Hi! I made this for you before we met…….

Sounds strange. I made this for you before we met.  I read this on another artist’s blog (whom I owe an apology to as my computer dumped the post and I don’t remember who wrote it) and……..

the phrase kept rattling around my brain – I made this for you before we met. YES!  When I am sitting at the loom or choosing which colors to dye my thoughts frequently turn to who I am making these clothes for.

Sometimes I see someone who really enjoys wearing clothes that you can not find at a big box store, but is shy about getting too wild. Perhaps it is her job – many have dress codes, spoken and unspoken, or maybe buying a quieter piece of art is just her way of expressing  individuality.

Other times I see someone who enjoys throwning caution to the wind and just wears whatever makes her happy on that day. She is a free spirit who usually goes for the bright colors and wild patterns.

This is one of the joys of creating clothing for you and keeps me going. Not every piece I make induces this reaction, but it happens often enough that I wanted to share it with you.

Thank you for this privilege.

 

Luggage tag or Name tag – A Tutorial

I have been cruising with the same core of people who love and/or make wearable art for the last 7 years. Our numbers run from 50-70 cruisers every year. Since I have trouble with names I suggested name tags. Of course I was requested to make them and I tried to do something different every year. On cruises since your key room card is also your charge card it really is the only thing you need all day. So that I could be free from my purse every day I decided to combine the two and make the name tags also able to hold the key card to our room.

Since this would be our last time in this format I decided to take it one step further and create luggage tags that could be used to remember our good times. I had some decorator fabric samples that made perfect fabric for these tags. We also had one 4 year old join us and I bought him some monster fabric. That is the one I photographed for the tutorial.

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First I cut a piece 7″ X 6″ which I then interfaced with a light interfacing. Then I cut it in half for 2 pieces 31/2″ X 6″.

 

 

 

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The next piece of fashion fabric was cut 3 1/2″ X 5″. I had two templates that I made the same size from cardstock. I cut a square hole 1″ in on the top and bottom and 7/8″ on the sides. The other had a cut out 1 1/4″ on the sides and 1 3/8″ top and bottom. I then used these to chalk on the wrong side of the smallest piece.

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Cut out the inner rectangle and then make slits in all 4 corners to the second chalk mark.

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Iron the flaps back. Turn one of the shorter sides back about 1/4″ and iron. This will be where your info goes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Place the plastic down on the machine with the window on top right side out. Sew all the way around the window. Trim the plastic to about 1/2″ from sewing. I found that using my teflon mat from my free motion days to make this step much easier as the plastic tends to stick as you are sewing around and the sheet really helped.

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Put the top and the bottom pieces with the snipped ends right side together and sandwich the window/plastic piece in the middle. Starting at the bottom of one side sew all the way around leaving the bottom open. Clip the corners and turn the whole thing right side out.

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I like a fairly stiff tag, so I cut this really stiff interfacing (almost the weight of a sheet of cardboard) a bit smaller than the sewn and turned tag and stuffed it into the middle before sewing up the bottom. You can sew up the bottom without this step.

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I found that a larger crochet hook helped with turning the corners. I know I have one of those thingys that you can buy, but I can never find it and I always can find a crochet hook.

The final step was to punch a hole and put a brass eyelet at the top to attach a string to. You can buy kits at craft stores that have the punch and the brass eyelets. I was making these right up to the last minute and don’t have a picture of the totally finished piece. I put an extra long ribbon on them and these became our name tags/room key card holders. Everyone loved them and several people wanted to know if they could buy more. I didn’t want to make them for sale, but I said I would put a tutorial up and they could make one themselves. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email artweardesign@comcast. net.]

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Round Robin Purse finished! When does the Cruise start?

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I belong to a local group of exceptional fiber artist that have been meeting over 25 years. No president (just a moderator to keep talk on track), no treasurers report (we pay dues to cover expenses, but it is so minimal no one wants to hear month to month reports), no secretary (someone takes notes and sends out a newsletter)…..so it’s mostly about the art. We have a year long project which we share progress monthly. Lively meetings filled with lots of love and creativity.

