TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List http://www.tafalist.com TAFAList, an international business community of handmade textile and fiber art sources. Thu, 21 May 2015 23:29:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 2015 Spring New Members: Textiles, Dye, Embroidery, Felt, Retailers and Teachers http://www.tafalist.com/2015-spring-new-members/ http://www.tafalist.com/2015-spring-new-members/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 00:44:49 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=19930

TAFA's quarterly showcase of new members: 2015 Jan-Mar: Textiles, Dye, Embroidery, Felt, Retailers and Teachers! Seasoned professionals sharing their art.

The post 2015 Spring New Members: Textiles, Dye, Embroidery, Felt, Retailers and Teachers appeared first on TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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TAFA’s membership is currently at 522, with a core focus on studio artists from around the world. But, we also welcome other organizations, retailers, galleries, museums, schools, and any business working with handmade textiles and fiber art. We do have a selection process, looking for quality, a professional presentation, and we have a bias towards those whose work contribute to making the world a better place (eco-products, recycled, small fiber farms and so on).

This is our first quarterly introduction of our new members. Future ones will be tagged Featured Members so clicking on that will give you the next updates. The next one will be in July, 2015. If you are interested in joining TAFA, find information on our Membership Page. As you can see from this feature, we are diverse! Visit our Member Directory for an alphabetical list or TAFA Members for a visual portfolio of the profiles. The TAFA Members page changes daily as we move members from the bottom to the top.

Click on the titles or images to visit the profiles.

There you will find each member’s links and more information about what they do.

This quarter brings us a focus on textiles, dye, embroidery, retailers and teachers.

A Howling Ruth Production

Kachina Martin of Reading, Pennsylvania (USA) works with dye and nuno felting to create scarves and work for exhibition. She has a shop on Etsy where she sells her accessories.

A Howling Ruth Production - Forgotten

A Howling Ruth Production – Forgotten

 

Alternatives Global Marketplace

We love supporting retailers who emphasize fair trade! Alternatives Global Marketplace works with many groups around the world, with a heavy emphasis on Africa. Lots of great baskets, home decor items and wearables. I especially like their embroidered tops!

Alternatives Global Marketplace_ Fair Trade Home  Decor

Alternatives Global Marketplace – Fair Trade Home Decor

Cloth and Goods

Cloth and Goods had a brick and mortar location when they joined us but have moved to an online presence only. Melissa Newirth’s clean aesthetic incorporates vintage textiles into home decor items. She loves indigo, so if you are partial to those blues, you will find them there!

Cloth and Goods Pillows

Cloth and Goods Pillows

Diomio’s

Irinel Popescu landed in Jacksonville, Florida, but has traveled the world! Her jewelry is influenced by tribal cultures and has all the flair you could want in wearable art!

Diomio's Fiber Art Bohemian Necklace Red Feathers

Diomio’s Fiber Art Bohemian Necklace Red Feathers

Ellen November Fiber Artist

Combining a love for cartography with recycled shirting, Ellen November has developed her own recognizable signature in the art quilts she makes.

Ellen November Fiber Artist - Santa Monica - cartography pier -upcycled

Ellen November Fiber Artist – Santa Monica – cartography pier -upcycled

Heather Dubreuil

A Canadian artist in Hudson, Quebec, Heather blends architecture with color in a most pleasing way!

Heather Dubreuil - Architectural City Scape Art Quilt -Memories of Newtown, 2014

Heather Dubreuil – Architectural City Scape Art Quilt -Memories of Newtown, 2014

Jacqueline K Calladine

An eco-dyer, Jacqueline lives in Kirkland, Washington (USA) where she engages the community in the connections between land and art.

JKCalladine-plantdye-placeinspired-ecofashion

JKCalladine-plantdye-placeinspired-ecofashion

Jan R. Carson

Jan has had a successful business creating aerial installations for public spaces. Sewing these tiny bits of fabric is a recent direction, an exploration of color and movement. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado (USA). She has small versions of her mobiles in her shop on Etsy, perfect for a home or office!

Jan_R_Carson_Textile_Wall_Art_Cloud_Triptych_2013_RoomView-72

Jan R Carson Textile Wall Art – Cloud Triptich

Michelle Kingdom

Michelle Kingdom’s small embroideries come with impact. Each stitch adds movement and definition to the scene. Make sure you visit her portfolio on her website, showcasing a broad range of work. Michelle jumped in with both feet when she joined TAFA and submitted three pieces for our new shop. Go check them out!

Michelle Kingdom Embroidery - All Those Layers of Opacity

Michelle Kingdom Embroidery – All Those Layers of Opacity

Raija Jokinen

Raija Jokinen is our first member from Finland and we are so pleased to have her! TAFA is an international organization with members in over 44 countries, although our base is still in the United States. We would like to become a destination where textiles and fiber art can be found from all over the world and we are moving in that direction.  Raija’s work is so amazing…  Even after I read about her process, I’m not sure if I understand how she finally puts it all together. She pulls apart flax fibers, dyes them and then paints the into the images she creates. Then she sews them to keep them together. At any rate, these fragile pieces explore the relationship of the body to emotions and energy. Similar studies have been made of plants and animals, too.

Raija Jokinen Textile - Bright Thoughts - anatomical art

Raija Jokinen Textile – Bright Thoughts – anatomical art

Rutongo Embroideries

Juliana Meehan visited Rwanda in 2011 and fell in love with an embroidery project she encountered there. Her site seeks to support these women through select sales of the work along with exhibit opportunities. Their story is one of strength and survival, and above all, the ability to capture joy after so much suffering.

Rutongo Embroideries – Rwanda Africa embroidery blended threads – Happy Young Woman

Rutongo Embroideries – Rwanda Africa embroidery blended threads – Happy Young Woman

The Pacific Northwest Art School

One of the important charges for the leaders in our community is to pass on the knowledge of how to work with textiles and fiber art. Many of these processes take years to master and the sharing of techniques ensures that the next generation will have the ability to continue this important work. The Pacific Northwest Art School is one of these meccas of learning! We were so pleased when they joined as several of our members teach their regularly. See their upcoming workshops on our Events Page! (Note: Dates are European style – Day/Month)

They also chose to support us financially by becoming a Member Sponsor! This support is essential to keep us in operation, so we are very grateful!  Located on Whidbey Island in Washington State (USA), consider learning at this wonderful school!

The Pacific NorthWest Art School

The Pacific NorthWest Art School

Tuscan Rose

Florida artist, Patty Van Dorin, dyes her own fabric, likes to use recycled materials and has a passion for ethnic textiles. Her dyed fabric often end up in quilts, but she also makes great bags which she sells on Etsy, along with the fabric.

tuscan rose improvisational circle quilt commercial repurposed fabric

Tuscan Rose – Improvisational Circle Quilt, Commercial repurposed fabric.

 

Not Yet Listed:

People get busy and I can’t get them up on our site until they send me their info…  :(

These new members will hopefully get their info to me soon. Once they do, they will show up on The List (our Directory). Meanwhile, enjoy a small preview:

Annie Cholewa

Annie dyes, knits and writes patterns. Wrexham, United Kingdom.

Annie Cholewa Dyed Yarns

Annie Cholewa Dyed Yarns

Jayne Gaskins

Jayne combines digital photography with thread painting to create moving portraits and scenes. Fernandina Beach, Florida, USA.

Jayne Gaskins - Solitude

Jayne Gaskins – Solitude

Lisa Binkley Art Quilts & Embroideries

Lovely art quilts incorporating beads and embroidery. Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Lisa Binkley Art Quilts & Embroideries - A Grotto for Spring

Lisa Binkley Art Quilts & Embroideries – A Grotto for Spring

Lynn Cornelius

Tapestry artist and art coach, Lynn also teaches workshops. Fun 3-d innovation! Greeley, Colorado, USA

Lynn Cornelius - The Sky's Loneliness, Tapestry

Lynn Cornelius – The Sky’s Loneliness, Tapestry

MarmaladeRose

Amazing wet felting! So realistic…  Fiona Gill’s passion? Wild animals in nature. Hawes, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

MarmaladeRose - Narsturtium Hare, Wet Felting

MarmaladeRose – Narsturtium Hare, Wet Felting

The Wild ‘N’ Wooly

Michelle Houston needle felts animals, draws and sews. We’re light on the cute factor on TAFA, but when something is cute, it’s heart squishing… Bailieboro, Ontario, Canada.

The Wild 'N' Wooly Needle Felted Mouse

The Wild ‘N’ Wooly Needle Felted Mouse

Laverne Zabielski

Wearable art and home decor using various dye and felting techniques. Monticello, Kentucky, USA.

Laverne Zabielski Vest

Laverne Zabielski Vest

As you can see, we have quite the mix on TAFA! The common language of thread and fiber binds us together. As professionals, our members do represent the best of our textile and fiber art communities, truly making it an honor to be on The List! Talent, however, is but a partnership as it cannot thrive without a supportive audience. We hope that you will engage with our members, get to know them, and support them in whatever way you can. The world is enriched by their hard work!

Our Sponsors keep TAFA tickin’!

Please support them back!

  • Gallery, Wholesaler

    Afghan Tribal Arts Beads and Textiles, natural gemstones from Afghanistan and vintage textiles, following a regular show route in Southeastern USA.

  • Artist, Teacher

    Jane Dunnewold is an artist, teacher and author of surface design techniques. She teaches and lectures internationally and at her studio in San Antonio, Texas.

  • Weaver

    Ann Robinson Textiles weaves beautiful handwoven accessories and dyes the fibers she uses to create fabrics. Her woven art complements classic wardrobes as well as contemporary home and office settings.

  • Retail

    New England Felting Supply is your one-stop shop for all of your felting needs. They also offer classes. Check out the upcoming schedule!

  • Marketing

    Folt Bolt is Kriszta Kemény’s exceptional effort at promoting artists and the handmade community. She runs curated collections on her website and has developed an active and successful community through her Facebook page.

  • Artist, Fashion Designer

    Elena Rosenberg is a wearable fiber artist and knit fashion designer. Each piece in her collection of hand-knit fashion accessories and clothing is an original design, created entirely by hand, in her New York studio.

  • Brick and Mortar & Online Retailer

    The Stitches newsletter includes featured products, shop news and upcoming events. In each issue we feature a new technique along with handy tips and project ideas.

  • MarketPlace: Handwork of India

    MarketPlace: Handwork of India celebrates it's 50th collection! The new catalog features fresh, airy styles, mix and match. Fair trade with elegance!

  • Artist

    Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts: Festival schedule and a nice display of what's available in her Etsy shop.

  • Artist, Teacher

    Learn how to fast piece applique with Rose Hughes through her books or the Online Quilting Academy!

  • Artist, Teacher

    Thread painting is a technique where needle and thread act as coloring tools for a quilt. Jennifer Day teaches her Thread Stories technique at her studio in Santa Fe.

  • Weaver, Designer, Artist

    Cat Brysch Creations Studio has been weaving yardage for artists for years! Check out her studio and shop from her on Etsy.

  • Designer, Importer, Retailer

    Textiil sells artisanal fabrics, and creates modern global home decor and accessories from batik, ikat and songket sourced in Indonesia and Malaysia. We have a growing stock of sustainably made plant based dye batiks and natural dye silks.

  • School, Workshops

    The Pacific Northwest Art School offers workshops and classes in Fiber Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, and Photography. We are located on Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.

  • Textile Artist, Workshops

    Transformative textile art, Threads of Awakening, based in Buddhist tradition. Online apprenticeships and commissions. Prints. Training. Your spiritual path. Your creative practice. Connected.

  • Marketing Consulting

    Bonnie Clark is the founder of Gypsy Wolf Marketing, a boutique marketing consultancy offering the latest in marketing and business techniques and strategies to artists and art galleries around the world.

  • Mixed Media Artist

    Bonnie Clark of Dakini Dreams is a mixed media artist and weaver. In her Soul Ancestors series, she has created masks that speak about her spirituality. She has used vintage wooden cases and found objects, assembled into shrine-like icons that explore the issues of time, life, death, rebirth, and transformation.

  • Artist, Organization

    Silvia Piza-Tandlich of Galeria Octagono exhibiting in Poland at the 8th International Artistic Linen Cloth Biennial, Krosno 2014. The exhibit goes through 2015.

The post 2015 Spring New Members: Textiles, Dye, Embroidery, Felt, Retailers and Teachers appeared first on TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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TAFA’s Botanical Alchemists – Dyeing with Plants, Earth and Bugs http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-botanical-alchemists-dyeing-with-plants-earth-and-bugs/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-botanical-alchemists-dyeing-with-plants-earth-and-bugs/#comments Sat, 02 May 2015 16:10:40 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=19791

Our modern botanical alchemists study how local dyes can be used on fabric, yarn, and threads. Featured artists represent US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. TAFA has many, many members working with both botanical and commercial dyes. This post just points to a few wonderful projects!

The post TAFA’s Botanical Alchemists – Dyeing with Plants, Earth and Bugs appeared first on TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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The chemical side of what happens in our textile and fiber art world makes my eyes roll around in my head. Like most teenagers in the 1970’s, I did my share of tie-dyeing and might still overdye something with a commercial dye. But, I’ve never been good at experiments that involve repetition, patience, documentation and the mess that comes with dyeing fabrics or yarns. I’m far too impatient! However, I do enjoy reading and learning about it, from a distance………….  And, commercially printed fabrics can never replicate the gorgeousness we see in the hand dyed and printed processes.

We have far too many members working with dyes, paints and printing techniques to cover them in this post. Instead, I would like to point you to some of the ones who have a botanical focus and who have gone above and beyond in terms of offering resources, supplies or information. We have tagged our Member Profiles with “Dyed/Painted” and you can see them here, so do explore the others as well. And, you can use keywords in our search to try to find specific materials or techniques you might be interested in (indigo, shibori, cochineal, etc.).

Click on the name to go to the profile where you will find their links. I’m not linking directly in the post because if there are changes down the road, it’s easier to keep the profiles updated and not worry about our posts having broken links.

 

Arlee Barr – FybreSpace

Arlee Barr eco dyed applique - Mother's Heart

Arlee Barr eco dyed applique – Mother’s Heart

Arlee lives in Calgary, Canada, and has been working with botanical dyes for a long time. She mostly scavenges materials from what is grown locally and as she also works with flowers, sometimes experiments with plants from work. Mixing both machine and hand embroidery, her fabrics often inform how the design unfolds. She works her pieces intensely, often using the human body, organs, and insects as themes. Arlee documents her works in progress on her blog and is active in many groups online. She teaches occasional workshops and sells dyed remnants and supplies in her online shop on a limited basis.


Beautiful Silks

Beautiful Silks is the premier supplier of fair trade dyed and undyed silk products in Australia.

Beautiful Silks is the premier supplier of fair trade dyed and undyed silk products in Australia.

Beautiful Silks, Australia, has a huge inventory online for dye supplies, including gorgeous silks that are ready made to dye. That in itself is a great resource for dyers and printers, but last year they started an awesome project where they bought land, have been building workshop areas and are growing their own supplies. It’s fantastic! Progress is documented on their Facebook page, so be sure to look there for updates as their website doesn’t have much on this so far. If you have been wanting to visit Australia, I would definitely make this fun, vibrant project a destination!


Botanical Colors

Kathy Hattori at a workshop. Botanical Colors

Kathy Hattori at a workshop.

Kathi Hattori of Seattle, Washington (USA), has long been a go-to person for knowledge and supplies. She describes her business:

“I provide natural dyes that are beautiful, sustainable, environmentally friendly and support farming communities and small producers. I have personally visited a number of my major suppliers to ensure that their working environments and processing methods are humane and economically and socially responsible. All of the dyes that I sell are personally tested for quality, light and wash fastness and are the historic dyes that have been used for centuries by textile artisans all over the world.”

Her website sells a wide range of natural dyes, supplies and kits. She also has workshops on a regular basis. Kathi posts great info and resources regularly on the Botanical Colors page on Facebook, so if you are over there, be sure to follow it!


Donna Kallner Fiber Art

Donna Kallner Fiber Art rhubarb dyeing

Donna Kallner Fiber Art rhubarb dyeing

 

Donna lives in White Lake, Wisconsin, a rural area in the Northern American Midwest. Her tagline is “ancient techniques with a modern twist”. She has many skills that use the natural resources and materials that she finds in the landscape around her, from basketry to knitting, but her two big passions are new age looping and natural dyes. Donna thrives in her role as a teacher, using tech tools to document her experiments and holding online workshops. Living in a rural area has had its challenges and Donna has overcome them by embracing these tools and teaching herself what she needs to know in order to connect with the world. She shared some of this in a previous post here on TAFA, Teaching Online Opens a Global Market.

Donna’s dye focus is on what she can grow or find locally, including willow. The versatile material serves her well in basketry and other functions. Her blog is an excellent resource, covering a wide range of her interests with detailed instructions and gorgeous photography. Donna sells scarves, dyed fabrics and yarns and other things that she makes through her shop on Etsy.


Elena Ulyanova

Elena Ulyanova

Elena Ulyanova

 

Elena lives in the Ukraine and keeps a bi-lingual blog where she documents her projects. Her brain is that of a scientist, dissecting the processes that happen chemically between plants and fiber. She calls her blog “The Procrastinator Dyer’s Diary” which never made sense to me as she seems so prolific and organized! Does she really procrastinate? Her focus is on contact dyeing, using plants that are natural to her environment. She has a gallery of images showing results of cotinus, maple, and eucalyptus, as well as results on paper and wearables. Any student of eco-dyes needs to follow her and learn from this inquisitive mind and lovely person!

Elena teaches workshops locally at her studio in the Ukraine and sells her work on Etsy.


India Flint

India Flint is widely acknowledged in our community as the guru of botanical dyes, the mystical mother whose heart is married to earth. A poetic wordsmith, this video captures the spirit of what India does in a beautiful way. She has written numerous books and articles, teaches workshops around the world and has info and gorgeous images on her website and blog. I just realized that she also calls herself a botanical alchemist…  Here I thought I was being clever with the post title!

Note: India strongly advocates against smuggling botanical matter from one part of the world to the other. (Something artists boast about online…) I read her statement about it recently, but can’t find it now. I will add it in once I get it from her. All kinds of horrible things can happen when foreign plants are introduced into new environments. If you would like to use botanicals that do not grow in your area, please purchase them through a trusted dealer.


Long Ridge Farm

Nancy Zeller of Long Ridge Farm in Rwanda, 2013

Nancy Zeller of Long Ridge Farm in Rwanda, 2013

Nancy Zeller runs a sheep farm in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, which is quite the feat in itself. She has an online shop full of supplies and hosts dye workshops locally. In 2013, she went to Rwanda to work with a cooperative of women who were using botanical dyes for their own yarns and fabrics, helping them to increase their color ranges and dye knowledge. That has grown into a steady relationship and opened new doors and opportunities for continued work in Rwanda. Nancy is amazing! Long Ridge Farm embodies a vision of what can happen when a community taps into its local resources and looks outward to the wider world.


Lotta Helleberg

Lotta Helleberg eco dyeing

Lotta Helleberg eco dyeing

Lotta is a Swedish born designer living in Virginia, USA. She is known for her crisp, clean eco prints, often made into journals, sachets and wall art. She has a beautiful shop on her website and runs a community on Facebook where she shares images and techniques.


 Maiwa Handprints

Maiwa Natural Dyes

Maiwa Natural Dyes

Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Maiwa offers one of the most extensive resources on natural dyes in the world. Charlotte Kwon, the owner, travels the world to research techniques and supplies, documenting her findings through the Maiwa blog and sharing techniques through workshops. The Maiwa Guide to Natural Dyes is an excellent step-by-step overview of their approach with special attention to Alkanet, Brazilwood, Myrobalan, Cutch, Lac, Safflower and Indigo. Maiwa is HUGE, hosting a yearly symposium with fantastic workshops, with two retail locations, a large and varied online shop, documentaries and a foundation. There is a visible connection and commitment to artisans around the world, which I really love. Spending time there is easy and fun, so do explore!


Morgen Bardati

“Old Age Security Blanket” – a slow work in progress (photo by  Isaac Carter)

“Old Age Security Blanket” – a slow work in progress (photo by Isaac Carter)

 

Morgen (British Columbia, Canada) has been screen printing for many years and began exploring eco dyes a couple of years ago. She now has two distinct looks for her products, one with a hint of tribal colors and impact (hearkening back to her roots in South Africa), and another that is soft, feminine and earthy. She creates wearables that she sells through her shop on Etsy and is moving to larger impact pieces geared towards exhibition. Morgen documents her processes through her blog and inspires us all with her excellent photography. Her commitment to the environment shines through in her choice of materials and designs.


Susan Fennell Studio

Susan Fennell Studio Indigo Dyes

Susan Fennell Studio Indigo Dyes

When I think of indigo, which I love, Susan pops into my head. Although she works with other dyes as well through her Oriba Shibori studio, Susan’s passion is indigo. She lived in Kagoshima, Japan, when she was young and was exposed to many of the traditional crafts of the time, an experience that has continued to inform her practice to this day. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina (USA), where she teaches workshops on a regular basis. Susan shares her process regularly on her blog and has a healthy image collection on Flickr.


 

The Yarn Tree

The Yarn Tree Natural Dye Supplies

The Yarn Tree Natural Dye Supplies

Linda LaBelle ran The Yarn Tree as a brick and mortar operation for many years. But, as she became more involved with her non-profit work via the Stories of Hope, she moved to Asheville, North Carolina and opted for having her shop go virtual. She sells all kinds of natural supplies, including fabrics, yarns, silk, roving and other things that are ready to dye. Her natural dye selection also includes mordants and other chemicals used in dyeing, so you can get everything you need through her. Linda teaches workshops regularly, travels extensively, writes, advocates for low income and disadvantaged communities and constantly on the go with interesting projects. She sells her own work in her shop along with fair trade products that she supports.


 

Aren’t these stories exciting? The world has truly become a global market and although that has had devastating effects via unethical corporate greed, it has also allowed all of us to pursue our passions and connect to others effectively. We have so much access to tools, supplies, knowledge and have a great virtual community which we can tap into, learning and sharing as we go along.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, public domain

The Alchemist by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, public domain

What is our connection to the alchemists who prepared the way for these natural dye chemists? Wikipedia and other sources define historical alchemy as having three pursuits:

Defining objectives of alchemy are varied but historically have typically included one or more of the following goals: the creation of the fabled philosopher’s stone; the ability to transmute base metals into the noble metals (gold or silver); and development of an elixir of life, which would confer youth and longevity.

Over time, these pursuits broadened and led to forming the base of scientific inquiry that led to all kinds of discoveries. The stories about the most famous of the practitioners and their thinking of the time are fascinating. Although men dominated most academic fields, there were women who also helped shape the discussion. Some of them are introduced in the website, Women Alchemists.  Having an inquisitive mind has often been a dangerous proposition in history, with knowledge and experimentation seen as witchcraft during and after medieval times.

However, I think that the word “alchemist” remains relevant as a description of our botanical dyers as most refer to their practice as a spiritual one, rooted in their connection to the earth, the plants and spirit. Perhaps they no longer seek to change metals into gold, nor need to find the fountain of youth, yet their knowledge seems to keep them young at heart and is worth more than gold to their communities at large.

And, you?

Are you a botanical alchemist? Feel free to share your links and resources in the comments. We’d love to hear what you are up to and what natural materials you use for dyes.


 

From our Sponsors:

  • Gallery, Wholesaler

    Afghan Tribal Arts Beads and Textiles, natural gemstones from Afghanistan and vintage textiles, following a regular show route in Southeastern USA.

  • Artist, Teacher

    Jane Dunnewold is an artist, teacher and author of surface design techniques. She teaches and lectures internationally and at her studio in San Antonio, Texas.

  • Retail

    New England Felting Supply is your one-stop shop for all of your felting needs. They also offer classes. Check out the upcoming schedule!

  • Brick and Mortar & Online Retailer

    The Stitches newsletter includes featured products, shop news and upcoming events. In each issue we feature a new technique along with handy tips and project ideas.

  • Designer, Importer, Retailer

    Textiil sells artisanal fabrics, and creates modern global home decor and accessories from batik, ikat and songket sourced in Indonesia and Malaysia. We have a growing stock of sustainably made plant based dye batiks and natural dye silks.

  • School, Workshops

    The Pacific Northwest Art School offers workshops and classes in Fiber Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, and Photography. We are located on Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.

The post TAFA’s Botanical Alchemists – Dyeing with Plants, Earth and Bugs appeared first on TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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A Passion for African Fabrics: Cultured Expressions http://www.tafalist.com/a-passion-for-african-fabrics-cultured-expressions/ http://www.tafalist.com/a-passion-for-african-fabrics-cultured-expressions/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 16:21:18 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=18915

The post A Passion for African Fabrics: Cultured Expressions appeared first on TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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Lisa Shepard Stewart – Cultured Expressions

Lisa Shepard Stewart – Cultured Expressions

Lisa Shepard Stewart is one of TAFA’s pioneer members, joining back in August of 2010. Since then, she has continued to develop her business, offering regular workshops, building community locally in New Jersey, launching her Fabrigasm magazine, and leading textile tours to Africa. Enjoy this glimpse into her colorful and cultural world centered on her passion for African fabrics.

Visit her website and make sure to sign up for her newsletter. She also has a shop on her site that sells supplies. And, if you long to take a cultural trip to Africa, connect with her to find out when the next trip might happen.


 

There’s something about African Fabrics…

Cultured Expressions African Wax Fabrics 

Cultured Expressions Fabrigasm 4-COVER

Fabrigasm Issue# 4

As the owner of Cultured Expressions, I’ve shared my lifelong fabric passion with others through my books, workshops, lectures, special events, merchandise, quilters’ retreats to Jamaica textile tours to Ghana and other SewJourns. And I recently published the fourth issue of FABRIGASM®, the Magazine for Lovers of African Textiles.  (Not a big surprise when you consider that Magazine Journalism was one of my favorite courses at FIT, where I earned degrees in Communications and Marketing.)

 

Cultured Expressions African fabric purseI learned to sew at age 12, so I’ve always had a “thing” for fabrics of all kinds, and after my first trip to Senegal in 1986, my passion for African fabrics in particular was ignited. I feel their Energy…I imagine the story behind the creators, their choice of colors, textures, symbols…and what inspired them to create. When placed in the hands of a fiber artist, the fabric takes on an added purpose, its story is intensified.

African fabrics have a timeless quality that withstands the usual trend cycles; batiks, bogolan, kente, kuba, and adinkra  are never out of style, whether I’m creating a wall hanging, garment, handbag or headwrap – it’s the juxtaposition of ancient fabric techniques applied to contemporary designs that excites my senses – the coarse weave of bogolan, the rich colors of Ghanaian batik, even the earthy scent of kuba affect me on a visceral level, and on a daily basis  Something so powerful can’t be confined to a single month, so while I can appreciate the intent behind designation of a “Black History Month”, history is being made all of the time, I’m Black all of the time, so to reserve celebration for the shortest month of the year never really made sense to me.

Through my work, I enjoy sharing the beauty of African fabrics & craft with like-minded people of all backgrounds.  Exposing people to positive images of African cultures, beyond the poverty, conflicts, and famine is extremely gratifying.  “Feel the fabric…Embrace the Culture” is more than my company’s tagline.  It’s become my raison d’être.

Cultured Expressions Kuba Cloths

Cultured Expressions – Kuba Cloths


Cultured Expressions - Adinkra strips and goats in Ntonso

Cultured Expressions – Adinkra strips and goats in Ntonso

 


 

 

 

From our Sponsors:

  • Gallery, Wholesaler

    Afghan Tribal Arts Beads and Textiles, natural gemstones from Afghanistan and vintage textiles, following a regular show route in Southeastern USA.

  • Artist, Teacher

    Jane Dunnewold is an artist, teacher and author of surface design techniques. She teaches and lectures internationally and at her studio in San Antonio, Texas.

  • MarketPlace: Handwork of India

    MarketPlace: Handwork of India celebrates it's 50th collection! The new catalog features fresh, airy styles, mix and match. Fair trade with elegance!

  • Artist

    Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts: Festival schedule and a nice display of what's available in her Etsy shop.

  • Artist, Teacher

    Learn how to fast piece applique with Rose Hughes through her books or the Online Quilting Academy!

  • Artist, Teacher

    Thread painting is a technique where needle and thread act as coloring tools for a quilt. Jennifer Day teaches her Thread Stories technique at her studio in Santa Fe.

  • Designer, Importer, Retailer

    Textiil sells artisanal fabrics, and creates modern global home decor and accessories from batik, ikat and songket sourced in Indonesia and Malaysia. We have a growing stock of sustainably made plant based dye batiks and natural dye silks.

  • School, Workshops

    The Pacific Northwest Art School offers workshops and classes in Fiber Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, and Photography. We are located on Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.

  • Textile Artist, Workshops

    Transformative textile art, Threads of Awakening, based in Buddhist tradition. Online apprenticeships and commissions. Prints. Training. Your spiritual path. Your creative practice. Connected.

  • Artist, Organization

    Silvia Piza-Tandlich of Galeria Octagono exhibiting in Poland at the 8th International Artistic Linen Cloth Biennial, Krosno 2014. The exhibit goes through 2015.

The post A Passion for African Fabrics: Cultured Expressions appeared first on TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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Inspired by Tribal Designs: Touched by Africa – Echoes in Cloth http://www.tafalist.com/inspired-by-tribal-designs-morgen-bardati/ http://www.tafalist.com/inspired-by-tribal-designs-morgen-bardati/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 21:05:08 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=18797

Canadian textile artist, Morgen Bardati, spent her childhood years in South Africa. Xhosa, Zulu and other tribal designs inform her work in cloth. Morgen dyes, prints, sews and embellishes. The end result is simple and striking, yet born of complex processes that involve knowledge, experimentation, layers of methodology and acute vision.

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Morgen Bardati is one of TAFA’s pioneer members, joining back in our first year, in October of 2010. All along, she has contributed and shared as we have evolved into the exceptional group we are today. Morgen is an example of how the past informs the present, how cultures collide, check each other out and create a new dance, an exchange that has fascinated me now for decades. What does it mean to be “contemporary”, “ethnic”, “tribal” or “relevant” in this age of the internet and shaky borders? Tribal designs have informed the great masters for centuries and today, contemporary artists add to the dialog by creating translations that build bridges between micro-cultures that might have industrial or agricultural roots. Nothing is new under the sun, yet everything is ephemeral, passing, looking back while moving forward…

Enjoy this tribute to a childhood spent in Africa juxtaposed with an adulthood immersed in creative expression. I have been watching Morgen’s work evolve over the past five years and it just keeps getting better and more complex: she dyes, prints, sews and embellishes. The end result is simple and striking, yet born of complex processes that involve knowledge, experimentation, layers of methodology and acute vision. Morgen is also a member of our Artizan Made collective, an off-shoot of TAFA’s marketing program. We love her and hope that you will, too!

Rachel Biel

TAFA Founder

 

 

Hand dyed and screen printed cotton fabric wrist cuff by Morgen Bardati

Hand dyed and screen printed cotton fabric wrist cuff

When I was a child growing up in South Africa I spent most of my time outdoors, with hands in the dirt, feet in the surf and face in the sun, surrounded by the peoples and cultures who had been shaped by these elements for thousands of years before us. I have always felt the world around me as a tactile  experience. I took it all in, as artists do, and over the years the echo of Africa still reverberates in my work. The earthy red of African soil is still the colour I use the most. This is the  colour which stirs my soul and keeps my artist palette warm.

My hands in the red dirt of Africa in KwaZulu Natal - Morgen Bardati

My hands in the red dirt of Africa in KwaZulu Natal

I have a few beautiful African beaded treasures which I brought with me when I came to Canada many years ago. Upon reflection I can see that they have helped to inform some of the choices I have made in design and in the materials I use. The Xhosa are the indigenous people of the Eastern Cape region where I grew up. Nelson Mandela was a Xhosa from the Transkei, a region where I spent a lot of time with my family as a child. We would go fishing and camping on the Wild Coast of the Transkei. As far as I can recall the Xhosa beaded necklace shown below came from the people living in the rolling coastal hills of the Transkei. I have treasured it since I was a child. These Southern African people used ostrich shell as beads before the Europeans arrived on the continent. The glass beads came later with the European trade. This necklace is a love “letter” made by a young woman for a young man to convey a message.

Xhosa love necklace - South African beadwork

Xhosa beaded love “letter”

I have had this lovely necklace stored way safely for several years. When I started to make necklaces from my own hand dyed and screen printed fabrics this necklace naturally reflected itself in my designs, like an echo from the past.

Seed and Anemone Flower necklace - Morgen Bardati

Screen printed seedpod and flower linen necklace with hand dyed hemp silk cord and mother of pearl buttons

Mother of pearl buttons are almost the only button I use in my work. They remind me of the sea and the iridescence of the shells I found on the beaches as a child. They have a ‘realness’ about them and it was these little buttons which taught me how to discern genuine from fake when I touched them to my teeth. I use them both decoratively and functionally and prefer loops and buttons as closures in most of my accessories and clothing.

Pollen necklace - Morgen Bardati

Screen printed and hand dyed ‘Pollen’ necklace

Beaded tassels also show up in my designs:

Morgen Bardati - Pollen necklace with beads

Screen printed and hand dyed ‘Pollen’ necklace with beaded tassels.

African designs tend to to be bold with vibrant colour and an emphasis on pattern and rhythm. Strong colour contrasts are present in so much of their work. Africa is visible in the art and crafts of her people – the red dirt and orange sunsets, a singular tree against a stark grassy landscape, contrasting extreme weather patterns and the rhythm of herds of animals against the skyline. The designs of her craftspeople respond with adornments that reflect all of this in simple and striking beading patterns. In the image below are a Zulu necklace and on the top a rare Mpondo women’s beaded head ring that symbolized that she was married.  The beadwork on this ring is exquisite with tiny little beads tightly worked over bound fabric tubes. The Mpondo also lived in the Transkei of the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. They are Nguni-speaking peoples as are the Xhosa and Zulu.

African beadwork - Pondo and Zulu

Mpondo beaded ‘wedding’ head band and Zulu necklace.

I think my preference for contrast in colour and bold black screen print designs demonstrates Africa’s role in the shaping of my aesthetics.

Coiled snake cuff - Morgen Bardati

Coiled snake screen printed and hand dyed linen wrist cuff.

I will always be grateful for the chance of my birth on the African continent and for the deep connection to her land and people. No matter how many meaningful connections I have made in beautiful Canada where I live now, it is mother Africa who shaped my bones.


Links

All images on this post link to Morgen’s website.

Morgen Bardati on TAFA

Morgen Bardati on Artizan Made

Morgen Bardati on Etsy

Learn more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xhosa_people

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zulu_people

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pondo_people

This is from the exact region where I am from:

http://www.mdantsaneway.com/2013/05/the-significance-of-beads-and-beadwork.html

Books:

http://www.amazon.com/Africa-Adorned-Angela-Fisher/dp/0810918234

This is a fabulous book I have in my library:

http://www.amazon.com/African-Textiles-Creativity-Across-Continent/dp/0500288003


 

Click on any of the images below to visit that item in Morgen’s shop on Etsy:

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Urbanknit: From Lagos to London http://www.tafalist.com/urbanknit-from-lagos-to-london/ http://www.tafalist.com/urbanknit-from-lagos-to-london/#comments Fri, 06 Feb 2015 19:57:44 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=18639

Dolapo James of Urbanknit shares her journey in textiles, from Lagos to London, giving us some insights into current trends in African textiles. Born in Nigeria and living in England, Dolapo has insight into how both cultures meet and influence each other. She sells through her own site and on Etsy.

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I invited Dolapo James of Urbanknit to share some of her journey in working with African textiles as a part of our celebration of Black History Month. Dolapo is one of TAFA’s pioneer members, joining back in March of 2010, just three months after we launched. It’s been great to watch her business evolve into a solid line. We hope that you will enjoy her feature, From Lagos to London, and hope that you will connect with her and support her in her work. Her links are at the bottom of the post. Visit her profile here on TAFA, too! Don’t hesitate to ask questions or leave comments at the bottom, too.


 

Starting Urbanknit

My name is Dolapo James and I run Urbanknit. I am an Architect turned accessories designer and started Urbanknit as a hobby which developed into a part time business and then gained a life of its own. I started in 2004 to satisfy my curiosity and desire to design and make. This was whilst I was training in the United Kingdom to be an Architect and I carried on even after I qualified and was in practice.

 

Urbanknit-Studio

I grew up in Nigeria, West Africa where I was surrounded by the wonderful patterns and prints worn as everyday clothing, I have therefore always  been drawn to this type of design and in particular African textile design.  I particularly loved the trips to the fabric markets in Lagos Island (Isale Eko) with my mother or grandmother where the prints and batiks are on sale in beautiful, colourful displays.

 

Urbanknit- Fabric Market Nigeria

Fabric shopping in Lagos Island, Nigeria

 

African textiles

The Urbanknit range of products falls broadly under the categories of bags, scarves and cushions which are made in a wide range of African prints and batiks. I use a selection of Aso-ÒkèÀnkárá and Àdìre fabrics from Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and generally West Africa, some of which are themselves handmade. Aso-oke is a loom woven fabric which is made in strips and sewn together to make garments, Ankara is the local name for the popular African wax resist prints and Adire is the local name for traditional tie dye fabric.

Urbanknit Fabric Bundles

 

Each of these fabrics has symbols and patterns that have specific meanings and tell their own stories.  For example in Yoruba Adire (traditional tie dye) each symbol used is a representation of a particular idea, wish or prayer.

I have a particular interest in the African textile industry and in how this grew and has unfortunately gone into sharp decline. Its history, economics, politics, techniques, production, job creation, future. The decline of the textile industry is something that has had a huge impact on the local economy in many West African countries and this goes largely unnoticed. There has recently been a renewed interest in African design and every Spring season we see fashion designers on catwalks from Milan to Paris paying homage to the now popular African print.

 

Urbanknit cushions

Ankara Cushions

 

It remains to be seen if this is to have any positive effect on the continent or the textile manufacturing industries. The origins of the ideas are obvious but one wonders if this is where it ends, simply as a trend for the summer. The industry faces many challenges, one being that the fabric is manufactured outside of Africa yet consumed mainly IN Africa. The economic consequences are far reaching. The traditional skills of dyeing and weaving are also being replaced by cheap imports.

Nevertheless, I believe it is important to continue to use, preserve and record the ideas and traditions. They often tell a beautiful story and this may eventually lead to a turnaround for local producers and the like.

 

Urbanknit Tommy Tote

Aso-oke Tommy Tote Bag

 

Urbanknit Products

With Urbanknit, I aim to promote in my own way, the artistry and skill that goes into creating these textiles and telling these stories. I believe that the beautiful unusual things out of Africa ought to be celebrated. Culture evolves and heritage is nearly impossible without story-telling and this is very important to the brand.

 

Urbanknit Supersnap

Burnt Orange and Teal Ankara Supersnap Clutch

 

With each piece made, I tell part of the story about the fabrics, techniques and craft especially from the African perspective. For example, with every product that goes out, I include a card that tells the customers about the origins and history of their Urbanknit product. Each product is a small part of a larger story! I hope to delve a little bit more into the history and production of these fabrics in the near future!

 

Urbanknit Adire blazer

Indigo Blue Batik Blazer

If you would like to see a bit more of my work and my use of these wonderful fabrics, please check out the details below. Enter TAFA15 at checkout for a 15% discount on any purchase on my website or Etsy store!

 

Website: www.urbanknit.com

Etsy Store: www.etsy.com/shop/urbanknit

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/UrbanknitAccessories

Twitter: www.twitter.com/urbanknit

Instagram: www.instagram.com/urbanknit

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/urbanknit

Tumblr: www.urbanknit.tumblr.com

Google+: google.com/+UrbanknitAccessories

 

I also have a fabric shop over on Etsy with some wax prints and batiks available if you too would like to experiment! –

Etsy (fabric store): www.etsy.com/shop/urbanstax

Thanks for exploring!

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Meaning of the Number Five – Celebrating TAFA’s 5 Years! http://www.tafalist.com/meaning-of-the-number-five-celebrating-tafas-5-years/ http://www.tafalist.com/meaning-of-the-number-five-celebrating-tafas-5-years/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:15:48 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=18576

Meaning of the Number Five - Celebrating TAFA's 5 Years! We look at what the number five means in different cultures and pepper it with art by TAFA members.

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We have been celebrating TAFA’s 5th Anniversary this month. I gave an overview of how it’s gone on another post and thought I would do something more playful on this one. Just for kicks, I did a search on the meaning of the number five and found that it actually has quite some weight in religious and number theory circles. I’ve never been one who explored numerology or astrology but it’s interesting to look at what makes the world tick in various traditions or back in history.

So, here is what I found, peppered with images from our TAFA Members (click on them to see profiles):

Afghan Tribal Arts Vintage Doily Embroidery Afghanistan

Afghan Tribal Arts

Encyclopædia Britannica

From their blog:

The sum of the first even and odd numbers (2 + 3) is 5. (To the Pythagoreans 1 was not a number and was not odd.) It therefore symbolizes human life and—in the Platonic and Pythagorean traditions—marriage, as the sum of the female 2 and the male 3. The Pythagoreans discovered the five regular solids (tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron; now known as the Platonic solids). Early Pythagoreanism acknowledged only four of these, so the discovery of the fifth (the dodecahedron, with 12 pentagonal faces) was something of an embarrassment. Perhaps for this reason 5 was often considered exotic and rebellious.

The number 5 was associated with the Babylonian goddess Ishtar and her Roman parallel, Venus, and the symbol for both was the five-pointed star, or pentagram. In England a knot tied in the form of the pentagram is called a lover’s knot because of this association with the goddess of love. In Manichaeism 5 has a central position: the first man had five sons; there are five elements of light (ether, wind, water, light, and fire) and a further five of darkness. The body has five parts; there are five virtues and five vices.

The number 5 was also important to the Maya, who placed a fifth point at the centre of the four points of the compass. The five fingers of the human hand lent a certain mystery to 5, as did the five extremities of the body (two arms, two legs, head). A human placed in a circle with outspread arms and legs approximates the five points of a pentagon, and if each point is joined to its second-nearest neighbour a pentagram results. This geometric figure is central to occultism, and it plays a prominent role in summoning spells whereby it is supposed to trap a demon, or devil, who can then be compelled to do the sorcerer’s bidding. The belief that 5 was sacred led to an extra element, augmenting the traditional four that made a human being. This fifth essence, or quintessence, is the origin of the word quintessential.

In Islam 5 is a sacred number. Foremost are the five Pillars of Islam: declaration of faith (shahadah), prayer (salat), fasting during Ramadan, giving alms (zakat), and making the pilgrimage to Mecca (thehajj). Prayers are said five times every day. There are five categories of Islamic law and five law-giving prophets (Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad).

 


Susan Shie - The Kitchen Tarot

Susan Shie – The Kitchen Tarot

Tarot and Greek Mythology

From Tarot Teachings:

Essentially, Five is the first of digits that is in a constant (sometimes driven) state of balancing its own equation.

The meaning of Five gets more dicey when we recognize its association with humankind. Five fingers, five toes, five tactile senses. These associations give number Five a link to the physical, and a grounded vibration that is similar to Four, but on a much more intricate scale.

But this grounding physicality must play a co-starring role in the essence of Five when we consider the Greek concept of the fifth element. The Greeks marveled over the philosophy of Five, and recognized the pentagram as a perfect symbol to represent the four elements (water, air, earth, and fire) PLUS the fifth element as a unifying factor. This fifth element, as Plutarch observed, is the ether or quintessence that instills harmony and unity to all elements.

Indeed, the Greeks held the number Five as a representation of dispensing spiritual knowledge and considered it a vehicle for gaining proper spiritual understanding.

Potential Personality of Five:
People who resonate with the energy of Five have a genuine interest in other people, and often take active roles in the community. They are high-spirited, and love to travel too. They do not require routine or structure, and are able to adapt well in most situations. They deal with challenges with cleverness and unorthodox solutions. Five people have many projects and ideas going on at the same time and are sometimes strapped for time. This causes them to lose out on some opportunities too, but this is irrelevant as the Five personality will always come out ahead in his/her endeavors.


Lin Hsin-Chen Art Quilt Flowers

Lin Hsin-Chen

Lucky Number 5 in Chinese History

From Travel China Guide:

No. 5 in Chinese Culture
In Chinese culture, Five is widely used, for both cultural value and practical value. Clapping hands between two people in western countries (giving a high five) means “it is a deal”, “come on” or “congratulations”. To some extent, it is the same with Chinese people, when they successfully accomplish something in company. They clap hands in this case for congratulations saying “Yeah”.

