Saturday, August 29, 2009

can you smell the salt in the air?

By the time this posts I will be laying on the beach smelling the salt air!

Steven and I are heading to Croatia with our friends Ed and Andi. We are going to Zagreb and Moscenicka Draga I am excited to come back with some great inspiring photos! I will be back on September 3! Here is a photo of where I am...

Friday, August 28, 2009

wet silk

Below are a few photos of me washing the silk after it has been painted. You can see why I was nervous soaking it in water. To my surprise some of the colors didn't come out at all! It is normal for some color to wash out the first time I was the silk. Maybe it the good Hungarian water.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

trends I love!

Once a month I head to the magazine shop in the mall and buy my favorite home and fashion magazines. It is an expensive day as magazines in English are $$$$. I could buy American magazines, but why? They cost the same (if not more) than the British ones. And the British magazines are far better for print and pattern!
To give you an idea of cost: British Vogue $12, British Homes and Gardens $13.50. I fortunately have a subscription to Elle Decoration. So, the trip is usually an easy $25-$40 on magazines! It kills me to spend this much but I get so much inspiration from them.

September Elle Decoration has a great article about home trends. I find it so inspiring and right up my ally!! Click on the below image and it will enlarge so you can read it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

artist interview....with me

My friend and fellow surface designer Khristian Howell just posted an interview with me! Check out Parapluis et Soleil for the interview and more about Khristian!

Thank you Khristian!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

cooking silk

After a long holiday weekend here in Hungary, I find myself in need of a vacation. A real vacation! I leave on Friday for Croatia! YEAH! I miss the sea so much. I love living here in Hungary but I crave the salt air! So, for a few days I will swim in the sea and inhale the salty air! I cannot wait!

Back to work and I cooked and washed my silk! And it looks good. There are many different silk painting products out there and so many methods to setting dyes. I prefer Jacquard silk dyes and products. The colors turn out so vibrant! I did a test with some products I bought locally and they didn't turn out so well. So, I will keep shipping from the USA.

My process for setting the color is a bit lengthy but I find it works best for me. I have combined techniques I have read in books and techniques learned from professional silk painters. It has changed a bit over time, much like a recipe.

If your interested in hearing what my next steps are you can read below...
  • I wrap the silk in paper, put it in a black garbage bag and set in in a dark spot for a three days. This gives the dyes time to bind with the silk.
  • Next I cook the silk! Well, kind of. I steam the silk on the stove for 1-2 hours. Then I wash it in a chemical solution that ensures the dyes won't run and wash out. This step always makes me a little nervous. I am always waiting for the dyes to wash out and leave me with white fabric. (This has never happened by the way.)
  • The next step is a final washing in detergent. I use a detergent like Woolight. Then I hang dry.
The whole process takes quit a few hours but the colors always look vibrant! Also, the resist always looks so dirty. After the washings, the white lines are bright white, which helps make the colors look extra happy!

Tomorrow I am heading to the art store to buy stretcher frames. I will stretch a piece of silk and see how it looks! Wish me luck! Photos coming soon....

If you are interested in learning how to silk paint I would highly recommend this book by Susan Louis Moyer. It is a fantastic book with step by step instructions and photos with recommendations on what products to use. I consider this book a silk painters bible.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

color inspiration

I recently put togther a color board of inspiration. I really didn't know where it was going when I started. Once I finished I was a little surprised by how much pink I had pinned down. I just love the sea blue with the shades of pink.

silk collage art?

Another painting almost finished. I have been wanting to do something different with these silk paintings. I think I have been inspired by all the collage art that I have seen lately. I want to add dimension. My hands ache to sew! I am thinking of adding some stitching...maybe play with chiffon cut and torn, sew on top of the finished piece. What do you think?

Do you like the two tones background?

Monday, August 17, 2009


Fun times at Wamp August 2009

It was a sunny day and nice weather-not too hot and no rain!! The day started at 11:00 and was busy until about 3:30. From 3:30-7 the crowds came in groups with time in between to inhale a cheeseburger (Thank You Evi!!). The pillows didn't get to much attention. I don't think I will bring them next time-they are so big and are such a pain to deal with. The magnets and cards were a hit. My "bird bloom" magnets arrived around noon (Thanks Sue!) and got lots of attention!

As I stood behind my table I got to see what was hot for fashion. There were a ton of tourists shopping. To give you an idea of the diversity of the crowd, people who stopped by my booth were from Hungary (of course), Serbia, France, Finland, Norway, England, Ireland, Africa, Scotland, and the USA. I tried to sneak a few photos of people walking by or shopping next to me. I wish I could have taken an hour to snap more photos-I saw some great print and pattern!
I think almost all of my friends came by to say hello! It was nice to see everyone, although I didn't get to chat with anyone for very long.

