December 3, 2013

Come and Get 'Em!

I'm selling Tooth Fairies this Friday at this event.  Tooth Fairies have hand-drawn faces surrounded by a glow-in-the-dark halo and are flat, meant to go under a pillow.  Best of all is the pocket on her back to hold a tooth and the money that replaces it.  There's a tab on the back so she can be hung on the wall in between fallen teeth.  Read more in a previous post.

November 24, 2013

Talmadge Art Show

Find me here today from 10a to 4p.  Follow your nose to the scent of French lavender-filled pillows and other treats.  My full complement of goodies will be for sale.

October 30, 2013

November Events

Buy local, stay local and support local.  Come on out and start your holiday shopping.  Handmade goods are waiting for you.  

This weekend I will be at these events with a plethora of treats:  Happy boxes ($30 to $55), "Love" stamp book strings ($22), lavender pillows made with luscious Chinese brocades, Japanese textiles or new shibori-dyed silks ($22 to $37), and wine bottle hat/scarf sets of five ($23).  Tooth Fairies will be looking for new homes as well ($22).  There are still a few purse hooks ($25), Shakespearean magnet sets ($15), and two reworked kimono silk rag baskets ($65).  Spend $100 and get a handmade cloth tote bag.  NOTE:  If there is something special you remember from my blog or my online shop, be sure to let me know and I will bring it.  

Appointments to visit my studio can be made for in-person selections.  Stay tuned for December events.

Make the pledge to buy handmade and local.  I send warmest gratitude for supporting an independent artist.
, Lauren

October 6, 2013


Without thinking, I fried vintage sari fabric.  I thought it was silk, but I was wrong.

September 12, 2013

The Tooth Fairy

At my first art shows, my first handmade items were Tooth Fairies.  I went crazy buying fabrics that were fun and kid-friendly, but not cute or juvenile.  I sewed zillions of them, but in recent years they've rarely made appearances unless people ask.  I brought them to a show recently and I'd forgotten how wonderful it is to watch people rack their brains trying to think of a child to buy one for.  Once I had an older man tell me he was getting one for his adult daughter just to prove that the Tooth Fairy really does exist.  It's my favorite Tooth Fairy buyer's story.

The Tooth Fairy is a 9" doll with a hand-drawn face.  She is stuffed with quilt batting and is purposely flat to go under a child's pillow.  On her back is a pocket for the fallen tooth and then the coin that replaces it.  When not in use, the Tooth Fairy can hang on the wall by the little loop on her back.  $22 buys a whole lot of fun for children when they begin losing teeth at about age 5 or 6.

Sometimes people ask me for boy fairies.  Well, I have something to say about that:  Tooth Fairies are female.  Everyone knows fairies are female, save for a few dear friends of mine.  I'm from SF, after all.

August 21, 2013

Reworking It

There are still two rag baskets available ($65 each).  Both were made from the Japanese kimono silk.  Today I reworked the embellishments because the baskets haven't been acquired yet.  It always helps to freshen things up!  What do you think?

August 17, 2013

It's (Talmadge Art) Show Time

What are you doing next Sunday?  I'll be at the Talmadge Art Show hawking my wares.  See the sidebar for details.  ArtWalk is being held within walking distance -- it's a good day to get your fill of handmade work.

Come see new Happy Boxes in my booth -- check them out here. A new series of bookstrings will be introduced that have collaged beads made with cancelled "Love" postage stamps.  Bookstrings with vintage Chinese beads are still available.  I will bring lavender pillows made with luscious Chinese brocades, Japanese textiles and new shibori-dyed silks.  Ask me for the special price on lavender pillows:  Four for $88, plus one free.  Spend $100 and get a handmade cloth tote bag.  NOTE:  If there is something special you remember from my blog or my online shop, be sure to let me know so I can bring it.

Treats that don't sell on Sunday will be listed in my online shop during the following week.  Appointments to visit my studio can be made for in-person selections.

Make the pledge to buy handmade and local.  I send my gratitude for your support of an independent artist.

, Lauren

July 31, 2013

Onto Something New

New collage work started on red-dyed bamboo beads, with cancelled love stamps.

July 30, 2013

It's a Done Deal

I thought I'd be stuck working on these for the rest of my creative days.  Alas, the light at the end of the tunnel began to burn bright this past week.  I got excited about them again, as I did in the many spurts and stops along the path.  Here, I present Happy Boxes, a place to store some "happy" when you're feeling blue.  Open the top, dig some out and spread it all over your life.

If they look familiar, it's because this was a continued exploration of collage such as I did with Happy Houses last Spring.

The largest is 8"h x 6"w x6"d.