Moreover, the famous Chinese Five Elements refer to Gold, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth, which are regarded as the basis of the whole world. In folklore, Chinese people hold the mutual restriction of the five elements: “wood restricting earth, earth restricting water, water restricting fire, fire restricting gold and gold restricting wood”. This mutual restriction principle is seriously stressed by the ancient Chinese people to show that everything in the world is mutually affected.

In Chinese feudal society, Five Cardinal Ethical Relationships were strictly observed, including the relationships between the monarch and his subjects, a father and son, a husband and wife, brothers, and their friends. Five Kinds of Main Grain (rice, two kinds of millet, wheat and beans) in ancient China were taken seriously because the frequent wars at that time usually resulted in a lack of food.

Wide Use of No. 5

In Chinese history, No. 5 has a wide range of use in classifying things with similar characters, which makes things easy to be remembered. Here are some examples:
1. Five Flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, salty
2. Five Classics in Ancient China: Classic of Poetry, Book of Documents, Book of Rites, Book of Changes, Spring and Autumn Annals
3. Five Sacred Mountains in China: Mt. Huashan in Xian, Shaanxi, Mt. Taishan in Shandong, Mt. Hengshan in Hunan, Mt. Hengshan in Shanxi, Mt. Songshan in Henan
4. Five Emperors: Yellow Emperor (Emperor Huangdi), Emperor Zhuanxu, Emperor Diku, Yao, Shun

 


BJ Adams Machine Embroidery Art Quilt Wide_Load

B.J. Adams

Number 5 in Numerology

From Creative Numerology:

5 is the number of diversity, travel, and different cultures. Whatever you are dealing with, seek a deeper understanding of what is involved. Awareness of reality is the best safety-net you can have in this exciting and unpredictable cycle. 5 is also the number of change, chance, variety, choice, different belief systems, the sudden, the unexpected, the unusual, and the physical. This year will be quite an experience for you – a new experience.

If the numerological energies could be seen as roads or highways, route #5 would be the widest and busiest. This is where all traffic seeks a change of course. Without a basic goal or sense of direction, accidents occur and people find themselves in places they don’t want to be. Start out with a firm goal in mind; a specific sense of destination. But do be flexible. Even the best laid plans can change without warning signs of any kind. Remember: 5 is the number of the sudden and the unexpected – the unforeseen.


grace_be_to_you_hung - contemporary tapestry weaving - grace lutheran church

Contemporary Tapestry Weaving

Number 5 in the Bible

From BibleStudy.org

The number 5 symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace, and multiplied by itself, which is 25, is ‘grace upon grace’ (John 1:16). The Ten Commandments contains two sets of 5 commandments. The first five commandments are related to our treatment and relationship with God, and the last five concern our relationship with others humans.

From Agape Bible Study

This is the number of power and Divine grace.

  • Five kinds of animals were sacrificed under the Old Covenant Law of sacrifice: goats, sheep, cattle, pigeons and doves [Genesis 15:9; Exodus 29:38; Leviticus 1:1-17; 3:1; 4:3, 14, 23, 28; 5:6-7]
  • God changed Abram’s name to Abraham by adding the letter/number five to his name [Genesis 17:5].  He changed Sarai’s name by adding the same letter/number with the value of “grace” to form the name Sarah [Genesis 17:15].  Abraham and Sarah were transformed by grace to become the parents of a family from which the Messiah would be born
  • The Tabernacle was measured in multiples of five [Exodus 25 – 27]
  • There are five books of the Torah (first 5 books of the Old Testament)
  • Matthew’s Gospel is divided into five “books” composed of five narratives and five discourses.
  • Jesus bled from five wounds on the altar of the Cross: His two hands, his two feet and His head.
  • Daniel proclaimed the Fifth Kingdom to be an Everlasting Kingdom [Daniel 2:37-44].

Five Greek words form the acrostic phrase “Jesus Christ, God’s Son Savior,” taking the first letter in Greek from each word forms the Greek word for “fish”: Iota, Chi, Theta, Epsilon, Sigma = (ichthys) “FISH”, which became a symbol for Christ and a secret symbol for identifying Christians.

 


 

Amie Starchuk Textile Artist

Amie Starchuk Textile Artist

Hamsa Hand

From Jewish Gift Place

The Hamsa Prayer

Let no sadness come
to this heart
Let no trouble come
to these arms
Let no conflict come
to these eyes
Let my soul be filled with the blessing of joy of peace.

The hamsa hand is known by many names: hamsa, hamsa hand, hamesh, hamesh hand, khamsa, and chamsa. It is also called the Hand of Miriam, named for Moses and Aaron’s sister. There are two main styles of a hamsa hand: the most popular is the stylized hamsa hand with two symmetrical thumbs, but there are also hamsa hands that are not symmetrical and shaped like actual hands.

The word “hamsa” or “hamesh” means five. There are five digits on the hamsa hand, but the number five has additional symbolic meaning in the Jewish and Islamic traditions. Five (hamesh in Hebrew) represents the five books of the Torah for Jews. It also symbolizes the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, “Heh”, which represents one of God’s holy names. It symbolizes the Five Pillars of Islam for Sunnis, and the Five People of the Cloak for Shi’ites.

In the Jewish religion, the Jewish hamsa hand also symbolizes the Hand of God. Many Jews believe the hamsa pendant symbolizes the Hand of Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. In the Islamic faith, the hamsa hand symbolizes The Hand of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Mohammed.

Many Jews believe that the five fingers of the hamsa hand remind its wearer to use their five senses to praise God. Hamsa hands often contain an eye symbol, which is a powerful talisman against the evil eye. It is most often worn as a hamsa necklace, but can be found as a decorative element in houses, on key chains, on other jewelry items, and is quickly gaining popularity as an amulet in baby carriages. In addition to averting the gaze of the evil eye, it brings its wearer or owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune.

HAMSAS FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

In recent years, activists for peace in the Middle East have adopted the hamsa hand. Because hamsa hand symbology is believed to predate most modern religions, those who actively support a peaceful resolution to the ongoing Israeli conflict believe that wearing the hamsa hand highlights not only the similarities of Judaism and Islam, but also the similarities of the origins of the religions. The hamsa symbol is believed to originate from an ancient Middle Eastern religion, and some Jews and Muslims wear the hamsa as a gesture for hope, peace, and prosperity in Israel and other areas of the Middle East.


 

That’s it! After touring the Number 5, I have to say that I really like it! Overall, the number five feels positive, energizing, hopeful and adventurous! Of course, there are loads of other references online, so you will have to explore more if this interests you. But, for me, I look back at the lessons learned and step forward with confidence and joy. I could not ask for a better group of people to work with or for a creative environment that inspires me more…

Here’s to the next five years!!!

(give us a toast!)

Sheila Held Contemporary Tapestries weaving of wine bottles

Sheila Held Contemporary Tapestries

 

Many thanks to our Sponsors, who keep TAFA Tickin’

  • Gallery, Wholesaler

    Afghan Tribal Arts Beads and Textiles, natural gemstones from Afghanistan and vintage textiles, following a regular show route in Southeastern USA.

  • Artist, Teacher

    Jane Dunnewold is an artist, teacher and author of surface design techniques. She teaches and lectures internationally and at her studio in San Antonio, Texas.

  • Weaver

    Ann Robinson Textiles weaves beautiful handwoven accessories and dyes the fibers she uses to create fabrics. Her woven art complements classic wardrobes as well as contemporary home and office settings.

  • MarketPlace: Handwork of India

    MarketPlace: Handwork of India celebrates it's 50th collection! The new catalog features fresh, airy styles, mix and match. Fair trade with elegance!

  • Artist

    Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts: Festival schedule and a nice display of what's available in her Etsy shop.

  • Artist, Teacher

    Learn how to fast piece applique with Rose Hughes through her books or the Online Quilting Academy!

  • Artist, Teacher

    Thread painting is a technique where needle and thread act as coloring tools for a quilt. Jennifer Day teaches her Thread Stories technique at her studio in Santa Fe.

  • Weaver, Designer, Artist

    Cat Brysch Creations Studio has been weaving yardage for artists for years! Check out her studio and shop from her on Etsy.

  • Designer, Importer, Retailer

    Textiil sells artisanal fabrics, and creates modern global home decor and accessories from batik, ikat and songket sourced in Indonesia and Malaysia. We have a growing stock of sustainably made plant based dye batiks and natural dye silks.

  • School, Workshops

    The Pacific Northwest Art School offers workshops and classes in Fiber Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, and Photography. We are located on Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.

  • Textile Artist, Workshops

    Transformative textile art, Threads of Awakening, based in Buddhist tradition. Online apprenticeships and commissions. Prints. Training. Your spiritual path. Your creative practice. Connected.

  • Artist, Organization

    Silvia Piza-Tandlich of Galeria Octagono exhibiting in Poland at the 8th International Artistic Linen Cloth Biennial, Krosno 2014. The exhibit goes through 2015.

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TAFA’s First Five Years http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-first-five-years/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-first-five-years/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 00:12:39 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=18518

TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Arts List celebrates its 5th birthday! We look back at the last years and set goals for our next phase.

The post TAFA’s First Five Years appeared first on TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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This month we celebrate five years since TAFA was launched. Here is a look back on our story.

2010

Back in 2009 I had a group on Ning, Fiber Focus, that I had set up for people who had a textile business and who were interested in the international connection between contemporary and traditional techniques. Social media was just starting to take off and we were all floundering, setting up accounts here and there, trying to understand how to navigate this new world. I kept bumping into some of the same people in different places and it seemed to me like we needed a central place where people could find us as a group and see where we were all active. Although the Ning group was fun, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to manage two groups, so I closed that one and launched TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List on a Blogger platform. It’s still there, if you want to take a look:

TAFA's first site on Blogger

By the end of the year, we had grown to a couple hundred members and it was clear that we needed a “real” site to showcase members and products. Here is our first video:

Funny how things look when going backwards in time….  Some are no longer with us and others have grown tremendously. But, from the beginning, one of my goals was to narrow the divide between contemporary and traditional textiles, to see a weaver from Guatemala on the same platform as one from New York, to celebrate diversity and originality. Five years later, when I look at the member list, I feel so proud and moved! I am inspired daily from what I see on our humble site!

TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List or The TAFA List had intention in the choice of the name. I wanted something that search engines would pick up easily. A couple of people have said that “The List” is kind of a boring choice. But, to me, it has always been about creating a destination that will attract anybody who is interested in textiles and fiber art, in the hopes that they will find inspiration, sure, but more importantly, that the connections can be made where our members can thrive in their businesses. Ultimately, we all need to sell our work in order to keep on doing what we love. The word “list” is also a good keyword as we get hits for searches like “list of textile artists”. I think that success has been achieved, too, in realizing that getting “listed” is a great honor as our membership is screened as they come in. We look for professionalism, originality and community involvement. It’s an impressive list and you can see the List as a directory here.

2011

Although the internet helps tremendously in accessing works to the larger market, to the world, there is nothing like being seen in real life. I live in Paducah, Kentucky, where we have an annual AQS Quilt Show every April. Perfect audience to show off our textiles and fiber art, right? Well, we decided to have a live show in April 2011. Members sent their textiles and products in from around the world and several drove in with enough to have a stall. We had our first TAFA Market! It was beautiful but unbelievably stressful. The weight of being responsible for these products terrified me, even though I had had retail stores for 20 years.

Then, it started raining. And, raining and raining. The barrier walls went up and the Ohio River rose. We had rented an empty retail space that was two blocks from the river. The convention center, where the quilt show was supposed to be held, was located on the other side of the walls and was flooded. We broke even on the event and had a great time, but I learned that we need to be stable as an organization before we try something like that again. Here’s the video:

Meanwhile, we had online meetings and discussions about our site needs. That summer we held a fundraiser on IndieGoGo and raised $5,000 to build a new site.

2012

New site was launched! So exciting!

TAFA's 2nd Site

Most of the year was spent in getting member info loaded and developing our social media presence.

2013

Headaches with the new site. Loads of glitches. No spam control, comments had to be disabled. The blog didn’t work properly. There was no member forum. By the beginning of 2013, I had taught myself how to use WordPress so I launched a companion site where we could have a blog and a forum, www.tafaforum.com. Big headache as Buddypress, the platform we were using, was going through huge changes. Ugh. But, we plodded on and continued to grow although more and more members were not loading there profiles on the new site. By the end of 2013, we had 150 members who were not up. Plus, technology continued to change, the site was not adaptable to tablets and smart phones and all of us were still grappling with all of the rapid changes in social media.

TAFA's old Forum Site

TAFA’s old Forum Site

Still, even with the site headaches, our group continued to engage and solidify. We have always had an active core of members and then a larger group of silent ones, like any organization. That active group is the one that benefits the most from what we do as they learn, share, and support. Collectively, there is so much experience and insight between us all and that old desire to share in the struggles of having an online business remained true. It’s so much easier to be a part of a supportive group than to try to figure it all out on your own! And, I have to say that this group has been truly wonderful as people, for the most part, treat each other with integrity and respect, unlike many other online spaces these days. Artists can be a temperamental group to work with, but there must be something calming about working in the textile arena as our people seem to be pretty zenned out.

TAFA Red is from 2013 and the last video that I will do showing all the members in one place. We are too big now, at over 500 members from 44 countries. I want to improve my video editing skills and make thematic videos that focus on one area.

Etsy Shops

All along, about half of our members have had shops on Etsy. Currently, I am seeing a move towards more indie sites with shopping carts, but there are many pros and cons to any of the shopping cart choices we make. For three years, I tried to organize our TAFA shops into an active group or team where we could share responsibilities and promote each other. There were spurts of activity here and there and we had a nice blog set up to promote our shops: TAFA Team Blog. The demands on having an online business are extensive: creating or getting the product, then photographing, listing, promoting, packing, sending, dealing with customer service, keeping records, and so on. It’s just too much.

Several of us explored the idea of going for a collective model where each shop paid a small amount to have one person do the marketing for them. We tested it here on this site and called it the TAFA Market, again (I like that name!). The end of 2013 was pretty much consumed by that with a core group of about 20 shops participating.

What has worked: we’ve created a nice destination on Etsy for our TAFA shops there. We use a common tag and our members usually have around 4,000 products in the search result.

TAFA Team on Etsy

2014

The TAFA Market experiment was deemed successful, but we decided to make it separate from TAFA, on its own site, and open it up to other techniques.   Artizan Made launched in January of 2014.

 

Artizan Made

My thinking in opening the site up to other techniques was that I believed that it would help the textile and fiber art people reach new audiences. Sometimes I think we are too insular and stick around our own people too much. What a joy it has been! Such a lovely group of people! And, their work is stunning! I worked with clay for three years a long time ago and loved it and the clay people that I approached were the ones to first embrace the idea. We now have 60 shops and a third of them are textiles, another third ceramics and then a mix with the rest. Our focus there is on home decor and eco-fashion. I would eventually like to set up a similar site for handmade supplies and tools, but can’t handle it right now. :)

There has been a lot of discussion about the value of handmade, of competition with China and factory goods, and so on. Lots of angst, despair at all the competition, and the hard work of it all really brings our community down. But, through both TAFA and Artizan Made, I hope to send a collective message:

Not all that is handmade SHOULD be made!

I see so much junk being made out there and would like to see people who are serious about a handmade lifestyle think about what they are contributing to the mix. Can you push yourself a little harder to make something that will become a family heirloom? That is worth being exhibited? That will be treasured for decades? It takes as much time and energy to make 1,000 headbands as it does to make one heirloom. And, that is the feedback that I am getting from people on both TAFA and Artizan, “Wow!” Yes, we like the WOW factor…

Artizan Made video:

By mid 2014 I realized that we would have to change our site yet again. I was now much more confident with WordPress and found the theme that we are currently using and started working on the makeover in August. It took several months to transfer the member profiles over here, to load those 150 that had never gotten up, but most of that was completed by December. There is still a lot to do! We merged the two urls, tafaforum and tafalist into one site in December and now all of the blog post links are broken and need to be fixed. This will be an ongoing project. But, then, these things never do end, do they? At least now I have access to the back end, can work on things and tweak them and our site traffic has been growing daily.

2015

tafa list

TAFA’s New New site, still being tweaked…

Here we are, January of year five! Looking back, I see thousands of hours spent at the computer, struggling monthly to make ends meet, and having to constantly try to understand the changes happening in technology… Has it been worth it? Even though I have been a maker/artist most of my life, I am pretty much self taught. I have learned soooo much by being involved with these people and feel so strengthened and hopeful when I think of what everyone is doing all around the world. My takeaway from these five years is that we are all connected and that everything we do has an impact on how we live in this troubled world.

The textile niche, especially, has deep implications on the environment and has such an ancient history and practice around the world that I find it a constant learning experience. I feel that I know a little about a lot. I can recognize where most cultural craft traditions come from, materials used, and can even determine a good guess at how old something is. But, what I know is just the tip of the iceberg. Our TAFA and Artizan members, on the other hand, are experts in their chosen fields. I am never bored, always interested, so this is truly work that I love.

TAFA’s first five years have been difficult, for sure, but I believe that we have created a strong base. In looking forward, I want to explore how we can be effective in helping our members achieve their business goals. There are many other textile groups out there, but I think that we are the most diverse and we are the only ones really focusing on the business end of things. These are the things I would like to explore and possibly implement in this next stage:

  • Help sell our member’s products. We have a nice shopping cart on this site and we will soon have member products available for sale there. This will be tested on a limited basis to see how it goes. I’ve listed some of my things and from Afghan Tribal Arts to get things going. You can see them here.
  • Participate in trade shows. For our members who wholesale, we can save a lot on expenses by showcasing as a group.
  • Connect with interior designers, corporate buyers and museum shops.  I am especially looking for a way where we can promote our high end products in a way that is effective and that makes sense.
  • Get TAFA out into the “REAL” world. We have a wonderful textile community on Facebook and some interaction on LinkedIn and other places, but for the most part, I think that we have been pretty insular. A lot of this has been due to all of the technical issues that have consumed me, but it’s time to engage with and participate in arenas where we can build bridges in new ways.
  • Achieve financial stability. This is a huge one for me as I long for staff, for some security, and for the ability to market TAFA adequately.

These goals are enough to keep me busy for the next five years! I want to keep improving this site and to find people who can work with me, complementing my skills in areas where I am weak.

How you can help:

  • Introduce yourself if there is an area that interests you. Engage with our members. Encourage them and support them!
  • Share our site and what you see here. Blog about us. Tell your people to come on over.
  • Shop from our members. Take their classes, buy their books. Help them stay in business.
  • Support us financially. Become a sponsor or take out a Classified Ad.

I hope that you have enjoyed this review of the last five years. Time flies by, doesn’t it? Well, if I had a big, virtual cake, I would invite you to our party!

 

5 years banner

Seize the day!

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Tips for Setting Realistic New Year’s Resolutions http://www.tafalist.com/tips-for-setting-realistic-new-years-resolutions/ http://www.tafalist.com/tips-for-setting-realistic-new-years-resolutions/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 02:37:13 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=18384

Struggling with setting realistic New Year's Resolutions? Break your goals down into manageable bits and plan it out. Dream, but stay flexible! Here are some tips on how to do it.

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Do you make a New Year’s resolution on that last day of the year, every year? Does it work for you? It’s been a long, long time since I have tried that. I just end up feeling disappointed in myself…  “Weak, weak, weak! Why can’t you be more determined?” Part of the problem, at least for me, is that those broken resolutions tended to be unrealistic and vague. “I’m gonna lose 30 lbs!” “I’ll never eat chocolate again!”

Maybe there’s some peer pressure there, that last-minute despair to do or be better….

So, I don’t do it anymore. At least not at midnight with a glass of wine propped on my head! However, I do find that January is always a good month for me to look back and then forward, to evaluate and then to set some goals, things that I might actually accomplish in the upcoming year. Here are some tips on how to set realistic New Year’s resolutions, ones that will make you feel good the next time around. I’ve peppered the post with comments from our TAFA members…

Click on the images to visit their profiles.

Silvia Piza-Tandlich burlap embroidery Costa Rica

“I try not to make any resolutions. It’s cold and windy here right now, and last night we had one margarita, and went to bed by 10:00 pm New Year’s Day is like any other day, but I had the day off! My fiscal year started Nov. 1st, so New Year’s isn’t a landmark…” -Silvia Piza-Tandlich

1. Review the Past Year

  • If you keep a calendar, start at the beginning of the year and flip through, reminding yourself of what you did, where you went and try to remember how it felt. Did you enjoy it? Did you learn something new? Would you like to repeat it? Write things down: I liked this, I definitely don’t want to do this…
  • Look at your stats. Get into the back-end of your blog, website or social media sites. What worked? What did people respond to? What would you do again?
  • What were the high and low points? What made you really happy? What do you wish you could just forget about? Try to pinpoint not only the event, but trigger points that made something good or bad for you. How can you get more of the good and less of the bad? Write them down.
Boisali Biswas 2014 NYrs card

“I try, but am too undisciplined to keep them. So, I go with the flow, no resolutions made, but want to work harder and be as productive as possible.” -Boisali Biswas

2. Look at Long Term Goals

Instead of planning the next year out right away, let yourself dream a bit. Where do you want to be ten years from now? This can be about health, business, relationships, or anything else that you would like to see happen for yourself. New Year’s resolutions are usually about something that we want to fix. We want it to happen right away. But, what if we look down the road and try to imagine what life could be like given our current health, wealth and talent? What is blocking success to that goal?

Break it down into achievable chunks!

Example 1: You are 50 lbs overweight. If you lose 5 lbs a year, you will be at your goal in 10 years. Do a little research. What is your normal calorie intake? How many calories do you burn on an average day? What one thing could you do to lose those five lbs a year? Preferably something that you would enjoy, that makes you happy. For me, it is walking my dogs. If I extend my daily walk for 10 extra minutes, I am helping both them and myself.

Example 2: You would like to be an established artist who can make a living doing your work. Let’s assume that people already like your work, but that you just don’t make enough of it. What does “making a living” mean? Look down those ten years again. Do you own your own house? Are you able to travel? What would success feel like? How much do you need to make in each of those ten years to get there? Let’s say you make quilts. How many must you have on hand in order to have steady sales? Is your pricing in the right range? Do you need to have different price points? How many quilts do you have to make in a year to sustain your lifestyle and to move toward your future goals? After you have done some thinking, researching, and soul-searching, come up with some set numbers: six quilts that are exhibit quality, twenty small quilts, and fifty pillows, purses and other smaller items a year would do it. How does that break down into a month? How many hours a day do you have to sew to get there? Does that picture look satisfying?

Example 3: You want to learn a new language, but never have the time to take classes. We have so many tools online now that there really is no excuse to not do something because we don’t want to sit through a class… Start with finding a kid’s program or music channel in that language and listen to it for an hour a day while you do something where you don’t have to think. Let your ears get used to the sounds of that language. Learn five new words a day. Over time, you will start recognizing words and in ten years you could be fluent!

The point is that if you have a dream, a goal, a desire… it’s 90% likely that you can achieve that over time. It won’t happen today or tomorrow, but breaking it down into chunks that work for you will move you in that direction.

 

Laura Foster Nicholson, The Burning Barn, 2011

“Always. Nothing to do with weight or exercise. Read more, write more, draw more.” -Laura Foster Nicholson

3. Resolutions for the Year

Once you have your long-term vision clear in your head, break it down into five or ten phases. One of those will be the upcoming year. Map it out!

Take a sheet of paper for each month, label it at the top with the month, then outline those goals that you set for yourself that are your monthly goals. Then, think about what holidays, what seasons and what routine events shape that month for you each year. How will that affect your goals? Can you plan ahead for it? Catch up in the next month?

For example, I have a vegetable garden. Every year I am surprised by Spring. It’s cold and miserable and boom! Everything is growing and I didn’t get my seedlings done, once again. My head just can’t wrap itself over how quickly Spring arrives here. If I write it down and have it in front of me, will I work on those seedlings in February this year? Well, I’m going to try….

Color Creek Fiber Art - Silk Kimon Hand Dyed

“I love to do a review of the old year and decide what is going to come forward with me into the new one and more importantly – what gets left behind. This is not a formal time thing – more like a flow in motion that begins at the end of the year and completes whenever it does.” -Mary Hertert

Looking at your months, think about last year. What can you repeat that was good? What can you do differently? Note them down on your monthly pages. These will remind you all year of what to reinforce and what to avoid.

Create daily practices that make sense for you. Break them down into the areas that you want to see work done. Treat them as a job and analyze throughout the year if they are worth doing. For example, social media sites can be a huge time sucker. Pick up to three where you will invest your time, but have a strategy about it. If you abandon any sites, blogs, or places, either delete them or inform viewers of where they can find you.

 

Judy Connor Jones handwoven maroon top

“Seems like I’m always recalculating my directions and intentions. It’s an ongoing business process. January 1 is not a magical time for me to make resolutions. I am very practical about planning how I will use my studio time in the New Year. That being said, I am in FL on vacation for two weeks replenishing my body and spirit and escaping the cold North! That’s the plan for the first two weeks!!!!” -Judy Connor Jones

4. Bend with the Wind

My personal motto is that the tree that bends with the wind is the tree that will not break. Life is in constant flux. You can have all the goals you want, your ten years mapped out, and then get hit with a whammy or simply not be happy about what you thought was going to make you happy. There are health issues, natural disasters, failed relationships, or even just subtle changes that can make what was once a dream seem empty and irrelevant. I tried that exercise once, of figuring out how many things I needed to make a month in order to make a living through my sewing. I made quilts, bags, hats, and purses. I would do a run of around 40 of a similar type of thing, photograph them, list them on Etsy, put them in different places on consignment, wholesale some…  I met my goals, things sold, and part of me really enjoyed. The other part screamed and hated it. I found that I wanted sewing to be fun for me and doing it that way, wasn’t.

I also never thought that I would end up in Kentucky. When I left Chicago (ten years ago now!), I knew that I wanted to go South, somewhere warmer. My list of wants were: near water, ability to grow things, a porch with a rocking chair, a house, a yard for my dogs, cheap rent, short winter, internet access, good hospitals, a liberal church, and nice people. I got it all here in Paducah. Will I be here ten years from now? I don’t know. That same bucket list holds true, but it could be somewhere else. It could be Africa, Mexico, South America…  It could be here. I live in an old, rickety house, so I would like that to change. Either a different house or this one needs to be fixed. So, my ten-year plan includes insulation! :)

If you are an artist or run a small business, it’s very hard to plan far into the future. So many things change so quickly with technology, world events and with culture. We face immense problems in the world that will continue to affect us and which will make themselves ever more critical in terms of our lifestyle and ability to live a life of affluence or opportunity that our parents might have had. Still, we also have great tools and a community of problem solvers that seeks solutions for those issues. I think that those who are flexible and who can bend with the wind will find life more fulfilling.

Catmaid Wearable Art Silk Top

“I want to find a balance between making things to sell and making more creative work!” -Adrienne Butvinik

5. Resolve

To have a resolution is to have the ability to problem solve. Having goals and dreams for the future allows us to live life with intention, instead of just letting life happen to us. So, you have look ahead, to plan, to figure out what the challenges are for you and then you have to plow ahead with resolve. As you move forward, live in the moment. Enjoy each day to its fullest. Look back and learn from the past. Step, change, move, envision, embrace, mutate…………. it’s that wonderful weaving that we call LIFE!

Seize the Day!

Castilleja Cotton - Floral Quilt

“I don’t set goals based on a calendar year. I have my long to do list which I track what I want to do. If it is on my list for 3 months and I still have not done it then it gets deleted or moved to a higher priority with a fixed target date.” -Diane McGregor

Resources:

Here are a couple of links to some more thoughts on looking at the new year and possibly the resolutions that go with it in a new way:

A post on weaving more creatively by Cally Booker, one of our members. Written by her for Craftsy.

A blog Cally follows, Cultural Enterprise Office.

A weekly digest that I follow, Brain Pickings, on 15 resolutions from famous people.

 

“Setting goals is easy – working towards them not so easy! I find the simplest way is always best. Start by writing down the goal then, breaking it down into parts, then smaller parts, then smaller, then smaller still. THEN, start working on those tiny parts. Bit by bit, day by day, artworks get done, photos get taken, descriptions get written, shows are completed and so on. It sounds trite, but really the key is making work a habit, even the “boring” work. Just like passing the cookie jar and reaching in is a habit, so is doing the work. Mind over matter, folks, mind over matter.”  -from our LinkedIn Group, Carmen Alana Tibbets

 

What about you? Do you have any tips on how to set realistic New Year’s resolutions? What works or doesn’t for you? Do leave a comment if you would like to contribute to the conversation. And, follow our blog in the sidebar so that you get our future posts by email! We have a lot of good stuffed planned for this year. We are resolved to do it! :)

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Book Giveaway and Blog Hop! Fast-Piece Appliqué by Rose Hughes http://www.tafalist.com/book-giveaway-and-blog-hop-fast-piece-applique-by-rose-hughes/ http://www.tafalist.com/book-giveaway-and-blog-hop-fast-piece-applique-by-rose-hughes/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:00:03 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=18174

Book Giveaway and Blog Hop! Fast-Piece Appliqué by Rose Hughes: Download a free pdf pattern and leave a comment to win Rose's book! (deadline 01-20-2014) After the deadline, you can still buy the book and enjoy the music videos.

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I am inspired daily by the textiles and fiber art that I see daily on TAFA. I love the colors, textures, function, and creativity behind the work and sometimes I feel sad because I know that I will probably not see most of it in “real” life. There is a huge difference between what you see on the web and how that piece looks in real life. Sometimes it can even be a disappointment. At other times, it’s awesome!

Rose Hughes is one of TAFA’s pioneer members, joining in March 2010, just a couple of months after we launched on our old Blogger site. A couple of years later she participated in the one event we have had so far, sending in a quilt that floored me:

Rose Hughes Art Quilt Riding-the-Thermals-6-Fullw

Rose Hughes – Riding the Thermals

I couldn’t stop looking at it! Rose uses a lot of silk in her work and this one also has velvet. The light catches it beautifully and depending on where you stand, the colors change. She collects ravens and I loved the gracefulness of her lines along with the illusion that I saw of hands dancing in the sky or moving across sand…

Then, a wonderful thing happened! Rose moved from California to Paducah, Kentucky, where I live! She is just up the street and over from me and has become a friend for life. You should see her house! Her glorious quilts shine on the walls, speaking back and forth to her hand-blown glass collection. The walls are different colors, of course, and everything just glows with warmth and color…

When you see a quilt up close and personal, you also get to see its workmanship. Rose’s quilts hang beautifully. The structures and stitching are solid. Everything works! With some of the smaller ones, she has mounted them on box frames so that they have some depth off of the wall. I really like that presentation! You also get to see the details of the hand stitching and the beads. Just gorgeous!

Rose has established a technique for her work which she has taught for years and which she now offers online at the Academy of Quilting. Her fourth book is being launched with this blog hop and giveaway, Fast-Piece Appliqué, hot off the press through Martingale.

fast-piece-applique-coverw

Official Blurb on Fast-Piece Appliqué

Create enchanting three-panel quilt designs with spectacular success using Rose’s easy Fast-Piece Applique method. Beginners and experts alike will enjoy these 11 inspiring patterns from talented designer Rose Hughes.

  • Learn to simplify complex images and incorporate them into strong, striking quilts
  • Make a single panel or several; display individually, in groupings, or stitched together into full quilts
  • Stitching and embellishing options add rich texture to your projects

 

Rose gives clear instructions on how to create several quilts that she features in the book, but more importantly, she helps you understand how you can “see” in a new way so that you can create your own designs. She breaks both the design phase and the construction techniques into clear steps that will hopefully spark a whole new way of looking at graphics and at the world. Many quilters struggle with curvy areas and Rose is all about curves and organic flow. Her technique will help you jump over that fence and take off running in those green fields of rolling hills…

 

Final Fast-Piece Applique B1277.indd

Another thing that is interesting about this specific book is that all of the projects are broken down into three panels. You can make them all work together or separate them apart, an original and fun way to plan a project.

The Word “Sing”: Free PDF File

I was so honored to have been invited to be a part of this blog hop. Rose prepared another project just for this: each of us who are participating has a free pdf file that you can download. When Rose gave me a choice of the pick, it was a no-brainer: Sing! Sing! Sing!  I love music! I envy those who have the talent of carrying such a gift inside of them. They can go anywhere, open their mouths and there it is: belt it out! I make stuff and I can sing some old stuffy hymns (which I do love, but stuffy nonetheless…).

Here’s the deal: you have to go through an ordeal and then you win! :)

I’m giving you a little tour of what sing means to me.

The first song that came to mind has been a longtime favorite, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, which was adopted as the Black National Anthem during the Civil Rights Movement. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find a good rendition on YouTube, but finally chose this one with Ray Charles because he is just such a beautiful man. It’s an oldie.

 

I love vocals. My favorite instruments are the fiddle, harmonica and accordion. In the same way, my preferred vocals tend towards the raw side. But, I admire harmonies and control. A new favorite for me is Pentatonix, known for their harmonies. This is a vocal exercise for “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”. Makes my skin prickle up!

I looove World Music! I don’t think there is anybody out there doing a better job of bringing the world together through music than Playing for Change. Support them, if you can!

Here’s an example. They go around the world and get musicians to collaborate on one song. This is “Down by the Riverside”.

It doesn’t matter to me if I don’t understand the lyrics when I listen to languages that I can’t speak (or sing…) as the voice becomes an instrument. But, if I end up really liking and following someone, I do usually end up checking out what they are singing about. Baaba Maal is probably my top favorite from Africa. He’s from Senegal and plays the Kora, which is like a harp on a gourd, a melodic instrument that is peaceful and joyful. And, of course, when watching his videos, I can’t help lusting after the African fabrics. I did look up his lyrics. He is Muslim and most songs are about God, beauty, nature, etc…  I can live with that!

I grew up in Brazil, so I have to bring someone in from that past as music is an integral part of the culture there. There are so many to pick from, but I think one of musicians who really moves me and doesn’t get as much play internationally is Ney Matogrosso. He was wild and untethered when I was a teenager. Crazy costuming and piercing lyrics, hidden under triple meanings. (Back then, we were under a military dictatorship.) He’s calmer now, but this video gives a nod to Carmen Miranda, who made it big time in the US and Europe in the 1930’s. This is a song she sang all over the world, head loaded with bananas and fruits, about a bird who was eating her corn flour.

Oh! Yodeling is a must! What better way to show how one can sing in the mountains? Who knew Jimmy Fallon and Brad Pitt could yodel?  Heh, heh… This is actually very sweet.


From that, you should see that I enjoy some humor. I’ll end with Monty Python, the song that I have as my ring tone on my phone…

(The ring tone only goes for the first part, before it gets really gory…)

Now, for the business at hand!

Get your free download!

Rose Hughes Sing Download

http://rosehughes.com/pdfs/rh-love-letters-sing.pdf

Each of the participating blogs in this hop around has a different pdf download, free from Rose through Valentine’s Day. Click on the link above to get ours and then go visit the other ones to get the rest. If you get all of the patterns, you can make this:

Rose Hughes love quilt

A Love Quilt….

Or…  make them into pillows:

Rose Hughes Love Pillows

Rose Hughes Love Pillows

The full list is on Rose’s blog, but these are the participants. They have all been great!

Jan 5th–  KISS– Victoria Findlay Wolfe
Jan 6th – SOUL– Natalie Barnes
Jan 7th – SEXY –Maddie Kertay
Jan 8th – SWAK– Teri Lucas-Generation Q
Jan 9th – LEAP– Mandy Leins
Jan 12th– LUST– Megan Dougherty
Jan 13th – HUGS– Jenny Wilding Cardon
Jan 14th – FIRE– Sam Hunter
Jan 15th – SING — Rachel Biel, TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List
Jan 16thRose Hughes
http://rosehughes.blogspot.com

Our Fast-Piece Applique blog hop ends tomorrow, January 16.

Win a free e-book!

Would you like a free e-copy of Rose’s new book? Here’s what you do:

You have seen some of the music that I like. Now I want to see something from you. Leave a nice comment for Rose and then a link to a video (YouTube or Vimeo) where we can see a song that you like. The winner will be the one who I think submitted the best one. Yep, it’s totally subjective. Make me cry! Make me laugh! Just do it with a song…  If I can’t make up my mind, I’ll do a drawing.

Deadline: January 20th

The winner will be announced here and Martingale will send you the e-book.

Update: We have a winner!

I didn’t know which video moved me the most…  So many good ones! So, I had Rose pick and she went for Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen, submitted by Allison CB:

 Allison, Martingale will contact you with the ebook!

 

Final note:

Rose is not only a TAFA member, but she is also a sponsor, which means that she is helping to support us financially. She has been a great friend (always trying to feed me…) and a valuable member to our community. She’s a wonderful, caring teacher, and I hope that you can connect with her and make use of her talent and skills. Check out Rose’s Member Profile and Sponsor Spotlight here on TAFA!

 

This one is for you, Rose!

 

From our Sponsors:

  • Artist, Teacher

    Jane Dunnewold is an artist, teacher and author of surface design techniques. She teaches and lectures internationally and at her studio in San Antonio, Texas.

  • Retail

    New England Felting Supply is your one-stop shop for all of your felting needs. They also offer classes. Check out the upcoming schedule!

  • Marketing

    Folt Bolt is Kriszta Kemény’s exceptional effort at promoting artists and the handmade community. She runs curated collections on her website and has developed an active and successful community through her Facebook page.

  • Artist

    Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts: Festival schedule and a nice display of what's available in her Etsy shop.

  • Artist, Teacher

    Learn how to fast piece applique with Rose Hughes through her books or the Online Quilting Academy!

  • Artist, Teacher

    Thread painting is a technique where needle and thread act as coloring tools for a quilt. Jennifer Day teaches her Thread Stories technique at her studio in Santa Fe.

  • School, Workshops

    The Pacific Northwest Art School offers workshops and classes in Fiber Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, and Photography. We are located on Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.

  • Textile Artist, Workshops

    Transformative textile art, Threads of Awakening, based in Buddhist tradition. Online apprenticeships and commissions. Prints. Training. Your spiritual path. Your creative practice. Connected.

  • Artist, Organization

    Silvia Piza-Tandlich of Galeria Octagono exhibiting in Poland at the 8th International Artistic Linen Cloth Biennial, Krosno 2014. The exhibit goes through 2015.

The post Book Giveaway and Blog Hop! Fast-Piece Appliqué by Rose Hughes appeared first on TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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A Weaver’s Story: Threads Between My Fingers http://www.tafalist.com/a-weavers-story-threads-between-my-fingers/ http://www.tafalist.com/a-weavers-story-threads-between-my-fingers/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:47:21 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=17740

A Weaver's Story: Threads Between My Fingers tells of how Cally Booker came to love threading the loom, enjoying the process of design through the intimacy of touch.

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cally booker threading 600I had no interest in learning to weave. In fact, I had never given weaving much thought, which is perhaps a little odd given my textile-infused upbringing. I had been sewing and knitting since I was a child, and my grandmother, mother and aunts were skilled in a range of textile crafts, including dressmaking, embroidery, knitting, crochet, dyeing – and weaving.

One day, though, when I was well into my 30s, I found myself in front of a small table loom learning to thread the individual strands of warp yarn through loops of polyester string, called heddles. I had to pick them out in sequence, matching each thread of the warp to the right heddle, and I needed to concentrate in order not to make mistakes. It was slow and fiddly to my clumsy unaccustomed fingers. And it was utterly absorbing.

It was also a revelation. Somewhere in my mind must have been the unasked question, because suddenly I had the answer: so that’s how they do it! What a simple, elegant method for organising threads so that you can manipulate them with a minimum of fuss. I bought a secondhand table loom the same day and took it home with me. A few months later I was assembling a floor loom and the following year I went back to college: all because of the pleasure of handling a few warp threads.

That was more than ten years ago, but handling the warp remains one of my favourite aspects of the weaving process.

To begin with the obvious, there is all the pleasure of starting something new. A fresh project, a new beginning – sweep away the thrums of the old warp, blow the lint from the crevices of the loom, brush the snipped off knots out from under the treadles, we’re going to make a Brand New Thing!

cally booker lease sticks 600

I put a lot of my creative energy into designing my warps, whether I am planning in detail or improvising on the day. For me a beautiful warp is a worthwhile work in itself, even if I am the only person who will ever see it on the loom.

cally booker beaming 600Even if a warp is relatively plain, the yarn looks different to me – more promising, more inviting – when it is wound into plump warp chains or spread out smoothly over the back beam of the loom.

I make warps in a variety of ways, using different tools, but I am always handling the yarn. It’s a gentle touch, not a grabbing one: the threads pass lightly through my fingers as I measure out the lengths and I love the sense of controlling the yarn with the least amount of effort. We are partners, the thread and I.

So creativity, potential, and a close relationship with the materials of my craft are important ingredients in the pleasure of these processes. There is also something deeper. A loom without a warp is a funny old thing. It seems to consist of a lot of sticks and a lot of cords holding the sticks together – you can press some parts of it and other parts will move, but the movement serves no purpose. By dressing a loom with a warp, the weaver makes it whole.

cally booker loom 800

New weavers are often intimidated by the number of different processes they need to go through, but I am dismayed when people say that they ‘love to weave but hate warping’. I am determined that my students should be able to find pleasure in all that they do, so I emphasise the positive in every stage. Here it may be the creative choices, here the rhythmic movements, here the total absorption in the task: sure we all have our favourite moments, but there is potential for enjoyment at every step.

Enjoyment also increases with mastery, and mastery takes time. Mastery here consists not so much in being able to replicate the precise steps you were taught, but in absorbing the principles and adapting them to your own tools and – the most important tool of all – your own body.

Take handedness, for example. Many weaving tasks are two-handed, and it isn’t necessarily obvious which part of the task is best carried out by one’s dominant hand. Finding the allocation which suits you may well turn out to be a matter of trial and error. It took me over a year of warping to settle on threading the loom from right to left and not from left to right.

cally booker threaded 800

On the other hand it took me no time at all to settle on using my fingers rather than a hook to thread the warp through those heddles. A tremor in my hand is magnified when I use a hook: lightly folding the yarn between my fingers gives me much better control. My slow, clumsy hands have learned to do this efficiently and accurately and the skill itself is a source of pleasure.

There are many different aspects to my creative practice as a weaver. I design, I teach, I write, I exhibit. But the wellspring of it all is the work of making which I do with my hands, holding threads between my fingers.


 

Cally Booker

Cally Booker

Cally Booker teaches weaving at her studio in Dundee, on the East Coast of Scotland. She also sells her work online.

Visit her website for more info and her weaver’s story.

Cally Booker’s profile on TAFA.

From our Sponsors:
  • Weaver

    Ann Robinson Textiles weaves beautiful handwoven accessories and dyes the fibers she uses to create fabrics. Her woven art complements classic wardrobes as well as contemporary home and office settings.

  • Weaver, Designer, Artist

    Cat Brysch Creations Studio has been weaving yardage for artists for years! Check out her studio and shop from her on Etsy.

  • Designer, Importer, Retailer

    Textiil sells artisanal fabrics, and creates modern global home decor and accessories from batik, ikat and songket sourced in Indonesia and Malaysia. We have a growing stock of sustainably made plant based dye batiks and natural dye silks.

  • School, Workshops

    The Pacific Northwest Art School offers workshops and classes in Fiber Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, and Photography. We are located on Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.

  • Artist, Organization

    Silvia Piza-Tandlich of Galeria Octagono exhibiting in Poland at the 8th International Artistic Linen Cloth Biennial, Krosno 2014. The exhibit goes through 2015.

The post A Weaver’s Story: Threads Between My Fingers appeared first on TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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Teaching Online Opens A Global Market http://www.tafalist.com/teaching-online-opens-a-global-market/ http://www.tafalist.com/teaching-online-opens-a-global-market/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 00:32:36 +0000 http://www.tafalist.com/?p=17428

Donna Kallner lives in rural Wisconsin, USA. She shares how teaching online helps her reach a global market, including what new skills she had to learn, how she sets up her filming space and the resources she uses to run successful workshops.

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Fiber artist Donna Kallner packing supplies to teach an in-person workshop.

Fiber artist Donna Kallner packing supplies to teach an in-person workshop.

For the past 15 years, I’ve packed up class supplies and traveled coast to coast across the United States. I teach textile techniques to adults at guild events, conferences and museums. It’s been easier for me to fill classes when I’m the one traveling than to bring students to my studio in rural northern Wisconsin — especially in winter.

Teaching workshops online has helped me reach a broader geographic audience for my narrowly focused specialty — an ancient textile technique called looping. I’ve had online students from all over the United States plus Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, the UK, Iceland, Israel, Greece and Spain.

New Age Looping online instruction with Donna Kallner.

New Age Looping online instruction with Donna Kallner.