This year we decided to make collage purses. Some decided they wanted other things (a box, a knitting needle holder….), but the basic rules were the same – we were to bring in all the sides to our pieces – fabric on both sides sewn shut with some light stuffing in the middle. Then someone took your purse home, did some technique to it and brought it back the next month when it went to someone else to work on. All in all 6 people worked on embellishing a piece.

I used some of my hand dyed cotton I had and gave the theme “Ocean Dreams”. I intended to make a basic purse with 3 pieces: front, back, flap. But as with all good plans when I got the pieces back they just didn’t want to go that way. Then I thought I might make a tote bag – but that just wasn’t totally working. So I used two of the pieces to create just the front of a tote bag. I am really pleased with the results and can’t wait to use it on the cruise!

WIth the third piece I did make a purse using it as the front foldover flap. Since I cut up a pair of old jeans for the body and strap I took the back pocket and added it just inside the purse. I had a tiny scrap of lace from my mothers wedding veil and really liked the look of denim and lace so that was my final touch. I am going to use the purse right away as I am considering adding a purse to my line this year and I want to ‘road test’ this design before going into production.

White Bamboo tunic – now available in black!

I received 50 yds of black bamboo and could not wait to tear it open! If you are not familiar with bamboo as a fabric you really owe it to yourself to search it out! The fabric drapes and feels like silk, but you can gentle cycle machine wash them. They also naturally resist wrinkles and absorb moisture, wicking it away from your body to keep you cool and dry.  I make the body out of the bamboo and the sleeves are a silk gauze that has been sewn to create bubbles in the fabric. They really are great to wear to look (and feel) pulled together and comfortable this summer. This week I have made 5 new tunics and they are ready to be painted. The ones in the picture I made  in January and they all found new homes at the Galveston show. Love the way the paint looks on the black! The plan is to have lots of these available for my first show in July in Ann Arbor! I have lots of ideas for different things to do to these to make them wonderful . If you have any ideas for designs you would like to see, feel free to leave a comment!

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Cruising on Full Power – Galvez Hotel Show

When we arrived at the Hotel Galvez we were greatly impressed with the high quality of the grounds and building. For a hotel built in 1901 and a survivor of multiple hurricanes it was in impeccable shape.

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The ballroom that was to be our show area presented some interesting challenges-especially without my usual show props. Among one of the challenges was a lack of lighting. The hotel offered to rent us a floor lamp and I took them up on the offer. After playing with several places to put it I finally decided I got the most light by putting it on top of the table. Then I decided I would use it further by clipping my bamboo socks and silk scarves to the lamp. It really worked quite well!

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We had a bit of time between set up and the doors opening for the show and some of the guys got a bit goofy:

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Dancing with the mannequins!

It was a very nice show. We did notice several shops around town with our postcards so it was no surprise in talking to many of the people who stopped by that they were locals.

The next day we boarded our ship and set sail for Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. I will be writing about those stops along with our Cruising on Full Power get together’s, parties and shows.

 

 

Something New on the Wearable Art Cruise: On Shore Trunk Show!!!! Galveston, TX Jan 11,2013

For the past 6 years I have been attending a wearable art lovers cruise where we have on board trunk shows open to cruise passengers only. They are very popular and this year we have more artists than ever. So, we decided to try something different- instead of having only onboard trunk shows we are going to have one at the hotel before we leave! So, if you are in the Galveston area come on by and see a really unique show. Several of the artist pieces are shown in the postcards above and short bios for all the artists is below.

And if the idea of a cruise sounds intriguing, we have already planned for 2014 – we will be leaving Ft Lauderdale on the Royal Princess on Jan 12. So, if visiting St Thomas, St Martin, Princess Cay in January  not to mention the special  parties and events just for our group sounds exciting you might want to come along. Just drop me an email and I will get you all the info!

“AN EVENING OF WEARABLE ART AT THE HOTEL GALVEZ”

Join the Hotel Galvez and the Cruising on Full Power’s “Artist Onboard” nationally acclaimed wearable art designers for an EVENING OF WEARABLE ART at the Hotel Galvez on Friday, January 11, 2013 from 7:30 to 10:00PM. Over 19 designers from Europe and the United States will be showcasing their wearable art and selling their unique  one of a kind pieces that range from funky and fun clothing and jewelry to handpainted silks, handwoven jackets and exquisite jewelry. Admission to this event is free.

