Monday, May 04, 2015

Mexico and beyond...

We met up with our wonderful group of artists at the Casa Colonial in Oaxaca.

It feels like our home away from home...many of our group have returned for two and three times and we enjoy all of our time together trying new  creative projects and many fun and informative field trips. There is always something new to see and experience in the thriving and beautiful World Heritage city of Oaxaca.

Our workshop at the Casa featured working with pre-felt . A fun little supply bag greeted everyone.

Before getting to our felting we had two incredible days of dyeing with natural materials native to the Oaxaca area. So many beautiful colors were obtained ....cochineal is being ground above before we begin the dyeing process.

Love these colors of handspun....

So many beautiful colors....all from natural dyes!

Time for some fun many fun and colorful creations from our talented ladies!

Just a small sampling of our Fun with Felt time.

We had some wonderful meals....

and wild and crazy field trips...

Always time for some shopping...lots of hearts just before Valentine's Day!

On our last day we always leave a gift for the Casa...this time we each made a felt flower. They made a great bouquet for the communal ding room. 

We are already planning our next trip for Jan. 2016 and would love to have you join us!

Please contact Colleen Darling at: for more information or to reserve a spot for our next exciting trip.

And now, tomorrow morning, bright and early I board a plane for France! Once again the Les Soeurs Anglaises beckons with a workshop by the wonderful English fiber artist, Janet Bolton. I will be traveling with childhood friend, Barbara Colvin who invited me to share a room with her. I have always loved Janet's work and am really excited to be able to spend a week stitching and enjoying the wonderful ambiance that the sisters have created. Lifelong friendships are formed and I love seeing what everyone makes as we inspire each other. I'm sure the time will fly by in one of my favorite places in the world. 
Hope you all have a creative week ahead....back soon!

Monday, April 13, 2015

A visit to San Cristobal de las Casas

It's always wonderful to travel to somewhere you have never been. Before our workshop  
 in Oaxaca began we had the chance to visit San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico.  We only had a few days to explore this charming town but we made the most of by taking a field trip to two different Mayan villages near by and taking the time to walk around town exploring the markets, trying new restaurants, and even finding a French bakery.
 Above is one of the colorful walking streets in San Cristobal-shops full of art, textiles, jewelry, clothing and lots of restaurants line each side of the street.

One of the churches with beautiful decorative design work by the main plaza.

Beautiful skies and perfect weather greeted us....

A style of embroidery that is special to this area, done on handwoven wool.

Our first visit was to the Mayan village of Chamula. Our Mayan guide was from a different village and gave our group a historical overview and took us to visit the local Shaman's home and  explained all of the symbology behind the altar and images within. 

The Shaman's front door is decorated with herbs.

We went to the central mercado with the wonderful church facade.

Chamula women with their wool skirts.

We also visited the Mayan village of Zincantan. Famous for their flowers that are shipped all over Mexico, their embroidery is covered with bright floral motifs.  We visited the home of some local weavers where we were treated to homemade tortillas and salsa. Delicious!

Some of the Zincantan embroidery, even the men's shirts were covered in flowers.

Fresh corn tortillas for our group.

I found these colorful embroidered hearts in the market back in San Cristobal.

We had time to visit the Textile museum in San Cristobal located in a remodeled convent. The collection of embroidered huipils from all over Mexico and Guatemala was amazing and so inspiring.Everything was beautifully displayed in lighted drawers. The work was breathtaking and included so many techniques from so many different areas...almost too much to take in one visit!

Just a tiny taste of the wonderful embroidery...

Our hotel had lovely folk art everywhere as well and great breakfasts, too.

Our next stop was Oaxaca and time to meet up with our wonderful group of women and get ready for our field trip and two days of dyeing with natural plants of Oaxaca. 

Friday, February 06, 2015

Off we go to Oaxaca and Chiapas!

Time to head to Mexico again for our Fiber Workshop in beautiful Oaxaca!
We will spend a few days in San Cristobal de las Casas, home of many beautiful textiles before we begin our workshop. Hope to get some photos to share with you! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fiber art adventure in Beautiful Oaxaca, Mexico- Feb.12-19, 2015

I've been away for too long! It's just that it is so much easier to post a quick photo of what I've been making on Facebook. And I will hopefully get back to posting more of my latest projects soon, but I wanted you to know about our next fun trip to the incredible Heritage site of Oaxaca, Mexico!

We are busy getting ready for our next art adventure in the beautiful city of Oaxaca. We still have 2 spaces left if you can join us for our fun fiber art week filled with natural dyeing and felt making workshops as well as time for shopping, local festivals, delicious meals and getting to know our wonderful fellow artists. 

Time for textile shopping....

visits to the local mercado with basket makers and local artisans,

visits to the many museums filled with vintage textiles and art,

colorful flowers at our casa and all the mercados,

festivals to be enjoyed,

art making in our own workspace at Casa Colonial,

delicious local cuisine at beautiful restaurants,

time to enjoy 

our home while in Oaxaca- Casa Colonial, filled with folk art, birds and gardens.

Our happy group of art adventurers from our trip in October. 

We had a wonderful time and hope you can join us for our all new field trips and fiber art

For more information please contact Colleen Darling at

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! 
So grateful for all the many blessings in my life. I have wonderful friends, a supportive family and get to spend time doing art.  And a bit of travel thrown in too!

Here is the family dining table before I got it cleaned off for Thanksgiving. It's my favorite spot for all the various art projects that I have going on. My sewing machine is on the end to the left. I'm sure it will go back on the table tomorrow!

I have been busy making lots of things since we returned from Mexico. These funny little guys are off to a show and sale at Art From Scrap for the month of December. All of the linen animals were created from one sample book of designer Italian linen that I found at the reuse store. I loved all the dots and have enough to make a few more.

Beaded hearts make nice ornaments and a great way to use up some of those beads that we collect.

Some wool owls and a little wolf went off to the Art Hus in Solvang.

Mrs. Crow and her friends below will be going to "Just folk" in Summerland tomorrow for their annual Christmas tree.

A few hooked ornaments that were pretty quick to make.

Mr. Gnome took a few evenings to hook.

And more hearts with a kind of primitive look for Just folk.

I made 20 dog ornaments for their tree this year out of felted sweaters.

Hope you all have some creative time this week.

 I still have quite a few projects to finish up before the Holiday Marketplace sale at the Wilding Museum on Dec. 6 in Solvang. Come by and say Hello if you are in the area! I hope to have lots of new hooked items for sale.