Sunday, September 30, 2012

Design Outside the Lines, Wrapup and What I Bought


How dare you place your creativity above the daily routine of my chewy treats.
You. will. pay.

"What did you buy at DOL, Shams?" I've been asked this more than once and I understand. Who doesn't love a good show and tell?

I didn't think I really bought that much. I mean, shopping opportunities were somewhat limited given the fact that I traveled to DOL on the first day of the retreat and returned home on the last day and we were pretty busy in between. But when I packed for the return trip, I had to unzip the "extra room" zipper on my suitcase - the traveling equivalent of "Thanksgiving pants" - so I guess I did more damage than I thought.

I am very glad to be back home with a free day before I go back to work. I need it. It's hard to believe that 24 hours ago I was enjoying breakfast in the Mabel Dodge Luhan dining room, laughing at something Diane said that involves an alternative use of a seam ripper.

Here are the goodies that came home with me. I might be missing one or two little things. I couldn't find the silver raffia ribbon, for example.

The pincushion on the left was made by Narra. She had several handmade beauties but this one has been featured in a book. Diane is selling handmade cords, which you can see next to the pincushion. Each one is quite different. (I could not find them on her website.) Each one comes with an information page, which I, apparently, left behind, so I can't correctly recall what they are called. (Nomad cords, maybe?) The three cards on the right, by Diane, feature collaged clothing.

An assortment of patterns, silk screens and stencils.

The main office of the lodge has a shelf of Diane's cards (see next pic). I bought the card that features the birdhouses and one that features the gatehouse. While wandering around taking pictures, a young man offered to take my picture. We got to chatting and I learned that he's a photographer. He gave me several postcards (in the center) and I went back to the office to buy two of his panoramic cards. His name is GaKStonn and you can see some of his beautiful Taos imagery on his website. On the far right is Marcy's favorite seam ripper.

A brown/black plaid ikat from the Taos quilting store. From Uncommon Thread: A Guatemalan Corte, which is an ikat skirt that is sewn as a large tube. Pendleton wool/rayon strips in red and slate blue. Red and black hemp twine.

A scarf from Zepnyr in Santa Fe. Diane's stenciling DVD. A better view of the Nomad cord from Diane.

Two cotton ikat border pieces from India in black/red/gray. These are different fabrics but complement each other and I plan to use them together. A black/white polka dot cotton batik. Black knitted wool gauze.

One of my favorite things I bought I don't have a picture of, so this is to give you the idea. Diane has designed a fabric for an apron panel featuring a bicycle and is selling it as a kit. I actually first saw this in her studio in Ashland a couple weeks ago. (It's not on her website.) She used the fabric to make this shirt. See that dotted curved line on the left shoulder? That is the curve of the apron. She sold out of the kit at the retreat and is mailing it to me.

Not shown: four pieces of organic cotton canvas in solid colors from Santa Fe Fabrics. Also, the still-missing silver raffia cord.

Let me talk for a minute about our final morning. After our last delicious breakfast from chef Melodie (she has written a cookbook that many purchased in the Lodge office) we gathered for the closing circle. Marcy and Diane each spoke briefly and then asked us to share some comments. This was very insightful, particularly from people who have attended the retreat before. More than one said that attending the retreat in past years (even 10+ years in some cases) changed their lives in profound, non-sewing, ways. I can completely understand this because Diane and Marcy both talk about mindset, and about changing your life and environment to increase your creativity and to be more true to who you are. Heady stuff and it makes you think.

After closing circle I headed to the hardware store for duct tape for some suitcase repairs. On the 3-hour drive back to Albuquerque, I stopped again in Santa Fe for an hour. I really like Santa Fe. Another run to Santa Fe Dry Goods, where some Trippens may or may not have been purchased and shipped home. Another quick and spicy lunch at The Shed. I would love to come back and spend more time in this town.

