Exploring life with needle and thread.
I know it has been a loooooong time since I have posted here. It has been a crazy few months!
The last you heard from me, my grand children were still here. They wore me out more than I like to admit but what a time we had!
After they went home I had about 2 weeks to get the last of the handwork done for the book before hand surgery.My surgery was very successful, I am back to stitching and anything else I want. I do have a little bit of weekness in my thumb yet but that will just take more tme to build back the strength. I am so blessed to have great doctors and a great surgeon.
I got to see my new book in Houston and that was exciting. It wasn't a finished product but enough to see that I am going to love it. I got a lot of very positive feedback. I can't wait to see it when it comes out in February! I hope you will look for I . Modern Hand Stitching.
Liz and I finished the book study for Fabric Embellishing, we hope you will take advantage of it and use it as a reference.
I will be headed to the Big Island of in January to visit my parents, sister and her family. It will be tough but I think I can handle it. :)
We are in the single digets here so I am dreaming. I hope to teach a class or two there at a local quilt shop. We are still working out the details.
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends, I sure did!
I would love to see pictures off what you are creating for Cristmas,
Fall Quilt Market has closed. It is always a relief and a bit sad when it closes. A relief that we get a few hours off our feet but a bit sad to say goodbye to all our friends and of course we never get enough time to see all the quilts in the exhibits let alone the booths. I always come away inspired and full of ideas for projects.
I thought you all might like to see some of my favorite fabrics designers and their collections:
Leah Duncan. So sad the picture is blurry but you can see her booth is adorable. Leah's collection is called Meadow and she has captured that beautifully in her designs with out being over simplified.
Angela Walters with her Drift collection. I love how it made you think of the water and ocean without being quite so obvious.
Pat Bravo's Rapture line is fun, fresh and airy. I don't think Pat has ever designed a line I didn't love.
Safari Moon by Frances Newcombe is whimsical and bold. You could almost hear the monkeys calling.
you can see detail shots of these fabrics and read about the designers on the Art Gallery Fabrics web site. Yes, they are all under the Art Gallery brand so you know the quality is the best there is. I can't keep my hands off their luscious fabrics! Give them a few days though to get all the photos of the new lines up.
I also love Carolyn Friedlander's fabrics. Go check out her Slow Sewing Studio movement on her web site.
Jamie Fingal has a fantastically fun new line of fabric. These fabrics will just make you happy.
Ruth and I are in Houston for International Quilt Market and Festival. As we got out of the shuttle from the airport we were stunned to find the sidewalk from the curb up to the front door of the hotel strewn with about a dozen of my postcards. It was as if Houston was expecting me and put out the red carpet! :-) Evidently the UPS delivery person had arrived shortly before us and dropped the box of my postcards and a few had escaped. The postcards were probably so excited to be here they couldn't wait to jump out of the box and tell everyone about my cool new classes that will be on-line soon.
This is the first time we arrived well before our first event which isn't until 3pm today (Fri). We got here at noon yesterday and spent the afternoon walking around downtown Houston and grocery shopping. It was fun to explore the 'big' city.
One interesting discovery for me on our big walking adventure is that I am not very talented at walking on sidewalks! I realized after the third time I tripped on the little edge of the sidewalk joints that I don't normally walk on sidewalks. At home I am walk on the edge of the street or on a trail. It was very funny. I am sure it didn't help that I was looking up most of the time.
We enjoyed the architecture of this busy city, counted the number of oil company buildings and spent a lot of time looking at the ever changing reflections in the windows. We found a beautiful garden around the Public Library that was a quiet magical oasis in the city.
We haven't stayed downtown for a few years so it was fun to see all the changes. Our room faces Macy's. Well it used to be Macy's but now it is a pile of rubble...a very big pile. I am totally fascinated watching the big diggers moving all the rubble. They look like giant dinosaurs. It is a bit noisy but most mornings we will be up well before the construction starts.
