Last week, September 4th-8th, I was busy, busy, up at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe with the Artistic Alchemy retreat. Two mornings into the retreat, my friend from Portland, Oregon, Linda & I were enjoying our early morning coffee (7:15a.m.) at the edge of Lake Tahoe. I turned to see another student about 20 ft. away. Started to say hi, and saw a bear about 20 ft. behind her. OMG!!!!! Wha’ do we do? Wha’ do we do? The pictures of the teenage bear are courtesy of Marti (another student at her second floor window). We took off at a very, very, fast walk and so DID THE BEAR! We have lived to tell the tale. And I didn’t spill a drop of coffee in the race to the door to get inside. Ha, ha, ha. In fact, I didn’t need anymore coffee the rest of the day!
The clearing where we were enjoying the view. The bear entered, stage right, from behind the bolder. We were to the left of the “Portal of Prayer” sign (my prayers were short, and to the point, “Dear Lord, HELP!).
Now,back to some creative fun. Candace, one of my students, was very productive. In fact, she is the first of ALL the students in the whole retreat who started and completed her first project, less than half way through the 3 full days retreat! She even brought her serger to speed things along.
My workshop was called “Pick a Pattern.” Each student brought two different patterns from my collection, or my new book. We discussed fabrics for each project via emails. My students had so much creativity on their own. I was there to help fit, and help with design ideas, that would help make it their very own “Art to Wear” piece. Candace’s first piece was Rafiki Skirt.
Each one of my students gave ME GREAT ideas that I had NEVER thought of. I will talk about them over the next few weeks. First, though, Candace had a marvelous way of putting the tie into the skirt. A buttonhole goes in the front. Make the tie belt and thread each end in the buttonhole.
The tie belt must be threaded in a circle first. The circle fits right under the top edge that will be folded down to form the casing.
She folds the casing right over the tie making certain that the piece is out of the way when she stitches down the casing all the way around the skirt. Sooo simple! Thank you Candace.
Patty wanted to create her own “Earthy colored” Terrific Tabard vest for her first project.
Patty has been ALL OVER THE WORLD! She has amazing stories to tell. She has promised to show me her photo albums. I love seeing and traveling with others through pictures and stories. When we spoke about her fabric choices she said, “Oh, I have silks from my travels to India, Vietnam, Asia, and I just picked up a beautiful batik when I was in Morocco.” WOW, wow, let’s see what she does.
Isn’t it beautiful? She was very happy with her creation. Patty celebrated by going for an early afternoon Kayaking break. When she returned she whipped out the cutest purse with her vest scraps.
Oh, then she decided to make the cutest fabric earrings from more scraps. Silk is perfect for these “frayed” earrings.
Below, students from Open Studio (in the back) are busy, too. Do you see the African Ladies on a panel in the foreground of this picture? They are from Carol, another of my creative ladies.
She wanted to make my “Simply Super Vest” pattern from my new book, Fashion Quilted Accessories by me for Leisure Arts. This is the pattern,on the cover.
Here’s Carol with the back of the vest and one front piece up on her design board.
I encourage everyone to get their projects up on a design board and stand back to get a good view of what you are creating. Carol has such a good eye for placement. She tells me that she used to teach math and it shows in the great care she took in measuring and placement. I designed this vest pattern for using “panel” pieces. You know, the ones you use for the center of a quilt, wallhanging, or pillows.
This vest is really coming along……then her trusty older Singer started giving her problems. And then she began suffering from a terrible case of Vertigo. In spite of how badly she felt, she was determined to continue to work on her vest AND wanted to discuss her second project, her version of Rafiki skirt. I will see Carol next week and will get pictures of her finished vest and Rafiki skirt to post later.
Below is Candace’s second project (almost done out of silks that a family member brought back from Hong Kong 30+ years ago).
We also had lightening, thunder, and rain almost every afternoon. After all the heat we had all suffered through, the rain, oh the blessed rain, and drop in temperature was such a relief.
Here are the teachers from another successful year of workshops at our annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat. From the left, Mary Boalt, Sandra Bruce, me, Heidi Emmett, and Christine Barnes. Be sure to visit our blog: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com to read and see more.
Hugs to all of you and maybe YOU will attend next year!