For the past 7 years, a group of nationally and internationally renowned artists have gathered once a year to take a one week cruise on Princess Cruises. Seven years ago, Helen Weichman wanted to create a new market for artists while they took much needed vacations; this was an idea that has turned into a yearly Artist Reunion. The Cruising on Full Power, “Artist Onboard” cruises have grown each year as more artists and buyers hear about this amazing experience and join in this yearly journey.

Their next cruise leaves from Galveston, Texas on January 12, 2013. Once the historic Hotel Galvez was chosen as the pre-cruise hotel, excitement and inspiration started to spark! Artists and buyers alike were intrigued by Galveston Island and her historic hotel. What has always been a one night “before cruise” hotel stay turned into a “vacation before the vacation” at the Hotel Galvez. Creating an exciting EVENING OF WEARABLE ART at the Hotel Galvez was a perfect fit for this exciting hotel and the designers and their buyer.

Save the Date! Join us at the Hotel Galvez on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 7:30PM. Enjoy a great dinner and drinks at the Hotel’s wonderful Bernardo’s Restaurant before the EVENING OF WEARABLE ART for truly memorable evening.

ARTIST BIOS

Fiber artists:

Conjuring Rebecca Floeter California

Rebecca Floeter is a former stand up comic who worked with Oscar nominated director, Nicholas Meyer at Paramount Pictures. Her partner, husband, David Floeter is from Lake Houston, Texas. Their company, CONJURING designs art to wear knits and one of a kind art to wear jackets. She also has a line of art to wear designed for plus sized women. They also create CONJURING ETHNOGRAPHIC NECKLACES.

ArtWear Design Debbi Cooper Michigan

Michigan fiber artist Debbi Cooper has a unique line of art to wear clothing which includes handwoven textiles and hand dyed and shibori dyed wearable art clothing. Her focus is on creating interesting textiles for a one of a kind look.

Clothes Encounters Suzanne Armstrong North Carolina

North Carolina fiber artist Suzanne Armstrong creates fun and funky clothing under the studio name, “Clothes Encounters.” Hand dyed natural fibers and fantasy handpaintings create art to wear guaranteed to make you smile. Suzanne’s clothing can be found at juried art shows throughout the East Coast and this is the first time she’ll be showing in Texas.

Steel Pony Joanne Litz Pennsylvania

Nationally known, Philadelphia, PA art/wear designers Joanne Litz and Dennis Wolk have built the long standing STEEL PONY brand by following their own rules. Their distinct designs and uncommon flair blur the boundaries of haute couture and wearable art. Each piece is a handmade work of art, produced in the USA. Steel Pony is sold in the Galveston, Texas boutique…..

Journey Bags Leather Dennis Wolk Pennsylvania

Journey Bags One of a Kind Exotic Leather Handbags…Undeniably each bag fells exclusive, mysterious and beckoning…….When you see it, you will know it is yours….When you own it, you will always have something magical at your side.

Eileen Reed Pennsylvania

From her Downington, Pennsylvania studio, Eileen Reed creates one of a kind wearable art. Her career and reputation have skyrocketed since her handpainted and dyed clothing was featured in the magazine, BELLES ARMOIRE in the March/April 2005 issue. Although her work is highly collectable, she continues to design for comfort, versatility and beauty.

Jes Irie

Nationally known New York fiber artist Joyce Stewart joins the cruise for the first time with her elegant jackets designed to flatter any body type.

Jesamie Pam Bartl Pennsylvania

Jesamie Handwovens creates elegant, well tailored garments and accessories from comfortable, washable cotton yarns for women and men. Each piece is a work of art, handwoven and made one piece at a time.

Nine Dream Marbling Mike Kensinger California

Michael Kensinger has always been a craftsperson – candle maker, stained glass artist, woodworker and now fabric artist. The San Francisco Earthquake of 1989 influenced the direction of his art from glassmaker to fabric artist when his studio collapsed in the earthquake. Kensinger is now best known for his collection of handpainted marbled clothing designs. His collection of hand-painted silk pieces includes neckties, vests, shawls, blouses and capes. He says he has a niche in the art to wear work because he makes many things that are for men as well as women and that are gender neutral items.