We always stay at a Residence Inn so we have a kitchen. With our food allergies it is so much simpler not to mention cheaper, to have access to a kitchen. Traveling with allergies can sometimes be difficult so we were thrilled to find that a wonderful gourmet market had opened not too far from the hotel. We were like kids in a candy store looking at all the amazing foods and taking in the fantastic smells.
We found a fig preserve that we couldn't resist so we put our heads together to come up with a meal around it. We decided on sauteed acorn squash, mushrooms and onions with a wonderful garlic infused olive oil. To that we added sauteed pork chops with a balsamic glaze. Not too shabby for hotel room cooking!
Some of our followers have mentioned how fun it is to go to the quilt shows we go to and it is a lot of fun hanging out with people who love the same things we do. However, the travel part is not so much fun. After so many years we have it down to a pretty good science. Our bags are packed precisely to 49.5lbs We always forget the same things (coffee filters) and generally remember to pack the most important cooking tools: a large Teflon skillet, sharp knives, cutting boards, Serranos coffee from Monument CO, Ruth's home made salsa and baggies. We almost always have a TSA search love note in our suitcases.
Let me tell you, it isn't easy getting all our teaching supplies in as well as our kitchen essentials. Sometimes clothing must be sacrificed but we figure no one is paying that much attention to how many times we have worn that same tee shirt. Fortunately, the Residence Inn has a laundry room too.
I have had a long and difficult few months but I am starting to see the end of the tunnel!
I had my three grand children here with me this summer for 6 weeks. After about 4 I began to drag. :) It is difficult to acknowledge that I am not so young anymore. Oh to have the energy of youth. that said I wold not change the time and memories we made for anything in the world!
I had hand surgery on August 9th. I had all these plans of what I would get done on the computer while I was healing. Boy was I wrong! It is very slow using only your left hand to type. So I didn't do that. I thought I would try sketching with my left hand, that was a bust. :) I did get to dye some fabric while in my cast but then paid for it with a few days of pain. I am sure the Dr. would not have been happy if he had known.
My family has had a few tough things happen. My mother is not doing well but keeps positive. My Dad is progressivly going down hill. My brother-in-law is struggling with cancer and it doesn't look good.
Amongst all of this, my grand children are doing fabulous, my son is just about to get his degree with grades I never knew he could achieve and my hand stitching book is at the publishers and I am impatiently waiting for it to come out.
Life is good, not perfest but good!
Liz and I head to Houston next week, as usual we will be on the look out for the next fun new thing to bring back to you all.
Paper Piecing! I spent the last weekend finishing this quilt top and table runner. Starr Design Fabrics created the pattern and fabric kit. This project has been in the works for 13 years! I know some of you can relate. I purchased it on my 40th birthday so I know exactly how long it has been hanging around. One reason it has taken so long to finish is that I discovered after oh...about...the second star that I really don't like paper piecing. (gasp!)
Fortunately, I have a great friend who doesn't mind paper piecing and she helped me get through these blocks. Truth be told she made most of them. :-)
One benefit to working on a project like this for so long is that it has a bit of my personal thread history in it. I started this quilt before I had embarked on my mission to undercover all the mysteries of thread. So, it is a bit of an experiment on what threads work best with paper piecing.
I started out with a medium weight cotton thread. Nice and strong but it made it difficult to get all the many points to meet where I wanted them to meet. Too frustrating for paper piecing these complicated patterns.
Next I tried a couple different ultra-fine threads. I began with InvisaFil and DecoBob both by WonderFil. These ultra fine threads worked great and gave me totally flat seams and the points all behaved nicely and met where they should. But, these particular poly threads are a little stretchy so when I was tearing away the paper the stitching stretched a bit and had to be repaired in a couple places.
My recommendation for paper piecing thread is Coats and Clark Dual Duty Fine. This thread is strong, not as stretchy as the others I used and is fine enough to give you nice flat seams. Don't forget to shorten your stitch length too.
I have gifted my paper piecing hero with all my add a quarter rulers! I won't be paper piecing in the foreseeable future. I hope to get this quilt top quilted later this fall but have a baby quilt to do first! Another boy grandbaby will be joining us in late Jan. Love those boys!!
