Sunday, August 19, 2018

2018 Santa Fe Indian Market

Sensory Overload
 Got up at 0330 and drove down to Santa fe Indian Market yesterday~ if you are close and have not yet gone, you still have today! It was absolutely amazing, as always~ the best of the best Native American artists. I am always in awe of their talents, and willingness to share their history

 In addition to the hundreds of amazing vendors, of coarse I had to visit my fav spots along the Plaza~ Andrea Fisher has an amazing selection of super rare pottery by Maria Martinez & family...including this piece~ one of only 6 Maria made in this humongous size. I have never ever seen one so large up for sale, e.v.e.r.

One of the things I love about going to Market is that the person sitting behind the table, is the person who made what you were looking at. They are all great people to talk to, and are all so passionate about what they do~ its so fascinating to hear their stories and why they made what they brought to share. It was while talking to Thomas Haukaas that I learned he had some of his work in one of the Museums...I assumed, wrongly of course, they were at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture....and he corrected me that they were in the current running exhibit at the International Folk Art Museum

 Beadwork Adorns the World  Runs until Feb of next year, and is a fantabulous exhibit of worldwide beadwork~
 Much is Native American, like these cradles made by Thomas, but there are examples of amazing things from all around the globe~ Romania, China, Africa...along with running shorts from the Corning Museum of Glass on how beads are made. Of coarse my favorites were the Native American pieces....a fully beaded saddle and blanket....all the beautiful clothing....it was all just making my head spin! There was an unbelievably intricate tunic from China made from microscopically thin bamboo beads....but two pieces in particular stood out to me~ both made in the 1880s, and both toys.

 This little Lakota doll is too precious for words.

But this one, this is my favorite....oh my golly, a tipi. Made from tanned hide, with beads and quills for decoration, it was made for a young girl to play with, and still has its original poles so that it can be set up correctly. 
The exhibit runs until first week Feb, 2019, at the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe , NM

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Particularly Fun Stuff

Hectic Summer Days
  Have you ever heard the saying...why put off things until tomorrow that you could be doing today?  Well this summer, I threw that out the window and went for....'lets do it right now....lets do it alllllllll right now, at the same time!
I dont think I could possibly cram anything more into a day than I have been...but then again, there is always room for improvement.  I found this cutie patootie pair of antique bottles the other day, and thought they looked like they would fit my casket.....
 And they did! They are hand painted porcelain, with little butterflies on the tops~ I have another flat top, a short flat top and a double that all need bottles....so I am always keeping my eyes peeled for anything that will fit. They are hard to find in pairs....at least the short flat casket only needs one bottle.....

 Its starting to get dark earlier already....here is my work counter at the moment....trying to pick colors for what I want to work next....but not in this dark of a space...had to wait for the sun to come up today

Aren't these beautiful colors?!  Can you guess what they will become?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Flirty Eyes

Hilarious!

So....watch the video, you will get a chuckle! Many of you know I collect dolls, and in the 1850-60s, certain mache dolls were made with eyes that moved from side to side, instead of the usual up/down sleep mechanism. These side to side moving eyes are referred to as 'Flirty Eyes'.  Keeping this in the back of my mind, when I made my trinket box so many years ago now, I gave my lion side to side moving Flirty Eyes, and decided that Handsome on this year's ornament needed them as well....only, because he is snuggling his lil bff....the effect is quite funny...like perhaps he is having a moment of weakness and maybe thinking of just nibbling a bit.....maybe on a ear....just a little.  I do love making eyes this way tho, as the effect is quite startling to someone who doesn't realize you are moving the eyes when they're not looking, and the embroidery's eyes  follows them round the room.....
I show how to make them in the kit!

Friday, August 10, 2018

New 2019 Classes

Dogs & Berries in Beads!
 I have literally been working my tuccass off this year designing new classes for next year~ these two I will be teaching at a private needlework seminar in Williamsburg next spring. Both are based on 17th c beaded raised work techniques~ this one, is D.O.G.....which stands for Duke of Gloucester, after Main street in Williamsburg. I affectionately just call him  'Duke'.  It is a fun challenge to see how many different techniques I can fit into a small project like this. 

