All The News: Grunewald Guild

I will be teaching at the Grunewald Guild in beautiful Plain, Washington (near Leavenworth in the Cascade mountains) again this year. I’ve been associated with Grunewald for 26 years now, and have only missed a couple of years for teaching. This year I have moved to the spring session instead of the summer. (August gets too toasty in the Plain valley for me to be comfortable.)

The Spring Sacred Arts Week starts May first. There are morning teaching sessions Monday through Friday, and students have the afternoons to do as they please – stay in the studio and work on their projects, take a hike in the hills around the Guild, play tourist in the Bavarian style village of Leavenworth, take a nap, read a good book, whatever comes to mind.

My class for the week is “Fabric Shrines for the Personal Altar”. We’ll explore three basic shapes/construction methods that will provide the basis for designing your own in the future. These are structures that are hard sided and will stand up on their own, and can be decorated in any way you might choose, or left relatively plain as the background for whatever objects you might add to them. There are a few examples included in this blog entry.

A word about shrines: my basic definition is that a shrine is anything that commemorates or memorializes a person, place, or event. I have had students make shrines to a beloved family member or friend, a traditional religious interpretation, honoring the victims of 9/11, and even one homage to her tomato garden. The choice is up to you.

Registration is now open for this week at: Click on Programs, and then Spring Sacred Arts.

I hope to see some of you there, or elsewhere sometime soon. If you are planning to go to the Quilter’s Anonymous show in Monroe, I may see you there, as I plan to go on Friday morning, March 18. But even if you can’t go Friday, try to go Saturday or Sunday. They always put on a good show!

Peace, my little chickadees! Larkin

All The News: Birds of a Feather

Recently I dropped off my entry for an upcoming exhibit at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Art Museum in LaConner. The “Birds of a Feather” exhibit has become an annual event at the museum, drawing entries from all over the place.

My entry is called “Faire Ireland”, and was inspired by the wide variety of birds in the air, as well as those creatures that hide in the shadows.

Faire Ireland by Larkin Jean Van Horn, 2021
Faire Ireland (detail) by Larkin Jean Van Horn, 2021

The exhibit opens on January 26 and closes February 27, so make plans to see it soon. The museum is currently open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The address is: 703 South 2nd Street in LaConner. Be sure to check the website in case their hours have changed recently due to Covid.

Be well, my little chickadees. Stay warm and dry and healthy. Peace, Larkin

A Little Year End Note

Greetings, my little chickadees! It’s been a busy fall, and now we approach winter with it’s longer, darker days and all the uncertainty we’ve been dealing with for so long. But we can still hope and work for a better new year full of friends and family and the joy of creating.

I don’t make a lot of holiday specific pieces, but I have chosen a few from my collection.

In November I had my first carpal tunnel surgery. It’s healing up nicely, though not as quickly as I had hoped. I can do most things fairly well, but no gripping or twisting of bottle caps for awhile yet. I can drive pretty well with one and a half hands, so I haven’t been entirely confined to home. The second surgery will be December 22nd (Happy Birthday to me!) My hand surgeon doesn’t want me doing any handwork until the end of February (NERTZ!!) but I’ll survive!

I will be closing down the comments function of this blog as soon as I can figure out how to do it. It seems to attract a gazillion spam posts and trollish comments, and I am frankly tired of dealing with them. I can think of a lot of better ways to spend my time. The contact link will stay live and you can always reach me that way. I get a lot less spam that way.

No matter how (or if) you choose to celebrate, I wish you love, joy, peace, and many blessings through the holidays and in the coming year. And thank you, dear chickadees, for your support and kindness through the years. You have been good company. Enjoy this sparkly time of year!


All The News: Latimer Exhibit – More Details

The Whirlwinds and Whirlpools exhibit at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Art Museum has closed, and thirteen of the pieces from that exhibit have moved to new homes. The balance of the collection (32 pieces) will be traveling next week to the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon. In addition to walls for hanging quilts, the Latimer also has a couple of glass display cases, so I will also be taking a selection of my extravagantly beaded neckpieces, shrines, totems/dolls, and a house and box to fill out the exhibit. I am delighted that these 3-D pieces will get some exhibition time!

One change from my previous post about this exhibit is the date of the closing reception. Originally planned for Saturday, October 30, it has moved to Sunday, October 31 – Halloween! It’s tempting to try to come up with a costume for the reception, but at the very least, I will have a holiday appropriate face mask for the event! The reception will be from noon to 4 p.m., and then the show will come down and I will bring it all home.