Jewelers

Debbie’s Treasures Debbie Weisbord Smith New York

New York glassworker and artist Debbie Weisbord Smith works with a sense of fun lurking behind her creativity. Her work is a blend of elegant lampworked glass and stone necklaces suitable for any formal occasion, and funky and fun colorful pieces that are sure to make you smile. She has been showing her work at juried art shows and galleries for over 12 years and has collectors both here and oveseas.

Arlene Freed Designs Arlene Freed Pennsylvania

Bucks County in Pennsylvania is known for many of its resident artists. One of those artists is Arlene Freed. Arlene uses mixed metals to add texture, color and balance to her jewelry. She distinguishes herself as a “Jewelry Artist” not a jeweler She says the difference is, that a jewelry artist takes more chances and is freer in their designs and use of color and materials. Freed has won many awards and her work can be seen in many galleries across the country.

Eliza Baker-Folk Colorado

Colorado artist Eliza Baker Folk is know for her dramatic, glamorous and “Texas Sized” art to wear jewelry. She loves using intense color and texture in her pieces and she is influenced by the organic shapes in nature like Druzy, colored stones and other textures and unusual shapes. In her own words, “What do I love to do most? Big outrageous pieces, very glamorous, lots of color and drama!”

Shari Milner California

Shari lives and works in Inverness, California between the Tomales Bay and the Ocean. This setting inspires her creative work in her jewelry designs with semi-precious stones, pearls, silver, gold and glass. Shari is strongly influenced by the soft colors and shapes in her surroundings. It is reflected in her collection with flowing lines and evocative colors evident in her wearable art.

Jean-Marie and Juanita Havet California

At J.M. Havet Jewelry, French born Jean-Marie and Texas born Juanita Havet are constantly looking for new designs and techniques. They comprise a mix between French and Texan spirit, beauty and style. It’s quite an explosive combination of opposites. They handcraft metal jewelry using 14K gold, sterling silver, brass and copper.

The Whistle Lady Joan Anderson California

Joan Anderson, known as the Whistle Lady, is a potter in Oakland, California who creates lightweight, handpainted folk art whistles. Anderson’s whistles are also the inspiration for a book called, THE WHISTLE: A True Story of Friendship by Pat Heller and Peggy Vogelsinger. When best friends, Heller and Vogelsinger were about to be separated by a long distance move, Pat who staying behind asked Peggy, “What will I do without you?” Peggy’s reply was, “If you ever need me, just whistle.” And she gave her one of Joan Anderson’s beautiful whistles. The book has inspired people all over the world to buy her whistles as gestures to others that they are only “a whistle away.”

Jan Calligan Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdon

Jan Calligan lives and works in Aberdeen, Scotland, although her fascination with gems has takenher around the world. Her special area of interest is colored gemstones and she has made her primary focus the exotic world of uniquely cut semi-precious gemstone beads. She creates beautiful and intricate necklaces.

Jan Gaunce New Mexico

Jan was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she absorbed the art, the diversity of the cultures, and an appreciation of ancient origins. Jan‘s beads come from all over the world — Thailand, Tibet, Africa, Persia, China, Indonesia, India and the Americas. Some of the ancient beads include 60,000 year-old amber, 2,000 year-old Roman glass, fossilized shell, mammoth and dinosaur bone. She mingles old beads with present day silver from the Hill Tribes, glass, semi-preciousgemstones and fresh water pearls. There is a signature bead in each necklace — usually either a small bit of turquoise or an antique red white-heart glass bead from Kenya. Each necklace is one-of-a-kind. She still lives in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.

Must Have Accessories

Joyce Williams joins the Artist Onboard artists this year with her eclectic jewelry collection.

Glitzy Gal Glass

Washington DC glass artist Nancy Wasserman created funky and wonderful glasswork for adorment or for the home.

Michigan Renaissance Fair – A New Booth!

As many people know I built a booth at the Michigan Renaissance Fair 27 years ago. In that time I have had one neighbor to the right and 4 different neighbors to the left. The last owner of the left booth was ther for over 15 years and we became friends. He would stay in our house during the run and we sometimes visited him in Chicago. The past few years have been rough for him medically and he decided to offer the booth to us at a very good price.