About 13 years in the making but finally finished this weekend!! The good news is that I still love the fabrics and the pattern after working on it for all these years. My only regret is that when I started this the only fusible product readily available was Wonder Under. The center is layered fused fabric applique so it is really stiff in the floral sections. Misty Fuse would have been so much better to use and would have left the quilt soft and cuddly.
I am very good at finishing projects but have a few large quilts that have been languishing for years...interrupted by quilts for the boys and more recently my grandchildren. I realized about 8 years ago that working on the same quilt (or any project) especially those that are repetitive blocks are just not my thing. I also moved away from making other people's patterns and started creating my own. I got rid of all those projects except for a few that I really loved. Getting rid of those I really didn't like anymore was such a great relief and gave me more room for art supplies. I highly recommend it. Of course finishing makes you feel Great too!
Anyone seen July around? I remember turning the calendar page to July but the next thing I knew it was the middle of August already! School starting? Really?
Ruth and I both had tons of company...grandchildren on both fronts and a few other house guests too. It was lots of fun and much laughter was heard at both our homes.
We did get some great work done too!
I finished this piece which was accepted into the Standing on the Shoulders of Cowboys exhibit at Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs. That was an honor because of the amazing number of pieces that were submitted. This piece, titled Rust 'N' Dust is composed of rust dyed fabrics and machine embroidery on an organza layer.
Ruth finished the final pieces for her new book Modern Hand Stitch the evening before she had hand surgery! Talk about a hard deadline. Her samples will amaze you and we will give you some sneak peeks over the coming weeks. Her book will be out later this fall.
Ruth has a bit of recuperation ahead of her so send her lots of healing energy. I know she can't wait to get back to stitching again.
Only 39 days until the Portland, OR Art and Soul event! Sept 30-Oct 6 2013 That is a great reason for a giveaway!
I love teaching at Art and Soul because where else on earth can you be completely immersed in doing what you love, surrounded by hundreds of people who also love the same thing, in a beautiful setting on the river? The creative energy is so thick you can touch it.
I also love Art and Soul because it changed my life! I am not trying to be dramatic here. It truly changed me, it touched my art and my soul.
If you are looking for a place to learn, explore and build your wings this is it.
I am teaching three classes this year and they are all so very different.
First up is my gelatin plate printing class Monday Sept 30: Delectable paper and cloth. We use both a traditional gelatin plate as well as the Gelli plate. Total creative abandon in this class. I am always blown away by the energy in the room and the fantastic papers and fabrics that emerge.
The next day, Tues Oct 1: Mixed Media Mayhem! You better eat a good breakfast before this fast paced stash building class. Before I was half way through the day teaching it in Va Beach students were asking when Mixed Media Mayhem II would be ready for sign ups! We cover a ton of techniques and create unique bits for your stash. this is just a sample of the cool stuff we will make.
My third class is Stitch Dancing on Sunday Oct 6. This is the class that was featured on Quilting Arts TV with Pokey Bolton. Using thread and tiny ephemeral bits of fabric and silk roving we create these luscious embroidered pieces. You will love the process and all it's possibilities.
Ok, so after I read what I wrote I realize that my three classes aren't all that different from each other. They may be based in the full range of mixed media but they all are about learning techniques, exploring possibilities, asking 'what if' and surrounding yourself with beautiful stuff. :-)
Follow the blog roll and visit my fellow teacher's sites to see their amazing classes and some of them have sweet giveaways!
Aug 19 Serena Barton http://serenabartonsblog.blogspot.com
Aug 20 Clarissa Callesen www.Clarissacallesen.blogspot.com
Aug 22 Jen Crossley http://amarkintime.blogspot.com/ and
Barbara Worth Rainey http://fireflypress.blogspot.com
Aug 23 Jill Berry Blog: http://jillberrydesign.com/blog/
Gotta have a giveaway!
Post a comment below and you will have a chance to win a copy of First Time Beading on Fabric by yours truly, a bead mat and a collection of beads and sequins from my personal stash including a lovely purple cabochon. I have been cleaning up and out lately so you may find some other goodies to help you get beading right away!
