Category Archives: trade shows

Bead shops and packing for Houston

Tig has been helping me with the packing for Houston and finally the first 4 boxes are done! It’s most of it which includes all the set up stuff, flooring, most of the inventory,and the materials and kits I need for my workshop. Phew! Even Tig was glad this part is done. She even found a box just her size and wanted to go along with to show off her pretty shibori tiger stripes.

I was taking a photo of Studio Beads new order when tig decided she needed a new head shot for her portfolio (you know, Hollywood is only about 30 minutes from here on a good day).

all shipped out

all shipped out

Many of the bead shops are now ordering ribbon for all kinds of lovely projects and jewelry-it’s fun for me to see all the creative uses for the ribbon when it’s put in the hands of so many talented people. I am in awe!
50 yards assorted cuts

50 yards assorted cuts

The bead shops prefer to order assorted one yard cuts as they are able to get a broad assortment of colors which works very well with beaders. I choose the selections and so far they just keep coming back for more. If you know of a bead shop you think would like to order the ribbon, please either let me know- or just pass this post and my links along- and thanks!


someone recently asked me to define the term i most recently made up and used on my facebook status-

articrat- any person involved in art organizations in which action is obstructed by insistence on unnecessary procedures and red tape. generally these people tend to be rather “talkey” and enjoy sitting at round tables, writing on white boards, have lots of post it notes, 3×5 cards, and mount endless discussions on how to “fix” art and culture. almost exclusively, they are not working artists. in other words, they have some other way to pay their bills.

as you can tell, i need more studio time.

Getting ready for Chicago. shipping workshop and booth freight on Monday. No more flowermaking for a while but planning on dyeing and processing fabric and ribbon tomorrow. Phew! There’s also an article to be written, a new Canadian distributor- Running with Scissors – carrying the shibori ribbon and several other things on the list- how about this: soon you will find my silk shibori pocket squares here. Exactly! (by the way- they are also in Canada!)

so-gotta go!
ps- added a new post over on the other blog– take the Mind Style Estimator test there and see where you fall in terms of learning styles. I was a 7-8-7-8.

just some pics-

click on images to view larger



(playing around with some new images for the website redo)

some lavender filled pretties for Chicago-$16 each silk shibori dyed with ribbon flower and 2+oz of fresh lavender
thinking spring….

Oh- I will also be at the Saturday Evening Sampler in Chicago- 6-8 pm demonstrating shibori ribbon techniques….

Shibori Workshop in Chicago

I will be teaching a shibori workshop at the upcoming Chicago Quilt Festival April 17, 9Am-12 Noon.
Details can be found here. I understand there are 10 spaces left (of 25) so if you think you might wait ’til you get there to sign up you might be disappointed. I also read in the business section today that Southwest Airlines has started a “fare war” so you might be able to get some tickets at a pretty good price. I picked up my ticket about a month ago on Delta for $180 RT right out of Long Beach!

I am now preparing for the show, packing materials for the workshop, making inventory for my booth. I will get the booth # posted soon- still have to order my electricity and so forth. This is the first time I have done the Chicago show and with all the costs involved I opted for the first time to get a 1/2 booth. We’ll see how that works out. I may regret it but will make the most of it. I’ll be featuring the ribbon and kits at this show with less focus on the scarves and wall pieces. I’m sharing a room (I think!) with someone although with whom I can’t seem to remember at the moment (mental note- call Maggie and ask!).

One new thing we will be doing is dyeing some ribbon using shibori techniques that don’t result in pleated ribbon (that has to be heat set) but do give some interesting yet fairly quick results. Here’s an example of what I am talking about:

or this:

This would make a lovely silk binding on a quilt.

I am planning some great fun for the workshop. We are going to do a little bit of everything-makiage, arashi, itajime, and some of what I like to call invented shibori. I’m a little limited as to what I can afford to haul out to Chicago in the way of materials as shipping costs prevent the shipping of large poles etc., but being the inventive sort I have a few other ideas. This being a quilt show, I will focus on things I think quilters are interested in creating for insertion into quilts.

Speaking of quilts, the journey quilt is coming along- or was at least. Until I decided I didn’t like the thread I was using for the shibori ribbon binding. So now I have to tear it all out and redo it with some silk thread. This is further complicated by the unfortunate fact that I managed to give myself some rather nice burns from steaming on the back of my right hand. The blistering has subsided and now I am just being careful to keep it clean and protected but it is definitely hampering progress a bit. CAUTION: Slow down!! Use the silicone glove that was sitting right there!! Sometimes I need a reminder, apparently.

