Monday, 23 September 2013

'Beaded Moccasins - A Treat for the Feet'

Beaded Moccasins by Ali Squire

'Creating Beaded Moccasins'
             By Joan Beswick

The cool days of fall are upon us, and although it may be lovely right now, many of us have mixed feelings about what is to come. There are, however, ways to deal with winter’s woeful weather. My friend, Judy, found one way when she took Ali Squire’s course on making beaded moccasins this past spring. She loved the textures of the materials, the brilliant colours, the beaded patterns, but most of all, she loved the final product - functional and beautiful slippers to keep her tootsies warm all winter. Judy is enthusiastic by nature, but I’ve never seen her take to a craft the way she has to this one. When not golfing this spring and summer, she made moccasins. Her focused energies yielded a gorgeous array of hand-made treasures, the loveliest slippers ever. 

Moccasins made by Judy after taking Ali Squire's Course in spring, 2013

Those of us lucky enough to receive a pair as gifts waggle our cozy tootsies and feel coddled and cared for, knowing that even in the worst of winter’s weather, our beaded moccasins offer warmth and beauty, a fine treat for the feet and a respite from Arctic air.
A Really Great Gift!

Judy says if Ali could teach her to make moccasins, she can teach anyone. So, be inspired – take Ali Squire’s two day course ‘Beaded Moccasin Creation’ at the 2013 Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival. Learn to make a pair of traditional beaded moccasin slippers similar to those made in Coastal Labrador and Northern Newfoundland.

Ali will supply materials for one pair of slippers and will teach all steps in the process. She will also provide written instructions, templates for different shoe sizes, and information on where to access necessary supplies. This intensive two-day workshop will be offered at CFTA, 141 Victoria St. East, Amherst, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on October 15 and October 17. The cost is $200 and that includes the materials for one pair of moccasins as well as shoe size templates and written instructions. 

For more information or to register, call Ali Squire at 902•392•2089 or 
contact her by e-mail at .

Make beaded moccasins,
Be good to your feet.
They carry you everywhere,
Give them a treat!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Henrika's Legacy

A Legacy of Creativity

By: Joan Beswick

Henrika (Ricky) Eickholt


Henrika (Ricky) Eickholt was born in Holland into a family of thirteen children, two of whom died young. It was a busy and disciplined household. She quickly learned that when schoolwork, gardening, and chores were done, you were expected to read or do handwork. And Ricky rose to the task. By age five, she was knitting clothes for her dolls. In elementary school, her knitting was so precise the nuns sent her down to Grade One to teach beginners. So began a long career of fine handwork that expanded beyond knitting to include sewing, embroidery, cross stitch, rughooking, weaving, quilting, and gobelin tapestry. 

Lovers' Knot Quilt

Embroidery with Beading
Embroidered Table Cloth
Gobelin Tapestry Screen   

As a mother of three growing children, Ricky sewed clothes, made hundreds of quilts, and knit, on average, ten sweaters every winter. Eventually, she and her husband followed those adult children to Canada. They emigrated in the late 1970’s and settled near their daughter Louise, her husband, and four granddaughters in Shinimicas, Nova Scotia. Those granddaughters were blessed with hand knit sweaters for themselves as well as knitted outfits for their Cabbage Patch dolls. 

Ricky's granddaughters grew up and now have homes of their own where they proudly display their grandmother’s incredible handiwork, including a picture collage of her '20 Years of Quilts'.

Ricky and her husband have downsized and although they live in a smaller space and no longer have room for a weaving loom, her hands and mind remain busy – crocheting, embroidering table cloths and napkin trims, knitting for great grandchildren, and advising her daughter and granddaughters on their stitchery projects.

The little girl who began her life in a large family in Holland is now the heart of a Canadian family.  She continues to create fibre art that is both functional and fabulous, and she enriches the lives of her family and friends with a legacy of creativity that continues across the generations. 

Ricky’s fibre art work, and that of her daughter, Louise (above photo), and granddaughter, Wynne, will be featured this fall during the 2013 Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival in Amherst. 

Come, join us at the festival, and share in the creative legacy of Henrika (Ricky) Eickholt, a truly remarkable lady!