Monday, June 30, 2008

working with vintage fabrics

I posted some pictures a while back of a "wayward threads" stole I had laid out using two panels with Battenburg lace on them that I indigo dyed. I also indigo dyed some silk ribbons and other laces to incorporate with new yarns and ribbons I didn't dye. I finished this a few weeks ago but just now found time to photograph and post. So here is the stole. I really like using the vintage fabrics! I have also made a smaller scarf using some old bark cloth curtains that I ripped into strips and I dyed some silk ribbons to go with it. I will be making several of these to take to Art Unraveled in August for my vendor booth.

I hope to put some on my Etsy shop in a few weeks but today I'm leaving town until Wednesday evening.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's Smokey!

This is what we've been waking up to the last few mornings. It's not fog , it's smoke! This is from the Big Sur fire(s) and beyond. A good accounting is to read this woman's blog a friend of mine passed onto me. (not a site for children). Also an update from KUSP.

I'm getting mild headaches and sinus problems. We try to keep the windows and doors closed but it's hard when it's summer and you have no AC! So at night we open things up, fall asleep, and wake up to the smell of smoke.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I just walked out my door and saw this plume of smoke across the Monterey Bay. I am thinking this is the Los Padres fire (aka as the Indians Fire). When that fire first broke out we could see this same smoke plume roiling up above the peaks. Then for days it was out of site. Did the winds change and now it's visible again, or did it spread back toward this way? For anyone interested check out the incidents posted at the CDF website.

We had a series of thunderstorms yesterday which started fires . It's rare that we have storms in summer and even rarer to have thunder and lightening. When I first moved to California from Austin where we had lots of electrical storms, my mother-in-law was at my house and there was this rumbling noise. She said "What's that", I said, "thunder". She "oh no, it doesn't thunder here". I thought what? It sounded again and definitely was thunder. I turned on the Tv and there was a bullentin being run across the bottom of the screen "warning, thunder and lightning" I thought "wow, this is a news flash?".

This fire is not close to where I live but it's a disturbing sign of the very early "fire season".

Saturday, June 21, 2008


My trip up the California coast with my girlfriends from Texas took us to Gualala.

Gualala, usually pronounced wa-LA-la, is said to come from a Pomo Indian word meaning "where the water flows down."

This is an interesting quote because I've always heard it pronounced Gua-la-la as in Guacamole. That doesn't really work either huh, you say Wacamole and I say Guacamole, hhmmm. I guess it goes either way. The name makes me think of that old Jonathan Winters skit where he says "I come from Quasiland, island of the singing shells" Sorry, I digress.

We drove up on a cloudless sunny day. While crossing the Golden Gate bridge we saw no fog, this is a rarity. The first day in Gualala on the beach was also sunny and warm You can see I have shed my layers down to shorts and tank top. This beach was littered with abalone shells and all sorts of nature's treasures (see the two abalone shell pieces in the shadow of the bird book?)

we stayed on this beach all day, scavenging, having lunch (which always tastes better outdoors!),and lounging in the sun. Overhead the pelicans kept flying by in their uniform fashion. We also saw ospreys, hawks, turkey vultures, and of course seagulls.

We rented a condo unit in the heart of the town which all of three or four blocks long. If you're interested in going, this was a very nice place and reasonably priced. This is a mosaic along one of the blocks.

The next day the fog rolled in so it was a bit chilly. We drove to Salt Point which is where the previous pictures were taken that Beryl asked about. Here's another pic of those unusual rock formations. You can tell how cold and windy it is by how I'm bundled up, very attractive too, I might add.

On our return from that enchanting place we went into Santa Cruz to the flea market and then downtown where we saw this mime. She was good, didn't move a muscle!

At the days end, the night before my friend were leaving to go home, Devra took this photo of Diane standing on my deck. I already miss them terribly!

(most of these photos were courtesy of Devra)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wishing for Rain

This is the Christianna Hunnicutt ceramic sculpture that sits on the ledge above my bed. This was taken when a storm was brewing this past winter (see the raindrops on the window?). Sadly we did not have enough of this precious rain and are now in a drought with summer only beginning. The number of fires consuming our state and forests are already staggering. I am putting this photo on my desktop to meditate on in hopes that we get through this drought.

I took a trip up the coast with some dear friends, Diane and Devra, who visited from Austin. I need to download my photos and size them so I can write about that trip next post. We had a fabulous time hiking and beach combing. We have a treasure trove of abalone shells and pieces along with shells and rocks we collected. Here are a few pictures but there's more to come!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Workshops planned at my studio and mountain location

A two-day workshop is in the planning stages. The dates are set! August, 24 & 25, 2008. You can take one class or both, it's optional. Cost and times will be posted along with registration information within two weeks.

Sunday August 24th I will be teaching a dye workshop at my studio located in the Santa Cruz, CA. Mountains. Students will dye various pieces of silk and cotton fabrics along with some silk ribbons. These fabrics can be incorporated into a purse/bag that DJ Pettit will be teaching on Monday the 25th at Skyland Church's Whitaker Hall (mountain location). BUT if you don't take DJ's class you will have some fabulous fabrics to use for your own art whether it be fabric collage, quilting, altered books, pillows, etc. AND if you don't take the dye class you can bring your own fabrics to DJ's class to construct your bag with.

I am so excited to be able to get DJ to come teach a class here. She is a marvelously talented person and is so sweet and attentive as a teacher. In this class students will make a bag using fabrics and collage/applique techniques and embellishing with one of DJ's original art prints on fabric. I am not going to elaborate any more on this class as DJ will be writing up it's description with in a couple of weeks. In the meantime check out her website and purse gallery!

Here are some samples of fabrics that were dyed using techniques you'll learn from the dye class and could use in constructing your bag with DJ.

This is a bag I constructed in DJ's class at Art & Soul Asilomar 2006. the image is not one of DJ's but one of my own I brought to class.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"wayward threads" ready to be sewn

Here are some photos of a "wayward threads" I will be sewing up in the next couple of days. I indigo dyed the battenburg lace edged panels along with some silk ribbon and laces. I intermixed them with yarns and other commercial ribbons when laying out the lengths on the stabilizer . I plan to add the silk dyed ribbon and lace (shown in a pile with threads) crosswise as I sew the piece together.

I'll be back with photos after I finish it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Back in the Studio

The fire is out but still being watched for hot spots. From my side of the mountain I can't tell anything happened but I know just a few ridges over the land is scorched and people who lost their homes are making plans of either rebuilding or moving on. Such a loss.

So I'm back in my studio the last couple of days dyeing more ribbons and trims. I've put some new packets together and listed them for sale on Etsy.

That's it for now.