Thursday, August 22, 2019

What A Time!

 2019 Bath Textile Summer School
  Have just arrived back home to Colorado from spending the past few weeks in England.  I had a fabulous time, and want to send a big Thank You to all of my students at the Bath Textile Summer School for taking my classes and being such enthusiastic learners!  Bookings open on August 24th for next years summer school~ click the link above to go check out the new website and see the classes on offer.  I am honored to have been asked to return in 2022, and will be designing a special piece(s) to commemorate the Great, Beautiful, city of Bath, as seen above, looking on from Prior Park.

  This year's classes were held at the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution situated in the heart of Bath alongside the Queen's Square.

  In my first class, Pretty Ladye, we focused on surface bead techniques and how to build up a figure

 The BRLSI has gorgeous classroom spaces~ they are large & bright,with ample lighting. My room directly overlooked Queen's Square...and yes, that's a dinosaur casting on the wall. It's easy to see why the Lonsdale Room is referred to as the Dinosaur Room!

  Not bad for a single day's progress~ the beads do work up so much faster than silk

 My second class, Bath Bunny, focused on more detached techniques, and specifically how to build beaded stumpwork animals~

 It was an absolute joy to have two of my prior students visit and bring with them their completed Bath Arbor Baskets~ It's great to see them side by side to see how different & unique they are~ I love them!

  I never require my students to have any prior knowledge of beadwork to take my classes. Some work fast, some work slow~ it doesnt matter. I always provide step by step written instructions so that they can be referred to at a later time~ but just look what these girls were able to get finished in class...makes me super happy! 

Thankyou so much to Lynne & Michael Roche for inviting me to come and teach~ they both work so hard to make sure everything runs smoothly. It was and honor to be in such fine company with fellow tutors Jenny Adin Christie and  Janet Bolton again. Ah! Such. A. Wonderful . Time.

If you have placed an order whilst I have been away, thankyou for waiting! I am on my way to the post today to ship them all out, so look for a ship notice email later on this evening.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Flat Casket Progress

Not Much...
The last day I worked on my casket was April 19th....work has been heavy with orders and getting ready for Bath Textile Summer School and such, so I set it aside for a bit. Too blasted hot to do anything outside...about had a heat stroke yesterday mowing the yard...so inside today working on wings for Msr. Swan...now on to m'Ladye's demure wing. They're so difficult to get to look 'right'. I have a picture in my mind, and when what I make doesn't match it, is very frustrating. He had several wings made and unpicked...feathers made for a different part...didn't look good, so repurposed into a different area...that sort of thing. It's very time consuming, but keeps my mind occupied.
Weather it likes it or not...this casket 
WILL
Be
FINISHED
THIS 
YEAR
!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Yellowstone National Park

SO ...Much....to See

  The second day we were in the park Josh & I had a day hike planned to see the Petrified Forest. I have been to the single petrified tree several times...but never the forest. The hike is a 'strenuous' level of hike, so Josh was the only one who would go with me. All I can say, is,  it was worth it, it was awesome.
 I took about a zillion pictures of buffalo~ they were all shedding..but still looking quite majestic. 
 I love the Buffalo! This time of year, in June, all the mommys had their little babies by their sides~ they are affectionately called 'red dogs', because they're so red. 

  Last time we were at Yellowstone, they were working on a new parking area at Fairy Falls, for the new trail they made up to the 'Grand Prismatic Overlook'. It opened the day after we left, so it was a must go to. FINALLY! To be able to see and appreciate the entire Grand Prismatic Spring! I could never really see anything from the boardwalk~ between all the people on it, and all the steam, it was never one of my favorite spots. Its beautiful from the overlook tho~ it's a great trail that IS handicap accessible. If your planning a trip...it's a must see.

 So Josh & I got up early in the morning for our hike...had to make the drive from Madison campground to the Lamar Valley....it was great~ didn't pass a single car on the way. Matter of fact, we had Tower Falls all to ourselves at 6am...not another soul there!

