I Came, I Saw, I Designed Outside The Lines.

Veni, vidi, Quæ non sunt facta
The glamour of modern flight.

The glamour of modern travel.

Hello. I'm back from teaching at Design Outside The Lines. Well, I've been back, but I had to sleep for a few days, sew for a few days, then dye for a couple more and then poof — here I am, ready to write about it. Or am I?

People, it was big. I was Diane Ericson's guest teacher for the retreat. Diane is a force but ... a gentle force. How does she do that? Of course the content of her teaching is solid and fascinating — of course — but the atmosphere she has created for these retreats is really a magical thing. Everyone was free to be exactly who and where they are, with skills, with risks, with foibles, with leaps — and she sets the pace for that with a delicate hand.

I adored everyone there. I'm not even making that up. It was an honor to spend the week with them and see what they chose to play with, what they rejected, what they laughed or cried about, what new thinking they embraced, and just generally where they are with their lives as well as their making-lives.

For my part, I rambled about improvising, and getting unstuck, and Brian Eno ... I'm still waking up in the middle of the night wondering if I finished specific thoughts but everybody laughed a lot, many people immediately took my spiral technology to heart, and quite a few pulled me aside to thank me for coming, so I think it was a good thing. 

But generally I'm still left with the feeling that I can't truly capture what it was like since no matter what I say, the whole experience still feels larger than the sum of its parts. Which is kind of like what creating new things that didn't exist before is all about. That is the work, right? So I guess that's perfect.  — helen


Ashland Springs Hotel, Ashland OregonArtifacts. We Were Here. Ashland Springs Hotel, Ashland Oregon.

Ashland Springs Hotel, Ashland OregonWhen I looked at online reviews of this place someone referred to it as "dated." I doubt anything they updated it with would be as fascinating as the current vibe. Though I did feel like maybe I should have a pipe and a pith helmet handy when I sat in the lobby. I don't mean that as a slight — clearly I should have packed better.

Then I remembered - oh right, I'm supposed to take pictures of people.

Gayle Ortiz at Design Outside The LinesGayle started with this pile of fabric, and with the help of some tangerines, made it into a tunic. 

Diane Ericson and Helen Carter of Secret LentilHelen Carter, (me) with Diane Ericson, and flowers and a sproinky spiral.

Judy cut spirals from Marcy Tilton fabricJudy used her Marcy Tilton fabric to make a zany spiral. The last time I saw it, it was probably going to become a collar.


Tracy at Design Outside The Lines

Tracy (wearing Secret Lentil!) and her work in progress. It was a very intense corner over there. She also had lots of books about Japanese designers for us to pore over. And not only are we both "Punks Of A Certain Age" but I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds when I suggest that she shares my (possibly hereditary?) Sneetch hands, which I just happened to have documented yesterday:

Sneetch hands. The struggle is real

Left to right: my hand, Sneetch hand.

Helen Carter of Secret Lentil

I'm smiling inside.