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Saturday
Jul192014

Exploring the Colors and Textures of Tuscany

Join us for an unforgettable creative adventure in Tuscany, Italy!

Together, we will explore the colors, textures and beauty of this magical place as we create small watercolor paintings and photographs at various locations that will be the inspiration for your one-of-a-kind fabric.

Our focus will be designs that may be used for clothing or textile art and can be digitally printed.

I will guide you in creating a cohesive line with an emphasis on color, value and scale.

For more info, please visit the Craftours website: 

http://www.craftours.com/trips/tuscany-sheila-102015.php

Monday
Jul072014

Madeline Island School of Art - Wisconsin 

In June I taught a workshop at MISA, and it was really an awesome venue in every way! The attention to detail was amazing - the staff, the facility, the cookies, the wine, and the food were all top notch... Jenna and Charles were the most gracious hosts. I was really really impressed...  :)

If you have ever considered taking a workshop at MISA, I would highly recommend it.

When I landed in Duluth, I had been up over 24 hours, and the weather was pretty lousy. After an hour of driving, and being hipnotized by the windshield wipers, I had to pull into a roadside cafe for some coffee. 

When I arrived at the ferry, all of my stress and exhaustion melted away... I was on my way to a new adventure.  

This is the farmhouse I shared with the lovely and talented artist Elin Noble and her artist husband Lasse. Anyone that knows me well is aware that I'm usually not fond of having a roommate(s). However, they were wonderful! I so enjoyed my time with them. I would walk in throughout the day and Lasse would be working. On the table was a collection of stones he'd picked up on his walks. I laughed because as the days went on, the amount of stones increased and were filling up the table! Very Zen...  :)

We each had a bottle of wine and a note waiting for us. Jenna made me a lovely fruit bowl.  

I spent a lot of time here... :)

My classroom was in this building, along with Elin's.

Student accomodations...

The classroom was stocked with refreshments that were replenished on a daily basis.

The delicious cookies were replenished every day as well! 

I had a small group of students, and wow, that was really nice! We bonded, laughed, worked hard and a blast! 

Diane shared a piece she made after watching my episode on The Quilt Show. I was pretty blown away...

This was a very funny "inside joke" that we all shared... ;)

And then it turned into a moose in the grass! The students surprised me with this creation, it was a group effort!  :) 

There was a lot of laughing, but also, a lot of hard work... I was amazed, as usual, by the work the students produced. It can be a daunting process, to go into the unknown with no plan, and quite uncomfortable at times, but it's so exciting to see what emerges.

Jane's piece (PLEASE DO NOT PIN THIS TO PINTEREST, THANK YOU)

Rene's piece (PLEASE DO NOT PIN THIS TO PINTEREST, THANK YOU)

The two pieces above were a result of our first exercise. 


I was so happy to have Carol in my class. We've known each other for a few years and met in Lake Tahoe.  

Jane was sharing a very personal and touching piece she made to honor her father. 

MOTHRA!!!

Breakfast and lunch were served in the lovely barn. I appreciated that the refrigerator was totally stocked, and if you got the late night munchies, you could go in and make a cheese and fruit plate, or get more cookies! And you know the cheese was good... 

There were two other classes going on, Elin's natural dyes workshop, and the other a photography workshop. We all went together on an eveing excursion to see the sea caves. There was a daredevel showing off his skills in a Ultralight plane.  

And wow, the sea caves! Amazing, and the light was perfect!

 

It was a wonderful evening! 

On my way back to the mainland...

Once I got to the other side, I went for breakfast...

...and I met this little sweetheart, Ish. Turns out, he's from Los Angeles, and doesn't live too far from me. He's 16 and was visited his grandparents. 

The drive back to the airport was quite scenic. Everything is green...  

 

The icing on the cake for me was on my flight from Chicago to LA, Stevie Wonder was sitting in the row just in front of me. I had the opportunity to tell him how much I love his work, and I had actually been listening to his music on the plane. He is one of my musical heros and what a magical man he is...

I always love night landings in Los Angeles...

Sunday
Jul062014

Exhibit in Lauris, France - May 2014

I had the great pleasure of spending a month in the incredibly beautiful region of Provence in May. It left an imprint on me, in many ways...

Here's a snapshot of my experience...

My work was shown in a wonderful cave gallery in the village of Lauris at the Jardins de Magali. 

It was truly an incredible venue for my work. 

Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry and Sue Rasmussen were also showing their work and we had a wonderful time together! 

 Here's a video showing the Jardins de Magali and me talking about my work.

After the opening we went to dinner together and enjoyed an amazing view from the Chateau in Lauris.

André Girod is in the middle and he and his wife Françoise own the gallery. They were both incredibly gracious hosts, and on this day he arranged for us to visit the textile manufacturer les OLIVADES for a private tour.  