 It was first week of June, and yes, still snow in spots.  It snowed the day before we got there actually....but most of the park was snow free and in full spring wildflower bloom~ just beautiful.

 Did you know that the Petrified Forest in Yellowstone is the only place in the entire world that trees  have been petrified standing, with their root systems intact? Yep~ it's amazing. Along the trail, they are everywhere~ big small, some on their sides....it's a hard place to find, so if you want to go , definitely recommend a guide book. When it says the level is 'strenuous' and describes parts of the trail as 'inhumanely steep'..(yes, that is a quote from the guidebook!) ....they're not kidding...but its soooo worth it!

 The trees are huge

 At the top, is this giant redwood~ 26 feet in circumference! What is really great tho, is that you can walk around down underneath it, and see the petrified roots.

 Also on the low side of it, are these two towering trees

  As if that wasn't great enough...on the way back to the campground, we saw a mamma bear and two cubs.  I have been to Yellowstone so many times, and rarely see any bears...this trip...NINE bears!  


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Yellowstone National Park

A Glorious First Day!
Yellowstone National Park is one of my favorite places. I never ever get tired of  it~ it's just a magical place, each and every time we visit. One of husbands favorite stops along the way, is the Fountain of Youth RV Park in Thermopolis, Wyoming. We drive up from southern Colorado, and get there around 2ish pm, to enjoy a nice quiet afternoon in the hot springs. From here, it's just about a 2 hour drive to Cody, about 45 minutes from the East entrance to Yellowstone.

 Of coarse my little mini me is with me~ she loves riding in the car~ outside of the car, she could be found in the hood of my sweatshirt. I wear it backwards and she just fits in her little hammock perfectly!

 There is actually a HOt Springs State Park in Thermopolis, as well as a really awesome Dinosaur Museum that you can even go help participate on the active dinosaur digs in the area, if that's your thing. This particular hot spring at the RV park is knows as Sacajawea Well~ they were actually drilling for oil here in 1918, and hit the mineral spring instead.

 They have the water separated into three different pools~ the pool closest to the spring is off limits, as it is just about boiling hot, as the water reaches the far end, its still pretty warm!  I cant remember the exact amount of gallons it flows, but it flows freely thru the pools, with enough volume to fully replace all the water you see in less than a 24 hour period.

 After our overnight in Thermopolis we were off to Yellowstone. We usually go in later July, early August...but this year, because of Emma graduating and my teaching schedule, we scheduled our trip to begin the first week of June.  Halfway across the park on the way to check in at our campground, Josh & I peeled off from the family group for a very special trip to the Old Faithful Inn.
Not many folks know that you can make reservations (well ahead of time mind you, as in a year before when you make your Yellowstone reservations!) to be part of the 'Flag Ceremony'. Simply put, you can actually make the trek up to the roof of the Inn with a Bellhop to take down the flags~ The National flag, and then the three state flags, one for each of the states Yellowstone is located in~ Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. The tour is limited, they only go up once a day in the evening, and only allow 8 people.

 A trip to Yellowstone is not complete without a visit to the inside of Old Faithful Inn. Its absolutely spectacular~ the first 3 floors are open to the public. In the above picture, you can see the stairs leading upwards from the third floor, and then a very tree house looking...well...tree house!, way at the very top. This is known as the 'Crow's Nest', and when the Inn was built, the orchestra would play music from here.

As many times as I have been to the Inn...too many to count....I have never been allowed past the locked gate on the third floor. This is Zach, the Bellhop unlocking the gate for us!

 Up a flight of stairs, there is a spacious landing that provides a bird's eye view of the entire Inn.

 After climbing up several more flights of stairs, we arrive at the tree house~ it is said the Inn's architect had always wanted to build a treehouse and never had the chance, so he built one into the Inn.

Up yet another little flight of stairs from the tree house, are the doors leading out onto the roof

 It was just amazing, is all I can say. Amazing views I never thought I would see

 Josh got to take down the Wyoming flag

 And it just so happened, Old Faithful erupted while we were still up on the roof~ best seat 'on' the house!

 We watched a group of buffalo wander around the Inn afterward and then trekked back down the stairs on the roof. Theyre pretty steep~ I don't think I would really like going up and down them in the winter

And in perfect Yellowstone fashion, Josh and I had to mill about smartly for a little while longer, waiting for this buffalo get away from behind my car so we could leave! LOL it was an AWESOME first day...could things get any better than this? Well...actually yes they can...just wait

Monday, July 08, 2019

2019 Limited Edition Ornament Kits

All Preorders Shipped Today
This year's kit is FanTabulOus and if you have already ordered one, THANKYOU SO MUCH! All preorders are on the way today & I have just finished sending out all the tracking number emails. If you have ordered a kit and don't see an email, check your spam box, its probably there!

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Truly Honored

Thankyou Early American Life

 It's been such a busy summer! I have so many things I want to share here on the blog~ just got back from a wonderful trip to Yellowstone national Park...went up home to visit my parents and picked sapphires in Montana...spent my 4th of July on the surface of the sun (it was sooo hot) along with the cicadas...but first, want to express my heartfelt thanks to all of the judges for selecting me again for this year's Early American Life Directory of Traditional American Crafts for my 12th consecutive year. 

 Thankyou so very much~ both to the judges, and to all of my wonderful customers who have given so many of my dollies and art loving homes, I appreciate it more than I can ever express in words. 

 I thought you would like to see a larger picture of Humility~ she represents the 1790-1810 period~ a period I absolutely adore. Everyone loves the mid century dollies so much I don't often get orders for later years, which is a shame because the clothing was so fabulous~ the textiles & embroidery was so fine and delicate.
Humility's gown is hand stitched from a period embroidered fragment the owner provided, making her even more special. This period I lovingly refer to as 'gossamer white', as so much of the clothing was white on white, with the accessories adding in the colour~ usually the shoes, bags and shawls. She is one of my favorite girls! xoxox

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Always Thrilled

To see my Students Finished Pieces!
Gennie P sent me a picture of her 'Duke'~ she took my class in Williamsburg this past March. She did a gorgeous job! I am super happy that she changed some colours, and altered the cartouche to her liking. I always get surprised when folks write and 'ask' if they may change/substitute  colours~ be it beads or threads.... I want and always encourage my students, and folks who so generously purchase my kits, to absolutely change them up to suit their liking. Its your kit, your project, and your time spent working it~ I want you to be proud of your work and end up with something you are totally chuffed about!  

Saturday, May 11, 2019

2019 Ltd Ed Chrtistmas Ornament Kit

  'Ort King'
Available for Preorder Now!
  
He's here! Am super excited to introduce you to the mighty 'Ort King'~ my special limited edition ornament kit for 2019.
9 different threads~ real gold, silk and wires....15 different fun stitches....all combine to make this a fun project that can either be a hanging ornament or a stand alone one.  I can't think of a better way to use up all my little fabric/ribbon scraps and orts!!
If you would like to learn more about him and see what all is in the kit, you can do so here~ or just click the link on the right there to my Diamond K Folk Art blog shop page~ I do not sell my ornament kits in my ETSY store or eBay, so I can keep the cost for you as low as possible (both those venues have pretty steep selling fees). The paypal button is very secure, and your financial info is not shared~ not even with me!

Thursday, May 09, 2019

The Ort King.....

Up for Preorder Soon~
Since its snowing today...the 9th of May for Pete's sake....I thought it fitting to give you another lil peekie at the 'Ort King' ,  this year's 2019 Limited Edition Christmas Ornament kit. 
Oh. My. Golly. 
He. Is. FABULOUS....
I have a little more to do to get the peroders up on offer~ I have two graduations this month~ 1 high school, 1 college~ this mamma is max'd OUT!
 I need another cup of tea just thinking about it....

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Coming Soon!

It's Not Just All About Beads Here.....
I am super excited about this year's 2019 annual limited edition Christmas Ornament kit! I think ya'll are going to love love love love him.  Knock on wood it is coming along smoothly, just one redesign because of discontinued thread colors/types....it is super fun to work....works up quickly...and lets you try several different types of silk and metal threads all in one cute cute cute lil project. Those of you who have my previous designs, this year's ornament is worked on a linen  ground for a nice change of pace.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

on eBay this week!

Honesty, a One of a Kind Queen Anne Dollye

  I am so honored to have been chose again this year for Early American Life's Directory of Top Traditional American Craftsmen. I don't have as much time as I used to to make dollys, but we do have a good time in the studio when we are playing.  Each one is such a little character~ Honesty is the sweetest girl, quite timid, but she loves story time and thinks the idea that worms eat dirt is absolutely fascinating. We have some very interesting discussion over tea, her and I. She needed help to put on her shoes for her eBay pictures. All hand stitched from a precious scrap of 18th c quilted block printed cotton, with antique glass eyes and gorgeous real human hair. If you would like to get to know her better, you can see her here, or just click the link on the right to my eBay specials.

Monday, April 15, 2019

My Flat Top Casket Progress

When Things Go Good......
Keep Going

  Been a few weekends since I shared progress on my casket....the pillars went slow and were super boring....but one has to keep plugging away at the boring parts...to get to the fun stuff. The peacocks.....ugggggg...the peacocks, that's a different story

  Did anything go right with these little devils? I suppose so, because they turned out fairly well....I'm not super excited about them, well...hang on, I AM.....super excited they are DONE. Both panels worth...which brings me to a 'tip' for ya'll.  Really think about multiples of anything in your design. Will you have enough thread or beads of the right colors....not just for one...but (in my case) four? Will you want do work multiples of the same thing...over and over and over????   I have my answer. No. These beasties were horrible....horrible to work  And when I finished one.....there were three more to work. I had a real problem picking bead colours, because I am using all antique beads, I just cant run to the store to buy another colour....I have to work with the colours I have, in the amounts I have...and I ran in to a real problem with the "amount" factor.  I spent hours trying colour combinations that didn't work, ripping things out ect ect...  I thought about making two differently coloured pairs....but in the end decided I wanted them all the same, because the entire casket as a whole is elements of the same scene/area.  I ended up working the four bodies first, as some of the body colour was going to be in the tails, but I could change that if I ran out in the bodies....then four wings came next, then the wicked tails...stitched over kid leather. Murder on my fingers. Murder on my precious size 16 bead needles. But. They. Are. Done.

 Stumpwork, of any sort, is like working a huge puzzle~ you may want to go right to the fun stuff...but things have an order of working. For example, the pond wall. I chose my colours....was in the mood to work something quick and easy....had my string padding in place.....but nope..  Couldn't work the wall until I worked the snail that was sitting on top of it.  Doesn't she look like an eye???  She's my little secret spy snail.

 And then, I still couldn't work the wall because the swan's heads were over some of it....so this weekend, was swan time~ WOO HOO!  I had been wanting and dreaming about working these swans for ...forever. The start was not grand. No. Not even 'good'. Didn't like the colours of white I had chosen...so those got unpicked. Then I worked the padding in grey, and when I went to put the first whites over it, didn't like that, so switched to white padding...which meant all the grey padding had to be unpicked....but no biggie...I had a plan, and the energy around these swans was good. So good, that they literally flew forth from my fingertips...as in, less than a day ya'll!!!

 What was one, became two... and though I was now technically 'free' to work the blasted wall I had been aiming at, I just couldn't let them live on my casket with no beaks!!!!

  Perhaps it was lil mudhead's fault everything went so well this weekend~ he is always good luck for my stitching. This is the palette of colours just for the beaks...and yes, all of these colours are in them!

 Beaks...and wall, finito!

Still have much more to go on this panel, but it's getting there....I have to work the water next, before I can finish the swans and give them their wings...then this side will be down to just flowers. Just flowers, I say....there are a zillion petals and leaves I'm not really looking forward to doing...but hey, one gets energetic when the light starts to squeak out the end of the tunnel!  Normally I would be excited for next weekend, 'water' time...but I will probably end up skipping my stitching time for track meets and Easter. 
Happy Stitching!