I have a few things planned for the long winter months, not the least of which is a major studio clean out. I keep running into things that I honestly cannot remember why I acquired them in the first place. Time for them to move on. I also unearthed a series I started back in 2015, and I plan to work on it through the darker months as a sort of pick-me-up.

For now, be well my little chickadees! Stay safe and create extravagantly! Larkin

All The News: Grunewald Guild

Hawk’s Prairie by Larkin Jean Van Horn

For the past 20+ years, I have been offering week long classes as part of the summer program at the Grunewald Guild. For those who may not know, the Guild is nestled in the Plain valley, not far from the charming little Bavarian style town of Leavenworth, Washington in the Cascade Mountains. Over the years I have taught art quilting, fabric dyeing, stamp and stencil making, 3-D fabric vessel making, and more, but have never taught my Extravagant Beadwork class there – until this year.

Summer Dragonfly by Larkin Jean Van Horn

After closing last year due to Covid-19, they are opening up for several weeks of classes this year, with some restrictions in place. They will be operating at about half-capacity, and all those who wish to attend must be vaccinated. My class will run August 1-7, 2021 and you can get all the details at the Guild website:

Sea Turtles by Larkin Jean Van Horn

I am really looking forward to offering this class at the Guild. We’ve usually included a little side lesson on beading on fabric in my other classes, but this time the beadwork will be the main show. Students will get to design their own projects, and I will help them get where they are going. The samples I’ve posted here are all detail shots of some pretty extravagant jewelry of mine, but you could also choose to make a beaded doll, add beads to a quilt or wall hanging, decorate the top of a fabric box, or anything else you want to try. The class information says you won’t need a sewing machine, but I will bring one along in case someone needs to run something up quickly.

Spring Rain by Larkin Jean Van Horn

I would love to have you all in class, my little chickadees, but the class size is restricted to 10, so go the website and click on Programs, then on the highlighted Summer Session to get to class information and registration and all the details. Feel free to holler if I can help explain anything.

Be well, stay safe, and carry on! Larkin

All The News: Latimer Quilt and Textile Center

Growth Spiral by Larkin Jean Van Horn

“All the news that’s fit to print”, a phrase coined by Adolph S. Ochs in 1897 as the slogan for the New York Times, has been quoted all over the place since I can remember. As an homage to the NYT and Mr. Ochs, I plan to use the first three words as the start of announcements on my blog that indicate things that have dates attached – exhibits, teaching gigs, etc. So here goes:

My exhibit, “Whirlwinds and Whirlpools”, will close at the LaConner Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum in LaConner, Washiongton on Sunday, August 1st. It will open at the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon on Wednesday, September 8th, where it will remain until October 31st. There will be a closing reception on October 30th (dependent upon the state of the Covid-19 situation as regards to gatherings at that point). I am always looking for a way to get out of the city and out to the coast, so I am delighted the show will travel there. Be sure to check the center’s website for hours of operation and other details:

Stay safe and well, my little chickadees! Larkin

Stress Fracture by Larkin Jean Van Horn

Whirlwinds and Whirlpools

Abundance by Larkin Jean Van Horn

Long before it became loosely connected to eastern meditation, and massively commercialized, doodling was something nearly everyone did. I have very clear memories of having to copy my homework “without the border decoration, Miss!” School seemed, at times, like one long, not-terribly-exciting program to get kids to conform. And one way they did that was by squelching our artistic impulses. The 11th Commandment might just as well have been “Thou shalt not doodle in the margins”. (I will stipulate that your mileage may have varied.)

A Bright New Day by Larkin Jean Van Horn

Some things don’t change much as time goes by. Then, as now, my doodles are small and usually involve a spiral or several, and lots of curved lines. They are mostly abstract, though I have been known to draw a fairly reasonable dragon head when the occasion called for it. In late 2019 I started playing with the idea of turning my doodles into fabric art. For this, I enlisted the aid of my local photocopy shop to blow the drawings up to a reasonable size. We settled on 300% after a couple of false starts. After scheduling the exhibit, I set two goals: 1) have 45 pieces ready to hang, and 2) honor the experimental nature of the process by including every piece I made, even if I wasn’t too sure about them.

