Illustration, Tags and Buttons

I have been wanting to add an illustration to the packaging of the “Coffee Sweaters”. As I have another group of sweaters ready to package up I thought it was the perfect time to do the illustration and create the tags. I wanted something simple, basic and a little rustic.

 coffee sweater illustrationThe illustration originally started out at about 8 inches high. I then scanned the image and cropped it down to 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches. The size was to match a tag I currently use in packaging.

 tagsThe tags are printed on a heavy beige paper with mottling; I think it is a nice change from stark white.

coffee sweater and tagsThe tags are displayed alongside a “Coffee Sweater” that has been naturally dyed  in Lac. I hand dye and hand knit all the “Coffee Sweaters”. They are embellished with re-purposed buttons which creates a fun “not so matched” look.

 wooden buttonsOn the topic of buttons, I have been back at making wooden buttons. These ones are from a neighbour’s tree that blew down in a storm. Branches give a very rustic and natural look (obviously!) . The buttons on the left are the natural color, while the ones on the right had a dip in an exhausted logwood dye bath. I think the dye bath really enhanced the character of the buttons, and the color worked better on the “Coffee Sweaters” I attached them to.

I am hoping to photograph the latest batch of “Coffee Sweaters” in the next few days and then I will share the pictures here.


Hunter Photographics & Studio H
photography, art and hand-made items by Debra Hunter

Another Trial Bracelet

(please click on the above images to view a larger image)

This bracelet is another one of my naturally dyed experiments. The cotton thread has been hand-dyed in natural dyes of cutch, madder and marigold. The bracelet was then tied with one continuous piece of cotton thread. I like the look of the bracelet, but tying a wide bracelet with a continuous piece of cotton is a very time consuming affair. The width of the bracelet is nice, and the fit is comfortable. This is definitely a design to continue exploring.

Bracelet by Debra Hunter

Testing New Things

I have been trying a few new things with the bracelets recently. With this bracelet I am trying new materials. Previously I was using cotton threads to construct the bracelets, but this time I decided to try something new and go with SILK.

 silk bracelet - lac & logwood

This bracelet is made of hand-dyed silk thread that I have naturally dyed in lac and logwood. I then hand tie hundreds of small knots to make the bracelets. A few glass beads are added for embellishment. Silk, being a protein fibre, opens up a whole new range of colors for the bracelets, plus it is just a little bit of luxury having the bracelet made of silk.

 silk bracelet - lac & logwood I am also testing a different fastening system. Previously I had been using recycled buttons but I thought I would also try clasps as an option. It is a little more refined which suits the silk.

The great thing about testing new things is I get to keep the bracelet for myself. If the bracelet will hold up to my wear I know it will be good for others. I’m not exactly the most “careful” person. So far the bracelet has already passed the “smushed Play-doh test”…..a little wash and it was good to go. Tonight I will see if it survives Power Yoga.

New Canadian Painting – “Deep Snow in the Sanctuary” (2014)

Deep Snow in the Sanctuary -2014 (Kerry Wood Nature Centre)

“Deep Snow in the Sanctuary”
(Kerry Wood Nature Centre, Red Deer, Alberta)
medium : acrylic on canvas
dimensions: 16 inches by 20 inches

“Deep Snow in the Sanctuary” is a painting depicting an area I visit often in the sanctuary area behind Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

A few weeks ago I was snowshoeing past this spot and the trees caught my eye, perhaps because it is an interesting view, but also because it reminded me of a painting I had just completed, “Cabin Trees #1”. I took a quick iPhone shot and was on my way. A bit later I was looking at the image and thought it was worth a painting. This is literally the first landscape painting of Alberta I have done in years, with the last several years being focused on painting macro images of wild and garden flowers.

It was interesting working on a full view compared to working on macro subjects. It was refreshing really. When working up close every inch is filled with some detail, while on a landscape part of the story is the empty space. Viewing the canvas in person really gives the feeling of quiet winter space; an experience that an image on a computer, tablet or phone just can’t quite convey.

I’m quite pleased that I stopped to take the iPhone shot as it has made me expand my horizons. I am now thinking I should use the sanctuary as a basis for a theme for the next little while. It is an area close to home, an area I know very well, and it will give me the opportunity to mix landscape while still dabbling in a few wildflower macros. It also gives me a very good excuse to get out and snowshoe and walk more often…..and that is a very good thing!


