Three New Fabrics!









I just got 30 swatches YAY! I will be releasing about 3 a day.

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Light Bulb Arrives!!

Woo Hoo my light bulb is here!

Actually it came to the museum last Thursday but we had snow, what is like a blizzard to the folks around here because we never get a big snow, so the pick-up arrangements were on Tuesday. So this giant light bulb has been in my SUV since Tuesday but I couldn’t get it out of the car myself. It weighs 130 pounds and it’s an awkward shape.  Finally, today, my son, son-in-law and brother-in-law got it out of the car for me.

Honestly, I have no idea how we will move this monster after I have done the mosaic interior part. As it is right now, with no additional weight, I can barely move it by dragging the blanket it’s on. Forget tipping it upright. I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

The next hurdle is figuring out the geometry of cutting it.

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New Fabric Designs

Yippie! I have 28 new fabric designs for sale!

Ya know…It’s been a bit of a struggle to get this going. Not to be on the pity pot, but this is about “Building Chinaberries” after all. The point of the blog has always been how to navigate the journey of growing a business.

You start out sitting in your dining room, craft room, garage, whatever…you are the greatest artist in the history of the world, right? There was a line in a movie once, I forget the movie or I would certainly give credit, but the girl says “I was the fastest runner in the world…until someone clocked me.” I really get that!

In this nebulous fantasy you suddenly get discovered. By some mysterious process, someone, some influential person sees your work. Maybe they saw it telepathically or maybe their cousin is a plumber who came to your house and saw your work and raved about it. Suddenly MoMA wants to buy everything you have and you have been invited to exhibit at the Venice Biennale. They picked you up in a limo! You are traveling the world and fabulous receptions are being given in your honor.You even travel to PARIS and you can afford to go shopping down the Champs Elysee!

Yeah, right.

In those silent moments in your basement studio, there really is a glimmer of truth about being a great artist. I really believe that. It’s because each one of us has a divine spark inside us. This spark is the pure truth of our unique selves. When we are absorbed in this spark-light, yes! we are great artists! That is the place where great art originates. I believe that, if a person can tap into this pure truth of themselves, and not edit it with doubts and second guessing, then great art happens. Doubts and second guessing completely kill it. Wondering what others will think kills it just as dead too.

BUT, it’s after that, when the brushes and beads are put away, that a person has to become a business person. Anyone who is following my blog knows how I feel about this part LOL. However, there are millions of us, so there it is.

So, back to Spoonflower and new designs. Spoonflower is a thread in my web. My main focus is my fine art, of course, but I love the POD (print on demand) idea. The reason is, you do the piece once and never need inventory, it can be for sale forever. It also makes a bigger web, all linked together and leading to all the other stuff. It does involve a bit of the dreaded business person work. Yes, I really do read the full TOS pages. Where’s the Advil? And some of the terms are not so good. Zazzle ripped me off once and I closed that store. So far I am very pleased with Spoonflower. I also have had some little success selling virtual items in the SecondLife Marketplace. That’s more for fun.

The struggle I mentioned earlier was about swatches. Spoonflower requires you buy a swatch before a design can be set for sale. This is right and reasonable. You have no way of knowing how the final product will look by the image on the computer screen. They need to be proofed. Swatches cost between $1.25 – $5.oo depending on the quantity. So for a long time I only had 17 designs for sale. I couldn’t afford more swatches. Here’s the original 17…


Then I joined SAGE, Surface Artists Guild of Excellence. After working pretty hard to post the SAGE mock-ups on Pinterest and Flickr, one of the group members, sweet Mary Wykes, contacted me. She said that she is so behind posting her own fabrics on Flickr and she noticed I needed swatches and could she hire me to do her postings so I could get swatches?!! Woo Hoo! Thank you, Mary ❤

You notice, she didn’t discover me telepathically, I was getting OUT THERE, even though it was online. I was busting my butt on promotions. Building Chinaberries.

So here, after much rambling, are the newest designs! And guess what? I ordered 30 more swatches yesterday! Watch this space!