In The Depths by Larkin Jean Van Horn

Though I hadn’t known it would turn out this way, working on this series helped me get through the massive life disruption of the pandemic. Without a deadline, there would have been a whole lot more binge-watching old TV shows and re-reading murder mysteries from the 1950s. (Don’t get me wrong. There was still plenty of that!) So I am grateful to the lovely folks at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Art Museum for giving me something to work towards for the last year and a half. (Shout out to Amy and Jenny!)

Sea Kelp by Larkin Jean Van Horn

I plan to spend the day at the museum on May 5, though there will be no formal reception due to the pandemic. And now, a word from our sponsor (as they used to say when television was live!) Be well, my little chickadees!

The mission of the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum is to present exhibitions and educational programs in all fiber arts that enrich and inspire, honor cultural traditions, and celebrate the creative spirit. The Museum hosts local, national and international exhibits and educational programs in all fiber arts. A nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization, the museum is located at 703 South 2nd Street, La Conner, WA and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. More details can be found at

Walking Meditation (detail) by Larkin Jean Van Horn

NWDC BAM Benefit

Members of the Northwest Designer Craftsmen (including yours truly) are participating in a virtual exhibition to benefit the Bellevue Art Museum. NWDC members were invited to submit work for the exhibit, which were then juried for inclusion. The exhibit opens this Friday at the website address on the flyer below.

My entry is called “Winged Messengers” and is shown right below the date 1/3/21 on the flyer, but that’s awfully small to see any detail, so here’s a couple more photos.

I know I’ve been away from the blog for awhile. Hopefully I will get my blogging mojo back soon, and be back to posting more regularly. Meanwhile, everyone please stay safe and healthy, and have a blessed holiday season amid these very strange times.

Peace, Larkin

Last Saturday

Remember those awful essays we had to write during the first week of school after having almost three months off? The title was always “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”, and it was required that we all stand up and read ours to the class so the more well-to-do among us could brag about their trips to Italy (or whatever), and the ones unfortunate enough to break a leg (or whatever) could play for sympathy. Yuck!

That’s not what this blog post is about. It’s about keeping your eyes open and noticing what’s going on while you are on your way to or from somewhere. This is what I saw last Saturday:

  • Bright blue sky, interspersed among heavy grey clouds
  • The first rainbow of 2020
  • Snow geese, both in fields and flying overhead
  • The flooded fields of the Skagit Valley
  • Several redtail hawks in trees along the roads, neatly spaced about 1/2 mile apart (they tend to be rather territorial)
  • Great blue herons hunting for lunch in flooded ditches
  • The Skagit River, running high and fast
  • Horses standing in muddy paddocks
  • A fabulously colorful sunset behind Camano Island
  • A large bright white full moon in a deep blue sky

And where was I going to and from, you ask, that I got to see all these marvels? I drove up to LaConner for the opening of a new exhibit by the Whidbey Island Surface Design group (WISD). I was a member of WISD when I lived on the island, and couldn’t pass up a chance to see their new show. And it was great to see some friends and do a little catching up. No photographs permitted, so I don’t have any pictures to show you, but I was blown away, not only by the quality of the work, but also the amazing diversity of style, content, and techniques. For more information, visit the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum website:

That’s all the news for now, my little chickadees! Stay warm and dry, but also take some time to get out there and see what there is to be seen. It can change your mind, your attitude, and your perspective.

Peace, Larkin

Back To Work

It’s nearly the end of January, and time for me to get back to the studio in a more serious way. My exhibit in LaConner has come down, and I have three pieces in the new exhibit on the ground floor which is called “Birds of a Fiber”. If you are in the LaConner area, be sure to drop in at the Pacific Northwest Museum of Quilt and Fiber Arts. I was there while they were hanging the show, and got a preview. There is some truly wonderful work to be seen.

But the fact remains, that I have work to do, and I have been taking it rather easy since Christmas. Partly this is because I got a truly rotten cold in early December that had me coughing day and night for weeks. But also, I tend to take January pretty easy, doing some catch up reading and hanging out with friends (and if truth be told, avoiding driving in the snow. I know, I’m a wimp!).

The work I have to do is part of a series I am working on for an exhibit scheduled for late summer 2021. I have finished the first few, and am pretty happy with the results. The further I go into the series, the more complex and interesting they get. But the early ones were inspired by a simple line drawing in an old sketchbook, that finally had a chance to make it to the work table.

“Trinity” by Larkin Jean Van Horn

Be well, my little chickadees. Stay warm and dry, and mind your health. Peace and many blessings, Larkin.