Love Fest In Santa Cruz

Love Fest In Santa Cruz

Love Fest In Santa Cruz

Okay—I don’t think I have ever taught 11 women, and schlepped all my scraps, sewing machine, artworks and clothing anywhere. But when I was invited to work with this close knit group of artist/sewers I jumped on the opportunity. I love to teach. It is such a perfect balance of give and take.

I tried to come up with a curriculum, but the years have taught me to fill in as I go along. I know what I am doing. Do I get nervous? Yes, but then we get into the flow, that all melts away. I am there to share and they are rapt listeners. And they in turn gift me with their ways of doing things and their vulnerability.

We started with show and tell, examining all seams stitches and cuts of the garment. Then I talk about the mystery process of SOLVY, the dissolvable interfacing.

Sunday I do another demo of my Dervish process: collaging pre-painted fabric together into a vest shape. There again everyone has their way of assembling and approach to composing. But I hope I offer another way of seeing. It is wonderful to watch these women using all their senses to create in a new way.

We have a final critique of the SOLVY pieces and vests before we break up. It is rewarding for us to share in the process, elevating the work to a new level, seeing with new eyes.

Welcome to the New Year!

Welcome to the New Year!

Welcome to the New Year!

In keeping the creativity in the family, my daughter Tamara and I spent a child free day at the studio dyeing onesies. It was a smooth day, though I am terrible giving oral directions as I tried also to get something done. But after 37 years of trying to interpret her mother she got what I was saying and produced a mass of wonderful colorful onesies for grandson Cyrus and 2 other babies in our clan…A good start to the year.

Also, this month since having good shows this fall I am going to designate some time to do a couple of fiber projects I have on the shelf. Looking forward to a different emphasis in my work, an expanded mind space as it were…

Showtime: Palo Alto Style 2014

Showtime: Palo Alto Style 2014

The process of preparing for a show is as follows:

Months and months before the show there is the perception of having endless amounts of time…I work diligently, but life of course is ever present, nipping at my heels.

Midway through, say a month before the show, I am at the height of my creative flow and juiciness, working like a bee, fertilizing the new garments with beautiful touches.

Two weeks before, time suddenly comes into focus. I see I can’t finish all the re-dos I bought a week ago at the Salvation Army! I am getting mad at myself for not being more productive. I am frantically trying to prioritize what I think I can realistically make before then. Counting the actual days I have to work. My energy getting more drained the more stressed I become.

The week of the show I start to let go. Still trying to whip myself up into a semi-frenzy, but knowing that it won’t do any good. Now is the time to get my ducks in a row. And not get sick.

A calm and more grounded mindset sets in and I am printing out my mapquests of where I am headed, counting out vitamins and visualizing good sales and happy camaraderie with the other designers and artists.

Re-dos Redux: Miguel Adrover

Miguel Adrover
I buy used shirts to embellish and re-figure. I call them re-dos. There is a satisfaction in the recycling-reuse nature of this work. (Plus, I don’t have to make a shirt from scratch). I sent my friend Annie a couple of pictures from the black and white series I am working on and she replied by sending me the name of the master/designer extraordinaire:

Miguel Adrover, a Spaniard, taker apart-er, layer-er, of all manner of clothing.


He divides the used garments, and pairs them with similar or random tops, coats, or dresses. He takes mountains of the thick folded clothes piled one upon the other to create a structure to wear. It is hard to describe the nature of these clothes. They arrest the eye, are mysterious, and provoking.


He is an environmentalist, whose commitment defines the character of his work. He is an inspiration, not just because of this stance, but the free and passionate way he compiles and creates. Truly a designer for our time.

At My Feet…Treasures

Tread Gyre #1

Between my cutting table and my sewing machine (the space of about 2 feet), threads and small snippets fall. Swept up in the gyre, they form random compositions ready to be pasted between Solvy sheets.

The task is to figure out how to preserve the spontaneity of that moment in thread time, anchoring without undoing the life of that arrangement, a delicate endeavor.

Usually I stitch over the entire piece to secure everything. But here I stitched following the threads movements so as not to deviate from the lines. I was mostly happy with the results, though there was still remained a denseness.

At my Ampersand critique group I was explaining this dilemma when an idea came to me: to float the threads. By stitching the layer of threads first and then using an element to create airspace between the denser background and laciness of the treads, I could preserve the lightness. I will keep doing these pieces – as I am always producing waste in the form of treasures!


Doing a special order for a larger-than-me client, I decided to research actual size charts. To find one I could use to standardize my own sizing. The first site I looked at seemed to be a standard from the 50s: size 8–bust 34 ½ , waist-26 ½ , hips- 37, versus the more modern chart: size 8 to 10 — bust- 35-36, waist- 27-29 and hips- 38-39.
All this might seem very technical, but when you go to a store the variety of fit is extreme. From J Jill to J Crew, there is a big difference in sizes and it can make a person crazy. No wonder we have issues with our perception of our size. The powers that be are playing with us and realizing that buying power rests on the ideas that “I can still fit into a size 8”! Have we grown that much as a society?
Or do we like to fool ourselves into a false sense of being slim? Like I do every morning when I get on the scale after having done my morning duties, bare naked and am feeling slender! (Not)! So different from the doctors office…
Anyway, I guess by this time we have come to understand the difference between designers and which ones work for us. But the idea of the contrast was really reinforced from checking out the size charts…

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