If I was invited to my own studio…

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I would think it’s a co-op of about five different artists and I wouldn’t even know what to pay attention to.  No wonder when I get there I’m not always sure what I’m going to work on—I want to do it all and sometimes, unfortunately, that’s immobilizing.


I think at this stage of my life I am seeking a more direction.

I don’t want to get static or rigid, but good grief, I think there’s a space in between.


I’ve decided to take a few minutes, get quiet and see what I want to work on BEFORE I take off for my studio.  I’m hoping that simple act will get me more focused and deliberate.  I’ll let you know if it works…but I might forget and you may need to e-mail and ask me about how it turned out. It seems like this just might be a natural state of our world…but I want to fight it.  There are so many things to pay attention to that it’s overwhelming.  OK, off to the studio, but first, I want to check out that song, book, technique, read my e-mail, the news, oh there’s a video I bookmarked…aaaarrgggghhhh.

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Maggie with red purse lillibridge dakota 1966 print sift magazine

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Thank you Stephen Mease Photography.

Lucy My daughter, Lucy.

Christie    STRU0872

STRU0879  Genevieve

Ina  STRU0866

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I hope my friends and my daughter felt as beautiful as they looked!

The devil is in the details.

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I truly hate the heat.

My studio was about 100 degrees today.  I’m actually working in a “sweatshop”.  When I’m done with the fashion show next Saturday night I might start looking for property in a cooler climate.  Northern Vermont is simply too hot and too damn sunny for me.  It feels like New Orleans.  I don’t remember the last rainy day I experienced. I love rain, fog and cool, overcast days.  There’s a slight chance for a thunderstorm tonight—here’s hoping. I’ll be a lot more productive if it cools off even a little.  I have a lot of details to finish and only four full days to do it.

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Frida Kahlo inspired handbag. My steps included.

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I spent an inordinate amount of time on this bag.  I’m thrilled that it turned out looking like a museum piece. It’s has structural integrity, but it looks like it should be handled with white gloves.  I think Frida Kahlo might’ve actually carried this.  I’m not sure which of my models for STRUT will be carrying this bag because it works with all four looks. I could do this type of design for days and neither need rest or nourishment.  I love when I’m in “flow” in my studio.  It’s a rare and unbelievably fulfilling time as an artist.

It was great to be in my studio today…

and I didn’t even turn NPR or music on all day.  I was so happy to be alone with my thoughts, a giant iced tea (thanks to my son) and all of my leathers, fabrics, trims, sewing machines and tools.  I wanted to start working on my accessories for the fashion show (STRUT) on September 12th, in Burlington, Vermont. I’m afraid this bag may be a little dark for the runway.  However, with the right styling it might just work.

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Thank you Suttons—what an amazing day on your ranch!

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Thank you, Suttons.  We had an amazing day visiting your spread!  Seeing my Cape Cod raised husband, Jeff on horse was really cool and certainly will be a highlight of our summer.  I would love to return the favor if you ever find yourselves heading east. Lobsters? Vermont Cheese? Ben and Jerry’s?  Have a wonderful summer!

a guiding principle.

Whenever I’m about to start a big project I’ve discovered that having a “guiding principle” is really helpful.  I always need help narrowing my focus. So if I’m able to decide on a palette or a “feel” I’m generally more relaxed as the work gets more demanding.  I’m about to start designing my collection for the SEABA Strut Fashion Show in early September in Burlington, Vermont  I first need to submit my design ideas for my application.

This painting by Lynne Reed, a Burlington painter has stayed with me since I first saw it.  Lynne is part of a women’s small business support group (Levity Seven) that I am a part of and we recently had a “trunk show” together.  I think this painting and the other photos of mine I found are my design inspiration clothing line.  I love the brush strokes, texture and palette.  These colors have a “mid-century” vibe that I adore.  So, here’s to a guiding principle in whatever part of your life it’s needed.

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LEVITY seven TRUNK SHOW @ Vintage Inspired

This Friday and Saturday I’m part of a TRUNK SHOW at VINTAGE INSPIRED in Burlington, Vermont with 6 very talented women. We call ourselves, “LEVITY seven”. We meet every few weeks over coffee in one of our studios or homes and talk about the issues of running small businesses.  Sometimes we stay on topic and often we talk about what’s happening in our creative lives.

“Without some occasional levity,

the working environment is not better than a sweatshop.”

What an amazing group of women to spend time with and learn from their collective experience. Having LEVITY in our group name reflects that we don’t want to pile more pressure on each other to do more than we already are, but rather reflects our level of encouragement and collaboration…with a healthy dose of humor.

Our group includes mostly Germans…two women are jewelers, one a fused glass artist and a garden designer. There are also a few very talented American women—a contemporary painter and the owner of CB Sacks—a Burlington company that makes beautiful bags out of coffee sacks from around the world.

Here’s what I’m preparing for the TRUNK SHOW…bracelets, pendants, a few paintings, hand-painted shoes and a few paintings.  I’m not a terribly skilled salesperson.  It just doesn’t come very naturally to me—so if you come to our TRUNK SHOW I’ll be the one showing the merits and creativity of my friend’s work.

Please stop by if you’re in the Burlington, Vermont area.

Vintage Inspired • Friday May 1st, 5-8pm, Saturday noon-5pm • 180 Flynn Ave

Here are links to see their work:

http://www.eenadee.com/ (Ina Deane/jewelry designer)

http://www.janefrank.net/ (Jane Frank/master goldsmith)

http://cbsacks.com/ (Kara Greenblott/bag designer/upcycled coffee sacks)

http://www.lynnereed.com/ (Lynne Reed/contemporary painter)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/glassart-by-gabrielle/927215810628357 (Gabrielle Baumann/fused glass artist)

http://www.oldworldgardendesign.net/ (Silvia Jope/garden designer)

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