Show and Tell - A Garden for Olivia

Things are happening! And by things, I mean my my newest fabric collection, "A Garden for Olivia". The collection is based on my paintings and is filled with imagery of moorish lattice, big round flowers, berries, buds, butterflies and pleasantly plump chirpy birds on twigs. The name is dedicated to my daughter, Olivia. I imagined - what would be the prettiest most wonderful garden that I could dream up for her? And, this is my answer and gift to her - for all of her patience, love and support of her working Mommy. And, after a year of working on this collection, the hardest part of the process is right now. It's the waiting! Any day now I am told by my manufacturer, In The Beginning Fabrics, that the first samples from the mill will arrive and I can't wait to get my hands on them! 

So, to pass a little time and get rid of some of this nervous energy, I thought it would be fun to have a little show and tell. Didn't you love show and tell as a kid? I did. Today, it's all about this collection of happy paintings.
Here are some sweet little flowers that seem to float. If you look closely, you will see that I could not resist the temptation to sneak in hearts throughout the background. 
I always like to include a "directional" painting and I have a weak spot for medallions. Wouldn't it be fun to have an old Volkswagon Van just to be able to sew curtains for it with this fabric pattern?
Here is the biggest pattern I painted - and it took two tries to get it right. The big flowers are about 6 inches wide. The fabric design is actually a mixture of this painting and a moorish lacy pattern that I painted (below). I combined the two in Photoshop. If you are ever looking for a visual puzzle and need to pass hours of time, I suggest you try and draw one of these patterns! I have a new found respect for the artists that thought up these patterns throughout time. They are real brain twisters. But fun!
Here is what it looks like put together... 
Below is my favorite painting in the whole collection. I just loved painting these little birds and berries and caught myself smiling while painting. These little guys hang out in the trees right outside my studio window and keep me company. 
They are so plump that it's amazing that they can fly. They always travel in groups and make the prettiest little quiet chirping noises. I cant wait to see this one on fabric!
A close up for you.
And here are a few of the paintings thrown together. Its going to be a warm and cozy collection and I hope that my fabric friends out there enjoy working with it as much as I enjoyed making these paintings! If you want to purchase my fabric, ask your local independent fabric store. If they do not carry it, you can always go online. Just Google "Lida Enche" and "Garden for Olivia" for online stores.  Thanks so much! Love, Lida.

"Painted Summer" is Finally Here!

I can't believe it - It's finally here! More than a year after painting the art for this collection, I was at last able to pick up my samples from In The Beginning Fabrics, the manufacturer. There are 28 fabrics (!!!) in the collection and it didn't really impress me just how much this was until I started to hang it up in our big old tree to photograph. (Click on any photos you want to see bigger).
Why did this not impress me? Because for a year, all you see of the design is at most a 13 x 19" paper printout. It's amazing and so exciting how different a design will look once it lives on cotton that's 44" wide and as long as you want it to be. 
Look at the branch on that tree! It just keeps going and going and going. When we moved into this house, I had no idea I would one day use those branches to hang fabric. What a lucky duck I am to have that branch! See that greenish pattern? It's inspired by 5-petal wild roses and rose buds, white peonies that have a water lily-ish shape and lavender. If only I could bottle that smell.
I wanted the blue fabric to look like the water when the light is low on the horizon and the water turns a beautiful, inky indigo blue. 
Here is a photo that I took at Shark Reef Sanctuary Park on lovely Lopez Island in the idyllic San Juan Islands that has that deep rich blue glimmer to it.
Here is some more of that rich indigo blue.
This photo is for you Kaffe Fassett fans out there - I threw this fabric down on the table next to a lamp shade that I covered with a bit of his beautiful fabric years ago and was happily surprised by how nice the two of of them played together.
Mellow, grassy green, sunshiny hydrangeas, deep magenta berries, indigo hummingbirds.
 I just learned how to make pillowcases and I see those little sunshiny orange petal fabric morphing into a pair nicely. Once you know how to make two beautiful pillowcases in under an hour out of your favorite fabric, you will never go back!
This fabric with the hummingbirds (there are four color ways, or versions of it) is dedicated to the ones that buzz us while we try to get any work done in the backyard garden. But we love them, anyway. :) 
We thought that "BEEP!" sound they make when they dive bomb us was made with their beak, but it's actually from their tail! Who knew?! Well, I guess these people did. 
I can see those butterflies slowly flapping their wings on a gentle breeze, looking for a flower to rest on. I saw a monarch in my yard today - all the way from Mexico to the Pacific Northwest! Amazing creatures.
See those pink flowers? They are all over my neighborhood and you could not get rid of them if you wanted to. 
They are indestructible and day-glo hot pink which means that of course I love them. Here's a pic of a bunch that grew in my neighbors parking strip.
Yep. That's me last I checked.
Here is a recent view out of my studio window. I feel another fabric collection coming on... do you? Gotta get painting!
HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE!!! Wishing you peace and happiness, Lida.

