Monday, December 28, 2009

Art Unraveled 2010-Silk Flower Pins (and blog give away)

The last two years I have been fortunate to teach at Art Unraveled in Phoenix. Next year I will be co-teaching "Wayward Blooms to Dye For" with my friend Jennifer Whitmer . For many years Jennifer and I have collaborated on projects. I send her my hand dyed fabrics and she creates something fabulous with them. The last few years our focus has been on creating flower pins pictures above. Registration for AU begins Dec. 30th so for anyone interested in attending go have a look at the workshops offered. A lot of people have asked for us to teach this flower making class and now we have that chance. Perhaps this is something you're interested in so please go here and see for yourself!

(Remember if you leave a comment on my blog between now and Jan. first you could win a handmade reticule filled with hand dyed silk ribbons and fabric remnants!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Loma Prieta Christmas 2009

Here are some pics taken from my mountain top home. It's 63 degrees here today and bright sunshine abounds!
(Don't forget to read my previous post and a chance to win fabulous stuff!)

Half Moon in Blue Sky

Three Sister Sequoias

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shibori Silk Top with Silk Hand Dyed Yoyo's & a give away drawing!

I was very pleased with the way this top turned out but I wasn't pleased with the photos. Most of the mannequins I have to put garments on are a ridiculous size, being so small and narrowed shouldered they aren't real human proportions. I was in a hurry to take some photos before I packed the top up with my other garments to ship to Missouri for the museum show so these were the best I got. I hope you can visualize the uniqueness of this shibori dyed top and the hand sewn yoyo's. Fabric yoyo’s are circles of fabric that when hand stitched turn into fun little rosettes. Traditionally these were made out of cotton prints and made into quilts but I am making them using my hand dyed habotai silk.

I am always challenged when photographing garments. They look best on a person but I rarely have a person handy to model for me when I need to take pictures. Neither my husband nor my two sons are candidates for this, silk scarves and garments are not their forte' and really I'm glad for that.

When my friend Jennifer last visited me we were going to make one of these duct tape forms but wound up being so consumed with giving vintage slip dresses new lives we never found time. I think if I could make one of these it would give me a human shaped mannequin that I could use to photograph garments on but you need someone to help you make it. Is anyone else interested in making one? I could invite you over and we'd have a "duct tape" party?

If anyone knows of a site that shows garments photographed in a special, unique way that appears to be simple enough for me to do I'd like to know that. If you post a link for that, sign up to come to my house to make duct tape mannequins or just comment on my blot I will put your name in a drawing to be held on January 1st with random name drawer and you can win this reticule made from my hand woven fabric and lined with dyed painted silk charmeuse. And I will stuff it full of my dyed silk fabric scraps and ribbons! BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL IN THE COMMENT SO I CAN CONTACT YOU!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hindu Monastery on Kauai- Rudraksha Trees/Beads

My friend Connie and I visited the Hindu Monastery when I was in Kauai. Connie lives on Island and every time I visit there we get together. We always meet in Kapa'a to eat at our favorite little hole-in-the wall place, Mermaids. Yummy fish tacos or Ahi Nori Wraps with iced Chai tea or Hibiscus Lemonade.

Connie has written about our adventure at the Monastery and gathering the Rudraksha beads so click on her name above to go to her blog.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Life's A Beach in Kauai!

I've been on Island since the 3rd and the weather has been perfect. Sometimes this time of year it's very rainy but we've seen none. Yesterday Michael and I went to Mahaulepu which is a beautiful open space land at the end of a very rugged, mostly unmaintained road that goes through now defunct sugar cane fields. We did se some of this land has been cultivated and corn and other vegetables are being grown.

When we got to the beach we saw a monk seal. The island protects these seals when they beach themselves to rest by erecting fencing around them so no one disturbs them. We walked farther down and there was another fenced area and this one was a mother and her new born pup. It was only five days old and very black. We were told the pups gain five pounds a day and the mother does not leave the pup's side but rests the entire time she nurses the young, not even eating. Five to seven weeks later the pup gets weaned and the mother leaves to end her fast. These monks seals are becoming endangered. The Island of Kauai protects them so the number in the Island is increasing. They have about 68 now but the other islands where the seals live the numbers are declining. This article says there are only 1200 monk seals left but the volunteer with the organization in Kauai said there are only about 900.