  I am also teaching with modern beads this next year, to show that one can still get detail in a small space, with larger beads. They also are awesome to teach with, as they are easily obtainable...unlike the antique ones I usually use. Its easy to get enough beads for working something once...but when you have to make several of those over and over again for kits, its nearly impossible with antique beads.
This class focuses on surface techniques, and somewhat different from those I am teaching at the Bath Textile Summer School. I love how his tail is totally free from the ground!

 The other class I designed is 'Fruit of Thy Hands', which focuses on totally detached techniques, like those that would be used to embellish a basket frame. Students will learn the challenges of twilling over a shaped form, leaf techniques and how to assemble all the little pieces into something cohesive and pretty.

 Looks like something I would put in one of my casket drawers.....

I designed Duke to fit on a Thistle Threads Trinket Box top, but I framed mine....he looks like he may need something else around the outside edges to cover all that blank space....maybe some lace or something.... 

If your group is interested in having me come teach my techniques at your special event, just drop me a line~ my email is in the sidebar. 

Monday, August 06, 2018

Available Now for Preorder!

2018 Ltd. Edition Heirloom Music Box Casket Ornament Kit~
 Peaceful Kingdom
 I am super happy to introduce the new limited edition Christmas ornament kit for this year~ Peaceful Kingdom. It is a combination of two of my favorite things~ stumpwork caskets, and music boxes!
It will only be available for purchase from now until Dec. 31, 2018.  
If you would like to read more about it, all of the ornament and kit information is on my Diamond K Folk Art blog, just look for it in the header at the top of the page, or you can click here.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Blessed Beads!

Expanding my Flat Top Casket's Colour Palette

   My Flat Top Casket has been gently tugging at my heartstrings all summer....poor thing had to be set aside for me to get my class workups done....and the new 2018 ornament done.  (so be watching for it!!!!) ...but.....even tho I had to set it aside, it has still be on my mind....just about every day I would say.  I did finally decide what panel to work next....I think....maybe I will end up working on them all at the same time and skip around....in any case, I cant wait to get my bead needles out again...as in, my tiny. weensie. teensie. bead needles!!!! WOO HOO 
Just look at these beads! I have had a banner summer this year for finding beads....after years literally, of not finding anything. I do love the tiny beads for stumpwork, because they are so tiny, one can get great details. I prefer the microscopic sable beads....40-50 per inch, of which nearly all of these above are that tiny. The whole bead will fit thru the hole in the size 15 Miyuki beads I am using for my classes next year! 

   The only negative aspect of working with beads, is that one is limited to the colors of beads that they have on hand. I have been collecting beads for at least 35 years....perhaps a little longer, so I do have quite a few colors...but it always amazes me how I will have a thought in my head of what I want something to look like, and I still will not have just the right color. Husband says it all the time..."more beads? you need more beads??"    He also calls me a hoarder, to which I vehemently deny...unless of course, we are talking about beads, and then the answer would have to be a huge yes. I cannot pass up tiny beads. no I just cant!  The more colors I can find, the free-er I am to be with my designs and ideas. My casket is going to be awesome!
I was ecstatic earlier this year when I got this box of beads from a yard sale down in Placitas NM....couldn't believe it! There are pounds of weensies here! 

 These beads, from the top picture,  I have been truly blessed to find this year. I go years, literally, without finding any new beads...I think I said that already, but its true.  The little buggers are so blasted expensive now days, I literally spend all my pennies on beads! I have had to pick and choose, and have been focusing on colors that I was void of in my palette.

  There is just something about these little balls of molten sand that make my  heart skip a beat when I see them. And some of these, break my record for tiny. 
The reds next to my finger here...count 65+ to the inch!

 Both my front and back, and well, one side panel too on my casket, have water on them...so I have been searching for different watery colors of blues....

  I got my lil mudhead out...he is lounging in a sea of beads...but I like to think of him as me...I would love to swim in an ocean of beads! I see endless opportunities with all of these colors, I cant wait to see what I can make from them.! I got some really nice skin tones and fleshy colors, so much so that my mind is racing on a new beadwork box...but I have to get my flat top done first!  

