Saturday, October 19, 2013


Lexington Fashion Collaborative

Future of Fashion V

You can visualize, you can create, you can display, but it's not until you see it in action that you truly appreciate the beauty!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I can't say that I really try to have my formulas reflect the colors around me.  Sometimes they just do.  The color of Joe Pye Weed this time of year is much the same as the color I get using my new Vinyl Sulphon  Bordeaux basic dye color.  Layer that with purple and a green made by adding black to yellow and late summer shows up in my silks.  I'm not quite sure what I will create with these pole wrapped, shibori dyed pieces of FeltLOOM felted merino and alpaca.  If I dye several using the same formulas, however, there will be enough fabric for many possibilities.

Something for the Future of Fashion V show to be presented by the Lexington Fashion Collaborative on September 13, 2013 at the Lyric Theater in Lexington.  Or perhaps it will find it's way on Novemeber 9th into a design created for this year's Carnegie Classics based on the The Great Gatsby.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bordeaux Purple and Green Charmeuse Poncho

I just delivered this pole wrapped, shibori dyed, charmeuse poncho to Damselfly Gallery in Midway, Kentucky.  So eazy to wear.  Playful and elegant! I loved using the basic dye Bordeaux to create these colors.  Visit Etsy to purchase a pdf of my basic dye formulas using the Vinyl Sulphon dyes.  Email me if you'd like this specific formula.  Make art now and remember truly beautiful skin is as important as the truly beautiful art we make each day.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rope Wrap and Discharge

The Lexington Fashion Collaborative's Refugee Women's Sewing Project is creating beautiful tunics out of this shibori dyed rayon.  They will soon be available on Etsy.  Also available on Etsy are formulas for using the Vinyl Sulphon dyes which are available at Dharma Trading.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The colors around me continue to inspire.  This 52" square poncho drapes beautilfully no matter which way the fabric falls.  This is my copper palette with rust and olive.  I discovered it when I added a little bordeaux and black to yellow.

Grateful today for the wonderful story in the Lexington Herald Leader

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Copper Chiffon

So simple, yet elegant, chiffon poncho, pole wrapped, and shibori dyed in copper, rust and olive.

“Stand up straight, Rose,” her mother said while she wrapped chiffon around her, estimating the amount needed.
“Do you like it, Rose?” She was designing her prom dress. It was only pinned together.
She thought about the way Echinacea had decorated her rooms. Decorated was not the correct word. Echinacea didn’t decorate. She made art, finding places to hang shawls and skirts. Learning from Echinacea, Rose decided, had been as exciting as any art class she ever took.
excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Hand felted on the FeltLOOM, merino, alpaca and silk, shibori dyed, beaded, and painted with acrylics.

In my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal,  I, (a.e. the Garden Girls) layer on everything; paint, pencils, fabric. I'm still layering; felt, silk, paint, and beads.  My next show at MS Rezny Gallery in November will be titled, "Layered, a fantasy memoir."  It will be a visual memoir.  Instead of words, it will be paintings, felt, silk, artist books, and, okay, there will still be some text.

“When I grow up,” Rose says, “I want to be like Sage.”
“And how’s that?” Honeyrose asks. Reaching into a red velvet bag she pulls out small scraps of torn paper and places them on the altar. Then to keep them from blowing in the wind and in preparation for uncovering stories, she layers on pencils, one for each of us just in case we forgot to bring our own.
“What is it about Sage you yearn for?” Gardenia asks.
“For one,” Rose says, “her authority. She speaks and she thinks and she lives with authority. I feel it in her words, I hear it in her tone, and when I look at her picture on my altar, I see it in her face. What I want to know is when did she begin to speak with such strength?” Using her walking stick, Rose pushes dried leaves, sticks and moss off a flat rock, creating the perfect place, with a view of the pond through the trees, on which to sit and ponder.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Green or Greens

Is it the greens we eat or green we wear that empowers us the most?

This green shibori dyed silk charmeuse and devore was unwrapped from the  pole, hung on the clothes line, then transformed via serger and sewing machine for an evening of play and strut.  You can find her at Koi Gallery in the Galt Hotel in Louisville.

 Artemisia, old, wise and playful, arrived in a bark beret, brings violets and greens. (The secret ingredient for achieving a powerful menopause).
This gathering, my dear, is the beginning of unknown inquiries. We have no idea what we are going to inquire about. With blue beads in her hair, Honeyrose, the woman I am to become, says, “Our life is not our circumstances, our life is our story.” I gather the Garden Girls to discuss concerns significant not only to our selves but to every weed, tree and shrub that surrounds us.
excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Black & White

Black & White Poncho, white devore, black crepe with opening for arm

Serging and Sewing While Steaming

Stage 7 Steaming
Unwrapped from the shibori pole silks are steam set

 Stage 8  Serge and sew
All stations are full, I move on to sewing and serging black and white while.  While it's not color, my forte, there have been requests.  This back and white will soon become a caftan jacket.

