Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Shepard’

LisaOutdoorsCEHey everyone, and Happy 2020!  Welcome to a brand new year, the perfect time to hit the ground running ; )  I know many of you are engaged in your creative businesses, or planning to launch your business soon. Congratulations, that is Excellent!  And like some of the talented individuals I’ve helped over the years, you might feel as though you need some help focusing your business, whether it’s tightening up your actual creative techniques, getting over your Sewcrastination, or wanting some insight into marketing and developing your business  —  trust me, I get it!


With more creatives deciding to start or further develop their businesses than ever before, I decided to give more structure to the way I’ve been helping others.  So, in Fall 2019 I launched Artisan Business Coaching just for you!  With over 20 years growing the Cultured Expressions brand, and over 30 years in the sewing/quilting/craft industry altogether, I’ve experienced a lot, I’ve figured out a lot, and I’m still enjoying the journey!

If you feel YOU are at a point where you and your business can benefit from a coaching relationship, check out Artisan Business Coaching and complete the contact form online., or call me at 866-MUDCLOTH.

**** And as a New Year’s Get Busy bonus, I’m offering an extra bit of motivation: Sign on by January 31 and get 10% off Cultured Expressions products for the length of your coaching!  Just mention this blog post.

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Who’s ready to create some fun new pieces to wear, carry, or enjoy at home?   Our Spring/Summer schedule is here, and I think you’ll find something(s) of interest to spark your creativity ; )  If you’re in the vicinity of our Studio in Rahway, NJ, or your summer travels bring you close by, join us for a creativity break!

And if you see a class you like but your schedule doesn’t quite match ours, let me know – we’re flexible and will try to accommodate you on another date – even better, our custom dates are easier to arrange if you have a group of three or more.

Each project is completed in one session, from 2 hours to 5.5 hours, so if you’re traveling, consider booking two workshops to make the most of your time here.  Not only do we have a discount arranged with a beautiful new hotel one block away, there are also great restaurants and more within a couple of blocks, too!  So, review all of this season’s offerings, and contact us to register or get more information!

#1417mainstreet #RahwayNJ



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Ready to plan your next creative escape?  Or, maybe your first one? Cultured Expressions is here to help  ; ) with a quick sneak peek for our 2018 SewJourn adventures!  Brochures are coming soon, but you’ll want to mark your calendars and plan to join us in Colorado and Santa Fe/Albuquerque!

We’re planning a fun new twist for our Colorado Mountain Retreat…this year, it’s morphed into The Wine Lovers’ Quilt Retreat.  Think of of as a 4-night sip-n-sew pajama party…’Nuff said!  Learn to pair wines not only with foods, but with your creative projects!  Enjoy time to work on your own projects, along with my mini workshop, a field trip into Denver. It all takes place in the mountains August 8-12, 2018 and the retreat house is located about 1 hour outside of Denver.  Details are being firmed up now.

Save the Dates: SewJourns 2018!

Likewise, we’re switching up our SewJourn to Santa Fe just a bit —  Master indigo artist Gasali Adeyemo returns as our featured instructor — this time, he’s sharing his expertise in traditional batik!  If you’ve taken his adire workshops, this 2-day batik intensive will round out your experience in Yoruba textile arts.  And we’ll soak up the knowledge of other area artisans as well, bringing home unique self-crafted souvenirs…  October 3-9, 2018

Once details are confirmed, we’ll publish the brochures.  If you’re interested, pelase don’t delay – our SewJourns seem to fill up faster each year, and space is limited to ensure a personal experience for everyone.   African fabrics, culture, food and drink with like-minded friends…Do not miss out!!

(Batik photo: Gasali Adeyemo)

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#AfricanFabricMonth - Let the Giveaways Begin ; )It’s time for our first African Fabric Month giveaway for 2017, inspired by my “Jamaica Blue Mountain” fabric postcard! It started with a piece if extra firm heavyweight fusible craft interfacing, cut about 4″ x 6″. I fused the background fabric to it and layered the appliques to make the design. Note that the rust/orange sky section and the brown/green earth section are a single jacquard batik fabric!  Jacquard batiks make the BEST landscape quilts.  After it’s all arranged and stitched, I cut a piece of backing fabric about 1/4″ larger all around than the postcard, pressed the edges up and over to the front of the postcard, and stitched the raw edges into place as the binding… I love raw edge applique  ; )  and fabric postcards are a nice alternative to regular greeting cards (have you seen the price of greeting cards lately??!!)  If you want to write a message, fuse plain muslin to the center on the back and write with a permanent fineline fabric pen.

The second postcard shown here is one I did several years ago – it turned out to be kind of a landscape/ seascape look, complete with dimensional flowers.  The size is about 4″ x 6″, perfect for playing around with a new technique in a quick project you’ll actually finish.

What are you working on this African Fabric Month?  Comment below now thru this Wednesday for a chance to win a versatile scrap bundle and postcard interfacing for experimentation!  And whether you win or not, please continue to use the #AfricanFabricMonth and #SewAfrican on your African fabric posts all month long.  It’s our second year, let’s GROW this thing!!! Thank you and Good Luck to All!!

#AfricanFabricMonth - Let the Giveaways Begin ; )

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Today brings our first #AfricanFabricMonth to a close!  Thanks to all who participated.  Of course, every month is AFM for most of us, but still it was fun to designate a special month!  And we look forward to growing it bigger in 2017 and beyond.  Until then, we wind up this inaugural month with another opportunity to show off, and to help keep the creative energy flowing right into October — I wanted to remind you to enter CE’s Fun and Easy Handbag Challenge!