I have a deadline coming up for an article and samples to be sent for an upcoming magazine issue (no details just yet!) and sent samples to a writer of a new book coming out about ribbon- supposed to be the latest “complete guide to ribbon”. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without shibori ribbon now would it?
I just acquired some silk shantung wired ribbon which I will be dyeing today for the upcoming workshop with Candace Kling. We’ll have to see how that goes- not sure how well it will dye.

Also making more plans for Japan. Found a great little ryokan in Nagoya and made a reservation. We’ll also be attending the Tokyo Hobby Show as guests of one of the exhibitors. That is sure to be an education! I am trying to figure out how to fit in an overnight trip to Mashiko to see the Higeta Indigo workshop. Thankfully, the Shinkansen may make this possible.
The Silk Study Tour will make a stop at the Nippon Silk Center in Gunma Prefecture where we will have the opportunity to participate in a day long workshop on natural dyeing with silk, katazome techniques, and kumihimo. WOW! Wonder if my head will explode on that day. On another day we will participate in an all day workshop with Japanese quilter Noriko Endo.

And lest you think I have to do everything by myself around here, Milo is always nearby ready to help and a real photography buff to boot. Here he is helping to arrange the silk for the shoot by getting completely underneath the pop-up white box I was using and lifting the whole thing up as I was shooting the pics.

Houston Quilt Festival report…long post-part 1

Finally. I’m back, unpacked, and working in the studio again. Waiting for my shipment from the George Brown Convention Center to arrive (more unpacking). The show was great. For so many reasons. First, there was a decent turnout. Maybe not as many as in recent years but still respectable/impressive numbers of quilters turned out for festival. It is a little hard for me to judge the numbers by looking into the isles as my booth was located on a corner on the main isle (widest isle in the show which connected the quilt exhibit area to the food pavilion). Quilts Inc. usually publishes the actual numbers on their website. I’m used to being on a smaller isle which can give the illusion of more people- no complaints about that!
I had the opportunity to introduce many many more quilters to my shibori ribbon as well as see some of the things customers from last year made with the ribbon. Thanks to those of you who took the time to come by and show me the wearables you created and images you took of the quilts created which included the ribbon.
The make & take went fine- thanks to Virginia who manned the booth in my absence. There were quite a few in the class and all completed their shibori ribbon flower pins and proudly wore them around the show. Thanks to all of you for that as countless people visited the booth curious about the ribbon, many purchasing a kit or two to make their own. Here’s a pic of several of the gals from the class-

Now speaking of Virginia…..she was a lifesaver! Not only did she (and Duke-the standard poodle) pick me up and take me back to the airport, stand in for me at the booth on occasion, drive me all around Houston, make sure I arrived at the GBCC at 8 AM for my workshop, remind us to turn the clocks ahead, give us a lesson in cosmetology, bring us coffee, lunch and more, she wore this fantastic hat of her creation (one of many) which you can see here:
We have plans for some shibori hats….can’t wait to dye up some silk for that!

Set up went smoothly, again, thanks to Virginia who carted me and my 5 large boxes (that were shipped in via DHL and arrived as scheduled at the hotel) to the GBCC in addition to my limit of two large suitcases. Mental note: add an additional $80 RT to my expenses for checking luggage. My small carry-on held my clothes and sundries for the entire week! I spent Wednesday setting up my booth and we were open for business at 5 pm for Preview Night. Although there was a pretty good crowd the sales were modest (as usual) as people wanted to get “the lay of the land” and see where they were going to spend their money over the next 4 days. Wise decision as there were certainly lots of ways to spend it! After this very long day we finally left the hall about 10:30 pm. I can’t even remember if we got anything to eat that night or not….
Up early to get into the hall and ready to open! Had the first Make & Take at 11 and then worked the booth all day until 7 PM. Here’s a photo of the booth I snapped at the end of preview night- the ribbon bins were looking a little shabby by then. Thank goodness I thought to bring my ball winder as I was continually re-rolling the ribbons throughout the show. Normally I would have had the ribbons in their clear boxes but in an effort to save space I eliminated the boxes. Will have to rethink that next time…
I didn’t really get very many photos as I was just too darned busy all the time to do it! I’ll add some of these to my flickr page and add some notes over there…..
It was a real kick to meet so many people who came up and introduced themselves to me as flickr contacts and bloggers! Fun too, to watch people look at the shibori in person when all they have ever seen are the photos online. Even though the photos aren’t bad, it’s not the same as seeing and touching in person. I think that’s one reason I will always continue to do shows. I do like to get out of the studio and see the customer face to face. It drives me to create something FOR the customer. As a maker, if I want to stay in business, I MUST make things my customers want to buy and meeting them face to face is important for me. I learned a lot about what I will be making in the next six months by doing this show.
I really don’t like posting photos of myself, but here’s one taken by a passing quilter when she saw me snap the previous pic and insisted I needed one with me in it…

