Hello! I'm Monika Kinner-Whalen. If you ever meet me, you'll need to practice saying that right. It throws people for a loop when I introduce myself. It goes like this: Moe - nee - kah. (Not Mawnicka).
|Monika Kinner-Whalen, Saskatoon SK
I live in Saskatoon with my family of 5, and I started the My Sweet Prairie blog about 2 years ago. I'm a full time artist who quilts, embroiders, and is learning to hook. I've been doing art since childhood. Quilting started about five years ago. I discovered fibre art 2 years after that. I suppose my claim to fame is my prairie thread paintings based on local photographs that I take, as well as my love for 'art-to-mail' postcard.
|'Wish You Were Here # 42 (sold)
It all started when I returned back with great homesickness to the prairies after living near the mountains for a decade. Out came my camera. 4,ooo photos later, I was given a stack of fibre art and quilting art magazines. I had never heard those terms before. I was SO excited because I never enjoyed other art mediums nearly as much as I love thread. I jumped right in and have been swimming along happily every since.
|I work from my own photos and stitch scenes I love... 'Spring Greens' in progress
I was asked to list my top three accomplishments in the past year. If you read my blog, you know there are about four dozen things I could list. I'll try though!
#1. A Prairie Dress.
This baby was a personal dare to myself. I heard the term 'quilted wearable' and POOF! There was this vision of my art on a corset style dress. I managed to pull it off last fall for our quilt show. This was a GIGANTIC learning curve for me. It was included in an exhibit with the Saskatchewan Craft Council this winter. Now it's going to Halifax! I just got word of it's acceptance into the National Juried Show with the Canadian Quilters' Association. I am a bundle of jitters!
#2. I Am Juried
Earlier this month, my work was accepted by a jury for the Saskatchewan Craft Council. The whole point to that is that I am now credited with the term 'excellence in craft'. It also gets my foot in the door for some juried members-only opportunities. I am super-thrilled about this achievement.
#3. Featured Artist for ANPT
This was pretty significant too! Last year, the editor for A Needle Pulling Thread magazine asked if I would be one of the featured artists. After picking myself up off the floor, I said "yes!!". That feels like a long time ago, but the issue just came out last week! It is beautiful - they did a terrific job. It's hot off the press. You can find it in Indigo, McNally Robinson Booksellers, and local needle arts shops too. They ARE NOT in the supermarkets or grocery stores.
Shortly after that article for ANPT was written, I started THIS blog - The Needle & Thread Network! Case in point - you can't find Canadian content in any supermarkets or grocery store stands! I wanted to gather us creative Canadians together to have a platform where we can see each others' work and show off our talent. I came up with the name so that it would be diverse enough to cover all crafts in the field of fibre. I didn't want all the WIP Wednesday traffic on my blog because this was not a tactic to get more followers. My agenda was to find all those Canadian needles-in-the-haystack. ; ) Here you are! This is awesome. I hope you are enjoying the Network as much as I am.
|machine stitched and hand embroidered (sold)
My future includes more opportunities to teach creative sewing locally. That's been fun! I have three art exhibits booked annually, plus one BIG show in Winnipeg next year. (Stay tuned!!!) I'm constantly pestered to do video classes or make a book. Some day! It's all in my head... but that's as far as I've had time for up to now. I will continue with my art and my guilds (Saskatoon Quilters' Guild & The Bridge City NeedleArts Guild under the EAC), and my three kids and my husband and my pets and my big messy house... and that is lots! It a fun ride. I was a full time social worker / trauma counselor in the 1990's. My Husband was a 'computer guy'. Now we are both entrepreneurs. We're a very close and happy family, doing what we love. It's all good!
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.