Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DOL Santa Barbara and neck bling

I just returned from Montecito where Diane Ericson and Kay Khan held forth on their latest textile ideas.

It was a great group of women.  Sixteen of us worked our way through ideas we brought and new ideas that Diane and Kay introduced.

This is going to be a long post so hang on!

Here's Diane Ericson demonstrating one of her techniques.  She's wearing her latest remade men's shirt creation.  Each one is more inspiring than the last.  She's a genius mix of left and right brain, engineer and artist.

We met Kay Khan, a Santa Fe fiber artist.  Her work is incredible.  Mostly constructed vessels and wall hangings but she also makes jewelry.  She brought several pieces to sell that were swooped up quickly.

Her work takes time...and lots of thread!  Very intricate pieced textiles with lots of wording.

She worked on a men's jacket while at the retreat.  Cutting it, sewing into it, really inspiring.

The holes she cuts in her pieces got a lot of us thinking!

A finished hole...or not.  She keeps working into her pieces so you never know if it's really finished.

These are two pieces she made out of sweatshirt hoodies.  Stand alone helmets that were so powerful both thematically and in their construction.

An example of her jewelry.

And then there's Helen Papke.  A long time DOL attendee.  Here she's working on a piece of her own boro.  Her inspiration...a shop in Venice California selling pieces of clothing made with the Japanese textiles.

Not yet finished piece she sewed to a men's shirt.

And then I got going on a piece inspired by Kay.  She was very kind to help me construct a collar/necklace from a 12X15" piece I made.  Here's the start.

And here's the finished piece.  It's big, it's kinda cartoon-y but I like it for my first attempt.

View of the side/back

View of the other side/back

And then here's the piece I bought from Kay.  So fun and wearable.

We ate one night at Los Agaves in Santa Barbara.  It's my new favorite Mexican restaurant hands down.  Great service, gorgeous presentation and terrific food.  Here is my Green Pozole, delish.

Now I'm done with the DOL recap.  Here's a few shots of other stuff I've been working on.

 I took a class in October from Sandy Ericson of The Center For Pattern Design on making paper beads that are folded, Swedish style, into little origami type beads.  I sort of stink at it...still...but love the process.  

I started the necklace with the beads in a single layer but realized it needed some depth.

So I restrung it.  I don't love the old covered wire I used, need to find another something to hang them on. 

Don't look to closely.  Sandy, if you are seeing this I'm sorry, they are NOTHING like yours.  I still have a long way to go in making them tight little square bundles.

Then I worked on a copy of a necklace my friend got overseas.  It's a mix of covered plastic curtain rings, painted wooden beads made of dowels and painted plastic rings.  I covered the rings with ribbon, vintage kimono cloth and yarn.

It was like reinventing the wheel but I love the outcome and I wear it a lot.

It gets crazier and crazier.  This is a scarf I knit from strips of vintage scarves.  I have hundreds that I've collected and want to use them.  It became a collar of sorts.  Doesn't look that good as a scarf but wound around my neck it's pretty interesting.

And warm!


  1. Fabulous post, Gayle! Thank you

  2. Everything is wonderful! Such eye candy. I especially love your necklace from the curtain rings. thanks for sharing!!

  3. I have DOL-and-Field-Trip-envy. I LOVE everything you've made and I hope you'll do a tutorial on the knitting of strips from vintage scarves. It's a stunning piece. I think the origami beads look delightful despite not being at the level of perfection you'd like them to be. The plastic curtain ring necklace is also a lot of fun and I can see why you like wearing it. Miles of inspiration here. I'd seen Boro cloth before but didn't know it had a name. Beautiful. Inspiring. Makes me want to make some. Also love your "Oh Yeah" neckpiece. All this is SO MUCH FUN!!!

  4. Thank you for this, I just love it all. I love how you just attack a new idea and make if work. Santa Barbara is one my favorite places in the world!

  5. WOW! looks like fun is breaking out all over! eye candy indeed, each one of these pictures is rife with inspiration and noggin-provocation. All the color is especially welcome in our overly dustydry alternating with superwetfoggygrey winter. Yum!

    I'm very intrigued by the square origami beads and the fabric covered shower curtain rings. I love using bits of wonderful fabric as an accent, but at times it can look a bit overboard on the kookiness. So these two techniques look very promising as a way to add that bit of fabric whilst retaining some structure and minimalism. Personally, i really like the little bit of un-doneness in your square beads, i think it adds a lot of life to them!

    oh, my mom makes amazingly drool-worthy pozole using Rancho Gordo corn. I'll have to forward this post to her - and be sure to check out Rancho Gordo next time you're in the city of Napa (and give us a holler - mom lives about 1 1/2 blocks from downtown Napa so we can do a meet up!).

    Happy day and thank you for a fantabulous read!!! steph

  6. would LOVE to see the last piece (scarf knitted (!) from scraps of silk) spread out - very very intriguing!


  7. WOW WOW WOW. What a visual feast, Gayle! I can see you had a fabulous time. What an inspiration!


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