Overall, it was good day-much better than my last experience where it rained all day. After some thought, I have decided to do the September WAMP. So, stay tune for details!

Friday, August 14, 2009

lost in the painted garden

I have had a very productive painting day. I needed it! The weather has been so hot. The past few days have been a little overcast and bits of rain. Maybe I lived too many years in Seattle-rain helps me focus and get so much done!

I took photos of the newest wall hanging as I was painting it. I am trying to figure out how to display everything I have been working on. In the past, I have hung them from a metal rod. What do you think about stretching them like you would a canvas. Any thoughts? I need some help with this one...I have an exhibit towards the end of September and need to figure this out.

Here is the dahlia in progress. The design isn't new for me but the size is bigger and the colors are different. Also, I have changed the orientation. I kind like the blue and chocolate leaves on the bottom.
Step 1: paint the chocolate brown
I once heard a quote that I really like-
can not remember who said it.
I think of ever time I make a mistake like this...
"Honest mistakes occur in the pursuit of happiness"
Step 2; paint the red

Step 3: paint the robins egg blueStep 4 & 5: Paint the soft pink and the shades of green

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Come visit me at
Sunday, August 16 from 11am to 7pm
at Erzsébet square

click here for details
New shipment of magnets just arrived!
New Designs!
New lower price for all greeting cards!
Colorful pillows to brighten your home!

As you may recall, I participated in WAMP this past June. It rained and was...well...cold and awful. Sun is in the forecast for Sunday and I will be giving it another go. Come by and say hello!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

a toast...

My mom always said when you were feeling sad, go get a pedicure and have your nails painted pink:) Well, I am not getting my nails painted today but I will get a massage and meet Steve after work for a glass of wine. We will raise our glasses and toast...
To Mom, may you spend your days painting with Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh. May your studio in the sky be filled with canvases and your tubes of paint never be empty. May your inspiration be endless and your wine glass always be full. You are missed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Today I went and did a little shopping. There is a store called Magma that sells these ceramic pieces that I have fallen in love with. They are by artist Judit Karsay. These little birdy's are so simple and modern. The colors and smooth shapes draw me to them. I can not put them down. I someday will buy one of my own...a big one.

For now, I buy them as gifts. Two friends will be recieving these soon. I hope they like them as much as I do. If you want to learn more about Judit Karsay and her Birdy click here.

Magma did a lovely job wrapping them.
I love the brown crackle in the blue. It looks spontaneous.
I wonder how much control Ms. Karsay has when firing
and glazing the birds. Are these crackles planned?You can not tell from this photo but the red
has a
nice shadow appearance to it.
There are areas that are dark and some
that are
more red. It is definitely not solid red.

Monday, August 3, 2009

my love of hungary

What a day! Yesterday we headed to Mezőkövesd for the Matyó Folk Festival! This is why I have fallen in love with Hungary!

If you remember, I wrote about Mezőkövesd back in May when our friends Adri and Joszef gave us a tour. Well, I said it then and I will say it again.....the culture is so rich and colorful! Mezőkövesd is 150 km (93 miles) north east of Budapest. The people living in Mezőkövesd are known as Matyó. Their traditions are strong and unique. Wood carvings with beautifully designed nature motifs, handmade lace and embroidery so brightly colored it makes my heart skip a beat!

Sunday afternoon we hopped on a train with our friends David and Toni. It was a short trip there (under 2 hours) but somehow it felt longer coming home...why is that? The day was a very hot one 95f/35c! We arrived and the town seemed sleepy...really a festival here? I was a little worried I took us to the wrong place. And then Toni saw a group of women all dressed up walking to town. When I say all dressed up I mean dressed up!
We followed the women and ended up finding the festival. It was full of singing, dancing and crafts. At 6pm the parade started and I was excited! So much color and pattern. Even the men wore beautifully embroidered shirts and hats with bands of ribbon! It was exciting to see other countries like, Peru, Greece, Slovakia and Belarus participate in parade.

Enjoy the photos below. If you are ever in Hungary during the first weekend in August I highly recommend a trip to Mezőkövesd for the Matyó Folk Festival!

If you click on the photos they will open up larger so you can see more closly the clothing. Also, check out my flicker page to the right. Also, there is a video at the end of this post that is worth watching. The ladies singing and dancing.

Matyó Women
(Look at the woman on the left-the curvy waist of the top)
The ladies of Matyó
(I love the yarn pom pom hats!)
Men-all are Matyó except the shoes.
I cannot remember which country had these shoes.
Matyó Festival Photos
(houses, people, painted eggs,stuffed cabbage and artist at work)
The artist Kovács Szabolcs signing the small bench I bought.
Click here to see more of his work. He is so talented!