You can see all my fabrics on home furnishings at Roostery


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AbleMUSE Review

The new edition, winter 2016, of Ablemuse Review just came out and I have an interview in there. I got to interview Mitch Dobrowner who photographs storms! He gets right up in them practically, sometimes getting pelted with hail. He’s a fascinating guy!



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Well, it’s been a few months that I have been involved in the SAGE Collective. Surface Artist’s Guild of Excellence. It’s been so much fun!

One reason it’s been fun is that I have a giant new palette to work with. Before, if I wanted to make a mock-up of clothing to showcase my fabrics, I was working with my own fabrics only. That’s fine, but NOW I have the fabrics of 23 other designers to play with. It’s fun getting to know them, which designers are fantastical? which are classic? which are cute? It’s like I just got a big new paint box.

This makes promotions way more fun and interesting. You know, as an artist, promotions can be a major drag when you want to be creating. Which would you rather do, play in the studio and paint and glue things; or sit on the brain draining computer and make sure your 1200 pictures have tags? Do you want to create patterns or read pages and pages of SEO information? No contest, right? Yet it has to be done. The world is not going to find me by discovering me in my basement. Even if I have things posted online, I am still in the company of hundreds of thousands of other designers and artists trying to get their stuff out there too. So that’s the situation. As an artist I have to do the promotion work. UGH. But now, with SAGE, it’s just more interesting and a little more fun AND I don’t feel alone. 23 other designers are also promoting me as I am promoting them. I feel it’s the same amount of work but the web presence is much much bigger now.

Now to the really fun part! The daily surprises! Just as these SAGE designer’s fabrics are a new toy for me, mine are a new toy for them too. Each one of the group has a different esthetic and sensibility. Just as our fabrics are different, so are our ways of putting them together. So, when I open Spoonflower and see a message about a new “sproutling” (that’s what we call them) I know it will be a treat to see what another designer has done with my fabric designs. I’m loving this!

This is why I would like to showcase what some of the other SAGE designers have done with my fabric designs…

Anne’s Sprout projects

Anne starts out her profile saying she is not an artist. Horse hockey! She’s very talented and she has a mathematical, scientific and vibrant flair. Here are two sproutlings she made with our fabrics:

#SAGE Sharon P & Anne’s Fractal Bag
– using Anne’s Fractal 48 and my Ripple Riot


#SAGE Sharon P & Anne’s Festive Blue and Red Dress
– using Anne’s Fractal 46 and my Wicked Web


Deborah Astley uses lovely, subtle, earthy color harmonies. She has a unique way of putting things together. Fabulous! I just LOVE the grey top!

#SAGE Collaboration
– using Deborah’s Handmade Paper of Abaca and my Fractal Sandstorm

sage-collaboratiion#SAGE Cotton Balls and Wanderings
-using Deborah’s Cotton Balls on Textured Brown and my Wanderings




Penney Hughes is a world traveler and it shows in her beautiful fabric designs. You can tell, just by looking at her designs, that she is interested in everything she sees and enjoys it all.

#SAGE bluegrass Festival Shirt
-using Penney’s Strumming the Strings Blue Small and my Fractal Sandstorm

#SAGE Relaxed African Style
-using Penney’s Mudcloth Squares Ochre and my Fractal Zebra

sage-relaxed-african-style-patternDesigned by Debby

Debby’s designs are very cheerful and fun! Her fabrics have beautiful harmonies with lively pops of color accents – just a lovely sense of joie de vivre!

#SAGE Trellis Envy Dress
-using Karenspix’s KRLGFabricPattern_56large and my Rusty Trellis

#SAGE Purple Rain Apron
-using Debby’s Wildflowers on Red, magentarose’s  Purple Rain and my Wicked Web

#SAGE Multi-Design Lark Tee
-using Debby’s  Aqua Stained Glass, Floramoon Designs’ Fall Beauty and my Rusty Trellis


Just a note – this Trellis Envy dress doesn’t contain a bit of Debby’s own fabric. Just to explain how generous this is, Spoonflower pays the designer by the percentage of fabric design used in the sale. If that dress pattern sells, Debby will get diddly-squat. Only Karen and I will benefit. She’s done this before with other sproutlings. Give her a click <3!



