Friday, September 28, 2012

Design Outside the Lines, Day Three

Today was the last full day at DOL. I have loved the experience, the location, the food, and the people. As much as I wish this were a longer retreat, I'm not sure I could really absorb much more information.

I really want to go home and play.

I need a week or two of vacation, to try out the new things I've learned.

Today Marcy and Diane spoke for a shorter period, so we'd have more time to work on projects, or run into town. I did a bit of both. I finally played with silk screening and I think I've got the hang of it now. A couple years ago I tried it at home and wasn't happy with the results.

Today Marcy focused on fabrics. She gave each of us three packs of generous fabric samples, one for coat and jacket weight fabrics, one for pant or skirt weight fabrics, and one for knits, and went through the samples, explaining the characteristics, and best way to use them.

Diane focused her presentation on refashioning garments, and details she uses, such as knots she likes, collar manipulations, pleats, buttonholes. She also showed us jewelry, purses, and teakettles that she's made.

I want to share pics of some of the amazing women at DOL. I didn't get a chance to photograph everyone, but here are a few.


Gwen, my excellent roomie!


Ute and Peggy

Diana, my tolerant table mate.





And here are some other photos from today. (Sorry the post is light on sewing content, but I am a wee bit tired.)

The Solarium, atop the main building. The room with the 360 degree view.

Meditation Labyrinth

This is just a guess, but I suspect that Mabel Dodge Luhan liked birds.

Gatehouse entrance

Because you stuck it to the end, a wee bit more sewing content. This is one of Diane's shirts, refashioned from a thrifted RTW shirt - a man's shirt, I believe. She has some really beautiful refashioned pieces.

Design Outside the Lines, Day Two

Along the lane to our lodge.

According to my camera phone, I took 430 pictures today.

So many garments were shown, so many samples passed around, I thought my head might explode. And I wasn't alone. One of the first things Sherry said to me when she stood up after the presentations was "I think my head might explode."

I wish I could mind meld with you and convey the events, visuals, and information of the day. Since that isn't possible, I will give you a few pictures, but just a few.

Marcy talked about t-shirts, tips for sewing with knits (especially thin knits), pattern alterations and manipulations, and developing patterns for Vogue.

Diane talked about collars, cording, and all sorts of embellishments and garment manipulations.

Besides the excellent lectures today, and the demos, I ran into town for a bit. Downtown Taos is really nice: the views are amazing, the shopping is good, and the restaurants are great. Taos is 7000 feet above sea level, much higher than I realized. They experience autumn, complete with fall colors. The boutiques in Taos are currently selling heavy wool coats and sweaters, which makes sense, I guess, since people come here in winter to ski, but it surprised me.

The weather right now is completely gorgeous: sunny, breezy and in the low 70s. The sky is an intense shade of blue and the cloud formations are both unusual and beautiful. Plus, the crickets chirp in the early afternoon. What is that about?

Stepping Out, a very nice shoe and clothing store

Uncommon Thread is a very interesting, very unusual fabric store. They love the folks from Marcy's retreats.

A few more photos from downtown Taos.

Because I spent an hour or so in town and then walked around taking photos, I had very little time to do much hands on work today. After returning from my outing, I decided to try painting on fabric with my hand made brush using Dynaflow paints, which was one of Diane's demos. My table partner, Diana, had dumpster dived and found some old mesh screen to fashion her paint brush. I borrowed her idea and used the same material to create my own brush, though my stick was much longer and the "bristles" on my brush were longer and more uneven. I discovered that it makes a great spatter brush.

Diane's painting with Dynaflow demo.

The beginning of my effort, using my brush fashioned from a window screen.

Marcy's demo for sewing a neckline in a thin knit, assisted by fabric glue.

Today's painting effort started out better than yesterday's stencil practice, but, in the end, the fabric is much larger than yesterday's samples, and pretty darned ugly. It didn't bother me as much this time. I can tell I need a lot more practice to get somewhere good. That's ok.

Maybe part of my lack of self confidence is that many of the people here are very artistic. The more I speak to them, the more awed I become. More than one have pieces, of various kinds, in galleries. More than one run businesses based on fiber art, or other kinds of art. It's quite impressive and, just maybe, it gives me permission to create infantile artwork, since I don't have that sort of background. I'm the slow kid in class and need to repeat the third grade. Today, I'm ok with that.

I haven't taken many photos of people, but let me share a couple, both of whom read my blog. Have I mentioned that I love to meet folks who read my blog? :)



We are staying, and working, at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House inn and conference center. This inn is so historic, with such unusual architecture, that it has a palpable presence. Georgia O'Keeffe stayed here for awhile, though she had issues with Mabel, and she ultimately found other Taos accommodations.

The dining room, where we are fed, though I eat outside in the breezy courtyard as much as possible.

Breakfast and lunch is included as part of the retreat. This is today's lunch.

One of my blog readers said, don't forget to check out the Solarium! So I did. This room, where Mabel herself slept, is perched at the top of the main building, and has a 360 degree view. You climb a ladder to ascend. Nope, no curtains.

This bathroom is available for those staying in "Tony's room", just below the Solarium. I think Tony was Mabel's husband.

The staircase to Tony's and Mabel's rooms.

And here's wee bit more eye candy.