My students log in to a private course site. They watch video demonstrations when it’s convenient for them. They work suggested samples on their own schedules. There’s a class forum where they can post photos of their work and ask questions. It may be a few hours before they get a reply, since we’re in so many different time zones. But no one (including me) is traveling on icy roads.

 

From Dial-Up To Global Enterprise

With no special skills or training in information technology, I would seem an unlikely candidate for teaching online. Until late 2009, we were still on dial-up. It took hours to download pictures attached to emails. We had heard of YouTube, but never seen it. My husband, a small manufacturer, and I both could feel the digital divide getting wider. But high-speed internet service seemed out of our reach, both financially and logistically because of our rural location.

When we finally found an option we could afford, one of the first things I did was take an online course in blogs and podcasts. On dial-up, we’d never seen those things. But it sounded like a class that could help me feel less like Rip Van Winkle waking up in the digital age. And it did. In late 2009, as part of that online class, I started a blog using the free Blogger platform.

About a year later, I went through those class materials again to review units I had only skimmed during the class because I was on the road teaching. When I started working through the material on video podcasts, I discovered that my simple point-and-shoot digital camera could actually take video. The response to the first video I posted online was encouraging enough to get me thinking about teaching a whole course that way.

 

 

About this time, a number of online platforms dedicated to craft instruction were emerging. They all looked great, but none offered the combination of features I wanted or long-term control over my work product. So I decided to produce videos and lesson materials on my own, and cobbled together a presentation platform using free resources like Gmail, Blogger and Vimeo. Then I offered a free pilot course via my email newsletter (I use Mailchimp). The pilot group gave me valuable feedback, and a chance to learn how to adapt my teaching style to an interface where you can’t see students’ faces. The pilot group also answered surveys that helped me develop a plan for marketing paid courses. For those surveys, I used forms created for free in Google Docs (now Google Drive).

The success of the pilot convinced me to make the move to paid courses. For that, I needed to switch from free video hosting so as not to violate the terms of service. Vimeo Pro is still the largest annual out-of-pocket expense for my online teaching enterprise. I market my paid online courses through my web site and blog, on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and on Etsy, which is where students pay for courses and receive their handouts as digital downloads.

 

Donna Kallner uses her Etsy shop to collect registration fees for online classes.

Donna Kallner uses her Etsy shop to collect registration fees for online classes.

 

Last year, I moved my courses from Blogger to a platform better suited to online instruction. Moodle, which is open-source software used by many schools and universities, was suggested by a friend who is a tech consultant for an area education agency in Iowa. While the software is free, I pay for web domain registration and hosting for my eCourse site.

A Bootstrap Business In The Basement

Screen capture from Donna Kallner's Freeform Looping online course.

Screen capture from Donna Kallner’s Freeform Looping online course.

 

Last February I launched my third paid online course, Freeform Looping, which is geared to returning students. I’m now at work on the next course in what I hope will soon be a full catalog.

 

Simple studio lighting for shooting Donna Kallner's online course videos.

Simple studio lighting for shooting Donna Kallner’s online course videos.

This is all done with a digital point-and-shoot camera and a jerry-rigged video studio that consists of a card table draped with painted muslin, two lamps I got at Menards (a hardware store), and a can light we took in trade for doing some work on a canoe.

 

I sit on my late mother-in-law’s sewing machine bench, straddling a tripod with the camera between me and the work the work in my hands. To edit videos, I use Windows Live Movie Maker and the Sound Recorder utility that came with my laptop. I do all this tucked into a small space in our basement between the cold pantry and the canning supplies.

 

Simple video set-up for shooting Donna Kallner's online course material.

Simple video set-up for shooting Donna Kallner’s online course material.

One of the hardest aspects of the process for me is producing key demonstrations that show me stitching left-handed (I’m right-handed). Demonstrating fluidly left-handed with a camera between my hands and my bifocals is much more difficult than doing it in person. But it’s important that my left-handed online students see the techniques clearly since I can’t see them to spot who may be struggling. It’s also important that my videos and class handouts can be understood by people for whom English is a second language. My marketing clearly states that classes are presented in English only, but my classes still attract a global audience.

Not counting planning, false starts and left-handed do-overs, it takes me six to eight weeks to shoot and edit a course that should run for several years. I’m getting a bit faster at editing, and becoming more efficient at planning my shots. Still, the work it takes to produce quality content is substantial — and that’s after learning all the component skills I’ve picked up since 2009.

But everything we’ve ever done to make a living involved hard work, sustained effort, constant learning and long-term commitment. So I haven’t approached online teaching as a way to get rich quick. I doubt if it makes us rich slowly, either. But since I was able to get started using mostly free or inexpensive resources and a lot of unpaid labor, we felt it was worth taking a risk.

And we learned that producing online courses complements the mix of activities we put together to make a living in an area where you kind of have to make your own economic opportunities.

Donna Kallner is a fiber artist from rural northern Wisconsin. Learn more about her work at donnakallnerfiberart.com.

Visit her Member Profile here on TAFA: Donna Kallner Fiber Art

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Photo Tips for Wearable Art by Ariane Mariane http://www.tafalist.com/photo-tips-for-wearable-art-by-ariane-mariane/ http://www.tafalist.com/photo-tips-for-wearable-art-by-ariane-mariane/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 20:56:35 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=16163

by Ariane Mariane In today’s world photos are one of the most important elements if you are an artist or a designer. Photos decide whether your work will be featured on a blog or a magazine and even if your work is chosen for an exhibit. And photos are especially important if you want to […]

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by Ariane Mariane

In today’s world photos are one of the most important elements if you are an artist or a designer. Photos decide whether your work will be featured on a blog or a magazine and even if your work is chosen for an exhibit. And photos are especially important if you want to sell online.

The most beautiful work won’t get any attention if the photo is bad.  And, also for your own records it’s hard to remember the beauty of an art work if you only have something like this:

Ariane Mariane art vest Mohn

One of my first art vests back in 2006. Very sad not to have a better quality documentation…

 

Taking good photos was one the biggest challenges in my work and became really important to me when I decided to sell online in 2008. (Ariane Mariane on Etsy) At that time, I already had quite a good bridge camera (those in between a simple one and a reflex). As a former graphic designer, I knew how to use Photoshop but retouching photos was new and I had to improve my photos through trial and error. Here some examples of photos taken in 2008:

Background too busy!

Background too busy!

Impossible to imagine what this is good for...

Impossible to imagine what this is good for…

 

It would be a lot better if I had worn some makeup!

It would be a lot better if I had worn some makeup!

 The two first photos were taken inside in natural light, while the third (already a bit better one), outside.  Not only are the photos bad quality, but so were the backgrounds I chose. To make them better I tried to retouch them with Photoshop but at that time my camera resolution was bad and I took photos in jpeg. Retouching low resolution jpegs reduces the quality even more.

 

No editing.

No editing.

After editing.

After editing.

 

Last, but not least, I didn’t make myself up for photos. I would often just run out of my atelier to hastily take some photos or if a friend came by for a chat, I would seize the opportunity to quickly take some photos in my back yard…

A quick photo shot in the back yard.

A quick photo shot in the back yard.

 

I even involved my (not always enthusiastic) family :

Yes....  My father took the photo!

Yes…. My father took the photo!

 

Frustrated by these photos, I read a lot about photo shooting, took a weekend course and decided to invest in better equipment. It started with a digital single-lens reflex camera and a really good lens (more expensive than the camera itself) allowing an opening at 1.4 on its smallest aperture.  The higher camera resolution and the possibility to take photos in RAW were the major advantages.  RAW is a kind of neutral format – the picture is taken without any modifications and it’s perfect for retouches without losing any quality. This finally allowed me to take close-ups, too!

 

Close-up of an art vase.

Close-up of an art vase.

 

One day my hubby (probably to be less involved 😉 ) offered me a tripod, very cool to take photo of myself with a remote controller!

 

Ariane Mariane gets Tripod = being artiste, photographer and model at the same time.

Tripod = being artiste, photographer and model at the same time.

 

I also started to invite friends for real photo shooting sessions and worked on photos for hours in order to get something appealing.

 

Indoor photo near window without flash.

Indoor photo near window without flash.

Ariane Mariane felt dress.

Cropped and pasted on to floral back ground with flowers added to the front.

 

The best light for a photo shooting is definitely outside. But, asking your friends to come over for a photo shoot is one thing – asking them to do it outside with all neighbors staring, is another… To take photos inside I had to pray for a bright day. To become independent from natural light, I finally invested into flashes. Today I work with two professional flash lights and a huge white background fabric (6 m x 3 m). I take my time organizing a photo shoot on a special day and my living room gets transformed into a nearly professional studio.

No editing on this photo.

No editing on this photo.

 

Now retouching is easy going – just a bit of  balancing brightness and contrast:

 

Easy edit just by raising the brightness and contrast.

Easy edit just by raising the brightness and contrast.

 

I pay more attention to makeup, too. It seems to me there is a “ more is more rule” for photos. One should add much more makeup than one would  in normal life or even for a very special event.

Ariane Mariane felt scarf and mini hat.

No longer jumping from the studio in front of the camera – I prepare myself for this part of my job with care.

 

Ariane Mariane Felt vest and mini hat

My golden rule for photos: more is more!

 

Ariane Mariane scarf.

Making a photo is like creating a work of art. It’s all about storytelling!

 

Finally, taking good photos is like making good art work, you have to tell a story and it takes time to improve your skills.  I still have to learn a lot, but today I accept taking photos as a part of my job and even as a creative process. It helps me to see my work with new eyes. And I also love that these photos allow me to show my work to the world. I really appreciate the feedback-  it’s been great input for improving my art.

Ariane Mariane model with vest.

Great models are more than helpful!

 

Ariane Mariane's daughter

Next generation’s model: my daughter <3

 

One of the most important thing is that I’m surrounded by some very talented young ladies! Without them my photos wouldn’t be the same.

Many thanks to Zoé, Eva, Mirka, Lola and Nathalie!!!

 


 

Note from Rachel:

Ariane and I talked about other photography changes that she has made over the years, like having a consistent size (all of her images are now square) and water marking. We will do another post with more tips. Feel free to ask her questions in the comments.

We cannot stress enough how important photography is for those of us who have a web presence! Most people will not go that extra mile to learn how to develop these skills, but as technology continues to evolve, it has become easier to take better photos with minimal skills. You still need to learn basics like cropping and how to lighten, darken or give a photo more contrast, but even the basic point and shoot cameras these days give decent results. I have heard good things about the Sony cameras in the $100 range.

There are many tutorials and resources online, millions of videos on YouTube. Just search for beginning digital photography tutorials or use key words like “how to crop an image” to find out how to do these things. If tech skills are not your strength, reach out to people in your community who can help you and pay them to photograph for you. A couple of fun sites that have photo editing tools and where you can also make collages: PicMonkey and Fotor.

Make sure to sign up to receive our future posts by email! The sign-up box is in the sidebar and in the footer.

Now, visit Ariane Mariane on Etsy and enjoy more of her wonderful work. Click on any of the thumbnails below to see that item in her shop and then when you are there, be sure to explore the rest of it. Who knows? Maybe you will see something that is a Must Have! And, you will be supporting Ariane in the process. :)

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TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List- New Member Focus http://www.tafalist.com/tafa-the-textile-and-fiber-art-list-new-member/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafa-the-textile-and-fiber-art-list-new-member/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 14:31:51 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13927

TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List was launched in 2010 with the primary goal of helping online businesses in our community reach larger markets. A secondary goal seeks to help these members improve their web presence in an ever-changing and fast environment on the web. We have used social media heavily with our Facebook […]

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TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List was launched in 2010 with the primary goal of helping online businesses in our community reach larger markets. A secondary goal seeks to help these members improve their web presence in an ever-changing and fast environment on the web. We have used social media heavily with our Facebook page evolving into our most valuable resource.

TAFA now has over 500 members from over 40 countries with a rich and varied portfolio of techniques and business goals. Some sell products through their shopping carts, either on Etsy or their stand-alone sites, while others teach, exhibit, publish or are peer organizations with their own focuses. A third benefit from our membership has manifested itself as “inspiration”. Both our members and our community at large have shown great enthusiasm for the quality and range of the work represented on our site. As members are vetted in based on their professionalism, we have been able to keep the standards quite high. This includes having an established web presence (beyond social media) with good photography and clear goals outlined on the site or blog.

TAFA has two sites, our main one with the member profiles, events and map, and this one where we host our blog and member forum. Learn more about what we do on our About and Membership pages.

New Members

We invite you to check out some of our new members who have joined TAFA this year. Click on the links to go to their Member Profiles where you will find their websites and social media links.

Weaving Hand

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Weaving Hand is an organization that embraces global weaving traditions, fosters working partnerships with an international community of weavers, and operates as a healing arts center.

Weaving Hand Educational Trip

Weaving Hand Educational Trip

 

The Art of Recycling

Leominster, HEF, United Kingdom
Jenni Stuart-Anderson has been recycling rags into rugs since 1987.

The Art of Recycling Rag Rug

The Art of Recycling Rag Rug

Amy C. Lund, Handweaver

Tiverton, Rhode Island, USA

Amy’s goal is to use natural yarns and traditional weave structures to highlight form and function in classic fabrics for unique hand towels, table linens, scarves, blankets and rugs. She has a great shop on Etsy!

Amy C. Lund, Handweaver - Linen Towel

Amy C. Lund, Handweaver – Linen Towel

D. Ellis Originals

Poulsbo, Washington, USA

Dawna creates textile vessels and was selected as one of the finalists for the 2014 NICHE Awards.

D. Ellis Originals Textile Vessels

D. Ellis Originals Textile Vessels

Gilda Baron

Greater London, HRW, United Kingdom

Gilda embroiders exquisite dimensional landscapes and flowers and has authored a book about her technique. She teaches workshops and exhibits regularly.

Gilda Baron Landscape Embroidery and Batik

Gilda Baron Landscape Embroidery and Batik

BSL Art Quilts

Plymouth, Wisconsin, USA

Barbara creates art quilts inspired by the farm and countryside scenes where she lives. She documents her process on her blog and has established a loyal following there.

BSL Art Quilts - Rooster

BSL Art Quilts – Rooster

 

Frances Ergen Designs

Selçuk, Turkey

After living in London and Australia, Frances has landed in Turkey and works towards promoting the textiles and women from there. She has a well stocked shop on Etsy with Turkish textiles and home accents.

Frances Ergen - Turkish Textiles

Frances Ergen Designs – Turkish Textiles

 

Cally Booker

Dundee, DND, United Kingdom

Cally weaves with luxury yarns, inspired by the city scapes of Dundee, Scotland.

Cally Booker Handwoven Shawl

Cally Booker Handwoven Shawl

 

Denise Lithgow Textile Artist

Sydney, NSW, Australia

Denise uses a variety of techniques to create wall art, vessels, garments and other products, all centering on her love for wool.

Denise Lithgow Textile Artist

Denise Lithgow Textile Artist

 

The Quilter’s Alley

Bethel, Connecticut, USA

Roxanne Lasky runs a brick and mortar quilt shop where she teaches classes. She has authored a book and works in many mediums, including fiber.

Roxanne Lasky of The Quilter's Alley- House

Roxanne Lasky of The Quilter’s Alley- House


As you can see, we are quite the eclectic group, working around the world with both new and old textiles, using our common language of fiber!  I find it so hopeful and encouraging to think of all of these people doing there work in their corners of the world, especially since so many of them are also deeply connected to nature, to healing and to connecting people to artistic expression and cultural understanding. The best way to get a bird’s eye view is to scroll down our Member List and explore the profiles that catch your eye.

TAFA’s membership fee is $75 for a lifetime membership. This buys the member profile page on our site. You will find links to our site and more information on the sidebar. We invite you to explore, share, and participate with us on our social media hubs and by leaving comments on our blog. If you would like to join us as a member, please read and follow the process outlined on the Membership Page.  TAFA is a wonderful community!

Join TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

 

 

 

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The Amazing Versatility of Felt: A Peek at Felting Techniques on TAFA http://www.tafalist.com/felting-techniques-on-tafa/ http://www.tafalist.com/felting-techniques-on-tafa/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 02:03:30 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13894

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Turkish Shepherd with a felt kepenek, a cape worn to keep him warm.

Turkish Shepherd with a felt kepenek, a cape worn to keep him warm.

The only things I have felted have pretty much been by mistake: sweaters and socks in the washer and dryer. Have you done that? Oops! But, it’s a field of study and practice that fascinates me and if I already didn’t have bins and bins of other supplies, felting would hook me in, for sure. I get to drool over what TAFA members make and find their work inspiring and impressive.

Wool fibers have little scales on them that act like hooks. People figured this out hundreds of years ago and have made use of this property to adorn themselves and their homes with felt. Here is a look at what different fibers look like under a microscope:

Wool and other fibers under a microscope.

Wool and other fibers under a microscope.

When you pound those wool fibers together, they grab on to each other, creating felt, which is not woven or knit or crocheted or held together in any other way besides sticking to the scaly hooks next to each other. This means that it can be cut with no fraying and will hold its shape in sculptural form. The possibilities are endless!

Of course, the pounding part of it is a lot of work…. :)

Watch this video of Mongolian nomads making felt for their yurts:

A lot of work, right? It takes a village and a song or two…  Their coats are also made of felt as are many of their rugs, wall coverings, hats, boots, bags and so on.

Let’s look at some of the felting techniques our TAFA artists are using. As I said, I am not a felter and even though I see it on a daily basis, don’t feel super confident about terms and tools, so bear with me if I make a mistake and speak up in the comments.

Click on the images to visit their profiles on TAFA.

Washing Machine

My method! It has to do with heat, soap, and the repetition of movement back and forth. Apparently the front loading models of washing machines won’t work. You’ll need to have the old fashioned one. This method is called “fulling”. (See Leisa Rich’s comment at the bottom.)

Denise Handwerker of Feltwerker (I love her name!) buys old wool sweaters at thrift stores, felts them, cuts them up and makes new things out of them. Unfortunately for Denise, I’ve heard that it’s getting harder and harder to find 100% wool sweaters second hand because all the felters snatch them up.

Feltwerker Recycled Felt Pillow

Feltwerker Recycled Felt Pillow

 

Wet Felting

Like with the washing machine method, the key is water, soap and movement. One way to do it is to lay fibers down, wet it, soap it up, cover with bubble wrap, roll it up, and lay your weight on it, going back and forth, back and forth. You can keep opening it up and adding more elements and then wrapping it up again and roll, roll, roll. Most of the felting techniques scream “Carpal tunnel!!!” to me, as repetition is key. Careful how you use your bod and wrists…

Fortunately, Robbin and Harry Firth of HeartFelt Silks came up with a tool that really helps with this process: the Palm Washboard! The teeth in the washboard helps move the soap and water around, applies pressure, and you can eliminate a lot of the rolling and rolling. It’s still a lot of work, but it looks fun, too! Check it out:

Wet felting allows you to create flat fabrics that have body and texture. Most often, they are thick and provide warmth. The flat sections can be joined together by creating flaps and using friction to “glue” them together, allowing vessels and three dimensional shapes to grow from that flat starting point. Ariane Mariane is probably our most experimental artist moving from form to function with abandon. It’s been quite the trip to see her evolve over the years and I can only wonder what will come next! Her signature product was a vest that could be worn inside out and upside down, creating many different looks from one piece. Right now she is on a tiny hat kick, one cuter than the other. But, my favorites are her sculptural pieces, often cartoonish characters with a sense of humor:

Ariane Mariane Felt Bird and House

Ariane Mariane Felt Bird and House

 

There are so many great felt artists on TAFA! So hard to pick who to show….  But, here are a couple more examples of wet felting. As you can see, the wool can be dyed in vibrant colors and you can stitch and quilt into it to create extra textures.

Atelier Iona Loyola Green Felt Scarf

Atelier Iona Loyola Green Felt Scarf

 

Feuer und Wasser Felt Scarf

Feuer und Wasser Felt Scarf

 

Feuer und Wasser‘s work also tends toward vibrant colors, but I liked it that this one showed a guy wearing a neck warmer. Be bold, ye modern men! You can have fun with what you wear, too!

Nuno Felt

Nuno felt is a lot like regular wet felting and all of the artists above use it as well. Actually, I believe that Atelier Iona Loyola’s scarf is a nuno felt one. This process adds other thin fabrics into the mix, normally silk. When the wool and silk are rubbed together, the wool fibers will penetrate the silk and stick to it. This is such a luxurious addition to wool as it can take away the itchiness or roughness that raw wool might have for some people. Rarely does someone come up with something “new” these days, yet nuno felting is credited to artist Polly Stirling who came up with it in the early 1990’s.

Adding silk lightens the fabric, while still allowing it to retain warmth and body. Here is a jacket by Jacki Sleator using the nuno felt technique:

Jacki Sleator Nuno Felt Jacket

Jacki Sleator Nuno Felt Jacket

Needle Felting

This is where felt artists go bonkers! This process does not involve water, but it does involve working wool fibers with repetitive motions. The super basic approach is to poke it with a stick, shoving the fibers into each other until they stick and get compressed. You have to do it a gazillion times to make it grow and take shape.

Many of our TAFA needle felters also like to make animals. They are so wonderful! Daria Lvovsky’s (Art of Felting) work is breath taking as she captures so much expression and realism in her subjects.

Art of Felting Needle Felted Vulture

Art of Felting Needle Felted Vulture

A few more favorites, showing how versatile needle felting can be:

Bear Creek Felting

Bear Creek Felting


Stacy Polson - The Old Man in the Teapot

Stacy Polson – The Old Man in the Teapot

 

Pencil and Sheep- Siggy

Pencil and Sheep- Siggy

I find each one exceptional! Oh, and no….  most of these artists are not poking the fiber with one needle like the video artist. There are all kinds of tools now that have big long sharp teeth and even machines that can speed things up a lot. There are only so many hours in a day, right?

Many needle felters also use the technique to create wall art, flat works that can have a great deal of detail and more control than wet felting. This lion has been a personal favorite since I first saw it:

Cloverleaf Art and Fibre- Kalahari King Felted Lion

Cloverleaf Art and Fibre- Kalahari King Felted Lion

Shana Kohnstamm pushes form and function even further. She has been interested in how to make her felt work marry with electronics, perhaps creating sounds or lighting up:

Shana Kohnstamm Pod Light

Shana Kohnstamm Pod Light

 

Commercial Felts

Most of us were introduced to felt as children, perhaps in pre-school, where we learned how to cut, glue and stitch. Not everybody wants to start from scratch with felt and there are many great sources out there that sell felt that is ready to go. They come in many grades, thicknesses and there are plenty of green companies selling compassionate wool products. The shearing of sheep can be quite gruesome in the bigger operations, so try to support the smaller operations who call their sheep by name.

Some of our artists who work with and manipulate commercial felt with stitching and needle felting:

Fuzzy Logic Felt Coasters

Fuzzy Logic Felt Coasters

 

Nestle and Soar- Felt Pillows

Nestle and Soar- Felt Pillows

 

Manitoba Gifts Pin Cushions

Manitoba Gifts Pin Cushions

 

Well, that’s it! There is so much more, but from here, you will have to go and explore. Do some keyword searches in our navigation bar and see what you find there. About half of our members have shops on Etsy and we have a destination there: type TAFA into Etsy’s search bar. You can add key words, so here what you will find there for TAFA Felt on Etsy.

And, remember, the next time you shrink that sweater in your washing machine, think of all the things you can do with that felt!

Enjoy and be inspired! If you are a felter, kudos to you! 

 

  • Retail

    New England Felting Supply is your one-stop shop for all of your felting needs. They also offer classes. Check out the upcoming schedule!

  • Marketing

    Folt Bolt is Kriszta Kemény’s exceptional effort at promoting artists and the handmade community. She runs curated collections on her website and has developed an active and successful community through her Facebook page.

  • School, Workshops

    The Pacific Northwest Art School offers workshops and classes in Fiber Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, and Photography. We are located on Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.

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Twelve Great Examples of Art Quilt Techniques http://www.tafalist.com/twelve-great-examples-of-art-quilt-techniques/ http://www.tafalist.com/twelve-great-examples-of-art-quilt-techniques/#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 22:01:31 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13875

Twelve quilts help introduce us to the varied art quilt techniques artists use in design: color, composition, shadowing, depth, and much more!

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We have amazing talent among our TAFA members and they serve as a source of great inspiration for our textile and fiber art community. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the techniques that our art quilters use in designing their textiles. A great way to start exploring this talent is to go to our tag for Art Quilts and click on the ones that catch your eye. The featured images might not necessarily show a quilt, but that member has been tagged because she (or he!) does work in that field.

I found it really hard to narrow down my choices as there really are so many quilts that I love on the site! Still, I chose some that would illustrate key techniques that we can talk about. Click on the images below to visit their member profiles.

Basics

An art quilt can be any size and may use many different elements to pull it together. But, for our purposes, we define an art quilt as a textile that has a top, a middle layer of batting, and a backing. Beyond those common denominators, what happens next is up for grabs and defined by each personal relationship that the maker develops with the surface. Materials, colors, surface design techniques, subject matter and everything else that happens in the piece is purely subjective and has no rules. That is why these are called “art”!

Composition

Where things are placed on the surface invites the eye to come in and then move around. Choices might involve simple lines or chaotic energy, but good composition in any art medium creates interest.

Justcolours.de - Line Spiel XIX

Justcolours.de – Line Spiel XIX

Uta Lenk did a series of lines and how they move. The lines are playing together and show great movement, inviting you to follow them along. The color choices she used also help create that illusion of movement. She dyes all of her own fabric.

Color

Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry has carved a reputation for herself as a master in this field and one of her signatures is her use of color. You see one of Caryl’s quilts and know that it is hers immediately if you are familiar with her work. She started out dyeing her own fabrics and then moved into designing fabric lines for Benartex that uses her color palettes, often brilliantly vibrant.

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry - Spirogyra 3 Art Quilt

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry – Spirogyra 3

Composition, of course, is also a driving force in Caryl’s quilts.

Black and White

The absence of color can also create striking moods or statements. There actually is no absence of color as even in a black and white design, you can have a huge scale of grey-scale tones. Caryl actually has a great exercise to help find values in your color scale where you xerox various colored fabrics into a black and white print out to find how those colors contrast or work with each other in value.

Catherine Timm uses this technique expertly in many of her quilts. Notice the little patch of red that she uses on this one, making that element pop out against a busy background.

Catherine Timm - Winter Forest Sumac - Art Quilt

Catherine Timm – Winter Forest Sumac

 

Depth Perception

Creating depth with fabric can be a challenge. Often architectural quilts or landscapes can look flat and uninviting. Catherine’s forest scene above achieves depth perception expertly with great use of shadows and textures. Ann Harwell also does quite a few landscapes and complex architectural structures like this one, an excellent example of a successful work showing depth.

Ann Harwell Art - Empyrean - Architectural Art Quilt

Ann Harwell Art – Empyrean – Architectural

 

Shadowing

Depth perception goes hand in hand with the ability to create believable shadows. Joan Sowada does this effectively with a minimal use of fabric choices. Her portraits and scenes are broken down to a few important values that will tell the story. Look at the boy’s back leg (the one pushing the swing). She basically chose three fabrics to create the shadows and because those curve with the shape of the leg, they also capture movement and strength.

 

Joan Sowada - Tire, Art Quilt

Joan Sowada – Tire

Landscapes

Again, the elements above really shape the success of a good landscape design. I think that many art quilters try to “copy” the feel that an oil painting might have and over compensate with using too many tiny pieces of fabric to try capture that same feel. Some do this with great success, but my feeling is that a fabric landscape has a different feel from an oil painting and should feel comfortable in that “skin”. Barbara Lardon’s landscapes have this feeling of comfort. Many of her subjects have to do with farming and rural scenes from where she lives in Wisconsin. There is a huge genre in the primitive/folk art arena that addresses similar topics in a cutesy way, but her quilts are elegant, smooth and inviting.

BSL Art Quilts - The Riverfront Art Quilt

BSL Art Quilts – The Riverfront

Photography

There are so many wonderful processes being used to combine photography with other surface techniques. Barbara McKie’s quilts are a stunning example of mixing photography into commercial or hand dyed fabrics along with quilting to complement or contrast with the imagery in the photo.

Barbara McKie - Perching Pelican Art Quilt

Barbara McKie – Perching Pelican Art Quilt

The bird and fence are her photo while the sky was hand painted. Works beautifully!

Traditional

Unfortunately, the quilt community has some pretty awful internal divisions, based pretty much on art quilters dismissing traditional quilters as “not real artists” and the traditional quilters retaliating with “that’s not a real quilt”. It’s a shame because most art quilters start out by falling in love with traditional quilts, making a few and then finding themselves pulled out towards more self expression. I think that the main problem for our community has to do with the price point or value that is associated with the finished products. Traditional quilters rarely get paid fair wages for their labor, compete with China and India as box stores bring in inexpensive replicas of American quilt designs, so they find themselves protective of both their heritage and skills. For example, a traditional quilter’s quilting is evaluated by how many stitches per inch they can get (the more the better!) while an art quilter could care less about that, boldly stitching big fat stitches in yarn if that is the look they want to include. Meanwhile, art quilters want recognition in the fine art field, not because they want distance from the “craft”, but because they want the same financial compensation that an oil painter might get in those circles.

There is room for both and we all need to constantly educate and look for ways in which we can build bridges within our community. Some do that by incorporating traditional quilt designs as a reference within an art quilt, lovely marriage of aesthetics! Then, there are the cultural quilts in other parts of the world and they, too, play a part in how the art quilt scene has developed.

Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo is one such example. She studied the art of silk Thangka making by apprenticing with Tibetan Buddhist monks in India. She now teaches these skills through workshops which also have spiritual and healing components to the actual practical knowledge of making a Tibetan quilt.

Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo - Chenrezig Silk Applique Thangka Art Quilt

Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo – Chenrezig Silk Applique Thangka

 

Shape

Art quilters like to think out of the box. A quilt does not have to be a square or a rectangle. Therese May’s quilts are not square and the actual shape of the quilt adds a great deal of interest to the overall design. She also makes great use of words, both script and blocked, in her quilts, inviting the viewer to participate in her messages of healing and inspiration.

Therese May - Trees Are Good For You - Art Quilt

Therese May – Trees Are Good For You

 

Surface Design

The techniques art quilters use to create their textiles are endless. I picked three examples that I think offer some added information that is different from the ones above.

Rose Hughes - Ebbing Mesas

Rose Hughes – Ebbing Mesas

Rose Hughes teaches many of the design elements that I mentioned above. She has written several books about her technique and also makes great use of color and composition. Rose tends to work with hand dyed silks that she then couches and embellishes with beads and other focal pieces. Make sure to follow her blog as she is always sharing new tips and exercises for developing design skills.

Kathryn Harmer Fox - The Pigness in Us All - Art Quilt

Kathryn Harmer Fox – The Pigness in Us All

Kathryn Harmer Fox uses her painting skills on fabric and then reinforces her images with intense quilting. This creates great textures within the fabric. Her people, animals, and nature scenes are just wonderful, filled with activity, warmth and emotion.

Mary Pal - Looking Back - Art Quilt

Mary Pal – Looking Back

Mary Pal has developed her own technique using cheese cloth to create powerful portraits, a great example of both shadowing and depth. All of that texture and movement happening in the cheesecloth is set off beautifully by simple, bold areas of “blank” spaces, normally a single color.

___________

 

I hope this overview excites you about all of the possibilities that can be done in this exciting field! When you find a technique that captures your imagination, dig into it and learn more about how it’s done. We don’t want you to copy what that artist is doing, but rather have new doors open up for you where you can find the skills to bring your own ideas to fruition. Many of our members teach or have written books on their specialties, so don’t hesitate to connect with them, to ask them questions, to follow them wherever they are on social media and to develop relationships with them.

We’d also love to hear about what you do, if you quilt or work with textiles, use any special art quilt techniques, what design elements drive you…  Do you have any favorite artists or traditions that have a special impact for you? Feel free to share in the comments section. You can follow our posts by signing up to receive them by email in the sidebar, too.

Click to visit our member list on TAFA!

 

 Revised 01/7/2015 with new site links.

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Felted Mini-Hats by Ariane Mariane http://www.tafalist.com/felted-mini-hats/ http://www.tafalist.com/felted-mini-hats/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 21:59:50 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13831

Do you wonder where artists and artisans get their inspiration from? Ariane from Ariane Mariane/ Paris has a leitmotif (recurrent theme) that finds ground in a sentence from Picasso : “Inspiration exists but it has to find you working”. Most of her ideas “find her” when she lays out wool fibers or rubs the felt work. The […]

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Do you wonder where artists and artisans get their inspiration from? Ariane from Ariane Mariane/ Paris has a leitmotif (recurrent theme) that finds ground in a sentence from Picasso : “Inspiration exists but it has to find you working”. Most of her ideas “find her” when she lays out wool fibers or rubs the felt work. The eternal repetition of the same actions over a long period of time gets her into meditation mode, a kind of daydream where her thoughts follow their own reasoning.

Ariane Mariane Mini Hats

Ariane Mariane Mini Hats

Ariane shares her creative process

I can give you a concrete example of how I came up with the ideas for the fancy, artsy top hat fascinators that I am making now. I think of them as “mini hats”. This story started when one of my charming New York clients asked me to bring some of my felt hats on the trip I had been planning there. I live in Paris and many of my hats are large sculptural works. As spring and summer were approaching, she also asked for “summer hats”. This great request had two problems for me:

1. The sculptural hats take a lot of space in a suitcase
2. In order to make them stand on their own, these hats are thick, more suited for winter than summer accessories.

Ariane Mariane Sculptural Hats

Ariane Mariane Sculptural Hats

Always willing to make my clients happy, I started thinking about a solution, day and night. Weeks went by and no idea came up (even while working hard). Ten days before departure, I was sure I couldn’t find a solution in time. Suddenly the answer landed in my hands!

Ariane Mariane felt necklaces.

Ariane Mariane felt necklaces.

I was preparing samplers for my summer master class felt workshop. To teach how to make three-dimensional high quality felt work, I developed a necklace which allowed my students to learn and improve this technique on a small scale. While working on a sampler I just happened to put it on my head. (No, please! Don’t ask why! 😉 ). Watching myself in the mirror with this kind of crown, there was a big – WARROUM – and something pressed the shutter button.

Ariane Mariane with felted mini hat.

Ariane Mariane with felted mini hat.

The idea of the mini hat was born!

Easy to take in my luggage and a fancy accessory even for spring and summer. Of course the client was enchanted – and so are more and more unique beings!

These head sculptures now come in many shapes, forms and colors. They are meant for trendsetters and those who like a bit of fun and art in everyday life. And if you don’t find the perfect one for you, it will be my pleasure to create a very special one for you!

 

How about you?

Have you ever had a WARROUM moment? How does inspiration happen in your brain, your spirit, your muse? Please share in the comments! We would love to hear from you.

Ariane Mariane Red Felt Mini Hat

Ariane Mariane Red Felt Mini Hat

Ariane has created a “Wall of Fame” on her Facebook page where she has started to post customer photos that are sent in. You too can get seen there if you buy one of her hats! They are so much fun!

One of our pioneer members, Ariane joined TAFA back in September of 2010 and has been active from day one. Her Member Profile. She has shared her joys and struggles openly (See The Price We Pay) and has always made herself approachable. Her fun, warm spirit is contagious and delightful! Ariane is also a member of our Artizan Made collective, our sister site for marketing online shops.

Ariane Mariane Felted Hat Mask

Ariane Mariane Felted Hat Mask

Some of her felted mini-hats are pictured below, along with the larger ones. They link to her shop on Etsy, so click and you land on the listing. Unfortunately, the widget that we are using does not do currency conversions, so the prices you see here are Euros, not US Dollars. 

Shop Ariane Mariane!

 


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Elena Rosenberg Wearable Art at Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 2014 http://www.tafalist.com/philadelphia-museum-of-art-craft-show/ http://www.tafalist.com/philadelphia-museum-of-art-craft-show/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 01:03:04 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13812

Elena Rosenberg, New York wearable fiber artist and knit designer, has been invited to participate in the 38th annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 2014, as an emerging artist. The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft show is a premier display and sale of contemporary craft by the finest and most dynamic craft artists in […]

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Elena Rosenberg, New York wearable fiber artist and knit designer, has been invited to participate in the 38th annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 2014, as an emerging artist. The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft show is a premier display and sale of contemporary craft by the finest and most dynamic craft artists in the United States.

Elena Rosenberg Grey Set

Elena Rosenberg Grey Set

Each year, the jury selects no more than 195 artists from over 1,000 applications. This year’s jury included Elisabeth Agro (Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Decorative Art at Philadelphia Museum of Art), Carolyn Benesh (Co-editor of Ornament Magazine), and Peter Korn (Author of “Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman,” and Director of Center for Furniture Craftsmanship), and Yvonne Markowitz (Curator of Jewelry, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston).

The show takes place in Philadelphia, PA November 6-9, 2014. http://pmacraftshow.org/

Elena is also the recipient of the 2014 NICHE Award for Excellent and Innovation in Fashion Accessories.

Elena Rosenberg Fuchsia Set

Elena Rosenberg Fuchsia Set

Elena has been an active TAFA member since June of 2012. She actively works in the textile community in a variety of capacities and we are so very proud of her! Find her links on her profile page and follow her wherever you are active. If you can make the Philadelphia Show, you are in for a treat! Here is a typical booth display from Elena’s past shows:

Elena is also a TAFA sponsor, a financial supporter who helps us keep on ticking!

Sponsor Info

Congratulations, Elena Rosenberg!!!

 

Elena Rosenberg Red Set Web

Elena Rosenberg Red Set

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Work Spaces: Where Textiles and Fiber Art Get Made, Part 2 http://www.tafalist.com/work-spaces-2/ http://www.tafalist.com/work-spaces-2/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 13:55:13 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13722

TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List has a widely diverse membership, brought together by a shared love for the work they do with textiles and fiber art. All of us have an online presence, but what we do can range from knitting on a favorite couch to working in large scale production with economic development […]

The post Work Spaces: Where Textiles and Fiber Art Get Made, Part 2 appeared first on TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.

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TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List has a widely diverse membership, brought together by a shared love for the work they do with textiles and fiber art. All of us have an online presence, but what we do can range from knitting on a favorite couch to working in large scale production with economic development initiatives. Some members make their living through creating products for sale, others teach, while others publish or exhibit their works. The handmade process always translates into labor intensive techniques, but the materials and tools needed vary dramatically. Travel around the world to visit some of our work spaces.

Click on the names to visit their profiles on TAFA where you will find more info and links to their sites. The first image of each slideshow shows an example of what is made in that space. Enjoy!

This is Part Two. Visit Part One.

 

 Gilgulim

Israel

Hagar Arnon began making fabric beads by recycling old ties. Now she incorporates other fabrics that she likes along with beads and findings to make necklaces and earrings.

Click to view slideshow.

HeartFelt Silks

USA

Robbin and Harry Firth run a felt shop and studio in Stillwater, Minnesota, where they offer workshops. Inventors of the palm washboard, their main focus is on wet felting.

Click to view slideshow.

Karen Anne Glick

USA

Karen uses the stitch, real or metaphorical, as a reference to connect the past to the present. She is a mixed media artist who explores minimalism with an emphasis on color and shape.

Click to view slideshow.

Kasia Urban Rybska

Poland

Kasia enjoys creating needlepoint designs of everyday, mundane objects and funny looking people. She has recently started teaching workshops and is enjoying them thoroughly!

Click to view slideshow.

Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo

USA

Leslie trained in India with Tibetan monks on the art of sacred embroidery. She teaches this spiritual practice online and through workshops.

Click to view slideshow.

LoomOnTheLake

USA

Lynn specializes in complex patterns which she weaves into scarves, shawls and home textiles. She just got a new loom which is supposed to open all kinds of design possibilities, so we are excited to see what will happen next!

Click to view slideshow.

Lorie McCown

USA

Lorie paints and stitches in her home studio in Virginia.

Click to view slideshow.

MarketPlace: Handwork of India

India

MarketPlace is a fair trade organization working to empower women (and men!) through the production of their comfortable, artsy garments and home textiles.

Click to view slideshow.

mm handwovens

USA

Margery weaves beautiful scarves using exotic threads. She also knits and makes cards and buttons.

Click to view slideshow.

Nestle and Soar

USA

Georgianne Holland specializes in home textiles, many of which are inspired by the birds and trees native to her Colorado landscape. Georgianne has recently added a healthy living component to her business.

Click to view slideshow.

Pamela Penney Textile Arts

USA

Pamela Penney practices a wide range of the textile arts from her studio in Oak Park, Illinois. She teaches workshops and is actively engaged in her local community.

Click to view slideshow.

Priscilla Creations

USA

Priscilla sews and embellishes garments and quilts.

Click to view slideshow.

Rayela Art

USA

I’m the one writing this post, so will go for the 1st person… :)  I like to work on large scale textiles but don’t have the space so recently went back to embroidery and other needlework. I just finished my first hooked rug! I stitch late at night in my living room, watching movies with one eye and the needle with the other. There are no closets in my house, so it’s a mess of supplies and products that I sell on Etsy, stacked in shelving in the dining room and in my bedroom.

Click to view slideshow.

Sally Manke Fiber Artist

USA

Sally Manke is a renaissance woman, practicing a multitude of textile techniques. Quilts, baskets, and much more!

Click to view slideshow.

Something Else Studio

USA

Jannelle has a long history of sewing garments and accessories. Every summer, she and her husband Joe, spend several months in the Renaissance Faire circuit. They have a permanent home there with a studio area and she works from her home during the rest of the year.

Click to view slideshow.

Studio Jules

USA

Jules Rushing dyes fabric for sale and creates quilts.

Click to view slideshow.

TAMMACHAT Natural Textiles

Canada

Ellen Agger and Allison Kase have been working with weavers in Thailand and Laos since 2007, focusing on traditional rural weaving techniques made from organic silks and cotton.

Click to view slideshow.

Tilonia

India

Tilonia is a mission driven economic development project in India with its marketing arm in the United States. Associated with the esteemed Barefoot College in India, Tilonia’s products focus on accessories and home textiles.

Click to view slideshow.

Wrapture by Inese

Latvia

Inese Liepina made her start in the US and ended up in Latvia. She currently makes knitted garments and accessories made from recycled yarns from Turkey. She collaborates with Catherine Bayar of Bazaar Bayar (featured in Part One) on knitting patterns that use the same yarns she recycles.

Click to view slideshow.

 

What about you? Are you a maker? What kind of space needs do you have? What do you like the best about where you work? What do you wish you had? My wish would be to have a dedicated space where I can close the door from my living area. Right now it feels like I am living in a warehouse. At the same time, I LOVE working from home, being able to play with my dogs, take breaks when I want to, and have everything within reach.

Leave a comment and share links to your space if you have anything up online.

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Images of Motherhood in Textiles and Fiber Art http://www.tafalist.com/motherhood-in-textiles/ http://www.tafalist.com/motherhood-in-textiles/#comments Sun, 04 May 2014 20:55:03 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13704

Figurative work often explores the narrative of the personal, the relationships that make or break our lives and our world order. Motherhood, as a theme, tends to luck out on the spectrum of emotions. Equated with the generous and tender roles of guardians, protectors, teachers, they warm the heart. Those of us who are mothers […]

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Mary Kroetsch- Mother and Daughter, Talisman Fibre Arts Studio

Embroidery by Mary Kroetsch of Talisman Fibre Arts Studio- Mother and Daughter

Figurative work often explores the narrative of the personal, the relationships that make or break our lives and our world order. Motherhood, as a theme, tends to luck out on the spectrum of emotions. Equated with the generous and tender roles of guardians, protectors, teachers, they warm the heart. Those of us who are mothers or who have them, know that these relationships are much more complex. I suspect that artists who explore these moments of suspended time, of that embrace, kiss or look, are probing those layers of meaning with each stitch, cut and tuck. By the time they are finished, some kind of resolution, acceptance and honoring has happened.

Maggie Dillon Designs

Maggie Dillon Designs

Society demands purity from motherhood: The mother who does not serve as a guardian to her children is a broken vessel. Something must be wrong with her genes! Nature has a powerful, inbuilt drive that should make all mothers spread their wings around their little ones. Fortunately, most of us do find that balance and rhythm where mother and child is a safe space. Parenting, for both mothers and fathers, involves years of tedious, thankless tasks, hard work, financial commitments, hope and patience. So, we have a couple of days a year where we give recognition to the mothers around us, those women who shape our social fabric.

Joan Sowada

Joan Sowada

The textiles shown in this post are typical works for each of the artists. All of them capture a moment in time, a frozen action that tells a story. The characters do not need names or a long explanation about what is going on. We see it and identify immediately with the emotion. Make sure to click on the images to visit their profiles on TAFA. There, you will find their stories and their links.

Louise Schiele Art Quilt-Tennis Anyone

Louise Schiele-Tennis Anyone?

