MarieAltonPresents' Bio | Shop Home

MarieAltonPresents

Location

Pickering, Ontario, Canada

Quick Blurb

I've been a creative soul for as long as I can remember & dabbled in a wide variety of mediums.I've had 5 published article

Interests

Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Crazy Quilting, Beading, Leatherwork, Knitting, Crochet, Needle Tatting, Macrame

Skills and Techniques

I'm mostly self-taught in any medium. Once I get the basics down, the designer in me becomes unleashed and proceeds to explore it with my own twist & flare ... thus creating things that are uniquely original. I have the uncanny ability to "see" the end result before I begin, then simply figure out how to get there.

Get to Know

Creativity has been a constant in my life. It has spanned decades and a wide variety of mediums. While I have not kept track of the total number of pieces I've completed, I'd venture a guess that it'd be thousands! I believe I was destined to design. Like most people I spent years working from patterns that were commercially available in magazines or leaflets to create knit, crochet and macrame pieces. I always found something about each one that I would have done differently and would often modify the original pattern to accommodate my ideas. Sometime in the mid 1990s I stumbled across a book that totally changed my creative focus. The Art of Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Judith Baker Montano (a fellow Canadian originally from Alberta) literally had me mesmerized. The elegant look of this Victorian craft consumed me heart and soul! I read the book cover to cover countless times, in awe of the beauty and dimension ... and this was even before I dared to try it! Part of the problem was the price and availability of silk ribbon. The only source I could find was our local craft supply store, but it was so expensive. I happened to luck into a half-price sale and decided I simply had to get some. From the first stitch I was addicted! It was all I could think about. I'd spend my commuting time sketching my visions of small designs I wanted to make. I thought they'd make lovely gifts for family birthdays and Christmas. I made so many that I actually amassed an inventory. I decided to book space at a few craft fairs to sell some of them (planning to then turn the earnings into more stash). Good sales and great feedback kept me going and eventually I found a craft market where I rented a booth. It was easier to work from one location instead of trucking my stuff all over. I usually did well enough to cover the rent. With the advent of the Internet a huge market opened up to me (or so I thought)! It was really disappointing when I didn't sell one piece from that initial site. What did happen was that I received e-mail from several people who had seen my work and loved it! I was invited to join a group for Silk Ribbon enthusiasts, and began feeling part of a special new world. I found new sources for products too as there were lots of sites that carried silk ribbon in both solid and hand dyed (variegated) shades that were sent to me direct by mail. It was so liberating to work with ribbon that was more superior than what I was used to. Besides sharing information many of the members posted pictures of their work and I loved seeing what others were doing. While I could only tell about mine, that was soon to change! My husband bought and installed a scanner for me for my birthday, and it wasn't long before I was showing new things too! Suffice it to say that I was a bit overwhelmed by the constant rave reviews! Two members in particular kept insisting that what I did was publication caliber. Only problem was I had no idea how to turn what I stitched into patterns that could be published. As fate would have it, I won a prize in a draw offered by one of the ladies in the group. It was her birthday and she wanted to give a gift instead. She asked interested members to e-mail her to enter. I felt so special! It came all the way from Texas! The prize was a book called Ribbon Basics (Mary Jo Hiney / Joy Anckner). When it arrived I spent hours pouring over the awesome creations of these talented ladies. At one point while flipping through the pages, I had what you might call an epiphany! In that instant it became totally clear to me how to create patterns that I could share with the world! That was the day it all changed. This new knowledge was enough to bolster my confidence and I finally realized my potential as a designer. I summoned enough courage to contact the editor of one US based publication (given the information by one of those friends who had been pushing me to send samples (and who had herself been featured in the magazine). I was prepared to receive a polite rejection. I was shocked to be asked for more! The resulting trio was a special feature in the Needleworker and was followed by three more articles over the next two years in Needleworker / Piecework magazine, the last one was a collaboration with the editor herself ... Deanna Hall West. In addition I submitted my new creation of a composite stitch called the Melanie Rose (coincidentally my daughter's name) to Quilting Arts magazine and the stitch was introduced to the world! Here in Canada I discovered a wonderful publication that showcases Canadian talent! As a seasoned pro by now, I boldly contacted the editor. I was thrilled when she handed me my copy and found my work on the front cover! What more could a gal ask for? These days I'm quite addicted to beading, but continue to create in various mediums as the mood strikes!