Driving in New Mexico is such a pleasure. Not only do you enjoy the wide open skies, with the dramatic cloud formations and the views of the mesas, but there is so little traffic, compared to the bay area, and on the open freeways the speed limit is 70 mph. It makes for a very pleasant journey.

I am happy to report that on the last morning, I got pictures of the rest of the participants.

Sherry

Jane

Lorianne

Anne

Colleen and Anne

Laura

Joan

A few more people pics...

Narra and Linda

Diana cracks me up.

Thank you, Diane!

Thank you, Marcy!

A few final pictures from the lodge and grounds.


I want this to be the pressing room.

Dining room ceiling.

The 3.5 hour flight home, which included a beautiful sunset and then a full moon, stopped briefly in Las Vegas. I put these pics at the end of the post, so they are easy to skip over. :)

And that's all she wrote!

P.S. I just noticed that Marcy has blogged about the retreat. Check it out.

48 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a great time - and came home with a good haul.Enjoy using all those lovely goodies!

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  2. Welcome back! we missed you yesterday! although I imagine that your feline did a good job of making certain that you felt missed (did she wake you up by sticking her face into yours? :) )

    It looks like you got some great goodies!

    Rose in SV

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    1. I was so sorry to miss AIF this year! No, the cat is way too mad for such intimacies.

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  3. Looks like it was a total success, in more ways than one -- and thanks for sharing the photos with us so we could vicariously participate too!

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  4. Oh.my.goodness! I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog for quite a while now and was excited for you at the opportuity to attend DOL. Your commentary throughout was very much appreciated and I believe I would feel much the same as you in the company of so many lovely, talented women. I am looking forward to hearing more about how the experience has affected you as time passes. Thank you again and again for sharing so much with us.

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    1. Thanks so much, Kathie! It was a very special event.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this journey, Sharon! Love, love the bicycle print from Dianne's kit; what a delightful addition to your stash! Please share what you do with it. I hope she offers it on her website. Your green scarf and necklace are so pretty.

    You sound almost overwhelmed from your experience. As you continue to show your own work it will be interesting to read into your work influences of DOL.

    However: Yes, You. Will. Pay. Cat wants reign supreme.

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    1. Thanks so much, Carol! You can contact Diane directly to order the kit. She prints them using Spoonflower, so she will be making more. Her artwork is amazing. Also check out Marcy's blog post today. She shows Joan wearing this shirt, front and back views.

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    2. One more thing, Carol. That is not a "scarf and necklace". It is a scarf that includes a section with the marbles. You wrap it twice to wear it. It is *very* cool.

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  6. This retreat is definitely on my bucket list, though I wouldn't look HALF as cool and suave as all you ladies did in your self made works of wearable art....
    And LOL on the Grumpy Greeting - I'm sure I'll get the same from the Sewing Assistant when I head out to TN to visit my parents in December - first time I've been gone that long since he came to "work" with me.
    (I actually spluttered my tea all over my laptop after reading your comment about the seam ripper.....too much imagination at work, here....)

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    1. Thanks, Eileen! Sorry to hear I messed up your keyboard. ;) Diane is a funny lady.

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  7. Am enjoying your posts. If you ever run out of things to do (LOL), you could start writing for a travel agency or a travel magazine.

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    1. Thanks, Glorm! Though I don't think my cat would approve.

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  8. Oh my. All of those amazing experiences AND you got to shop too? Of course you did, but for some reason that just wasn't in my brain's radar. What fun goodies - LOVE Diane's fabric cards!

    Welcome home, but I could have read a week's worth of posts from you if the workshop had been that long! And yes, you were missed yesterday...

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    1. Thanks, Jilly Be! I saw on her website that she has four cards, so I need to get the other one. They are frame-able.

      Some people shopped more than others! ;)

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  9. I can't wait to see how this retreat manifests itself in your work!

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  10. Welcome home, and keep me posted on the continued growth in creativity from DOL. It needs time to percolate throughout your psychic space...

