Craft Napa 2017

I spent a fabulous day taking Sue Bleiweiss' "Screen It, Stamp It, Stencil It, Foil It, Use It!" workshop as part of Craft Napa 2017.  It was an early morning start, but the scenic drive was so lovely:  gorgeous sunrise colors, lush green thanks to all the rain we've been getting and even two hot air balloons floating above as I entered the Napa region.  I arrived with plenty of time to spare and even scored a complimentary breakfast ticket to an impressive breakfast buffet!

If you aren't already familiar with Sue Bleiweiss, she is an amazing fiber artist, SAQA mentor extraordinaire and an equally fabulous teacher!  For me this was a triple treat, especially since she lives/creates in Massachusetts, so all of our chats have been via Skype video.

From start to finish, Sue created a relaxed, yet inspiration-filled environment that was perfect for experimenting with new techniques, products and tools!  This began with a simple supply list (scissors and optional protective wear, kit fee) and included a kit that included 2 yards of canvas, handouts/resources and full use of the wide array of paints, embellishments and tools she brought with her.
Workshop Kit & Supplies
Sue led us in a few short demos that covered product information and application, some beautiful examples and then set us free to create!  We started by laying colorful foundations on our canvas backdrops from which we would then add layers of interest via embellishments.  
Laying the Foundation with Color!
Here are my four fabrics with their foundation layers of color...
Before Embellishments
Instead of watching paint dry, Sue kept us busy making our own unique stamps by cutting up crafter's foam and carving rubber blocks.
Craft Foam Rubber Stamps
Carved Rubber Stamp
During the lunch break, I had a chance to dine Sue and other Craft Napa attendees for a lively and entertaining meal.  Afterwards, I had a chance to check out the hotel grounds, which included a large pond that included geese, ducks and several ducklings!!  I also had a chance to visit Carol Soderlund and Melanie Testa's demonstrations, and add a newly signed copy of their new book "Playful Fabric Printing"!!  I also had a chance to check out the contents in the SWAG bag--so many awesome give aways and samples!!  As if that wasn't enough, after lunch I returned to my work station to find a little gift left by the fabric fairy:  triangle charm pack from Hoffman fabrics!
Craft Napa Take Aways:  Beautiful Scenery, SWAG Bags, Signed Books
After lunch, we got to work embellishing our fabrics with silk screening, painting, stenciling, stamping and foiling.  I had so much fun experimenting with the various paints and techniques, and watching my fabrics transform!
After Embellishments
And now what to do with all these beauties?!?  Sue provided us with instructions for making fabric covered journals as one possibility.  I foresee a canvas tote bag or two in my future.

I also foresee more fabric embellishment in my near future!  And luckily there was quite a bit of leftover paint that students were able to take to continue the fun at home!!  ]

Many thanks to Sue for an absolutely amazing workshop!!  Special thanks to Pokey Bolton and her team for hosting Craft Napa and making it such a creative and fun event!  I can't wait until 2018!!
"Screen It, Stamp It, Stencil It, Foil It, Use It!" Fun with Sue Bleiweiss


  1. Wow, Mel. What a great day you had! Perfect weather - right between storms, perfect venue, perfect results. If not perfect, then very inspiring. I know you'll take off from here in your own inimitable style.

    1. Oh yes...Such a fun, art-filled day!! I highly recommend checking out Craft Napa next year...they haven't announced teachers/dates yet...but draw some big names!! Looking forward to future experiments soon!

  2. Looks like fun! Great that she showed you how to make your own unique stamps.

    1. Yes--so many possibilities in making your own unique stamps. I'd also be interested in thermofax screens for screen printing. So much cool techniques/ little time to do it all!!


Post a Comment