Monday, December 22, 2014

Sostice/New Years

 This morning felt like the beginning of a new year. Today is the first day of a little more light. Yesterday was a new moon, another new beginning.

And today I finally got to work in the Studio!
A little bit of making Christmas come....

Thursday, July 24, 2014


And the Living is Easy. Too easy. I haven't done a thing in the studio in months! Or even touched base with you!
So what HAVE I been doing?
there was our anniversary cruise on Eli-Oh
working with my love at the Freemont Market
 a couple of weddings
a couple of family emergencies
a visit to  Oregon

Lots of Life to draw inspiration from!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Grange is Alive with Art!

Seven fantastic artists!
First time ever Studio Tour at the Grange Hall, just off the upper parking lot by the ferry.

Look for our signs to guide you
Will Forester
Najua K Frost
Valerie Roberts
Marcia McKinzie
Len Yen
Gus (George Shairer)
Suzanna Leigh

Give us three days to set up and we'll take them all

We are all pulling together to get this show up, and it looks good!

Will has done a fantastic job organizing us, putting signs up, bringing in plywood to hang our paintings on, putting up lights. Besides some of his oils, he is showing his portraits of islanders, and a new thing: wedding puzzles!

Valerie painted the plywood, choosing a color that blends very well with the log walls. Her little dog, Do, guarded us well, announcing every one as they came in. Valeries encaustics and watercolor florals delight the eye.

On Target
Len's bright abstracts are like quilts in acrylic and his figure drawings are full of character! Len is the featured artist at Duet this month as well.

Najua's paintings have a gentle sweet quality.

Gus takes center stage with his sometimes abstract sometimes figurative sculptures--so sensuous, I can't keep my hands off of them!

Marcia's rooster and her landscapes and florals are elegant and colorful. You may have seen her work at the Heron's Nest.

Suzanna Leigh-me. I've been experimenting with natural dyes and with painting on fabric you can play with! My paintings on silk are now available as prints on canvas, and they do look good!

One of my corners

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Recovering from StashFest--and Beyond!

my space at StashFest
StashFest was fabulous! I sold more on Saturday than I have ever sold in one day, and on Sunday I did about 3x better than I expected. And I still have LOTS of inventory, so I can focus on marketing for the next bit of time. The last two pieces of silk yardage I painted sold right away--I must be getting the hang of it. I sold lots of fat quarters, some 1/2 yard pieces, and scarves--some painted and some dyed with natural dyes.

It was really wonderful to see friends who came especially to see my work! Thank you dear hearts!

Bellingham Bay from Munajat and Peppi's house
It was especially wonderful to spend Friday and Saturday evenings with friends in Bellingham, getting to know them better, sharing deeply. Munajat and Peppi have a wonderful view of Bellingham Bay, and Munajat is a splendid cook besides. Thank you, Munajat and Peppi!

It has taken me nearly a month to recover. OK, so there were some extenuating circumstances; my huzzlebunny went into surgery 2 days after I got back, I had a full weekend of commitments the following week, and I came down with walking pnuemonia!

Recovering now, I am at last ready for the next big thing: Spring Art Studio Tour on Vashon Island. I am joining 6 other artists at the Vashon Grange Hall. We are Number One on the Studio Tour list!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

7 Days Until StashFest!

scarves and yardage dyed with onion skin!
Just one more week until StashFest!

I'm having such fun creating beauty in silk, I don't want to stop! Every piece is more beautiful than the last!

And in just one week, I get to show off my silks and offer them to you! They will be for sale at StashFest.

La Conner Civic Garden Club
Across the street from the Museum
622 South Second Street
La Conner, Washington

Saturday, March 29 11am to 5pm
Sunday, March 30 10am to 3pm

To raise money for the Quilt Museum's operating expenses

How much?
Free to get in

Special preview (you get in an hour early for first picks of the amazing fabrics and unique wearables) $12

See you there!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Welding Pot

The weld dye looked like a really muddy yellow green in the pot.

But on the line, the dyed silk is a vibrant yellow!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Painting Water and Sky

14 Days until StashFest
Seagulls, a Bridge Over Calm Waters, and Fishy Fun--unfinished
Between dipping silk in indigo, cochineal, etc, I'm painting on silk, working like a mad woman--a joyfully mad woman--to get ready for StashFest,  Allison gave me a silk frame big enough to do 2.5 yards of silk, pieces big enough to make something with! The silk frame has rows of tiny nails to hook into the silk. So now I've a new "canvas": silk pieces 2.5 yards by 45".