A Summertime Daydream

It has been so cold, windy and gray, but the tiny buds that I am starting to see are happy little harbingers of warm, sunny and colorful days to come. Here is a painting of one of those dreamy Summertime days. I got so wrapped up in this imaginary place that I seem to have painted a few paintings within a painting.

Imagine relaxing on one of those Adirondacks, while smelling the salt air and watching the ferry slowly take its busy passengers back and forth across the sound. I can smell the lilies and dry grasses wafting through the air on a gentle breeze.

Who is that? The neighborhood critter, coming to curiously prowl around the garden, then slowly curl up and take a nap in the empty canoe.

Sailboats competing in a Regatta. How civilized.

And here is one of those strangely dark purple Japanese maples, laced with little lanterns and tucked behind a stand of delphiniums, Casablanca lilies and blackish purple hollyhocks. When I was a kid, I would have loved a place like that to sit and watch the world go by.

I hope you enjoyed my daydream of a painting - I sure loved painting it and thinking about all of the stories that go along with it. Peace and Happiness! Lida

"From Paintings to Fabric" Art Show

Here is a detail of painting that will be used
in my next collection named "Painted Summer".
Daydreaming of Summer? Come to Island Quilter's new location on Vashon Island this until January 31st to see the original paintings that two quilting fabric collections have been made from. And, get a sneak peek of the art and color ways created for Painted Summer, my newest collection with In The Beginning Fabrics. It's filled with warm, sunshiny images of Summer in full swing and is a good reminder of what's to come.
Also, on display are quilts and samples sewn using my fabric by wonderful local pattern designers and quilters.
Please visit for hours and ferry schedule. Thank you!

Sidewalk Crack Cookies

Here are some photos of the cookies I made for the wonderful Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators yearly cookie competition.
Why "Sidewalk Crack Cookies?". When I was a kid, while playing on our street, I discovered cracks in the concrete... so I hid little precious things like beads, tiny notes, bits of string -  inside the cracks. Later, when I was at school or going to sleep, I loved to think about how, on my unassuming street, there were hidden places filled with beauty.
So that's what I wanted to do with cookies! Plain on the outside, a celebration of exuberant love, wild happiness and beauty just waiting to be discovered on the inside.
The discussion at last night's meeting was about inspiration - and that's what making art it is for me. Witnessing, then presenting the magic happening in the periphery of the commonplace.
For anyone who would like to create their own "Sidewalk Crack Cookies", you can use the recipe that I posted for my "Crazy Face Cookies" from two years ago.
The thing to do differently is to buy yourself some little Pyrex bowls, turn them upside down on a cookie sheet, cut the dough into a circle and lay it over the top of the bowl, gently forming it to the bowl.

When it bakes, the dough will relax and form a bowl shape. (If the dough falls apart on the bowl, knead it some more and work more flour into it). Then, of course, you will need to make "lids" too.

Here is a photo of how the cookies looked before opening them.
Then, surprise surprise!
I hope that you enjoy this post. I really loved painting these cookies. Here is my appropriately named dog, Cookie, in her modeling debut, sporting the awesome felt covered medal I won for entering the "Most Creative" cookie! THANK YOU, SCBWI!

Four Baby Oak Trees

Here is a newly commissioned painting of four baby oak trees that I just finished yesterday. It will be shipped off to England as a Christmas present. How nice!
Here are a few details.... I like to think of them as paintings within paintings. 

From Tree to Table

I recently got home from a long camping trip to find this in my mailbox - my very first illustrated and published book!. It's called "From Tree to Table - Growing backyard fruit trees in the Pacific Maritime Climate" by Barbara Edwards and Mary Olivella for The Mountaineers Books publishing house. The book is filled with useful and fun advice on how to grow and care for all different types of fruit trees on the far west coast - it even has some great recipes. You can click here to read more about what's included in the book. Here are some photos of a few of the chapter pages.