Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DOL Santa Barbara 2015

Most everyone who reads this blog knows about Diane Ericson's Design Outside The Lines retreats.  If you don't, look them up and get your fanny to one soon, they are magical.

I returned from the most recent retreat both filled to the brim and exhausted.  Diane was at the top of her game; as usual giving us tons of ideas and techniques.  She's a treasure.

Here's a glimpse of Diane (on the left) with Helen Papke's daughter, Alex, modeling her own men's jacket remake.  It turned out great and looks really good on her.

Here I am trying on Diane's latest pattern, Ventana.  It's has both a jacket and vest.  I can't wait to make it. She made this one out of men's suiting fabric, I believe.   It has some of her incredible detailing.  You can see one of her stencils on the back.

And here we are drooling over the portfolio of Diane's guest teacher, Karen Nicol.  Karen lives in London and is famous for her work in couture embellishment but mostly for her textile work with animals...her monkeys are a favorite.

She was such a generous, inspiring teacher....oy, understatement of the year.  We were just gobsmacked by her talent and by her personally.  She lectured and taught about the various unusual materials she uses to create her animals and the techniques she employs to make them seem so real.

Here are two sample pieces from her canvas portfolio.  It is a multi-page book that my pal Janet Spear calls the Gutenberg Bible.  At first we couldn't believe we were allowed to touch it!  But touch it we did, all week, time and again.  We went over every one of those samples with great care, marveling at the craftsmanship and trying to figure out how she DID it.

She also gave us two slide show lectures on her work.  Sorry this photo is bad, it's from the slide show.  We sat in that darkened room mesmerized, not wanting it to end.

She also sewed many sample techniques, going over them again and again if someone needed further instruction.  She was just the most generous teacher.

Here are two photos of the same sample in the portfolio.  Janet put her hand under it in the left photo so you can see how it is constructed.  This would be gorgeous on a side vent.

Now it's time to finish the three samples I worked on.  Three beetles that need a firm backing so I can attach them to something.  I'll show you soon.  Plus, I have several things I've been working on but haven't had the energy to take pics nor the time.

Stay warm.


  1. Fabulous, Gayle! I so enjoy hearing details about DOL! I'd like to go back one day.

  2. Fun, inspiring retreat! I love the animals.

  3. Wow, Karen Nicol's stuff looks amazing and the workshop sounded absolutely inspirational. I can hardly wait to see what you made.

  4. Beautiful work, thanks for sharing.

  5. I saw this video about Karen Nicol on one of my YouTube subscriptions. Must have been inspiring to see her work in person and up close.


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