TAP image transfer on metal shim
I LOVE Transfer Artist Paper aka TAP! I was at the front of the line to purchase it when it was first released by Lesley Riley. With this fabulous image transfer paper Lesley ended a lot of frustration for mixed media artists world wide. No more worries about the type of printer ink you had or the endless search for the paper or transparency film that works. TAP solved a lot of problems and took the mixed media art world by storm! It was awarded the coveted Most Innovative New Product by the Craft and Hobby Association in 2011.
TAP image hand tinted before transfering
I use TAP in a lot of my collage work and I have TAPped on tote bags, banners, lutradur, metal, wood, ceramic and just about every sort of fabric you can imagine. TAP is a frequent winner in my classes too. Students always fall in love with it when they see how versatile and easy to use TAP is. Lesley has a new on-line class on CraftArtEdu where you can learn all the great techniques, tips and tricks directly from Lesley Riley herself...right in your own home: Create with TAP Transfer Artist Paper™ with Lesley Riley. You can even watch a preview of Lesley's class.
Now for the fun part! Lesley is offering you a chance for a FREE class! She organized a blog hop so you have multiple chances to win. To enter to win the free Create with TAP class just leave a comment on this blog post. Tell me what you would like to create with TAP. I will choose a winner using a random number generator on July 9.
But wait! That's not all (said in my best infomercial voice over) If you head over to Lesley's blog and leave a comment there you might win a 5 sheet package of TAP to play with!
Check out the rest of the bloggers who are participating in the hop. Only a few winners have been chosen so you have lots of opportunities to win.
June 26 - Christine Urias - Scraptime
June 27 - Karen Watson -- The Graphics Fairy
June 28 - Judy Coates Perez - Judy Coates Perez
June 29 - Theresa Wells Stifel - Stifel & Capra
June 30 - Lynn Krawczyk - Fiber Artysta
July 1 - Claudine Hellmuth - Claudine Hellmuth
July 2 - Gina Rossi Armfield - Joyful Purpose
July 3 - Carolyn Dube - A Colorful Journey
July 4 - Liz Kettle - Stitch Journeys
July 5 - Jane LaFazio - Janeville
July 6 - Joanne Sharpe - Whimspirations
July 7 - Pam Carriker - Pam Carriker
July 8 - Theresa Martin - Theresa Martin
I just spent 3 amazing days with fellow artists, Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts in VA and Jamie Malden of Colouricious in the UK. We convened in VA at Artistic Artifacts to create, experiment and wreak creative havoc. Judy provided the space and access to her truly amazing stash. Judy's mom Pat brought us chocolate for fuel and her entire family welcomed us and tolerated our creative take over. Jamie brought a new batch of wooden printing blocks from India and I brought thread and some pieces I had started.
Jamie Malden of Colouricous wood block printing a pieced quilt
Judy Gula and Jamie Malden discussing piecing techniques
Often when artists get together they bring their own piece to work on but we decided that we would love to create jointly. Wow! What a great experience. We completed 5 pieces and have 3 more in various stages to finish as soon as we get a chance. We created a glorious mess, shared laughter and stories
I learned so much by working side by side these fantastically creative women. It was such a great challenge to have one artist start a piece and hand it off to someone else to do the next step. Then it could be passed back to the first person or on to the third. and back again. Something I would never have thought to add to a piece was now mine to figure out the best way to incorporate it and then how could I make it even more than when it came to me? It was exciting, frustrating and challenging.
I also learned more about my own working process which is always a good thing! I came home with lots of great ideas for projects of my own. Judy recorded some videos about the different techniques we used so you will want to be sure to sign up for her newsletter so you don't miss them. I highly recommend this type of retreat for your own creative journey.
The grand kids and I made ugly dolls on Wednesday. It was a lot of fun and we were able to finish in about 2 ½ hours. I think any more time than that and I lose the youngest who is 5. I think the most fun they had was picking out the buttons and stuffing the doll itself. I thought I would give you a general idea of how we made them and a supply list along with some photos. I would love to see pictures of any dolls you might make.