It was fascinating to see the mother with the newborn.

Well it's another crappy day in paradise so I better get out there and take my walk to the beach.

I'll leave with with some pictures of Mahaulepu.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holidays approaching and the New Year

My big announcement is the upcoming museum show I will be exhibiting at along with my friend Sharon Kilfoyle in January 2010. This is to be at the Margaret Harwell Art Museum in my hometown of Poplar Bluff, Mo. The show opens on Jan. 1 but Sharon and I are planning to be at the museum on Sat. Jan. 9th for a trunk show and sale of our wearables from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Toward the end of Dec. invites will be mailed but it's open to the public and anyone is welcome. If you live in the area please stop by to see us!!

The museum is a lovely old historical house on the still brick paved Main street of town. When Mrs. Harwell died in 1977, she left a part of her estate to the City of Poplar Bluff to establish a center for art classes and exhibits. In 1978, an Arts and Museum Advisory Board was formed to take on the task. In 1980, the city purchased the J.L. Dalton home, itself rich in local history and architecture, to house the museum. The Margaret Harwell Art Museum opened to the public in November 1981.

Every year for the last ten (?) I have participated in the Bargetto Winery Christmas in the Cellars art show. But this year I opted out to rest. I know several artists who will be there and I highly recommend you go to buy the special handmade items for presents and for yourself.

Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6, 2009
11:00am - 5:00pm
BARGETTO WINERY's annual Art in the Cellars art show and wine tasting in our cellars in Soquel, CA. Purchase a commemorative glass and receive complimentary wine tastings while browsing art.

I have placed some of my wares at the Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center's "Gift of Art" show. Follow the link for all the details including hours that the gallery is open.

Or check out my etsy shop. BUT remember I won't be back until Dec. 13th so I wouldn't mail anything until the 14th but that's still time to get before Christmas.

I hope you keep artists in mind when buying presents, for many it's our livelihood, or you could go to the mall?

I'm heading to Kauai on Thursday for ten days with my husband. I hope to relax, walk, swim, drink a mai tai or two, see dear friends, and what ever calls me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Etsy for shopping

I've just listed some of my new doily scarves in my Etsy shop. I want to remind everyone about Etsy when considering purchasing gifts. Etsy is a site that sells only hand made artists items or vintage only items. You can visit my shop and then view my favorites to see other artists whose work I'm intrigued with and/or have purchased from.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nuno Felting @ Sharon's

When I was in Ashland, Mo. working with Sharon Kilfoyle in her newly remodeled barn studio we vowed to take pictures of the sequence of pieces we were making. Well .......... we got so caught up in creating that we weren't good at taking the photos. I have some of me laying out the first piece and one of the wool being place on top of the silk pieces but none of the finished pieces. Then I have some of the final piece I made but none of the developing stages. This was by far my favorite piece along with the one just before this which I have no photos of at all and I sold it at the Weavers' Guild show. HiHo.

I am not being productive at all these days because of my back injury. I am seeing lots of doctors and medical care givers to try and determine what my options are. It is becoming more and more painful. Most of these health care professionals have urged me to have surgery. A procedure called kyphoplasty. However, an osteopath I saw was concerned that it didn't appear to him that I would be a good candidate for this procedure. I'm getting an MRI on Friday and the results of that will help see what the real issues are. I'm bummed to say the least that this is happening to me and my mind is so full of ideas of garments I want to create in my studio but sitting at a sewing machine, bending over a cutting table, leaning over a dyepot, or anything of this nature is not good for me right now and it hurts. Wah! Sigh.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve; it is life's undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room.
~Harriet Beecher Stowe~

"There's no place like home" Dorothy says three times as she taps her ruby red slippers. Although I have no ruby red slippers and I was not on such an adventure as Dorothy I am just as glad to be home.

Blogs are curious things, especially when I am not good as promptly writing down my stories. I get far behind and see no way to catch up. This journey to Missouri was full but I didn't take my camera, or my computer, so I have no pictures and I had little way to communicate while I was gone.

