Where did July go?

It just burned right by, and the 17 fires blazing across the state are proof it was the hottest July on record in Northern California. The oppressive gray skies have been ashy for weeks. Having a government that does not acknowledge climate change is maddening.

On a more positive note, the opening of our fiber exhibit Unraveled:7 threads was a lot of fun.

Pictured left to right starting at the top is: me, Marjorie McWilliams, Louise Schiele, Debra Hosler, bottom row: Bernita Dodge, Marjan Kluepfel, and Martha Wolfe.

I was thrilled to make a sale of one of my paintings on opening night.

My son Ty, who recently graduated from UC Berkeley came by for a visit with one of the first beers produced in conjunction with the start up he’s working with now called Berkeley Brew Science. BBS is using chemistry to create hoppy beer without hops by altering the yeast molecule. Here’s an article from UC Berkeley News explaining a bit more about the how and why they are working on this. The beer was really good, it was hoppy, but not as bitter as many IPA’s are.


Blessing in the wind, mixed-media prayer flags

I drove to Santa Rosa to teach a 2 day prayer flags class at Meissners Sewing. Meissners has 4 locations in Northern California, and they are a sponsor of Craft Napa and provide all the Bernina sewing machines for workshops.

Now here’s a crazy thing about this trip. I lived in Santa Rosa from 1979-1983 while going to Santa Rosa Junior College before I moved to Los Angeles to go to art school. When I looked up the address of Meissners on Google I couldn’t believe that it was located in a building I went to almost every day when it used to be a small market and I rented the house directly behind it!!! How crazy to be back to the same location almost 40 years later to teach a class!


I love teaching my prayer flags workshop, not only because of the positive focus of creating beautiful flags with messages of intent to make the world a better place, but also because the flags are like a series of individual unique compositions created while learning a variety of different techniques.


As most of my classes go we started by painting white cotton fabric with acrylic inks.

That alone is a lot of fun!


Next we stamp the painted fabrics with images


then learn to print with thermofax screens, which are like little silkscreens.


Next we focus on cropping for good composition.

and then choose the words and messages to collage on each flag.

A few people decided they wanted to use their fabrics in a wall quilt and kept their blocks large. I have no issues with that at all. I’ve never been the kind of teacher that demands everyone do the same thing. To me creating is all about the process, I’m there to teach skills and techniques for the student to use any way they want and I’m thrilled when new ideas are sparked in people.


I also had a whole table of gals who made Christmas themed flags!

Truthfully, I was a bit apprehensive about the results because things can go very badly working with complimentary colors. Complimentary colors are opposites on the color wheel (ie: red and green), and when mixed together can create all kinds of brown and gray, otherwise known as mud.

But they came out wonderful, as you can see here all strung together.

I love seeing how unique and beautiful they all are!
Some over achievers made two sets of flags  🙂

What a fabulous class, I look forward to getting back to Meissners in Santa Rosa again next spring to do another workshop.

I’m going to teach Blessings in the wind: mixed-media prayer flags next at  Ephemera Paducah, in Paducah, Kentucky October 20-21 and would love to see you there.


In other exciting news, I’m thrilled to learn that Phil and I will be going back to Germany for a week in late November!!

He has been performing experimental electronic music since it was developed in the early 80’s in a group called the Hub that formed when he was in graduate school at Mills college studying digital music production. The Hub was recently notified they are being awarded a lifetime achievement award! so we’ll be going back to Karlsruhe, in coincidently the same location as the Nadelwelt exhibition we were at last May.


In between prep for my next teaching trip, I spent some time in the studio painting.

This mixed-media anchor painting combines a colorful background using acrylic inks (on canvas), a few thermofax screen printed octopi, a collaged printed manta ray and the anchor painted on top with acrylic inks. These are a few of the techniques and type of process that we will explore in my Craft Napa workshop Collage, Paint, Create! in January.


Later this week, I’m off to Woodland Ridge in Wisconsin for a 5 day Paint and Print-a-palooza retreat, where we will make stamps, do shibori, and create hand painted and printed fabrics using stamps and thermofax screens to make modern improvisational quilt blocks using piecing and appliqué techniques.

I’m so excited, I love opportunities where I get to work over an extended period with a group of students and explore a subject in depth, and I’ve also heard this is a fabulous retreat location! I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.

Keep creating,


I’d love to spark your creativity at one of these upcoming events:

October 19-21 Ephemera Paducah, Paducah, KY
Tea and Ephemera and Blessings in the wind: mixed-media prayer flags

October 27 Meissners, Sacramento, Fiesta Ornaments


January 16-20 Craft NapaPaint & Printapalooza, Collage, Paint, Create!, Make an Impression! 


IMG_5538Judy is an artist, explorer, image wrangler, knowledge seeker, instructor, speaker, creative alchemist, and purveyor of inspiration, helping others channel creativity on a daily basis.




2 Responses to “Where did July go?”

  1. Joanne Hamm says:


    The U.S. is not in charge of the world. How would we go about changing the rest of the world to create less environmental gasses, etc?

    • Hi Joanne,

      first off, there’s no need to shout, but the US is the largest contributor per capita of global warming in the world. We could start by not rolling back emissions standards and clean air policy, and also re-joining the Paris Climate Accord where we could be a leader in putting forth clean air policy again. The agreement acknowledges that the threat of climate change is urgent and potentially irreversible, and can only be addressed through the widest possible cooperation by all countries and deep reductions in global emissions.


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