Archive for the ‘Design Work’ Category

I have been working on samples for the belt. While I am no longer designing this for Shelby’s dress, I will probably still make a completed piece. Creating lines and shapes with beads has specific challenges. The Indian style cord works really well but it is very difficult to work with. If anyone knows how shapes are created with that material please let me know.


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After months of working on the embroidery pieces for the exhibit, I am struck with how much I love embroidery. I am committed to continue finding ways to integrate it into my body of work. As a gift to Shelby for her wedding I am creating an Art Deco style belt to adorn her dress. One of the things I considered is that there are so many pieces of beaded trim that can be bought for $20/yd so if I am going to hand make something, it is going to need to be significantly worth more than that. After looking at Shelby’s dress I was also convinced that this piece needed to go in the Deco style because of the architecture of the dress. I have been surprised at how difficult it has been to make our budget of $50 cover the materials. Beads are significantly more expensive that I anticipated. Nevertheless, I would like to see us come in on budget for this project. Here are some of the inspiration images I have been using. These are some of the materials I have picked up to use. I found most of the rhinestones on ebay as well as a Enchanted Treasures & Costume Jewelry company. The sequins are from M&J Trimming and the glass bugle beads and the seed beads are from Joann. The orange embroidery is an example of the gold cord I need to get to create the lines in the pieces.

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I have been working on a collection I started several months ago, but since then have been procrastinating. I put together a more developed story board. 

These images are developed from the following words: Old Timey, Elegant, Rag Doll, Laura Ingalls, Homey.

The color inspirations are coming from the following words: Organic whites; earthy beiges; and  faded colors such as denim blues, faded reds, mustard yellows, lavender.

Textile inspirations come from: Ginghams, Plaids, Cross stitch samplers, Ticking, Flax Motifs (Florals), Gingham and Polka Dot.

Dividing the story board into Design Story, Color Story and Textile inspiration or Structural Story has been helpful to create something more cohesive. The

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Flax Works






Several months ago I started a collection based flax for a linen collection. After months of other projects including remodeling the kitchen, Christmas commissions and whatnot I am finally back to develop the collection. Here are some initial images I culled for inspiration.

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Hip Bags


These bags were made for the NYC – Something special from Wisconsin 2009 Bike Polo championship. I was thrilled to see Milwaukee’s historic win. I received several points of great input for improving the design including lengthening the strap so it will extend over the shoulder, including a u-lock holster and replacing the lining with something stiffer. I also want to replace the pocket snap with velcro since I am just worried that they will not remain stable. Notice the polo style bike handle bars. They were requested. The bags were made of leather with nylon straps, reflect material for the images and reflective clasps. They are weather resistant and sold for $55.

Thanks to Kevin Walsh for the Photo.

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Progress Report

Our process the last few months often feels like it has been rambling, exploring and generally unfocused. We started out with specific goals of printing wallpaper, and soon found ourselves rethinking that – problems for our various ideas have cropped up at every turn. Nonetheless, we are both very aware that this process is going to take time as we take the time to develop our own designs, create the space to explore them and change our lives to fit in the time we need to make it work. 

This is my last week at Trek. I am concerned about moving on from the structure of a job since  I will having to create my own schedule each day. On the other hand, I feel that I have much more focus than I did 4 months ago when I first finished with school. I am volunteering 2 days a week, and sleeping about 2 days a week from growing this baby. I anticipate that I will find having 3 full days a week to focus on design will actually be quite fulfilling and possible. I have many different projects and many more answers – or at least leads – to my questions. 

Kara and I are setting our our “play” area – we realized that in order to focus we had to have the ability to print and dye – to explore our ideas. While time is a factor for both of us, space and resources is also key. I am looking forward to next week when we sit down and finalize our list and place the order. Right now we will either find or make our own screens, get some screen hinges, squeegees, screen coaters, emulsion, and screen mesh. We will both be able to do this for about $75 which is affordable. Hopefully we can get Kara’s basement cleared out enough to have the space to work, but we are lucky enough to also be able to work with Mess Hall Press and use their exposure unit and such.

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Connecting the Dots

Here is a first attempt at a connect the dots portrait.

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