Collaboration with Carrie Knowles : “The Inevitable Past”

Carrie is a dear friend and a VERY talented writer and artist! I was really honored that she asked me to collaborate with her on creating a large-scale piece of artwork. This particular piece will be presented at a special exhibition at the Brisbane Institute of Art in Brisbane, Australia, November 11th – 24th.

That means I’ll have my work internationally viewed!! Ha!!

The exhibition pairs her writing with our visual art piece. I would never be able to do justice in describing her story, and recommend you read her synopsis of the story and the accompanying art in her own well-written words.  🙂

To summarize, the piece is to represent the DNA double helix, drifting as if in a breeze. The piece is a continuous 6.4 meter-long (~7 yards) piece of linen, that we worked on in my home studio. Dyeing a piece that large meant getting really creative in utilizing the limited space in my studio. We wound up dyeing 7-foot portions of the linen (the size of my work table), and then shifting the entire fabric over. It took several passes, and 2 days!

We first put soy wax down to represent a double helix image. I have never done batik on linen, and it was a fun experience, since it absorbs wax very differently than silk! Same thing goes for the hand brushed dye that we subsequently applied in shades of red, orange, and yellow.

I rolled the fabric up at the end of each day, and let it “steep” in its dampness. Working with linen meant I needed to use soda ash to activate the fiber-reactive dye, and keep it damp for 12-24 hours. It fortunately requires that I don’t steam it. Apparently, the steam would be bad for the linen. When I dye silk, I don’t use soda ash to activate the dye… as I found out in 2012, before my first fashion show ever, when the soda ash pretty much ATE some of my fabric; so as I took the fabric out of the washer, it literally fell apart in my hands!!!! Instead now, I steam the silk fabric to activate and set the fiber-reactive dye.  It works fabulously, and also removes most of the wax in the process!  Double awesome!

Well, I was super happy with the results of working with linen.  It has such a fantastic, heavy, earthy, but soft hand, and of course the soy wax left no stiff residue!!

If you happen to be in Brisbane, swing by the Brisbane Institute of Arts, and check out this exhibit!! Oh, and send me photos!!

P.S. Carrie has a new book, A Garden Wall in Provence. I certainly recommend reading this!

Work in progress shots…

The whole piece!CarrieKnowles_FullWidth

Close-up of the embroidered pieces…CarrieKnowles_7

Trampled Mud… my most recent material in Substance Designer

Created in Substance Designer, rendered in Marmoset Toolbag 3.
This trampled mud material, has a trampled field look, complete with puddles, pebbles, and light twigs.
Go see it in Marmoset Viewer at


Photos from the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival, May 21, 2017

I have always loved taking photos.  Recently, I’ve reached out, and have done some event photography!
Raleighwood Media Group invited me to take photos of their annual Raleigh Food & Wine Festival Sunday Tasting Event, that was held on May 21st at the beautiful and historic Melrose Knitting Mill.

Please follow the link for all of the photos.  Below are some previews.

What a wonderful event!!

Couture for a Cause 2015 was a smashing success, in so many ways!

The event was fun and vibrant, brought in record-breaking funds for Activate Good! and I’m really thrilled with the two pieces I made for the show!!!

I hope that I did a good job highlighting and celebrating the LGBT Center of Raleigh with my two gorgeous kimonos…

Couture 2015-1795Couture 2015-1792

Left Model: Diana Cameron McQueen
Right Model: AnneMarie Brown

Photography: J Clark Images Photography
Hair: TONE Hair Salon
Makeup: Front Row Cosmetics


Thank you!! Let’s do even more, and I’ll show you my appreciation!!!

Thank you all so much for your generosity in helping me raise MORE than the required $200 for Activate Good’s Couture for a Cause!

This year, I am designing two looks for the runway that represent and are inspired by the LGBT Center of Raleigh this year.  I truly love the work they do to support the LGBT population in my area of North Carolina, many of whom are dear friends of mine (and yours!!)

As you may know, I design under the name Leopold Designs, and hand-dye the silk fabric that goes into making my garments for the runway.

What I’d like to do is up the ante…. and I want to show you my appreciation for helping me get to a new goal of $1000.  If you help me reach this new fundraising goal, I will raffle off 5 (yes, FIVE) of my hand-dyed Leopold Designs silk scarves to 5 of you!

CLICK HERE for the link to the fundraiser!

Here is a sneak peek at the Couture look’s fabric…
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Source: Thank you!! Let’s do even more, and I’ll show you my appreciation!!!

Couture for a Cause 2015: the MOST fun one ever

Now look here……… Activate Good’s Couture for a Cause is going to be a flipping BLAST this year!
There are musicians, a dj, this POETRY FOX, amazing silent auction items, and OH YEAH…. FASHION!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am designing to highlight the LGBT Center of Raleigh.

Check out the photo below to see my work in progress!
Seriously….You should do the following (in either order):
a.) Chip in to help me win the PRIZE for raising the most funds for the cause at :
2.) Buy TICKETS for this amazing fun night!!

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Learn Shibori with Indigo from me!

Let’s have a great time, and do some Shibori together for a few hours!!!
Join me in this fun, hands-on class, where you’ll learn the basics of this beautiful method of dyeing!!

Shibori is a Japanese technique of binding, stitching, and clamping fabric to create pattern when dye is applied. Loosely, you could call it “Japanese Tie-dye”.

No experience is necessary!!   Come ready to learn and get your hands dirty!  At the end of class, you’ll take home this new skill and your dyed fabrics that could be used as tea towels, place mats or made into beautiful pillows for your home.

Saturday, October 24th, from 10:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Click here to register.

Gather’s NEW location in Raleigh!!
715 N. Person Street
Raleigh, NC 27604
*NOTE: Entrance is located on Franklin Street, next to 212 E. Franklin St.


Please help me raise money for Activate Good!

Friends… This is my THIRD time taking part in Activate Good’s Couture for a Cause.  Each year chosen designers design a couture look and a ready-to-wear look to walk the runway, which highlights the nonprofits that Activate Good works with, and each group’s contribution to our community.

This year, I am designing two fun, elegant kimonos to bring light and awareness to the LGBT Center of Raleigh. Those two looks will be premiered the night ofNovember 7th, at the Raleigh Convention Center.  Tickets are available HERE.

In lieu of the auction during the fashion show, each of the designers need to raise $200 each.  
This will ensure that we all meet our fundraising goal, but also, this is a contest!! The designer who raises the most money gets a really great prize.  I would really love to bring in the most funds on behalf of my non-profit, and having the added honor of winning this prize would be super spectacular!

Please help me raise the funds by donating anything (even a little bit) you can!! Here is the link to that:

Thank you all!!!