Driftwood Bracelet #3 – bracelet by Debra Hunter

 driftwood bracelet 3 front   Driftwood Bracelet #3

Hand dyed in; logwood, cutch and madder

Materials: cotton thread, glass beads, driftwood, recycled button

Size: 5.25″, 6.25″ and 7″ fastening loops to fit different sized wrists

Price: $25.00 CAD

My children are always collecting driftwood when we spend time on the coast of British Columbia, Canada. After finding bits of driftwood in ever pocket and nook and cranny of our home I set out to find a use for these tiny pieces of wood. The result was the Driftwood Bracelet. This bracelet’s band is completely hand dyed  with natural dyes and then hand tied with a construction of hundreds of tiny knots. It is nice to create a natural, environmentally conscious, and locally made item. Each of these items are completely unique.

Keep watching the blog for the next version of the bracelet which involves naturally dyed silk.

For more information on purchase of this bracelet, please contact Debra Hunter at .

New Canadian Painting Completed – Cabin Trees #1 (2014)

"Cabin Trees #1" 2014

“Cabin Trees #1”
acrylic on canvas
16″ x 20″

This is a painting that sat on my easel for months half-finished. I walked past the unfinished canvas hundreds of times, thought about what I should do next, but never put paint to canvas. The other evening I had an hour and a half with no one else in the house and decided it was the perfect opportunity to get a little bit done on the painting. Finishing off the painting came incredibly easily, probably because I have photographed and sketched these trees numerous times and by doing so I knew exactly what it was I wanted to show of the trees. I wish all paintings went this way.

The painting is called “Cabin Trees #1”. These are the trees that sit in the backyard of our cabin at Lake Isle, Alberta. I like the muted color and the patterns on the trees, but most of all it is the subject matter that draws me to the painting. The painting is a glimpse of rural Alberta, but also transports me to our cabin.


Artwork by Debra Hunter
paintings, fibre art, photography, eco dyed bracelets & coffee sweaters
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada



January 2014 – Updates, Changes and Things

Last year when I started this blog my concept was that this would be the venue to share finished work and projects, portfolio work and updates for anything I was doing professionally. The blog was an off shoot of which is an eclectic mix of works in progress, fibre art experiments, photography and a lot of real life. I decided to start this blog so that the business customers wouldn’t have to wade through posts about things like snowshoeing and collecting tansy for dyes, while those reading “h the blog” for fun would not have to read the business updates. It made sense. What I didn’t gauge for was what an interesting and diverse year 2013 would be. Bigger and more time-consuming projects meant that I was busy but the concept of only showing “finished projects” no longer made sense for this blog. I could work months on a project before it was done or have many projects finish around the same time with no time to blog about them. So with the onset of 2014 I have decided I need to tweak the direction of this blog.

A Catch of 10 (2013) artwork by Debra Hunter naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art 16.5 inches by 7 inches

A Catch of 10
artwork by Debra Hunter
naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art
16.5 inches by 7 inches

For 2014 I will continue to show the finished work, projects and portfolio work. I will also share business updates, show information and product information. In addition to this I am going to aim to do one or two “work in progress” posts a month to give a little insight into what is up and coming and also how items are created. On Wednesdays I will also be aiming to produce an image of the city of Red Deer for “Wordless Wednesday; this is a way for me to continually produce a folio documenting the city. This may expand to two other areas we frequent as the year goes on.

Now that you have read all my plans for 2014, lets move onto some updates and some “works in progress”. I plan to revisit many of these in-depth in future posts, but for now here is a little taste of what is going on.

blog coffee sweater 10The last month I have been very busy making coffee sweaters. A great little item made of yarns I dye by hand and hand knit. I have been updating my website ( ) plus they are also being sold at Sunworks in Red Deer, Alberta. It seems every time I get a stockpile made they are off to new homes.

blog coverI finished the illustrations for “Straw Hat, Rubber Boots and a Cat” by Kathy Weisse. I will have a blog post about the book coming up soon.

blog c m headshot

blog speech caep

A corporate shooting job, including head shots and event photography, kept me busy for quite a while and was completed just before Christmas.

blog stitching work in progressI have three fibre art pieces in progress. All are dealing with Alberta imagery. All are hand dyed with natural dyes. All are hand stitched and hand beaded. All are taking a very long time to complete. There will probably be many updates in the future regarding these pieces.

