Thursday, May 31, 2012


I love this old picture of my sister Jan.  I know the photo is black and white but I remember this dress being red velvet with off white lace trim and an off white organza like skirt.  My mother probably made it as she made a lot of our clothes when we were young girls.

Jan is coming to visit me today and I can hardly wait.  We plan to work together in my studio for a whole week with a few side journey's.  Perhaps we'll make it to the Alameda Flea Market, to the beach for a walk and lunch, or maybe just sitting outside looking at the view with a glass of wine.  She and her husband recently moved from Dallas to Medford Oregon, a little closer to me so I think we'll see each other more often.

I'm starting to get applications for teaching and vending for 2013 and as always I wonder what I have to offer that people want to learn.  If you're reading this and have something special you'd like to take a class from please let me know what that is.

I have been formulating upcycled clothing classes in my head and have some ideas that I am excited about and really want to teach but have no idea if anyone would be interested?  The class would not require any advanced knowledge of clothing construction, would not require you to bring many supplies.  Would this make the class more inviting?  I always like teaching dye classes and am happy to keep doing that, ribbons, fabrics, scarves.  I can teach nuno felting with different projects, wrist wraps and scarves or book pages.  I am most recently involved in creating upcycled clothing from vintage slip dresses to refashioning shirts.

I would love to hear any thought from readers pertaining to classes and your ideas!!

To see classes I'm teaching this year please visit Art Unraveled and Art Is You Petaluma (click on the side bar where you see them listed).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In the Middle

I was having an email conversation with a friend today and we were talking about how we get lost in dealing with the stuff we accumulate, finding time and patience to deal with it all.  I remembered this poem by Barbara Crooker (find her here) and thought it related to our feelings and situation.  Here we were emailing each other rather than spend the time and money to actually talk on the phone.  It happens and sometimes it's good, but it makes me wonder about "Being in the Middle" (click image to enlarge)

I listed some ribbons I recently dyed on my lasfibers Etsy shop and also if you haven't had time to hear my podcast here with Rice Freeman-Zachery I hope you find time to do that.

Barbara Crooker has several poetry books published but this is one I recommend, Radiance.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Podcast with Rice Freeman-Zachery

I was so lucky yesterday to have Rice Freeman-Zachery call me for one of her podcasts!  We talked about art as clothing and all the trials and tribulations of the business, and the sheer fun of wearing art.  You can listen to the podcast here.

Rice rhymes with Lisa but I haven't learned how to put the "umlats" (is that what they're called?) over her name.

It was so ironic that soon after we hung up from talking my mail came and in it was a book I had ordered I had been told I needed to read.  It's titled "The Thoughtful Dresser" by Linda Grant.

Here's what the summary says:

"You can't have depths without surfaces," says Linda Grant in her lively and provocative new book.  The Thoughtful Dresser, a thinking woman's guide to what we wear.  For centuries, an interest in clothes has been dismissed as the trivial pursuit of vain, empty-headed women.  Yet, clothes matter, whether you are interested in fashion or not, because how we choose to dress defines who we are.  How we look and what we wear tells a story.  Some stories are simple, like the teenager trying to fit in, or the woman turning fifty renouncing invisibility.  Some are profound, like that of the immigrant who arrives in a new country and works to blend in by changing the way she dresses, or of the woman whose hat saved her life in Nazi Germany. 

The Thoughtful Dresser celebrates the pleasure of adornment and is an elegant meditation on our relationship with what we wear and the significance of clothes as the most intimate but also public expressions of our identity.

So now I've started reading the book (20 page into it) and thinking about my chat with Rice and a lot of questions come into my head and some even get answered.  Why do I want to make and create clothes?  I don't really know except it's a canvas I understand.  Perhaps because my mother made a lot of my clothes when I was a girl, adding her special designs and I remember how much I liked them.  

I know a lot of people don't understand the desire to purchase and wear stylish clothing but as Linda Grant says in her book " Clothes matter ........."  Everyone who wears bluejeans wants them to fit perfectly right?  Fashion doesn't have to mean you're out buying the latest Versace or Chanel, it does mean whatever is fashionable to you or society.  Most people care about how they look, their conception of themselves and to others.

Even most guys care.  Perhaps they wear their shirt tucked, they wear a belt or only black tee shirts.  Even if it's casual dressing there is usually something that makes an article of clothing specific to that person.

So enough with being philosophical, I will say the book is very interesting and I'll report more when I finish it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spring Inspiration

I know the weather affects my desire to create.  Perfect spring weather is uplifting and I find I want to be in the studio more.  So many ideas and not enough time or hands to do it all but I'm trying.

Here are the latest garments I've finished.

This one has sold

This one also sold and is being mailed today to find a home in Idaho

This linen print top reminds me of tropical breezes and has just been listed in my Etsy shop.

This pink linen shirt is one I am keeping.  I wore it to the May Day Faire and felt so festive and spring like wearing it.

More listings to come soon!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The last few weeks have been a whirlwind it seems.  Two friends came to stay with me a week to work in my studio and recreate garments.  We had such a good time working, chatting, and taking a drive to Big Sur for lunch one day.  Perfect weather and company!

Here are photos of their finished pieces.

Soon after they left two friends, Bob & Tracey, from my hometown arrived for a couple of days.  It sure was good to see them and I wished they could have stayed a little longer but they were on a journey across the country, next stop the Grand Canyon.  It's hard to compete with that!

This weekend was the May Day Faire I've participated in for several years.  It was a beautiful weekend and fun to catch up with old friends.

Now I'm having some down time, sorting and organizing, preparing to finish garments and begin others.  I've collected shoe boxes full of fabric remnants, bits and pieces from all my previous works so I've taken lots of the ribbon lengths, bundled them on small tags to sell in Etsy.  I've just listed a few of these packets so please have a look.

 In the next few days I'll be listing some garments I've upcycled and some scarves and stoles and fabric remnant bundles that Jillian Rose has helped me bundle.