November 18, 2014

Talmadge Art Show

This Sunday, find me with my lavender goods and bookstrings at Talmadge Art Show at Liberty Station in San Diego.  My usual spot is against the East windows.  Follow your nose to the lavender scent.  Here is a link to the location.  See you there for a hug and a hello!

Thank you for shopping local and supporting an independent artisan.

November 11, 2014

Eye Masks

Eye masks are filled with lavender and flaxseed for a relaxing nap.  These are some of the hand-dyed silks I'm sewing for Monday's event.  Check the sidebar for the address and get 'em before they're gone.  You know you want one (or two).

October 28, 2014

Artisan Festival

November 2, Sunday * 9am to 3pm
Artisan Festival
Temple Emanu-El
San Diego, California

Please join me to begin your holiday shopping.  You'll see two items in my booth:  Beaded bookstrings long enough to wear as lariats and relaxing lavender-filled eye masks in Doshi-silks.

This event is produced by the WRJ Sisterhood at Temple Emanu-El, 6299 Capri Drive in San Diego, a group of women dedicated to do mitzvoth, or good deeds, and enhancing friendships.  Funds earned from their raffle is donated back to the community.  Raffle prizes are items donated by each attending artisan.  If nothing else, come to see this temple.  It's an architectural masterpiece designed by architect David Singer and sacred space designer Laurie Gross Schaefer.

September 20, 2014

Abandoned No More

A bowl of mixed beads captured my attention because of the colors, textures and different sizes, but inspiration eluded me for years, like since 2010.  What to do with them?  A few pearls were added, then strung and hand knotted.  What a simple little necklace.  I think I'll wear it today.

Years ago I worked in a bead store.  These orangey-red jasper beads were on my Want List for weeks until I finally purchased them.  Employee discounts are a good thing!  The beads became a necklace separated by bright vermeil spacers.  It never laid well on my neck, it was heavy and the shiny gold was passe.  It was never worn.  This week I took it apart and reworked it.  The green glass gives it some punch, and the wavy antiqued brass "sequins" create an interesting V-shape along the angled sides of the jasper drops.  This beauty is now in my online shop.  Make it yours.

July 18, 2014

First Thursdays Art

Come see me for a hug and a hello at this wonderful venue, The Headquarters, in San Diego's waterfront area.  I'll have lavender pillows in beautiful Asian fabrics and bookstrings.  Something else is in the works too, so stay tuned.

May 2, 2014

Fine Bookstrings

Save the place in your reading material with the finest bookmark ever (IMHO). I made tassels of seed pearls and finished the other end with Peking glass -- look closely on the metal sleeves of the teardrops for the brilliant blue Kingfisher feather snips. Other materials I used are pink tourmaline, vintage ivory, carved bone, tanzanite, wood, Swarovski crystals, brass, red cinnabar and glass. Two of my favorites are the green agates carved with golden dragons and the pearlized Om beads from an old mala.

Your hardcovers and paperbacks deserve the enhancement and will feel good as something to fondle while you read. These bookstrings will be available at the Talmadge Art Show this Sunday. See the sidebar for more information. Those that remain will be sold in my online shop next week. If you see something you like, write to me and I'll put it aside. They are $65 each.

April 30, 2014

Like Us on Facebook

So, here's the thing:  I'm always on Facebook.  Maybe you are too?  I'm embarrassed to say it, but some news of current events comes to me from this social media.   Maybe yours does too?   Join me there by clicking on the blue LIKE US ON FACEBOOK button on this blog's sidebar.

The ABC Rags Facebook page is updated with in-process work.  This blog will show completed work.  Either way, you'll get the news.

If you decide to click "Like," also consider selecting "Get Notifications" so posts will show in your News Feed.

If you find there are too many posts, turn off notifications by removing the check mark next to "Following" (image below) and my updates will only appear in your Pages Feed.  Pages Feed is on the left sidebar of your Facebook account and you have to click it to see the pages you follow.

I hope to see you there!

April 15, 2014

Talmadge Art Show

What's Mother's Day and Spring without the Talmadge Art Show?!  Please join me in a couple of weeks for this event.  It's one of my favorites and I'll be in my usual spot along the east window.

April 11, 2014

New Series

Reworked Barbie #1 is complete.  I love this!  (And I hope you do too.)  The orange silk-blend is vintage kimono.  The green and red sheer is a shibori hand-dyed silk by Doshi.  The feathers came from an artist-friend's bird.  A length of fishing line is attached to her so she can be hung on your wall.

You'll have to see her in person.  She will be for sale this Sunday at the art show listed on the sidebar.   I hope to see you there!