Newsprint or other paper to draw a pattern
Felt, 18” x 20”
Lots of fun buttons to choose from
Thread to match felt
Start by drawing a pattern. There is no right or wrong here, just make sure there are no narrow sections that are hard for little fingers to stuff. I used a pad of newsprint paper and let the kids draw their own. I did have to go back and widen a few places but this is an ugly doll so it doesn’t need to be even.
I let the older two cut out their pattern on the felt but I did cut out my 5 year Old’s. My scissors are just too sharp and who knows what he would have cut! Fingers, clothes, his sister’s fingers…… J
Once the felt shapes were cut out we started adding buttons. I used large chenille needles and pearl cotton. Even the youngest was able to stitch them on. I did have to thread the needles and knot the thread for them and this did take a lot of supervision but all 3 of them were able to stitch the buttons on to the felt without stabbing themselves and no blood was shed. I did not have to get out any Band-Aids for this project. J
I had each of the kids “help” sew up the dolls sitting on my lap. I placed the wrong sides of the felt together and used a zigzag stitch to stitch around the doll and left the raw edges out. I left a section about 3 inches open so they could stuff the doll. I felt it would take too long to stitch the right sides together and turn them. Maybe if they were older this would work.
Next came the stuffing and this was a lot of fun for them. They got a kick out of the sections that they had to go back and stuff some more. Without enough stuffing they were very floppy and funny.
Once the stuffing was where they wanted I finished stitching up the hole and they have been a great hit. I love seeing the look on their faces when they show someone a doll they made themselves. I think it is very empowering to them.
We had a great fun morning with a lot of laughs and something to show for it. What could be better than that?!
Liz and I spent the last week hiding out from smoke from the Black Forest fire and watching the news. It gets to the point where you have to just turn off the T.V. Liz was closer to the fire this year than I was. It was nerve wracking but it seems to be under control. Our firefighters are amazing! Even though we lost 483 homes they saved over 2000.
As most of you know I have three of my grand children here from Alaska for 6 weeks. I knew I would have to do something more than send them out to play and hang out at the pool so we are doing art projects. Last week we made ugly dolls out of felt. I did make it pretty simple and even my 5 year old was able to do it without any mishaps.
Now my next project is to learn how to make the photos from my great camera on my phone fit into the blog. Be patient with me and I will learn this too. :)
This week we are making pool bags, maybe then I won't be the pack horse all the time. They were able to get their multi purpose cloth painted before it rained on Saturday. Today we will add stamping and stencils. I will take lots of photos and get them up with the post. (when I learn how :) )
I hope you are having a great summer and encourage you to get out some art supplies and play with your kids or grand kids. Their imagination and creativity will amaze you!
I once again find myself living 6 miles from the edge of a major wild fire.
Yesterday the fire spread 8 miles is a few hours.
6 miles is too close.
6 miles is scary.
There is nothing between me and the edge of the fire but hundreds of acres of trees. Trees stressed by years of drought.
This is the photo I took yesterday at 3:30 just a couple hours after the fire started.
This is the photo I took when I picked my son up from his colleg class. Just 3 hours later.
Of course when disaster strikes close to home you make plans for evacuation. Photos and family history are packed. Actually, they have been packed since the Waldo Canyon fire last year. We didn't get enough snow or rain this last year to warrent unpacking. My art work is at the studio in Colorado Springs. We have talked about what things are the most important to bring. We have a plan.
A plan doesn't help with the helpless feeling as you watch homes being turned to ashes in minutes.
I went down to my basement studio to finish up some packing for a trip to the mountains this weekend and I had such a wave of sadness hit me. Sadness that all of my 'stuff' my art supplies, vintage fabrics, vintage papers, art papers, bits and bobs could all vanish in an instant. Totally out of my control. There would be no way to replace any of it. Insurance wouldn't even begin to cover the precious bits I have collected over the years.
