Monday, September 1, 2014


I have been wanting to add some tutorials to my blog for quite awhile now.  I have had links on my other site, Hippiewear, to some videos on youtube, but never added them here.  So today, I am launching my Tutorial page, and in addition to my videos, I hope to add many more tutorials soon. The  ones I have in mind for the near future will probably be written with photos, as I just don't seem to have the time anymore to create, edit and upload videos.  But hopefully, they will be helpful to anyone interested in trying their hand at dyeing, batik, or other surface design techniques I can gather up and post there.  So enjoy, and let me know if you try them!

Dye Class, 2011

Monday, August 25, 2014

Open Studios Tour a fabulous success!

I mentioned in my last post that this past weekend was the 17th Annual Flagstaff Open Studios Tour.  Sixty two artists gathered in 32 locations around Flagstaff for the event, featuring a wide variety of mediums and styles.  This was my sixth year to participate in the event, the last five sharing studio space with my friend Cinde Dalhover, a very talented bead jeweler.  This year, we were joined by Mack Davis, who creates beautiful fused glass items, and Kee Bahe, a wonderful painter who specializes in large and stunning landscapes of the northern arizona area.
Pictured above:  Kee Bahe, me, Cinde Dalhover and Mack Davis.
The photo was taken by a gentleman who just purchased one of Kee's beautiful sunset paintings with the San Francisco peaks, shown below:
Show facts:  we had at least 146 visitors over the two days;  we all had good to great sales (I topped my show sales not only for FOS, but for all the craft shows I have participated in, going back to 1997); I never got to crack open my project bag, which I normally bring to while away the time between visitors, so that tells you what it was like!  Suffice to say, we were all very happy with the event, and are already talking about FOS 2015!  Thanks to all who came, and all who took some of our creations when they left!

 Cinde with her display of beaded jewelry

 One of Mack's beautiful fused glass pieces
My bowl table, with scarves in the background

Monday, August 18, 2014

17th Annual Flagstaff Open Studios Tour

It's coming next weekend!  You can preview the brochure of participating artists and studios here.  Needless to say, I've been a busy bee for the past several months, building up my inventory.  Here's the postcard I sent out to my mailing list:
And here are some samples of what I've been working on:
 Hand dyed and sewn grocery tote bags

 My Autumn Leaves Shirt, with a new look 
 Habotai silk scarf
 Coiled bowl with plaster finish, hand painted
Coiled pot with plaster finish, hand painted

If you are in Flagstaff, I hope you will stop by!  There are 4 of us this year, so the few extra miles to our location will be worth it!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dallas, the Wonder Dog

Dear Readers,
Our Grandson Hunter has a service dog, Dallas.  Recently, Dallas had to have major surgery to amputate a leg that had a malignant tumor.  He is almost ready to come home, but at a cost... estimated at around $7000!  Our Daughter in Law April posted the following:  It is a site where donations can be made to help defray the veterinary bill.  They have done well raising funds, but the entire bill must be paid when they go to bring Dallas home, which hopefully is today.  I have posted this site on my Facebook page, but wanted to mention it here as well.  If you can make a donation, no matter how small, it will go a long way to help.  Our son Joe is in the Army, so they are on a budget.  Dallas has helped Hunter so much, and he deserves all the help and support he can get.  
Thanks for any support you can give!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Something new

I have been going in a new direction lately, combining a couple of techniques to come up with something a little different.  As you may know if you have been following me the past couple of years, I have been making coiled fabric bowls for awhile, then recently I took the process in a different direction and began making coiled bowls that I then coated with plaster and painted.  The first few were simple - create the bowl, coat it with plaster, paint with gesso, stamp on some designs, and seal.  I have also been working on more complex shapes involving multiple segments that had to be hand stitched together after I created them... all good ways to stretch and grow, creatively.  Well, I decided recently to take this process even further and try painting on one, as I would a canvas.  It's been quite awhile since I did much painting, but I envisioned something that I just had to try... worst case scenario, I could always paint over it if my idea didn't come to fruition.  Well, today I put the finishing touches on it, and I think I'll let it stay as is:

I used photos I took at Monument Valley in 2001 as my inspiration.  It was a little awkward painting on a curved shape, but I am pleased with how it turned out, and will probably try more in the future.  Now I just need to find some mesquite branches to put inside!  And I also need to plan another trip to Monument Valley... if you have never been, it's awesome!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Where has the time gone!

I can't believe I've let almost a month pass without a post... again!  Lots of projects keeping me busy, then the 4th yesterday... time to catch up!
First off, I was busy  writing a series of articles for "...And Then We Set It On Fire" about creating fabric with various surface design techniques:
Here's the end result - you can see how I got there if you follow the link and look for Round Robin, Solo Style posts.
I've also been doing some Autumn Leaves pieces using stamps I cut out of sponges:
And most recently, I did another plaster bowl and embellished with more sponge stamps, this time in shapes reminiscent of the southwest:

In between I had other things to do like housework (yuk!) and a trip to Phoenix.  Then yesterday, I got to ride on a float in our July 4th parade:
I took pix of the crowd along the way - lots of folks turned out for the event! 

And here I am (left) with a friend on the float, with my last minute painted sun visor... had great weather for the parade, followed by a nice monsoon storm to keep things cool!
Okay, time to get ready to visit the local nursery... now that Monsoon season is here, I can think about planting, and I need to find some trees!  Have a great July, and I hope to post more soon!

Monday, June 9, 2014

My New Basket

I have been experimenting more with various bowl/basket techniques, and decided to try something new to finish off a larger bowl that "needed something".  I created some knotted handles that I used a couple of techniques to finish, and I'm pleased with how they turned out:

The bowl measures 10" wide at the top, and 5 1/2" high... a pretty standard looking bowl, almost plain.  I started it with one idea in mind, and stopped midway because the shape wasn't right for the project I was working on.  It sat, waiting for me to think of a way to finish it, for over a month.  Finally, I decided to try the handles.  They are of cord, wrapped with the same fabric I used on the bowl, then knotted to add visual interest as well as functionality.  Then I made a loop on one end, and coiled the other end into a medallion.  That way I was able to loop the ends together ala button and loop.  Then I hand stitched in several places to anchor them to the bowl.
Next, I decided to use MinWax Polycrylic sealer to protect the finish, but also it stiffens when it dries, making the bowl and handles sturdier.  This way, if the user spills something on the bowl, it's easy to use a damp cloth to wipe it off without leaving a stain.
Now I just need to find a shipping box in the garage big enough to house the bowl... then I can list it in my shop!  On to the next project...