Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dye Study With Carol Soderlund at the Crow TImberframe Barn

Everyone has a bucket list.  One of the things on mine has been to take at least one workshop at the Crow Timberframe Barn in Ohio.  That dream came true this spring.
After getting better acquainted with Carol Soderlund last summer during the SDA Conference in San Antonio I decided to combine two things I wanted to do:  learn more about dyeing neutrals on cloth and taking a workshop at the Crow Barn.  Since I was going for one workshop and Carol was offering two, I thought I might as well take them both.  I am SO glad I did.
Out of respect for the proprietary information that Carol so generously shares with her students I will carefully share a few images here.
The first week I took a workshop called "The New Color Mixing For Quilters".  I learned so much!
The second week, "Neutral Territory:  50 Shades of Gray and 50 Shades of Brown".  We were on the hunt for neutrals...
The workshop setting is just wonderful as the Barn has an exceptional dye studio.  The upstairs has a design studio that is currently occupied by an independent study conducted by Nancy Crow.
Each day we are treated to nutritious, delicious lunch and dinner created by artist and chef Margaret Wolf.  Margaret has a wonderful cookbook that I purchased.  If you love to cook you will enjoy this!  The book is self-published, I think, so order from Margaret.
Here are a few images from my stay in Ohio:
A portion of the wet dye studio at the Crow Barn.  
I would have enjoyed college chemistry a lot more if we had been doing this....

Amazing to see what happens with each dye bath.  Transformational!
Look at all this gorgeous color.  Each piece is different!

Carol hugs all the color.

A stack of freshly dyed fabrics ready to cut

sorting all the colors...

Students work together to create a large set of colors that we use to make our dye notebooks.
Here are some of the gorgeous colors.

Trimmings....each is a different color!

Oops!  We are in the midwest and in the spring that means tornado weather....
Here we are gathered in the basement hallway to wait out a tornado warning.

Crow Barn exterior.

Carol holds up a couple sets of her dye colors. 
During the first week we created three sets using three different pure dye colors.

Some of my freeform dyed cloth:  silk, cotton, and silk-cotton Radiance.

Here is my work area at the B&B where I am staying.
I worked long hours to put together my notebook!

Samples of neutral experiments.

Chef and artist Margaret Wolf.
I love her!
Lunch at the Barn.

Some of Nancy's African basket collection hangs on the dining room wall.

As does her collection of hand-carved/decorated wood cooking tools.

Carved items are seen throughout the kitchen and dining room areas.

Dinner gathering with both workshops.

Week Two:  "Neutral Territory" experiments.  The larger "9 patch" consists
of nine different neutrals that we dyed.  There were many of these sets.
The long skinny pieces were gradations of one of the larger squares.

A peek at the lower level studio.  You can see many of the larger 9-patch sets hanging on the
design walls.  Over the week we added to these, and experimented with many many gradations 
in the search for more neutrals.  We found a lot!

Storm clouds over the town of Lancaster.  I stayed in a bed and breakfast during my time at the 
Crow Barn.  

A favorite item is this sewing machine "tractor" positioned at the base of the stairs.
I love it.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Meandering Down The Pacific Coast Hiway

The Pacific Coast Highway is one of my favorite drives.  Oddly, I have never made this trip with my husband until now.  We took a couple of extra days to spend time here.  The first day was the 17-mile scenic drive:

 And the next day we drove further south to Big Sur.  
It was a beautiful day to drive with the convertible top down!

First stop was Point Lobos State Park.
The windswept sandstone looks like something you might encounter on the moon.
I never get tired of looking at it.

This little guy sauntered right between Tim and I to lay down in the shade.

We drove as far as Nepenthe (owned by Kaffe Fassett's family).
Here is our view while we shared a cheese plate.

This little thief was quick....he stole multiple bits right off the plate!

Here is one of the many seating areas on the outside patio at Nepenthe.
Looks very "Kaffe-like", doesn't it?!

e.g. Part Two...

There were so many lovely moments at the e.g. conference.  Here are a few more images:

Tim chats with Danny Ferrington, a renowned Luthier
who has made instruments for many of the guitar greats.
Danny is a warm, wonderful guy.  You just want to invite him over to dinner.

Trading Polaroid pictures, or taking pictures of pictures of....

Giles Duley.  Possibly one of the bravest men I have ever met.  A  gentle warrior, whose lens is his weapon.  An observer, photographer, survivor.

John Alderman, lobsterman and survivor.   I fell in love with his wife.  
I hope to remain friends.

Music-making late into the night.

Juggling with the music.  The Flying Karamazov Brothers, who did an impromptu act
for us on the final day..

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The e.g.Conference: Eclectic and Delightful

My husband was invited to give a presentation at the 2014 e.g. conference.  What is the e.g. conference, you ask?  Are you familiar with TED talks?  
Here is the description of the conference on the website:
It may be the best-kept secret in the world of conferencing and unlike any other gathering you’ve been to. But those who come know that EG is the touchstone for innovators in just about every imaginable field, and each year, the conference is simply unforgettable. The people who attend EG are makers and doers of extraordinary things. They are breakers of boundaries and explorers of frontiers and busters of myths. They are inventors and educators, artists and designers, writers and thinkers, scientists and engineers, musicians, magicians, the young and old, the famous and the undiscovered, full of wonder, curiosity, and surprises.
Creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Or on a clock. Or when you pay for it. It’s a collective opportunity, and there’s no substitute for being immersed with the best. More intimate, more concentrated, more consistently surprising than any other gathering we know of, and definitely not stuck in any narrow industrial rut, EG explores the new and the different by engaging a remarkable mix of people. It is a place to find something priceless: your next great idea.
So, Tim was invited to talk about "Tim's Vermeer".  I was invited to accompany him.  I looked forward to being there but I had no idea how much I would love it.  The unique thing about this gathering is the number of amazing people who come together to share their stories.  Under this umbrella we have an opportunity to get acquainted, have dinner together, laugh, talk, and be inspired.

Each presenter was pictured in a wacky banner in the conference center foyer.

Tim with his banner in the background.

My father gets quite a bit of "face time" due to the film.

 I was pleased to see a quilt maker on the roster of presenters.
Nina Paley is a film maker and quilter.  You should check her out!
Here is the quilt she brought to the conference.

She has a unique system for accomplishing this amazing stitch work.

The painting was placed in the foyer for people to see.  

I got to meet Amy Tan (and her two dogs).

Ms. Tan peruses the gorgeous clothing of designer Angel Chang,
who has founded Farm to Fashion and told her captivating story about the project.

David Hume Kennerly took Tim's photograph in the hotel with the painting.

How fortunate I am to have been able to attend this gathering.  We hope to return.  Memories of the people we met and the stories we listened to will resonate well-beyond this event.