Working With Adrienne

Two years ago I had just picked up silk painting again, after a brief hiatus, post NBCCD graduation.  After I had dyed a few yards of fabric I thought, “now what?” I knew I couldn’t sew and that if I tried I would go insane.  I really really wanted a maxi dress made with my silk though.  I don’t know why that’s where my mind went.  I mean, you can make practically ANYTHING out of yards and yards of silk, but for some reason, that is what I wanted.

My next thought was, “I know a lot of fashion designers!  Surely one of them could make a dress for me!”  WRONG.  In a city full of NBCCD grads, non of them seemed to be able to take on the project.  Finally, after contacting every fashion designer I knew, I was introduced to Adrienne Goodine via Facebook.  One maxi dress turned into a crop top, a pencil skirt, a cocktail dress and then so much more. We were having so much fun!

Since then, Adrienne and I have had a line in last year’s UNEARTHED (NBCCD’s annual fashion show), worked together on SEVEN, and have done multiple photoshoots (featuring our latest designs) together.  During the above mentioned projects with Adrienne, I have learned a few things about working together.  Number one, our minds (mostly Adrienne’s) are ALWAYS changing.  I see about three different sketches before Adrienne finally settles on an idea she is going to stick with.  Number two, I have learned to totally trust her process.  The quality of Adrienne’s work is impeccable and she makes sure that her work looks great both far away AND up close.  Number three, two is better than one.  Adrienne has a knack for making my hand dyed silk look amazing.  I don’t know how she does it, but she definitely has an eye for which one of her designs will compliment my colours, patterns and designs the best.

“Two is better than one.” – Boys Like Girls


P.S.  Adrienne and I just had our first shoot in 2016 yesterday.  Her sister Patti took some fabulous photos that I can’t wait to share with you all!  Check out my Instagram to get a sneak peak!


Feature Friday: Picaroons


Instagram: Picaroons Facebook: Picaroons

This weeks Feature Friday is a little different.  Instead of featuring an artist or a small clothing business, I reached out to Picaroons.  It seemed like an obvious business to feature seeing as they make their beer locally, not to mention they have used local artists to design their logos, and have a strong presence among the “hipster” and “artsy” type characters who roam the streets of Fredericton.I reached out to Dennis Goodwin (marketing) and Myles Mackenzie (head brewer) who were super helpful and asked them a few questions about Picaroons and the art-form of making craft beer.  Here is what Myles told me:

Do you ever feel like an “artist” of some sorts when you are brewing?
Most defiantly.  Although there is a lot of science and chemistry that goes into brewing. every batch is different, even if it’s the same style.  There are quality assurance procedures in place to make sure that our beers are consistent but it’s not a push button system.  Grain is still loaded into the mill by hand and the mash still needs to be stirred and pushed.  You have faith in the yeast and watch your numbers the same way that a painter knows which colours to use and which brushes make certain strokes but every painting they make is unique.  It’s a lot of fun and at the end of the day you have a product that people enjoy and that’s the main goal.

What is your favorite beer to make/create and why?
My personal favorite beer to make is the Picaroons Historical Brown Ale (currently the Connell Stamp brown… previously the 104th regiment  brown).
It’s my favorite because it was the first beer I was given complete creative control over the recipe for.  Designed from scratch the way I envisioned it.  I had to edit the recipe a few times starting out but now it’s just where i want it.  On top of that a portion of each bottle sold goes to support a historical charity which is really cool.
Can you tell me a little bit about the brewing process?
The basics of brewing are that we add water of specific pH and with specific minerals to malted barely.  Enzymes in the water turn the starches in the barley into sugars that yeast can eat. We add hops to the wort (unfermented beer) for flavour, aroma and as a natural preservative.  Yeast is added and consumes the sugars turning them into carbon dioxide and alcohol.  We use a filter to remove the yeast and other unwanted solids. Carbonate the beer and it’s ready to be consumed!!  At Picaroons we use a brewing system called a “Peter Austin brewing system” with unique features such as open top fermentation and the use of Ringwood yeast.  Once our new Union street brewery is open for tours drop in and I’ll show you all about it.