    I LOVE the plane pics. LOVE

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    1. I knew you would understand, Mary! I think you went through a similar thing after attending DOL in Sisters.

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  11. Thank you for sharing the wonderful retreat you enjoyed. It's been fun reading about it. I love the bicycle shirt, it really appeals to my sense of fun. You certainly come home with a fabulous bounty and I can't wait to see what you do with it all.

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  12. The cat photo is priceless! I've seen that look before. thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of it!

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    1. lol. Thanks, Linda! I wonder how many days it will be before he mellows. It's hard that this trip was so quickly after Oregon. He's had it.

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  13. Shams, I enjoyed your virtual tour of your trip. It sounds like a fantastic retreat. So glad you had a great time!

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  14. Mary - MaryCalderOriginalsSeptember 30, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Shams I just loved reading about your adventures here in New Mexico. I've lived here 35 years and quite honestly it is still an adventure. I'm anxious to see your new inspired creations, perhaps new skills and certainly new ideas. Shopping and eating in Santa Fe is always fun. By the way did you ever settle on an answer to the true New Mexico question... red or green?

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    1. Mary, I bet living in NM is an adventure! And to answer your question, RED! :)

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  15. Thank you so much for your reports of your time at the retreat. I would love to attend one someday, so I love to read what other people have to say. I look forward to seeing how it affects your future sewing/creating.

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    1. Thanks, Sewing Geek. A big reason I posted such detail is because I'd always wondered what it was like myself.

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  16. I've visited the Mabel Dodge Luhan house several times. I love NM, and fortunately my Mom lives nearby (well, in New Mexico terms). I wonder if I'll ever make it to one of these retreats? Would be nice to have a friend there for sure!

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    1. You are lucky, Elizabeth! I just love the lodge and don't know that I would ever tire of wandering around and photographing it.

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  17. I would say your first DOL experience was a great success. So glad you had a good time and look forward to see what come out of your sewing room as a result. BTW, what is Marcy's favorite seam ripper? Couldn't see the brand in your pic.

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    1. Thanks, ReAnn! I assumed Marcy would have the seam ripper on her website, but couldn't find it. It's by Havel's and is called "Ultra Pro II Seam Ripper and Buttonhole Cutter." You can actually change the blades, like an exacto knife.

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  18. Thanks again for sharing your journey. Vicarious journeys are good too. Martha

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  19. What an incredible learning experience! Thaks o much for sharing it all with this. Your photography was great. Such a special environment.

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    1. Thanks, Bunny! I'd love to attend all three locations, but I'm greedy. ;)

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  20. So glad you had a good time. Your photos are wonderful!! I hope you are inspired by this for years to come.

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  21. Thank you for reporting on the retreat. Your photos and words have inspired me. I think I will make it a goal to attend one of their retreats in the future. I will be looking forward to seeing how you incorporate what you learned into your work.

    Denise

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  22. Shams, glad you had a wonderful time in NM. Any time you want to come back and visit gain, you are still welcome to stay at my house.

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    1. Thanks for that incredibly generous offer, Wendy!!

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  23. Your DOL room mate is my "Sewing Buddy".I hear she stayed up way past her bedtime talking and talking and talking with you! She showed me the piece of fabric you created, hated and gave to her. I love it! Love the colors, scale and movement in the design. Sometimes things don't turn out the way we planned, but others can't see what we envisioned in our heads. They look at it with unbiased fresh eyes and see the beauty and potential. You created a perfect canvas for Gwen to have a bit of fun with.In the end, you too will love it!

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    1. Hi Karen! I heard about Gwen's sewing buddy! :) Thanks for your supportive words, but I am still skeptical!! The phrase "a face only a mother could love" applies to my fabric, I fear. ;)

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  24. This comment may not be post related but I wanted to let you know your blog convinced me to order a Marcy Tilton pattern. I can't wait for it to arrive. Thank you!

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