Anton Veenstra, tapestry, as a baby in a work camp with his mother.

Anton Veenstra, tapestry, as a baby in a work camp with his mother.

We have an aging population in the United States as the baby boomers approach their 60’s and 70’s. This is also true in our textile and fiber art community. Many of the leaders who paved the way for our contemporary understanding and use of textiles in the art world are retiring and even dying. Motherhood takes on a new significance as the adults who were once babies now become the protectors and guardians of their mothers and fathers.

Jan Holzbauer Art quilt - Enveloping Darkness - from a series exploring her mother's struggle with Alzheimer.

Jan Holzbauer Art – Enveloping Darkness – from a series exploring her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer.

All of the traditional textile and needlework techniques that were once focused on the functional have been used to portray great emotion and powerful bonds. I find that textiles move me the most, more than any other medium, when used figuratively. Perhaps the softness, the ability to wrap and bend, fold, wear and wash these threads….  they just seem personal and intimate. I love all of the art forms, but images of motherhood in textiles seem to be the most excellent fit.

Studio Santeena - Gimme Shelter, Art Quilt made about the earthquake in Haiti.

Studio Santeena – Gimme Shelter, Art Quilt made about the earthquake in Haiti.

Animals as Mothers

We want and get the same nurturing and protective spirit from our non-human animals. I found one of my dogs years ago, torn up and pregnant. She had been used as bait in dog fighting and has issues with other dogs. She had seven puppies in my Chicago apartment and it was amazing to watch her rear them. Gentle and sweet…  I asked the vet how a dog who had been so hurt could be so good to her babies. He answered that she had learned how to be nurturing from her mother. It gave me great comfort to think that this poor dog had started out with love and was probably able to come back to it because that state of existence was still in her core.

Colin's Creatures is a master at capturing animal affection between his sheep and their lambs.

Colin’s Creatures is a master at capturing animal affection between his sheep and their lambs.

Daria Lvovsky of Art of Felting has captured hundreds of animals and birds in realistic environments. This sow with her piglets is wonderfully interactive.

Daria Lvovsky of Art of Felting has captured hundreds of animals and birds in realistic environments. This sow with her piglets is wonderfully interactive.

 

Mother’s Day is coming up and we thank all of you mothers for your hard work, for your tenderness, kindness, and the investment you have made in your children! We hope that you will spoiled and pampered on your day!

Still shopping for a gift?

You can support our TAFA members and buy something wonderful that is handmade with love! Most likely, the maker is also a mother! Where you can find great gifts:

Happy Mother’s Day!

annie Narte, My Mother, My Daughter

Fannie Narte, My Mother, My Daughter

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Work Spaces: Where Textiles and Fiber Art Get Made, Part 1 http://www.tafalist.com/work-spaces/ http://www.tafalist.com/work-spaces/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:08:17 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13647

TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List has a widely diverse membership, brought together by a shared love for the work they do with textiles and fiber art. All of us have an online presence, but what we do can range from knitting on a favorite couch to working in large scale production with economic […]

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TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List has a widely diverse membership, brought together by a shared love for the work they do with textiles and fiber art. All of us have an online presence, but what we do can range from knitting on a favorite couch to working in large scale production with economic development initiatives. Some members make their living through creating products for sale, others teach, while others publish or exhibit their works. The handmade process always translates into labor intensive techniques, but the materials and tools needed vary dramatically. Travel around the world to visit some of our work spaces.

Click on the names to visit their profiles on TAFA where you will find more info and links to their sites. The first image of each slideshow shows an example of what is made in that space. Enjoy!

African Threads

Canada

Valerie Hearder works with women in South Africa who embroider village scenes, animals and other designs on fabric, pillows, wall hangings and other products.

 

Click to view slideshow.

Amber Kane

USA

Amber Kane weaves glorious scarves and writes about seizing the day with affirmation and power in her blog.

Click to view slideshow.

Bazaar Bayar

Turkey

Catherine and her husband, Abit, live in Istanbul where they sell vintage carpets and work with local craftspeople. Catherine is also a knitting designer and pattern maker.

Click to view slideshow.

Boisali Biswas

USA

Boisali has now lived in the US for a long time, but her roots in India remain strong. There, she had classical training in weaving and other traditional arts and continues to explore new ways to translate the old.

Click to view slideshow.

Cally Booker

Scotland

Cally Booker finds inspiration in the skyline of her Dundee cityscapes as well as the waterfront near her home.

Click to view slideshow.

Cat Brysch Creations Studio

USA

Cat has woven yardage for other artists for over 30 years!

Click to view slideshow.

Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

USA

Cindy’s art quilts and home accents are known for their great color combinations.

Click to view slideshow.

Danny Mansmith

USA

A Chicago native, Danny now creates in Seattle, a master at using his sewing machine to draw.

Click to view slideshow.

DharmaKarmaArts

USA

Indira Govindan uses her small work area to full capacity, creating journals, sari textile art, decorated boxes and much more. Inspired by her Indian roots, Indira donates the proceeds of her sales to a non-profit run by her sister in India.

Click to view slideshow.

Elena Ulyanova

Ukraine

Elena has many talents, but her big passion is botanical dyeing. She teaches workshops on it and her blog details her experiments and process.

Click to view slideshow.

Fearless Fiberworks

Canada

Carole Simcox sews, felts and knits from her home studio.

Click to view slideshow.

This was Part One. See more on Part Two.

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How about you? Are you a maker? What kind of space needs do you have? Feel free to leave a link in the comments if you want us to take a look.

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Decorating with Textiles: Hooked Rugs – Not Just For Floors http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-hooked-rugs/ http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-hooked-rugs/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 02:41:20 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13569

I am a fibre artist living and working in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.  I love to blend alternative fibre techniques with traditional yarn hand-hooking to create fresh landscapes and abstract close-ups and to explore meaningful moments in childhood.   Every loop of yarn that I pull up with my hook brings me closer to capturing the essence of […]

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Karen Miller of Marzipan Road

Karen Miller, Marzipan Road

I am a fibre artist living and working in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.  I love to blend alternative fibre techniques with traditional yarn hand-hooking to create fresh landscapes and abstract close-ups and to explore meaningful moments in childhood.   Every loop of yarn that I pull up with my hook brings me closer to capturing the essence of nature or of a special moment in the lives of my kids.  Anything can be a source of inspiration to me, from world travel to my own backyard. I am drawn to the earthy tones and moody skies of the North Atlantic and especially Iceland.

My pieces are available for purchase at several locations across Canada and my work has been shown in various exhibits in both Canada and the United States.  You can learn more about me and my work on my website and blog at www.marzipanroad.com.

When we talk about rugs, most people think of woven ones for the floors. But, rugs are not just for floors, nor are woven ones the only technique that is out there. Hooked rugs have been making a comeback, especially as art for the walls. I am happy to show some of the rugs I’ve made in this post and how I have displayed them in my home.

marzipan road girl in tree rug

“The Tree Climber”

Traditionally, hand-hooked rugs were made to keep bare feet warm and were also kept by the door to wipe muddy boots on.  More recently, however, the once humble rug has rightly come into its own as a form of contemporary art.  With this evolution came the migration of rugs from floor to wall, where they are now on display.  I still have a rug by my front door, but instead of it being on the floor it is hung on the wall; one of the first things that guests see when they enter my home. In fact, due to the specialty fibres and techniques that I tend to use in my work, I don’t make any rugs for the floor.  I make pieces that I want people to enjoy and engage with visually rather than functionally.

"Mer Bleue in Fall" Marzipan Road rug in hall

“Mer Bleue in Fall”

"Girl with a Yellow Bucket", Hooked Rug by Karen Miller, Marzipan Road

“Girl with a Yellow Bucket”

I think that because the living room is the space in the house where I spend the most time it has also become the area where I hang my favourite and most meaningful pieces.  Like photographs, these pieces act as reminders of adventures we have been on as a family and poignant moments in the lives of my young children.  They tell the story of our family.

Karen Miller's living room

Living Room

Marzipan Road Solitude Hooked Rug, living room setting

“Solitude” on the wall.

A large work hangs on the wall of our stairway:

"Beyond Swallowtail", Marzipan Road hooked rug

“Beyond Swallowtail”

Just like any other type of wall art, fibre art can be hung anywhere.  In the past year or so I have started to experiment with and explore different ways of displaying my pieces through the use of frames.  I love to adapt pieces to old window frames that I come across at antique stores.  My husband has also started making custom frames for many of my works.  Frames can add to a piece and both contain and contextualize the art.  For larger pieces, such as that shown above, a frame can help to showcase a piece in that perfect spot within your home.

Frames can also give a piece of fibre art stability, allowing you to pursue display options other than just as a wall hanging.  Clustering items with a similar theme or like colours can create an appealing vignette.  In my own home, I find that having pieces propped at a lower level invites people to engage them in a whole new way as they are able to better see and touch the many textures that I use in my work.

"Black Sand at Vik, Iceland", hooked rug by Marzipan Road

“Black Sand at Vik, Iceland”

A hooked rug can be hung anywhere.  The large rug below was one of my first pieces and I have hung it in our basement playroom.  It adds cheeriness to that area of the house and the bright colours appeal to children.  Even though I have young children in my home I don’t worry too much about them being around the rugs.  Hooked rugs are resilient and can handle a lot of touching.  Most fibre art is meant to be touched and enjoyed!

"Iceland Mosaic", Hooked Rug by Karen Miller of Marzipan Road

“Iceland Mosaic”

I hope that this has shown you how versatile hooked rugs can be.  There are no real rules to hanging them.  Like any other piece of fibre or textile art you should avoid hanging them in direct sunlight to prevent fading over time.  A little shake from time to time should remove any dust that may accumulate.

Hooked rugs are an excellent way to bring colour, texture and warmth into your home!

To see more of my pieces you can visit my website or my TAFA profile.  I have many hooked rugs for sale and I love to take commissions to capture the memories of others in fibre art!

Visit Karen D. Miller Studio on TAFA!

 

Decorating with Textiles Series

Many thanks to Karen for sharing her home with us for this series. Do leave a comment for her below! Karen joined TAFA in January of 2013 and has been a great joy to get to know. Her rugs have stimulated an interest of mine in learning how to hook and I have gotten far enough to buy the hook! :) Some hookers only use wool strips in their rugs, but Karen comes from a contemporary approach where yarns and other threads are also used.

Would you like to participate in this series? The Decorating with Textiles Series is an ongoing project on this blog. This series is open to all of you out there who love textiles. Many of our TAFA members make beautiful decorative textiles and functional work as well and showcasing these homes can help stimulate new ideas of what to do with textiles. Seeing a photo online is much different from seeing how a textile will function in an environment. Many people appreciate textiles but have no idea how to display them or what to do with them. We’d like to have many people participate, each bringing in their own ideas and tastes.

Contact me if you are interested and would like to submit a post:

rayela [@] comcast.net (remove spaces and brackets)

Visit TAFA to see inspiring art quilts, weavings and accessories for the home. Maybe you will find the perfect accent for your home!

Also check out Artizan Made and our TAFA shops on Etsy!

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D. Ellis Originals http://www.tafalist.com/d-ellis-originals/ http://www.tafalist.com/d-ellis-originals/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 16:55:39 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13535

Dawna Ellis makes baskets and vessels by wrapping fabric around clothesline cord and sewing them together. I first saw them on an Artsy Shark interview (a wonderful blog which everyone should subscribe to!) and knew that they were special. I was on target as only a short time later, D. Ellis Originals ended up with two […]

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NICHE Award Finalist, 2014, "Pagoda"

NICHE Award Finalist, 2014, “Pagoda”

Dawna Ellis makes baskets and vessels by wrapping fabric around clothesline cord and sewing them together. I first saw them on an Artsy Shark interview (a wonderful blog which everyone should subscribe to!) and knew that they were special. I was on target as only a short time later, D. Ellis Originals ended up with two vessels as finalists in the much coveted NICHE Awards. I was delighted when Dawna accepted my invitation to join TAFA and am pleased to announce that you can now see her profile up on our site:

Visit D. Ellis Originals on TAFA

"It's a Wrap" by Susan Breier

“It’s a Wrap” by Susan Breier

The technique that Dawna uses to make these baskets is not really all that difficult nor unique. Many people whip out baskets and bags using up scraps from their other sewn projects. I have the book “It’s a Wrap”, pictured at the left, and have thought about trying it myself many times. It’s loaded with fun projects and friends who have made these baskets have said they go pretty quickly.

However, this is like saying “braiding is easy”. There are braids, which even a child can do, and then there are BRAIDS that make you hold your breath. Dawna has succeeded in elevating a fun craft into an art form. She does this in many ways:

Tight control of shape: Her lines are clearly defined and solid. Many of the baskets that I have seen, even examples in the book, are more loosely sewn, causing them to sag a bit. They are fine and fun, but Dawna’s works, often compared to ceramics, exude a feeling of permanence.

Choice of fabrics: Dawna often uses specialty fabrics such as Japanese kimono fabric or hand-printed batiks and the quality shows.

Use of color: Shapes and fabrics make full use of color to add impact and dimension.

Embellishments: Lids, beads, tassels, natural branches and Japanese hair sticks add elegance, character and definition to the works.

These elements come together in her portfolio collections on her website:

Far East Collection

Far East Collection by D. Ellis Originals

Batik Collection

Batik Collection by Dawna Ellis

Classics Collection

D. Ellis Originals

Americana Collection

D. Ellis Orignals coral basket

Dawna has also explored sculptural forms which I find quite interesting:

Fabric sculpture by Dawna Ellis

As with anything, practice makes perfect! Dawna has a wonderful selection of her work that you can click through on her portfolios. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with next as she continues to explore these elements that she has harnessed so well in her work. We are truly pleased to welcome her into our TAFA community and encourage you to leave her a comment here as a greeting, too.

We announce our new TAFA profiles here and if you would like to receive future ones by email, please sign up in the sidebar. 

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Decorating with Textiles: Living with Cindy Grisdela’s Contemporary Quilts http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-cindy-grisdela/ http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-cindy-grisdela/#comments Sat, 08 Mar 2014 20:13:25 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13502

  I’m a fiber artist specializing in abstract contemporary quilts for the wall. I’m particularly interested in color and the way colors interact with each other to enhance our experience of the world. Many of my designs draw on the traditions of the past, but reinterpret them in a contemporary way, reflecting the fact that […]

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Cindy Grisdela fiber artist

Cindy Grisdela fiber artist

I’m a fiber artist specializing in abstract contemporary quilts for the wall. I’m particularly interested in color and the way colors interact with each other to enhance our experience of the world. Many of my designs draw on the traditions of the past, but reinterpret them in a contemporary way, reflecting the fact that I started out many years ago with traditional patterns and techniques.

Inspiration for my designs comes from keen observation of my surroundings, from the pebbles on the path, to the currents in water, to the colors of a meadow. Using improvisational techniques, I create abstract designs primarily with solid colors, and then add rich texture with a variety of quilting stitches. All of my work is designed organically without a preconceived pattern and the textural lines are added freehand, so no two pieces are ever exactly alike. All of the stitching is done on the sewing machine, but it is entirely hand driven. There’s no computer program or marking, just drawing with my needle and thread.

From my base in Virginia, I have a busy show schedule exhibiting my work at art and fine craft shows all over the country. Please visit my website and blog at www.cindygrisdela.com for details.

Cindy Grisdela foyer - "Playing with Crayons"

Cindy Grisdela foyer – “Playing with Crayons”


As a contemporary fiber artist, I have a lot of quilts and textile art in my home–it’s is a rotating gallery of work, depending on what shows I have going on and sometimes on my mood. There are quilts on the walls, runners on the tables, pillows on the sofa, and yes–quilts on the beds.

There are lots of places to enjoy quilts besides on the bed! In the foyer, pictured above, a colorful wall hanging called “Playing with Crayons” is a cheerful welcome to visitors and a hint of what’s in store as they enter the house. I’ve always had off-white walls on the theory that my work has so much color and activity that color on the walls too would be too much, but as you can see by the swatch of paint on the right, I’m beginning to experiment with more color on the walls.

Cindy Grisdela Living Room Quilt Arrangement

Cindy Grisdela Living Room Quilt Arrangement

The wall above is in my living room. It’s a great place to share my work because everyone who comes into the house sees it. The combination of different sizes and shapes in the wall hangings gives energy to an otherwise bland space and provides an interesting focal point for the room. A woven table runner softens the antique wooden console table behind the sofa. (That’s my cat, Indy, peeking around the corner!)

Cindy Grisdela - Rail Fence Table Runner

Cindy Grisdela – Rail Fence Table Runner

Fiber art gives a sense of warmth and texture to the space, and in the case of table runners or pillows, can be an easy way to add a splash of color or to change the mood of a room. You can even have different pieces for different seasons or times of the year. The Rail Fence table runner above works perfectly as an autumn table setting.

In the photo below, a pillow and a table topper coordinate using a bright strip of asymmetrical circle shapes complemented with a soft gray background for spring.

CGrisdela_PillowTopper

Cindy Grisdela Living Room – Pillow and Table Topper

CGrisdela_OverBookcase

Cindy Grisdela Living Room Bookcase – “Secret Garden” and “Garden Path”

In the shot above, the wall hanging “Secret Garden” is just the right size to go above the bookcase. The warmth of the fabric softens its angular edges and the colors complement the wood and the spines of the books inside. The piece also provides a nice counterpoint to the black and white painting on the left done by my son, Matt, and the smaller piece “Garden Path” on the right. There’s also an older Amish style quilt folded on the antique chair that belonged to my husband’s grandmother, and a small angel made out of an old handkerchief hanging on the handle to the glass front bookcase. We have a contemporary home, but my decor is eclectic, with antiques passed down through our families happily coexisting with more modern pieces.

Cindy Grisdela - "Autumn Forest"

Cindy Grisdela – “Autumn Forest”

We also collect paintings, sculpture, candlesticks, and functional and decorative ceramics to add artistic flair to our spaces, as you’ll see in some of the photos.

Add color to your walls

So, do the walls always have to be bland? Not at all! Last year I took a deep breath and painted the walls of my dining room purple–little did I know that this color was destined to be so similar to the Pantone color of the year–Radiant Orchid. The room itself felt cold and uninviting before, and I’m much happier with it now because it feels so much warmer and pleasant to be in.

Particularly at night, the glow of color from the walls makes you feel as though you’re in a special space. My wall hanging, “Autumn Forest” with its purple, green and gold color scheme, is a perfect way to add movement and texture to the narrow purple wall over a Christmas cactus plant on another antique table–this one from my grandmother.

CGrisdela_NarrowWall

Cindy Grisdela – “Abstract Stripes”

Tight and unusual spaces

In an even narrower space in the sun room, “Abstract Stripes” adds interest to the area between the windows and the door to a small balcony.

Another great place to hang quilts is in the stairwell. I have a open staircase going up three stories, so there are several opportunities to show my work there. Below one of my newest hangings, “Island Hopping,” has pride of place on the first floor stair landing.

I especially like how the sun coming in a window on the landing casts shadows that add even more movement to the space.

 

Cindy Grisdela Stairwell - "Island Hopping"

Cindy Grisdela Stairwell – “Island Hopping”

Quilt Care

A word about the care of quilts. If the wall pieces get dust on them, the easiest thing to do is to take a lint roller and gently roll it over the surface to pick up the dust. My table runners and pillows can be cared for the same way, or they can be machine washed in cold water on a gentle cycle. All of my fabrics are prewashed before being used. It’s wise to avoid placing any fabric art in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

Cindy Grisdela - Bed Topper

Cindy Grisdela – Bed Topper

Bed Quilts vs Small Quilts

I don’t make full size bed quilts anymore partly because it’s too much bulk to get through the home sewing machine that I use for all my stitching. But, I do make what I call bed toppers that lie over a spread or comforter that covers the mattress. The topper can be left on or folded back at night. Working on a smaller scale also gives me the flexibility to create pieces that are more versatile–they can be hung on the wall or laid on a bed or sofa or cover a table. Lots more options!

Cindy Grisdela coasters

Cindy Grisdela coasters

Other Textiles

We also have textiles made by other people in our home, especially rugs. Some are oriental and some are handwoven by studio artists. Like the antique furniture we have inherited, these all add to the warmth and texture to our spaces. We find that contemporary textiles work well with vintage ones and bringing them all together is one of my favorite things about decorating with textiles.

Learn more about my work, my inspiration and my process on my website and TAFA profile. I sell wall quilts, table runners, pillows and coasters, like the ones pictured above, in my Etsy shop. It gives me great pleasure to think of my work bringing the same joy to other homes as I receive in mine. Thank you for sharing my textile journey!

Website

TAFA Profile

Etsy Shop

[hr]

Decorating with Textiles Series

Many thanks to Cindy for sharing her home with us for this series. Do leave a comment for her below! Cindy is one of TAFA’s pioneer members, joining back in March of 2010, soon after we launched and has been an active participant from the beginning. We treasure her insights immensely!

Would you like to participate in this series? The Decorating with Textiles Series is an ongoing project on this blog. This series is open to all of you out there who love textiles. Many of our TAFA members make beautiful decorative textiles and functional work as well and showcasing these homes can help stimulate new ideas of what to do with textiles. Seeing a photo online is much different from seeing how a textile will function in an environment. Many people appreciate textiles but have no idea how to display them or what to do with them. We’d like to have many people participate in this series, each bringing in their own ideas and tastes.

Contact me if you are interested and would like to submit a post:

rayela [@] comcast.net (remove spaces and brackets)

Visit TAFA to see inspiring art quilts, weavings and accessories for the home. Maybe you will find the perfect accent for your home!

Also check out our TAFA Market and our TAFA shops on Etsy!

Don’t miss out on our future posts! Sign up on the sidebar to receive our posts by email.

Click on the images below to visit Cindy’s shop on Etsy. If you right click to open a new window or tab, you can keep this page open and continue to explore our site.


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Decorating with Textiles Series: Carpets From Afghanistan http://www.tafalist.com/carpets-from-afghanistan-2/ http://www.tafalist.com/carpets-from-afghanistan-2/#comments Sun, 02 Mar 2014 14:54:07 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13494

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of visiting my friend, Abdul Wardak, in his Wisconsin home. We were partners in a gallery in Chicago and I continue to work with him in Paducah, Kentucky, managing his online presence for Afghan Tribal Arts as well as his properties here. After we closed our […]

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Wardak Ranch

“Wardak Ranch”

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of visiting my friend, Abdul Wardak, in his Wisconsin home. We were partners in a gallery in Chicago and I continue to work with him in Paducah, Kentucky, managing his online presence for Afghan Tribal Arts as well as his properties here. After we closed our gallery, I wanted to move to a warmer climate and the original plan was to relocate the gallery as well. Instead, Abdul was able to purchase a package deal on some worn down houses here which he has been rehabbing over time. The gallery may still happen some day. I rarely travel, so seeing his home was a special treat, especially since I miss seeing his kids. I asked him if it would be ok to share the photos that I took for this series and he was delighted.

From the outside, the home is a traditional ranch style structure, Midwestern looking, like any other house in Sturgeon Bay. They have a couple of acres and a barn, perfect for storing merchandise for his import business. The roomy house served as a perfect transition when moving from Chicago, although now four of the six kids have left for college or marriage.

Wardak Ranch outside 4

View of the house from the driveway.

It’s always so interesting when you step in someone’s door and see what they have done to personalize a space! This house has some nice accents, arched doorways and rod iron stairs, that fit perfectly with a Central Asian decor.  Here are a couple of views of the arches:

Wardak Ranch inside 1

With and without flash:

Wardak Ranch inside 7

092011 Wardak Ranch inside 6

The floor plan has a large, open living room and dining room area and the arches lead into a family room and bedroom. As you can see, Afghan carpets define the space, making it warm and welcoming. The photo below shows the entrance, with the kitchen at the back wall. The carpet in the living room is huge! It would take several months to make it! Cushions also add a splash of color and comfort.

Wardak Ranch inside 3

This is a space for people and it is usually lively with activity. Abdul takes care of business while his dog chills out:

Abdul with his dog.

Abdul with his dog.

The family room is a great space to hang out and watch movies. The photo is blurry and messy, but this is such a great idea that I decided to include it here. Covered mattresses on the floor with pillows are used in homes around the world, where people traditionally do not use chairs. Carpets are durable, soft and easy to clean. I have a futon in my living room for my dogs, also covered in a carpet. I have other blankets on it which I wash regularly and the carpet vacuums right up. Wool has natural oils in it that repel dirt and bacteria, much healthier than synthetic options.

Wardak Ranch inside 4

Wardak Ranch inside 4

Here is one of the bedrooms, just past that family room, the guest room, which I thoroughly enjoyed:

Wardak Ranch inside 5

The kitchen area has an informal feel with a breakfast area that is sunny and bright.

Wardak Ranch inside 10

Wardak Ranch inside 11

The eggplant upholstery of the chairs picks up the purples in the carpet under the table perfectly. Notice how carpets also help define spaces. The top photo shows how the rugs separate areas visually by the outline of the rugs on the floor. The sliding doors open to a large deck and yard, with a great view of the barn.

Wardak Ranch inside 8Carpets everywhere!

The kids have learned to care for chickens, goats, geese and other animals.

Wardak Ranch outside 1

Wardak Ranch outside 6

092011 Wardak Ranch outside 13

092011 Wardak Ranch outside 18

See the little house off to the back? That was filled with textiles! One more guestroom, a boho paradise! I don’t have a good photo of how it looked, but the dog showed off a bit in there:

092011 Wardak Ranch sutak 4

They also have a vegetable garden in the summer. It seems idyllic, doesn’t it? And, one wonders what stories came before, who else nurtured this land and these buildings, how they decorated their space…  But, all of this means constant work, fixing and keeping things in order. While I was there, Abdul and his son worked on a fence that one of the goats kept breaking through:

Wardak Ranch outside fixing

Moving from a metro area to a small town like Sturgeon Bay was a major shift for the family. The kids had to learn how to deal with standing out in school, how to care for the animals and how to grow things. Abdul is almost always on the road doing bead shows around the South, so he manages a lot by phone. His two sons meet up with him when they have breaks from college and all of the kids pitch in with organizing inventory and doing local shows.

The bread and butter for Afghan Tribal Arts has been the beads. But, they also have a huge selection of carpets from Afghanistan, most of which are stored in their big garage attached the house. There is also a great selection in Abdul’s gallery in Pendleton, South Carolina, Sturee Tribal Village.

Sturee Tribal Village

When you walk into Abdul’s house, you get an immediate feeling of being transported to the Silk Road, of having a taste of Afghanistan within an American context. Yet, Abdul has actually incorporated furniture and decorative objects from many other traditions in his home: a Chinese dresser in the hall, the Mexican bed in the guest room, textiles from India and Indonesia…  Doing so many shows has broadened his interest to other parts of the world which often end up in trades, bringing memories of other friends in the import business. These are the modern nomads!

Professional designers do the same thing, integrating many different traditions and styles to create a look that works for a space and its people. Carpets from Afghanistan look as comfortable in a Victorian setting as they do in a rustic cabin or a minimalist modern space. If you are in the market for one, Abdul’s sons can help you in the Sturgeon Bay/Chicago area.. We do not carry them online at this time due to storage and shipping issues. But, if you like smaller textiles, beads and tribal jewelry, I am happy to help you with what we have listed in the Etsy shop.

Abdul with his grandson.

Abdul with his grandson.

Roshan and Zaland are both in college in Green Bay, not too far from home. They will be happy to help with local inquiries.

Roshan Wardak

Roshan Wardak

Zaland Wardak

Zaland Wardak

Use the contact form on Afghan Tribal Arts and I will forward emails to Abdul or his sons. Or, you can leave a comment here and I will make sure that they see it.

I wish the photos that I took were better, but wasn’t planning on making them into a feature. Still, I hope they give you a sense of the life and beauty there! Many thanks to Abdul for letting me use them in this series!

Afghan Tribal Arts on TAFA



 

[hr]

Decorating with Textiles Series

Would you like to participate in this series? The Decorating with Textiles Series is an ongoing project on this blog. Participating in this series is open to all of you out there who love textiles. Many of our TAFA members make beautiful decorative textiles and functional work as well and showcasing these homes can help stimulate new ideas of what to do with textiles. Seeing a photo online is much different from seeing how a textile will function in an environment. Many people appreciate textiles but have no idea how to display them or what to do with them. We’d like to have many people participate in this series, each bringing in their own ideas and tastes. You do not have to be a TAFA member to participate.

Contact me if you are interested and would like to submit a post:

rayela [@] comcast.net (remove spaces and brackets)

Visit TAFA to see inspiring art quilts, weavings and accessories for the home. Maybe you will find the perfect accent for your home!

Also check out our TAFA Market and our TAFA shops on Etsy!

Don’t miss out on our future posts! Sign up on the sidebar to receive our posts by email.

 

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Moira West http://www.tafalist.com/moira-west/ http://www.tafalist.com/moira-west/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 01:37:39 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13426

Moira West on TAFA Moira shares a lot of photos of sheep on her Facebook page. Different breeds, funny situations, long hair, big horns….  I think she has sheep on her mind! It would make sense because Moira West works with their wool, mixing it with other fibers to create sculptures and wall art that […]

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Tigued, 2010, by Moira West

Tigued, 2010, by Moira West

Moira West on TAFA

Moira West

Moira West

Moira shares a lot of photos of sheep on her Facebook page. Different breeds, funny situations, long hair, big horns….  I think she has sheep on her mind! It would make sense because Moira West works with their wool, mixing it with other fibers to create sculptures and wall art that explore texture and form. She describes her quest on her TAFA profile:

“Much of my work is site specific. Working methods include hand-made felting processes incorporating traditional and contemporary techniques. Wool fibres predominate, integrated with plant and cellulose fibres, to create unusual shapes and textures. Inviting interaction and personal confrontation with life and its unexpected pathways. I have developed a reputation for creating striking, fascinating and unusual fibre art, many examples of which are in private collections. Combining textile technique with a diverse range of challenging materials, my work is inspired by my environment and a desire to push boundaries whilst creating an impact to promote greater understanding of human frailty.”

Moira lives in the UK, exhibits regularly and often works on large-scale projects. She is actively engaged with her local artist community and teaches workshops on various techniques. She has recently become active in our private member group on Facebook and it’s been a delight to get to know her better.

Here are a couple more of her pieces:

Melting Pot, 2012, external view, Moira West

Melting Pot, 2012, external view, Moira West

Moira West at Rufford Craft Center, 2012

Moira West at Rufford Craft Center, 2012

As you can see, form and texture reign! She describes herself as highly competitive in spirit, but my thinking is that she is instead, determined. Her interest in the natural world shines with love for it and for how she can capture its essence through her work. We are fortunate to have her and encourage you to connect with her and get to know her.

Moira shared the video below on her personal page on Facebook. As you watch it, think about sheep, wool, felt, Moira West working away in her studio and all of the threads that bind us together as fellow beings living on this planet. Let her work inspire you towards happiness!

Feel free to leave a comment here for Moira and we’ll make sure that she sees it.

Sign up for our posts on our sidebar. We announce new profiles posted on our main site, give tips on how to improve your web presence and post about topics related to our textile and fiber art community.

 

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Decorating with Textiles Series: Uta Lenk’s Home of Hand Dyed Quilts http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-series-hand-dyed-quilts/ http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-series-hand-dyed-quilts/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 00:50:37 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13383

My name is Uta Lenk and I have been  actively using my hands ‘making something’ all my life. I live in Germany. My grandmother taught me how to knit even before I entered school, using a magical ball of yarn: she un- and rewound a ball of yarn, putting little goodies into it that would […]

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"Shapes 1", Art Quilt by Uta Lenk

“Shapes 1″, Art Quilt by Uta Lenk

My name is Uta Lenk and I have been  actively using my hands ‘making something’ all my life. I live in Germany. My grandmother taught me how to knit even before I entered school, using a magical ball of yarn: she un- and rewound a ball of yarn, putting little goodies into it that would reappear as I was using up more and more of the ball. In the very middle there was a coin – it might have been one Deutschmark, quite a bit of wealth for a little girl at that age! Those little surprises certainly kept me going. At the age of twelve I designed and made complete wardrobes for my Barbie dolls, thinking I would one day become a famous fashion designer. Spinning, weaving, macramé – I’ve done it all. What got me hooked, however, are quilts. Patchwork and quilts have been with me since my year as a high school exchange student in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. When I ended an academic career, I decided to become a full-time quilter, teaching patchwork and making quilts.

I also started a fabric club for hand-dyed fabrics (www.justcolours.de) and am slowly building up a stronger presence at craft fairs as my little son is growing older and it is getting easier to leave him with my husband for a couple or more days.

IMG_0797

At work packing the most recent collection of the fabric club which was shipped the following day

Textiles have been in our home, too, of course. My quilts can be found on every wall. Here is one above our staircase:

IMG_0896

The following ones were hung by my husband more for a sound-functional purpose than for decoration. Our son decided he wanted his drum set in the living room, so we aimed for at least a pretense at sound insulation:

IMG_1013 IMG_1037

This family heirloom of an armchair came to me from my mother’s side, dating back to at least the late 19th century.  The wall next to it is the foreground for changing quilt exhibits:

42

Recently it had the honor of featuring the first of a series of pillow cases which I am now making to take to markets. This intricate traditional pattern is not my usual style of quilt making, but I found the finished block in a box of fabrics and thought it would be too bad to just let it sit there.

IMG_1005

And, of course, a quilt covers my bed during day time.

IMG_0895

 

One of my weaving results is quite aged now, has faded, and is even developing some weaknesses and becoming threadbare. However, it still serves an important function as a dirt catcher in front of our back door which we use quite a lot as an entrance into the house and when coming back in from the garden.

IMG_1018

Despite covering almost all of our walls, there are still a number of quilts that need to be stored:

IMG_1027

So, it is always good to have some of them either traveling in international exhibitions or on display in solo exhibitions.  Current and upcoming shows include one in Freiburg, a textile interpretation of a poem by E.E. Cummings traveling with SAQA‘s show, “Text Messages” and at the Prague Patchwork Meeting in April (2014).

As you can see, the textile techniques have been a big part of my life since childhood and now they are my life’s work. I invite you to follow along on my blog and visit both of my sites to see my quilts and my fabric club. Hand dyed fabrics are great to work with! The colors are soft and varied, bringing warmth and an organic feel to the designs. Please feel free to leave comments here if you have any questions or through my sites:

justcolours.de     quilts by Uta Lenk

Uta Lenk’s profile on TAFA

[hr]


Decorating with Textiles Series

Many thanks to Uta for sharing her home with us for this series. Uta joined TAFA in October of 2011 and we have loved having her on board! She has been an active member and supported us financially as a sponsor for which we are ever so grateful! We encourage to connect with her and get to know her warmth and talent personally.

Would you like to participate in this series? The Decorating with Textiles Series is an ongoing project on this blog. Participating in this series is open to all of you out there who love textiles. Many of our TAFA members make beautiful decorative textiles and functional work as well and showcasing these homes can help stimulate new ideas of what to do with textiles. Seeing a photo online is much different from seeing how a textile will function in an environment. Many people appreciate textiles but have no idea how to display them or what to do with them. We’d like to have many people participate in this series, each bringing in their own ideas and tastes. You do not have to be a TAFA member to participate.

Contact me if you are interested and would like to submit a post:

rayela [@] comcast.net (remove spaces and brackets)

Visit TAFA to see inspiring art quilts, weavings and accessories for the home. Maybe you will find the perfect accent for your home!

Also check out our TAFA Market and our TAFA shops on Etsy!

Don’t miss out on our future posts! Sign up on the sidebar to receive our posts by email.

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Marty Jonas Fiber Art http://www.tafalist.com/marty-jonas-fiber-art/ http://www.tafalist.com/marty-jonas-fiber-art/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 20:30:24 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13398

Marty Jonas Profile on TAFA Intricate spheres caught my eye and pulled me in. These were my introduction to the work of Mary Jonas: There are many more, so make sure to go through her album and enjoy each singular effect. Her description of these complex structures: “With this series of work, I am moving […]

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Marty Jonas Flower Pots

Marty Jonas Flower Pots

Marty Jonas Profile on TAFA

Intricate spheres caught my eye and pulled me in. These were my introduction to the work of Mary Jonas:

Marty Jonas Wire Mesh Sphere 1

Marty Jonas wire mesh sphere 2

There are many more, so make sure to go through her album and enjoy each singular effect. Her description of these complex structures:

“With this series of work, I am moving away from the more tangible, physical and material surfaces of textiles to industrial materials, which are known for their strength and durability. Using various types of metal insect screen, I manipulate the harsh materials into complex repetitive patterns.

At first glance, one recognizes the surface characteristics of industrial materials that are used widely in the urban architecture of our time. But as your eyes are lead into these layered sculptures of intersecting metal, glass and fibers, they appear alive with twists and turns. These structures are not enclosures but rather multilayered visions for light and shadows to illuminate. These innovative, dramatic and undulating sculptures clearly demonstrate my fascination with line, form, volume and space. The process continues from one piece to the next – always different from the last.”

To achieve such precision and explore so many variations takes patience and a delight in puzzles and problem solving. Marty shows this again, along with a sense of humor, in a recreation of a group of Skittles bowling pins, where she sliced up thousands of pieces of fabric and pinned them with glue into Styrofoam shapes. I had never heard of this predecessor to bowling, but the original pins are highly collectible. This set sold at Christie’s for over $9,000 US!

Pre-Button-Steiff-Skittles-with-Bear-Kingpin

Here is Marty’s set, made out of the strips of fabric:

Marty Jonas Skittles Bowling Set

Marty Jonas Skittles Bowling Set

Her website documents her path of exploration through the years, working with many different textile and fiber techniques. All along, she shows an interest in science, cultural perceptions, society and always, that attention to detail. Here is an early knit work of a beetle:

Marty Jonas knit beetle

Marty Jonas knit beetle

Marty spent many years studying embroidery (City and Guilds of London Institute in England from 1993 to 2000) and it shows. She comes from a family where both parents practiced handwork and encouraged her to learn, one more example of how important it is to motivate the children in our lives to use tools and create things. We are pleased to have Marty as a member of TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List and invite you to connect with her and support her in her work.

You may leave a comment for Marty here and we’ll make sure she sees it. Sign up on the sidebar to receive our posts by email.

Marty Jonas sphere

 

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Call for Entry for two new textile art book projects http://www.tafalist.com/call-for-entry-for-two-new-textile-art-book-projects/ http://www.tafalist.com/call-for-entry-for-two-new-textile-art-book-projects/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 01:00:23 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13341

Following three joint book projects on textile and felt with European participants over the last two years, we are now going global! Therefore, Textile-link (internet platform and publisher of textile books), is looking for worldwide participants who would like to share their beautiful works of art and their enthusiasm for textile. Create an archive and upload photographs […]

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call_for_entry

Following three joint book projects on textile and felt with European participants over the last two years, we are now going global!

Therefore, Textile-link (internet platform and publisher of textile books), is looking for worldwide participants who would like to share their beautiful works of art and their enthusiasm for textile.

Create an archive and upload photographs of your most beautiful textile works of art to have the chance of your work being published in one of our future book projects.

Participation is always free.

=========================================

We started two new projects:

TextileArt Around the World [2014]

A large, inspiring book full of textile objects, jewels, interior design pieces, clothing, accessories, experiments, etc.

Guda_Koster_site

 

Elvira_‘t_Hart_site

Kate_Cusack_site

Nike_Schröder_site

Irene_van_Vliet_site

Miyuki_Sakai_site

 

Worldwide Colors of Felt [2015]

An extraordinary and colourful book with the artwork of 200-300 felt artists from around the world.

You can find more information about the projects:
Pdf: http://www.textile-link.com/sites/textiellink.nl/files/international_bookprojects.pdf
Websitehttp://www.textile-link.com
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/textilelink
Word-file: http://www.textile-link.com//sites/textiellink.nl/files/press_release.docx

And examples of the previous joint book projects:

http://www.textile-link.com/feltpassion
http://www.textile-link.com/textile-alive
http://www.textile-link.com/felting-me

published_1

Please share
Would you please be so kind to share this opportunity to get works of art published in one of the future book projects, with all your textile friends in your network?

We hope to see you on the website soon!

Ellen Bakker
Textile-link – The Netherlands
info@textile-link.com
www.textile-link.com

[hr]

Ellen Bakker

Ellen Bakker

Textile-link on TAFA

You are welcome to leave comments here or ask questions you may have the upcoming projects. We’ll make sure that Ellen sees them!

Be sure to sign up on the sidebar to receive our posts by email!

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BSL Art Quilts http://www.tafalist.com/bsl-art-quilts/ http://www.tafalist.com/bsl-art-quilts/#comments Sat, 01 Feb 2014 23:47:27 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13368

BSL Art Quilts on TAFA Barbara Lardon came to my attention through our LinkedIn group and once I saw her work, I became a fan. She lives in Plymouth, Wisconsin, and often finds inspiration in the daily scenes of rural life. She also creates abstract quilts, but her farm scenes are close to home for […]

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Misty Morning, BSL Art Quilts

Misty Morning, BSL Art Quilts

BSL Art Quilts on TAFA

Barbara Lardon came to my attention through our LinkedIn group and once I saw her work, I became a fan. She lives in Plymouth, Wisconsin, and often finds inspiration in the daily scenes of rural life. She also creates abstract quilts, but her farm scenes are close to home for me as both of my parents came from farms in Minnesota and now live in Western Wisconsin in an area that looks a lot like Barbara’s quilts.

Rooster quilt by Barbara Lardon

Rooster quilt by Barbara Lardon

One of the hardest tasks to accomplish in figurative or landscape quilts is to illustrate depth and action, a task that Barbara accomplishes well. Many quilts end up looking flat, which can be fine as a technique, but I appreciate those who have the ability to bring an illustration to life. Doesn’t that rooster above look like he is ready to do something really naughty?

Depth can be created in many ways: changing the colors of the fabrics, using machine embroidery or quilting, adding paint or shadows with fabric pencils…  Barbara uses many techniques to do that and she documents her process on her blog which can really help her audience understand all of the steps involved in creating these works. Her latest piece (first image) sold upon completion! This is a great way to capture the attention of those who are interested in process and I have found that many artists end up with fans who become attached to a work in this way.

Goose Detail by BSL Art Quilts

Goose Detail by BSL Art Quilts

You can see in the detail of the goose above how much planning goes into making fabric come alive with dimension and character!

Some of Barbara’s quilts have a spiritual dimension to them, exploring our relationship with Nature and perhaps how small we are and how everything is interconnected. The two pieces below are examples of this:

Reflection by BSL Art Quilts

Reflection by BSL Art Quilts

"Who's there?" Woodland quilt by BSL Art Quilts

“Who’s there?” Woodland quilt by BSL Art Quilts, detail

Barbara is prolific and has a shop on Etsy stocked with her wonderful work! I hope that you will go, explore and get one for your home or office!

I fell in love with this guy, while I did my window shopping! She has other owls, too, one of my favorite birds!

Owl in a tree by BSL Art Quilts

Owl in a tree by BSL Art Quilts

We’re so pleased to have Barbara as a member and look forward to knowing her as a person as well as an artist.

Do leave comments for her here as I know that she will be pleased to hear from you. You can also share this post on your social media sites and sign up on the sidebar for new posts by email.

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TAFA’s Birthday: Celebrate the Number Four! http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-birthday-celebrate-the-number-four/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-birthday-celebrate-the-number-four/#comments Thu, 30 Jan 2014 22:47:34 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13190

Four years ago, I saw a need for an organization that would focus on the business end of promoting our handmade textiles and fiber art community. I kept bumping into peers who were struggling with the same issues that I was: how to use social media effectively to promote what we were doing. An ever-changing […]

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TAFA collage, 4th birthday

Four years ago, I saw a need for an organization that would focus on the business end of promoting our handmade textiles and fiber art community. I kept bumping into peers who were struggling with the same issues that I was: how to use social media effectively to promote what we were doing. An ever-changing world, it seemed to me that if we banded together into one destination, perhaps the work load could be shared and we could help each other navigate this enormous landscape. I started out with a blog and by the end of the first year, we clearly needed a “real” website with a search engine. We launched our current site the following year and have continued to evolve and grow as a dynamic, creative, business association with 531 members from 44 countries. This month we celebrate our 4th year!

You can learn more about why I felt the need for this group here and there is more on our site on the About and Membership pages. Each year, I have made a slide show video celebrating our diversity and growth.

