Jun 27 2012

Denise Wallace


Okay, I’ve got to add a museum to our list of favorite museums.  Denver Art Museum has been one of my faves for quite a while.  Last month I went to DAM with a friend to see the Yves St. Laurent show and Madeline Albright’s collection of pins.  Both were good, but I have to say the highlight of my day at the museum was seeing Denise Wallace’s “Crossroads of Continents” belt.


"Crossroads of Continents"

The museum calls it the masterpiece of Denise Wallace’s career.  While I have a problem with labeling a work by a living artist “the masterpiece” (especially someone who’s about my age), it truly is an amazing piece of art.

Placard at DAM


One of our SAQA colleagues once said that viewers should be rewarded for taking the time to look closely at a piece of art.  (Sorry, Susan and Miriam, I can’t remember which one of you gave us those pearls of wisdom at a Northern California SAQA critique meeting.)  Well, this is one of those pieces that makes you want to break the glass, so you could see which of the figures opens to reveal the rewards.

The center figure’s garment opens to reveal boat scenes


Placard II

Since our tagline is “Telling Stories in Cloth,” you can guess I’m especially attracted to artwork (especially jewelry) that tells a story.  If you find yourself in Denver, take the time to visit DAM.  Don’t try to see everything. Try looking at a few pieces very carefully.  You will be rewarded. To see more of Denise Wallace’s amazing jewelry, visit http://www.denisewallace.com.

Jun 18 2012

Pixeladies Piece Party


We’re getting ready for the Northern California Quilt Council‘s “Meet the Teachers” event on July 18 in Castro Valley, CA. Each one of the 30 teachers has three – yep, three – minutes to tell the attendees what they teach and why any guild would want to hire her or him. It’s no easy feat to accomplish (especially for a talker like Kris), and you’re always trying to figure out how to stand out in a crowd. We’ve thought about wearing boas and bling, but that’s already been done.  One class we’re highlighting this year is our Pixeladies Piece Party. It’s our version of the scrap quilt but much more fun with our tribute to the 1960s. Last year’s sample, which formed a cool border to a quilt, was in a lovely palette of blues and browns. Lovely, it turns out, is just code for invisible because you don’t see the subtle color shifts from 20 feet away among a crowd of 200. By showing off our color supply of scraps in this year’s sample, we hope to get more bookings for this class. It’s also easy and fun, so let’s see if we can bring that out in the 1 minute we have to devote to this class.

Our scrap box

Step 1: Sort through your scrap box. Think of color when you do.

Deb in our sweatshop

Step 2: Take your scraps and sew them together. And listen to us as you sew along ’cause we have lots of tips and tricks to make your piece look really “groovy.”

Cutting the yellow panel

Step 2: Decide on a shape and cut the piece to size.

Panels ready to quilt

Step 3: Finish the piece into a table runner, quilt, vest, whatever. (Okay, so we’re not quite finished. We plan on connecting the panels so that you can rearrange the panels or display just two or three at a time. We just have to engineer that part.)

Sock-It-To-Me cake - yum!

Step 4: Eat some Sock-it-To-Me cake because this is, after all, our homage to the 1960s. We’re serious about this. A homemade Sock-It-To-Me cake comes with every class!


Jun 6 2012

Top 10 Reasons to See the Gaultier Exhibit in San Francisco


The Pixeladies met up with fellow artists Dee Danley-Brown and Susan Else as well as Kris’ big sis, Noni, to take the trek over to the city to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum. As the four of us left the exhibit, we all just looked at each other and went, “WOW!!” That doesn’t quite tell you how incredible this exhibit was, so here are our top 10 reasons to go!

Kris and Deb and One Fabulous Gown

10. Hey, it’s San Francisco. Who needs an excuse?!

09. This may be the closest you’ll ever get to touching one of Madonna’s conical bras.

08. The whole sailor-gay-Querelle-Fassbinder-movie thing finally makes sense.

07. The button dress (Kris’ favorite). Hard to believe there was the simple black dress in among the corsets, but there it was, with buttons poking through the seams. Incroyable!

06. The garbage bag dress (Deb’s favorite). Gotta love the tin can bracelets.

The Garbage Bag Dress

05. The runway. For those of us who will never sit in the front row at designer week, this comes a close second.

04. Whips and leather and bridles, oh my! (No wonder Hèrmes nabbed Gaultier as its creative director from 2003-2010.)

03. The mannequins talk and sing. We can’t explain this – you’ve just gotta see it!

Watch Their Eyes Follow You!

02. The artistry of the fashions. Nice touch to tell us how many hours it took to make a particular gown or outfit. Boy, don’t the Pixeladies wish they had Gaultier’s team – we’d get so much more done. We’d also get more done if we didn’t trot off to SF on a weekday, but c’est le vie!

01. To witness curatorial genius at work. Each subsequent room sucked you into another aspect of the Gaultier mind, the sets making the clothes even more fantastic. C’est magnifique!

We hope you enjoy the show as much as we did. Don’t forget to let us know which one was your favorite gown. It just might be the cinematic gown, with real film reel used to create the fabric!