My sadness didn't last more than a couple minutes. I started sorting through some fabrics and quickly realized that it is all just 'stuff'. What is
Ruth and I both adore Art Gallery Fabrics! The hand of these fabrics is simply amazing. The patterns are unique, cutting edge and the colors incredibly yummy! We did a video--correction LIZ did a video Ruth will not be held responsibile for this---of the beautiful Art Gallery Fabrics booth at Spring Quilt Market in Portland.
Vendors spend an incredible amount of time, energy and money to create a unique booth at quilt market. We thought you all might enjoy seeing it. Apologies for the video! Liz kept thinking she could re-orient the camera. She blames it on her enthusiam for showing you all how awesome their booth is.
How about a chance to win this amazing piece of art by Serena Barton? Details at the bottom!
My friend Serena Barton has a new book out that you are going to LOVE! It is titled: Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop and it is full of fun mixed media techniques that embody the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi or embracing imperfection.
I decided to put one of the exercises in the book to the test by trying it out on my Tuesday Tarts group. We are a bunch of textile based mixed media artist who meet once a month to try out a new technique. This month was my turn to teach so I picked one of the projects in Serena's book: Acrylic Paint and Re-Inkers (page 28). We ended up with a larger than normal group because it is summer so I had to stand on a chair to be seen and heard. It was pretty funny.
Of course finding the exact same re-inkers Serena used proved to be a problem but we went with the assortment we had. I did experiment with the Adirondack Color Mists and they worked well although the color may be slightly less intense. This group is good with going with the flow. Actually, they are excellent at just playing and not worrying about the final product! One member experimented with using alcohol inks and we had a lot of different brands of re-inkers. The re-inkers are available on-line if you don't have a store near you that sells them.
Here is the series of photos I took as we worked through Serena's excellent step by step instructions. I had created a sample but just read the directions to everyone as we went along. We only spent a little over an hour on these and everyone created a great piece and had a lot of fun just playing.
Look how clean and neat it is...didn't stay that way long.
At this point paint was flinging and I had to get out a bull horn to be heard over the chatter and laughter!
The layers and depth we were able to get using Serena's techniques is great...though hard to tell in the group photo. There is a lot to explore in this book and everyone in the group loved the possibilities between the covers.
I am just one stop on the blog hop so you will want to check out these other blogs for their projects and interviews. Jill Berry has a book to give away and is drawing on June 10.
Now to enter to win the beautiful piece of Serena's you need to go visit her new wabi sabi art workshop blog. Leave a comment to enter. She is drawing on June 8. If you win you might want to remember that my birthday is on the 16th! :-)
Last little goodie! You can find Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop on-line and at book stores but Serena has a special offer!!
You can order a signed copy from Serena with a bonus of a little packet of collage materials for your own wabi-sabi work. Use the Paypal button under the book listing on her Classes page. Shipping in the continental US is 4.00. and from. To purchase the book from Serena:
Now, go make something!
I am back from all my travels and have almost caught up with everything. my studio is still a wreck but I am slowly getting organized.
I am just about finished with all my hand stitching for the book and will be very relieved to send it all off!
Liz and I went to Portland for the 2013 Spring Market. We found a very exciting new product still in development that we can't wait to play with. details to follow. :)
At market Liz and I decided to try a few videos with my new phone. We started with Valdani Threads.If you have not seen or used these threads you are in for a real treat! Valdani is a family owned business and have silk, cotton,wool, and rayon threads. My favorite are the variegated threads, they are wonderful to use. Check this video we shot in their booth at market!
I am thrilled to announce that I am a participating teacher for this year's Angels in My Studio on-line workshop Series!
This workshop is about
cultivating your creativity
connecting with your intuitive core
nurturing your inner artist
learning mixed media art techniques
having fun and playing
Guess what else? I have a spot to give away in the class ~ details below!
This amazing 5 month workshop series is being taught by 11 talented mixed media artists. Just look at this line-up!
Tamara LaPorte -- Healing mixed-media inner guardian angel
Chris Zydel -- Something super magical is in the works, guaranteed.