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

My New Spool Tray Design

On eBay the week!

My new Spool Tray is on eBay this week! (Along with some other things) If you would be interested in bidding on it, or just want to see large pictures of it, you can find it here

I am super pleased with how it came out~ there are a whopping 18 pegs for spools, and as you can see above, its not just for little spools of silk... really big spools can fit as well. There is plenty of space in the center for other things...a pincushion perhaps, scissors, and other sewing tools. I am painting mine now, and hope it turns out as nice as this one did....in 17th c blackwork~ my favorite!

Monday, July 23, 2018

2019 Bath Textile Summer School


Bath, U.K. ,12-17 August 2019

    The classes have now been posted on the Bath Textile Summer School website for next year, you can find them here to learn more about what I am teaching. Hover over the 2019 workshop section, and you will find me last in the drop down menu.  This year pictures of some of our past workes are included on the information page, so as to not be confusing, I thought I would post pictures of both class projects here. Above is "Pretty Ladye", and below, "Bath Bunny".  My focus this year is surface techniques, for those who would like to add a beadwork element on to a casket panel or picture. Both classes work with modern Japanese Miyuki size 15/0 seed beads, so they have nice large holes, and are both good representations of the details one can get with this larger size of bead.   Pretty Ladye is a super special class, each large bust is sculpted with brown lampwork glass eyes. Aside the fact it takes me about 3 weeks to sculpt a single figure, I had a horrible time getting suitable glass eyes this small, and for this reason, BTSS 2019 may be my only running of this class.   (She would be a wonderful start to the top of a casket...hint hint!)

    Bunny is so adorable! Students of this class will learn detached techniques, such as the flower petals, and my method of working up an animal figure in beads using twilling, or peyote stitch.   I am making a great effort this year to keep the kit cost as low as possible, but more even, the international shipping~ so I will be only shipping the prework kits for each class, and handing out the rest of the kit in class. Prework will include silk satin ground, instructions, and padding for the cartouches only, so packets will be small to keep both shipping & customs charges to a minimum. 
One things I love about teaching the beadwork, is that my methods can also be used for regular raised stumpwork in silks and metals threads.. the materials maybe different, but the way one goes about it, in the steps, is the same for both.

 I have been plugging away on my special something and am super happy with how its coming on so far.  I really love 17th c blackwork, and it is such a challenge to creating depth on a flat surface while painting with a single color.  Like I said, I am painting one for me, and one to share, so here I took advantage of having two to show the difference between just penwork, and painted. I loooove it!  This bunch of grapes took just under 3 hours to paint...of coarse I am keeping track of the hours!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Happy Saturday!



   I have been making good time on this year's Christmas ornament model, I think ya'll will really have fun with this one. I cant wait to share it with you!  I am also working on something else out in the shop, one for me, and one to share....inspired by my experience with runaway spools during this current project....(driving me crazy!)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Stressball Summer

Shhhhhh...be still....it's Looking at me....
 So what have ya'll been up to this summer??  I have had a super stressful first part of the year, I am surprised I still have hair. I keep meaning to post, but then something comes along, I get busy..ect ect, and time is just flying by leaving me in the dust....literally, the dust. We have not had any rain here in southern Colorado for soooo long, it has been so dry...tho last night it did finally rain~ woke me up out of a dead sleep to hear those little drops of joy.
 The Spring fire just up the road from us is in the 90% containment finally...last update I had was 108,045 acres. We were very lucky here to have the winds shift and take it in the opposite direction from us, but so many folks have lost everything. Its been stressful these past few weeks from that and some others things I don't even want to get into. 
I have been keeping uber busy working up not one or two, but four new classes for 2019!  I will be teaching two at the Spring Needles & Sins Needlework Seminar in Colonial Williamsburg, and two at the Bath Textile Summer School in Bath, England in August.  When the classes get posted by the event directors, I can share more info about them here. So keep your eyes peeled!
Of coarse the 2018 ornament is lagging behind because of all the other stuff going on...but coming on again. I had it finished already once, but then when I went to work up the kit, some of the materials I could no longer get....along with the fact that I didn't totally like how it came out the first time, so I did some redesigning, and started over. Little fellow up top here is happy I think.....his little dome is made up of Ghiordes Knott...I couldn't possibly pack any more stitches into that tiny space, and with the soie oval, its really soft and luxurious. It's nice to work with silk for a while, instead of beads....as much as I love them....but still...the eyes are beads so I guess I failed at getting totally away from the little things.

