Thursday, July 29

Hand-dyed/hand-painted organic silk scarves forthcoming!


Here’s a sneak preview of some of the many organic silk scarves Ken and I hand-dyed using natural dyes.  Many of them will also have surface design elements added – you can see the scarf on the very top has been stamped.  Tres fun!

Once we’ve finished them all, I’ll photograph them individually and get them up for sale on my Enchanted Studio website!  I’ll keep ya posted!

Wednesday, July 28

A paper mock-up of the hand-dyed improv quilt


I wanted to get a sense of where this process might be taking me, so I took photos of the four panels and printed them out, then cut into them, rearranged and taped the pieces back together.  Voila!  Finished size will be 60 x 65 inches. (This little mock-up is about 14 x 14”.)  Hmmm…   I LOVE it.  I wonder, though, about the yellow vertical line center-ish…?

Tuesday, July 27

Improv quilting – preparing the panels for subcutting


These are the panels for a new quilt I have been working on.  They are approximately 34 x 30 inches.  Today, I am preparing to layer and subcut to see what new compositions and colorplay emerge. The final layout of the quilt will not look much like what you see here…

With the exception of the dark teal and one of the deep apricots which are commercially dyed shot cotton chambrays, ALL the other fabrics are hand-dyed organic silks – some organic cottons, too – that Ken and I dyed here.

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Monday, July 26

Saturday, July 24

A toast to Kirby the Kitty


After 2-and-a-half years of the exquisite pleasure of Kirby’s presence in our lives, he peacefully transitioned into pure consciousness yesterday morning at 11:30. 

At age 7, he succumbed to lupus, after enjoying a two-year remission in which he happily ruled his kingdom here at Casa Encantada, vigorously scaling 6-foot adobe walls in a single bound and luxuriating in a diet of grain-free roasted bison and wild salmon – not too shabby!


We loved his sweet, laid-back royal demeanor, his easy rhythms and his open affection for our dawg Roxy. Feeling waves of love, sadness and soul-deep appreciation…




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Friday, July 23

Celebrating my 5000th blog visitor!

Whoo-hoo!  This blog has reached a fun milestone – my 5000th unique visitor!  From 72 different countries!  And this is my 220th post.  And I’ve re-designed it a couple of times – here are the three generations…



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Thanks for commenting, following, reading along -- and for your all-around support, good vibes and conviviality!  The “blogosphere” has proven to be yet another creative outlet where we get to connect around many shared passions.  Salut to all of us on this strange and wonderful frontier!

Wednesday, July 21

Afternoon relief


A monsoon cloud sweeps through violently, leaving a 20-degree temperature drop in its’ wake.


Tuesday, July 20

Bastille Day in “our” little French village


Ahhh… I feel so happy knowing that experiences like this are in our future!  Roquebrun, France, in the Languedoc region. (Photo credit: Campotel de l’Orb Facebook Page).


Feux d'artifice à Roquebrun le 13 juillet 2010!




Monday, July 19

Quote of the Week – July 19, 2010

"When you start working, everybody is in your studio -- your past, your friends, your enemies, the art world, your ancestors, your inner critic, and above all, your own ideas -- all are there.  But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left, completely, gloriously alone.  Then if you're lucky, even you leave."

--Philip Guston quoting John Cage in The Artist's Mentor, by Ian Jackman


Saturday, July 17

Semi-final palette for new art quilt commission


Though, we did remove the grays and browns, and add a teal and a deep apricot!

These are all my OWN naturally hand-dyed organic silks and cottons. (Well, mine and Ken’s!)

Top row: heavy raw organic silks; middle row: organic cotton muslins; bottom row: is a mix of mid-weight organic Fuji silk broadcloth and heavy raw organic silks. SHLURP!

TODAY is the day I begin cutting into all this lusciousness and start sewing!  I am both excited and a bit nervous!

Ahhh… breathe…


Thursday, July 15

Exploring surface design


Another couple of days of our two-week fabric-dyeing intensive was spent exploring and sampling the huge world of surface design.  We took our layered hand-dyed fat quarters and played with adding even MORE layers!


We played with stamps, stencils, silkscreens, resists, discharges, dyes, paints and more.  Iron, indigo, bleach, and more. Here are a few examples!  Click to enlarge any image.


The applications are endless, but I see myself making some gorgeous scarves – (photos of a few of those to come soon in a separate post).  Is an shop in my future?  Hmmmm…

Wednesday, July 14

Wild hand-dyed silk samplers


This was one of the fun things Ken and I did during our two-week fabric-dyeing intensive with Gail Denton at the Natural Dye Studio in Boulder in June!  


We spent a couple of days exploring the interplay of the dyes with layering, double and triple-dipping, folding, fanning, tying, clamping and otherwise torturing the silks.

These samplers are fat-quarter-yard size (18 x 22 inches).  Click on any image to enlarge. DSC_0017

The idea here is that these techniques can be used to make silk scarves and/or to cut up and make into quilts, and/or to create a base for layers of surface design – painting, stamping, screen printing, stenciling, surface dyeing using a thickening agent, etc.  Some photos of THAT step to come tomorrow.

In the meantime, vote for your favorites!

Also watch for a blogpost later this week devoted to just our silk scarves. DSC_0021


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Tuesday, July 13

A Color Study of our hand-dyed silks


Here is the line-up of naturally hand-dyed 100% organic silks for our headed for our color reference binder.  Aren’t they GORGEOUS!?  (Click to enlarge.)

The two rows on the far left are Fuji broadcloth.  The next two rows to the right are heavy silk noile.  We did the same color study on each of the fabrics to see how the dye behaves differently on different fabrics

Monday, July 12

Saturday, July 10

The monsoons begin!


A little late, but this weekend marks the official arrival of our dramatic and exhilarating summer monsoon season!

As with the other four seasons, this “fifth season” is one of the many reasons I LOVE calling the flowering desert my home.  The air smells and feels sensuously intoxicating.  I feel deeply nourished by the daily rhythms and sounds of this place.