Black on Black

I have a system in place for my pieced swing coats and choose the colors carefully. So when people ask if I can make one in a different color way, I almost always have to decline.
However, this one intrigued me, black on black. Nothing but texture to differentiate the various fabrics.
Below, the coat in mid-piecing,
After piecing,
It’s cool isn’t it? The reason you see the separate pieces of fabric is because of the way light is reflected from the surfaces. Very subtle.
A detail so you can see the various fabrics.
I can’t wait to see this one sewn into a coat.
Stay tuned.

Posted in jackets, piecing | 8 Comments

Spring Forward

Light colors for Spring! A jacket pieced from various white and cream kimono silks.
cream bold
See the very pretty brocade, with the touches of silver and crimson? I’ve been saving the last pieces of this fabric for a special project. It turns out the special project was this jacket.
It adds just enough color to remind us that winter will soon be over!
cream bold det

Posted in beading, kimono silk, piecing | Leave a comment

Home from the ACC Baltimore Craft Show

Whew! A whirlwind cross country trip from Portland, Oregon to Baltimore, Maryland. It’s always an energizing, fun and inspiring week.
I bring all my clothes, set up my booth, carefully hang everything in place, then wait for the doors to open and my friends and customers to stop by.
It’s like an open house for 3 solid days. A big party!
In the morning before we opened, when it was quiet, a picture over my scarves and into my booth.
And the weather! A wonderfully pleasant but very unusual 75 degrees.
On one night, all these people were out enjoying the warm evening in a sidewalk cafe.
Yes. Eating outside. In Baltimore. In February. In shirtsleeves.
Remember this picture from 2 years ago? The same time, February, the same place, outside the Convention Center, there was a blizzard! Snow a foot deep.
Baltimore, you keep us guessing.
Nina and Elisabeth were bundled up and trying to start warm.
On the last day of this year’s trip, it had cooled back down to 50 degrees and no one was interested in sitting outside.
Empty tables and chairs overlooking the inner harbor.
After the show was over and during tear down, the cutest of dogs, Kuma, stopped by to say hi.
I’m a sucker for a cute dog. Kuma is most definitely that!
Then home! Back to Portland.
Looking out my window at the gorgeous sky.
It was a fantastic show!
Thank You American Craft Council for putting together another one!
I had a wonderful time!

Posted in shows | 2 Comments

Ready for 2017 ACC Baltimore

Just around the corner! It’s the American Craft Council’s annual show in Baltimore.
I’ve been at my sewing machine, head down, kimono silk flying, scissors snipping, pins and needles everywhere and finally, in the end, a new group of jackets and coats.
Like this one below, cut and reassembled to emphasize the gorgeous red and black chrysanthemums.
I’ve added red with appliqués and buttons to this jacket sewn from a black and white shibori silk.
Black and white with a touch of red, you can not go wrong with that!
All my meisen remainders! I can’t possibly throw them away.
These smaller pieces went together so well, like they were made for each other.
A red ‘Rugby’ jacket. Rugby, because of the horizontal stripes. This one pieced from two similar red and white kimono silks. Each hand painted by a Japanese artisan.
And a new trench from the same fabric I used in the first jacket, but with a very different look.
Like sisters, from the same family but unique in their own way.
It’s next weekend! February 24, 25 and 26.
I’ll be there with these pieces and many more.
See you there!

Posted in applique, jackets, kimono silk, misc, piecing | 4 Comments

Layering Up

It’s the perfect opportunity for pattern on pattern. A hitoe [my unlined jacket/blouse] over a hitoe with a trench on top.
I know you know about layering, whether the temperature drops down or goes up, you’ll be good. Just add on another or peal one off.
Below, a crane covered peach hitoe under a grey one with pine needles.
Then, over the top, add a meisen trench coat.
Wear them together, alone, one on top of the other or the other way around.
Or this set, with a dot theme.
First, a hitoe sewn from a gorgeous kimono silk with tiny red dots scattered on a hemp leaf design.
Then add a black one with little red shibori dots.
And for the grand finale, an oh so very cool, polka dot meisen trench.
A detail, to show off these gorgeous kimono silks.
These and many more at the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore, MD. February 24 – 26.
See you there!