Day one down and three to go….
We left the building around 8:00 PM and headed back across town to our hotel located in the Galleria area. Cheaper hotel located further from downtown but since we had cars it was no problem. Not to mention we had to drive by Central Market each night ………….
…….where we stocked up on healthy food and snacks for lunches at the show and chose from an awesome expanse of gourmet salads, soups, and entrees at the deli section. (I bought some of those gorgeous tomatoes to snack on in the booth) If you ever get to Houston, a stop at the Central Market is a must. Here’s a few more pics-
the breads and bakery goods will take your brath away!
I don’t think I have ever seen as much variety (not to mention volume) of cheeses in one place!
(of course-had to get a bottle of wine to go with!)
DAY 2 (Halloween)
Up early and Virginia drove me in to get to the GBCC early to set up for my workshop starting at 9AM.
I was a little anxious and excited at the same time. The class was sold out and I had already met several of the students who came by the booth the previous day to say hi and tell me they were in the class. After an introduction by Maggie Backman of the Silk Experience we got started on the class. Each class has a “teacher’s pet” who helps out by taking roll, passing out materials and anything else that is needed. She was a real godsend and darned if I can remember her name right now…but thank you thank you thank you!! She received a shibori presento that didn’t begin to convey my thanks.
We practiced various stitching on different kinds of silk fabrics which were then dyed using the Colorhue dyes. We worked with 8mm habotai, organza, broadcloth, 3mm gauze, & silk satin. Even though this was a stitch resisted workshop, we covered several other methods as quilters are interested in combining techniques. Here are some of the results- again no time for many photos- I took these as we were cleaning up…
various stitched effects
the organza was really interesting as it can be layered over another hand dye creating a very interesting effect.
another organza sample
loved the simplicity of this too..




Everyone took away numerous samples of silk suitable for inclusion in one type of project or another as well as an enthusiasm for silk and the Colorhue dyes – not to mention shibori itself!

The students in each class fill out a critique survey at the end of the workshop and I was glad to see that everyone was satisfied and gave good marks on the presentation. Several were kind enough to leave additional comments on areas to improve on which were much appreciated and very helpful. Many of these students are professionals in one field or another and have taken numerous workshops related to textiles so your input was very valuable! Thank you!

At this point it was only 12 noon and there was still a whole day of selling ahead down on the show floor which seemed like it was about a mile away from where the classes took place so off I went to the show floor to sell my wares….
I can see that I will have to make this a two part post so stay tuned………
mata ne!

on the show floor…Houston Quilt Festival

Well, everything arrived as planned, the booth set up and preview night done! Today we have the silk shibori flowermaking “make & take” in Hall E (exhibition area) at 12 noon. A full day in the booth and an evening event- Bernina Fashion Show & Reception. All faculty have VIP admission to both.

What’s selling? Shibori scrap bags, shibori flower pins, and yards and yards of ribbon. Silk shibori ribbon flower kits are also a popular item.

What’s funny? My legs apparently. Last night I wore a pair of tights I had shibori dyed which kept people entertained. The most often asked question was “Did you tattoo your legs?” ??????? Several people thought I had painted my legs. Dyers of course recognized what I had done and wanted to know what dyes I had used. (Marshall’s tights- $4 and acid dyes.) Granted, most of those asking about my “tattoo’s” were men. Not textile people. But it was entertaining and fun. One gal saw them and told me she sells something similar on etsy and pulled out her iphone to show me her site. They were very cool and mainly black and fluorescent colors. She says she sells them for “clubbing” . Apparently they are very fashionable under blacklight on the dance floor (and even more so under the influence). Next time I go “clubbing” I’ll be sure to wear mine.

Show time- gotta go!!
Booth 1544- corner on the main isle…..

change in plans…..

you know, life happens. and when it does, we adjust. so now i am flying to houston, shipping my merchandise, being picked up at the airport by virginia who will wear a lovely hat so i can recognize her and room with my friend jennifer from atlanta. we will have a great time too, and make it all work out.
gail is coming tomorrow to help get everything packed and shipped off. airline tickets have been purchased, reservations canceled, new ones made and a few other details attended to.
the main thing is though that phil will stay in long beach to be with his mom who is having triple bypass surgery within the next 48 hours.
this is how it should be and we trust she will be better for it.
we are however, exhausted.
(ps. i’m gonna cancel the sunday make and take, so thursday will be the only one-sorry)