I arrived in St. Louis on Oct. 29th to spend the night at my friend Janet's. Susan came over and we had a lovely dinner. On Friday morning I drove to Ashland which is near Columbia to stay with Sharon and work in her studio for five days. Friday evening we ventured to the Hartsburg Winery to hear a dear old friend, Bob Runyon, sing and play his guitar for us.

Sharon lives on a piece of property with lot of trees, birds, and peace. Her newly remodeled barn has been transformed into a wonderful studio. I got to work with her to better my nuno felting skills. This is a method where you take a sheer fabric, apply wool roving on top, wet and felt it then the fulling process creates a wonderful felted fabric. Of course it's a little more involved than I just described but hopefully you can get the picture since I have none to post. I know Sharon took some photos while I was working and when I get around to having her send them to me I hope to get back here and post them.

After Sharon's I drove back to St. Louis to participate in the Weaver's Guild of St. Louis annual show which seemed to be a success. On Saturday a group of seven women approached me and to my surprise it was people I had known in high school. They were having an old friend reunion in the city and I know they were off to have a good time after purchasing several of my wayward threads scarves. I hope to see some of them again when I exhibit at the Margaret Harwell museum in January!

Cowboy Jack also made it to St. Louis from Indiana to see me. Our friendship goes back twenty some odd years and I so appreciate that he travels to spend time with me each year.

I'm glad to be home though, it seems like I was gone forever and now I get to play catch up with mail, and appointments, and scheduling.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Heading for Missouri

I'm leaving early in the morning to fly to St. Louis. I'll spend the night with my long time friend Janet and then go to Sharon's in Ashland on Friday. Hope to see another old time friend play music at the local winery in Hartsburg. I'll be working with Sharon in her studio creating wares for the January museum show we are doing.

I'll be back in St. Louis for the annual show on Thursday and back home on Monday the 9th. I have decided not to take my computer with me as I've already got so much I'm taking and it seems just one more thing to haul along. My back is a concern and I'm trying to lighten my load both physically and mentally. So I may be absent for a couple of weeks or I may have access to a friend's computer to get online. We'll see but until then I'm gone.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A soliloquy of sorts

When I was out on the road in my travels I listened to a lot of music while going down the highways. One CD I played a lot was The Wailin Jennys. There's a line from one song that resonated with me and I thought it went like this: "There's no such thing as perfect, but if there is we'll find it when we're good enough" and I like that. If we were good enough we were as close to perfect as we needed to be. Perfect with flaws but good enough. I sang along over and over. I was disappointed when I looked the lyrics up and discovered the line really says "there's no such think as perfect, but if there is we'll find it when we're good and dead". Well. I should have known since the next line has an end rhyme with the word "instead". I'm still consoled and happy with the thought of finding perfect when I'm good enough.

My friend Nina has written on her blog asking her readers what it is they would like to see in a book she might have published. She has many readers because of her honest and heartfelt sharing of her life, her photos, and her art. The pieces of jewelry and art books she creates are stories in themselves and what she knows, maybe subconsciously, is that the attraction people have to her words and pictures are the writing, the stories of everyday life, the thought provoking nudges for us to ask questions and the visual representation through her eyes. This is the life of one artist.

Now that I've sort of digressed, I still think it all relates to striving to be perfect, to want acceptance, to relate and if we face these issues with the thought of knowing we have accomplished this by just being good enough then we're dang near perfect. Don't you think?

I do get behind in all the things I want to post here. I still have pictures from Sedona and many since and that was August. Whether I'll ever catch up is debatable but if you remember my little tale of the hotel I stayed at in Needles, Ca back in Aug. I'll share this photo I took. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Calm After the Storm

On Tuesday the Bay area was hit by the first storm of the season and it was a doozy! We awoke to howling winds and rain. The trees were swaying and dancing, even the "Three Sisters" as my father-in-law had named the three "Sequoia Gigantea" that he planted many years ago.

I was to pick my sister up at the airport at 11:30 and made it down the hill through San Jose. There were many downed trees and the roads were strewn with pine needles, leaves, and branches. Her flight actually landed only ten minutes late and was only a bit bumpy as it was during the lull of the storm. We were within a couple miles of my house when we discovered the road was closed due to downed power lines, many households were without power (our included). The back way to our house which part of is an unmaintained county road was iffy whether it was navigable or not and I didn't feel like finding out so we drove into Santa Cruz and ended up getting a motel room for the night.

