New Album “Treehouse”, Reunion With Glass Hammer

Treehouse
Standard

John Lathim and I have just released our second CD together.  If you like folk music this will be a real treat!  Produced by Bernie Faulkner (Exile) and recorded on Music Row in Nashville, this album has a very traditional feel.  The title track, Treehouse, is one of my favorite songs John has written.  It’ll have you tapping your toes and grinning in no time!

Treehouse

Treehouse released November 2014

Also, I did some guest vocals on an album that was released in March, 2014, called Ode To Echo, by Glass Hammer.  For those of you familiar with my music career you’ll recognize the band Glass Hammer as being a neo-progressive rock band that I was with during the early ’90s.  I did about three albums with them before embarking on my solo career in the progressive genre, and am thrilled to be a part of this CD.  Walter Moore, another of the original members, also did a guest spot on this album.  Ode To Echo maintains the high standard that is a hallmark of Glass Hammer, and I look forward to working with these friends and colleagues again in the future.

Ode To Echo

Ode To Echo, March 2014/Arion Records

Advertisements

How To Paint A Silk Scarf

Standard

When my friend Linda showed me how to dye my own scarves last Friday, I had to take it a step further, and the next day I painted my first scarf.  I’m going to explain the process so you can try it too!  It takes some effort, but is well worth it.

Equipment used:

  • Blank Silk Scarf – 8mm Habotai 11″x 60″
  • Setasilk Silk Paints – These are very fluid and look more like inks or dyes, but are actually paints.
  • Paintbrush – Golden Taklon size 10 or 12 (anything you would use for watercolors as these paints act very much like watercolors)
  • Masking Tape
  • Silk Pins
  • Homemade Frame – 1/2″ PVC pipe cut to length and width of scarf, plus an extra 2″ border allowance.  My frame measured 15″ x 64″.  Don’t forget to get elbows for the corners!
  • Non-iodized Sea Salt (optional)
  • Small spray bottle of water
  • Silkpaint! brand water-soluble resist (clear)
  • Mild detergent (i.e. Woolite)

All specialty supplies purchased from www.DharmaTrading.com

How to:

  • First put together your frame.  I put mine on a large easel in my studio so it would be easier to work with, and also wrote the length of each side on the pipe for future reference.  It is easy to store if you take it apart afterwards.
  • Tear off a strip of masking tape and fold over the tip of both ends so that you have a non-sticky area to work with.
  • Pin one end to the scarf, placing the tape beneath and pinning from the top.  Check to be sure your scarf is face-up (you can tell by the rolled edges).
  • Wrap the other end of the tape to the frame.
  • Continue until you have all sides taped to the frame.  It is important to put enough tape tabs on the scarf so that you can put tension into the scarf.  You don’t want to paint on a saggy surface.
  • Adjust the tension in each tab so that the entire scarf is taut. 
Blank Scarf Attached To The Frame

Blank Scarf Attached To The Frame – These frames can take up quite a bit of space. I’m glad I had an easel to rest mine on.

  • If you are going to use a resist this is a good time to apply it.  I added black dye to my clear resist so I could see where it had been applied on the silk.
Painted with resist.

Painted with resist.

  • Next I put some color inside the shapes protected by the resist.
    First application of color.

    First application of color.

  • Before painting the background I lay the frame horizontally so the colors wouldn’t drip down and off the silk. I then painted the background by first spraying it with a mist of water, then applying the paint with the paint brush.  At this time if you want to use the salt for adding beautiful textures to the color, sprinkle it on the damp paint.
  • Let it all dry.  It should do so pretty quickly.
  • Remove the pins from the  scarf and put in the dryer for about 5 minutes to set the paint.
  • Wash the scarf in a mild detergent (I used Woolite).  You can wash it by hand but I put it in a lingerie bag then washed it in the washing machine for a very short cycle.  (I used fabric softener too – not sure if you should, but I like it).
  • Once it finishes the spin cycle, or is just slightly damp if you hand-washed and hung it to dry, iron it dry using an iron on the ‘silk’ setting.

Voila!  You now have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind work of art to wear.  I’ve already received several compliments while wearing it (though I don’t always tell the person that I made it.) 

If you’re like me you’ll be looking for any opportunity to wear your luxurious new scarf!  Please send pics if you decide to try this – I’d love to see your creations!

When the resist washes out it leaves the original color behind.

When the resist washes out it leaves the original color behind.

There are so many cute ways to wear a scarf.  I bought a book called "How To Tie A Scarf - 33 Styles" to get some ideas.

There are so many cute ways to wear a scarf. I bought a book called “How To Tie A Scarf – 33 Styles” to get some ideas.

Close up where you can see resist and the effect of the sea salt.

Close up where you can see resist and the effect of the sea salt.

Silk Scarf Painting Is Fun!

Standard

My friend Linda invited me over last week to learn how to dye silk scarves.  Though I am terribly busy at the moment, the artist in me could NOT pass up learning how to make these beautiful scarves.

I ordered my supplies in advance from http://www.DharmaTrading.com online.  This order included blank silk scarves and a beginner’s kit of Setasilk colors.  I also ordered a resist to play with.

She first laid out a big garbage bag to cover the table.  She then filled a casserole dish with water, and we dunked our scarves one at a time, squeezing out the excess water.  We then shaped them on the plastic, fanning some and scrunching others (we made three apiece).  After they were shaped we chose colors to apply.

I colored my first one with red and orange, but used way too much color.  I used my second scarf to absorb the excess color and added some yellow.  I believe that one is my favorite!  On my third scarf I used turquoise, green and blue.