Floramoon Designs

Kelly has such a playful imagination. She manages to combine a youthful freedom with a classic design sense, creating fabrics that are fun and fanciful.

#SAGE Being Cozy
-using Kelly’s Pink Fizz, MagentaRose’s Christmas Cracker and my Beaded Garden

sage-being-cozy#SAGE Black and White Style
-using Kelly’s Night on the Tiles and Mosaic, and my Fractal Zebra


#SAGE Boho and Stars
-using Kelly’s Catch a Falling Star and my Boho Blues


#SAGE Boho Dream 
-using Kelly’s Dreamstate and my Boho Blues



#SAGE in the Green
-using Kelly’s Spring Greens, Maryyx’s Early Bird Gets the Worm in Colorful Medley of Birds, Worms and Coffee Cups – orange, yellow, blue, purple, lime green reflection and my Rusty Trellis (I can’t help cracking up that the smallest piece of fabric has the hugest name LOL)


#SAGE Hot Asteridea
-using Kelly’s Asteridea 2 and my Red Hot Fly Dye How fun is this?


#SAGE Plum Crane and Beaded garden
-using Kelly’s Moroccan Dream and Plum & Crane, and my Beaded Garden



Carol’s designs are bold and a bit on the wild side with a touch of whimsy thrown in. I just love her work. OMG I want that “Great Balls of Fire Red Hot” top! It’s amazing!

#SAGE Noisy Splat Plaid
-using Carol’s Purple Noise Patterned @400% Scale and my Splat Plaid


#SAGE Great Balls of Fire Red Hot
-using Carol’s Great Balls of Fire! and my Red Hot Fly Dye



Patti’s fabrics have a lovely, flowing, organic quality. Her designs seem to have the freedom of ocean currents running through them, and in fact, several of them feature sea creatures. Love love love them!

#SAGE Collaborations-Greenlotus-ChinaberriesStudio
-using Patti’s Carnation Fans in Color and my Rusty Trellis



Mary has some vibrant, swirly fabrics that are amazing. She also has some fanciful birds that are derived from her fine art work. Another nice thing about working with Mary’s designs is that she has coordinates that come in different scales and stripes that have sets of horizontal, vertical AND DIAGONAL! This makes it fun to work with them since Sprout is so new you can’t rotate anything yet. They are working on that.

#SAGE Frost in the Meadow
-using Mary’s Bella Nina 6 – Soft Pastel Green Solid and my Winter Tree


#SAGE Purple Fantasy Tween Wings
-using Mary’s Cosmic Dance, where energy flows and sparks fly – Lavender, Periwinkle, Pink and Dali Dreams, aqua, lavender, purple and a delightful pastel lime green, lengthwise grain, vertical orientation, large scale and my Splat Plaid


#SAGE Mango Mandy Collaboration
-using Mary’s Mango Mandy with her Colorful Plumage and a Sunburst Border, half drop repeat, orange, yellow, green, purple and my Rusty Trellis


#SAGE Singin’ the Blues
-using Mary’s Bella Nina 3 – Vertical Pinstripe teal blue and my Boho Blues


#SAGE Jammin’ Jammies
-using Mary’s AW 2 – Geometric Trellis Matrix in maroon, mauve and teal, large scale, vertical and AW 2 – Geometric Trellis Matrix in maroon mauve and teal, large scale, horizontal and my Boho Blues  – (She made this to match a pair of PJ pants that I made)


#SAGE Tribal Wonder
-using Mary’s Eagles Soaring, Bella Nina 18 Diamonds and my Red Hot Fly Dye



Michael is a very talented and skilled designer with a vast knowledge of art history and the art of many cultures. It’s really a pleasure working with his designs.

#SAGE Blue Kimono
-using Michael’s Polynésie 1e and my Boho Blues



Sylvie has a flair for geometry and rich colors. She also has a series of designs called “Tibet Inspiration” and some “Mandalas” that I Love Love Love. They delight the boho-hippie in me.

