Monday, January 28, 2008

San Francisco Gift Fair

Attending a gift fair is daunting in the least and down right dangerous when it comes to finances!! And to think I was there for only one day, a show that is held for 4 -5 days. Thousands of vendors set up booths to sell to shop owners and retail moguls. Then there is me, searching for wholesale lines of ribbons and laces to use in my artistic creations of "wayward threads" and pieces to dye and resell or use in altered art. It's the best place to make the connections you need for supplies but there is so much there and you want it all!

I found a new line of silk ribbon that is woven in Switzerland and looks like a better quality than what I have been getting out of China lately. But I only saw samples and the wholesale opening order was steep. I bit the bullet and ordered the minimum. Mostly silk ribbon but also some french wired ribbon and then there was the separate Midori order of velvets and dupioni bias strips. I can hardly wait for the order to get here and begin dyeing. I also went into the Vintage section which had a cash and carry policy. I was able to buy some vintage lace pieces, some very nice soldered photo pendants to hang on my dyed ribbons. You can see the digital copy of a woman that I drew many years ago peeking through the package holding the photo frames. I have put her in the pendant and like her there so I will be doing more of her.

These lace pieces will be dyed using natural dyes, one of them will be indigo, but also madder, cochineal, chestnut and my favorite cutch. Cutch is a rich tobacco color but it's very gummy and a bear to get to dissolve. You have to work with it and I dislike that part of it. I guess cutch is a good name for it (sort of like it's a bitch? LOL) cutch, bitch, you get it.........

I met a woman who made these cool pendants that I'm also going to string onto my dyed ribbons. I copied her little card write up and if you read you'll know that she makes these frames out of recycled cans. She had some lovely heart pendants and larger ones but by the time I found her I was nearing the credit card max out time!

Now my problem these days is "not enough time". I had to go to the dentist today and then run errands and retrieve my son after school. Tomorrow is one of my exercise days and I'm trying really hard not to blow those off, then I have a voice lesson followed by taking said son to get new shoes and then another singing practice as my husband and a couple of band members will be performing this Sat. night. Wed. is my writing class , Thursday and Friday are booked up sporadically. I think maybe I schedule too much into my life. How does one step back? Don't you want to do it all? When to say no?

I used to be the kind of person that would stay up until midnight working on a project but I don't have the juice flowing at night anymore. I get up early and feel most creative then. So I won't be going to my studio to crank up the heater and wait for the space to get warm so I can work now. I'll have to wait until this the weekend and next week I really am going to say no to anything but working in my studio!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I awoke this morning to a white world. Snow is rare for this part of the country except we do live in the mountains at about 2500 feet elevation so if it snows we get it. It's coming down in flurries and the prediction is for a big winter storm to hit us tomorrow. We're stocking up on food that can be cooked on a stove top because usually with lots of rain, snow, or high winds the power lines do come down and there goes the lights!

It is the perfect time for me to work on projects in my studio (as long as we have electricity!) I've ordered some new ribbons to experiment dyeing and I'm excited to do that so as soon as my studio is heated up I'm off to work (play?).

I'm planning a trip to the San Francisco International Gift Fair that is held Jan.26 - 29th. Not sure which day I'll go up but lots of ribbon reps will be there and I'm anxious to see what they have.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dyed silk ribbons & cords

I received an email from a friend yesterday asking if I could dye some silk cords and ribbons for her to use with her lamp work beads to make necklaces. Interesting because I had just used a dyed strip of habotai silk that I burned the edges of along with a dyed silk cord with one of her beads as a pendant to send her. It's always serendipitous to me how these things work. I of course am interested and have already been corresponding with her. You can click on my "other places to visit" links "Caty Porter " to see her work. Here's the piece I put together. She is going to make closures from PMC to finish the pieces off. Very classy, who wants one?

And here are some other little pendants I put together.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Before the Storm

These are some pictures I took before the storm hit. A beautiful day where the sunlight was so bright it just shimmers on the ocean and it's so clear you can see the beach in Monterey, in fact you can see the point at Pacific Grove which is where Art & Soul is held at Asilomar.

One of these incredibly sunny days was Christmas. We took my 90 year old Mother-in-law to Seacliff Beach for a picnic lunch.

This proud little puffed up starling was strutting around on the beach cocking his head and staring with his beady little eyes looking for food.

A shot of my 16 year old sitting on a bench on the pier and the water churning up under it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

California Storm

Our power has been off a lot more than it's been on. The first time a day and a half and then it came back on for about 10 hours and then off again for over 24 hours. It makes you very grateful to have the electricity! I have to remember to always be grateful, even when we pay an exorbitant amount to have it! We survive though by having a wood stove, three fireplaces, oil lamps, a propane cook top so we can cook, and lots of candles and games to play and books to read. It's a different life. One downside is "no hot water" so if it gets to be too many days you have to sponge bathe or leave the house if the roads are open and find somewhere you can take a shower!! Oh and then we have to get the ice into the cooler to save the items we can from the refrigerator, forget the freezer stuff, ice cream turned to milkshake, soggy meatballs (eww!), you get the picture. We're looking into investing in solar. We live in a perfect place to do that. One more good thing, we have gravity flow, so we have water and can flush toilets, we just don't have the hot water.

There were so many downed telephone poles and trees. The winds were so high. Here in the mountains they were said to be near hurricane force. 150-169 mile an hour gusts!! I believe it. The huge redwood trees looked like toothpicks ready to snap.

The ground is so saturated that trees still fall over taking power lines down with them, or the wind comes back up dropping branches onto the lines and there goes the power. More rain predicted today and tomorrow.

But this is mountain living. And if we can't get to town then we deal with that. It's so beautiful and peaceful and that's why we live here and deal with the forces of nature when they come.

So for now I have power and the Internet (which by the way was down for over 2days because they had three towers blow over) and I'll be back in touch to clean up my blog when I feel more comfortable that the power isn't going to shut off.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Slowly Creeping Into the New Year .........

I'd like to be able to write that the new year is starting off well and alive but to be honest I feel a bit sluggish. I have a lot to look forward to and I have a few projects I should be relishing but I am only able to do this in my mind. I have the ideas and the materials to create what I plan but I don't seem to have the energy or motivation to actually get in the studio and produce. I hate when this happens. Artists talk about having "blocks" mostly you hear the term "writers' block" but it applies to all artists I believe, whether in music, art, or writing. I don't have a lack of ideas, in fact I often have too many. But I do find at times I can't seem to urge myself on. I feel the need for the muse to kick in or some kind of encouragement from an outside source, but I know deep down it is really up to me to create the will. Do you ever feel like this? What do you do to get over the "blahs"? Is your creativity affected if you force yourself to do a project rather than joyously attack one?

I know the gathering storm outside affects me. When the storms hit in California it can be days of constant wind and gray skies and rain. We're suppose to get lots of rain. One would think that this weather would drive me into my cozy studio to immerse myself but instead I've just been reading book after book.

I'm on my way to the dentist now to have an implant repaired. I guess that might be giving me the blahs huh?

Next post I hope to have photos of my new projects that I finally complete.

Happy New Year to all and would love to hear about your remedies for times of melancholia.