Between Shows

From Miscellaneous

(see what a little rain will do. haven’t seen this in bloom since spring)

Taking a few minutes to relax now that I’m between shows. Delivered my wares and helped with check-in for the Contemporary Handweaver’s of Houston sale. The sale started today and will continue on through Saturday. Check for details at http://www.weavehouston.org. The items available are fabulous, as usual. The members go all out supplying the sale with their wonderful woven, spun and dyed pieces.

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(it’s fall and the shrimp plant has gone wild, as usual.)

Load in is tomorrow for the Bayou City Bead Works, which begins on Friday. This event is hosted by Houston Bead Society. Schedule and venue details can be found at http://www.houstonbeadsociety.org (along with a discount coupon). There will be lots of goodies there also. The show will continue through Sunday.

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(if you look very closely at the inflorescence in the top center, you’ll see a very large bumble bee hanging off the bottom flower.)

As soon as all these are over, the International Quilt Festival will begin. Although I am no longer an exhibitor, I seem to have found myself scheduled for at least three days of activities. Looking forward to it.

Hopefully, I’ll run into some of you during the next 10 days.

Fascinating Book

From Miscellaneous

For anyone interested in the history of bead, button and jewelry glass, this is a fascinating book about the group of people who created the most interesting glass in the world. Over the centuries these people developed glass that mimicked gemstones as well as developed glass finishes never seen in nature. To this day, some of the lost formulas for ‘Czech’ glass have not been able to be replicated.

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The Bohemians created not only glass stones, beads and buttons but decorative items as well. Below is some of the lovely jewelry they created. Notice the intricate wirework.

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Beautiful buttons. The workmanship is fantastic. Currently these are machine made. Originally, they were hadmade.

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This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in how the art of creating jewelry glass evolved.

Conferences

This summer started with a bang. Two weeks ago I was a vendor at the Contemporary Handweaver’s of Texas (CHT) bi-annual conference. It was held in Addison (Dallas), Texas. Last week I was a vendor at the Surface Design Association (SDA) bi-annual conference held in San Antonio, Texas.  Typically, as a vendor, you don’t get to see much of the conference activities but you do have the opportunity to see some of their exhibits as well as all of the other vendors.

I have been at several CHT conferences and do enjoy the Member’s Exhibit.  This year I didn’t submit any pieces but certainly was very impressed by the work that was there.  The venue was also very, very nice.  The conference was held at the Addison Conference Center, which is a very interesting building, located in a park setting.  Well done Dallas Handweaver’s Guild.

The SDA conference was a first for me.  I was able to check out the library, member donations (unbelievable pincushions and tote bags) for general fundraising, as well as the silent auction.  Fantastic work done by the members.  I also did not submit anything for the member’s exhibit here and didn’t have a chance to see the work submitted by others.

What I did do at both conferences was take the opportunity to do some shopping with some of the folks I don’t have a chance to see very often as well as meet some new people.

At CHT:

From Red Fish Dyeworks

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From Giovanna Imperia (why I just don’t go to her studio here at home is beyond me!)

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From a new friend and, hopefully, a new exhibitor at the International Quilt Festival – Leslie of Cimarrona

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The items above are all made from recycled wool garments.  They are wonderful.

At SDA:

From Giovanna Imperia (photo does not show the little sequins scattered throughout the fiber)

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From John Marshall (missed his trunk show in Houston but made up for it here with all the silk skeins)

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From  Takako of Habu: (gorgeous colors of stainless yarn)

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From Joan McGee: (creator of one-of-a-kind wearable art- some of her fabric scraps-yummy)

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Yes, I did come home with a little change left in my jeans.

Catch Up

Can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. I’ll try to catch up with what I’ve been doing since then.

All the weaving guilds in Texas have been getting ready for our bi-annual conference. One of the things the Houston guild is doing is to create table favors. These are some of the ones I made (hint: they’re pincushions). Unfortunately, woven fabric is not mine but made by several of our talented members. They are very cute.

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A couple of weeks ago was the Gathering of the Guilds at the Center for Contemporary Craft. This year the Houston Bead Society participated. This is a picture of our table as set up. As the day went on (and a great day it was except for the flooding rain) and HBS members came to demonstrate their craft, more and more wonderful examples were laid out on the table. All the visitors really enjoyed what they saw. It was a successful day and, hopefully, we will participate again next year.