Bag by Akonnoba Designs

Simply email a photo and 1-2 sentence description, including the maker’s name between now and October 10.  We’ll show them all off on this blog at the close of the Challenge, then choose one lucky winner to receive a selection of handbag-making supplies & goodies, including a copy of my third book, African Accents On The Go!  No entry forms, no fees…no excuses not to enter  ; )  Email your entry to info@CulturedExpressions.com

You don’t necessarily have to make something new for the Challenge now, but if you’re looking for inspiration, check out DIY Handbag Highlights.

We’re lovin’ the entries we’ve received so far, and there is still plenty of time to send yours.  It can be an oversized weekender bag, a wallet, crossover, satchel, zippered pouch, Vintage coin purse, or any size in between.  Mix your favorite African fabrics with accents of upholstery, leather or anything else.

Enter CE's Fun and Easy Handbag Challenge!              Enter CE's Fun and Easy Handbag Challenge!

Enter CE's Fun and Easy Handbag Challenge!

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#AfricanFabricMonth - Hashtag Fridays #2 is TOMORROW! WoodMaskPiece2

REMINDER:  In honor of #AfricanFabricMonth, post your African fabric home dec pics TOMORROW on Instagram to win!  It’s Week #2 of Cultured Expressions‘  joint giveaway with Harlem Needle Arts… Check out the DETAILS here, and start tagging tomorrow at 10am — Good Luck to All!

Shown: My mini wall hanging featuring kuba raffia cloth, upholstery fabric, assorted batiks, twigs and wood mask from Ghana.  Schedule a Wood Mask Wall hanging workshop for your group!

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#AfricanFabricMonth…Win Fabric on Fridays in September!  Take the #AfricanFabricMonth Challenge, co-sponsored by Cultured Expressions and Harlem Needle Arts…

#AfricanFabricMonth - dashiki decorFor four Fridays during the month (September 9,16, 23 and 30), we challenge all African Fabric Lovers to post Instagram photos of your favorite African fabric projects between 10:00am and 12 Noon EST, and be sure to include #AfricanFabricMonth!  All pictures posted with the hashtag will be entered into random drawings for Fabrigasmic fabric prizes provided weekly by Harlem Needle Arts and Cultured Expressions!

Share images of how you use African Fabric in your home décor.  Show off throw pillows, quilts, wall hangings, upholstery, draperies, shower curtains, table settings, etc. in textiles like Ankara prints, Bogolan/Mudcloth, Batiks, Brocade, Adire (tie and dye), Aso-oke, Adinkra cloth, Kuba, and Kente.  Take pics of your existing decor, or create something new just for the Challenge.(Shown above is a daskihi-print-as-tablecloth, and for a little extra credit, a kuba cloth on the upper-right wall. Below, Glen’s  piano bench, which I quickly reupholstered in classic black/cream bogolan.)

Of course, you can hashtag your creations throughout September – then just re-post your favorites during the hours of the Challenge.   And be sure to follow @iamharlemneedlearts and #AfricanFabricMonth - PianoBenchREDO@culturedexpressions on Instagram for great AFM inspiration all month long,and beyond!

Thanks to the illustrious Michelle Bishop of Harlem Needle Arts for co-sponsoring!  You might remember our interview with her in the 2nd issue of Fabrigasm magazine (Winter 2012)

Note: The Challenge is open to US residents only.  Participants may enter any or all of the four drawings, however, each participant can only win once….Good Luck to all  ; )

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Fabgas5COVERAfrican fabrics are enjoying a popularity like never before — BECOME the movement!  Whether you sew clothing, quilts, crafts, or home decor accents, start by using #AfricanFabricMonth on your African fabric projects all month long!!   Cultured Expressions is calling all DIY enthusiasts to show your love for the best textile treasures in the world… And yes, we can begin a few days early ; ) — our movement, our rules!!!

Read more about our new venture, and order your copy of Fabrigasm™ magazine for all the inspiration you’ll need!  Issue #5 was just released (>) and you can also catch up on digital issues 1-4.

#AfricanFabricMonth      #SewAfrican      #CulturedExpressions



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One of the many (and there were many) highlights of Cultured Expressions’ recent SewJourn Colorado Mountain Retreat was a visit to the Rocky Mountain Wa Shonaji Quilt Guild’s opening reception on August 13.  I wanted to share some detail shots of some of the quilts on view, see below.  And you still have until August 30 to catch it if you’re in the area!  The exhibit, “Color My World” highlights the talent and creativity of the Rocky Mountain Wa Shonaji Quilt Guild members, through the clever and creative theme of crayons:

“We can learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others are bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box.”


In addition to the quilts, you’ll enjoy the special crayon-themed displays, interactive coloring project and more. It all takes place at the beautiful Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library (part of the Denver Public Library).  Thanks to the members for your warm welcome, and congratulations on an excellent show…see next year! — lisa





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IT's tiem for a survey, with prizesDespite the mild temps here in New Jersey (no complaints!!) our Favorite Quilting Season is here, so I’ve devised a way for three of you to win $20 Cultured Expressions gift certificates to set things in motion! That’s right, it’s time for a survey, with prizes! Just answer 10 quick questions before noon on November 12, you’ll be entered into the random drawing…  simple, right?  Plus, your honest feedback will help to shape upcoming Fabrigasmic offerings and events, so go to it, and share this post with your African fabric-loving friends, too!  Just think, your next project could be a freebie  ; )

african fabric kente print fat quarters Cultured Expressions, it's time for a survey, with prizesAnd even if you aren’t one of “The Lucky Three” this time,  you’ll have the satisfaction of helping to shape CE’s destiny, and you can take advantage of our ongoing shipping sale –just $2.95 standard shipping to any US address — sounds like the perfect opportunity for a little retail therapy, including these new KENTE PRINT Fat Quarter Bundles!!  Canustandit???

Medaase paa…THANK YOU Very Much!! —  lisa

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