March 25, 2014

Doll Works

I love playing with dolls, even at this age.  My skills are vastly different than when I first began sewing, and I have that to draw upon.  I've learned many more techniques since then!  The best part has been recouping some of my childhood's sense of creativity and adventure, with results that are a triumph and a surprise.

Following is the start of my next series, "Bound to Fashion," where the theme is wrapping, like the tiny feet of my paternal grandmother, and the enslavement that women have endured, often by choice, in order to stay in vogue.

I've got L'Wren Scott on my mind -- have you read this article?  How do you feel about making choices based on vanity?  Or are you aware of it?  I have made my share of choices (aka, mistakes) following this route.  Miss Scott excelled at it.  I will miss her creativity.

March 24, 2014

Heavenly Scented

As if I'd forgotten, I have a show coming up in a few weeks.  Are you with me?!  If you are, freshly-sewn lavender pillows will be available in vintage and modern Chinese brocades, shibori silks and woolens hand-dyed by Doshi, and vintage Japanese kimono and obi textiles.  Some fabrics have handstitched embellishments.   Get 'em while they're fresh, $24 each, and filled with lavender harvested from the Provence region in the South of France.  Mmm, the scent is intoxicating.

Please join me in a few weeks.  There is a map-link on the sidebar.
As you might have guessed, Barbies have taken a back-seat to getting these shop-staples sewn and stuffed. Stay tuned for Barbie transformations.

March 15, 2014

Wherein Barbie Takes a Bath

It started with normal cleaning materials:  cotton balls, Q-tips, alcohol, and a damp rag.  Results weren't forthcoming, so after reading how others restored old Barbies, twelve dolls went into the bath water, complete with shampoo and toothbrush.  No photography needed if you can imagine their histories of being dragged around, loved, handled with sticky fingers, taken to play dates, handed down to younger siblings, etc.  The bath water was grey and the hair was matted.  It was not the quick clean up I thought it would be.  I even used a pencil eraser to remove dirt from the skin.  Barbie hair is synthetic and a hairdryer helped to smooth waves set-in by rubberbands.  The results are dramatic as you can see.


March 14, 2014


As I finished sewing a color group, my intention was to share photos, but I was on a roll and couldn't stop.  All the machine sewing is done!  It feels good to admire a pile of nearly-finished work.  Stuffing and sewing comes next.

In the meantime, I will play with dolls.  This is what I have to work with.

March 6, 2014

In Production

Frankly, sewing small pillows is not very exciting, unless I'm working with vintage Chinese brocades, Japanese obi and kimono pieces, and Doshi-dyed silks in brilliant hues, color combinations which give me pause and textures that make me stop to caress.  Just think if these were plain muslin -- what a snoozer that would be!  Stay tuned.  More colors and images to come.

If you see nearly-made pillows that tickle your fancy, imagine the heady scent of lavender, and send me an email to hold it for you.  Once they're done, I'll pop them into the mail -- $24 each, plus $3 postage.

March 4, 2014

Rubberstamp Logo

Ahh, finally, I've got a rubberstamp of my logo.  You know how good it feels, and what a relief, to check off a long-standing item on the To Do List!  The first things I stamped were muslin bags meant to hold precious bookstrings.  Next will be tissue paper and then labels. Ooh, boy, one could go a little bonkers stamping everything until the ink runs out.

I send thanks to my friends who helped me look it over before I had the image set in stone/rubber.

February 19, 2014

Purse Organizers

Purse organizers are what's going on in the sewing room.  The gold fabrics are all silk.  The grey check is a silk blend.  Pockets are pleated to hold bulky items.

My handbag is a mess and there are never enough pockets inside.  Sometimes, manufacturers sew interior pockets too high, making it easy to reach for keys, but put your handbag down and the whole thing crumples from misplaced weight.  With an organizer, the weight is at the bottom of my bag.

These are 15" long and with five pockets on one side, each 3.5" deep.  Mine is folded in half (a prototype without pleats) and I can find everything easily.  Eyeglasses aren't be protected because of depth, however, credit cards, cell phone, keys, etc. are within easy reach.

Stay tuned.  Eventually, these will be available in my online shop.

January 7, 2014

Refusal to Waste

This wastebasket was given to me in 1988 as part of a bridal shower gift.  It has served me well these many years, even outlasting my first marriage, and was broken last week.  Although it went into the trash on collection day, hubby retrieved it onice I decided I could repair it.  While I don't mind spending money on a new one, I am conscious of adding to landfills and, besides, remaking it means I get exactly what I want.

I used E6000 glue, gesso to blank out the ducks and ribbons decoration, recycled tissue paper, lacy mulberry paper, and gel medium.