Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sadie's "Done"

I received an email from Seyedeh (Sadie) Javanmard who shared one of her Dones with me, and has given me the OK to share it here.

Sadie said
I read your blog regularly and I enjoy it. It is full of inspiration and lessons and I am learning a lot.

It's been a long time since I wanted to try to see if I can design, draw and make something in Photoshop and Illustrator in just one day? My husband & I recently moved to Irvine, so before I get my sewing stuff set up, I did designed my "Vampire Whistle" in just 4 hours!

I am so happy about it and here they are the images.

Perfect timing for the coming weekend.

Below you can see her initial sketch, the starting point of her drawing. The rest she did in the computer using Adobe Photoshop.

Sadie uses my book "Adobe Photoshop for Fashion Design". I love to see what people do!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mesa Students at Work!

One of my many pleasurable tasks as a Professor of Fashion at San Diego Mesa College, is to go out and visit my students who are taking the Work Experience course. This course allows them to get credit for work done in the fashion industry.

A few weeks ago, I went to visit Keith, a student who is interning for Jeanne Reith at the Lamb Player's Theatre on Coronado Island.

The costume shop was working on the production of a play called Joyful Noise, which is the story behind Handel writing the Messiah.

Here you can see Keith working on patterns and garments for one of Handel's jackets.

Here is Jeanne, standing with one of her creations.

Below are a few more shots of amazing costume!

Lamb's Player's Theatre,

Coronado Island, San Diego, CA

Done #2: Handknit Sweater

OK.. I'm on a roll. I dug through my hall closet and pulled out all the UFO's (unfinished objects). Most are sweaters, in progress, and most simply need the final finishing. I tend to keep all my projects in tote bags. That way, all things are together, and when I take a car trip, it is easy to quickly grab a project to work on.

So, here is Done#2.

This is a simple rectangular-based sweater. I knit it out of a yarn I picked up in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

Essentially the sweater is a rectangle, knit side to side. I cast-on, knit across a front, and until I hit the armhole, then, cast off and shaped an armhole, knit a couple of rows, then cast-on and shaped the other side of the armhole. Then, on to the back, create another armhole, and then come to the front.

The sleeves are slightly bell shaped, and I created a little drawstring to cinch them in.

Of course, I made the pattern in Garment Designer, to simplify my life, and to facilitate the shaping of a set-in sleeve. I used copper buttons to finish the asymmetrical wrap, and attach to the ties on each sleeve.

Thanks to Cassandra for modeling!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Done #1: Mosaic Frame Project

Here is Done #1

A few years ago, my sister Chris and I took a mosaic workshop in Italy. I came home with two pieces of mosaic, both in wood frames. Well, the frames just tugged at me to have a stain or finish, and I finally got there.

My friend Shirley assisted me with the process. She is a woodworker, and she and her husband have helped me with various projects (see the Window Frame bulletin board in the prior post). It didn't take much to finish the pieces; just a little stain, and a little time, and a great friend.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

"To Do" versus "Done"

A few weeks ago, I was involved in a discussion with a group of women. Our topic? Which is better; having a To-Do list, or having a Done list. The banter back and forth was interesting and amongst a group of nine women, very animated. I was completely drawn into the thought process and I have been thinking about it ever since.

The argument for choosing to work with Dones (as opposed to To-Do’s), is that Dones are much more positive. A To-Do, is always something hanging over your head, waiting in the wings be dealt with; it looms, it haunts, it weighs you down. A Done on the other hand, is a much more positive thing. Dones come with a sense of success, a check-mark, the removal of guilt and all sorts of other good things. And of course, the Done comes without ever mentally having had a To-Do.

So, over the weeks, I have been experimenting, and I have found, that I actually need both in my life. My To-Do’s are necessary for the menial day-to-day things, in order to keep me on-track. My Dones, on the other hand are reserved for projects that have been hanging in limbo. I don’t want them on my To-Do list, as there would be too many of them, Yet, it feels SO good to actually take care of things, and I find I am motivated to grow the number of Dones in my life.

So, you will begin to see some of my Dones here on this blog. I also invite any of you who read, to comment, and share your Dones with the rest of us. If you want, email me a picture, and I’ll share that as well. Email me at

Monday, October 19, 2009

Salvaging the Past

I grew up on a farm in rural Ontario, Canada. Washing and hanging out clothes was a regular activity. Below you see the house, and to the right, my mom... as she reached out the 'Wash Window' and hung up the clothes.