We put the damp scarves into the original bags, and once I got home I laid them out to dry on another garbage bag.  Be careful not to let them touch, or you can end up with a rogue color spot from another scarf.

While they were barely damp, I put them in the dryer one at a time to set the colors (approx. 5 minutes each).

Once the colors were set it was time to wash them in a gentle soap (I used Woolite), then iron while still damp.

They look and feel beautiful!  When I’m wearing a scarf and it blows in the breeze it makes me feel very feminine and glamourous. Ooh La La!

 

Here are some pictures of the final results.

Pink, Orange and Yellow

Pink, Orange and Yellow

20140815_210246

I love the marbling effect in this scarf.

This scarf was still too wet when I put it in the dryer, and I got red all inside the dryer.  It came out by putting in damp dark blue jeans, and didn't affect the jeans.

This scarf was still too wet when I put it in the dryer, and I got red all inside the dryer. It came out by putting in damp dark blue jeans, and didn’t affect the jeans.

Hee Haw Show for Cancer Support

Standard

heehaw

Friends from across the Sequatchie Valley joined forces on July 10, 11 and 12, 2014 to raise money for cancer support in Dunlap, Tennessee.  The Hee Haw Show was originally a one night only event, but each year the demand for seats became higher until we now have three nights of shows.

I grew up watching Hee Haw, and have been proud to participate for the past three years as either Shania Twain, Jeannie C. Riley, or Juice Newton.  We have regulars who play Minnie Pearl, Dolly Parton, Ida Lee, Lulu, etc.  

The show is pretty much like a live version of the old television program (without the original cast, of course), complete with a live band and many talented performers.  Including proceeds from the silent auction, this year’s efforts raised approximately $35,000.  All of this money stays in the Sequatchie Valley to help cancer patients with transportation and other expenses.

Thank You to all the people who work tirelessly each year to put this together and help make it a wonderful success!   I’m already looking forward to next year’s show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Published in Special Sestina Issue of Festival Writer

Standard

I was happy to find out recently that my submission of two sestinas to Festival Writer were accepted for publication in their Special Sestina Issue (No. 2:6).  Here is the link to my poems The Book of Poems, and On the BridgeFestival Writer Link

What Is A Sestina?

A sestina is a form of poetry that has six stanzas of six lines each, plus a final stanza of three lines (called a ‘tercet’).  You choose six words, and each individually will be used as the last word of each line in a particular order.  The patterned order changes with each stanza, and in the tercet the words are used in order as well, two per line.

Sort of Sudoku for poetry.

In the call for submissions they encouraged writers to step outside the box, so in The Book of Poems I had the first letter of each line in each stanza spell out ‘sestina’ – minus the ‘a’.  I started each line of the tercet with an ‘a’.

2014-07-30 11.01.31

New York Was Incredible

Standard

I decided to take advantage of the fact I was going to be in NYC, and made an appointment with Patrick Cook/Director/Musical Theatre and Jazz, from BMI.  I met with him on Thursday, and was able to visit the World Trade Center Memorial at the same time, since their offices are located at 7 World Trade Center.  The meeting with Pat was productive – he was a real gentleman and helped me get to the subway station and on my way back to Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan where I was staying.  It was time for dinner at that point.

20140607_122245

I managed to eat Asian food for every meal while I was there.  It was pure heaven, and I’m sure I didn’t even touch the tip of the culinary iceberg.  Tabata’s Ramen, located at  540 9th Avenue, was so good that I ate there twice.  The first time I ordered an award winning noodle dish that included tahini in the broth.  Yum!

20140605_190611-2

I also ordered a side of skate that had been chipped into slivers and deep fried (another ‘Yum!’).  The only other place I’ve had skate is in England, and it was served as a large piece deep fried then placed in paper similar to newspaper, and came with a side of chips.

20140605_190557

When I ate there again on Saturday I ordered garlic noodles.  Giant ‘YUM!’

Another dish I really liked was the panang curry I had at another place recommended by the lady behind the desk at Doubletree.  I ordered the duck, and it was simply amazing….the skin was still crispy, and it was a recognizable duck breast atop a bed of curried vegetables, with a side cone of rice.  And it was not expensive either.  I sure wish Chattanooga had some of these type eateries available.  The food was so fresh and expertly prepared.  At Tabata the cooks were on the other side of the bar making giant vats of broth, etc. for all to see.  Nothing to hide here folks.

20140606_132121

When I travel I like to get practical souvenirs whenever possible.  In NYC I bought a couple of shirts, a nice purse (no brand, but really nice), and a couple of lovely hand-crafted mugs.

20140607_111820

I also got a much needed shoe shine by this friendly man.

20140606_145342

I took so many pictures of all the interesting sights, including photos in Central Park.  This trip was really a fun adventure, and I look forward to visiting again sometime in the future.

On the campus of Columbia University

On the campus of Columbia University

The Books Are In!

Standard

The Blanket Stories books arrived today.  Yeah!  I was pleased to see that they listed the name of the poets and artists on the back cover as well as having their poem/artwork inside.  Many ‘Thanks’ to Ruth Zamoyta and Richard Jochum for editing this wonderful Anthology.

 

A ‘Thank You’ to Dorothea Lasky for her beautiful interpretation of The Pied Piper mentioned in the introduction.  As an author it’s nice to see someone appreciate your work, and to make an educated analysis that also reveals how it spoke to them.

You may order a copy of Blanket Stories through Amazon.com by clicking here

 

2014-07-29 19.29.05