Water draws me. Salt water especially. Living on an Island in Puget Sound, my fingers are webbed like a duck and I have salt water in my blood. So of course I paint water. Even how I paint is watery. Painting with dyes on silk is like painting on water. I am in love with the way the dye drips and flows, the way colors diffuse into each other. Sometimes the dye flows like waves pushed by the wind,  sometimes like raindrops on a window. I love the blues and greens of a sunny day.

And sky! White clouds marching across the blue silk, or purple and gold sunset colors, pink and lavender for sunrise. The water birds, the seagulls, the eagles, the herons, and the ever-present crows who keep me company when I do Qi Gung on the beach.... These all find their way into my work.

Then on to reds and browns. Greens and redbrowns for a forest floor. Floral colors for gardens.  All to be ready for StashFest!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Making Madder Redder

some people will love this color!

Just 18 more days until StashFest!

Still trying to get a good rich red from natural dyes. Will madder work? The sample on linen at Botonical Colors was exactly what I want. Only, I want it on silk. With MY water.

So far, the madder gives me the one color I that makes my skin crawl. It's the orange of my dad's flight suit during that very scary time the U.S. faced off with Russia over missles in Cuba.

Some people, who don't have that memory, will love this color, but for me, please, please make it redder! I tried adding calcium carbonate, and the vat nearly bubbled over! It didn't even change the color much, though the slightly pinker shade is one I can live with more easily. 

Do you have any ideas to make madder redder?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cochineal purple? Who Knew?

I was trying for that rich cranberry red--I got purple!

22 days until StashFest, and I'm spending every waking moment in the studio. Every available space has silk drying, Some are dyed in natural dyes such as madder, indigo, cochineal, weld, onion skin, and madrona bark. Some were stretched and painted with a brush, using commercial dyes that are then steamed.

 Surrounded with the rich beauty of color, design, and texture, I am in heaven! And OMG am I learning!

For example, I learned that, yes,  cream of tarter will make cochineal less purple and more red, but don't leave the cloth in the vat overnight. Cream of tarter crystals were stuck all over my silk and would not wash out! It's like they were glued on! They wouldn't brush off either. Finally, I soaked the silk in hot water in an attempt to dissolve the crystals. That worked....but..... the color turned back to purple or a brownish purple in some cases.

It seems my water has a lot of iron and perhaps other minerals in it, and that's what made the cochineal purple.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What do you do with a Fat Quarter?

these are dyed with onion skin and madrona bark

Such beautiful pieces of silk! They are for StashFest, where they will be sold to benefit the Quilt Museum in LeConner.

Some shimmer with the colors of water and sky. Some are dyed with onion skins, cochineal, madder, or indigo, then dyed again with another of these natural dyes after folding and blocking them itajime style. I'm using the luxurious charmeuse, the more wabi sabi silk noir, and the oh so luscious silk velvet. 

Working in fat quarters and half yards I can create special pieces of silk for your enjoyment. What will you do with them?

I am collecting ideas.  Do you have favorite projects using a piece of cloth 18" by 22", or a half yard?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Count down to StashFest-just 28 Days!

scarves and yardage dyed with indigo, cochineal, and madder

I am so excited!

Indigo, cochineal, and madder-- scrumptious colors!  Every piece is one of a kind.  Scarves, 1/2 yards, 2 1/2 yard pieces, fat quarters (18" by 22")....You can look elegant in a charmeuse scarf, sew a special pillow, or even sew a lovely jacket or make a luxurious lap blanket!

You can see them first at StashFest in LeConner, WA March 28th and 29th, where sales benefit the Quilt Museum.  If there are any left, they will be available on line or at venues to be announced.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Unique fabrics--including mine!--at StashFest

StashFest 2014
 I met Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts at a Surface Design Association meeting last fall. When I showed her my hand painted silk scarves she invited me to be a presenter at StashFest! in LaConner the last weekend of March.

The purple is cochineal.
 I must have a lot of minerals in my water to
get purple instead of red.
 My goal is to have $5000 worth of hand painted silk scarves and yardage, many dyed in natural dyes. I am learning as I go; tomorrow I plan to make my first indigo vat!

So what is StashFest? Well, if you sew, if you adore quilting, if you drool over unique and wonderful fabrics, you will want to come to StashFest. StashFest is:

"A two-day sale of remarkable and unique fabrics--for quilting, fashion, and home decor--with thousands of yards to choose from. Plus gorgeous wearable items. And a Sponsor Shop filled with enticing products from major manufacturers. And lots of door prizes--given away every hour!"

Patricia came to Vashon to see my show at the Vashon Tea Shop, and to visit my studio! She took some lovely photos and wrote about it here.