A year ago, the house was demolished, which is really sad, as it was a beautiful century-old home. While I was visiting my folks, and prior to the actual tearing down, I went back to the farm with a high school buddy, a crow bar, hammer, screw driver, and some determination. I was able to get some hardware, an old door, door nobs, molding, gingerbread trim, part of the porch, and of course... the old wash window. My parents thought I was crazy. This in part, because I live nearly 3000 miles away.

Determination is a great thing. I have managed to get all things here to San Diego area. ... and slowly, I am building creative projects with them.

Here is the bulletin board friends helped me create, using the window as a frame. Thanks to Ed and Shirley... they work great things with my old wood.

Below.. a closeup of the old door handle, and the cool air vents at the bottom of the window.

It's time to fill up the bulletin board with creative inspirations.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mesa College Student Projects.... the First Dress

This weekend I have been busy grading "little girl's dresses". Yes, that's right. I'm teaching Clothing Construction this semester, and my students just completed their first sewing project: a little girl's dress.

The project teaches them a variety of skills, using both industry and fine-sewing techniques. Nearly thirty students have sewn these dresses, and are they adorable?
Here you see some of the class, holding up their projects.

Now you can see my assembly line grading... I line up all the dresses, by hanging them on a broom stick between two chairs. Then, I can easily look at all the dresses if I want, as I examine each and every one. I wish my first sewing project looked so good!

Here is a close-ups of a few of the dresses.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


It is Sunday today, a day of rest and thoughtfulness. I love this day, as I sit quietly and reflect back on my week.

Today, I am thinking about a hike I took on a Sunday about a month ago. A friend and I drove up to Laguna Hills, and hiked a trail that was supposed to be two miles long. Well, somehow we got lost (don't ask me how, as we were walking a straight-line type of trail). Our two miles turned into about seven or eight miles. I ached the next day, as there were hills involved.

I had read a quote on the wall of the nature center before we left, and it became my saving grace, to encourage me to "keep going" even though we didn't know where we were or how long it would take us to get back.

Here is the quote:

" I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chords that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breath?"

Kate Chopin, American Author

Monday, October 5, 2009

Art in Santa Fe

Canyon Road is an area where there are many artist galleries clustered together, so on Saturday I was able to visit a few of them.

I went to visit the Gallerie Corazon. Heidi Kujat is an artist who displays her work in this gallery, and I have been drawn to not only her sculpture but to the way she works and designs her pieces. Heidi sculpts in bronze, and her pieces are women. Some are what she calls “tree goddesses” in that their skirts extend out what appears to be roots. Each of Heidi’s pieces represent and portray some feeling or emotion. My three favorite were Clarity, Heart Path, and Setting Dreams in Motion. Here you can see Heart Path, and I must say this was my absolute favorite. She is not a tree goddess, but one of Heidi’s other limited edition pieces. Heart Path revolves around the emotion of forgiveness. You can see it here, with Heidi.

I plan to own one of Heidi’s pieces in the future. So, it’s time to start securing additional means of making my ‘art’ money. By this I mean.. I only buy art with monies I generate from my own art. So… time to get busy. I’ll figure it out.

Gallerie Corazon
703 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501

The Jane Sauer Gallery had just opened a new show by Mary O’Shaughnessy. It is called Daughters of Memory, and is a collection of dress form/mannequins built into art pieces using a variety of materials, particularly paper. The show runs through the month of October until the 27th, so if you are Santa Fe, it is a “must see”.

The Jane Sauer Gallery
652 Canyon Road,
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New Mexico Visit: Lecture in Santa Fe

This weekend I have been in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area of New Mexico. I taught two workshops at Ryan’s Sewing Machine on Friday in Albuquerque and had a lovely time with the students in my classes.

Then, on to Santa Fe, one of my top favorite places in the United States. I had Saturday free, so ventured around town. I visited the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to view not only her art, but photographs of her and by her husband Alfred Stieglitz, and other photographers.

Today I presented a lecture for the Santa Fe Textile Arts Alliance. My topic was The Foibles of Fashion. In other words, I talked about all the strange quirks and happenings related to fashion through history. I had wanted to research this topic for years, and this lecture gave me the opportunity to make the time to do it. I enjoyed my research, and enjoyed presenting it to textile and fashion enthusiasts. Thanks to the Alliance for inviting me.

As many of you know, I love to walk the streets at night to photograph the window displays. Here you can see several images of wonderful southwestern-style or art clothing. Some pieces are traditional southwest, some are modern southwest, and some are art wearables.

Lastly, here is a shot of one side of the main square in Santa Fe. Local Indians come in and lay out their craft for tourist to view and/or purchase.