It was after I retired in 2007 that I began to gradually explore surface design. I started with bags, using my skills in sewing and embroidery to create a variety of styles from silks and consumer cottons, embellishing with beads and decorative stitches. During this time my friend Leslie introduced me to her sister, Sharee Dawn. We made an immediate connection because of our love for fiber and creating, and she introduced me to the Paducah Fiber Arts group where I found others who shared those same interests.
I met Karen when I took the first decorative stitch workshop she taught at Calico Country in West Frankfort. I invited her to a meeting of the Paducah Fiber Arts, and she invited me to her studio to share her techniques for painting and embellishing fabric. This was the beginning of my love affair with altering fabric through surface design. The first bag using fabric that I painted was stamped with floral designs, stenciled and colored with Adirondack alcohol inks. I continued to use these methods, adding other media as well. I also began to work with recycled fabric, first with blue jeans and then with silk.
I have sold my work under the name Windy Rose which is also the name of our ocean-front cottage on Prince Edward Island. While the smallest Canadian province, it’s large in terms of the inspiration it gives to artists of all types. Though I started creating bags here, every summer I try a new way to alter and embellish fabric. This is where I first taught myself the techniques of low immersion dyeing, dye painting, stenciling, marbling, screen printing, deconstructed screen printing, and soy wax resist.
My marbled silk charmeuse scarves are the result of this exploration as are several of the art pieces I have since created.
One of my first silk bags
Hand painted 'Jennie' bag
Recycled blue jean bag
Marbled silk scarf