Thursday, April 29, 2010

May Day Studio Open House

I'm having a "May Day" Studio Open House. If you live in and around Plymouth you are invited to come!

You are invited to a Studio Open House

Saturday, May 1, 2010

10am - 5 pm

Visit the studio and see my new work including fiber jewelry.
Welcome "May Day" in with punch and cookies and chat with the artist (that would be me!).
Items will be for sale.

Remember Mother's day is coming up!

Visit my website, for e-mail address to get directions.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Have you ever heard of soapberries? I hadn't until a few months ago when I went to my local farmer's market at Plimoth Plantation. One of the vendors was selling soapberries. OK, I was curious! What are soapberries? Do you eat them? Do you plant them? No, you wash with them, hence the name soapberries! Well, I listened to how ecologically sound these berries were and how they come from a tree plentiful in India and China. Some can be found in Florida and California but they are not as plentiful in the USA. These berries have a sap called saponin which is a natural cleaning agent. Who knew! Well, apparently alot of people knew!!!! Just Goggle soapberries and you will be surprised how many people use them and all the information that is out there. So for a mere $2.50 I bought a sample bag and tried them. I loved them!
It takes about 4-5 whole berries to do a wash. Each berry lasts around 5 washes although I have found them to last longer. When they deteriorate and only the thin shell is left, you put them out in your garden for compost! We have been using the soapberries now for at least a month and a half. Our clothes are clean and we are helping Mother Earth. Our septic system especially the leaching field says "Thank You". I'm also using them to wash my handwoven fabrics that I sell so rest assure you will not be getting a product that has been washed in chemicals.
Here's a picture of the soapberries. You just put 4-5 of them in the muslin bag and throw it in the wash.

Check them out at and if you live in Plymouth, MA go to the next Farmer's Market on May 19 at Plimoth Plantation and check them out for yourself.

Another cleaning product I use is called Eucalan. It is made for washing woolen items. It is a no rinse lanolin enriched natural wash product. It comes in Unscented, Eucalyptus, Lavender, or Grapefruit. I use this product to wash and finish my wool and silk collapse weave scarves. You simple pour it in, squeeze the item gently to loosen up the soil, and let it soak for 15 minutes. No need to rinse. Your wool items come out clean and smelling great. I always give customers who buy a collapse weave scarf a sample of this product. With only one application of water there is less chance of felting. You avoid agitation and water temperature differences which are the things that cause shrinking and felting of wool. Since this is a product not easily found in stores I carry 100 ml bottles of it, available for purchase, in my studio.

So, be kind to the earth. We are the caretakers of this world. Let's get better at it!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Photo Shoot

Every few years I need to invest in good photography of my work. Since I enter juried shows it is a must to have photography that best represents my work. When I first started out selling my work in 1990, I was lucky enough to get into a well known local show in Rochester, NY with just photos I had taken. As the competition for spots in shows increased, that no longer was enough so I made a trade for photo shots with a friend and amateur photographer and a local high school girl who was an aspiring model. She received the experience and modeling shots, my photographer friend received fashion photography experience, and I received photo shots of my work for juring into shows. That all worked for a while, but then I realized how many times people were attracted to the model who was beautiful, young, and always smiling into the camera. I don't know how many times I was asked if she was my daughter! While I would have loved to claim her as my daughter (I have 2 boys!) I wanted people to notice and remark about the clothes! I was beginning to learn that professional or semi professional shots are complicated!

To make this story short, it is time for new photography of my work. On Tuesday I went into the South End of Boston with assorted pieces of my work (many new items) and had a 4 hour photography session. The photographer I am working with is very good. I discovered him at a show I did in Boston last Nov. I've been working with him to develop his skill in the juried show photo area. These shots are different than just a straight product shot. They require a background which makes the object pop while not creating a stark glaring difference. The shots must help the jury focus on the work.
The model we hired was great. She too must be able to show the clothes to their best advantage even when they are a size too big! Both of these people must work well together and between all 3 of us we bring suggestions and expertise "to the table". I would definitely work with both of these people again. It was a fun long tiring day but I received some great images of my work and made some new friends.
Thanks, Mike and Jessica. It was fun working with you.

Here are a few images from the photo shoot.

Photography Credit: Mike Ritter,
Model: Jessica Hansen
All work on this blog is copyrighted.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


During the six weeks of Lent First Baptist Church in Plymouth has been on a “Journey to Newness.” We have experienced the sign posts of temptation, challenge, reliance, grace, assurance, and boldness along the way. Each of us has traveled our own path and along the way we have encounter others headed for the same destination, the newness that the resurrection brings.

A significant part of our journey to newness has been to let go of the past and yet at the same time use the past to help shape the future. We symbolized that by taking the old purple panels that hung in the sanctuary previous years during Lent and making them into something new. I worked with a small group in the church to create the new art experience within the context of worship. The art piece we created symbolized our starting out on separate paths, which merged as we traveled along the way to the cross and newness.

Now it is Easter. The newness has emerged. The purple has been replaced by white. Our paths are now woven together as we experience the Resurrected Christ. Our many paths have become one. We are one and yet many as we each journey in newness out into the world.

Alleluia! Have a Joyous and Blessed Easter!