Monday, July 02, 2018

New Pretties

on eBay this week!
  All the fat little squirrels in our yard this year have inspired me to make and paint up another squirrel thread palette set, and to go along with, a one of a kind ort pot painted to match ~
I love little squirrel peeking out from under the lid!
If you would like to see them closer, or perhaps place a bid, they are on eBay this week~ you can find them here on my eBay auctions

I hope you all have a Happy & Safe Independence Day Holiday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Class Updates

Bath Textile Summer School 2019
  If you are interested in 17th c style of beadwork, and will be in the beautiful city of Bath, England in August of next year, you may need to come join me for one of two, (or both!) classes I will be teaching. 

 Registration will be opening on Sat, 25 August 2018 for classes on the Bath Textile Summer School website~ (the link is to the right in the sidebar)

I will be teaching two 3 day classes~ Bath Bunny, and Pretty Ladye.  Classes this year focus on surface techniques, and instead of antique beads, we will be using 15/0 modern beads.  Detailed information, including kit costs,  will be up on the website in August.  


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Early American Life Directory of Traditional American Crafts

Thankyou Early American Life!

   I just arrived back home from a trip up to Washington state to take the children to see my parents, and look what was in the post box waiting for me!  I am super proud to have been juried into the Directory for my 11th consecutive year this year!  Pomme, seen above right, traveled to Jamestown Va for her photoshoot~ she has told me all about the friends and interesting people she met while there. Tho Pomme was pictured in the magazine, I sent two dollys in for my entry this year, Pomme, and her little sister Spoon.

They are worked in two different mediums, Pomme is all mache with cloth legs, and Spoon is in wood...but I think they came out looking alot alike. I wanted little spoon to be more primitive and gave her a very tall forehead...her head shape is that of a spoon, hence her name, Spoon!
My son asked if there would be a 'fork' coming up, to which I am not thinking so...but one never knows. 

 I am working on my classes for next year, and have some dollys in the works as well, so hopefully I will become better at juggling my time and you will be seeing some new faces here soon!  Ill be starting the next panel on my casket as well~ I cant wait!  

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

on eBay this week!

My New 1850 Rose Needlework Needfuls....

  Do ya'll remember the reproduction I made last year of the red rosebud winder? I really loved that simple design, and since my lil roses outside are just starting to bloom, they inspired me, along with that early winder, to paint some roses to share. These three pieces bloomed forth...and just look at that cunning little maple ort pot or jar up in the right hand corner~ Oh . MY. golly it came out so cute!  I love this grouping for another reason~ I get asked all the time if such and such a wood would go with something else the person has....nothing explains it better than a picture~ that different wood species look great together! The winder in front is sycamore, the palette is red oak, and the pot is maple...and I think they go together great!  If you would like to see better pictures of them, or perhaps place a bid,  you can find them, along with some antique needlework things, on my current eBay auctions here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Look what I found!

2017 Winter Queen Ornament Kit Available & on Sale!
 I am cleaning out working up for the new 2018 ornament, and found a box with 5 of last years ornament kits~ woo hoo! Sooooooo...great for you if you missed last years special limited edition ornament kit~ cause I have decided to put them on sale~ 100.00 dollars off of their original price, because I need to room & want to share them~ so if you are interested, here is a link to the page on the DKFA blog
Theyre's only 5, so if you missed it and want one, now is your chance!

Monday, May 21, 2018

on eBay this week!