#SAGE Sleeping Among Flowers


#SAGE Indian Gypsy Blouse
-using Sylvie’s INDIAN FEATHER SPIRIT STRIPES and my Wicked Web


#SAGE Elves of the Forest Friendship
-using Sylvie’s GIVE ME YOUR HAND ! LEAFY ELF WOODLAND CREATURES, anneostroff’s Fractal 65 and my Rusty Trellis (how cute is this?)


#SAGE Elves of the Forest Friendship Apron
-using Sylvie’s GIVE ME YOUR HAND ! LEAFY ELF WOODLAND CREATURES, anneostroff’s Fractal 65 and my Rusty Trellis


#SAGE Indian Flowers and Splat Plaid 
-using Sylvie’s LIKE IN INDIA Large PastelLIKE IN INDIA PASTEL UNCOMMON STRIPES and my Splat Plaid



Rhonda’s designs are classic and full of texture and detail. She also has a number of fascinating designs that were created from photographs from the garden. These are really cool and interesting. The little square Spoonflower displays doesn’t really do them justice. You need to click the text link “view original” to see the lush depth of texture.

#SAGE The Hidden Thorn in Boho Blues
-using her The Hidden Thorn – Dark and my Boho Blues


This is a set…#SAGE Golden Pewter Dots on Maze Mania (the top) and #SAGE Golden Pewter Dots on Maze Mania (the skirt)
-both using Rhonda’s Pewter Pin Dot Patterns on Antique Gold and my Maze Mania


Shi Designs

Sharon’s designs are all fabulous but my favorites are the ones that look like tile. It’s as though she took some renaissance design, some damask and some tribal and whipped them up in a blender and poured out something uniquely hers.

#SAGE Graphic Organic Modern Tote
-using Sharon’s Marble Marquetry, Island Tribal Print 2 Charcoal on White, Arabesque Black & White,  and my Fractal Zebra


#SAGE Boho Blues Button Up
-using her Shibori Diamonds Denim and my Boho Blues


So these are the sweet surprises I have found on my doorstep some mornings (in my messages). Isn’t that a lovely thing? I have to say, joining a collective was a smart move.

After writing up this blog entry, am I seeing a theme here? I am thinking that everyone likes Boho Blues the best. I guess it’s time to make it in other colorways. 🙂

Thanks for visiting ❤

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Hole Punch Dots

This is just a little taste of a collage I am working on, just a detail of the center. This is made with hole punch dots. The next part to work on is her hair and I am imagining a fancy headdress made of keys, but I’m still mulling that over.



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Spoonflower Designs

Wow, I have been very wrapped up in spoonflower these days. For one thing, I am waiting on some of the fine art projects in my life.

The light-bulb hasn’t arrived yet. I am pricing out materials and getting my plan down, but besides that I can’t do much yet. I can’t buy the materials until I get the stipend.

I was invited to do another artist interview for Ablemuse. It’s an exciting one! I am interviewing a photographer who chases storms! Mitch Dobrowner. A MAAAA ZING. But, at the moment I am waiting on an email about that.

Meanwhile, the SAGE group takes some promotion, but not only that, it makes me aware of how neglected my own promotions have been. That’s a very good thing in the end. I know all you artists LOVE doing the art – but the business part is a big migraine, isn’t it? Yes, it is! Spending an hour making sure 75 links are correct is nowhere near as fun as gluing beads or selecting decorative papers for a collage. It’s even more of a drag than sharpening pencils. (by the way we have some new SAGE members but the page has a list if you want to check everyone out)

I must say, joining a group makes it a bit more fun and less lonely. Why is that? Well for one thing, there are fun surprises when another designer pops up and says they made a “sproutling” (that’s what we call them) using theirs and my designs together. It’s even more fun when it’s something I never would have thought of. It frees up inspiration too.

Meanwhile, back at Chinaberries Studio, an old friend just popped up and asked me if I wanted to be on her blog. YES! I met Meryl & David of Tn Wallpaper Hanger as customers when I worked at Frazee Paint and Wallcovering in San Diego. I was running the Wallcovering department. The live in Nashville, Tennessee now. These guys do great work!

So, in celebration of being on an honored place in Mayrl and David’s blog…..
Here are my Spoonflower designs as they look as wallpaper!




I guess the point of today’s post is….I get by with a little help from my friends!

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