Havi Mandell -- Deeply meaningful Angel Book
Cheryl Irwin -- High vibe Angel/Goddess Mandala and Intuitive Spirit painting
Claudia Olivos -- Glorious angel painting on a large canvas
Kristen Powers -- Brilliant Al fresco angel painting (and a carved rubber stamp mini-lesson)
Liz Kettle -- Powerful protective talisman for you to carry/wear
Melissa Muirhead -- Sweet, sweet angel pendant on a Scrabble tile!
Rachel Payne -- Playful, free-form, intuitive Spirit Doll
Justine Van De Weg -- Magical Fairy painting
Galia Alena -- Profound, Sacred Art journaling
Why Angels? I think that Sheri Ponzi who is the creator of this course says it best
"I realize that it doesn’t really matter if angels are “real” -- what matters is the very real experience of clarity, ease, calmness and support we feel once we invite in the possibility.
When you allow the possibility of angel magic into your life, everything shifts. Everything.
When you allow the possibility of creative play into your life, everything shifts. Everything."
My class is all about trusting your intuition. We are going to create a really cool talisman to wear. I am so excited about this project!
You can learn all the details about the workshop, teachers, projects and register on the main Angels in My Studio web site. If you find out about the class from me please use the link here to register so we know where students found us as this is how we are paid.
Ok, so on with the giveaway! You will have to leave a comment to enter of course. Tell me which of the lessons you think is most out of your comfort zone and will help you stretch your creative and intuitive muscles. I will use a random number generator to choose the winner on Sunday June 2.
I have been home for 1 week and am heading to Portland on Wednesday. I will leave for Portland on Wednesday morning with Liz. This will be the last trip until late July. I am looking forward to being home and getting into the studio again.
I left for Virginia Beach to visit my new granddaughter and her sister and Mom and Dad. She is adorable! Her name is Esther. It is an old fashioned name but it fits her. I was able to stay 2 weeks and it was a wonderful time. Leaving was very hard!
I was able to teach a bag class at Art and Soul. The bags turned out so wonderful although my students went rouge on me and we ended up making a different bag than the class was supposed to make. I loved that the students were able to make what they wanted. Thank goodness I had the bag pattern in my computer!
After Art and Soul Liz and I went up to Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria Virginia. I taught the hand stitching booklet all in one day. What a day! The students were real troopers and they learned 18 stitches in 6 ½ hours. I can’t wait to see pictures of how they finish their books. It was a long but rewarding day.
The weekend finished up with a 2 day Indigo dye class. Wow, the pieces of fabric that came out of that 2 day class were amazing! I dyed some velvet for the first time and loved the results. The first day we prepared the fabric bundles and then were able to even dye a few pieces. The second day the dying was done mostly on the poles for shibori pieces. I think I could have dyed fabric for a few more days. I will have Liz help me post the photos from my new phone. J
I am heading to Portland on Wednesday and get to come home late Sunday. Spring Market is a little more relaxed and smaller than Fall Market. I don’t even think I need all the bags Southwest allows me for free! That’s a first. J
I wonder what new and fun things I can find to experiment with.
I have so many great things to share with you all about my travels the last 6 weeks. Great classes taken and given. Wonderful memories of making art with inspiring people but before I get to those posts I have a deep need to share my views on photos of yourself.
In my travels the last 6 weeks I have had 3 important encounters involving women and photos of themselves. Two hated having their picture taken and one boldly showed her swimming suit clad, approaching 70 year old body, declaring the joy of being at the beach she loves.
The two women who said keep me out of the photo because I hate photos of myself could not have been different! The first a plump middle aged nurse who gives her heart and energy to her patients. The second a young mom perhaps a bit too thin who shares her love of creating with others and encourages them to live richer lives through art.
I am sorry to say that I jumped on both of these two ladies rather vehemently. Not sorry that I shared my views but maybe I was a little tough on them. You see, I used to be like them and I have learned that it truly doesn't matter what you look like. To borrow a phrase from motivational speaker, Lisa Nichols: It doesn't matter what your package looks like!
What matters is the shine from your eyes and the smile of grace and beauty that lights up your face.