What makes craft beer different than “regular” mass produced beer?
Craft beer has many things that make it different.  Smaller batch sizes allow for more styles and more frequent experimentation.  Many craft brewing systems are run by only a few people instead of a large processing plant and thus they are able to imprint a more personal touch to the beer.  This could be anything from quickly adapting to their consumers comments about altering altering beer to be more or less “Hoppy” all the way to adding a style to their breweries portfolio.  Another advantage if being a member of a growing community of small(er than the big guys) breweries is that we have to have more face time with our consumers.  Going out to events where craft breweries are involved, the people there representing the companies are more often than not the people who own them or make the beer.  It’s actually really amazing.
What inspires you?
Other breweries beer.  There is so much good beer out there.  Tasting what other people are doing and experimenting with always makes me aspire to create better be.  There’s no such thing as a bad beer out there, just different beer for different people.  Luckily with the craft beer scene exploding like it is, there’s always something new to try out there and It’s all worth trying!

Always be drunk.
That’s it!
The great imperative!
In order not to feel
Time’s horrid fardel
bruise your shoulders,
grinding you into the earth,
Get drunk and stay that way.
On what?
On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get drunk.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up
on the porches of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dismal loneliness of your own room,
your drunkenness gone or disappearing,
ask the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock,
ask everything that flees,
everything that groans
or rolls
or sings,
everything that speaks,
ask what time it is;
and the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock
will answer you:
“Time to get drunk!
Don’t be martyred slaves of Time,
Get drunk!
Stay drunk!
On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!”
– Charles Baudelaire



Sometimes The Answer Is “No”.

You know when people say, “the worst they can say is no” and they mean it to be encouraging and motivating?  Like, “go get it!  The worst they can say is no!”  I think sometimes as artists we don’t ask for things for that very reason.  Hearing “no” can often mean that an idea or project is over.  That idea that you have spent so much time thinking about, so much energy invested in, could potentially never see the light of day. The thought of hearing “no” is terrifying.  It’s like someone saying, “they worst they can say is their going to punch you in the face.” Ok that might be a bit extreme, but seriously, that is what it feels like.  Failure, feels like someone punched you in the face.

HOWEVER, as annoying as it is sometimes to be motivated by someone when you are feeling down, I will say this.  As hard as it is to let go of an idea, or hear that the answer is, and always will be “no”, remember this.  If you are a creative person, another fabulous idea is always waiting for you just around the corner.  Your first, second, or third idea might not face reality, but another one will.  Keep trying.  Keep pushing.  Keep asking.  If you hear “no”, think of your next great idea and see if that one will work.  Eventually one will.

“You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky


Sh*t Happens

Photography: Denis Duquette  Model: Athenais Testi Hair/MUA: Amy Barter  Stylist: Adrienne Goodine
Photography: Denis Duquette Model: Athenais Testi Hair/MUA: Amy Barter Stylist: Adrienne Goodine

Sometimes things don’t go how you planned.  However, there have been many times in my art career when an unfortunate event has turned out for the best.  It is in those moments when I seriously believe that art is what God wants me to do.  Otherwise, why else would something fall through only to be resurrected into something even better than I imagined??

Last February I had scheduled a shoot with myself, Adrienne Goodine (a local fashion designer), Athenais Testi (one of our fave models) and a local photographer.  To make a long story short, at the very last minute, it fell through.  In a panic, Adrienne and I started calling local photographers.  Since the shoot was only a few hours away, most of our photographer friends were already booked.

It just so happened that Adrienne and I had been wanting to work with Moncton based photographer, Denis Duquette, for months and I was DETERMINED that the shoot would go on.  Adrienne and I called Denis and told him about our bad luck.  He told us that he would help us out if we could travel the 2 hours to Moncton.  Adrienne and I hoped in my beaten up car and traveled to meet Denis.