TAFA Year One shows off our first members, products in the first half and people in the second half:

TAFA Market 2011 covers our only live event that we have had so far:

TAFA Red has one red image for every member that we had at the end of 2012:

Now we have too many members to do something like that again. Instead, we thought it might be fun to do something with our community. How about if we celebrate the number Four? To get the idea out there, I went through our Member List and looked for products that showed four of something. Here is what I found: (click on images to visit their profiles)

Afghan Tribal Arts

Alison Yule Textiles

Art That Moves

Arty Moods

Beryl Taylor

Betty Busby

Blue Jacaranda

Colin's Creatures

Denise Kovnat

FurugiStar

Fuzzy Logic Felt

Joan Sowada

Kathryn Harmer Fox

KnoxFarmFiber

Manitoba Gifts

MOLICAAustralia

Stacy Polson

The Rainbow Girl

See how fun we can make the Number Four? So, how about contributing to the mix? You can submit a photo where you celebrate the Number Four and we will post it here. Depending on what we get, maybe there will be enough to make another birthday video!

Guidelines:

Send it to rayela @ comcast.net (remove spaces) by January 15, 2014.

You must own the image.

It must be well cropped and nice. :)

Include name, title and a link if you have one (we’ll link to your site).

It can be textile related or of anything else that you love. 

We will post the ones we like.

Non-textile examples:

christmas card 2009  harvest 0911

(four dogs and four different crops from my garden)

Be creative and fun and let’s see what happens! We are a part of our larger community and we want to celebrate that!

[hr]

Submissions

Galería Octágono, Sunflower Quilt

Galería Octágono

Textiil

Textiil

Elena Rosenberg

Elena Rosenberg

Roxane Lessa

Roxane Lessa

Magic Stitches

Magic Stitches

Cape Cod Shibori

Cape Cod Shibori

Diane Evans Dizzy Art Quilt

Diane Evans Dizzy Art Quilt

Louise Schiele, Extended Family Detail, Art Quilt

Louise Schiele, Extended Family Detail, Art Quilt

Donna Kallner Fiber Art

Donna Kallner Fiber Art

Julia R. Berkley Works in Fabric

Julia R. Berkley Works in Fabric

Talisman Fibre Arts Studio

Talisman Fibre Arts Studio

MegWeaves

MegWeaves

Victoria Gertenbach

Victoria Gertenbach

Celebrating the Number Four!

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Decorating with Textiles: Textural Joy by Art That Moves http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-art-that-moves/ http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-art-that-moves/#comments Thu, 30 Jan 2014 20:38:14 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13332

Rachel Biel hit the nail on the head about how I operate in her profile of my business – Art That Moves. She said, “But, my thinking is that Christine would like her work to move YOU in some way: to bring you peace, joy, serenity…” (See our Art That Moves feature on this blog.) […]

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Christine Pensa of Art That Moves

Christine Pensa of Art That Moves

Rachel Biel hit the nail on the head about how I operate in her profile of my business – Art That Moves. She said, “But, my thinking is that Christine would like her work to move YOU in some way: to bring you peace, joy, serenity…” (See our Art That Moves feature on this blog.)

That’s how I want to feel in my home. My home is my sanctuary and my visual feast. My soul is fed by visual delights. The colours and textures of textiles have always called to me. I believe that textile art is to be used and loved.

I have framed some of the pieces I have just because I love the colour or texture. I could just as easily have thrown it across a couch. For instance in my bedroom below – you will see an antique suzani thrown across the end of my bed. It’s falling apart with age in places, but I still love to see it there at the end of my day.

bedroomsuzanithrowpillows

Over the fireplace in my bedroom, I have framed a somewhat less valuable piece – though just as beautiful. It’s a woven depiction of the Mayan calendar from Chiapas, Mexico. I found a stunning olive wood frame and I knew they were meant to be together. It was professionally done and frankly cost about 4 times the value of the tapestry. It’s worth it though because it’s the first thing I see when I open my eyes and it never fails to delight me.

bedroomchiapastextileframed

Rather than letting the many beautiful scarves I have sit in my cupboard when I’m not wearing them – I use them as throws. I switch them out often. In my bedroom window, sitting alongside screen printed pillows, is a merino wool hand printed scarf by the talented Canadian designer Virginia Johnson. In the summer I use lighter throws like Turkish towel style wraps or saris.

bedroomthrowscreenprintsuzane

Likewise, another Virginia Johnson merino wool scarf sits at the end of a bench in my front hall. The black and white pillow is one of my own screen prints (linen with inspirational sayings), the green is (my current obsession) velvet ikat and the orange and black is a silk applique. The ikat I bought on Etsy. It’s from Turkey and matches up with one my sister gave me when she traveled there a couple of years ago. The applique one I bought at a thrift shop.

halltwo

The velvet ikat obsession continues in my living room. I mix them with a couple of my own screen printed on cotton, a couple of cozy wool prints (it’s cold here!) and the poufs I carried home from Marrakesh.

livingroomview

 livingroomvelvetikatscreenprintpillows

One example of how to display textiles simply is the framed piece of sheeting pictured below. When my Mom died a few years ago my Dad asked me to go to France with him. One of the highlights of the trip was meeting this artist on the bridge to the Louvre. He was tearing up sheets and painting on them. I fell in love with this piece. It reminds me of one of Chagall’s line drawings. I think I paid the equivalent of $30 CAD for it. I bought a pre-made frame which has a plastic film instead of glass. I used two sided tape to stick the sheet to the back of the frame. Nothing archival about it – but it’s been there now 8 years and hasn’t faded in the least.

framed painted sheet france

Of course, being a print maker (I have a shop on Etsy – Art That Moves) I always have slight misprints. As a result I have a drawer full of my tea towels – which I can attest are great and hard wearing in the kitchen. One of my new designs, Love the Bees hangs on my oven.

stoveteatowel

Like all original art, hand crafted textiles bring a warmth and living energy to your home that mass produced goods can’t duplicate. Start collecting colours and textures that you love and you can’t go wrong. Your home will always be your sanctuary and continue to delight your visitors with it’s visual treats.

Visit Art That Moves on Etsy for more of Christine’s prints:

[hr]

Decorating with Textiles Series

Many thanks to Christine for sharing her home with us for this series. Do leave a comment for her below. You can also contact her through her Etsy shop or her Profile Page on TAFA. Christine joined TAFA in March of 2013 and we have loved having her on board!

Would you like to participate in this series? The Decorating with Textiles Series is an ongoing project on this blog. Participating in this series is open to all of you out there who love textiles. Many of our TAFA members make beautiful decorative textiles and functional work as well and showcasing these homes can help stimulate new ideas of what to do with textiles. Seeing a photo online is much different from seeing how a textile will function in an environment. Many people appreciate textiles but have no idea how to display them or what to do with them. We’d like to have many people participate in this series, each bringing in their own ideas and tastes.

Contact me if you are interested and would like to submit a post:

rayela [@] comcast.net (remove spaces and brackets)

Visit TAFA to see inspiring art quilts, weavings and accessories for the home. Maybe you will find the perfect accent for your home!

Also check out our TAFA Market and our TAFA shops on Etsy!

Don’t miss out on our future posts! Sign up on the sidebar to receive our posts by email.

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Art That Moves http://www.tafalist.com/art-that-moves/ http://www.tafalist.com/art-that-moves/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 21:45:25 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13319

Christine Pensa’s shop on Etsy has a cohesive clean and crisp look to it. Stark white contrasts with bold black, her printed lines defined by sureness and strength. Her work with children shines through along with her passion for the feminine mystique. Many of her products are functional, transforming the utilitarian jobs of a kitchen […]

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Rummi dolls by Art That Moves

Rummi Dolls by Art That Moves

Christine Pensa’s shop on Etsy has a cohesive clean and crisp look to it. Stark white contrasts with bold black, her printed lines defined by sureness and strength. Her work with children shines through along with her passion for the feminine mystique. Many of her products are functional, transforming the utilitarian jobs of a kitchen towel or a bread bag into an act of beauty. Others are whimsical, like her movable paper dolls:

Frida Kahlo, Emily Carr, Georgia O'Keeffe Paper Art Dolls

Frida Kahlo, Emily Carr, Georgia O’Keeffe Paper Art Dolls

Christine came to her art after a successful career working in Canadian politics. An art course opened her world in new ways where she was able to explore and express spirituality, a sense of humor, and joy through her designs. Her by-line is “OM for your home”, conjuring images of peace and stability. Art That Moves, her business name, could mean many things: the jointed paper dolls, for example, or the home textiles that move from one place to another: to the table, from a couch to a chair, from a basket to a peg… A hand carrying, placing, wiping, using…  moving that object around. But, my thinking is that Christine would like her work to move YOU in some way: to bring you peace, joy, serenity…

Screen printed pillows by Art That Moves

Screen printed pillows by Art That Moves

Christine joined TAFA in March of 2013 and has been a joy! She is upbeat, fun and helpful. You will do well by connecting with her, too! Visit Christine and Art That Moves on her TAFA profile where you will find her links on the web and more about her:

Art That Moves on TAFA

Visit her Etsy shop and bring something that moves you to your home!

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Decorating with Textiles: Textiil- Living in Color http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-textiil/ http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-textiil/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 15:00:24 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13291

I like to travel and have been lucky enough to have visited a number of interesting places in the world.  The only place outside the US where I had ever lived was Japan until our family moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2008.  Upon our return to the US I launched Textiil – Modern global […]

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Sally Weinberg

Sally Weinberg

I like to travel and have been lucky enough to have visited a number of interesting places in the world.  The only place outside the US where I had ever lived was Japan until our family moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2008.  Upon our return to the US I launched Textiil – Modern global home décor and gifts to support awareness of and to share the stunning heritage textile crafts of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Many years ago, I was looking for the right pro-bono marketing client, so I approached Creativity Explored in San Francisco and met then Marketing Director Ann Rasmussen.  We walked around a cavernous space filled with special needs adults who came to make art all day. Their art was everywhere, and much of it was deeplyLaundry_Art1 vibrant, similar to the work of children. To me, it was glorious!  And striking to rediscover how joyful and exciting, how intense and energizing, and just how inviting a colorful environment can be. Since then I always keep at least one piece of art from Creativity Explored on the walls.

Wherever I go, the craft culture of a place works its way into my bones because it’s always so right for where you are, and a special part of the travel adventure.  In Malaysia and Indonesia the textiles are beautiful and often vibrant – but generally used for apparel – which would not be a traditional fit here. So how to keep the integrity of the craft itself and integrate it into to your life or surroundings? How to translate that attractively and effectively to a new context?  And if it becomes your business – how to introduce these crafts to others?

With textiles, pillows, wall art, and tabletop linens are certainly to be considered.

Textiil_LivingRoom_ClubChairs1Right now our living room has pillows from a friendly shop in Kuala Lumpur (though most of the merchandise is from India)! All the color works well against wood floors and furniture and the pale yellow walls.  I change out the pillows with others from India, Thailand or my own from Textiil.  It’s an easy way to perk up the room without much fuss.

Until we went to Southeast Asia, we surrounded ourselves primarily with paintings, ceramics and a few other types of decorative objects.  But once we saw the stunning batiks and songkets all around us, it changed the way we looked at decoration. The house we live in now has some very wide and some very high wall space – so instead of paintings, we hung large batik tapestries in two different rooms.

In the family room, we inherited pale green walls and we have RED couches. Ha!  Nevertheless it is great wall space.  We found that a long green Madura batik is nice next to a small batik bought in Brazil and later framed.

textiil_brazil_madura_batiks1

Our bedroom has a bedcover from a market in Santa Fe we got when we were first married. It’s also from India. On the wall is the second highly detailed Madura batik I bought from a fiber artist and batik lover who had lived in Indonesia for many years. It is so lively!

Tip: One way to hang the batiks is by stapling black felt around a wood batten (the batten is from Home Depot).  Then attach the batik with safety pins on the back side of the batten.  We put eye hooks in the back of the batten too, and hung the eye hooks on nails in the wall.

textiil_bedroom_wall_batik1

At the opposite end of the room is a teak bench with a few embroidered pillows from a shop in Oaxaca that offered crafts and art from artisans and cooperatives.

Oaxaxa_Pillows_Madura_Batik2

Each pop of color links back to places and events.  Threaded together they are my own unique story.

My daughter Sammy is a confident contributor when asked her opinion of Textiil’s existing and proposed products.  She has claimed as her own the blue and green cloud pillow for her reading corner.  She is 10 now and just learning how to make her space her own, and I like that it’s a true reflection of the happy person she is.

Kids_Bench_2pillows_Textiil1

Finally, we enjoy using a variety of printed batiks for our dining room tabletop.  Relatively inexpensive, they are bright, festive, unique, and wear well.  As Textiil evolves from offering one-of-a-kind finds to presenting a more extensive assortment of décor, gifts, and accessories, printed batiks are newly added to our product line.

Red_Print_BatikTT_Detail1

It has been our vision to raise awareness of the designs and the design processes of the heritage textile crafts of Malaysia and Indonesia.  We hope that our new and forthcoming items will reach and appeal to more people, and will be made available to a wider audience via boutiques, museum shops, and other retailers who share our taste and interests.

[hr]

Decorating with Textiles Series

Many thanks to Sally for sharing her home and experiences with us for this series. Sally’s business also offers ceramic mugs and Christmas ornaments, so make sure to check her website as she continues to grow her business. If your aesthetic fits in with her products, we hope that you will connect with her and buy from her.  You can contact her through her website or through her Profile Page on TAFA. Sally joined TAFA in June of 2013 and we have loved having her on board!

Would you like to participate in this series? The Decorating with Textiles Series is an ongoing project on this blog. This offer is open to all of you out there who love textiles. Many of our TAFA members make beautiful decorative textiles and functional work as well and showcasing these homes can help stimulate new ideas of what to do with textiles. Seeing a photo online is much different from seeing how a textile will function in an environment. Many people appreciate textiles but have no idea how to display them or what to do with them. We’d like to have many people participate in this series, each bringing in their own ideas and tastes.

Make sure to leave a comment for Sally. I know that would please her immensely!

Contact me if you are interested and would like to submit a post:

rayela [@] comcast.net (remove spaces and brackets)

Visit TAFA to see inspiring art quilts, weavings and accessories for the home. Maybe you will find the perfect accent for your home!

Also check out our TAFA Market and our TAFA shops on Etsy!

Don’t miss out on our future posts! Sign up on the sidebar to receive our posts by email.

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Designer Pillows: Ruby Wings Designs http://www.tafalist.com/designer-pillows-ruby-wings-designs/ http://www.tafalist.com/designer-pillows-ruby-wings-designs/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2014 20:32:32 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13177

Peggy Wright of Ruby Wings Designs is a TAFA Member: Profile on TAFA. She shares with us her collaboration with her friend, Rose Allen, in developing a new line of pillows. Collaborations are a great way to divide the work load, to reach a wider audience, and to come up with new product designs. We […]

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Room Featuring Designer Pillows from Ruby Wings Designs

Room Featuring Designer Pillows from Ruby Wings Designs

Peggy Wright of Ruby Wings Designs is a TAFA Member: Profile on TAFA.

She shares with us her collaboration with her friend, Rose Allen, in developing a new line of pillows. Collaborations are a great way to divide the work load, to reach a wider audience, and to come up with new product designs. We wish both of them great success in this endeavor and hope that you will support and follow them as they continue to broaden their line.

[hr]

I am an art quilter, bead embroiderer, teacher, writer, and editor. My most recent venture is creation of designer pillows with my friend Rose Allen, who is also an art quilter and teacher. My passions are all related to surface design: painting and printing on fabric, dyeing, thread painting, free motion quilting, hand and machine applique, and hand bead and thread embroidery. Rose loves piecing, free motion quilting and thread painting, dyeing, and sewing of any kind.

We both design pillows. All of our pillows are handmade. I make my tops, but Rose does all the piecing and finishing. I am handling the website and promotion. The pillows in our shop all ship with a good-quality pillow form. Although the pillows below all have overlapping backs for inserting the pillow form, in the future we will be using zipper closures.

For my painted pillows, I first hand paint the tops using fabric paints and white cotton fabric. I strive to blend the colors into each other to create the illusion that you are looking at a landscape at sunset. I choose all the backings for my own pillows, some of which are my own or other people’s hand dyed cotton fabrics and some of which are commercial linens or cotton batiks, all high-quality fabrics. For example, part of the back of my red, gold, green, and turquoise painted pillow below is my hand dyed fabric.

Designer Pillow by Peggy Wright—Hand Painted Cotton Front

Designer Pillow by Peggy Wright—Hand Painted Cotton Front

Designer Pillow by Peggy Wright—Hand Painted and Dyed Cotton Back

Designer Pillow by Peggy Wright—Hand Painted and Dyed Cotton Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also hand print monoprints for some tops. I pull each monoprint after painting with fabric paints on a gelatin base (as in the food) and placing stencils on or stamping the paint with various tools. For example, my rust, gold, and purple pillow below used some springs and circular objects that I found at a store that sells surplus hardware. This pillow has pieced linen borders and a linen back. The magenta and green pillow also features thread painting on the monoprinted top and has a batik for the borders and back.

Designer Pillow by Peggy Wright—Monoprinted Cotton Front, Pieced with Linen Border

Designer Pillow by Peggy Wright—Monoprinted Cotton Front, Pieced with Linen Border

Designer Pillow by Peggy Wright— Monoprinted Cotton Front, Pieced with Cotton Batik Border

Designer Pillow by Peggy Wright— Monoprinted Cotton Front, Pieced with Cotton Batik Border

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rose loves piecing gorgeous commercial cotton fabrics into intricate patterns. She plays with color and value in the patterns and with curved and geometric shapes to create dramatic or subtle, pieced tops. She them free motion quilts the tops to add dimension and texture to the pillows. The back of the pillows below also have backs made with commercial cotton fabrics.

Designer Pillow by Rose Allen—Pieced Cotton Front with Free Motion Quilting

Designer Pillow by Rose Allen—Pieced Cotton Front with Free Motion Quilting

Designer Pillow by Rose Allen—Pieced Cotton Front with Free Motion Quilting

Designer Pillow by Rose Allen—Pieced Cotton Front with Free Motion Quilting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rose has also been creating handmade chenille, using three or four layers of different commercial cotton fabrics. After layering the cotton, she stitches diagonally across the square pieces and then cuts between the stitching through all fabrics but the bottom one. She then washes the fabric to make the cut fabrics fray and create the chenille.  Finally, Rose adds borders to the chenille squares and free motion quilts them.

Designer Pillow by Rose Allen—Pieced Cotton Front with Chenille Insert

Designer Pillow by Rose Allen—Pieced Cotton Front with Chenille Insert

Designer Pillow by Rose Allen—Pieced Cotton Front with Chenille Insert

Designer Pillow by Rose Allen—Pieced Cotton Front with Chenille Insert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to my pillows, I make art quilts that hang with sleeves and other art for the wall that I have mounted on gallery-ready, stretched canvas. My most recent passion is making realistic, appliqued and thread-painted birds. I am willing to incorporate these birds into pillows on a commission basis.

Art by Peggy Wright—Appliqued and Thread Painted Bluebird with Free Motion Quilted Background

Art by Peggy Wright—Appliqued and Thread Painted Bluebird with Free Motion Quilted Background

You can see more of our pillows on the Ruby Wings Designs website at http://www.rubywings.com/shop/. The website has galleries for my art quilts and bead embroidery too.

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Fine Cell Work http://www.tafalist.com/fine-cell-work/ http://www.tafalist.com/fine-cell-work/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2014 03:00:46 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13253

One my earliest memories as a child is that of my father making ornaments out of tin cans, much like this one: This was in Brazil, early 1960’s. My father was volunteering at a local jail where he was teaching the inmates how to make ornaments out of old cans. I must have been three […]

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Embroidered pillows by Fine Cell Work- Clint Eastwood!

Embroidered pillows by Fine Cell Work- Clint Eastwood!

One my earliest memories as a child is that of my father making ornaments out of tin cans, much like this one:

vintage tin can ornament

This was in Brazil, early 1960’s. My father was volunteering at a local jail where he was teaching the inmates how to make ornaments out of old cans. I must have been three or four years old and even at that age, I remember being surprised that prisoners would be allowed to handle sharp tools.

Twenty years later, I spent a semester at the Lutheran seminary in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. One of my friends and I also volunteered at a local jail. Although we did not teach crafts, I remember how excited the men were to see us every Saturday morning.

I’ve maintained an interest in prison art and believe that it provides a window to recovery, self-discovery and so much more! As our art programs are disemboweled in our schools and communities here in the United States, I see it thrive elsewhere and was delighted to learn about Fine Cell Work in the United Kingdom. Not only does needlework provide a healing function in the lives of those who participate in this wonderful program, but the quality of their products is also phenomenal! We often see good intentions translated into boring, icky things that should never have been made and that people will only buy because they want to help out. Not so with Fine Cell Work! Their designs run from elegant Victorian to cutting edge pop and the quality can grace any home or office.

Mission:

prisoner stitching“Fine Cell Work trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells to foster hope, discipline and self esteem. This helps them to connect to society and to leave prison with the confidence and financial means to stop offending. We wish to build Fine Cell Work as a sustainable social business and charity with the prisoners as stakeholders in the enterprise. We are aiming to become more embedded in the prison system and to guide prisoners towards formal work training and qualifications and to match them up with organisations that can provide support or employment on release.”

I have lately picked up my own embroidery again, stitching away into the night. The hours fly by and I find so much joy in each stitch. How much more will someone enjoy this as an escape when they have nowhere to go, nothing to do? Many of our TAFA members have talked about how their art has healed them and provided a voice for their spirit, an outlet for their creative forces. Handwork and labor of all kinds, music, theater, and the arts all play important roles in our social fabric, in expressing who we are as people, sometimes broken, sometimes lost, and often in need of healing.

That Fine Cell Work has also successfully turned this endeavor into a successful social enterprise also emphasizes its importance as a model when looking at our current models of employment in our prison systems. It has great potential to develop strong bonds with the fashion and home decor markets in a humane way. We have heard of how Chinese prisons use its inmates as slave labor in the production of toys and other goods that are exported to the United States. Our own prisons in the US have been described as rife with cheap labor scams. Programs like Fine Cell Work enable prisoners to earn their own way back into society, both financially and with a stronger sense of self, community, and worth.

These videos that tell a bit of the story. The first is from a former inmate who now serves as a volunteer. Martin talks about embroidery helped him come out of depression:

 This second one is a speech by Jeremy Wright, MP, at a Fine Cell Work Event:

This one is longer, but a great overview of what they do:

 

Fine Cell Work has an online shop on their site, so if you want a great pillow, head on over there! They also have some quilts, and most importantly, accept commissions for almost any kind of needlepoint work. Here are some other examples:

Fine Cell Works Auction; Spencer House; St James', London. SW1; 27th November 2012.  © Pete Jones pete@pjproductios.co.uk

Fine Cell Works Auction;
Spencer House;
St James’, London. SW1;
27th November 2012.
© Pete Jones
pete@pjproductios.co.uk

Fine Cell Work

Fine Cell Work

Victorian pillows, Fine Cell Work

Victorian pillows, Fine Cell Work

Pillows at Tom Dixon Shop

Pillows at Tom Dixon Shop

Fine Cell Work quilt

Fine Cell Work quilt

I must say that it also warms my heart to see guys doing needlework! Break open the stereotypes and let all people enjoy these arts!

Fine Cell Work embroidery in process.

Fine Cell Work embroidery in process. Photo by Matt Watson.

Visit their profile on TAFA and spread their story! Engage your own local community into similar efforts. We are all in need of a bit of healing and a needle and thread goes a long way in spreading some love.

Fine Cell Work on TAFA

 

fine cell work logo

 

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Weaving Hand http://www.tafalist.com/weaving-hand/ http://www.tafalist.com/weaving-hand/#comments Sat, 11 Jan 2014 18:37:17 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13227

We are so pleased to have Weaving Hand join TAFA as a member! Located in Brooklyn, New York (USA), they are a vibrant organization which embraces the cultural roots of weaving around the world. They have built relationships with groups of weavers in many countries, offer workshops on traditional techniques such as Ikat Weaving, Guatemalan […]

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Weaving hand educational trip.

Educational trip.

We are so pleased to have Weaving Hand join TAFA as a member! Located in Brooklyn, New York (USA), they are a vibrant organization which embraces the cultural roots of weaving around the world. They have built relationships with groups of weavers in many countries, offer workshops on traditional techniques such as Ikat Weaving, Guatemalan Backstrap Weaving and Tibetan Carpet Weaving. Encouraging self-expression and awareness, Weaving Hand also has a healing approach to their work, working with children and adults who suffer from mental, emotional and physical disabilities.

Weaving classes for children.

Weaving classes for children.

We originally connected on Tumblr. Weaving Hand has an active social media presence and their photo stream there, on Facebook and their other sites show off a space that is happy and so full of life! Make sure to connect with them wherever you are!

Weaving Hand also has looms and other weaving supplies for sale, so make sure to look into that if you are a weaver in need of new tools. If you are in the Brooklyn area, make sure to pay them a visit and even get involved. They depend heavily on volunteers and this is one case where giving feels much more like receiving!

Weaving Hand on TAFA

Weaving Hand loom.

Weaving Hand loom.

Weaving Hand Looms and Supplies.

Weaving Hand Looms and Supplies.

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WordPress Plugins 2014 Review http://www.tafalist.com/wordpress-plugins-2014-review/ http://www.tafalist.com/wordpress-plugins-2014-review/#comments Sun, 05 Jan 2014 23:47:51 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13146

In “The Skinny on WordPress”, I outlined my basic understanding of how to use WordPress. I used a skeleton as an image to show how the platform has a basic structure that supports its main functions. Plugins are added to this skeleton so that it can perform more tasks. These plugins can be small and […]

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Wordpress Plugins Review

Previous post on how to use wordpress.In “The Skinny on WordPress”, I outlined my basic understanding of how to use WordPress. I used a skeleton as an image to show how the platform has a basic structure that supports its main functions. Plugins are added to this skeleton so that it can perform more tasks. These plugins can be small and lightweight or they can be massive. For example, our forum area on this site uses two plugins which are so big that they have their own websites and communities, BuddyPress and bbPress. BuddyPress allows us to create users and groups and bbPress controls how the forums operate within those groups.

The more plugins you have, the more work you create for your site and it can slow loading time down considerably. So, you really need to think about what you add and whether it is worth the extra baggage. In this post, I would like to share what I have been using on this site and on my other ones in the hopes that we can have a discussion on which are the best plugins out there for what we need done on our sites.

These plugins can be a nightmare! WordPress and all of these plugins are part of an opensource community, meaning that smart, techy people are writing code all over the world and making it available for us to use.  This is a wonderful gift on their part, but it is also fraught with pitfalls and torment. As the basic WordPress structure updates to keep up with changes in our technology, all of those plugins also need to update in order for them to continue to play nicely with the code. Many great plugins are authored by geniuses who come up with a great idea, write the code, make it available to the public, but then move on to other things. Eventually, what they wrote can become outdated and no longer works. It can make your site unusable and if you have a lot of plugins installed, the nightmare of what is causing the problems starts and you have to go through each plugin to figure out what went wrong.

Themes also contribute to the puzzle. The Theme is the skin or look that you have on your site, how your pages, fonts, colors and data are arranged. The theme writers also have to keep up-to-date with changes in the WordPress world. Sometimes you might have issues where the theme works well with WordPress and so do the plugins, but they don’t with each other. Then, you have to make a choice: ditch the theme or the plugin. All of these things have forums of their own where people are asking for help and others are trying to pitch in to make sense of things. Often the solutions have to do with re-writing code and for those of us who are not coders, this is indeed a nightmare. I am a tweaker, not a coder, and my problem solving rests on the kindness of strangers, of those who have spelled out what to do in baby tech-speak on these many forums, and to them, I am grateful!

Plugins

These plugins are all free. There are many plugins that can be bought, but I have found that any plugin needs to be tested first and that even some of the paid ones can be poorly written or extremely complicated to set up, so I am hesitant about going that route unless I have used their free ones and want further options offered in their paid ones.

Jetpack: Created by WordPress, offers lots of increased functionality to the site, including site stats and spam control. It’s heavy, but a must.

Admin username changer: If you have a WordPress site is your access name “Admin”? If so, change it! It’s the default name used by WordPress and most newbies don’t think of creating a unique name, but it makes it even easier for hackers to get into your site. This plugin allows you to make that change.

Contact Form 7: Most beloved plugin used to create a contact form page. Simple and straightforward.

TinyMCE Advanced: Adds extra functionality to your blog’s toolbox. The default WordPress one does not come with the ability to create tables and sometimes having one is essential to format a list of text and images more easily.

WordPress SEO: This plugin installs a box beneath your post where you fill in different fields to increase the chances that it will be found on the web. If you do everything right, a green light pops up indicating that you have done all the right things. Getting this green light is not easy and I have found that having this forces me to be disciplined about how I tag images, use keywords and titles and improve the presentation. I now consider this plugin to be essential on any blog. Having a blog should be considered an investment. Although much of the content might become dated pretty quickly, it will still be out there on the web, doing it’s work to bring you an audience. The comment area can always be used to update content, or a post can be revised or discarded. But, while it’s out there, this plugin helps others find it.

P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler): Allows you to see which plugins are slowing down your site. I have it disabled until I want to do a plugin check and see what is going on.

Featured Images in RSS w/ Size and Position: I found that our blog did not have an image feed and we are on quite a few places where having that image thumbnail is important. This is a lightweight plugin that resolves that. Why don’t we have an image in our feed? I have no idea!

WP External Links: Super lightweight plugin that just ensures that all external links open a new tab or window.  This post, for example, is loaded with external links. While someone is reviewing the plugin list, any link they click on will open a new tab and they can keep on reading without having to backtrack to the post. This plugin does not work with javascript, which was really disappointing when we set up our TAFA Market. We had hoped to figure out a way to open product links on a new page, but so far have not found a solution.

Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin: Ads one more security step in preventing spam by robots. Lightweight.

nrelate Related Content: Fun plugin with lots of design choices that generate “you might also like” thumbnails which link to past posts. This really helps readers find more of your past content. Lightweight.

Portfolio Slideshow:  My favorite portfolio plugin. Straightforward large image with small thumbnails to the side or below. I use it on my blog when I want to show a lot of images but keep posts relatively short in length. Example.

RSS Multi Importer: The best plugin that I have found to build a blog roll. See our Member Blog page as an example. It has a ton of options on the back end and is well built. However, the formatting often goes out of whack and many of the images are blurry. Note the posts that don’t have thumbnail images. They also need the Featured Images plugin mentioned above! RSS Multi Importer also allows us to have the blog posts show up on our sidebar, which we have on our Blog Page. Clicks to member blogs have been increasing steadily since we did this. However, I would really like to find a better solution. RebelMouse has a beautiful RSS Feed and I had hoped to use them for our Member Blogs, but they have a limit of 50 feeds and we have over 500 members so we would quickly exceed that total. Their solution is to sign up for a feed aggregator and have that post to their feed. So far, the ones that I have looked at are paid versions and I don’t want to pay for yet one more monthly service. If you know of anything that might work, please leave a comment below!

TAFA member blogs

TAFA Member Blogs using the RSS Multi Importer plugin.

Syndicate Press: A simple RSS feed plugin that allows us to list other feeds. We are using it to post feeds from similar orgs which have calls for artists, fellowships, etc. I haven’t been able to figure out how to keep images within our column size, but otherwise it’s a nice, lightweight tool.

Forum Plugins

Members: Powerful plugin that allows you to change roles and capabilities of users registered on the site. Kind of scary because changes are permanent and cannot be reversed to the default. This is especially difficult because WordPress and related user-role plugins assume that you know what the different roles mean and it takes some research to figure that out when you are starting out. Some things are obvious, but others are not.

bbPress Enable TinyMCE Visual Tab: bbPress has a basic editing box for posts which I think is pretty dreadful. As we are a visual group with products, it’s important to be able to load and share images so that we can discuss products, designs, etc. Finding a workable solution for this has been a major problem for me. This plugin increases the ability to format our discussions, but it has not been a stable plugin. It also requires all users to have authoring ability on the blog, which is fine with us, as we are a closed group which encourages member use of the blog, but this could be problematic to others. I would love to find a better option to this plugin and have tried all of the forum ones that are currently available with no success.

bbpress text editor

standard bbpress text editor

GD bbPress Attachments: Enables you to load images and docs to a forum discussion. This has been invaluable during the times when the bbPress Enable TinyMCE hasn’t worked. But, it sometimes duplicates images and that has been annoying. There must be a setting that I haven’t figured out yet. Heavy plugin.

BuddyPress Group Email Subscription: Excellent plugin which has allowed us to offer daily or weekly subscriptions to forum updates. This is important as it encourages member participation and lowers the need to constantly check our forum feed to see if anything new has been posted.

 

Ad Plugins

Ads by datafeedr.com: The ad plugin that I am using for our sponsors. Pro: You can place it where you want to: sidebar, below posts, inside of posts, etc. Easy to use and set up, keeps track of click counts, impressions, start and end dates. Con: No way to keep the same ad from showing up at the same time on the page.

Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin (AWPCP): Classified Ads plugin that we are using. Beautiful layout and lots of functionality! Integrated with PayPal. There have been some problems with email notices and users being able to set it up, but their forum is very helpful. It’s a heavy plugin. Ads have their own page, categories, and can show up on the sidebar. I really like this one!

Classified ads on TAFA

Other Plugins

Caching Plugins

The plugins described above are all ones that I am actively using, almost 20 plugins which creates a heavy load for a site. The bigger your site gets, the more you have to ensure that your server needs are being met. A slow site will drive people away, no doubt about it! One of the fixes for all of this back-end activity is to install yet another plugin, one that caches your page info. From what I understand, the basic idea is that the plugin takes a picture of your content and presents that to the viewer, a much quicker way than having to go retrieve it from the server. The two plugins that I have seen mentioned and reviewed most often are W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. Yet, both have conflicted with other plugins that I need, including our forum ones. So, right now this site seems to load pretty quickly, most of the time, but believe that I will have to upgrade it soon on the hosting end.

eCommerce

The beauty of WordPress is that you can grow it into a massive beast with many different capabilities. The challenge is to keep it from getting too messy or confusing for its visitors. Having eCommerce capabilities is certainly one of the reasons why WordPress quickly rose to the top of the opensource options. There are over 460 eCommerce plugins listed in the WordPress directory. I am hoping to work on a solution for Afghan Tribal Arts this year and am looking at WooCommerce as one possibility. Another option would be to use Big Cartel and merge it with WordPress. See tutorial. There are so many options and they all look wonderful when you look at their presentations, but after reading reviews, visiting forums, and processing the potential pitfalls, any one has headaches to deal with. If you are using an eCommerce solution, do leave a comment as I would like to do another post just on that.

Other Options

There are other ways of adding functionality to a site, especially using javascript code or shortcodes provided by different services. For example, we are using Merchpin to set up our TAFA Market. It’s all controlled by pasting javascript code on the pages. It looks like an eCommerce site, but the downside of it is that to search engines, our Market pages look blank. So, we need to add extra images and text in order to have content that can be found there.

TAFA Market

We are also using code from Amazon for our Book Shop. Many of our members have authored books which are available there and this has been a nice way to have them all in one place.

TAFA Member Books

Wish List and Conclusion

Posts by Email: This is my number one frustration right now. People who want to receive our blog posts by email can do so, but the default one from WordPress.org is as ugly as sin. The WordPress.com one is beautiful and I don’t understand why the .org ones can’t be the same. Most of us have used Google’s FeedBurner as an optional service for posts by email, but they are retiring it soon. This makes no sense as it is something that the blogging community loves! They have already done away with Google Reader, which was also a major staple used by blog readers.

MailChimp offers an integration with WordPress and that would be the best solution for us as we have our regular email list there already. But, I tried it and it was also quite ugly. There are several MailChimp plugins that are supposed to work with the blog subscribers, but I couldn’t get them to do anything. I suppose that I will have to ask for technical assistance and have them walk me through the options. If any of you have something else that we should look at, do leave a comment!

There are many little whines and complaints on my wish list and I wish things just stayed the same. Who knows where technology will be in five years? Each time there is a big, drastic shift in how things are done, it opens the doors to so many new opportunities, yet it ultimately means a lot of work in making everything compatible. Who knew ten years ago that cell phones would become a major surfing tool? So, we have to adapt, keep on learning and do the best we can to make use of all of these magnificent tools.

What about you? Are there any insights that you would like to share? Questions? I am by no means a tech expert, but I have learned some things along the way and am always curious to learn more. For this post, we are especially interested in learning about other plugins out there that might be important or useful. Let us know what you use along with a link to the Plugin’s site address to make it easy for everyone to find. I hope that you have found this WordPress Plugins 2014 Review of help!

Oh! And, if you like this post and what we are doing with TAFA, do sign up to receive our posts by email in the sidebar! One of these days, we’ll find a plugin that delivers pretty ones! :)

 

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Las Rancheritas, The Rug Hookers of Mexico http://www.tafalist.com/las-rancheritas-the-rug-hookers-of-mexico/ http://www.tafalist.com/las-rancheritas-the-rug-hookers-of-mexico/#comments Fri, 03 Jan 2014 17:33:33 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12790

I would like to introduce an exciting project in Mexico: The Rug Hook Project, Las Rancheritas. This women’s cooperative has been hooking rugs since 1998. The sixteen women are from the farming community of Agustin, Gonzales which is 14 miles from San Miguel de Allende. Their subject matter is the life around them, mountains, cactus, cows, […]

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Las Rancheritas, Rug Hookers of Mexico

Las Rancheritas, Rug Hookers of Mexico

I would like to introduce an exciting project in Mexico: The Rug Hook Project, Las Rancheritas. This women’s cooperative has been hooking rugs since 1998. The sixteen women are from the farming community of Agustin, Gonzales which is 14 miles from San Miguel de Allende. Their subject matter is the life around them, mountains, cactus, cows, horses, burros, flowers, a small house, a church, ducks, rabbits, chickens, roosters or fish.

Mexican hooked rug- rooster

Mexican hooked rug, camping

Mexican Hooked Rug dog

They are subsistence farmers who grow corn, beans and squash. The proceeds from selling these art pieces help with paying for additional food, children’s schooling, doctor visits and other family needs.  Many of the women are the sole support of their families. Each art piece is entirely unique as is the skill of rug hooking in Mexico. This slide show shows more of their life:

Our rugs are available on Etsy and at special events. The rug hookers of Mexico welcome visitors and you can also place special orders.  Contact us for more information on how you can get involved with this great project!

Day of the Dead hooked rug

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TAFA’s Year in Review: 2013 http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-year-in-review-2013/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-year-in-review-2013/#comments Wed, 01 Jan 2014 01:40:33 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13059

2013 is coming to a close, bringing with it the opportunity to stop and take a look at the year that has passed. Reflections on what has happened for us as a community during TAFA’s third year help us look forward into the next year, building on what has worked, changing direction on what hasn’t. […]

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TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

2013 is coming to a close, bringing with it the opportunity to stop and take a look at the year that has passed. Reflections on what has happened for us as a community during TAFA’s third year help us look forward into the next year, building on what has worked, changing direction on what hasn’t. The internet, the sites we use, the tools we develop and how all of that relates to what we do changes quickly. This, of course, leads us to look at our year in review, as so many others are also doing now.

I have had an image for my own life of the tree that can bend with the wind, that can be flexible, and I send those words out to all of you, too. Bend and allow the wind to dance with you, but keep your roots firmly planted in solid ground!

Linda Beach Art Quilts

Linda Beach Art Quilts

“The wind does not break a tree that bends”

– Sukuma proverb (Africa)

We started out 2013 celebrating the diversity of our members by creating the video “Red”. If you have not seen it, please watch it as it is probably the last one that I will make showing all of the members. We have gotten too big! I plan on doing more themed videos, but I find it so inspiring to see the work all together like this because it captures how textiles and fiber art translate into such a wide span of uses, interpretation, materials and expression.

Membership

We had 74 new members join TAFA in 2013! That brings us to 530 studio artists, organizations, and textile related businesses from 44 countries! Scroll through our Member List to see those who are up on our site and explore our Member Map to see where they are by location. Clicking on the pins takes you to their member profiles.

This is an old picture of our map. Many more pins now! A fun way to find our members!

This is an old picture of our map. Many more pins now! A fun way to find our members!

Interested in membership? Membership page.

We were very sad to lose Heather Lair who died in July from heart failure. She is sorely missed by all who knew her!

We were very sad to lose Heather Lair who died in July from heart failure. She is sorely missed by all who knew her!

TAFA Forum

Setting up this companion site to our main one was a huge project for me. I started working on it in January and it took about six months of bumps and hurdles to get it to function well. This is a BuddyPress site, WordPress’s solution for communities. They had a major re-write just as I started working on it and it took that long for the theme and plugins to catch up and update their codes so that things would play well on the back end. There are several areas on this site that can be accessed through the navigation at the top of each page. The forum area is for our members and the blog, Market, and other pages are for our community at large. We had two blogs on our main site which are now retired. A quick explanation of our public pages here:

  • Blog: Our posts have categories and tags to help find topics of interest. There is a drop down menu in the sidebar to help find the categories, showing how many posts have to do with that topic. We’ve had tech posts, member features and two ongoing series: TAFA’s Gift Guides and the Decorating with Textiles. All of our members have access to posting to our blog so expect to see more contributions coming from them in 2014. Sign up to receive posts by email in the sidebar or via Networked Blogs on Facebook.

Top Blog Posts:

Member Blogs:

Those of you who enjoy reading blogs can now follow our members on our Member Blog Page:

member blogs

The latest posts also show up on the sidebar of our blog.

TAFA Authors

Our members who have books on Amazon can now be easily found on our book shop page:

amazon shop

Call for Artists

We have a couple of excellent feeds announcing opportunities for textile artists on this page.

[hr]

Having this second site has really helped us to have a central location where we can communicate, share information, and plan activities. There has been a learning curve on how members use the forum and my hope is that it will become a comfortable place in 2014. We have hubs on several social media sites where information is also shared, but it becomes very hard to find it again when you want to revisit a topic or tip. Now, we can organize our interests by themes and use them whenever we need them.

Events

We have an Event Calendar on our main site which got a lot of activity in 2013. This is a handy tool as it has a Google Map on the listing and people can sign up to receive event announcements by email or on Facebook. We post the event again on our Facebook page a few days before it happens.

Social Media Sites

We are on quite a few sites with mixed results. You can see most of them listed on our hubs page. Here is a quick review on how we are doing on them:

Facebook: Our private group is our most active member hub. It’s fun, pleasant and informative. Our public page is the top referrer to both our main site and to this site. We have around 8,300 likes there at this time.

LinkedIn: We have about 1,000 people in our group there which is open to the public. There are spurts of good discussions, but they come and go.

Pinterest: Our following is growing and we have three group boards, a general one for our members, an Etsy board and a TAFA Market board.

Our Ravelry group is pretty much dead, I haven’t been able to get a following on Twitter, and we have some activity on Google+, but not much. We just started on Tumblr in September and have a growing audience there.  Many of our members are on Flickr and we have slide shows posted around, but they do not interact there. One of the best tools that we are using is RebelMouse, which can also have a social media side to it, but we have not developed much of a following there.

I find that much of my time is sucked up by these social media sites and one of my big goals for 2014 is to figure out how to become more effective at it. All social media is based on the assumption that relationships are being built, that we are “social”, not just dumping information out on to these various platforms. Interaction takes time, but also creates meaning. I think that this is something that all of us struggle with. I advise our members to pick no more than three places and to cultivate those and perhaps I should listen to my own advice for TAFA!

Etsy

tafa team badge 200 pixels

Over half of our members have shops on Etsy and we have created a beautiful destination there: TAFA Shops on Etsy.  Etsy has grown tremendously in the last couple of years and many of us find that our shops are just lost there. They also changed how they define “handmade” this year, now allowing designer products in the handmade category. There are many other problems which were outlined in Etsy’s New Guidelines, but it remains a place where we have a significant presence.

Having a common search result helps to bring us together there. Updates on our Etsy Team are on our blog, TAFA Team. We have a nice following there and get steady views on our posts. Member blogs are also posted there in the sidebar.

 

TAFA Market

Market Logo 200

In September we learned about a service called Merchpin that could be used to create themed collections of our member products who have shopping carts. It works seamlessly with Etsy, but can also take any cart that can be downloaded to a .csv file. We set up a separate area on this site and created a Market and now have 24 of our member shops represented there. The beauty of this service is that products can be arranged many different ways and just pasted on to a page with code. Click on an image and you land on that person’s shop.

We’ve had several features on our Market Shops in the last two months including a few interviews: Ariane Mariane, Wrapture by Inese, Afghan Tribal Arts, Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts, Castilleja Cotton, Something Else Studio, and Hot Moon Collection. Finding a shopping cart solution for our members is a top priority as most have products for sale. This Merchpin solution is not a perfect one, but it does offer a lot without having to have extra staff or set up an actual marketplace.


