TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Candy", Dog Food Bags Recycled into Wearable Art

"Candy", a Rayela Art Dogfood Bag

Yay!  I finished another dogfood bag!  Some people knit while they watch TV.  I fold hundreds of little pieces of paper and then interlock them together using a technique known as candywrapper folding.  The long strips are then sewn together with dental floss or fake gut.  I started doing this because I was intrigued with prison art that used soft cigarette packs to make purses and I wanted to so something with the big bags of dog food paper that I go through.  It just seems like a terrible waste!  I use the outer layer which has a protective surface.  The middle layer is usually a brown paper which I save for shipping things and then I do toss the inside layer which has a wax coating and had the contact with the dog food.

"Candy", Red Side (Woven purse by Rayela Art)

 "Candy", Purple Side (Woven purse by Rayela Art)

I am pleased with this purse.  If you notice from the photos above, one side is accented with red and the other with purple.  Vintage and salvaged buttons call out to the colored papers.  A magnetic clasp serves as a closure.  I am the only one that I know of who embellishes these purses with buttons and beads.  Pretty clever, eh?

Close-up of the buttons:

The handle is wide at the sides and narrow at the top:

The hardest part to sew together is the bottom.  I sew both from the inside of the purse and the outside to strengthen the purse, but that is not possible at the bottom:

The purse is available for purchase on Etsy:  Buy "Candy"
It's 360 green ones, free shipping anywhere in the world.

Although the purse is functional, treat it with care.  It is wearable art.  You can bet that if you use it, people will grab you and want to talk about it.  So, only take it to places where you want to be grabbed!

While you are in my shop, look at the other treasures that I have for sale.  You might as well take advantage of the free shipping and add more things to your cart!  (Not valid on the heavier items).

Interested in learning more about the technique?  I've posted tips and links to tutorials in my past posts here on this blog.  Click here.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

TAFA Members on the Map!

"All the Time in the World" by TAFA Member Marcia H. Eygabroat

TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List was launched a year ago on January 31st.  Those of you who follow this blog will have seen many other posts that I have done about TAFA and its members.  (Click TAFA for past posts) Now at 229 members, we have grown into a vibrant, international organization with an active core group of members.  I wanted to see what we looked like on a map to get a physical idea of our growth and location, so I spent the last several days entering all of us on to a google map.  It's quite fascinating to see us this way!


One of the things that struck me is how remote some of our members are, far away even from a small town.  And, this is where the internet clearly allows us to live anywhere and still be connected to a global community.  This has really changed our ability to do business with something that we love even if we do not have ready access into a local market.  It's also such an incredible tool for developing relationships and friendships with people who live so far away.  The other side of the coin is that I think that many of our members will be surprised that they have TAFA members living very close to them.  People they met online are actually neighbors!

Jump in and take a look around!  You might find some TAFA neighbors yourself.  The pins are not on exact locations, but close.  Zoom into the places where there are clusters so that you can see the individual pins.  When you click on them, a photo pops up along with a link to their TAFA member profile.

Share this map with your people.  Remember that all of our members are looking for customers.  There are many reasons people buy something: because it matches something, it's a must-have, it supports a cause, or it comes from somewhere meaningful.  You will find each member's contact info in their member profile.  Support them with their online shops, their galleries, and their projects.  TAFA members are talented and excel at what they do.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Folk Art of the Andes at the Museum of International Folk Art

Museum of International Folk Art

Folk Art of the Andes

Most Comprehensive Exhibition of South American
Folk Art Ever To Be On View

(Santa Fe, NM, January 19, 2011) - The Museum of International Folk Art opens a major exhibition, Folk Art of the Andes, April 17, 2011. This will be the first exhibit in the United States to feature a broad range of folk art from the Andean region of South America, showcasing more than 850 works of art primarily dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The exhibit runs through February 2012. For images click here..

The creative accomplishments of the Andean people of the highland region of South America are prominent among the folk art legacies of the world. The curator for the exhibition, Dr. Barbara Mauldin, states “the Folk Art of the Andes exhibit explores the influence of Spanish arts and cultural introduced during the colonial period and shows how much of the work produced after independence in 1829 reflects the interweaving of indigenous craft traditions with European art forms and techniques.”

The collection of Andean folk art in the Museum of International Folk Art was started with an initial gift from the museum’s founder Florence Dibell Bartlett and has grown to more than 6,000 objects. Drawing from this renowned collection and other private and public collections in the United States, Folk Art of the Andes includes religious paintings, sculptures, portable altars, milagros, amulets, and ritual offerings.  Traditional hand woven ponchos, mantles, belts, and bags are shown, along with women’s skirts, hats, and shawls adapted from the Spanish.  Jewelry, wooden trunks, silverwork, majolica ceramics, carved gourds, house blessing ornaments, and toys reveal not only the craftsmanship of the work, but the ways the objects function in everyday life. Also explored are Andean festival cycles with lavish costumes and a variety of masks.

The exhibit will be accompanied by a richly illustrated 300 page catalog. Public programming related to the Andes show will take place throughout the year.

Media Contacts
Barbara Mauldin, Curator of Latin American Art

Steve Cantrell, PR Manager
310-3539 - cell


The Museum of International Folk Arthouses the world’s largest collection of international folk art, with ongoing exhibitions Multiple Visions: A Common Bond in the Girard Wing and Familia y Fe in the Hispanic Heritage Wing. Changing and traveling exhibitions are offered in the Bartlett Wing and exhibitions highlighting textiles are featured the Neutrogena Wing.   Lloyd’s Treasure Chest offers visitors interactive displays about collections and how museums care for collections. 

The Museum of International Folk Art is a Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.


I really, really want to go see this!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Sewing Project: Paducah Women Sewing for the Web

Visit the new blog!  Click!

Hot off the Press!

I started 2011 on a roll, with lots of new ideas for TAFA and a vision for a local, new project, working with low income women here in Paducah.  Check out the new blog.  I am still working on loading it with information, so if you take a tour and see some blank pages, check back again in a couple of days for more.  

The basic idea is to take all the things that I have learned over the last 20 plus years about product design and internet marketing and break them down into a teachable format.  My goal is to work with low income women who have some basic skills (they know how to write, have surfed the web, have good fine motor skills, show promise of creativity) and expose them to all of the different steps that go into selling a product, from production to the selling point.  

The program will last two years with the first one focusing on production and design and the second on business skills.  At the end of the program, they will have been exposed to whole new worlds, deepening their ability to make some choices for themselves.  They could end up starting their own home business or they might decide to go back to school, or they might have a new set of skills that will make them more employable in other jobs.

As important, the program participants will become a part of a new community, have a support system, and hopefully, increase their own self esteem.  The target population that I envision are single mothers who have hit a hard wall for one reason or another.  I also see this as a great opportunity for disabled women who may not be able to work in normal job settings and for women who have been incarcerated.  

I intend to steal great ideas from others who are working with similar projects, whether they are fair trade, micro-enterprise, cottage industry or back-to-work models.  The Sewing Project will be a transparent endeavor, using the blog to document the process as well as other resources we find along the way.  The goal is that after two years, we will have a program that can be replicated in other communities, using their own local resources.

Visit the blog.  Right now, I need a lot of support in two ways:  seed money and feedback.  Read the current needs page to find out more.  Spread the word!  And, I thank you in advance for your support.



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