Sunday, November 30, 2014

Finishing out the year

My show season ended last weekend with the Mountain Campus Holiday Show,
 and I am busy working to finish up some custom orders:
This is a variation on my Autumn Leaves batik, but the buyer wanted greens instead of the traditional autumn colors.  I think I will need to make more of these!
This is an experiment I did on a Habotai silk scarf with an allover leaf pattern.  I won't go into all the complexities of the process I used, but it is the first batik I have successfully achieved on silk.
Next on my list is an order to dye 20 shirts for a local artist who will be screen printing an original design on them, then selling to a shop in nearby Williams... can't wait to see how they turn out!  
And I am hoping to sell some of my work to Flagstaff General Store, a new store that opened on Friday. 
I have lots of half-formed ideas stewing in my brain that I hope to hatch in the coming months... another winter of tinkering, imagining, experimenting... I love these months between shows when I get to play!  Then before I know it, another season will start and I'll be off and running again.  I hope to do a little better job of posting here... lately it has just been too hectic to even think!  So bear with me as I take a breath, stare off into space for a few moments, then get back on track!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I received an invitation from Lynda Heines to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop... how kewl is that?!  Lynda and I have become creative buddies over the past year or so... she has written some great posts about her creative endeavors, and you can see them here.
Okay, on to the questions!

1. What am I working on?  I received several special orders from customers this past weekend at the Autumn Leaves and Holly Arts and Crafts show, so I have been working to get my materials together to complete them by Nov. 1, the date of my next show.  One of the orders is for my hand dyed cotton twill grocery totes:
I was thrilled to sell all of those shown above to a friend BEFORE the show opened, so I had to take orders from another customer!  Off I went to the fabric store today, and found the cotton twill on sale for 50% off... woo-hoo!  I also took orders for my Autumn Leaves shirts, Circular Scarves, and an oval coiled fabric bowl, so I'm going to  be a busy gal for a couple of weeks!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?  I started learning how to tie-dye almost 17 years ago, and tried my hand at pretty traditional patterns at first.  But gradually, I began to experiment with non-traditional patterns... example, here is a fairly traditional swirl:
I still love these, but have gradually moved more toward these:

3. Why do I write/create what I do?  I have always needed to create, ever since I was a little girl... it's the icing on the cake for me!  And I love to write about it, so I can share my experiences with others who love to work with fiber, dyes, and color.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?  No real hard and fast rules... something inspires me to try a new technique, pattern, etc.  I spend time browsing a number of blogs of fellow artists, and have learned a lot an been inspired to try new things I see there.
And speaking of being inspired, I have invited Jeanne Aird to join in the Blog Hop!  Jeanne is a fiber artist and fellow dyer, and I really admire the work she does!  You can see her work here.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Getting ready for the Fall show circuit!

This time of year is my busy time.  Starting with the Flagstaff Open Studios Tour at the end of August, I have several shows throughout the fall to keep me busy!  So I have been working hard to beef up my stock this past month.  I did take a break to do a small outdoor show last Sunday:
We had some rain and cool temps, but I still sold some shirts, so all was not lost!
Here are some of the shirts I have been working on recently:
Stitched design in Copper, gold and sage green

Autumn Leaves batik with moss green background
Crochet scarf in cool colors

I have coiled fabric bowls and twill cotton totes in progress as well.  

And here is the flier for our next show, coming up in less than 2 weeks!  I'm on the committee for the show, and we're really excited - this is our second year doing this show, and we have 31 artists and crafters participating in the event... lots of beautiful, hand crafted items will be available for our shoppers!  So if you are going to be in the Flagstaff area, I do hope you will stop by and enjoy the show!  
Okay, back to the salt mines... I will update soon with more show information!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Another stash buster project

As you may recall from previous posts, I am always trying to find ways to use up my ever-growing fabric stash!  Here are a couple of shots of the grubby piles:

This doesn't include the bins I have of smaller pieces!  As you can see, it has become a problem... but I have come up with another project to use some of it up - Composition Book covers!  I have done some before, but recently, my fiber arts buddy Lynda Heines posted about making covers on her blog.  You can see her post here.    I made a couple using instructions I got on you tube, but they did not look that great... thanks to Lynda, I learned I could eliminate one step - top stitching the edges - and that helped a lot!  Here is one I finished yesterday:

At this rate, it will take another 100 years to use up my stash, but I love how it came out!  Hopefully, I will get several done before my October and November shows... think this would make a nice holiday gift, don't you?  Time to get back to the piles!

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...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Evolution of a process

Several years ago, before I started my tie-dye biz, I used to paint objects - cigar boxes, flower pots, you name it!  Trouble is, they weren't big sellers, so I moved on.  But I always loved doing them, and recently decided to ease back into mixed media a little.
Below is a display of my painted wares circa 1997,

And this is a prayer plant (my design) in a hand painted clay pot... using one of my favorite themes, autumn leaves. 

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I have been busy the past couple of years making coiled fabric bowls, first as a stash buster, but later because I love the process as well as the results. This is a sample of one of my typical bowls:

Well, somehow my brain cells collided and I decided to take the bowls  in a different direction, and here is the result of my first efforts:

I have combined the coiling process with mixed media to create a bowl with a hard surface, which allows me to paint it.  I decided to go back to the autumn leaves theme for this one, and I'm pleased with how it came out.  After I took these photos, I applied Polycrylic sealer to protect the finish.  I ended up using a high gloss, which is okay, but I think I would prefer the more subtle look of the matte finish shown here for future efforts.  And trust me, there will be more of these!  Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Works in progress

It's been almost a month since my last post... how time flies when you're having fun!  I have been indulging my love of dyeing on some new summer tops:

Once I got started, I couldn't stop!  And I have more on the way...
Meanwhile, I am working on a piece for the Appetizers Exhibit coming up August 2nd... I know that's almost 3 months away, but I really want it to come out right... here's a sneak peak at what I'm working on for embellishments on the piece:

I just made a prototype feather to see how it would look... I plan to use different fabric, and hope to include some fabric beads as well, but for now, I needed to see if the size was good.
What I should be working on, and hope to get into over the next day or so, is a series of posts for "...And Then We Set It On Fire".  I will be posting about a Round Robin Solo surface design project during the month of July, and I really need to move beyond the planning stage into the execution phase!
On the garden front, I have Lettuce and Peas sprouting:

This is my second year growing lettuce, and my first try at peas.  Everything is in containers so I can keep them above ground - our prairie dogs are very resourceful, and I have discovered they even know how to climb, so nothing is safe in the ground!
As for flowers, I am keeping fingers crossed - in the next few days, at least one of my Lilac bushes will be in full bloom, barring unforseen frost!  I will take pix as soon as the blossoms open up.  And I have a coupon for rose bushes from Home Depot... I sorely miss my cutting roses, and think I will splurge this year - buy 2, get one free!  Hope I can find some that will bloom!  More to come...