New Design Flemish Palette &!
 Happy Monday! I hope your day is a great one and your relaxing with a nice cup of tea...I have mine!  I have finally had some time to breathe after finishing all the end of year school things for the children, and have this gorgeous spool palette up on eBay this week.  I designed this one after the other Flemish pieces I have made, but the design is a little different, based more on the box I embroidered of the same. I love to paint in this style, its really fun and feminine, and I love how the gold looks when its finished. Its something the camera just doesnt pick up in a picture~  if you want to see it on eBay with huge pictures so you can see all the details, or perhaps place a bid, you can find it here

  The gold is very subtle head on, but when the pieces are moved, or you move around them, you get these unexpected little flashes of light~ so pretty!  Just think how pretty a casket would be...I mean....an entire casket, painted this way!

  I have all sorts of things in my head I would like to paint, so many ideas, but the bulk of my painting time is painting what others have always wanted~ its a challenge to be sure. I haven't posted pictures in so long of my slate frames, mainly because I don't post pictures until they get to their intendeds....but by then I get busy and forget~ so thought I would share a couple of my favorites.  Its amazing sometimes what people ask for~ things I would never think to paint on a frame, but in the end, they fit really well.  Sometimes people are very specific about what they want....other times, they can be fairly vague. The above frame was a request for snowmen and snowflakes and silver Christmas balls. 

 Skeletons & pirates are always a popular theme...so this time I combined them.   I know if I was a pirate, my treasure box would be chock full of embroidery threads! 

 Charlotte told me to paint what ever I wanted, but that she likes witches.....so witches it was! I love Halloween and witches and thought this frame would be a breeze, and it turned out to be the most challenging frame I have painted to date, as it is just so blasted difficult to fit mainly vertical objects onto a horizontal plane that is only an inch tall. I love how it came out, its one of my ultimate favorites.

Dollys have been busy to, Ladye Pomme is on her way back home from a visit to Jamestowne & Colonial Williamsburg. I am really thrilled to announce that I was selected again this year for Early American Life Magazine's Directory of Top 200 Traditional American Craftsmen, for the 11th consecutive year in a row.  Its truly an honor and I am so excited for Pomme to get back here so we can have some tea and she can tell me all  about her venture East. I hope she got to go to the glass furnace there...I went this past March and it was fabulous!

Monday, May 14, 2018

So Proud!
 This spring has gone by in a flash~ I have been so swamped & stressed  I am surprised all my hair hasn't fallen out. Josh graduated from high school this past Friday and we couldn't be more proud of him.  I feel super lucky that graduation was so close to Mother's Day~ not only did I get an honor graduate, I also got to spend Mother's Day with my Mom~ something I haven't been able to do in over 20 years at least....probably more like 30. What a great weekend~ Im exhausted!

Things for me tend to roll in waves~ I end up working forever it seems and not getting anything done, then within a week or two, all sorts of things come together and get finished. I have been working on this blasted kitchen since I got back from Williamsburg, and finally, FINALLY~ its done. D.O.N.E. Im super excited, now I can get back to work on my things...I know my chi is there....just waiting to flow again...bring on the dollies...bring on the wood...and bring on the BEADS!!!! WOO HOOOOOO
Cheers to a Happy Summer to all of you!

Monday, May 07, 2018

New Dollys

On eBay this week!
  Golly the time is flying by~ we seemed to have skipped Spring and ran from cold straight into Summer here in southern Colorado.  Ladye Rachael is a little Grodnertal that would love to say hello~ you can see here on eBay here or click on my eBay auction link on the right sidebar.  I have a couple dollys on this week and a great little antique child's coat made from c1740 silk brocade up for sale. 

  I love Grodnertal dollys~ some call them peg or penny woodens~ they are precious and I think my girl is pretty sweet!  I wanted to get her on for May day, but as always, i'm a bit late!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday &

The Cristal Baschet

How many of you have heard of a Cristal Baschet? It's a fabulous water and glass instrument~ for me, in the same family as the Glass Armonica, or Hydrocrystalophone invented by Benjamin Franklin in the 1760s. The cristal Baschet is not that old tho, it was invented in the 1950s by the Baschet brothers in France. Glass rods are stroked with wet fingers to produce deep rich vibrating tones. I hope you all have a Blessed Easter, and enjoy this beautiful video~ one of my favorite French composers, Erik Satie, on an amazing French Cristal Baschet.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

For Ye Visual Types......

