An Artist’s Life- creating from the world around us

Queen of arts at Elverhoy Nov. 8th 2pm – 7pm and Nov. 9, 10am – 5pm, 2019

Lately, I have been getting ready for an art/craft show . It is The Queen of Arts show at the Elverhoy , 1624 Elverhoy Way in beautiful Solvang, CA.


This will be the 20th year of the show- I believe is started 21 years ago at Syd McCutcheon’s house, the brain child of Syd, who, as an artist and maker of things, needed a place to sell her wares.  She, with her family created the show that grew out of her home and into The Elverhoy Museum.

I’m fairly certain the show started 21 years ago, as I was pregnant with Ruth, and that November, before Ruth’s birth, my father died. I missed the show because I went home to be with my family, and Syd graciously displayed my cards and some jewelry.  I was grateful and continue to be, as are all the artists who display at that show. It is a fabulous show! I get to see so many friends who I haven’t  seen over the year. And I get to talk about my work! And people buy my work!  That is always a bonus.

Recently, in a conversation with my cousin, she asked what I was up to.  “Same as usual” I replied, “I’ve been making stuff.”  ” You made a good bed” she countered.”

Indeed, I’ve spent a good portion of my life creating- creating many things, exploring many art materials and genre.

For the past year, I have been immersed in the world of fabric, sewing, pattern making and even having my designs printed in fabric.

Rooted Travel Mixed Media

The above image is from one of my visual Journals which I used as a starting point from which to create a fabric design.


You can see that the original composition had to be adjusted to create a repeatable pattern for fabric.

Surface design is a whole new area that I am entering with glee.  Art making is unlimited it seems, as long as you are not dogmatic about what you create.

My cousin was right. The bed I made, meaning the life I am living is all about creating and I love it.

I am not just making things from fabric I designed though. Oh no!!! There is a whole universe of fabric out there in the world and living in the Central Coast lends itself to many independent fabric stores, all of which have their own aesthetic when it comes to fabric.

My favorite design house, it turns out, is Alexander Henry Fabrics. I keep gravitating towards their designs without even knowing it.

All three of these above fabric portfolios are created with Alexander Henry Fabrics without my knowledge when purchasing! When closed this portfolio has an image of the enigmatic Frida Kahlo with a monkey on her shoulder. Inside, I have created two side pockets with a strip of pieced fabric on the left and a strip of some of my designed fabric- you guessed it- faces with lots of eyes taken from another one of my visual journals. The black and white rose fabric is the inside of the portfolio.

I use the portfolio to hold my check book and stamps, as you can see below. You could organize your coupons or put in a writing tablet with pen if you like- or whatever you could think up.

It helps me create order in my purse, if you know what I mean.

Here is a favorite theme: Dias de los muertos:

This is the inside-

The crows on the inside fabric are not my creation- that is fabric from Tim Holtz- but the ones on the right are from my design.

Below is how I put the portfolio together. First I machine quilt the exterior fabric to cotton batting. Notice the spiral quilted pattern. Spirals for the Goddess. I love the sacred hearts- again from Alexander Henry fabrics- (I sound like a commercial, but I receive no compensation).

Next, I create the inside with two pockets:

I stitch them pretty side to pretty side as the Crafty Gemini would say,  and turn it right side out:

I like to use my bone folder to push out the corners as flat as I can.

to finish, I top stitch with a machine blanket stitch.  I love my sewing machine!!!  The closed portfolio measures 4.5 x 7.5

I will be displaying my wares at the Queen of Arts Show and Sale, November 8 and 9th at the Elverhoy Museum, 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang- and soon putting them on my Etsy shop. 

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