The next day we made it home to a house still without power. Soon my husband arrived after having bought a new generator and we had enough power to run the fridge and some lights. The power was still out for another day but we were able to finally work in my studio which is the main reason Jan came to visit me, to help me work. We have managed to get several "wayward threads" stoles and scarves made up for the St. Louis show.

Today we took a break and drove to Los Altos to see the Bay Area Book Art Jam at Foothills college and to shop at Thai Silks.

Now we're home and getting ready to have a small dinner with my mother-in-law and sons (we think they'll show up).

BTW I have listed a few items on etsy for sale, more shibori and hand dyed ribbons.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Art & Soul Retreat Portland

I arrived home on Monday afternoon. Left Portland on Sunday around noon after the wonderful staff at the Embassy Suites helped load everything into my car, and I do mean everything. I have to take a lot of stuff to teach and vend and that's why I drive. Trying to box everything to ship and pay for it just doesn't work for me. I don't mind driving. I spent the night in Yreka a small old mining town in the mountains. It got down in the 30's that night and snowed on the mountain peaks. So Mount Shasta that had barely any snow on it when I drove to Portland had a snow covered peak five days later when I drove back through.

The last years I was at A&S my friend Jennifer and I roomed together. She couldn't make it this year so I had a new roomie, Lisa Call and we fast became good friends. She taught PMC jewelry and creates very nice pieces. I bought a necklace from her with a silver acorn pendant. I love it and will try to post pics later.

It seems unreal that I was just on the road to and from a wonderful time. I felt my classes were successful and I thoroughly enjoyed all my students. Vending night was fun and frenetic. The doors open to buyers at 7:00 and the show is only open for 3 hours so everyone rushes in and the excitement begins. I was able to walk around to some of the booths before the doors opened and buy some unique items. One was the mannequin bust with the shelves in that you see on my vendor table in the picture above. I sold all the jackets that I made and photo'd in the previous post. AND they each went to the perfect person to own them. I only got a picture of one sweet and adorable young woman in her's. Adrienne be sure and get in touch with me!!!

I was very fortunate to have my friend Wendy help me on vendor night and she took the pictures for me.

On Wednesday I taught the ribbon wayward threads class and here are some photos of what was created.

On Thursday I taught silk scarf dyeing and here are some pictures of the finished scarves hanging on a makeshift clothesline we made strung between two chairs.

On Friday I was the student. I took a class from Albie Smith and was delighted that I made a book! I took paper and decorated with color in a technique called "paste paper", did color washes on other papers, put them together in signatures and bound those signatures in a book cover that I made by covering book board with paste paper covers and inside covers and a book cloth spine. The signatures were hand stitched into the book cover and beads were stitched on the book binding. Amazing most everyone finished because it really is a lot of focused work! This shows you what a fabulous instructor Albie is and she's a warm and wonderful person too! Thanks Albie.

I realize this post is rather long with lots of images. Hope you made it to the end. I know it's taken me quite a chunk of time to get all this posted so I better get on with my day now.

Adding update on my back issue since people are asking:

I didn't mention my back in the post because I didn't want to start whining too much. Amazingly the driving part didn't bother my back. I took Advil and put a thermal patch on. Standing during teaching bothered me a bit and the students kept yelling at me to sit down but I've never been very good about sitting. In fourth grade (old lady Crawford's class) I got my desk taken away from me and I had to sit on the floor next to the teachers desk for several days. Cruel and unusual punishment that embarrassed the heck outta me but it was because I would stand up during class a lot. I just couldn't sit down that long so .......... there you go.

Friday after Albie's class my back was painful. I was suppose to go out to dinner with friends but didn't. Went to my room, put jammies on and had some soup. Sat. I was to go shopping/antiquing but didn't because I didn't want to be in pain for vendor night. It's not good selling etiquette to snarl at customers. I was able to do shopping with the vendors before the doors opened so I still got to part with a sizable amount of cash. LOL!

I'll be getting another bone density test and probably an MRI. I'm suppose to head to St. Louis on the 29th so I hope all this gets done before I leave.