We have this media fed myth of physical perfection that is such a lie. It keeps us down and unable to be the powerful force of creation we are meant to be. It makes us sick and lonely, unable to love ourselves or even be kind to ourselves.
I too hid from photos for years...always offering to be the photographer rather than the photographee. I hated the 40 pounds I couldn't lose after having kids. I hated the 6 inch scar that splits my belly so it will never be flat even if I ever manage to lose that last 15lbs. I hated my big man-sized hands with nails that are soft and broken all the time. I hated my big wide feet with the short stubby toes deformed from too many years of living barefoot. The stretch marks, the scars and the bumpy bits all made me want to hide. And I did.
It took a lot of work and kindness towards myself to change my perspective. I am still a work in progress but I started with my hands. I realized that if I had been born with sweet dainty hands with slim fingers and beautifully shaped nails that they wouldn't be as strong as the hands I have. My hands are perfect for working and making art. I am not slowed down by worries that I might chip my polish or break a nail as I dig in the garden or create art. My hands are perfect for me.
If I still shied away from having my photo taken, I would have missed the opportunity to capture the photo above of me and my dearest friend Judy Gula. This was in the last few minutes before we closed down her on-site store at the Art and Soul retreat in Va Beach. We were both exhausted beyond measure, not well groomed, hot and sweaty. But, we were happy to be there together surrounded by people we love and basking in the energy of hundreds of creative people making art. A priceless photo in my opinion.
The third lady I wrote about? She was using that beautiful photo of herself in a collage book she started in my class. All her friends and family will see it. She told me that while it isn't the most attractive photo of herself with all her lumps, bumps and saggy skin in plain view, the photo perfectly summed up the joy and deep happiness she feels when she is at the beach. We can all take a lesson from her.
I challenge each of you to begin with one part of your body that you don't like and find the reasons to love it. Take time to create a journal page or small art piece about it. Repeat until you love each part of you.
Write this down and paste it on your mirror, your computer monitor, your car! Breathe it in every day.
It doesn't matter what package you got.
What matters is your heart and soul.
You are beautiful just as you are.
I am so excited about this comprehensive exhibit coming to the DAM. I have been hearing rumors for a few months and if you click on the Museum link you will get an idea of the scope of the exhibit. It is one not to be missed! I love this piece in the photo above. It is a woven wool Rain Cloak (charkheb) from the early 1900's. I just can't wait to see it in person. Be sure to check out all the great programs and classes that support this exhibition.
Cultures with Texture
Spun: Adventures in Textiles at the Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is gearing up to unveil its summer exhibition, Spun: Adventures in Textiles, on view May 19–September 22, 2013. The museum-wide exhibition blends ancient traditions and surprising innovations in textile arts. It will be home to an extensive collection of artworks that range from pre-Columbian weavings to modern fiber art, Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in paintings and photography. From wool to recycled plastics, embroidered silk to buttons, a variety of materials and mediums will emerge in a rich and colorful spectacle.
In celebration of the DAM’s new textile galleries, its inaugural show, Cover Story, harnesses the essence of Spun. Featuring approximately 60 objects, Cover Story provides an intimate lens into the ways in which textiles have permeated human life across time and space. Exploring further, delve into other cultures through Irresistible’s intricately dyed Asian textiles and the elaborate Navajo weavings in Red, White and Bold: Masterworks of Navajo Design, 1840-1870. Examine how blue jeans inspired the iconic images of the Wild West in Western Duds: How Clothing Helped Create an Archetype and witness the telling stories of social change through the photographs in Common Threads: Portraits by August Sander and Seydou Keïta. Or push the boundaries of textile art in Material World’s subversive social commentaries and hover between textile and technology in Transposition, among many others.
An interwoven medley, Spun is held together by a common fiber—a shared humanity in textiles. The DAM’s diverse collections explore the ways in which textiles enrich and encircle human lives, as textured and vibrant as the cultures themselves. For more information, visit www.denverartmuseum.org
Image descritption: Rain cloak (charkheb), Bhutan, early 1900s. Woven wool. Denver Art Museum; Neusteter Textile Collection: Textile Art department funds, by exchange.