Stage 9 Pondering
All the while asking what to do with this newly dyed green.

Honeyrose stares up at the trees. Her colors are brilliant, precise and in immaculate order. “When ideas sift and filter,” she says, “words penetrate your soul, the place where intimacy grows. Then you can . . .”
“Listen to your body,” Clove chimes in.
Honeyrose nods, “And speak what you know.” She affirms.
Sitting down on an old sycamore stump her voice softens. “Authority,” she continues, “is to articulate with passion—using your power tone—the stories only Garden Girls know.” Since Honeyrose is the woman I am to become, I listen very closely. 
excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Today's Itinerary

Today I unwrap the silk from the poles that I had shibori dyed several days ago.  This Kentucky humidity means it takes forever for them to dry.  At least in the winter I can set them by the wood stove.  In summer, all I can do is wait, and work to fill other stations of perpetual works in progress and gather with artist friends to discuss sources of inspiration, work load and destinations.

“Where are you headed?” Artemisia asked.
That was the purpose of the gathering. The women had become fractured. All four were going in separate directions. Gardenia had begun to question the extent to which she was leaving home. Nettles was concerned about spending more time in the garden. Herbs were drying and she had begun to get pictures of presents in her mind that she could make with them. Lily’s silk painting was stuck and Rose was feeling like she wasn’t really expressing herself fully. That’s why she called the gathering.
“Let’s talk about us,” she said in the postcard she had mailed each Garden Girl. “What if we were real artists? What would life be like then?” 

excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

On Being Prolific

Station 1.  Fabric scoured with synthrapol
Station  2.  Poles cleaned
Station  3. Fabric wrapped on poles or ropes
Station 4.  Fabric shibori dyed

“Let’s talk about us,” she said in the postcard she had mailed each Garden Girl. “What if we were real artists? What would life be like then?”
Rose wasn’t often inclined to think about the real artist versus the not real artist. She was trying to avoid thinking. When thinking began, doing didn’t. It had occurred to her more than once that she could only do one thing at a time and do it well. But she wanted to know what the others were thinking.
“If you get your fingers dirty,” Nettles told her, “you will better understand your art and you’ll recognize it when it calls you. Sometimes you just have dig in, no matter what. Work always produces results, you know.”
excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Get a jump on Fall!  Copper and Rust with a touch of Olive.  Not your usual Poncho.  Lightweight silk crepe.  One size fits many.  There is an opening on the side for your arm which allows freedom of motion.  You truly become performative art!  $130.
Message me today for special "Today Only Friend" price of $98, including shipping. 

 Seeking Passion
My friend asked me why I do it, shibori dye fabric over and over again.  Good question.  I think the answer might be what defines an artist.  I'm addicted to the question "What if?" I told her.   What if I add this color, what if I design this dress, what if I sew it this way instead?  I can't stop.  I listed to Larry play his new Cordoba guitar.   He can't stop.   He plays the same pieces over and over.  My newest "what if" is using the Vinyl Sulphon dyes to dye alpaca and merino roving.  I'm excited to see the results after it is made into bats and felted on the FeltLOOM and I create a "what if" piece of wearable art.  From the looks of this photo, I may be onto to something with this new process as the newly dyed roving in copper and rust and blues dries in sun.

In writing, Rose was seeking passion, the passion that gets you excited and keeps you awake at night. Rose was always passionate; there was no getting around it. She wasn’t ever going to give it up. To be able to create passion, that’s what freedom is, that’s what life is; just keep on writing because what else is there?  
excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Taking a break from media, like Netflix, NPR and the Daily Show.  Getting our news from friends and Facebook conversations instead.  Took our grandsons to see the new Star Trek movie. First time in a theater in over 6 years. Spent $40 on 4 tickets, medium popcorn, two boxes of candy, one medium root beer.  Lots of color.  Reds and yellow.

Simplifying.  Seeking inspiration in the moment. Following intuition.  This 44" silk charmeuse scarf was shibori dyed in shades or fuchsia, red and red orange formulated using the Vinyl Sulphon dyes.  A circle was cut in the center creating a poncho.  So much easier to wear.  She'll be headed to New Orleans, soon, to the Great Artists' Collective.  Email me if you want one.  We can collaborate.  Give me a bit of news and be sure and ask for your "Friends" discount. 