Our Sponsors

We cannot end the year without thanking our sponsors! TAFA does not have yearly membership fees so it is a challenge to come up with ways to generate income to pay for my salary (It IS a full-time job!) or to do any paid marketing. Our sponsors have been a huge support and we hope that you will support them in return. Their ads flash on our main site and on this one. Click to visit our current sponsors:

margaret wheeler ad  long ridge farm  Print

rhughes-tafa_0  candace ad  Ann Robinson ad new

dharma karma arts  anni hunt  new england felting supply

magic stitches  oaxaca cultural navigator  Cat Brysch 2013

ad  elena rosenberg  tafa ad

Beverly Ad  textiil ad  nestle and soar

Fiber Art Now  puchka ad  Arlee ad

 

 

Many thanks to all of them for their financial support!

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Click on the image for info:

Ad-Sponsor TAFA

 

Classified Ads

This year we also set up a Classified Ads page on this site. The ads are beautifully displayed and also show up on our blog’s sidebar.

affordable classified ads for artists

2014 Calendar

We finish off 2013 by offering a beautiful art calendar on Zazzle! “Roots” celebrates where we come from: our ancestors and our understanding of home. You can see all of the images for each month on this post and purchase the calendar on Zazzle. Zazzle often has discounts running on their site and at the time of this posting, they have a 20% off coupon running through Friday. It’s posted at the top of every page.

cover front small

Goals for 2014

Much of what I do is housekeeping: answering emails, helping members navigate through whatever issues or decisions they are making and networking on the social media sites. As the tree bends in the beginning of this post, I also try to allow the winds to change my directions, to be flexible and to try new strategies. I absolutely love this group and it gives me immense joy and fulfillment to work with them, promote them, and to build on what we have already managed to lay as a foundation in these last three years.

So, I move forward with just a couple of goals which are hopefully achievable:

  • Continue to develop our Market. I am thinking of a dedicated site for it and am exploring that option.
  • Look at the possibility of getting a couple of social media interns who can help make our hubs meaningful places.
  • Interact with design blogs which might feature our members.
  • Find interior designers and galleries/boutiques who might work with our members who make larger works (tapestries, art quilts, etc.).

If at the end of 2014 I can report on these four things with some success, I will have a feeling of accomplishment. If you have ideas, connections or feedback on any of these things, do leave a comment or contact me at rayela @ comcast.net (remove spaces). I have idea folders that are growing!

I have been thinking a lot about groups and their importance, both the virtual ones and physical ones. Many of us evaluate what a group can do for us, but I also think that it is about what we can each do for the group. I remember having a confrontation with my preacher father when I was a teen and didn’t want to go to church, “It’s boring!!!” He said, “It’s not about what YOU get out of it, but rather what you can GIVE to it.” I’ve never forgotten that and for me, it has been true that in giving, I have received much support, inspiration, joy and meaning. Think about that with whatever group you belong to. My mantra for TAFA has been and still is:

Together we can do great things!

On that note, I wish all of you a wonderful 2014!  Every year I make a funny Christmas card with me and my dogs. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope this brings you a smile:

Christmas 2013 800 pixels wideThanks to Colin’s Creatures for letting me use his sheep!

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TAFA Calendar 2014: Roots http://www.tafalist.com/tafa-calendar-2014-roots/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafa-calendar-2014-roots/#comments Tue, 31 Dec 2013 01:21:51 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13054

Last year we opened a TAFA Shop on Zazzle. Members donated images of their products which were then added on to mugs, t-shirts, cell phone covers and other Zazzle choices. A percentage of the sales go to help support our TAFA programming. It’s not much, takes a long time to amount to anything, but it […]

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TAFA 2014 Art Textiles Calendar RootsLast year we opened a TAFA Shop on Zazzle. Members donated images of their products which were then added on to mugs, t-shirts, cell phone covers and other Zazzle choices. A percentage of the sales go to help support our TAFA programming. It’s not much, takes a long time to amount to anything, but it helps and is a great way to give a longer life to these wonderful creations that take to long to make. Almost everything we make is one-of-a-kind and being able to use the images again in this way allows us to enjoy them further.

Our most successful items were our two calendars that we put together and this year, we have done it again! Our Roots Calendar celebrates ancestors who have encouraged creativity along with our feelings about “home”. People and place often define who we will become in future years, either embracing the feeling of love and acceptance or reacting against abuse and insecurity.

If you enjoy the textile and fiber arts, you will certainly like the selection we have put together for our TAFA Calendar 2014! It holds a nice variety of techniques and cultural traditions. Click on the images to visit the member profiles and learn more about each contributor. Our members often talk about how a grandmother, mother, aunt, father or someone in their family taught them how to knit, sew, or create when they were still little children. Visit The List to see our other profiles and as you explore, you will see this mentioned over and over again. Or, they will talk about where they lived as children and how that informed their later work.

As you explore these twelve and other stories, take to heart how important it is to expose children to the arts at a young age! Each of us has the ability to pass that on to the next generation and to spark that interest in them, too. Maybe someday we will be the honored ancestors, the ones who made a safe place called home.

TAFA 2014 Calendar Front Cover: Roots

TAFA 2014 Calendar Front Cover: Roots

January

Karen Anne Glick textile art

Karen lives in Pennsylvania in the US. Her work is often minimalist, exploring shape, movement and color.

February

Indira Govindan is a mixed-media artist from New Jersey with her roots in India. Here she honors her parents who encouraged her to develop fully in every way. The journal pictured was made using one of her mother's saris.

Indira Govindan is a mixed-media artist from New Jersey with her roots in India. Here she honors her parents who encouraged her to develop fully in every way. The journal pictured was made using one of her mother’s saris.

March

Nisa Kiley lives in Hereford, United Kingdom. Her quilts are intensely quilted, creating deep textures and rhythm, often inspired by Nature. Her mother is honored in this piece.

Nisa Kiley lives in Hereford, United Kingdom. Her quilts are intensely quilted, creating deep textures and rhythm, often inspired by Nature. Her mother is honored in this piece.

April

Anni Hunt is a mixed media artist, a Canadian from British Columbia. She uses a wide range of surface design techniques to create textures and images on her textiles, often transforming them into vessels. This nest is part of a series. She also offers video tutorials on many of her techniques.

Anni Hunt is a mixed media artist, a Canadian from British Columbia. She uses a wide range of surface design techniques to create textures and images on her textiles, often transforming them into vessels. This nest is part of a series. She also offers video tutorials on many of her techniques.

May

Peggy Wright lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. For many years she worked with bead weaving jewelry, but moved her focus to textiles a couple of years ago. She often incorporates beads into her quilts and textiles.

Peggy Wright lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. For many years she worked with bead weaving jewelry, but moved her focus to textiles a couple of years ago. She often incorporates beads into her quilts and textiles.

June

Ann Ridge lives in Malaga, Spain, and creates a variety of functional textiles and wearable art, from pillows to quilts to exquisite garments.

Ann Ridge lives in Malaga, Spain, and creates a variety of functional textiles and wearable art, from pillows to quilts to exquisite garments.

July

Aliona Carpov landed in Rabat, Morocco many years ago, but explores her Moldovian roots through her weaving and mixed media works. See this weaving in a post she did as a part of our Living with Textiles Series.
Aliona Carpov landed in Rabat, Morocco many years ago, but explores her Moldovian roots through her weaving and mixed media works. See this weaving in a post she did as a part of our Decorating with Textiles Series.

August

Anton Veenstra lives in Sydney, Australia. His parents arrived there as migrant workers from Holland and Slovenia. He was born in a migrant camp and he has done several tapestries about his mother and childhood. This work is made of old buttons.

Anton Veenstra lives in Sydney, Australia. His parents arrived there as migrant workers from Holland and Slovenia. He was born in a migrant camp and he has done several tapestries about his mother and childhood. This textile is made up of old buttons.

September

Cindy Grisdela lives in Great Falls, Virginia, USA. Her quilts are bold explorations of color and shape. She also makes home accessories which are just lovely.

Cindy Grisdela lives in Great Falls, Virginia, USA. Her quilts are bold explorations of color and shape. She also makes home accessories which are just lovely.

October

Meta Heemskerk lives in Eindhoven, Netherlands. She documents her work avidly on her blog, always exploring new techniques. She also started a small wall art site, galleriba. Several of our members participate in that group as well.

Meta Heemskerk lives in Eindhoven, Netherlands. She documents her work avidly on her blog, always exploring new techniques. Her peg people featured here are a part of a wonderful series. 

November

Karen Miller is a rug hooker from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She often incorporates weathered wood in her work. Her inspiration comes from the landscape around her, Iceland, and people.

Karen Miller is a rug hooker from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She often incorporates weathered wood in her work. Her inspiration comes from the landscape around her, Iceland, and people.

December

This year I took part in the calendar, too. My parents were missionaries in Brazil (1962-1980) and my father was especially supportive of my creative learning. He was mechanical and built things, picking up carving for a few years. My mother taught us how to read and write and took us to movies on Sunday afternoons. Both are originally Minnesota (USA) farm kids. I now live in Kentucky, USA. I made each of them an embroidered scarf for Christmas.

This year I took part in the calendar, too. My parents were missionaries in Brazil (1962-1980) and my father was especially supportive of my creative learning. He was mechanical and built things, picking up carving for a few years. My mother taught us how to read and write and took us to movies on Sunday afternoons. Both are originally Minnesota (USA) farm kids. I now live in Kentucky, USA. I made each of them an embroidered scarf for Christmas.

Back cover of TAFA's 2014 art calendar

Back cover

I love learning about the stories behind the work and hope that you do, too! Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments area on ancestors and home and how they inform what you do, too.  Each story, joyful or painful, forms a part of the tapestry that is life!

You may purchase the calendar and other TAFA products in our Zazzle shop:

http://www.zazzle.com/2014_tafa_calendar_roots-158600962546896913

The calendar is $24.40. Zazzle often has promotional discounts going on, so make sure you take a look at the top of the site for a promo announcement. At the time of this posting, there is a 20% discount using 2014NEWYEARS as the code at checkout. You can use that towards anything that you might want to purchase in our shop.

I was very pleased with the quality of the calendars last year and have enjoyed seeing TAFA up on my wall all throughout the year. It will be fun to have that opportunity once again. When you look at our pages, know that you are supporting an amazing group with wonderful stories!

 

Happy 2014!

TAFA 2014 Calendar Collage

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Decorating with Textiles : Altexdesign http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-altexdesign/ http://www.tafalist.com/decorating-with-textiles-altexdesign/#comments Sun, 29 Dec 2013 21:05:22 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12369

by Aliona Carpov I come from Moldova (Eastern Europe) and am passionate about every art-related technique, especially silk dyeing, oil painting, and carpet design. I practiced these disciplines but tapestry, carpets and ceramics are the ones I enjoy the most. I moved to Morocco in 1999, where I continued to work as a designer, developing […]

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by Aliona Carpov

Aliona Carpov

I come from Moldova (Eastern Europe) and am passionate about every art-related technique, especially silk dyeing, oil painting, and carpet design. I practiced these disciplines but tapestry, carpets and ceramics are the ones I enjoy the most.

I moved to Morocco in 1999, where I continued to work as a designer, developing collections for toufté carpet, suitable for all styles of interiors. I have continued to research and develop art tapestries inspired by the traditional arts of Central Europe and modern African art, combining various techniques and various materials (wool, fabric, raffia, acrylic, silk plant, and leather) enriched by the shapes, colors and landscapes of Morocco.
In this post, I will present my work in the interior of my apartment and in the house of my friends.

The apartment in which we currently live is in Rabat and was built in a traditional Moroccan style riad style. I decided to decorate in the same style, reminiscent of Berber and Bauresquees symbols. We bought local furniture and carpets along with crafts and ceramics which I enjoyed painting. On the walls we hung my tapestry and the paintings of my daughter. All of my creations are a mixture of two cultures: European with a Moroccan touch. I love textiles for their textures and sweetness. I like to experiment with and develop my own techniques. I invite you to discover my own creations which I weave and I created in a contemporary spirit, modern in that traditional sense. I wish you a pleasant visit ! :)

LIVING ROOM

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Our living room is divided into two spaces – a desk and a seating area.
The office area is decorated with two of my textile creations.

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The right tapestry is made of  wool, silk, leather, and inlaid with river stones. I called it “Past” work as it reminds me of my childhood.

The left panno decorative textile was made in a mixed technique that I developed. The creation of this work was inspired by small villages in the mountains of Morocco.

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I upholstered the couches myself with fabric I bought on the local market to create a Moroccan salon. I stitched organza fabric for the table.  The pottery on the table comes from a craft workshop in Fes. The caned chairs were made ​​to order from my sketches. The floor is covered with handmade Turkish carpets.

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On the wall next to the window is a painting that was done by my daughter, a portrait of her grandmother. To the right on the wall is a tapestry of mixed techniques.

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The bookshelf holds books and various collectibles: ceramic, sculptures, etc…

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The tapestry above uses mixed techniques inspired by Berber carpets. I used silk, fabric painting and traditional jewelery. On the walls to the right of the tapestry there are three ceramic plates suspended with geometric designs painted by myself. I like mixing my creative activities. After discovering painting on ceramics, it has become my new passion. I wrote a book about how to use stencils to create these designs: http://www.edisaxe.com/la-peinture-sur-poterie.html

In this book you will find designs inspired by both my Slavic culture and Moroccan colors.

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In the corner of the small library, which is decorated with all sorts of creations – there is a large pot and pottery painted by myself, one of my tapestries, a silk painting, and a painting made ​​by my daughter.  The bookshelf is from a garage sale which I restored.

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This silk painting is a copy that I made of a work after an unknown artist  about “Saint George of Lydda” in African style.

 

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On the wall hangs a painting in mixed technique, created by my daughter.

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In the opposite corner of the library there is a set of artisan-made cane furniture, a white Berber carpet, and as usual, one of my tapestries and a painting done by my daughter. A small table covered with a cotton cloth that was woven in the north of Moldova was a gift for our wedding.

IMG_8649Panno textiles use mixed techniques: embroidery, painting on fabric as well as silk and raffia, titled “Between Heaven and Earth”. It was inspired from our flight on the plane. During the flight, I saw the sunset and sunrise. It was an amazing spectacle.

 

FOYER

The lobby and couloire is decorated in the same style of cane furniture, terracotta pots, tapestries and painting, and with local Moroccan handcrafts on the walls and ceiling.

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In the hallway on the left wall above the mirror hangs a small chandelier made by a local artisan in wrought iron which we bought. I love this little candle holder! It creates comfort in the hallway. :)

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Next to the candle holder is a small textile and painting, made in my mixed technique that I personally created. “Hand of Fatima” is an amulet of protection in the form of hand. According to local legends, it brings happiness to the home and saves us from the evil eye.The mirror and a small box for keys were also decorated by me with paint, leather and jewelry. 

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As you  enter through the front entrance, in front of you on the wall are hanging the two small panno textile decorations where I embedded Berber jewelry and Moroccan a plate. In this panno, I used wood, cotton, embroidery, painting and Berber jewelry. Below there is a vase with dried flowers, I collected in the field during a walk in nature.

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Our hallway is decorated with my textiles and paintings by my daughter. The floor along the walls of the corridor is decorated with pottery and Berber carpets in red color. Berber carpets are a classic art, produced in the region Khemisset and show the expertise of Berber women and brings an oriental touch to the interior decoration in my house.

 

BEDROOM

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In this bedroom I wanted to give an African touch with panno textile decorations and wood elements in the same spirit.

The triptych on the wall I have done in mixed media. Adjacent is an African wooden sculpture. The bed cover is handmade raw silk (sabra). The cushions are Berber and Indian fabrics. A Turkish carpet is on the floor.

 

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Triptych “African motifs”  of Africa series.

Textiles offer many decorating opportunities. They bring many beautiful and useful things for the home. I wanted a comfortable apartment for ourselves and I think we succeeded :)

 

VILLA OF MY FRIENDS

In this part of my post I would like to present my textile creations that decorate a friend’s home.

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I decided to decorate the hall  with  triptych “Africa”. I think that this triptych here looks best. Textile panno: mixed media, batik, natural materials, embroidery.This was one of my first creations.

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The European salon showcases tapestries woven by myself on the wall.

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Tapestry “Folklore” triptych , weaving, wool.
This work reminds me of my home.

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Decorative panno from the series “Morocco”. Mixed technique that I created personally.

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Tapestries made by me and my daughter hang on the walls at the back.

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Left: tapestry called “Inspiration”.  Right: two small rugs from the series “Morocco”. Weaving mixed media.

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My tapestry “Inspiration” and three mini tapestries by my daughter. Weaving, wool, silk, acrylic.

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The European salon is opposite to the Moroccan interior. I decided to decorate the Moroccan area with decorative panno from the series “Morocco” of my own creation.

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Composition consisting of decorative panels from the series “Morocco”. Mixed media. Created personally.

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Triptych “Morocco”. Decorative panno. Mixed media, created personally.

I appreciate how the textures in textiles play a valuable role in creating comfortable interiors and timeless colors. Decades ago, I discovered how yarn can be the source of spontaneity and creativity. I love creating original, exclusive and unique works.

I hope that my post will be interesting to people who love textiles and design and who want their home decorated with creations made ​​by these hands.

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 Decorating with Textiles Series

Many thanks to Alena for sharing her home and her friend’s place with us! It’s so interesting to see the blend of cultures, techniques, and aesthetics! Alena is available for commissions, so if you like her work, do not hesitate to contact her to see what she could do for you. You can leave a message here or there is a contact button on her Profile Page on TAFA.

Would you like to participate in this series? The Decorating with Textiles Series is an ongoing project on this blog. This offer is open to all of you out there who love textiles. Many of our TAFA members make beautiful decorative textiles and functional work as well and showcasing these homes can help stimulate new ideas of what to do with textiles. Seeing a photo online is much different from seeing how a textile will function in an environment. Many people appreciate textiles but have no idea how to display them or what to do with them. We’d like to have many people participate in this series, each bringing in their own ideas and tastes.

Make sure to leave a comment for Aliona. I know that would please her immensely!

Contact me if you are interested and would like to submit a post:

rayela [@] comcast.net (remove spaces and brackets)

Visit TAFA to see inspiring art quilts, weavings and accessories for the home. Maybe you will find the perfect accent for your home!

Also check out our TAFA Market and our TAFA shops on Etsy!

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Mariposa Handwovens http://www.tafalist.com/mariposa-handwovens/ http://www.tafalist.com/mariposa-handwovens/#comments Fri, 27 Dec 2013 18:30:46 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=13036

Vicki Hedrick of Mariposa Handwovens has been weaving for over 30 years and is still in love with the process of creating fabric from thread! She lives in Carlinville, Illinois (USA) and has a nicely stocked shop on Etsy. Her business name, Mariposa, means butterfly in Spanish. She often finds her inspiration in Nature, experimenting with texture […]

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Mariposa Handwovens blue shawl

Vicki Hedrick of Mariposa Handwovens has been weaving for over 30 years and is still in love with the process of creating fabric from thread! She lives in Carlinville, Illinois (USA) and has a nicely stocked shop on Etsy. Her business name, Mariposa, means butterfly in Spanish. She often finds her inspiration in Nature, experimenting with texture and color through the use of novelty yarns and the weaving patterns she uses.

Visit and connect with her on TAFA: http://www.tafalist.com/members/mariposa-handwovens

Mariposa Handwovens scarf

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A TAFA Christmas: We Three Kings http://www.tafalist.com/a-tafa-christmas-we-three-kings/ http://www.tafalist.com/a-tafa-christmas-we-three-kings/#comments Sun, 22 Dec 2013 21:33:25 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12989

“We Three Kings” is an all-time Christmas favorite song, written by John Henry Hopkins, Jr., an American composer and Episcopal clergyman. He wrote the song in 1857 as part of a Christmas pageant, but it did not appear in print until 1863. Enjoy this wonderful claymation video featuring the song sung by the three kings […]

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John Henry Hopkins, Jr.“We Three Kings” is an all-time Christmas favorite song, written by John Henry Hopkins, Jr., an American composer and Episcopal clergyman. He wrote the song in 1857 as part of a Christmas pageant, but it did not appear in print until 1863.

Enjoy this wonderful claymation video featuring the song sung by the three kings and their camels. Super cute!

Scroll down to see the lyrics, illustrated by work of our TAFA members and sing along. Click on the images to learn more about them through their profiles on TAFA.

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Amie Starchuk Textile Artist

Amie Starchuk Textile Artist

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

Angel Fire Designs

Angel Fire Designs

Karen Henderson

Karen Henderson

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Kalahari Quilts

Kalahari Quilts

Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.

Afghan Tribal Arts

Afghan Tribal Arts

MegWeaves

MegWeaves

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Ann Harwell Art

Ann Harwell Art

Frankincense to offer have I.
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising all men raising,
Worship Him, God on high.

Maiwa Handprints

Maiwa Handprints

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Terry Aske Art Quilts

Terry Aske Art Quilts

Colin's Creatures

Colin’s Creatures

Myrrh is mine: it’s bitter perfume
Breaths a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Donna Kallner Fiber Art

Donna Kallner Fiber Art

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Deanne Fitzpatrick Studio

Deanne Fitzpatrick Studio

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Sounds through the earth and skies.

Allison Svoboda

Allison Svoboda

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light

Bazaar Bayar

Bazaar Bayar

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas and Holiday!

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A TAFA Quilt Christmas: Silent Night http://www.tafalist.com/a-tafa-quilt-christmas-silent-night/ http://www.tafalist.com/a-tafa-quilt-christmas-silent-night/#comments Sat, 21 Dec 2013 22:34:55 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12977

One of my favorite things about Christmas is all of the music, favorites from my childhood, both about the Christ Child and fun ones from our popular culture like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph and others. Enjoy this illustrated version of Silent Night with some of our talented work by our TAFA members. Click on the […]

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Castilleja Cotton Singing Snowman Quilt

Castilleja Cotton Singing Snowman Quilt

One of my favorite things about Christmas is all of the music, favorites from my childhood, both about the Christ Child and fun ones from our popular culture like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph and others.

Enjoy this illustrated version of Silent Night with some of our talented work by our TAFA members. Click on the video for vocals by the talented Sam Tsui accompanied on the violin by Yasmeen Al-Mazeedi and then scroll down to see the lyrics and images. Click on the images to see our TAFA Member profiles.

Silent night, holy night!

Sanctuary quilt by Dottie Moore

Sanctuary quilt by Dottie Moore

All is calm, all is bright.

Ann Harwell Art, From Whence Heaven

Ann Harwell Art, “From Whence Heaven”

Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.

Joan Sowada, Beatrice with Ball, Art Quilt mother and child

Joan Sowada, “Beatrice with Ball”

Holy infant so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Amie Starchuk Textile Artist, "Dream", Art Quilt

Amie Starchuk Textile Artist, “Dream”

Sleep in heavenly peace.

Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, On the Wings of a Dream

Bryerpatch Studio, Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, “On the Wings of a Dream”

 

Wishing you and yours a meaningful and beautiful Christmas!

If you do not celebrate Christmas, may this time also be filled with love and joy!

Morna Crites-Moore, Fok Art Angels in wool

Morna Crites-Moore/Wicked Waif, Folk Art Angels in wool

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TAFA Gift Guide: Bags and Purses http://www.tafalist.com/tafa-gift-guide-bags-and-purses/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafa-gift-guide-bags-and-purses/#comments Sun, 15 Dec 2013 00:15:10 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12886

Every year thousands of quilters come to Paducah for the annual AQS Quilt Show.  As a group, they tend to wear comfortable shoes and carry a big, gorgeous handmade bag. A bag which carries their needs for the day and will bulge with fliers and purchases. I feel like you can almost never have enough […]

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Every year thousands of quilters come to Paducah for the annual AQS Quilt Show.  As a group, they tend to wear comfortable shoes and carry a big, gorgeous handmade bag. A bag which carries their needs for the day and will bulge with fliers and purchases. I feel like you can almost never have enough bags…  I have two big totes that I use for groceries, a dedicated one for the library, a small pouch that has my wallet and keys, a big leather bag I use for travel, another one for my laptop, and lots of pouches, passport bags, and small purses that can be snatched as needed. I have special things stored in bags in my drawers, large tote-types of bags holding various craft supplies and art purses that might make it to a party or gallery opening. Every culture around the world has bags assigned to specific tasks and for the fashion industry, launching new bag designs is a multi-billion dollar industry.

Our TAFA members make and sell all kinds of fun, handmade bags. Most are functional, begging to be used, while others tease the imagination, playing with form and function as wearable art. Get ready for eye candy as we treat you to this selected guide! There is something for everyone and we hope that you will explore the links to see more.

Click on the images to visit that member’s profile on TAFA. From there, you can click on their links to connect with them.

Art Bags

These are bags that are functional, kind of… Definite ice-breakers at a party, but just be careful with them…

Ariane Mariane bag

Ariane Mariane has a whimsical line of felt bags which can be treated as sculptures when not in use. France

Rayela Art paper bag

Made out of hundreds of folded bits of paper, Rayela Art’s bags use the outer wrapper of dog food bags, beads and buttons. USA

Rensfibreart teaches free-form crochet. Her art bags are inspired by nature.

Rensfibreart teaches free-form crochet. Her art bags are inspired by nature. Australia

 

Evening Bags

A purse, clutch or bag with a dressy flair!

delight worthyn blue silk bag

Delight Worthyn ART/wares recycles cast-offs into hats, garments and bags often inspired by historical fashion. USA

Leisa Rich takes vinyl to a new level! USA

Leisa Rich takes vinyl to a new level! USA

Allthingspretty recycles fabrics and findings into Boho statements. Australia

Allthingspretty recycles fabrics and findings into Boho statements. This bag features old embroidery that has been salvaged. Australia

Kala Raksha is a non-profit in India, working to generate income through and to preserve traditional craft skills. Their bags add a tribal bling to the outfit.

Kala Raksha is a non-profit in India, working to generate income through and to preserve traditional craft skills. Their bags add a tribal bling to the outfit.

Embroidered Indian purse.

Maiwa Handprints works with several different groups in India and offers a great selection of textiles and accessories on their site. Canada

Coco Bags offers a large selection of designs, including some great ones for men. This clutch has a simple and elegant design. USA

Coco Bags offers a large selection of designs, including some great ones for men. This clutch has a simple and elegant design. USA

Fibernique's felt purse speaks of warmth and simplicity.

Fibernique’s felt purse speaks of warmth and simplicity. USA

African purse by UrbanKnit

Urbanknit uses African fabrics in many of her clutches and purses. United Kingdom

Danny Mansmith's free-form sewing speak to the free spirits out there. This patchwork clutch nods to the Boho world.

Danny Mansmith’s free-form sewing speak to the free spirits out there. This patchwork clutch nods to the Boho world. USA

Shoulder Bags and Purses

Messenger bags and strappy purses help us keep track of our stuff. Sling them over, wear them on the shoulder….

Beautiful messenger bag from Unique Batik. Handwoven Guatemalan fabric.

Beautiful messenger bag from Unique Batik Fair Trade. Handwoven Guatemalan fabric. USA

Art Nomadyx crochets fun hats and bags. Australia

ArtNomadix MeggaYarnz
crochets fun hats and bags. Australia

Bazaar Bayar used reclaimed woven fabrics in this messenger bag. Turkey

Bazaar Bayar used reclaimed woven fabrics in this messenger bag. Turkey

IngerMaaike felts wonderfully rustic garments and accessories. Norway

IngerMaaike felts wonderfully rustic garments and accessories. Norway

MayaMam Weavers are a fair trade group in Guatemala. This is one of their handwoven messenger bags.

MayaMam Weavers are a fair trade group in Guatemala. This is one of their handwoven messenger bags.

Something Else Studio has catered to the Renaissance Festival crowds for years. They have a large selection of great purses!

Something Else Studio has catered to the Renaissance Festival crowds for years. They have a large selection of great purses!  USA

Odpaam crochets purses, bags, baskets, rugs and much more! Israel

Odpaam crochets purses, bags, baskets, rugs and much more! Israel

Delightful crocheted purse by HEraMade! Hungary

Delightful crocheted purse by HEraMade!
Hungary

SAORI Salt Spring handwoven bag. Canada

SAORI Salt Spring handwoven bag. Canada

Manitoba Gifts: Leather purses, wallets and more! USA

Manitoba Gifts: Leather purses, wallets and more! USA

Siamese Dream Design has great messenger bags and backpacks made out of reclaimed vintage embroidered fabric, mostly Hilltribe. Thailand

Siamese Dream Design has great messenger bags and backpacks made out of reclaimed vintage embroidered fabric, mostly Hilltribe. Thailand

Totes

Larger bags to carry shopping are always great to have around!

Karen Lukacs Textiles specializes in making purses and totes of all sizes and shapes. USA

Karen Lukacs Textiles specializes in making purses and totes of all sizes and shapes. USA

embroidered bag from Thailand

Lavish Lanna uses reclaimed textile remnants from Thailand and India in her bags. Thailand

Terri Stegmiller's beautiful, quilted tote bag.

Terri Stegmiller Art Quilts: beautiful, quilted tote bag. USA

Solid needlework covers Kasia Urban Rybska's bottle tote bag. Poland

Solid needlework covers Kasia Urban Rybska’s bottle tote bag. Poland

handwoven bag from Peru

Threads of Peru is a Canadian fair trade group working with Peruvian weavers.

Hand printed tote by Art That Moves. Canada

Hand printed tote by Art That Moves. Canada

Sally Manke Fiber Artist's coiled rope tote, strong and great as a market bag! USA

Sally Manke Fiber Artist’s coiled rope tote, strong and great as a market bag! USA

Pouches

Passport bags and drawstring pouches are so great for traveling or for carrying the small things you need.

Cloverleaf Art & Fibre  pouch felted on a small farm in Canada.

Cloverleaf Art & Fibre pouch felted on a small farm in Canada.

Another of our sheep herders, this pouch came from one of Farm Genevieve's sheep. USA

Another of our sheep farms, this pouch came from one of Farm Genevieve’s sheep. USA

Hand dyed passport pouch by Susan Fennell Studio. USA

Hand dyed passport pouch by Susan Fennell Studio. USA

Rainbow quilt purse by Ann Brauer. USA

Rainbow quilt purse by Ann Brauer. USA

Wallets and Coin Purses

Store your jewelry, make-up and small tools in them!

Hand printed zipper pouch by Morgen Bardati. Canada

Hand printed zipper pouch by Morgen Bardati. Canada

Diviner pouch by LaTouchables. Germany

Diviner pouch by LaTouchables. Germany

Vintage embroidered wallet from Afghan Tribal Arts.

Vintage embroidered wallet from Afghan Tribal Arts. USA

Leather wallet by Christine Marie Ford. Canada

Leather wallet by Christine Marie Ford. Canada

Specialty Bags

The bags above are just examples of what each of our members does, but many have special bags for laptops, ipads, cell phones, eye glass cases and much more. Here are a couple of examples:

Ipad protector by Fuzzy Logic Felt. USA

Ipad protector by Fuzzy Logic Felt. USA

Laptop cover by Blue Jacaranda. Australia

Laptop cover by Blue Jacaranda. Australia

Vintage sake boro bag from Kimono Boy. Early 1900's. Japan

Vintage sake boro bag from Kimono Boy. Early 1900’s. Japan

As you can see, there is an amazing range of styles, materials used, provenance, function, and price points offered in this overview of our TAFA bags. I find it so interesting to see how the different materials are treated and with all of the options that are out there, the handmade ones succeed in truly being one-of-a-kind.

How to find our TAFA bags and purses

Members who carry bags regularly  (Note: the featured image may not be a bag.)

tafa team badge 200 pixels

On Etsy

TAFA Bags

 

 

 

Make sure to sign up for our blog posts in the sidebar! We are posting regularly! Check out our other Gift Guide posts for scarves, hats, gloves, kid’s items and more.

From our TAFA Members on Artizan Made:


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Bear Creek Felting http://www.tafalist.com/bear-creek-felting/ http://www.tafalist.com/bear-creek-felting/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:51:59 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12851

Bear Creek Felting Teresa Perleberg lives in North Dakota and has her own flock of sheep. She uses their wool, dyes the colors she needs and also purchases or trades with other wool dealers when she needs other fibers. She mostly needle felts wild animals but also has an interest in farm animals and has […]

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bear creek felting needle felted wild animals

Bear Creek Felting

Teresa Perleberg lives in North Dakota and has her own flock of sheep. She uses their wool, dyes the colors she needs and also purchases or trades with other wool dealers when she needs other fibers. She mostly needle felts wild animals but also has an interest in farm animals and has a whimsical line of cute snowmen and other smiling critters. She has her work and kits available on Etsy and on her website.

water buffalo by bear creek felting

needle felted polar bear

snow man

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TAFA Gift Guide: Fiber and Textile Jewelry http://www.tafalist.com/tafa-gift-guide-fiber-and-textile-jewelry/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafa-gift-guide-fiber-and-textile-jewelry/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 02:30:34 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12800

When you think of jewelry, do you automatically think of metals or beads? Cultures around the world have decorated themselves throughout history with soft jewels made of fabric, wool or other fibers. In the last ten years, we have seen textile and fiber artists go wild with the possibilities our favored materials offer, translating both […]

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When you think of jewelry, do you automatically think of metals or beads? Cultures around the world have decorated themselves throughout history with soft jewels made of fabric, wool or other fibers. In the last ten years, we have seen textile and fiber artists go wild with the possibilities our favored materials offer, translating both simple and complex techniques into wearable art. Our TAFA members are no exception! We are pleased to show off some of our jewels here and hope that you will want to buy them for yourself or as gifts. Fiber and Textile jewelry with a heart!

Most of the artists featured here make many different kinds of jewelry, but we will show just a few examples and then hope that you will explore more deeply by clicking on the images and following their links. You are in for a treat! Aside from being beautiful, most of these pieces also offer several benefits: those allergic or intolerant of wearing metals, can enjoy these pretty accents, many are warm and offer protection in the cold, and the soft ones are great for young mothers or others who might be nervous about sharp edges.

Necklaces

Diomio's Fiber Art Bohemian Necklace Red Feathers

Diomio’s Fiber Art Bohemian Necklace Red Feathers

Jeanne Harlan-Marriott Needle Felted Necklace Orange Yellow Black

Jeanne Harlan-Marriott – Needle Felted Necklace Orange Yellow Black

DILETTANTEsoutache: Ancient Indian technique called soutache. Cyprus

DILETTANTEsoutache: Ancient Indian technique called soutache. Necklace and earring set. Cyprus

Hot Moon Collection: Vintage Alex & Lee 'Love & Peace' Necklace 1970s. USA

Hot Moon Collection: Vintage Alex & Lee ‘Love & Peace’ Necklace 1970s. USA

Franjuli: Crocheted sterling silver wire. USA

Franjuli: Crocheted sterling silver wire necklace. USA

Gilgulim: Fabric is rolled into beads and then made into jewelry, often mixed with other beads. Israel

Gilgulim: Fabric is rolled into beads and then made into jewelry, often mixed with other beads. Israel

Design Talented One: Recycled sari strips with pendant and flowers. USA

Design Talented One: Recycled sari strips necklace with pendant and flowers. USA

Fearless Fiberworks: Felted choker embellished with beads. Canada

Fearless Fiberworks: Felted choker embellished with beads. Canada

Morgen Bardati: Printed, dyed and sewn fabric.  Canada

Morgen Bardati: Printed, dyed and sewn fabric necklace. Canada

Elena Rosenberg: Crocheted necklace. USA

Elena Rosenberg Wearable Art: Crocheted silk necklace. USA

Fibernique: Sewn fabric collar. USA

Fibernique: Sewn fabric collar. USA

Odpaam: Felted strands. Israel

Odpaam: Felted strand necklace. Israel

Ariane Mariane: Felted collar. France

Ariane Mariane: Felted collar. France

Dianne Koppisch Hricko: Dyed silk scarf/necklace. USA

Dianne Koppisch Hricko: Dyed silk scarf/necklace. USA

HG Handmade: Dyed and hand stitched neck pouch. Germany

HG handmade: Dyed and hand stitched neck pouch. Germany

Rensfibreart: Crocheted collar with beads and shells. Australia

Rensfibreart: Crocheted collar with beads and shells. Australia

Leisa Rich: Industrial felt chunks. USA

Leisa Rich: Industrial felt chunks. USA

Earrings

As you can see, we’re an international group, using lots of different techniques.  It always amazes me to see how each person can shape materials into something that is uniquely theirs in style and design! Most of these also make earrings and bracelets, but here are a couple of earring examples:

Wai Yuk Kennedy: Machine embroidery sculpted into earrings. United Kingdom

Wai Yuk Kennedy: Machine embroidery sculpted into earrings. United Kingdom

Christine Marie Ford: Fabric earrings. Canada

Christine Marie Ford: Fabric earrings. Canada

HEra Made: Crocheted earrings. Hungary

HEra Made: Crocheted earrings. Hungary

Cuffs and Bracelets

Cuffs are a perfect shape as small textiles and they look great and are fun to wear! We have a lot to choose from:

 

Studio Van Herik - Fiber Jewelry -Mia Ensemble

Studio Van Herik – Fiber Jewelry -Mia Ensemble

Textile Gems: Vintage fabrics embedded under layers of epoxy on a brass cuff. USA

Textile Gems: Vintage fabrics embedded under layers of epoxy on a brass cuff. USA

Madrigal Embroidery: Hand embroidered cuff. USA

Madrigal Embroidery: Hand embroidered cuff. USA

All Things Pretty: Beads and findings heavily sewn on to a cuff. Australia

All Things Pretty: Beads and findings heavily sewn on to a cuff. Australia

Ethelruby: Knit wool bracelets. Australia

Ethelruby: Knit wool bracelets. Australia

Cloverleaf and Fibre: Felted horse cuff. Canada

Cloverleaf and Fibre: Felted horse cuff. Canada

Latouchables: Sewn goatskin cuff. Germany

LaTouchables: Sewn goatskin cuff. Germany

Bozena Wojtaszek: Sewn and embellished fabric cuff. Poland

Bozena Wojtaszek: Sewn and embellished fabric cuff. Poland

Rayela Art: Folded and sewn dog food paper and ostrich egg shell beads. Bracelet.  USA

Rayela Art: Folded and sewn dog food paper and ostrich egg shell beads. Bracelet. USA

Pins and Brooches

They are in big time! Big ones, small ones- wear them on your lapel, close a scarf with them, attach them to your bag, hat and even shoes!

Victoria Gertenbach: Fabric Bird Pin with embroidery. USA

Victoria Gertenbach: Fabric Bird Pin with embroidery. USA

Sally Manke Fiber Artist: Zipper brooch. USA

Sally Manke Fiber Artist: Zipper brooch. USA

Denise Kovnat: Embroidered brooch with beads. USA

Denise Kovnat: Embroidered brooch with beads. USA

CherScapes Fiber Art Studios: Dyed fabric brooch flower. USA

CherScapes Fiber Art Studios: Dyed fabric brooch flower. USA

Danny Mansmith Sewn Fabric Brooch of a Sewing Machine. USA

Danny Mansmith Sewn Fabric Brooch of a Sewing Machine. USA

Delightworthyn ART/wares: Fabric Flower Pins

Delightworthyn ART/wares: Fabric Flower Pins, USA

Bazaar Bayar: Oya needlework brooch. Turkey

Bazaar Bayar: Oya needlework brooch. Turkey

This wraps up our Jewelry Gift Guide! There are plenty of styles and price points to make anybody happy and we hope that you will support our talented artists! We know that when you wear these jewels, people will ask you where you got them. Always an ice breaker at a party! These are also great gifts for teachers, co-workers, and teens. When you need a gift, buy handmade! Whether it’s from us or other artists and organizations, your buying power counts and provides income for self-employed artists and fair trade groups.

How to find our TAFA Jewelry

Do you see the magnifying lens on our navigation bar? Click on that and you can enter key words to search for anything on this site. Remember to use variations of the same word. Jewelry is the American spelling and jewellery, the British. I’ve seen brooch as brooche. Fiber and fibre are also variations between countries.

Jewelry Tag

Our Member Profiles have been tagged with the types of products they offer. The featured images might not necessarily show examples of jewelry if they have other interests, but if you click on the image, you will land on their profile and see their other links. This post gives a good overview of styles and materials used by our members, but may not include those who have joined recently, so do explore more.

 

tafa team badge 200 pixels

On Etsy

At the time of this posting we had almost 5,000 items there. The same suggestion applies as on our site, except that you need to have “TAFA” before the keyword: TAFA necklace, TAFA earrings, TAFA jewelry, etc. Make sure you check off the ship anywhere option so that you see everyone.

 

 

 

Make sure to sign up for our blog posts in the sidebar! Check out our other Gift Guide posts for scarves, hats, gloves, kid’s items and more.

The jewelry below includes shops from our sister site, Artizan Made:


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TAFA’s Gift Guide: Christmas Decorations http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-gift-guide-christmas-decorations/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-gift-guide-christmas-decorations/#comments Mon, 09 Dec 2013 20:41:25 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12773

We have been doing a series of posts on ideas of what would make great holiday gifts from our Member products. We’ve shown you great handmade scarves, hats and gloves, gifts for kids, stocking stuffers and created a DIY guide of supplies and tools. Most of what we offer is handmade, one-of-a-kind and when you […]

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We have been doing a series of posts on ideas of what would make great holiday gifts from our Member products. We’ve shown you great handmade scarves, hats and gloves, gifts for kids, stocking stuffers and created a DIY guide of supplies and tools. Most of what we offer is handmade, one-of-a-kind and when you buy from our members, you get that feel-good satisfaction of supporting the handmade lifestyle and small businesses. Almost all of our members are women, and although we love our manly members, too, you might find an extra value to supporting the talent and labor of these women-owned businesses.

For this post, we will point you to some of our members who offer specific, Christmas-themed decorations. For those of you who go all out in decorating, choosing handmade ornaments, stockings, nativities and table top settings adds warmth, richness, and a unique voice. Christmas decorations are also a great way to get the young people in your family started on their personal collections. I love attaching an ornament to my gifts. A handmade one, of course!

Click on the images to visit the member profiles represented below.

From there, you can go to their shops and see all of their products.

daria lvovsky nativity

Daria Lvovsky – Art of Felting has a shop full of wonderful felted animals, birds and Waldorf toys. Daria has several nativities to choose from. Smaller sets have just the Holy family or animals or there are complete sets like this one.

MOLICA Santa Claus

MOLICA Australia Natural Fibre Art also has lots of Waldorf needle-felted figures, including this happy Santa.

art that moves santa doll

What’s Santa saying? Art That Moves screen prints kitchen linens, bread bags and has quite a few Christmas themed items.

colin's creatures elf sheep

Santa needs his elves to help out and these sheep are willing to jump in on the action. Colin’s Creatures specializes in making porcelain sheep of exotic breeding. Too cute!

HEra Textile Christmas Tree painting on silk

The Christmas tree is central to our decorating and HEra Textile Art has painted this one on silk. It can be propped up or hung in the window for a stained glass effect.

always sugar coated sushi ornament set

Christmas trees need their decorations and these sushi felted ornaments by Always Sugar Coated make a great gift for the chef in your life! (Or, for anyone who likes fun food!)

sally manke christmas stocking

Fill a Christmas stocking with handmade goodies! Sally Manke has several choices and loads of other Christmas themed items in her shop!

siamese dream design christmas stockings

Siamese Dream Design takes the Christmas stocking to a tribal level. Made out of vintage embroidered Hmong fabric, these stockings are beautiful and great fun!

Thistle and Rose Weaving Christmas Runner

Thistle and Rose Weaving has several hand woven runners that add an elegant touch to the Christmas table.

terry aske art quilts christmas tree runner

Terry Aske Art Quilts has this Christmas tree runner which will appeal to quilt lovers.

castilleja cotton christmas quilt

Castilleja Cotton has lots of Christmas themed quilts, runners, and tree skirts, but I love the sweetness in this one. She also has lots of patterns to choose from, a great gift for those who want a project for next year.

morna crites-moore christmas card

Morna Crites-Moore has recently given extra life to her folk art designs by offering them as cards. She has several designs and you can mix and match!

Are you filled with the Christmas spirit? We hope that you will explore these shops as well as our other members and think outside of the box! I find inspiration in what our TAFA members are making every day and it gives me a warm thinking to think of all of them, working away at what they live, all over the world! We have over 500 members in 44 countries and our common language is this love for textiles and fiber art. Some are rooted in traditional techniques and designs while others push their methods to the limits of their imagination! It’s a great community and I love being a part of it. You are also invited to join in the excitement by connecting with and supporting them.

Most importantly, if you celebrate Christmas, we wish you a wonderful one with the most important gifts of all: meaning, love, charity, and good will.