The experience we had, turned out to be good in so many ways.  Denis was excellent to work with.  He even had everything that we had forgotten in our rush to get to Moncton. Most importantly, he provided us with some GORGEOUS images of my silk.

“Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.””
John 13:7 NLT


Feature Friday: Stephanie McEwan

Photography: Zach Atwell


I first met Stephanie McEwan at the model call for Atlantic Fashion Week and then again in November for the fashion week itself.  I was super impressed by Stephanie’s line.  It was the perfect combination of fashion and wearable art.  So, without further adue, I present to you, Stephanie McEwan.

Stephanie McEwan spends her personal healing and “recuperation” periods exploring gardens, country parks and commons.  She is constantly pressing flower petals and collecting rocks, seashells and other nature ephemera.  Organic shapes, scents and structures drive a large portion of her subconscious habit and artistic practice.

She is currently in her final semester at NSCAD University in Halifax, NS.  This last year has been important in focusing on what inspires her as well as really staying true to what she wishes to create. She is a Textiles and a Fashion student, so her practice involves both the weaving and construction of fashion garments and wearable art pieces.  She really fell in love with weaving in her 3rd year at NSCAD – the technique is rewarding in its cumulative qualities. It is an intricate and tedious process but carries a great history.

Stephanie has taught herself crochet and knit techniques and darned in additional threads to thicken and texturize the clothing. Stephanie thinks a certain lusciousness exists in cloth that is produced by the hand, from the beginning spinning stages to the end manipulations.

Stephanie is inspired by texture and an abundance of texture at that.  Her line, Evangeline, was really the first collection that she combined her interests of nature, texture, weaving and fashion.  Alexander McQueen, Guo Pei and Vivian Westwood are huge insprations to her. She believes that fashion serves as a voice for the wearer, whether political or purely aesthetic.

As she moves forward, she plans to explore surface texture and design. She is also hopeful to continue to build a clientele for her fashions, bespoke pieces and shoes.

To check out more of Stephanie’s amazing work, click here.

“Life is a great tapestry. The individual is only an insignificant thread in an immense and miraculous pattern.” -Albert Einstein


A Day Of Rest And Relaxation

If you are like me, winter in Canada brings three things:  snow, cold and as I like to call them, “the dark and twisties”.  The dark and twisties is a term I collected from Gray’s Anatomy.  Basically when best friends Meredith and Christina found each other in a “dark” place or were experiencing depression, they had a mutual understanding that the other one was experiencing the “dark and twisties”.  They normally cured this with drinking lots of tequila and dancing in Meredith’s living room.  Since I do not want to develop a drinking problem, I have decided to do something a little healthier in an attempt to help get me through the winter.

My friend and fellow NBCCD graduate, Hannah Williams and I have organized a mini art/yoga retreat for the end of February.  The seven hour retreat will be held at Fredericton’s Health Source and will consist of yoga sessions from a certified instructor Annie Michaud, meditation sessions, a fascial stretch therapy treatment from my husband Ryan, art journaling sessions and more!

We want this day to be filled with relaxation, self care and rejuvenation.  No experience in art or yoga is necessary!!!  Spaces are limited.  Please contact me or email to reserve a spot or to get more information.

“Don’t forget to love yourself.”


My Thoughts On Halftime:

Guys.  Can we just talk about the super bowl last night?!  Number one, the line up was unreal.  Cold play, Queen Bey, and Bruno Mars.  I mean, could you ask for a better crew?  Nope.  Number two, TIE DYE!  Now, contrary to popular belief, the whole flower power thing is not exactly my style.  Yes I love bright colors, and yes I love tie dye, but the whole “flower power”, “love” in bubble letters in the audience at the end of the show is not really my jam.  Now the tie dye on Chris Martins blazer and T-shirt on the other hand…LOVE!  I really liked that it was just accents of tie dye spread out through out their clothing, and not like BAM! Hippy dippy tie dye everywhere.  (Like the flower power umbrellas on the field.)

“We’re gonna get it, get it together right now
Gonna get it, get it together somehow.” – Coldplay