“How do you find the words?” Rose asked.
“Look at your hands,” Clove said.
“I think you mean that’s really all I have to do.” Rose said.
“Of course I mean it,” Clove said. “Look at your hands, Rose it’s all in your body, in the way you walk, the way you smile, the way you think. Look at your hands and take a deep breath and you’ll find the words.”
The thought was exciting, physically. Rose felt her body move. Mentally she felt her mind churn. “Let’s write together again,” she said, “the next time we can claim a moment to own.”
excerpt from my memoir,  The Garden Girls Letters and Journal

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The First Bird Sings at 5:54 am

I open the windows.  It's chilly outside.  I make a fire in the wood stove.  There is still lots of scraps of wood to burn that was part of the old siding that had to be removed because of rot.  Hence, implementation of a Living a Layered Life rule for sure. Make Art Now.  Never let lack of money or materials keep you from making art.  Use what's at hand.
This dress was made from two remnants of 1 1/2 yard pieces of jacquard silk.  Usually all my art is made from at least 72 -80" pieces.   I shibori dyed it in copper and rust colors and copied a dress that I love and has gotten worn out from frequent wear.   The shawl is a prototype for a new design.  This one has flaws, however.  That means I get to wear it!  I will make more now that I have the idea in place and technique down. I don't know about the dress.  It is more size specific.  I prefer to create things that fit many. The photo doesn't show the true brilliance of color that I get from using the vinyl sulphon dyes.

I started thinking that maybe Rose and Clove could open a floor-covering store. You know, sell carpet and linoleum and hire local guys to install it. Then they could take off and go to women’s music festivals and sell artwork they made from carpet remnants and linoleum scraps.
excerpt from my memoir, "The Garden Girl Letters and Journal"

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Excitement of Color

Much better.  After over dyeing this silk charmeuse using the Shibori pole wrap I like the copper color.  More intense.  There is excitement watching the rust and copper glisten as I serge.  The first time, with the fold and clamp, I just couldn't get enough dye to penetrate so that the colors I formulated were able to "shine" to their full potential.  I guess that's the pleasure in making art.  Finding the excitement.  Whether it's when writing poetry, performing, visual or musical.

   I remember the dinner, the wineglasses, the red and the white. I didn’t want to go home early. I wanted to laugh all night and I wondered what made it different, what caused the excitement? Was it Clove’s voice, the way she spoke when an idea came and it took her several minutes, it seemed, to speak. You had to sit real still to catch every word so you could understand and you so much wanted to understand.                             excerpt from "The Garden Girls Letters and Memoir"

Thursday, May 16, 2013

  Well, I wasn't really happy with how this fold and clamp turned out. And I am a little frustrated.  It's ok, but it doesn't have that Wow! factor that makes me say, "Oh my that color is so beautiful, I can't believe I did  it." And if I'm not totally excited, what's the point.    The problem is that there was too much yardage being folded.  That's why I like the pole wrap when I have large pieces to dye and that's what I'm going to do with this fabric, shibori dye it again, using the pole. 

My Dear,
Rose was frustrated, to say the least. She knew by the way her words paused, by how she was so careful about what she spoke.
“Is your writing always so erotic?” She asked Clove the first time they wrote together.
“Only when I get close to the bone,” Clove answered.
“And when does talk become sex?” Rose asked.
“When the writing is close to the bone, where the passion rides, like in a simple conversation.”
This was a time for Rose to get organized, but there seemed to be another kind of organizing she wanted to do. There was the organizing of her mind and setting of priorities, which seemed too much work, and the only way to begin was to write her memories of last night’s dinner party­­:
                                                                                  excerpt from the Garden Girl Letters and Memoir

Monday, May 13, 2013

It may be unseasonably cold in Kentucky, but at least it's sunny and I can Shibori dye fabric and let it dry in the sun. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The goal is to stay in touch.  I'm in the process of changing my website so that it will be easier to update and add information.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

My new site also has a collection of felted alpaca and merino pieces embellished with beads. The fabric was created on the FeltLOOM.  Perfect for your home decor.

This week I'm beginning shibori dyeing silk in preparation for fall.  Can you believe it?  Summer isn't even here and I'm thinking fall. Right now they are wrapped in newsprint sitting in the canner waiting to be covered with towels and steamed for 45 minutes to set the dye.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I know it is quickly approaching summer.  Nonetheless, thinking about a merino and alpaca coat, shibori dyed in preparation for winter is not a bad idea.