The cotton is being scorched...

We were able to get up close and view the screen printing process.

Here are a few videos I shot of the scorching process, which I found facinating.

 

 

I also taught a workshop, and had wonderul students! 

Caroline modeling a future garment?  :)

On the right was my wonderul interpreter, Nathalie! And Caroline also stepped in to help me... Goodness knows I needed it!

Just up the stairs was my flat, a lovely place with a great view.  :)

View from my kitchen window... 

Pascale and her festive "work in progress"...  :)

This sculptor lived around the corner from the gallery. I could hear him working during the day. He has quite an intense presence, and I love his work!  

I spent the last week alone with my little "poppy" and we had some great adventures together...

Fontaine de Vaucluse

The trail to the Grotte de la Sainte-Baume

When you look closely, you see the most beautiful little creatures...

...inside the cave of St. Marie-Madeleine, where she spent the last 30 years of her life living as a hermit.

I met these beautiful people when I arrived in St. Baume, and we hiked together to the cave. 

View from the entrance to the grotte...

This is the view from where we started the hike. We went all the up to the top and enjoyed lunch together.

 

Poppy and I were off to another adventure...

And you can see where she got her name! I was initially concerned that I was renting a "ticket magnet", but the horsepower was non-existent.  :)

Les Grottes de Thouzon

Gordes

Carrieres de Lumineres  Wow, I went here three times! It was amazing!

 

This is a small snapshot of my magical experience... I hope you enjoy the photos.  -s

Tuesday
Apr292014

Student Work - Empty Spools Workshop

What an incredible time I had teaching at Asilomar last month! The students blew my socks off with what they accomplished in such a short time. Most of them have not done this time of improv work before, but they dove in and went for it. 

Here is a sampling their work...

I ask that you PLEASE DO NOT PIN ANY OF THE CLASS WORK ON PINTEREST.

I have to say that Lynne impressed me so much. She's not piecer - she has always prefered to fuse in the past, but she took to it so naturally and is creating a very dynamic piece.

What I really enjoyed was seeing how different each person's work was. I loved what (the other) Sheila was creating. 

Elaine and Judy took to this like fish to water...

Lydia dreamt about her piece and had a vision of the direction she wanted to go - that's a really good sign!  :)

Heidi chose a palette that I would have never considered, and it's really lovely...

 

It's so wonderful to watch individual styles starting to take shape. Lynn and Tina have a very delicate feel to their work. 

This was the very first exercise we did, using a limited palette with the focus on value. This is a very soothing piece by Jenny - the movement and the colors are lovely. 

Diane blew me away with her sheer enthusiasm. (Which is pretty obvious in this photo) What's really cool is that she is not a quilter and had only sew "curtains" in the past. I can say there wasn't a quarter inch seem to be seen, but it didn't matter, she's on her way to making her first quilt top! 

 

And wow, did I love the colors and the whole vibe of Cristin's piece. (She and Diane are friends, obviously)

When you are doing improv work, you can go simple or super complicated, and Shelley went the complicated route. That's why I love to piece - to create complex challenges that I have figure out somehow. This is a great piece.

Cinda was one of five friends that were the wild and crazy bunch in class. Each one of them had a little (what looked like Mr. Potatohead to me) face on their design wall! Cinda's work is intense and I could clearly see a point of view right away. 

It was so exciting to walk around the room and see all the wonderful colors and patterns that were emerging. 

Pam was creating some exciting work!

 

I managed to get to the beach at least one day. This is a truly amazing place to take a workshop. 

I could go on and on showing the work, it was really wonderful to witness each student's point of view unfolding. 

This was a really large class, 24 students, and I was told by a few ladies that is should be listed as a "Master Class" because it's super intense and challenging. The reason I disagree is that a person could have been a quilter for 30 years, but really struggle when it comes to letting go. My workshop is all about letting go, and that can be very uncomfortable for some. 

As a teacher, you have do deal with many things, including expectations of what students think they "should" be able to do after taking your workshop. What I hope to do is lead students down a road, and they can decide if they want to continue the journey. 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr232014

Save on my MISA Workshop!

I’m so excited to be teaching a 5 day quilting workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts, June 16-20, 2014.  I’ve heard nothing but the best about this magical Island, MISA’s state of the art studios, lodging, and delicious meals.  

So, I wanted to let you know of a special program just for anyone who follows my blog, called “The Red Barn Special.” This is specifically for my workshop at MISA.  

Save $85 on your on-site lodging reservation when you register for my workshop by April 30, 2013.  

Now is your chance to get first pick at their comfortable and cozy on-campus rooms in their Mission Cottages. 

A 25% deposit is all you need to hold your place in my workshop.  To read more about my class and to register, click here, or call the Registrar, Anne Leafblad, at 715.747.2054, or email misa@cheqnet.net