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We’ve also been through another Hands On First Saturday at the Craft Center. This month, to remind everyone of the upcoming Empty Bowls event, we made ‘slump’ bowls with non-firing clay, leaves and tempura paint. Had lots of messy fun. My blue bowl didn’t slump much (a little too much clay for the form) but my orange bowl folded in well.

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Museum Fun

Sorry about being a week late showing you the wonderful project we did at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. This was the monthly Hands On activity that happens the first Saturday of each month. No matter how the project (felt flowers) was approached, everyone had a beautiful piece to take home.

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Next month we’ll be making slab bowls as a reminder of Empty Bowls Houston which will be held on May 18th.

Not to forget, Museum Day for District 2 (which includes the Craft Center) will be on the 27th of April. In conjunction with that will be the Gathering of the Guilds at the Craft Center. Check the Museum District’s website for details. (http://houstonmuseumdistrict.org/the_museum_experience/)

Spring Surprises

A couple of years ago a friend of mine gave me a very small Angel Trumpet plant. We weren’t sure of the color. I was hoping for salmon, but it didn’t really matter. Last year there was more growth but, unfortunately, no flowers.

This past winter we had no real freeze so all my plants needed some serious trimming. While cutting down the monster rose that grew next to the Angel Trumpet, I saw buds. There were three of them. Yay!

Until the flowers are fully open you can’t really tell what color they will be. Patience, however, rewarded me with the color I had been hoping for.

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Beautiful. I look forward to seeing more blooms throughout the year.

New Beginnings

The holidays are over (do miss the outdoor lights). The days are starting to get longer (yay!!). Winter, however, is still here. While I’m not a big fan of winter I do enjoy seeing the yaupon berries. This year it seems our shrub has an abundance of them.

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We’ve had a bit of rain so far this year (yay again!). Still not enough to make up for the deficit but enough to bring some of my wildflowers into bloom. Looks like as soon as the ground dries up a little it will be time to get started on some spring clean up. The roses may still be blooming but in a few weeks it will be time for their annual pruning. The purple martin house needs to be cleaned in the next couple of weeks. Planned transplanting will need to be done soon.

Even with winter still here, new beginnings will be here shortly.

Holiday Addition

At a recent holiday show I was able to obtain an origami reindeer created by my friend, Marguerite Belkin. She does wonderful origami as well as other fabulous paper-based crafts.

I added the reindeer to my small holiday scene and it absolutely completed the look. It was the perfect addition.

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You can’t see it in the picture but the reindeer and its gold antlers are made from sparkly paper. Fabulous.

Happy Holidays to all.

HCCC Hands On – Last One This Year

The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft has a fabulous ‘Hands On’ program the first Saturday of each month. I have tried (and came close to succeeding) volunteering my help for each one this year. The final one for the year was presented by the wonderful and interesting ladies from the Gourd Society. Our project was to make a gourd brooch. We didn’t have a huge crowd this month (everyone out shopping??) but we had a great time and I think several moms will be receiving one these wonderful brooches.

One of the perks in volunteering is that you have to know how to do the project so that you are able to help the folks that come in.

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Above are my efforts (you do have to make at least one to know how to do it, right?). Don’t you just love those sparkly ‘jewels’?

Seriously, it is a great activity for the whole family and I’m eager to find out what the projects will be next year. If you live in the Houston area, do come down on the first Saturday and plan to have fun and learn something new.

Holiday Sale

My last show for the year is coming up: Joan Son’s Holiday Sale. As it is said – it may be the last but it is certainly not the least. We always have such a great time.

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There are a total of 9 artists participating. Each is skilled in a different discipline. It makes for a very interesting show. This year I will be bringing only my braids(kumihimo). Oh, and of course, my pepper jelly will also be available.

In case you can’t see the details in the photo, the sale is Friday, Dec. 7th (noon – 8pm), Saturday, Dec 8th (10 – 6pm) and Sunday, Dec 9th (noon – 6pm). The location is Joan Son’s studio on 904 Welch (behind Texas Art Supply on Montrose). For more information check http://www.joanson.com.

Look forward to seeing everyone again.