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 How to find our Christmas items

Logo papyrus

 On TAFA

Search our site with keywords like Christmas, ornament, angel, nativity and see what comes up. Look at the navigation bar and click on the magnifying glass…

 

 

 

 

 

tafa team badge 200 pixels

 On Etsy

At the time of this posting we had almost 5,000 items there. The same suggestion applies as on our site, except that you need to have “TAFA” before the keyword: TAFA Christmas, TAFA nativity, TAFA ornament, etc. Make sure you check off the ship anywhere option so that you see everyone.

 

 

 

 


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Amie Starchuk Textile Artist http://www.tafalist.com/amie-starchuk-textile-artist/ http://www.tafalist.com/amie-starchuk-textile-artist/#comments Sun, 08 Dec 2013 19:56:39 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12765

Amie Starchuk Textile Artist Amie Starchuk is a Canadian artist living in Saudi Arabia. She uses thermofax screens and stamping for her designs and then quilts heavily to achieve dimension and texture. She works on a small-scale and finishes off her pieces so that they can be hung or propped up on an easel. She […]

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Just Regal I

Amie Starchuk Textile Artist

Amie Starchuk is a Canadian artist living in Saudi Arabia. She uses thermofax screens and stamping for her designs and then quilts heavily to achieve dimension and texture. She works on a small-scale and finishes off her pieces so that they can be hung or propped up on an easel. She is inspired by architectural elements, symbolism and objects.

Visit her profile on TAFA to learn more and to connect with her: http://www.tafalist.com/members/amie-starchuk-textile-artist.

 

hand of fatima

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TAFA’s Gift Guide: Kids http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-gift-guide-kids/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-gift-guide-kids/#comments Sat, 07 Dec 2013 21:54:16 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12720

Find great handmade items for kids or their rooms, made with care and creativity by our TAFA members!

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Do you have a child in your life? Or, maybe there is still a kid inside of you! Either way, it’s important to nurture that child with an environment that embraces the handmade lifestyle! These days, kids are pushed to consume, to want, to need, to have… often things that will fall apart or be discarded quickly. Surrounding them with things that are handmade and encouraging them to make their own teaches them about process, about where things come from and about how they, too, can participate in the world.

The wonderful contribution that textiles and fiber art make in this mix is that they soften the space, bringing in color and texture, and evoke feelings of love and comfort. We’ll show you some things here offered by our TAFA members that kids can wear, roll on, touch or look at. Hopefully, this will inspire you to explore our site and look for more ways in which our talented people can inspire and connect with you! Many are happy to work with others on special commissions, tweaking their designs so that they fit perfectly with your own aesthetic. Do not hesitate to ask!

Play and Learn

Children love to interact with what they see and here are some toys and learning tools which will stand up to squeezing, hugging, and touching. Click on the images to visit their profiles on TAFA where you can learn more about them and find their shops and social media links.

Sally Manke paper dolls

Sally Manke has several sets of fabric “paper” dolls like this one in her Etsy shop. They come with a pocket folder for storage. She has lots of other things that would delight a kid, too!

MOLICA Natural Fibre Art and Craft Waldorf toys - MolicaAustralia

Michelle Jose of MOLICAAustralia specializes in making needle felted Waldorf toys.

Interactive play set by Leisa Rich.

Leisa Rich has several play sets like this one with pieces that can be moved around, encouraging story telling and sparking the imagination. She also has dolls, puppets and lots of other fun stuff!

little jenny wren doll

Jennifer Marshall of Little Jenny Wren Dolls also works with Waldorf inspiration. Her dolls are so popular that she can’t keep up with the demand! So, if you want one, you might have to get in line…

art that moves softie

Christine Pensa of Art That Moves has several toy designs in her shop. These are softies that can be rolled on and squeezed, nice for a baby!

kasia urban rybska muscle men

Kasia Urban Rybska’s humor shines through her needlepoint softies. An older child would latch on to one of these muscle men!

Now we will show you some things that look like toys, but need more care. They are great decorations in a kid’s room, set on shelves or dressers above their reach.

fibreheart needle felted dog

Fibreheart Wool Studio specializes in needle felt commissions of pets, both cats and dogs. Your child will love it!

daria lovovsky needle felted horse

Art of Felting offers all kinds of animals, birds and Waldorf toys in her shop, some which can be played with and others more suited for decoration. It all depends on how the child handles them, too. Her creatures are life like and elegant, great inspiration for stories!

colin's creatures

Colin’s Creatures is a favorite for sheep and animal lovers! He carves the bodies out of porcelain and then attaches fibers that resemble his scores of sheep and goat breeds.

Pencil and Sheep felt dragon

Every kid needs a dragon in their life! Or a panda, or a bear, or any of Pencil and Sheep’s felted creatures. They are purveyors of happiness!

Dress them up!

A child wearing something handmade just looks more loved, don’t you think?

jwrobel baby hat

Isn’t this baby just cuteness personified? Jwrobel’s little hat adds to the charm, for sure! Jess also knits little sweaters and other baby items and has patterns for those who want to DIY!

RhinoSaurusRexKnits woodland hat

RhinoSaurusRexKnits is all about stories and fun! There are hats with scales, Rapunzel braids and woodland creatures, for both little and big kids!

 

blue jacaranda world map t-shirt

Blue Jacaranda has a lot of gifts for kids, all hand printed and fun, but I got a kick out of this boy’s face. He’s wearing a screen printed t-shirt with a world map.

 

Quilts

Quilts have long been a treasured gift for a newborn as they have a long life and can be used as a child grows. They can also set the atmosphere in a child’s room as wall art. We have way too many art quilters on TAFA to feature them all here, so make sure you scroll through our member gallery to see what might work for your home.

peppermint pinwheels play mat

Pepppermint Pinwheels specializes in modern designs for baby quilts and play mats. She has many sizes and colors available in her Etsy shop.

ommadethreads baby quilt

Aren’t these happy colors? OmMadeThreads makes baby quilts and other sewn goods and will work with you on commission.

terry aske quilt portraits

Terry Aske can make your pet, you, your child, your family or anybody else you want into a portrait quilt! She has lots of finished quilts available as well.

maggie dillon quilt

Maggie Dillon blows photos up and then translates the figures into fabric. She uses batiks which add richness and depth to the design.

louise schiele quilt girl with baby stroller

Louise Schiele uses photo transfers to make many of her art quilts. She likes images of the past, capturing a moment in daily life.

terri stegmiller quilt

Terri Stegmiller’s art quilts use soft colors and often feature girls and animals. Perfect art for an older girl or teen!

Other fun decorative items:

nestle and soar pillow

Pillows are wonderful in a child or teen’s room! Georgianne Holland of Nestle and Soar is inspired by nature and folk art and her colorful pillows are perfect for almost any palette!

odpaam fabric mobile

Babies and little kids love things that hang and move with the wind. Odpaam has several fabric mobiles that are delightful. She also has colorful rag rugs, chunky baskets and many other things to liven up a kid’s room!

peaceofpi silhouette embroidery

Jo of peaceofpi did a series of these amazing silhouettes in machine embroidery. Young and old profiles captured in thread! Check with her on whether she is willing to do a commission.

las rancheritas hooked rug

Las Rancheritas hooked rugs are made in Mexico as an economic development project there. The designs are inspired by every day rural life in the village: chickens, dogs, kids playing, harvest and nature. They can be hung on the wall or are great under little feet!
Make sure to search our site for other rug hookers, too!

salley mavor prints

Salley Mavor has delighted thousands of children with her Wee Folk Studio embroidery! Used to illustrate children’s books she has prints and cards available with her designs. Make sure to buy a book, too!

This about wraps up our TAFA Gift Guide featuring presents and decor items for kids. As you can see, this is one talented group! Even if you do not have or are not buying for children, please share this post and our other members on TAFA with your friends and circles. The handmade items you see take time and talent to create and all of us depend on having a supportive public which appreciates what we do and will support us with their buying power. We believe that living the handmade lifestyle is better for the planet and for the spirit and we hope that you will share with us in this journey!


 

How to find our TAFA Kid Items

Logo papyrus

On TAFA

Search our site with keywords like kid, child, boy, girl, teen, toy and see what comes up. See the magnifying lens in the navigation bar? Click on that to do your search.

 

 

 

 

 

tafa team badge 200 pixels

On Etsy

At the time of this posting we had almost 5,000 items there. The same suggestion applies as on our site, except that you need to have “TAFA” before the keyword: TAFA kid, TAFA boy, TAFA child, etc. Make sure you check off the ship anywhere option so that you see everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

Some of our Member items for kids are featured below. They belong to our sister site, Artizan Made. Click on the image and you will land on the shop’s listing. While there, explore the rest of the items in that shop.

Enjoy the search!

Make sure to sign up for our blog posts in the sidebar! We are posting regularly!


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TAFA Market Feature: Hot Moon Collection http://www.tafalist.com/feature-hot-moon-collection/ http://www.tafalist.com/feature-hot-moon-collection/#comments Sat, 07 Dec 2013 01:32:45 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12697

We have a market on this site which features 22 of our TAFA members and we have been sharing a bit more about them on this blog. Today, Gabrielle Ruvolo, or Gaby, tells a bit of her story and what she loves about running the Hot Moon Collection, a gorgeous gallery in Venice, California. As […]

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hot moon collection

Gabrielle RuvoloWe have a market on this site which features 22 of our TAFA members and we have been sharing a bit more about them on this blog. Today, Gabrielle Ruvolo, or Gaby, tells a bit of her story and what she loves about running the Hot Moon Collection, a gorgeous gallery in Venice, California.

As she states in her profile, the “Hot Moon Collection explores the world with reference to a diverse ethnic art collection, timeless antiques, exotic vintage textiles, small unique treasures from the owner’s many travels and the culmination of years of collecting. Blessed with a fine eye and a wandering spirit, Gabrielle has amassed treasures from across the globe; from flea markets, city galleries, country antique shops, and obscure villages.”

Hot Moon Collection

The brick and mortar gallery is loaded with treasures and for those of you who cannot make it to Venice, the Hot Moon Collection also offers a nice selection online. As our focus is on textiles, you will find them here in the Hot Moon Collection Market Shop. But, she also has antique sculptures, jewelry, and artifacts on her website.

Gaby’s Story

My first trips were to Mexico. Visiting the small villages started my quest and love for textiles in the 70’s. In the early 80’s, Asia became by new roaming grounds and I found the textiles there to be complex and dazzling. I am a traveler with an art background who has had years of experiencing many countries and cultures. I love the possibility of discovery, which often leads me into a magical engaging world of artisans. I have always been intrigued by the rituals of different people’s rich traditions, and the history and the beauty of the life of the people.

Some of my favorites are the textiles of the Dida people from the Ivory Coast in Africa. Made of fiber from the raffia palm, finger woven and dyed with earth pigments in stunning patterns.

textile museum og canada dida cloth

Dida Textile, Ivory Coast

I find fascinating the two Baluchi embroidered dress panels from Pakistan that I have at the moment, with their intricate repetitive geometric patterns and colors.

Baluchi Dress Panel

A rare wonderful Baluchi embroidered dress panel. The embroidery of Baluchistan, Pakistan is called “doch” and is unique in its intricate repetitive geometric patterns and colors. This woman’s dress yoke from Baluchistan (pashk) features a repertoire of densely embroidered patterns in silk thread.
Women cut and reapply the embroidered bib section to new garments from their old garments, after all their very careful and diligent work.

I often wonder what effect our modern technology will have on the weaving communities in the years to come. We already see the younger generations shifting their focus, where as what was once handed down as a tradition is now often abandoned for the mass-produced market. Knowledge of these detailed crafts will fade if interest is lost.

flat woven kilims

Hot Moon Collection has a healthy selection of hand woven tribal rugs for the discerning collector.

I am gratefully excited and inspired to be planning my next trip to Turkey and Morocco in the coming year!

Rugs and textiles at the Hot Moon Collection.

Rugs and textiles at the Hot Moon Collection.

Hot Moon Collection is a finely curated selection of colors and textures, rich aged patinas, woven treasures and minted beauty. I take great joy and care in curating my collection of vintage and antique textiles. My sensibility looks towards colors, patterns and textures with a critical eye to what is authentic and beautiful. I work with collectors, museums and decorators sourcing unique art, textiles and furniture, along with collectible jewelry.

Hot Moon Collection also offers furniture and large decorative objects.

Hot Moon Collection also offers furniture and large decorative objects.

This Burkina Faso cloth went viral when we shared it on Tumblr:

Indigo cloth

With a very soft worn feel, we have these wonderful natural indigo tie dyed cotton strip cloths having been worn by the Mossi women of Burkina Faso or used in shaman rituals. Mid-century“For centuries before the introduction of synthetic dyes the ability to transform everyday white cotton into prized deep blue cloth was a mysterious and highly valuable skill passed on by specialist dyers from generation to generation. A century ago blue and white striped cloth was the normal attire across a vast area from Senegal to Cameroon, while numerous traditions of “shibori” type resist pattern dyeing flourished. Although today only isolated pockets of real indigo dyeing remain it is still possible to source old cloths from some remote areas.” Adire

 

Gaby leaves us with this quote:

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.”

-Denis Waitley

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hot moon collection on TAFA's market

Hot Moon Collection on TAFA’s Market

Click on any of the images below to visit the Hot Moon Collection’s website. Once there, click around to see Gaby’s other products.

Leave a comment for her here, too! We all love to get feedback on what we are doing.

Make sure to sign up for email updates for our future posts on this blog! (See the sidebar.)

Visit our TAFA Market to see our other shops!


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TAFA’s Gift Guide: Hats and Gloves http://www.tafalist.com/gift-guide-hats-and-gloves/ http://www.tafalist.com/gift-guide-hats-and-gloves/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 22:00:20 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12633

Humans have expressed themselves with their clothing throughout history. Garments told a story, informing others about status, wealth, rank, role and function. Hats, especially, grab attention as they top off the rest of the attire. We have another post with historical images and fun links in our Alphabet Post Series, H is for Hats.   […]

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hats from the 1920'sHumans have expressed themselves with their clothing throughout history. Garments told a story, informing others about status, wealth, rank, role and function. Hats, especially, grab attention as they top off the rest of the attire. We have another post with historical images and fun links in our Alphabet Post Series, H is for Hats.  

Many cultures still use hats to tell their stories, but most of us now wear them for warmth or for fun. Why not combine the two? Handmade hats come with the stories of their makers and often add an extra pizzazz to tell your story. Do you wear hats? Do share with us in the comments when you are finished reading this post. We love hearing from our audience!

TAFA has a couple of members who specialize in interpreting their own versions of historical hats. We’ll start with them.

delightworthyn ART/wares

Delightworthyn ART/wares especially loves hats from the Edwardian era, but she is versatile, coming up with new creations which truly delight!  She uses recycled materials, scavenged from thrift shops, adding eco value to her hats. Her hats could be described as historical, romantic, and maybe steampunk…  Delight also creates bridal pieces with lace and veil which are just lovely. Hats are just one of her products. She also makes garments and jewelry.

pith helmet by heather daveno

Heather Daveno, also known as August Phoenix, focuses solely on hats, taking inspiration from world cultures, especially Asian ones, and historical uses. She sells through galleries and at shows and also enjoys a steampunk following. Heather’s workmanship is tight and impeccable and she also uses recycled materials in her work. Her website has a gallery of images of past hats which can be made to order, so make sure to check that out.

Hats are collected by many people. Hard ones look great on the wall, while floppy ones need some kind of a stand to show them off. I like to use tall ornate candle holders for mine. Here are a couple of tribal hats offered by our members:

ata nuristani hat

This Nuristani baby’s hat is heavily embroidered, probably from the 1950’s. The tree of life runs up the side and buttons and other elements protect the infant from the evil eye. Afghan Tribal Arts stocks many tribal hats from Central Asia. Skull caps are normally worn with a turban around them with a view of the cap at the back, identifying where the man lives. Turkmen women wear ornate hats full of hammered metal beads and trinkets.

itsa studio chinese baby hat

Itsa Studio has several vintage Chinese baby hats on her website at a reasonable price. Miao embroidery is dense and symbolic. A minority in China, they are related ethnically to the Hmong in Thailand and Laos.

Then, we have some art hats that take a brave soul to wear them. Break the ice at a party! Become the art at an opening! These are NOT hats to wear for a tumble in the snow…

ariane mariane felt hat

Ariane Mariane will dress you from head to toe in felted art! Then she will surround you with felt sculptures and maybe make you sleep in her felt hut! If you are allergic to wool, this could be a problem…  If not, it just might be paradise!

rayela art paper hat

This is a hat I made using the candywrapper folding technique. Little bits of paper are folded, interlocked, made into long chains and then sewn together. I call it “King Tut”. The paper is recycled from the outer layer of dog food bags. This technique was made famous by prisoners and outsider artists who used cigarette packs for the paper. I’m the only one I know of who adds beads and buttons to the surface. The fun thing about this hat is that you can wear it with the opening to the front or, if you have long hair, pull it through! I also have several bags and cuffs using this technique. My profile on TAFA.

Now we’ll look at some functional hats that keep your head warm, but which are also great fun to wear. 80% of your body heat leaves through your head, so if you are going out and it’s cold, cover it!

denise kovnat kint hat

Denise Kovnat has a couple of lovely knit hats in her shop on Etsy. A multi-talented fiber artist, Denise does not have a huge inventory, so if you see a hat, sweater or scarf that you like, you better snatch it up, quick, quick!

rensfibreart crocheted hat

Rensfibreart has several crocheted hats in her shop. A teacher and an author on crocheting, Renate’s work is often free-flowing and dimensional. She is as sweet as can be, so drop her a note and get to know her!

hat by leisa rich

Prolific is Leisa Rich‘s middle name. It seems like she has mastered every fiber art technique that is out there and you never know what she will come up with next. From space blobs to huge installations to dolls and accessories, grab what you can because you will never see it again!

hat by designtalentedone

Design Talented One sells recycled silk sari ribbon in her shop on Etsy. Lots of it in every color under the sun! She makes hats and bags and home decor items using this same ribbon. I love the chunky feel and the colors in this one!

fiberartistry felt hat

Most of Fiberartistry‘s felt work is sculptural or wall art. Yet, she does offer a few hats and scarves on her website. Functional and warm, this hat is also elegant and can be dressed up or down. A hay ride or an event, this one is a classic!

RhinoSaurusRexKnits hat

Kids, anyone? This little girl has been modelling hats and accessories for RhinoSaurusRexKnits ever since she was born! Far from shy, she is a natural with great expressions and a beautiful openness. You will find dinosaur hats and other fairy tale inspired wear in their shop. Not just for kids, but for the kid in you!

artnomadix

How about this little pixie? I just want to pick her up, give her a squeeze and twirl her around! ArtNomadix MeggaYarnz has some really cool hats which have won awards, but I had to show off this little girl. The more complex hats include ones that can be worn or played with as a puppet. Clever!

Gloves often matched a hat back in the old glamour days and also told stories about the wearer. The elite might have worn silk up to the elbow, a servant wore white gloves to prove cleanliness and a laborer might wear fingerless gloves to keep on working. Thieves wear gloves to keep their fingerprints safe. We wear them because we can! Although, I have to say that I would probably fit into that labor class as I only wear the fingerless ones anymore.

brenda abdullah gloves

Brenda Abdullah Designs are fab! Recycled from sweaters and other knits, Brenda’s fingerless gloves are serged into fun and color! Perfect for teenagers and college students, any age will love them!

ariane mariane gloves

Another Ariane Mariane creation, I had to show her off once more because she has been making a lot of these and they are way cool! Some are shorter, more like cuffs, and then there are others that have been made into vessels for home decor. Makes you smile!

elena rosenberg

Now here is a sensible pair of fingerless gloves that you can wear to the office, to church, and to dressy occasions. Elena Rosenberg Wearable Fiber Art uses luxury yarns in her gloves, shawls, cowls, hats and other accessories. Stay warm with class! If you knit, make sure to check out her pattern shop!

bazaar bayar gloves

Another knitwear designer who offers patterns, Catherine Salter Bayar of Bazaar Bayar knits intricate designs using fine wool. She and her husband, Abit, live in Istanbul, Turkey, and also sell great reclaimed and overdyed rugs in their Etsy shop.

That’s it for our hats and gloves show-and-tell! Need a scarf? Check out this post where they were featured.  

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How to find our Member Products

Logo papyrus

On TAFA:

Search our site with keywords like gloves, mittens, hat, cap, and see what comes up.

 

 

 

 

 

tafa team badge 200 pixels

On Etsy:

At the time of this posting we had almost 5,000 items there. The same suggestion applies as on our site, except that you need to have “TAFA” before the keyword: TAFA hat, TAFA cap, TAFA gloves, etc. Make sure you check off the ship anywhere option so that you see everyone.

 

 

 

Some of our member items are featured below. Click on the image and you will land on the shop’s listing.While there, explore the rest of the items in that shop.

Enjoy the search and know that we appreciate the support!

Make sure to sign up for our blog posts in the sidebar! We are posting regularly!


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TAFA’s Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers! http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-gift-guide-stocking-stuffers/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-gift-guide-stocking-stuffers/#comments Mon, 02 Dec 2013 21:14:38 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12599

  Do you hang Christmas stockings and fill them up with goodies in your home? Well, even if you don’t, small gifts are often needed for presents as thank yous at work, for teachers, gift exchanges, and more. We’ve picked a few ideas for you coming from our TAFA members, but just remember that although […]

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stocking stuffers collage

 

Do you hang Christmas stockings and fill them up with goodies in your home? Well, even if you don’t, small gifts are often needed for presents as thank yous at work, for teachers, gift exchanges, and more. We’ve picked a few ideas for you coming from our TAFA members, but just remember that although an item might be small in size, it does not mean that it is “cheap”. Most of these are quite inexpensive and under the $30 range, but a couple are much more.

We recently posted a guide to our supplies, tools, and kits and that list is loaded with links to great places where you can also find small gifts. Then, we have lots of jewelry made out of cloth and fiber and they would also make great gifts for small packages. Those will be featured in a separate post. Think outside the box when you are looking for great stocking stuffers and explore our TAFA links!

If you would like to keep up with our features, make sure to sign up for email notices in the sidebar!

Pin Cushions

A fiber or textile artist can never have enough of them!

pin cushion

Gale Gibbons of OmMadeThreads also makes quilts, yoga bags and other sewn work.

pincushion- manitoba gifts

Manitobagifts offers many small works in wool and crewel embroidery, including eye glass cases. Her partner also makes great leather accessories.

pincushion- lorna bateman

Lorna Bateman Embroidery‘s embroidered pin cushion is timeless and elegant. You can also make your own as she has everything you need in her shop: thread, ribbon, and complete kits.

pincushion- victoria gertenbach

For those of us with a more rustic aesthetic, Victoria Gertenbach‘s woven and embroidered pin cushion has perfect appeal! Victoria makes many different accessories for the home, all beautiful.

Eye Glass Cases

Aging eyes? Sunglasses? I know I have many that need a nice pocket to keep them safe!

eyeglass case- morgen bardati

Morgen Bardati prints, dyes and sews. Her work is precise, warm, and inspired by nature. She has many accessories to pick from for home and body in her shop.

eyeglass case- ann brauer

Ann Brauer is known for her landscape quilts that use these same bold colors and strips of fabric. She also makes pillow covers in the same technique. Makes your day happy to see her colors!

Coasters

Stack them up and spread them out! Coasters are always handy to have around!

coaster- cindy grisdela

Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts focuses on wall art, but also has coasters, eye glass cases and pillows for sale. She is another one who is color driven!

coaster- fuzzy logic felt

Deborah Brackenbury’s Fuzzy Logic Felt is a delight in contemporary design!  Her pillows and other accessories emphasize contrasts in bold lines, shapes and color. Simple and powerful!

coasters- bozena

Bozena Wojtaszek‘s folk art style delights the eye, bringing lightness and a smile. Bozena is extremely prolific and pursues a range of product interests. From ornaments to quilts, there is something for everyone!

Things you can fold or roll up

Isn’t if fun to keep people guessing about what’s inside a wrapping? I haven’t bought wrapping paper in years. Instead, I either make fabric bags or use newspaper as wrapping. Stamping brown bags for paper is fun, too! Here are some things that you can wrap up as a surprise.

bag susan fennell

You’ll find lots of fabric options in Susan Fennell Studio‘s shop! She dyes and loves indigo and many of her cloths are inspired as Japanese style wraps. See? Why add to waste with Christmas wrapping that will just get thrown away? The wrap itself can be a gift!

bread bag- art that moves

Christine Pensa of Art That Moves prints on fabric. She has many variations of these useful bread bags. Then, there are fun stuffed doll pillows and more! Her aesthetic consistently uses the black print on white, then with color washes on some of her items.

make up bag, hera

Another sweet bag that could be used as a wrapper or rolled up as a surprise. Intended as a cosmetic bag, your gift could store all kinds of precious little things. HEraMade is another prolific one with loads of beauties to pick from in her shops. Make sure that you check out both of them! One focuses on crocheted items and the other on fabric.

pencil holder- blue jacaranda

This one’s already rolled up for you! Blue Jacaranda intended it as a pencil holder, but think of all of the other things you could store here…  Carving tools, batik pens, long needles, and so much more! The Dutch Houses are one of her printed themes and there are other options in her shop. She also likes to use a lot of burlap.

tea towels- mayamam

Guatemalan weaving is known for its sturdiness and these tea towels will give a lifetime of service! MayaMam Weavers is a fair trade group in Guatemala and has many other products, including headbands which would also make good stocking stuffers.

Critters

These creatures should all fit inside a big stocking. If not, they could be tied on to the outside. Big smiles are guaranteed.

soft sculpture- cloverleaf

Aren’t these just too cute? Cloverleaf Art & Fibre‘s wool comes from their own sheep and their love of animals spreads through to the work. Make sure to check out and even commission a large wall art piece. Stunning!

soft sculpture- indra's ideas

When Indra’s Ideas first joined TAFA, most of her work centered on the embroidery she excels at. Since then, she has expanded into other areas, including soft sculptures like these adorable birds. She also has some amazing feather pens that would make great “small” gifts, but I wouldn’t want them to get squished in a stocking! Her jewelry boxes and journals also make great gifts for teens.

ornament- five points studio

Elena Ulyanova teaches workshops on natural dyes and shares her photos with us. They look like so much fun! Then, she makes all kinds of fun things including these angel ornaments, woodland creatures, ties for men, and much more. I thought these were so fun and can see them hanging on a stocking!

soft sculpture- farburvur

You’ve just got to meet Farburvur‘s family of creatures! Most would be too big to fit in a stocking, but I think this shrimp could just squeeze into one. She also has small, minimalist pins which would be great as a small gift, but I wanted to show off one of her critters.

shrimp ornament- always sugar coated

We have a shrimp theme going here! This one, however, is in sushi form! Felted Chicken‘s humor shines in her work! If you are a Day of the Dead fan, you will also need to check out her pulp skulls. Sushi lovers can pick other prepared felt foods, too.

small art- danny mansmith

Danny Mansmith says that sewing saved his life. He goes at it with abandon, always coming up with new ideas. He has a series of these bendable people that are a lot of fun. Plus, loads of other things that could fill up a stocking!

Sachets

Protect your stockings from stinky feet syndrome! A lovely sachet will do the trick!

lavender pillow lente julcsi

Lente Julcsi made these lavender sachets. They will find their way into someone’s dresser drawer for sure! She also has lots of fabric jewelry that make perfect small gifts.

lavender sachet latouchables

Also lavender, LaTouchables has sweet sachets in a variety of royal fabrics. Check out her jewelry and bags, too. Her shop will satisfy the Boho Spirit!

Other Ideas

There are a million other small things that I could show you, but we’ll just do a couple more for this post. Journals and small art make great gifts at any time of the year. Here are a couple of examples which could fit in a stocking.

journal- dharma karma arts

I’m a big fan of using recycled materials in our art and Indira Govindan of dharmakarmaarts does a great job using rice backs as her journal covers! She is multi-talented and you will find many treasures in her shop!

small art- hg handmade

HG handmade explores many collaged themes, including the human form, in her small works. A set of them would make a wonderful feature on a wall. She also has little packs of fabric that she has dyed.

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How to find our member products

 Logo papyrusTAFA: Search our site using various keywords.

Most of our members probably will not have tagged their things with “stocking stuffer”, so think of words that might show you results for small items. Examples that we have used in this post would be great: ornament, pin cushion, journal, soft sculpture, nuno felt, etc.

 

 

 

 

tafa team badge 200 pixelsEtsy: Go to our TAFA search result there and add a keyword to narrow the results.

At the time of this posting we have almost 5,000 items there. The same suggestion applies as on our site, except that you need to have “TAFA” before the keyword: TAFA pin cushion, TAFA journal, TAFA ornament, etc. If you are on a budget, you can also sort the results by price and look at them by the lowest price showing up first.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the search and know that we appreciate the support! Let us know in the comments whether you use stockings if you celebrate Christmas. If not, how else would you use small gifts? Hanukkah is a great time for sharing special little things in our Jewish communities. Oh, and if you find something by one of our members that you snatched up, let us know here! We’d love to hear about it!

Make sure to sign up for our blog posts in the sidebar! We are posting regularly!


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Feuer Und Wasser http://www.tafalist.com/feuer-und-wasser/ http://www.tafalist.com/feuer-und-wasser/#comments Sun, 01 Dec 2013 18:18:29 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12591

  Yekaterina Mokeyeva of Feuer Und Wasser is originally from Russia, now living in San Francisco, USA. A master felter, she finds her inspiration in Nature, encouraging humans to live in harmony with it instead of competing against it. She has a shop on Etsy where she sells garments, scarves and other accessories. Visit her […]

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Feuer Und Wasser

 

Yekaterina Mokeyeva of Feuer Und Wasser is originally from Russia, now living in San Francisco, USA. A master felter, she finds her inspiration in Nature, encouraging humans to live in harmony with it instead of competing against it. She has a shop on Etsy where she sells garments, scarves and other accessories.

Visit her profile on TAFA to learn more: http://www.tafalist.com/members/feuer-und-wasser

 

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Cape Cod Shibori http://www.tafalist.com/cape-cod-shibori-2/ http://www.tafalist.com/cape-cod-shibori-2/#comments Sat, 30 Nov 2013 16:58:40 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12582

Rachel Switzer of Cape Cod Shibori has had many interests within the textile field, with shibori dyeing her current focus. She has a shop on Etsy where she offers fabric for other artists along with finished pillows, runners and other finished home accessories. Learn more about her on her TAFA Profile. Rachel recently shared her […]

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Cape Cod Shibori offers hand dyed fabrics for other artists as well as finished accessories for the home.

Cape Cod Shibori offers hand dyed fabrics for other artists as well as finished accessories for the home.

Rachel Switzer of Cape Cod Shibori has had many interests within the textile field, with shibori dyeing her current focus. She has a shop on Etsy where she offers fabric for other artists along with finished pillows, runners and other finished home accessories. Learn more about her on her TAFA Profile.

Rachel recently shared her home with us in our Decorating with Textiles Series, so make sure to take a look at that, too. It’s lovely!

Cape Cod Shibori pillows

Cape Cod Shibori pillows

 

Cape Cod Shibori runner

Cape Cod Shibori runner

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TAFA’s Gift Guide: Handmade Scarves http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-gift-guide-handmade-scarves/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-gift-guide-handmade-scarves/#comments Fri, 29 Nov 2013 20:32:07 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12561

  Scarves make wonderful gifts as you can never have enough of them. My friend, Abdul of Afghan Tribal Arts, once talked about the reasons why turbans became a necessity for so many nomads: It protects you from the sun, rain or wind. It’s a helmet. If you fall off your horse or camel, you […]

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Scarves make wonderful gifts as you can never have enough of them. My friend, Abdul of Afghan Tribal Arts, once talked about the reasons why turbans became a necessity for so many nomads:

  • It protects you from the sun, rain or wind.
  • It’s a helmet. If you fall off your horse or camel, you land on something soft.
  • If you can injured, you have plenty of fabric to wrap the wound.
  • You can make it into a satchel and carry things.
  • You can use it to cover yourself at night.
  • You can carry a baby with it.

The scarves we wear are distant relatives to the long yardage that graces these men’s heads. But, we also use them in many ways:

  • Around the neck.
  • As a shawl.
  • As a beautiful runner on a table, shelf or dresser.
  • As a small curtain.
  • For picnics.
  • As a wall hanging.

Whether we use them for warmth or for beauty, handmade scarves have the added benefit of coming with a story, that of the maker and of the process. Our TAFA members offer hundreds of scarf options as it is perhaps, the favorite functional object they create. Scarves are a perfect project for textile and fiber artists as their size allows for a reasonable completion time and offers many opportunities for expressing different color combinations, techniques and special touches. The materials and techniques used range from painting on silk to felting with wool, crocheting and knitting with many different fibers, or sewing fabrics of all kinds. We feature just a few of them here today with a bit of their story and hope that you will explore our links to find the perfect one for you or for your gift!

singing scarves

Singing Scarves

“I am an Estonian silk artist who is specialized in custom silk paintings. My name is Maria Jürimäe, and I am mother of two lovely girls. Painting on silk is my passion. I have painted on silk and taught silk painting for over 15 years.

I love to sing while painting. In old Estonian and Finno-Ugric tales the power of song is really strong – it can influence our lives, it can create the new worlds. Our nation has not forgotten this wisdom. And we sang ourselves free from the Soviet Union! My silk scarves and silk ties carry the joy of making them, and the good wishes that are specially painted into them.” – Maria Jürimäe, Estonia, Handpainted Silk

 

klaradar handpainted silk scarves

klaradar

“My name is Klara, I am a full time artist and a mother to two boys. I grew up living right by the sea and spent my childhood playing with seashells, gazing at the expansive horizon. The word “Dar” means gift in my language, therefore my shops translates is “Klara’s Gift”. I have always been an artist.” -Klara Arnaudova, Bulgaria, Handpainted Silk

 

banner mountain textiles handwoven scarf

Banner Mountain Textiles

“I’m a weaver, spinner, dyer and knitter and use the natural beauty of my surroundings on Banner Mountain (my home) as inspiration for my work.  My handwoven and knitted works are all one of a kind and I often use yarns spun and dyed by me in my creations. I design  my own weaving designs with computer software and then translate that design to the loom in colors and textures that are unique to each piece I weave.” -Beryl Moody, California, USA, Handwoven Rayon

 

handwoven scarf by Margery Meyers Haber

mm handwovens

“Color, pattern and texture–and their interplay–intrigue me. I weave and knit slowly, savoring every part of the design process. In addition to making my own yarns, this includes adding “eccentric threads” and other surprise elements to each piece. My textiles are a little bit quirky and deliberately special. The plied fringes I like to make are twisted by hand, a minimum of 100 times each, for a nice, secure finish. When I create cloth, every bit of yarn or thread has traveled through my hands–and been loved–many, many times!  My favorite materials are silk, wool and luxury fibers.” -Margery Meyers Haber, New York, USA, Handwoven Silk and Wool

 

thrums textiles handwoven scarf

Thrums Textiles

I started weaving in 1996 and haven’t looked back! I am primarily self taught but have met some wonderful mentors along the way.
Weaving is truly my ‘happy’ place.

I like to weave with fine cottons, silks and silk blends, linen, tencel, and bamboo. I enjoy watching elaborate twills and other patterns grow as I throw the shuttle. I’m not a production weaver, but rather a weaver of short limited runs of what ever interests me. I place a great deal of emphasis on quality over quantity.”  -Susan Harvey, British Columbia, Canada, Handwoven Tencel

 

handwoven japanese scarf

FurugiStar

“I am here to share my love of Japanese antique mingei textiles, especially boro. I collect and sell indigo cottons with a particular interest in katazome, tsutsugaki and kasuri. My shop does have a wider range of items including clothing and gifts. All are vintage or antique.

I identify with the Japanese mingei movement, the concept of ‘yu yo no bi’ – beauty in practicality, and ‘mottainai’ – no waste. These concepts have great relevance to the sustainable fashion movement to which I hope my shop contributes, at least in a small way.”  -Stephanie Hannon, Shibuya-ku, Japan, Antique Cotton Indigo Cloth.

 

handwoven fair trade scarf from peru

Threads of Peru

“Threads of Peru purchases textiles from women’s weaving cooperatives in remote Andean villages. We pay the women for their work up-front and at a fair market price. We also invest in the communities where we work, by providing training which strengthens their economic outlook and makes it easier for the Quechua people to remain in their ancestral homelands if they choose.” -Angie Hodder, Cuzco, Peru, Handwoven Wool

 

felted scarf by fibernique

Fibernique

“I live in a small fishing town on the Oregon coast and I only have to walk outside to be inspired. I love fiddlehead ferns curling into life, old moldy leaves with exposed skeletal structure, shells, seaweed, sunsets through storm clouds, and a multitude of other items offered by the Pacific Northwest’s natural bounty.

I started quilting in 1989. I specialize in machine techniques including free motion embroidery and quilting. In 2009 I opened a shop on Etsy that allowed me to explored my creativity on smaller projects. My shop carries felted and sewen items including scarves, purses, jewelry and handmade fiber beads.” -Julia Donaldson, Oregon, United States, Wool and Silk Nuno Felt

 

morgen bardati printed scarf

Morgen Bardati

“I am a textile artist and designer living in the mountainous Kootenay region of British Columbia in Canada. My home is in a tiny village nestled next to the Slocan Lake across from the beautiful pristine wilderness of Valhalla Park. I enjoy working with a mixed media of traditional and innovative textile design techniques on natural fibers including cotton, linen, hemp, silk and wool. I use dye, shibori, screen printing, painting, sewing and piecing to transform cloth into garments, accessories, housewares and artworks. My passion for the environment inspires me to make use of re-purposed fabric as much as possible in my clothing and accessories.”  -Morgen Bardati, British Columbia, Hand dyed raw silk, Screen printed.

 

heramade

HEra Made

“My name is Era Hódi (HEra). I’m a Hungarian artisan and textile artist. I live with my family in a small town nearby Szeged, Hungary in the heart of Europe. Since my childhood, I’ve been fascinated by the colors, folk motifs, mystical and mythical world of wonders. I make modern home furnishings and clothes for everyday wear ​​using traditional techniques and natural materials. They are made by pursuing those internal expectations of creating miracles by combining patterns and colors. My style is a little antique and romantic.”  -Era Hódi, Hungary, Crocheted Acrylic and Cotton

elena rosenberg shawl

Elena Rosenberg

“Head over heels in love with designing and creating knit and crochet accessories, clothing, and wearable fiber art, I have been experimenting with textures, colors, shapes, and drape since 2007. Each piece in my collection is an original design, created entirely by hand, one stitch at a time, in my one-person studio in Westchester County, New York. I work almost exclusively with natural materials, including merino wool, baby alpaca, silk, cashmere, and fine cottons. I have sold my work online through Etsy for several years, and, since 2011, I have been exhibiting and selling my work at juried fine craft & art shows.” -Elena Rosenberg, New York, USA, Hand Knit Merino Wool

 

plumfish crocheted silk scarf

plumfish

“I have always loved to create. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t knit or crochet or sew. My grandmother had the enthusiasm and patience to teach me when I was very young – but more importantly she shared her fascination with every stitch I created; showed her excitement and eager anticipation as each piece unfolded; and jubilantly celebrated every completed work.

I love vibrant colours, and rich textures… colours that ask to be noticed and textures that long to be touched. The accessories I make are sometimes said to be flamboyant and lively – an expression of a part of me, that is otherwise hidden beneath a conservative quiet exterior.”  -Rosemary Boyd, Western Australia, Ausralia, Crocheted Silk.

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As you can see, we are a diverse and international group, numbering over 500 members from 44 countries!  It was hard to pick which scarves to show here as there are so, so many beautiful ones, but I wanted to give a glimpse into various materials, sensibilities, locations and techniques.

Where to find our scarves:

Logo papyrusTAFA: Search our site using the keyword scarf: Click!

 

 

 

 

 

 

tafa team badge 200 pixelsEtsy: Enter TAFA Scarf into Etsy’s search. At the time of this posting our members have over 700 scarves there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the search and know that we appreciate the support! Handmade scarves are going to be more expensive than what you will find at box stores, but they were made with loving care and come with a great story! Let us know in the comments how you use your scarves, what your favorite ones are, and if you find one from one of our members.

Make sure to sign up for our blog posts in the sidebar! We are posting regularly!


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TAFA’s Do-It-Yourself Supplies and Tools Directory http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-do-it-yourself-supplies-tools/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafas-do-it-yourself-supplies-tools/#comments Thu, 28 Nov 2013 06:19:52 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12435

Many years ago, I asked my mother what she wanted for Christmas and she said, “NO MORE ART!!!” Ha. Guess what my family is getting this year? Handmade scarves made by me. Is it art? Well, I think so, but it’s functional, so I can get away with it… Making my own gifts has always […]

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Do it yourself with TAFAMany years ago, I asked my mother what she wanted for Christmas and she said, “NO MORE ART!!!” Ha. Guess what my family is getting this year? Handmade scarves made by me. Is it art? Well, I think so, but it’s functional, so I can get away with it… Making my own gifts has always been a fun part of holidays and birthdays for me, but I don’t have the time to create all of the things I would like to anymore…  But, when I do, there is nothing like using materials that mean something, recycled, natural, or handmade by someone else.

TAFA members provide a wealth of great supplies, kits, patterns, and tools for the DIY community who creates with conscience. We have tons of fabric options: hand-dyed, hand woven, designed on Spoonflower, and salvaged from old textiles. You can dye your own using botanical dye supplies offered by our members. For the knitters and embroidery people, we have beautiful yarns and embroidery threads that have been dyed or hand spun, offering color and texture choices not easily found in commercial outlets. Kits are a great way to introduce new techniques to those starting out, perhaps the child in your life. And, if you are looking for gifts for your artist friends, our supplies will delight them! The craft industry is a multi-billion dollar machine and our hope is that you will choose to support handmade over the commercial options, whether buying from us or from other artists and indie suppliers.

Finding these treasures can be a bit of a chore, so this guide hopes to lead you to our members who specialize in supplies and tools on an ongoing basis. As you explore our links, remember that much of what you will see is one-of-a-kind or in limited supply, so if you like it, you better get it!

How to find our TAFA supplies and tools:

TAFAs site

On TAFA

Search our site using keywords like “yarn”, “fabric”, “kit”, and “tool” and see what comes up. Scrolling down our Member List is also a good way to get a bird’s eye view of what our members do.

However, this is a limited resource as so many of our members offer more than what you can see on our site. They can each have four images that show up in the search, so they might choose to prioritize their finished work or products over their supplies. Even so, there is a lot that can be found there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

tafa team badge

 

On Etsy

Half of our members have shops on Etsy and we use a common tag to generate a search result there. Type TAFA into Etsy’s search to find us.  At the time of this posting, we have over 4,600 products there.

Once there, you can narrow your search to find specific things. Add a keyword or two: TAFA yarn, TAFA dyed fabric, TAFA woven fabric, TAFA textile stamp, and so on.

Our Etsy shops are a great way to find us, but they leave out our members who have their own shopping carts and who have established businesses which offer extensive resources and supplies.

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the thumbnails to visit our Member Profiles.

From there, explore the links.

Fabric

Ananse Village

Ananse Village is a fair trade shop which focuses on Africa. They have great traditional textiles like mudcloth and heavier weights which would work for upholstery, along with cotton wax prints, perfect for quilting and other sewn projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

angel fire designs

Angel Fire Designs: Patricia Gould is selling off her commercial fabric stash. Check her etsy shop and eBay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

arlee barr fabric

Arlee Barr dyes fabric and lace and offers limited supplies in her shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Cloth Studio

Art Cloth Studios. Jane Dunnewold creates gorgeous fabric patterns on Spoonflower, manipulated graphics from her handmade designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

blue jacaranda fabric

Blue Jacaranda has fabric available on her Etsy shops and designs ready for print on Spoonflower.

 

 

 

 

cat brysch handwoven fabric

Cat Brysch Creations Studio has been weaving yardage for other artists for over 30 years.

 

 

 

 

cherscapes fabric

CherScapes offers hand-dyed silk fabric and hand painted Fat Quarters in her shop on Etsy.

 

 

 

 

 

batik fabric

Cultured Expressions carries batik fabric packs and other supplies, including metal embellishments with African designs.

 

 

 

 

 

fabricadabra ikat yardage

Fabricadabra has a great selection of exotic ikat designs in many colors. She also has a few African wax prints.

 

 

 

 

obi lilac

FurugiStar‘s shop on Etsy is loaded with vintage Japan! Lots of yardage and old textiles.

 

 

 

Fannie Narte Spoonflower designs

Fannie Narte‘s designs will warm your heart…  Her fabric is available on Spoonflower. The panels make great focal images on quilts, pillows and bags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harmony Art organic cotton yardage.

Commercially grown cotton that is hard on the earth and can be extremely toxic. Harmony Art provides an alternative with beautiful designs grown organically.