Making Linen by Hand~
Some years ago I posted here about the long process of making linen. The other day I ran across the following video from the Monreagh Heritage & Education Centre at Carrigans Village, County Donegal in Ireland and thought all you folks would enjoy a visual to go along with my description~ because there are some things, that words just cannot express. There are a couple of differing terms in the video~ ie, what they refer to as  'Crimping', I refer to as 'Braking',  and their 'Brushing',  I refer to as ''Combing'~ but other than that, its all the same description of a long, skilled, magical  process.
Enjoy~

Friday, March 09, 2018

Back Home!

Spring in Williamsburg, Va
   I just got back Tuesday morning from a wonderful trip to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. The weather, even with the bomb cyclone, was just wonderful~ the cherry trees and Japanese Magnolias were blooming~ makes me pine for Spring.....here in southern Colorado, everything is still in a winter's coma.  I went to attend Chris Berry's 17th c raised work embroidery class 'Curious NeedleWorks'~ if you have a chance to take it, do it~ it is fabulous.  I stayed with my bff Sharon and arrived a few days early to take in Agecroft Hall and all that is 'Colonial Williamsburg'. Visiting the Historic Trades was my favorite~ I could watch them work all day long, every day...  above is a view of the back of the Governor's Palace, from the gardens.

  Of the zillions of pictures I took, this one, I think, is my favorite. There is nothing like the view thru wavy glass~ small glass panes like this were made by blowing glass into a cylinder, then cutting the ends off, cutting one side and then rolling it out flat.

 The Shoemaker was fabulous and a favorite of mine

  Another reason for getting your butt in a quick jiffy to the Dewitt Museum in Williamsburg is the 'Printed Textiles' exhibit. To say it was ultra mega extraordinarily fantabulous is an understatement. 

 Both clothing, and home furnishing printed textiles are on display~ there is no publication accompanying the exhibit, so if you want to study these pieces, you have to go in person~ and yes, take all the non flash personal use photographs you want!

 Several dolly houses are out on display as well~ the little tuck combs always a favorite of mine

 So of all the trades, if I had to pick a favorite...it wouldn't be the shoe maker's, which is strange, as many shoes as I make, and as much as I am absolutely infatuated with early shoes....nor would it be Sarah Hunter Millinery Shop....as much as I like to sew & study antique clothing.....the Tailor's was really fabulous, and came in a close second to the Wig Maker's....oh my golly. I died and went to Heaven in there! Many new techniques were learned and I have a zillion ideas sprouted in my head for dollys who simply must must must have hair!

 Chris's class was just fabulous~ it starts simply enough with detached buttonhole and before you know it, you are working up & down buttonhole, trellis, ceylon, and all sorts of knotted buttonholes~ I had worked regular detached buttonhole before, and was worried that I would get behind in my stitch samples as I have never worked any of the others before(tho I have studied them for years), but she explains them so completely, and in such a way that I think a newborn baby could work them if they could hold a needle. Because you work your own samples, you know how the stitches work, how they interact with others around them, how they look from the back and from the front, loose tension, tight tension...how they look different being worked with different threads....it was just a fabulous course and I highly recommend it to both novice as well as advanced stitchers.
  Before heading out to the airport, I stopped by the Bakery and they had just pulled out two pans of ginger cakes~ I had room enough in my purse for one piping hot bit of deliciousness.... so note for next trip...get a bigger purse.

 I wasn't even home a full day and zoomed down to Albuquerque to pick the bead palette for next year's classes at Bath Textile Summer School....yes...you read right~ class~'es'....I will be teaching a short 3 day workshop on working a little bunny in a cartouche on a ground fabric, and then another 4 day workshop on a large bust, similar to the one on my casket lid~ but this year, we will be using modern beads, so students will have the option to purchase my bead palette, or bring their own colors!