Each box is laced closed on one side with Irish waxed linen or cotton string.

Layers of colored tissue, acrylic paint and handmade paper fibers embellish the sides.  In many cases, secret writing occupies space on the walls, both inside and out.  Much of it is stream of consciousness blather, and almost always in a positive vein. 

A few are without tops.

This is among the tiniest boxes at approximately 4" x 4" x4".   I adore this particular one.

This is another favorite.  Who'da thunk blue and red would go so well together?

I love colored tissue.

Happy Boxes were constructed from children's board books found at library bookstores.  The Big Bad Wolf peers out from among red torn tissue strips.

The tops (and bottoms) are lined with felt, and a fitted core to keep the top in place.

July 25, 2013


These are examples of items for sale at Fall art shows.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Lavender-filled pillows made with vintage and new Chinese brocades

Lavender-filled pillows made with vintage Japanese kimono and obi cloth

Lavender-filled pillows made from shibori-dyed silks and woolens

Mixed media Happy Houses made with collaged elements and acrylic paint

Bookstrings (bookmarks) made with vintage Peking glass and new beads

The Tooth Fairy, flat enough to go under a child's pillow

The Tooth Fairy's "backpack" for a tooth and a coin

July 2, 2013

Streaming Choices

Stream of consciousness, stream of consciousness, stream of consciousness, and on and on...  Can you go one on one with your brain, keep up the steady stream of chatter, both negative and positive, a running commentary of the fight that clouds your mind, altering choices from this way to that, never really making a decision because forces outside are making them, causing sway?  It might be your mother, it might be your father, or it is that girl in grammar school that you admired and hated at the same time because you wanted to be exactly like her but she hated you because you were dull and uninteresting. It might be a non-choice:  a rebellious act, neither your choice, really.  and then before you realize it your life is half over -- is there still time remaining to live for me, to make my own choices, rather than to please others?  what the hell -- who am I living for?!!  Live for me,  Live for me.  Live for me.  Live for me.  Live for me.  Live for me.  Repeat as necessary.

June 26, 2013

June 6, 2013

Filling the Gap

We have a Murphy bed in our guest room.  When the bed is open, there is an unsightly gap of about 5" between the mattress and the headboard/wall.  After we moved here, I vowed to do something about that space.  Some things just take forever to get to!  Once I got started, it took four hours to complete.
At the upholstery store, I bought six foam remnants for $1 each.
Two pieces were glued together using spray adhesive to make one long piece.  Anyone want four pieces of foam?!
My pal Nancy gave me batting left over from edges of quilts she makes.  Wrapping foam softens the corners.  I used a stream of Fabri-Tac glue to keep the batting in place.
I used Fabric-Tac again to keep the face fabric in place too.  Nothing was machine-sewn.  A fell stitch was used to close the silk.  I use a fell stitch more than any other stitch.
The ends are closed like gift-wrap.  It's a little messy, but I don't care.  No one except our Minister of the Interior, "Benzo" Garduño, will pull up the bolster to inspect it.  
It's a bit wrinkled from being 1" too long, but I'm glad it's finished.  Bed pillows go over this now.

June 4, 2013

It's (kinda) All About Me

My self-portrait is finished.  Although an actual picture of me isn't on these two canvases, many details of my childhood are in secret writing, even though most are obscured by layers.

I thought about this project for nearly four years.  My creative process can be lengthy and a project may take ages to conceive, plus there are delays from fear of failure.  Elements piled up in my room and in my head, but the big, fat kick-in-the-butt was when I told my friend Claudia about my idea and (more than once, apparently, because) she said, "Lauren, you've been talking about this for a year."  Oh boy, she had no idea!  Don't get me wrong; it wasn't Claudia's intention to embarrass me -- she's my pal, after all.  Did I have enough materials?  Was I ready to begin?  It was another five months before completion, because I can procrastinate like the best of them.  Earlier posts are herehere and here

Here are stages of the work, plus some of the text which is hidden in scribbles.  I won't reveal all of the words because, after all, it is "secret writing."

spring valley nob hill chinatown library ymca swimming pool tao tao grant avenue sun sing theatre stockton street commercial alley lem’s grocery store cable car barn marina junior high 2nd princess kdia 55 sacramento peacock café ping yuen hung tao yee foo wonton firecrackers curb dog portsmouth square chinese rec center chicken feet melon soup jook chicken feet pau-pau gung-gung cameron house loretta yosh for hair frosty’s sun hung heung hon’s wonton house chinese historical society sam wo gee yuk beng hom yee fairmont hotel huntington park comstock building st. mary’s drum and bell corp -- When I was a little girl my daddy said this little girl looked just like his Lauri; I felt so proud because she’s beautiful