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.





Colleen and Anne



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.

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.