 

 

 

 

helen klebesadel spoonflower fabric

Known for her beautiful watercolors and activism around women’s issues, Helen Klebesadel has a wonderful variety of fabric designs in her Spoonflower shop. She also wrote a great tutorial on how to design fabrics there for us.

 

 

 

 

 

justcolours.de fabric clubJustcolours.de sells hand-dyed fabric by the meter. Join their Fabric Club!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Mango Imports - Fabric

Little Mango Imports has fabric and crafts from around the world, with an especially great selection of handwovens from Guatemala and Indonesian ikats.

 

 

 

 

Marble-T Design marbled fabrics

Marble-T Design will razzle and zazzle your senses with their marbled fabrics! Linda and Dean sell at a lot of quilt shows, but also have a selection on their Etsy shop. Always ask about availability of more than what you see there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

okan arts yukata fabric

“Yakata be Crazy!”  Patricia’s sense of humor comes through as she describes her latest shipment of Yukata fabrics from Japan. Okan Arts sells through their Seattle Shops, at trunk shows and through several other outlets. Beautiful fabric!

 

 

 

spanglish fabrics

Former Peace Corps Volunteer Debbie Maclin fell in love with Guatemalan fabric and made it her excuse to return often! Spanglish Fabrics has lots of handwoven ikats and is expanding into embroidery and finished products.

 

 

 

 

 

sudio jules

Great hand dyed fabric by Studio Jules, perfect weight for quilting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fair trade silk yardage from tammachat

Fair trade silk yardage from TAMMACHAT Natural Textiles. Be royal and feel good about it! TAMMACHAT works with weavers in Thailand and Laos. Also look for their bark fibers and appliqued trim.

 

 

 

 

 

hand painted fabric by wen redmond

Most of Wen Redmond‘s work is finished, ready to hang on the wall. But, you can find some of her hand painted fabrics in her etsy shop. Snatch them up!

Remnants and Inserts

Afghan textile remnant.

Afghan Tribal Arts has lots of vintage textile remnants, many salvaged from old garments. These inserts work beautifully with the Afghan dress patterns by Folkwear. (See patterns.)

 

 

 

 

 

1930's quilt red

Fabrique Fantastique rescues old quilt tops and other vintage fabrics, many which can be used as cutters or incorporated into other projects.

 

 

 

 

crocodile and lovers mola

If you are a mola lover, you need to connect with Dr. Christi of HeART of Healing Gallery. She has a huge collection in many price ranges. Her specific interest is in healing plants and healers, but she also has many, many other themes.

 

 

 

 

japanese village textiles

Kimono Boy specializes in vintage village textiles from Japan. Lots of old indigo boro! Remnants and wraps can be used in other work.

 

 

 

 

 

banjara textile

Rayela Art. That’s my shop! I buy vintage textiles from small importers, old tools and other things that might interest our textile community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Yarn and Thread

colourspun yarns

ColourSpun offers an extensive selection of hand-dyed designer yarns on their website.

 

 

 

 

Nicole with plastic waste behind her

Darn Good Yarn has a mission: to keep plastics, fabric and paper from heading to the dumpsters. They have successfully recycled materials into fun yarns. Much of their work also goes towards poverty alleviation in Nepal.

 

 

 

design talented one

Design Talented One hand offers recycled sari ribbons from textile mills in India, hand-dyed in a rainbow of colors! Check for availability of sari yardage, too.

 

 

 

 

 

donna kallner yarn

Donna Kallner Fiber Art dyes yarns and fabric using eco processes. Check out her shop on Etsy for other supplies she might have on hand, too.

 

 

 

 

Farm Genevieve handspun yarns

Farm Genevieve‘s yarns are yummy! Hand spun and naturally dyed.

 

 

 

 

knox farm fiber hand spun wool

Hand spun knubby yarns full of character! KnoxFarmFiber will delight you!

 

 

 

 

long ridge farm

Long Ridge Farm has a huge online shop with hand dyed yards and threads, fiber, dye supplies and more! Go explore!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynn's Texas Fibers

Felter’s take note! Lynn’s Texas Fibers has a great selection of natural and dyed fibers. Lynn also carries dye supplies and a bunch of fun tools.

 

 

 

 

 

paloma textiles yarns

“Shopping is political!” Paloma Textiles takes a stand and sources yarns that come from good places. Lots of great textures, weights and colors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

saori salt spring threads

SAORI Salt Spring has quite a few weaving threads and other SAORI supplies in her shop on Etsy.

 

 

 

 

exotic yarns hand dyed by swoon fibers

Luscious and exotic yarns hand dyed by Swoon Fibers, many different weights. Silk blends, camel hair and more!

 

 

 

 

 

yarns by wrapture by inese

Wrapture by Inese has cooked up her own yarn recipe: kid mohair is hand selected in Istanbul and then she adds silk threads and cotton yarns available to her in Riga, Latvia. All of the yarns are upcyled/recycled. You’ll find kits in her shop, too.

 

 

 

Beads and Buttons

 

fibernique fabric beads

Fibernique has lots of hand rolled fabric beads in many different colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

fabric beads by gilgulim

Hagar Arnon Elbaz started out by recycling old ties into fabric beads. Now she makes them out of any fabric that she loves. With Gilgulim, she incorporates them into her jewelry, but you can use them wherever you want to!

 

 

 

 

 

mm handwovens buttons

Nothing like handwoven buttons to finish off your coat, purse or neck warmer! mm handwovens usually has a few sets in her Etsy shop, but if you need more, just ask!

 

 

 

 

nell's embroidery buttons

Nell’s Embroidery‘s shop on Etsy is loaded with supplies, especially great knubby and beaded threads. But, her buttons are just too cool and had to be the feature here.

 

 

 

 

 

Embellishments

Ariane Mariane embellishments

Ariane Mariane has these cute little felt sculptures, leaves and other small felted designs that can be added to larger projects or worn as pins.

 

 

 

aspinnerweaver straps

ASpinnerWeaver. Annie weaves straps of many shapes and colors. Great for purses, guitars, hat bands, and decorative elements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

jane porter ribbons

Jane Porter‘s family has a ribbon mill in the US which she represents. She also sells gorgeous Japanese ribbons, dye supplies, spinning tools and much more!

 

 

 

 

hand dyed silk coccoons

Sarah Hopping calls her shop The Rainbow Girl for good reason! It’s a saturated display of every color in the rainbow! She would also fit into most of the categories here as she has fabric, yarn and so much more. I had to pick these hand dyed silk cocoons because they are so very cool. Visit and dive in!

 

 

 

 

 

wooly boulevard peace signs

Donna James tends to work small, making little felted objects that can be worn as pins or used as beads. But, you can also use them as closures or attach them to your larger projects. Donna is a cancer survivor and works with a cancer project in her area. She also sings. Wooly Boulevard is her way of working with her hands.

 

 

Dye Supplies

botanical colors

Botanical Colors specializes in natural and botanical dye supplies. They also carry dye kits and a few other specialty items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

colour vie pigment system

Colour Vie offers an environmentally friendly pigment system. Check site for availability of fabrics. Tutorials on how to use the system are available.

 

 

 

 

 

maiwa natural dyes

If you are a dyer, you must check out Maiwa’s supplies and resources. They have accumulated a huge repository of knowledge and offer a great guide to dyes on their website. Maiwa Handprints has many other supplies and fabrics, so make sure you explore their whole site!

 

 

 

 

 

the yarn tree dye supplies

Linda LaBelle closed her brick and mortar shop in order to be able to work more with her charity-based organization, Stories of Hope. Through The Yarn Tree, she continues to sell dye supplies, yarns, fibers and much more!

 

 

 

 

Tools

adinkra stamp

Cross Cultural Collaborative has adinkra printing stamps available on their website. Ellie might also be able to source fabric and other supplies from Ghana for you.

 

 

 

 

green mountain spinning wheel

Spinners! What could be better than using a handmade spinning wheel? Green Mountain Spinning Wheels are made with care and love. They often have kits available on their site, so check for availability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

heartfelt silks palm washboard

Inventors of the Palm Washboard, a perfect tool for wet felters, HeartFelt Silks carries these in different sizes. Individually hand crafted, give one to your favorite felter! Check out their shop on Etsy for felt kits as well.

 

 

 

 

Indian textile stamp

ITSA Studio offers a variety of surface design supplies, embellishment, and great ethnic textiles. These old textile stamps are always a favorite. Barbetta also has shisha mirrors for those of you who want to incorporate them into your embroidery!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

linda's art quilts fabric stamps

Linda’s Art Quilts uses stamps like this one on her art quilts. Due to popular demand, she’s made some available in her Etsy shop. She makes them herself!

 

 

 

 

 

new world textiles spinning shuttles

New World Textiles is all about organic cotton, old world techniques, engineering, spinning, weaving and creating modern textiles. The website is old school, difficult to navigate, but get beyond that and you will find an in-depth resource and serious tools and supplies. Eileen invented this shuttle. Spin directly on to it and go to the loom with it!

 

 

 

oshiwa

Oshiwa Designs is a small fair trade workshop in Namibia that focuses on creating textile stamps for artists. They are made out of wa-wa wood that comes from a sustainable forestry project. Smooth and beautifully made, they can also be used on paper and imprinted into clay or even cookie dough!

 

 

 

 

 

saori loom

SAORI Santa Cruz is an authorized and certified SAORI weaving studio and equipment dealer in the USA. Jill Sanders has looms, tools, threads and finished products in her Etsy shop. Huge resource!

 

 

 

 

 

Kits

Donna Burkholder quilt kits

Donna Burkholder creates beautiful quilt kits. You can get everything you need or buy just the fabric or the patterns. The fabrics are hand dyed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

spindle kit

Jane Deane Textiles could fit into many of these categories as she has dyed yarn, dye supplies, fiber, tools, kits and more. Make sure to check out her silk worm connections!

 

 

 

lorna bateman embroidery kits

Lorna Bateman Embroidery offers great kits and stunning hand dyed embroidery threads!

 

 

 

 

Patterns

wrapture pattern

Bazaar Bayar. Catherine knits and has patterns available on Ravelry. This one is a collaboration with Wrapture by Inese, the Turkey-Latvia Connection! (See Yarns for the Wrapture by Inese info.)

 

 

 

 

carolyn manning

Carolyn Manning Designs specializes in cross stitch patterns. She also has fabric available on Spoonflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

castilleja cotton quilt patterns

Castilleja Cotton has scores of quilt patterns available on their website and Etsy shop, including table runners and other decorative items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elena Rosenberg patterns

Elena Rosenberg‘s fine knitwear patterns are available for download on her Etsy shop. Find her signature shawls, cowls, and fingerless gloves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

folkwear patterns afghan dress

Folkwear Patterns have been leaders in historical patterns for decades. This Afghan pattern uses an insert in the dress panel which can be found through Afghan Tribal Arts. (See Remnants and Inserts) Folkwear has traditional designs from many cultures along with Western styles from days gone by.

 

 

 

 

 

Jwrobel knitting patterns, baby wear.

Is there a baby in your life? Jwrobel‘s knitting patterns will sweeten up that child! There’s a rug hooking pattern in the mix, too.

 

 

 

 

 

linda matthews patterns

Linda Matthews has quilt and purse patterns available in her shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rose hughes quilt pattern

Rose Hughes has written several books on her applique process and has many quilt patterns to choose from on her site. She also has several of her favorite tools that she uses on her own quilts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ruby wings designs bead weaving pattern

For years, Ruby Wings Designs focused on bead weaving. Although now her focus is on fabric, needle and thread, her patterns are still available for download on her Etsy shop.

 

 

 

smudged textiles studio

Smudged Textiles Studio is a great thermofax resource and normally has lots of screens available in the etsy shop. Sold out! But check out this cute owl pattern.  Great fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whew! What a nice selection! There is something here for everyone who is a DIY maker! The ultimate TAFA Do-It-Yourself Supplies and Tools Directory!

Have you purchased from any of our member shops? Share your experience here and tell us what you made. We’d love to hear from you.

Be sure to sign up in the sidebar to get our blog announcements as we will be doing many other member features here and we don’t want you to miss out!

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TAFA Market Feature: Something Else Studio http://www.tafalist.com/feature-something-else-studio/ http://www.tafalist.com/feature-something-else-studio/#comments Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:03:36 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12406

  Something Else Studio is our TAFA Market Shop featured today. Jannelle Olmstead and Joe Guarnere combine their sewing and woodworking skills to recreate stunning garments, bags and wooden objects that might have been used during the Renaissance era. A pioneer TAFA member, they joined in June of 2010 and Janelle has been an active […]

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something else studio

 

Jannelle Olmstead

Something Else Studio is our TAFA Market Shop featured today. Jannelle Olmstead and Joe Guarnere combine their sewing and woodworking skills to recreate stunning garments, bags and wooden objects that might have been used during the Renaissance era. A pioneer TAFA member, they joined in June of 2010 and Janelle has been an active member since. She shares a bit here about how they balance a festival life with a home life along with how they chose this lifestyle. Jannnelle’s bags are their core product, but as you can see from these photos, her skills are extensive. Have a wedding coming up? Maybe you can talk her into making one of her signature gowns!

Something Else Studio sells their products on Etsy when they are not immersed in the festival season. Learn more about them and find their social media links on their TAFA Profile.

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Special Edition Large Purse with an original painting on wood adornment by Something Else Studio.

Special Edition Large Purse with an original painting on wood adornment by Something Else Studio.

A Little Interview with Jannelle Olmstead

We have been having fun! After designing renaissance wedding gowns for several years, I decided to go all in and join the festival circuit. We started with our small portable booth and criss-crossed the N.E. doing weekend renaissance festivals, Celtic festivals and faerie festivals until we put down roots at The Sterling Renaissance Festival in Sterling, NY. It is an 80 acre 7 weekend summer festival next to Lake Ontario. We really loved that faire and enjoyed our time there until we had the opportunity to purchase the beautiful building we now own at The Maryland Renaissance Festival outside of the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area.

Here we are in our first version of a portable renaissance festival booth.

Here we are in our first version of a portable renaissance festival booth.

 

We pack up everything we can think of and move onto the festival grounds by mid-August where we have several weeks to set up my sewing workshop, apartment, show room and my husband’s woodworking area. The festival kicks off at the end of August with sweltering hot late summer breezes and the threat of mid-Atlantic hurricanes. We are among the few artisans that have an apartment above their store so we live in a glorified tree house for the next several months without indoor plumping. With our rental porta-privy and a walk to the festival campgrounds shower house we are ready for the BIG SHOW :) The festival is open to the public only on the weekends but a large community of artisans and performers from all across the US will call this shire home for the next several months.

Something Else Studio's Shoppe at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Annapolis, MD

Our Shoppe at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Annapolis, MD

Inside Something Else Studio Shoppe

This is part of our upstairs apartment over our shoppe in the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

For me, it’s a 7 day work-week with 5 days of sewing to finish before the next weekend rolls along. By the end of October we are totally exhausted and ready to pack up and return home for the holiday season. But there is no resting on one’s laurels for long because time is ticking away and we have a mountain of work to finish up in the next 9 months before it’s time to return and do it all again…Huzzah!

How long have you been doing what you do? What drew you to it?

I opened my art studio in 1995, after graduating with a BFA from Eastern Michigan University in 1993. I went to collage when my sons were in school and I was in the education program to become a Skills For Living (Home-Ec) & Art Teacher. But in the course of my studies, I kept running into unemployed art and home-ec teachers so soon I began to question my career path! Unless I wanted to move to Alaska there wasn’t any local positions for me in my state. During my last semester I had room for some optional courses so I took textile arts…and OMG!! Why hadn’t I started with these classes? :)

When my oldest son got married we all agreed that a renaissance themed wedding would be perfect for them so I made their outfits including headpieces, bouquets and garlands for family members. After the wedding I thought.. “Wow, I can do this for other people.”  So, I opened my studio designing and creating custom made-to-measure historical wedding fashions. I joined The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (formerly the Professional Association of Custom Clothiers–PACC) and met some wonderful folks around the country following a similar professional path. After five years of doing local Bridal Shows I revamped my focus and moved to designing and crafting renaissance accessories at the renaissance festivals. I took my kids to the Michigan Renaissance Festival EVERY year I could when they were growing up and often thought that it would be so much fun to have a shoppe there. So THAT was an inspiration that first brought me to do what I do today!

My son, Justin, and his wife, Jenny (I made everything they are wearing).

My son, Justin, and his wife, Jenny (I made everything they are wearing).

 

Jenny's wedding dress.

Jenny’s wedding dress.

This pair is wearing a little bit of all my festival accessories (except for the purse pockets):

 I made the head pieces, the fancy collar and the fur trimmed Cloaklets they are each wearing.

I made the head pieces, the fancy collar and the fur trimmed Cloaklets they are each wearing.

 

What are your long-term goals?

I would LOVE to have more time to design mixed media contemporary designs art for the Fine Arts And Crafts Shows, and I believe I’ll do it! These images are combinations of painting on fabric and or wood, fabric stamping, hand quilting and piece work.

"The Oubliette" or Prisoner Of The Mind.  Dye painting, appliqué, hand quilting on hand dyed fabric in an oak wood frame. 53" x 55"

“The Oubliette” or Prisoner Of The Mind. Dye painting, appliqué, hand quilting on hand dyed fabric in an oak wood frame. 53″ x 55″

 

Hand carved stamps, positive & negitive images in fabric paints with quilted piecework border ~ 27" x 33"

Hand carved stamps, positive and negative images in fabric paints with quilted piecework border ~ 27″ x 33″

"Moon Dance" oil on wood painting with cyanotype photography face on raw silk with silk floral garland ` 16" x 22"

“Moon Dance”, oil on wood painting with cyanotype photography face on raw silk with silk floral garland ` 16″ x 22″

 

 What is the favorite product that you have for sale and why?

I have a lot of fun with Pockets and purses by adding wheels and gears to my bags but I also like to paint on wood and fabric. The projects with my husband (the woodworker) makes painting on my Treasure Chests Houses some of my favorite products too.

A Banner Bag with an original painting on canvas front pocket with hand stitching.

A Banner Bag with an original painting on canvas front pocket with hand stitching.

My husband designed and build this cherry wood box and I hand painted the four panels. My original Treasure Chest House (2012).

My husband designed and build this cherry wood box and I hand painted the four panels. My original Treasure Chest House. (2012)

 

What is your daily routine like?

I’m a late night sewing owl. I’m up late and stay up late. Every day is casual Friday as I work out of my home. I’ve turned my bedrooms into fabric cutting rooms and my Living Room into my main sewing area. The biggest problem is that I can’t get away from my work as it’s always somewhere in my house.

One of my upstairs bedrooms converted to fabric room with cutting table.

One of my upstairs bedrooms converted to fabric room with cutting table.

 

My Living Room converted to my main studio sewing room (with "The Oubliette" on the back wall).

My Living Room converted to my main studio sewing room (with “The Oubliette” on the back wall).

 

Hobbies?

If I had time for hobbies it would be gardening. I spent years planning and planting the gardens around our village house. If I had more time I’d plant a large vegetable garden, but by harvest time we would be long gone to festivals :)

 

Favorite quote?

From a 1982 Hallmark poster in my sewing room~ “How high I aim, How much I see, How far I reach, Depends on me”.

 

Top people whom you admire?

The Dalai Lama, all those caring people who do the “right thing” by helping others without fan fare, my hard working parents and environmentalists everywhere who work hard at keeping us aware of our big boot prints stomping all our Mother Earth.

 

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Doing outdoor festivals can be tricky because of changing weather conditions, depressed economic conditions, the out-putting of money for shows and supplies (8 to 9 months before selling them) and it’s just plain exhausting hauling bins and boxes all over the country-side. It is also all-consuming to craft over 400+ items EACH season to sell for just one show. If I expand to other shows, can I add an additional 200 items each season? On-line sales have been flat so I have to keep travelling to sell :)

Favorite place you’ve been to and place you dream of going to:

I used to do about 18 days of festivals at several locations through out the year, but these last few seasons I have just one multi-weekend festival for 9 weekends. We LOVE to spend three months of each year in our renaissance festival apartment over the top of our festival shoppe right on the grounds of the Maryland Renaissance Festival :) It would be grand to have something call a “vacation” where we could get a larger camper and go someplace just for fun…not to work a festival.

See more photos of their Shoppe.

 

Do you have a family, children, pets?

I have two great sons who brought me two great daughter-in-laws and now I’m blessed with a wonderful 6-year old grandson. My husband and I have two adorable Carin Terriers that travel everywhere with us, so they are our newest kids :) I also am the care-giver to my mom who turns 90 this month (November) and has lived with us for the last 8 years.

My handsome grandson Tristan :)

My handsome grandson Tristan :)

 

Here is one of my gowns from my wedding collection called "Isolde's Dream" with my fur trimmed gold netting Mantle Cape and one of my sparkling Icicle Crowns.

Here is one of my gowns from my wedding collection called “Isolde’s Dream”. Fur-trimmed gold netting Mantle Cape and one of my sparkling Icicle Crowns.

 

something else studio square

Something Else Studio

on TAFA’s Market

Click on any of the images below to visit Something Else Studio’s shop on Etsy. Once there, you will be able to see all of their products there. Leave a comment for here, too! We all love to get feedback on what we are doing.

Make sure to sign up for email updates for our future posts on this blog! (See the sidebar.)

Visit our TAFA Market to see our other shops!


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TAFA Market Feature: Castilleja Cotton http://www.tafalist.com/feature-castilleja-cotton/ http://www.tafalist.com/feature-castilleja-cotton/#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 19:55:22 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12341

Castilleja Cotton is featured in this post.  Diane McGregor is one of TAFA’s pioneer members, having joined back in June of 2010 and actively contributing in our growth. Based in Calgary, Alberta (Canada), the core of Diane’s business comes from patterns that she makes from her original quilt designs. They are available both on her […]

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castilleja cotton

Diane McGregor of Castilleja Cotton

Castilleja Cotton is featured in this post.  Diane McGregor is one of TAFA’s pioneer members, having joined back in June of 2010 and actively contributing in our growth. Based in Calgary, Alberta (Canada), the core of Diane’s business comes from patterns that she makes from her original quilt designs. They are available both on her website and in her Etsy shop. She also has the original quilts available for sale and those are featured in our TAFA Market collections. Learn more about Diane and connect with her on her Member Profile.

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Golden Retriever by Castilleja Cotton

Golden Retriever by Castilleja Cotton

A Little Interview with Diane McGregor

How long have you been doing what you do? What drew you to it?

I have been sewing since I was a little girl around 6 years old. I made clothes for myself with my mother’s help. In 1991 I took my first quilting class and was hooked on quilting. I made so many quilts that I need to start selling them so I could make more. Since quilting is very time consuming it is difficult to make a profit. I also don’t like making the same quilt more than once. So I decided to making patterns of my quilt designs.

What are your long term goals?

My long term goal is work less and eventually retire in a few years. I have over 500 quilt patterns and still like the design process so it as long as I am enjoying it, I will continue designing for the next few years. I recently started making art quilts and sometimes they turn into a pattern in a simpler version. Selling my art quilts has been a difficult process.

"The Treasury", Art Quilt by Castilleja Cotton

“The Treasury”, Art Quilt by Castilleja Cotton

What is the favorite product that you have for sale and why?

Frankly, I am bit mercenary so my favorite product is one that sells well. So right now that is my Fire Within Quilt pattern.

"Fire Within", Quilt Pattern by Castilleja Cotton

“Fire Within”, Quilt Pattern by Castilleja Cotton

What is your daily routine like?

I spend most of my day until 2:30 pm working at my computer. Filling orders, add new products to my various online stores and designing new patterns. I then go for a walk for about 1 hour. There has to be a blizzard before I will miss my daily walk. I then spend the rest of the afternoon at my sewing machine, sewing samples for the patterns.

Diane McGregor's fabric stash.

Diane McGregor’s fabric stash.

Hobbies?

I have done a lot of hiking, golfing, snorkeling and reading. My newest hobby is riding my horse Majic whom I just purchased. I ride bareback with just a halter. My goal is to ride him without anything.

Diane McGregor with Majic, her horse.

Diane McGregor with Majic, her horse.

Favorite quote?

Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It

Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It

Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It!

A couple of people that you admire?

Caryl Byer Fallert is one of the best instructors that I have had. She taught me that if you can draw it, you can make a quilt out of it.
Susan Carlson is another great instructor that pushed me to open myself to new ways of designing.

Biggest challenges of what you do?

Finding the time to design is a big challenge. Sometimes running the business consumes too much of my time. I really have to prioritize to find the time to design new quilts.

Favorite place you’ve been to and place you dream of going to.

I have traveled a lot and love learning about new people and countries. My favorite place is the big island of Hawaii. It is so easy to be there and usually my brother, my sister-in-law, my sister and my husband spend 2 weeks every 2 years on the big island.

The big Island of Hawaii near Kona

The big Island of Hawaii near Kona.

Do you have a family, children, pets?

My husband, Don, supports whatever I do. He fills all the orders from the quilt stores and has even done a few designs of his own. My sister, Colleen, also contributes many design as well. My son, Kevin, is a music teacher. Our dog Callie, a springer spaniel, is getting older now and so it content to sleep most of the day. She still likes a good game of fetch the ball. My horse Majic is my new love. He is a grey Arab. We are learning about leadership and I have a lot to learn.

Diane's sister, Colleen, her husband, Don, and Diane McGregor at the International Quilt Market.

Diane’s sister, Colleen, her husband, Don, and Diane McGregor at the International Quilt Market.

 

Bargello Quilt by Castilleja Cotton

Bargello Quilt by Castilleja Cotton

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castilleja cotton square

 

Castilleja Cotton 

on TAFA’s Market

Click on any of the images below to visit Diane’s shop on Etsy. Once there, you will be able to see all of her other products. Leave a comment for her here, too! We all love to get feedback on what we are doing.

Make sure to sign up for email updates for our future posts on this blog! (See the sidebar.)

Visit our TAFA Market to see our other shops!


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TAFA Market Feature: Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts http://www.tafalist.com/feature-cindy-grisdela-art-quilts/ http://www.tafalist.com/feature-cindy-grisdela-art-quilts/#comments Sat, 23 Nov 2013 20:02:18 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12316

Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts is our featured Market Shop on this post. Cindy is one of our pioneer members, joining TAFA soon after its launch back in 2010. She has been an active participant and we enjoy her tremendously! Cindy’s signature is her love of color, creating bold statements of mood and vibrancy in her […]

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cindy grisdela

Cindy Grisdela with her sewing machine.

Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts is our featured Market Shop on this post. Cindy is one of our pioneer members, joining TAFA soon after its launch back in 2010. She has been an active participant and we enjoy her tremendously! Cindy’s signature is her love of color, creating bold statements of mood and vibrancy in her quilts. Her workmanship is also impeccable. We had a live market in 2011 where she participated with several pieces, all top quality in materials and finishing.

Cindy has a shop on Etsy and often sells at festivals if they are not too far from her home in Virginia. Find her social media links and connect with her through her TAFA Profile.

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"Coral Reef", Art Quilt by Cindy Grisdela

“Coral Reef”, Art Quilt by Cindy Grisdela

A little interview with Cindy Grisdela

How long have you been doing what you do? What drew you to it?

I’ve been quilting for over 30 years, but I just began showing and selling my work about eight years ago. I studied art in school and spent time drawing, painting and sculpting, but I’m drawn to working in fiber because of the tactile nature of the medium. I like to think that I use fabric the way a painter might use paint to create a composition. Then I have the opportunity to enhance the composition with texture when I add the stitching lines–drawing them freehand with my needle and thread as though I had a pen or brush in my hand. No other medium allows me to do that.

Cindy Grisdela sewing in her studio.

Cindy Grisdela sewing in her studio.

What is your daily routine like?

When I’m not on the road for a show, I exercise in the morning first thing, then try to get into my studio to work by 9 AM. Mornings are my most productive time. I spend the morning and early afternoon in the studio, then take a break around 2 pm to get coffee and work on the business side of my business–writing blog posts, social media, and marketing.

Cindy Grisdela Studio - Fabric Bins

Cindy Grisdela Studio – Fabric Bins

Hobbies?

I love to read, garden, and travel. When our boys were young, my husband and I set a goal to take them to all of the National Parks in the US. Now they are grown, and we made it as a family to 47 of the 58 parks–most of the ones that are left are difficult to access, like the five that are above the Arctic Circle in Alaska. It was a great way to show our children the amazing country they live in!

Favorite quote?

[quote author=”- Picasso” image=”” w=”” h=”” image_align=””]”Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”[/quote]

Biggest challenge of what you do?

Educate the public at my shows and exhibits that quilts can be art and have value beyond covering the bed.

Cindy Grisdela Booth Setup

Cindy Grisdela Booth Setup

Favorite place you’ve been to and place you dream of going to.

It’s hard to choose just one place, but probably Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. I’d love to visit Australia and New Zealand some day.

A peek inside Cindy Grisdela's home.

A peek inside Cindy Grisdela’s home.

Do you have a family, children, pets?

I have two wonderful sons and two cats.

"Cat's Eye" by Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

“Cat’s Eye” by Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

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cindy grisdela square

 

Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

on TAFA’s Market!

 

Click on any of the images below to visit Cindy’s shop on Etsy. Once there, you will be able to see all of Cindy’s products there. Leave a comment for her here, too! We all love to get feedback on what we are doing.

Make sure to sign up for email updates for our future posts on this blog! (See the sidebar.)

Visit our TAFA Market to see our other shops!


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Pencil and Sheep http://www.tafalist.com/pencil-and-sheep/ http://www.tafalist.com/pencil-and-sheep/#comments Fri, 22 Nov 2013 18:49:11 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12174

Kate Barsotti of Pencil and Sheep shares a bit about her wonderful creatures and how she found her calling. Visit her profile on TAFA to learn more. [hr] In a weird way, sheep saved me. I was a miserable soul a few years back. My dream job soured into a nightmare. I was not proud […]

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pandabig

Kate Barsotti of Pencil and Sheep shares a bit about her wonderful creatures and how she found her calling.

Visit her profile on TAFA to learn more.

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In a weird way, sheep saved me.

I was a miserable soul a few years back. My dream job soured into a nightmare. I was not proud of the work I was doing, yet I had no power to improve it. The more I tried, the more humiliating it became.

siggy

Siggy the Dog – Commission – Pencil and Sheep

Then, one day, I walked through a magic doorway into a long shop with brick walls, old wood floors, a huge loom, spinning wheels, and all sorts of yarn and fleece. I’d never seen such a place. Spinning wheels? Did people still do that sort of thing. Once I got the hang of it, I was a convert. I learned to spin, then knit (badly), which lead to a class in wet felting and needle felting.

I’ve never looked back.

Needle felted lion - Pencil & Sheep

Needle felted lion – Pencil & Sheep

I love each and every critter. I am fascinated as they come to life in my hands. Sometimes I set out, determined to make a lamb, and a mouse emerges, or a llama. I end up adapting to the sculpture rather than the other way around.

The most common question is: how long do they take? Days. Sometimes weeks, working off and on. I try to use the best quality materials and to sculpt them to the best of my ability. I am still learning.

The sculptures led me back to my sketchbook. I’ll be drawing more and more, as the paper and the needle seem to need each other. This process brings me peace. I hope it gives you a laugh or a smile.

sketch-cat

sketch-mouse

 

Website: Pencil & Sheep

rabbit-vest-full-anotherpose

 

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TAFA Market Feature: Afghan Tribal Arts http://www.tafalist.com/tafa-market-feature-afghan-tribal-arts/ http://www.tafalist.com/tafa-market-feature-afghan-tribal-arts/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:00:54 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12269

Afghan Tribal Arts is our featured TAFA Market Shop on this post. Abdul Wardak is a native of Afghanistan who immigrated to the United States in the early 1980’s. He is a direct importer of vintage textiles, handmade carpets, hand-carved beads, and other ethnographic items from Central Asia. The textiles are, of course, what are […]

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afghan tribal arts

Abdul Wardak

Afghan Tribal Arts is our featured TAFA Market Shop on this post. Abdul Wardak is a native of Afghanistan who immigrated to the United States in the early 1980’s. He is a direct importer of vintage textiles, handmade carpets, hand-carved beads, and other ethnographic items from Central Asia. The textiles are, of course, what are featured in our TAFA Market, but the beads are the core of his business. He travels a route between Wisconsin and Florida, selling at bead shows and wholesaling to other tribal galleries. He has a shop on Etsy and a retail gallery in Pendleton, South Carolina, Sturee Tribal Village. Find all the links and more info on his TAFA Member Profile.

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Abdul Wardak at a rug shop in Afghanistan in 2002.

Abdul Wardak at a rug shop in Afghanistan in 2002.

A Little Interview with Abdul Wardak of Afghan Tribal Arts:

How long have you been in business and what drew you to it?

After I immigrated to the United States, I focused on getting my family out of the refugee camps they were in in Pakistan. I started going back and forth between the US and Afghanistan in 1984, each time bringing some things back to the US to sell that the refugees were making at the camps. I fell in love with amazing work that represented the region and slowly my inventory grew. I saw it as a real way that I could create a bridge between my two homes, my mother country and my adopted one, both places that I love.

photo by John Tobias

Photo by John Tobias, a friend who spent time in Afghanistan in the 1970’s, the same period when I was a young man.

What are your long-term goals?

I need to increase my sales online so that I don’t have to travel as much. It’s become very expensive to be a modern nomad with the cost of gas, hotels, and show fees eating into what I can bring in through sales.

What is your daily routine like?

Normally I have a bead show on the weekends, often in cities far from each other so I need to get there. On the way, I stop and visit with friends, sell to other shops or may have trunk shows set up.

What is your favorite product that you sell and why?

Definitely the Afghan rugs and carpets. They take so much skill and hard work to make and to me, represent the tribal art of that region.

rugs at Sturee Tribal Village

Tribal Rugs at Sturee Tribal Village, Pendleton, South Carolina

What is the biggest challenge you face with your business?

Travel. The time it takes, expense and labor involved is wearing me out. Still, I love seeing new places and people on the road.

Abdul driving.

On the road…

 

Do you have any hobbies?

Yes! I have always loved poetry and have written things down from time to time, but lately have been taking it seriously. I think about the poems in my native language, Pashto, then write them in English. Friends help edit the poems and sometimes we have big arguments over the meaning of what I am trying to say. :) I have a few on my website, but started a Facebook page where I can collect them all into one place. This one honors the widows and orphans of the Afghan conflict. I was thinking about loss of a loved one.

Lately, the marriage of silence
Together with the darkness of the night,
Takes me deep into the thoughts of your departure.
I remember when laughter was
the prescription of the day
When holding hands was a favorite habit.
I will never forget how every moment and every kiss started and ended with “honey, honey.”
Every pain had a cure.
Every wound a bandage.
Every day brought happiness, every evening led to peace.

Hear me if you can…
Let the pain be mine.
It’s ok to be wounded.
No need to hold your hand,
I will not ask for kisses,
I will never laugh again.

If only you would come back.
If only I could see you one more time.

AAW 11/15/13 Venice, FL
© 2013 All Rights Reserved

The poet Abdul Wardak

The poet Abdul Wardak

Who are the top five people whom you admire?

  • My father, Abdul Manan Wardak, who passed away many years ago.
  • Ahmad Shah Durrani, an emperor from the 1600’s who shaped modern Afghanistan.
  • Rachel Biel for her work with TAFA and with me.
  • Ronald Reagan for ending the Cold War and getting the Russians out of Afghanistan.
  • Nelson Mandela for his wisdom and work for peace.

What is the favorite place that you have been? What place would you like to visit?

There are so many places that I love! Top of the list are Afghanistan, India, Germany, Florida and Wisconsin.  I would like to visit Australia someday.

Do you have a family? Children? Pets?

I have six children who are mostly out of the house now. One is married and I have my first grandchild. Our house in Wisconsin has a few acres and we have a big dog, cats, chickens, goats and a guinea hen.

Home.

View of the barn from the kitchen.

View of the barn from the kitchen.

Chickens and goat.

Chickens and goat.

Roshan Wardak

My son, Roshan, on top of the world.

Zaland Wardak

Zaland just started college.

Abdul Wardak

See you on TAFA!

afghan tribal arts square

Afghan Tribal Arts

on TAFA’s Market!

Click on any of the images below to visit Abdul’s shop on Etsy. Once there, you will be able to see beads and tribal jewelry not listed in our Market. Leave a comment for Abdul as he will LOVE that and make sure to sign up for email updates on our blog in the sidebar. Visit our TAFA Market to see our other shops!

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TAFA Market Feature: Wrapture by Inese http://www.tafalist.com/feature-wrapture-by-inese/ http://www.tafalist.com/feature-wrapture-by-inese/#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 17:25:55 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12245

Wrapture by Inese is our TAFA Market feature in this post. Inese Liepins lives in Riga, Latvia and has been a TAFA member since October 2010. Inese is originally from Chicago, lived in San Francisco for awhile, and now considers Latvia as her home. She has many interests and skills. As an interior designer, space […]

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Wrapture by Inese

Inese Liepens

Wrapture by Inese is our TAFA Market feature in this post. Inese Liepins lives in Riga, Latvia and has been a TAFA member since October 2010. Inese is originally from Chicago, lived in San Francisco for awhile, and now considers Latvia as her home. She has many interests and skills. As an interior designer, space is a statement that begs personalization. Inese’s knitwear is what we see on TAFA, but she is also a graphic designer, glass artist, and photographer. Visit her profile on TAFA to connect with her through her website, shop on Etsy and social media sites. Wrapture by Inese is one of our Market Shops. Clicking on any of her images in the Market will take you to her shop.

sweaters for guys

One of the great things about Wrapture by Inese is being able to find great sweaters for guys!

A little interview with Inese:

How long have you been doing what you do? What drew you to it?
My mom taught me to knit when I was 5 or 6, I remember trying to knit a blue angora headband that turned into a one shoulder barbie dress because of dropped stitches. I guess that was the first attempt at fashion design. Off and on since 1980 I have supported myself as a knitwear designer, working for myself as well as for big companies.

What are your long term goals?
I want to do exclusive one of a kind items knit by myself as well as having a collection of knitwear that I design, but that someone else knits.
What is the favorite product that you have for sale and why?
My kid mohair and silk infinity wrap. It was the item I started with and it is such a classic that the same women keep coming back for another when they get a new coat or just for the new season.
Infinity scarf

Infinity scarf by Wrapture by Inese.

What is your daily routine like?
With breakfast I check emails, sales stats, finish my coffee seeing what is happening on BBC news. The rest depends on if the sun is shining. Once or twice a week I go for several hours of biking or skiing in the woods, my days off are not on weekends, but on sunny days. If its not too overcast, I also need to take any photos starting at noon when I am getting good light.  New listings and renewals take place around 3pm (Im at GMT+2). During sunlight hours I knit. After dark I edit and photoshop colors on photos.
Inese Liepens home.

Where I live and work.

Hobbies? (outside of the business)
Mountain biking, cross country skiing.
Bike trail in Latvia

Nature telling me biking season is over on my favorite trail.

Top 5 people that you admire:
(not in this order):
  • Musicians, I can’t live without music, and I myself cannot make music, so I am entirely dependent on musicians to do it for me.
  • My mom.
  • Kris, who I have known since college, who has reinvented herself while staying true to herself and is an amazing positive person
  • Those who don’t back down when faced with injustice, which keeps changing with current events. Right now I am in awe of the courage of Nadezhda Tolkonnikova.
Road by Baltic Sea.

The road home along the Baltic Sea during a 4 day biking music festival trip.

Biggest challenges of what you do:
Sales.  It’s the part I am not good at and which I hate doing.
Riga, Latvia

The 8 tents in the bottom is the outdoor beer garden where I sell my knits in Rīga, Latvia, during the summer tourist season.

Favorite place you’ve been to and place you dream of going to.
New Zealand
My tent in Mongolia.

My tent in Mongolia.

Do you have a family, children, pets?
A cat.
inese liepens purple sweater

Visit Wrapture by Inese!

Wrapture by Inese square

Wrapture by Inese

Click on any of the items below to visit Inese’s shop on Etsy.  Make sure to explore her whole shop! There is something for everyone!  Visit our TAFA Market to see our other shops!

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Decorating with Textiles: Cape Cod Shibori http://www.tafalist.com/cape-cod-shibori/ http://www.tafalist.com/cape-cod-shibori/#comments Tue, 19 Nov 2013 17:36:46 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12223

Rachel Switzer has enjoyed exploring many textile techniques from early childhood on to adulthood. Her current passion is dyeing fabrics using shibori folding techniques. She sells fabric, pillow covers and other home accessories in her shop on Etsy, Cape Cod Shibori. Rachel lives in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA, and shares her home with us today […]

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Cape Cod Shibori

Cape Cod Shibori by Rachel Switzer

Rachel Switzer

Rachel Switzer has enjoyed exploring many textile techniques from early childhood on to adulthood. Her current passion is dyeing fabrics using shibori folding techniques. She sells fabric, pillow covers and other home accessories in her shop on Etsy, Cape Cod Shibori. Rachel lives in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA, and shares her home with us today in our Decorating with Textiles series. She learned about it through our TAFA Group on LinkedIn and we are pleased to have her as a guest!

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Most of us have a home full of textiles. We have a closet full of clothes, blankets, rugs, upholstery, even a rag box in the basement. And what about the kitchen? Dish cloths, pot holders, napkins and tablecloths. With some, we think only in terms of their usefulness, while others are purely decorative. It’s a treat when our functional items and pattern and color collide. Along with being surrounded by pattern and color, I enjoy the processes of many textile arts. Every textile in today’s post was made by me.

Here are some patterned Shibori pillows for comfort and color in the bedroom:

shibori pillows

 

A primitive hooked wool rug for warmth and decoration:

hooked rug by Rachel Switzer

One way to I love to display textiles in the home, is to put them in a frame. It encourages viewing the fabric in terms of pattern and color. Here is a woven example:

framed weaving by Rachel Switzer

A triptych of Indigo dyed hand stitched Shibori patterns:

framed indigo shibori

The kitchen can be a festive place to display fabrics we love. Here is a contemporary Arashi Shibori table runner I made using some re-purposed Indigo dyed linen napkins:

shibori runner

Altering the look of the table is as easy as changing the linens. Here is another recycled linen piece pleated and dyed in Indigo:

indigo dyed shibori runner

I already mentioned upholstery. Here is a way to get even a remnant of a favorite fabric out of your stash and into plain view. This chair only needed a fat quarter:

upholstered chair with indigo

I also like how the colors in the quilt echo the map colors.

There are many wonderful mass produced fabrics. It’s hard not to bring home every great pattern I see in the fabric store to add to my stash, or yearn for that graphic rug I see in a catalog. Chances are they are less expensive than a one-of-a-kind specially made item. So why bother? There could be many reasons. Unique personal style and self expression is one. You also may be able to better determine if your choices are made with ethical practices, regarding both labor and the environment.

Happy Hunting for those special handmade items! It can be a delightful journey.

Rachel Switzer has dabbled in embroidery, quilting, rug hooking, batik and weaving but works mostly in the Shibori technique these days. She enjoys creating housewares and fabric for quilters under the name of Cape Cod Shibori. You can purchase her work in her shop on Etsy and follow her on Pinterest and Facebook

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Decorating with Textiles Series

Many thanks to Rachel for sharing her home with us!

Would you like to participate in this series? The Decorating with Textiles Series is an ongoing project on this blog. This offer is open to all of you out there who love textiles. Many of our TAFA members make beautiful decorative textiles and functional work as well and showcasing these homes can help stimulate new ideas of what to do with textiles. Seeing a photo online is much different than seeing how a textile will function in an environment. Many people appreciate textiles but have no idea how to display them or what to do with them. We’d like to have many people participate in this series, each bringing in their own ideas and tastes.

Make sure to leave a comment for Rachel. I know that would please her immensely!

Contact me if you are interested and would like to submit a post:

rayela [@] comcast.net (remove spaces and brackets)

Visit TAFA to see inspiring art quilts, weavings and accessories for the home. Maybe you will find the perfect thing for your home!

Also check out our TAFA Market and our TAFA shops on Etsy!

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Alicia Forestall-Boehm http://www.tafalist.com/alicia-forestall-boehm/ http://www.tafalist.com/alicia-forestall-boehm/#comments Mon, 18 Nov 2013 18:16:20 +0000 http://www.tafaforum.com/?p=12217

Alicia Forestall-Boehm is a Chicago artist working with cheesecloth and encaustic. She explores simple shapes that speak about form, movement and color. Her inspiration is both the urban environment she lives in as well as the physical and mental boundaries of the space we inhabit. Learn more about her and explore her links on TAFA! […]

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 Alicia Forestall-Boehm 1

Alicia Forestall-Boehm is a Chicago artist working with cheesecloth and encaustic. She e