches. Like sentences in a diary, each patch is a record of a childhood dress, a housecoat and scraps from dressmaking projects from an ear when women made all the families clothing.We sense the comforting continuum of the generations of women who stitch. And so it continues with Cooper’s quilt. We’re doing what women have always done…slow stitching. Continue reading
Thanks for dropping by to read my blog. I'm planning more stories about the Zulu women I know in South Africa.