The booth needed a lot of work – the back storage room was in particular bad shape. So, we took it down and put up a new back room . Really spiffed up the place!

New Booth

New Booth

A bit of paint really helped, too. I found a packet of silver glitter at the paint store and added it to the teal paint. It gives a subtle shimmer and really looks neat especially when the sun hits it!The construction took longer than we thought (guess we aren’t in our 40’s anymore), so I didn’t have time to make enough stock for both booths. But, I had some stock from my stores and some pieces that I used for experimenting and that’s what is there right now. And I have put most of them at bargain prices! This will probably be the last year that I have this sale, so be sure to stop in and check it out! Turn left when you come through the front gate and we are about 6 booths down on the left – Booths #458 & #459 – Wear Art Thou.

New Booth Products!

Where To Go From Here ?

With a few posts under my belt I have been thinking about the direction for this blog. Basically, I have been thinking of it as diary of creativity ….. and life.  The two are intertwined – even though people are always saying that the have no creativity I truly believe it is like breathing – we all do it, but we don’t always recognize that we are doing it!

Personally I like blogs with lots of visual stimuli pictures, drawings and the like – most people are probably like me when it comes to that. It would explain the explosion of Pinterest! I have totally become one of the addicted ones – 1,000 pins and counting. Taking a look at all the different DIY/craft/recipes gathered it occurred to me that it might be fun to choose one to do and report on the results here. Especially the ones that ignited a creative spark and gave me an idea to explore. So, here is the first one I have started with……

First the original pin: Space Nebula T-shirt

Very cool – being a child of the 60’s I have long had a fascination with space. NASA, Star Trek, I loved all of it! This is done using a black t-shirt, spraying bleach on it (and then using anti-chlor to neutralize), adding different dye colors, splattering white paint and adding some larger stars. I could try this way, but I don’t have any black clothes to try it on, but I do have lots of white. So, maybe I can do it backwards – dye black leaving some area to add colored dye later, the doing the paint bits……The beginning of that idea has been dyed the first time…..

Still more I want to do to it, but it is a start! Stay tuned…

 

“I Matter” – A Request

I like to put signs up in my booth at an art fair – most of them are informational like my prices or photos of the piece on a model. But, I also love words and collect quotes. So, I have several different quotes that I pull out and place around the booth. At the Ann Arbor Art Fair I had a customer who really loved one of the quotes and asked where she might find a copy of it. Since I don’t always recall where I picked them up I promised to post it here:

When you tend to your surface, you are making a statement of faith. You are saying “I Matter”. You are saying “The world is worth dressing for”. You are engaging in the best kind of optimism, an optimism that propels you out of bed in the morning, that directs you to the day. When you put on nice clothes, you are putting on hope; you are saying “Here I am ! This is fun. Look at me”.    ~ Lauren Slater

A Mime, A Pig and A Drag Queen go to an Art Fair….

Fellow artist’s ask me about the annual Ann Arbor Art Fair. It is one of the higher priced and longest shows all year – is it worth it? Yes, sales are consistently good, but there is another reason to participate in the show – there are more unique experiences at this show than any other….

  First a mime came into my booth and proceeded to give us a private 5 minute show ‘talking’ about my art work. He liked my work so much he didn’t mime the heat!

 

 

 

A few days later I was talking to a customer in my booth and noticed someone behind her put her dog down. Only it wasn’t a dog – she was taking her pig for a walk. I think she said the pigs name is Lola.

 

 

Now here is an oldie, but a goodie. It has been a few years since we have seen him at the fair (we heard he moved to France), but another great thing that would come our way was the annual visit from Robert. He makes the most wonderful costumes, puts on roller skates or 6″ high boots (added onto his 6′ + frame) and takes a walk down Main Street. He doesn’t get very far, though. I have never seen so many camera phones! He always stops to talk to us and we look forward to his visit. The hours at the fair are quite long and his visit is a brief vacation. Thanks Robert.

So, there you have it – Ann Arbor is a unique show that can not be reproduced!

Thanks to one and all who came to our booth to shop, or just to visit! We loved seeing you!