Driftwood Bracelet #1

Driftwood Bracelet #1

The naturally dyed and hand tied bracelets are also being worked on. I love these pieces and want to keep them all for myself!

In addition to all this I am currently developing another useable art item (development takes time and a lot of experimentation!) and test driving new materials for the coffee sweaters and bracelets, plus the studio floor is about to be “tweaked” (what a saga!).

I think adding work in progress to this blog will keep it a lot more interesting. I hope you will enjoy following all that I get up to in 2014!

(If you are interested, bracelets and coffee sweaters are available through our website , we take Paypal and ship throughout Canada.)

Debra Hunter
Studio H & Hunter Photographics
photography, art, fibre art useables and wearables, illustration

Finally Updated the Website With Fun New Fibre Pieces

Driftwood Bracelet #1

Driftwood Bracelet #1

Well I finally got around to updating my Hunter Photographics and Studio H website at . This has been on my “to do” list for quite a while. To be honest I have been putting it off as I had to create new categories  and a new album for the shop. I knew it was going to take time as the program has a tendency to be “buggy”. Well the program kept its reputation and acted up, but some how I seemed to make it work.

blog coffee sweater 10

Additions to the site include an updated “Bracelet” section, the addition of a “Coffee Sweaters” section and a “Shop”. We will ship to anywhere in Canada, however if you are local and would like to see our fun new pieces, drop us an email ( ) and we can set up a visit. Coffee Sweaters are also available at Sunworks  located on Ross Street in Red Deer.

The new shop Coffee Sweater page can be found HERE.

The new Bracelet page can be found HERE.

The new Shop page can be found HERE.

blog coffee sweater 5

I still need to update some recent photography images, but that will be a project for the new year.

Heavy Ceiling at Hope Bay, November 2013 – Pender Island Art

 Heavy Ceiling at Hope Bay, November 2013

“Heavy Ceiling at Hope Bay, November 2013”
acrylic on canvas

This is a painting I completed a couple of weeks ago. We were out on the coast and had our share of days with stormy skies. While we were down at Hope Bay it was particularly dark and dreary; a real wet west coast day. I actually quite like days like this, there is a nice atmosphere about them. Days like this are quiet and you generally have beaches to yourself while everyone else huddles inside, and I really like empty beaches.

I approached this painting differently from my usual ways of working. Painting on location wasn’t an option with the rain coming down so I took a few pictures on my husband’s iPad. From there I was able to take the image back to our house and work on it over the course of a few evenings. Working from an iPad is interesting as you can’t dissect every little detail like you can with a photograph; I found I was working more with the impression of the scene rather than getting caught up in little details.

I quite love this painting. It is one of those paintings that just has the “right vibe”.

If you wish to view images taken on the same day, pop by my other blog, and check out the post called “Heavy Ceiling at Hope Bay – Pender Island, BC, Canada”.

Artwork by Debra Hunter
paintings, fibre art, photography, eco dyed bracelets & coffee sweaters
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

“10” – Art Exhibit – Red Deer, Alberta

"10" - art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

“10” – art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

Today I decided to pop down to the Harris-Warke Gallery, located in the top floor of Sunworks,  to see the exhibition named “10” . I always like to go see how my work looks hung at a quiet time when there is no one else around. I find it easier to have a good look when a space is empty of people.

"10" - art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

“10” – art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

There was a broad range of work created by over twenty local artists. Printmaking, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and fibre art were all represented. It is really interesting to see the different types of art being produced in one’s city.

"10" - art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

“10” – art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

The theme for the exhibition is “10” in celebration of the gallery’s 10th anniversary. The exhibition is also a fundraiser in which the final auction takes place this Friday, November 15th. The details for the fundraiser can be found here. If you are in town in the next few days it is definitely worth popping in and taking a look at the work of some local Red Deer artists.


Art & Photography by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada