This is a very large bag!  I designed it specifically for going to the Farmer’s Market, but have been using it to carry things to my classroom as well.  It is made from burlap in tangerine and kiwi, and features hand-stitched wool felt design on the exterior (I adore those 70’s graphics).  I actually made it in honor of the 40th Earth Day, because I was remembering the field trip I took with my class for the very first Earth Day celebration.  We spent the day at a nature preserve, and I remember it being very lovely.  Farmer’s Market totes will be available for purchase shortly.

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spring in process

April 2, 2010

More contemplative work.  The “Spring” tapestry is progressing as spring awakens here in the desert.

prototype

March 11, 2010

I am always looking for a bag that really carries the things I need.  I become very frustrated when I have to dig through my bag for something.  I thought about this for a very long time, wondering why even very expensive bags are poorly designed for comfort, organization, and looks.  So, even though this canvas tote looks like it would just carry everything in a big jumble, the interior is actually designed with practicality and accessibility in mind.  So, here’s the run down:

Exterior is heavy canvas, with suede bottom (harvested from used leather/suede clothing).  Basting stitches in carpet thread remain to honor the process of constructing the piece. One side features a large, flat pocket perfect for magazines, files, papers, etc.  Leather loop on wide shoulder strap is for hanging your keys on (no more digging thorugh the bag for the keys!!!!)

Interior is indigo-dyed cotton from Mali (made by friends of mine).  There is a concealed zipper pocket along one side, nestled between the lining and the exterior of the bag, to hold wallets, checkbook, etc. in an easy to reach and safe way.  On the opposite side is an easy to reach pocket for cell phone and pen.  The interior also features 2 stretch pouches made from recycled tshirts to hold water bottles/ large travel mugs in place. The rest of the tote is free for sweaters, sketchbooks, lunch (I am working on a canvas lunch bag) etc etc.  I have been carrying my laptop in this tote very comfortably, using one of the stretch pouches for the power plug (although just yesterday I completed a design for a canvas and silk laptop tote, stay tuned).

All designs have an emphasis on style, usability, and sustainable materials.  I am having so much fun sketching and making patterns.

One more thing:  I am very interested in the extreme simplicity of the canvas as an exterior, while creating a world of deep color, surprise, and elegance in the interior.  Makes me think of living a very simple outward life, while cultivating the vast richness of the soul.

Embroidery in silk, linen, and cotton on West African cotton batik.

I was interested in the instant that all is suddenly suspended in ice, the deep night, and the brilliance of the moon on snow.  All the seeds, twigs, leaves and pods now wait in anticipation of spring.

I dyed some threads specifically for this work to add nuance to the palette.

Thread

January 2, 2010

Dyeing threads today.  The weather is sunny and warm, so I worked outside.  I ended up with too many greens and blues, so I will have to have another dyeing session to create a complete palette.

progress

January 2, 2010

Worked in different shades of black today, with linen, silk, and cotton to define the internal world of the hibernating seed pod. Made a change from the seven or eight shades of white threads I have been using. 

Ice Storm

January 1, 2010

Another tapestry!  Work in progress…..interpreting leaves, twigs, seed pods suspended in ice…snow….night.  Stitched on hand-dyed fabric from Mali, using cotton, linen, silk threads, some hand-dyed with tumeric, green tea, and procion dyes…….

chronologically….

sketching on the fabric with thread, and beginning to build up the surface with the first stitches.

meditating on deep winter, living in the desert.  It actually has been quite cold, and there is snow on the mountains.

still stitching……..

still thinking of winter.