Posted in jackets, kimono silk, trench coats | 1 Comment

For ACC Baltimore 2017

A new trench coat sewn from vintage meisen kimono silk.
Finished and ready for the 2017 American Craft Show in Baltimore, Maryland.
Coming up soon! February 24-26.
No, my picture is not out of focus. It’s that amazing meisen fabric, a Japanese ikat. First they print the fabric, then they unweave it. Then they reweave it.
They reweave it.
When the threads are rewoven they do not align properly. That’s what creates those beautiful soft edges.
So Cool!
IMG_5932 (1)
Shown over a black hitoe with another meisen fabric, this one a wave design.

Posted in kimono silk, trench coats | Leave a comment

New for ACC Baltimore 2017

My studio is buzzing! Lots going on as I prepare for the American Craft Council’s annual show in beautiful Baltimore, Maryland.
Each week I focus on a different style and shape. Two weeks ago, it was unlined jackets and trench coats. In the last several days, it’s been jackets. Pieced, appliquéd or beaded, all made from beautiful kimono silks.
In the picture below, some resemble what they will become.
Others need imagination. Piles of fabric with notes to remind me of their destinies.
I’m looking forward to all my finished pieces, hanging and on view in my booth in Baltimore!
Can’t wait!

Posted in applique, beading, jackets, kimono silk, piecing | 1 Comment

New Shelves

When things feel out of control, my favorite antidote: Organize.
I wish I had taken a before picture, it didn’t even occur to me. You’ll have to imagine, shelves balanced on top of other shelves. Piles of kimono silk leaning precariously, ready to tumble onto the floor any minute. No room for even a skinny slip of a remnant.
I imagined being crushed by the weight of falling fabric, nothing but a foot sticking out to show that I had been there.
New Shelves
Thank you Ikea!
After installation, I spent a lovely day folding and straightening.
The best part? Besides the order that is.
Do you see them?
Those empty places. Ahhhhh, breathing room.

Posted in misc | 5 Comments

Randall Darwall, A Prince Among Men

My heart is breaking. My mentor and friend, Randall Darwall passed away this Friday, January 13th. Randy, hand-weaver extraordinaire, teacher and craft world advocate. He was, to the core, a genuinely kind and good man.
For over 30 years he has graciously and generously guided me through my career in the craft show world.
Randall Darwall 1
In the mid-80’s, in a workshop he was teaching, he encouraged me to enter and exhibit at a thing I didn’t know about, craft shows. I am ever grateful for his advice. There after, he’d always stop by my booth to say hi, drop words of wisdom, encourage, advise and joke around. One time, he came by to borrow a needle and thread to make a little repair. I grabbed a friend and insisted they take pictures. Randy dutifully trying to finish his project, me laughing.
I was over the moon when he suggested we collaborate. He handed me an armload of his hand-woven scarves and wished me well. Step one, I had to get over my reticence of cutting into them! After that hurdle, I was off. It was an amazing opportunity to use his beautiful fabrics in my jackets, coats and tops.
He and his life long partner, Brian Murphy, were the perfect pair. Brian funny, joking and teasing, Randy playing the straight man.
Below, with Heidi Austreng, administrator of the Smithsonian and Craft2Wear shows.
They worked hard and relentlessly, but always with humor and delight.
He was a prince among men.
Randy, I can’t even begin to say how much I will miss you.

Posted in misc | 14 Comments

Cranes for the New Year

A jacket pieced from beautiful kimono silks, highlighted with cranes silhouetted against gold clouds.
Symbols of good luck and eternal youth, cranes are the perfect theme for the beginning of 2017.
Can you see them?
Even closer for a better look.
Beads along the seam lines between the pieced sections.
I’m sending wishes of good luck and eternal youth to each and everyone of you!
Happy 2017!

Posted in beading, jackets, kimono silk, piecing | 6 Comments
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