Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fa La La La Featured Artist Hosted by Tallulah Belle's

Fa La La La Featured Artist
Hosted by 
Tallulah Belle'sDecember 13th-19th
Artist's Reception Thursday December 17th, 4-8pm.
5255 West 116th Place, Leawood KS 

Holiday Trunk Show/ Studio Space Fundraiser Event

Debbie Barrett-Jones Textiles

Hosted by Susan Lordi-Marker
Thursday December 10th, 6-8:30pm
1216 West 57 Terrace, KC MO 64113

Come join the holiday cheer with food and drinks while supporting local textile artist, Debbie Barrett-Jones' next new adventure, moving her art studio to Brookside in 2016. Make this season extra special with the perfect, one-of-a-kind woven gift for you or your loved one. Debbie will have her large hand-dyed, woven textiles, scarves and yarn necklaces, available to purchase. Happy Scarf Season and hope to see you there! Click this link to join the Facebook event. 

Please contact Debbie with any questions at

**If you cannot make it to this event, please consider shopping online at or stop by Tallulah Belles, 5255 W. 116th Pl, Leawood KS during 12/13-12/19. Barrett-Jones will be their featured artist, selling her woven scarves, textiles and yarn necklaces. Artist's reception will be Thursday 12/17, 4-8pm.**

To learn more about her move to Brookside, please click on this link. Thank you!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Moving my Art Studio to Brookside, Kansas City MO

I have maintained a textile studio in my home since I graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute. However, in 2016 I will be opening my first publically accessible studio where I will make and sell my hand-woven textiles.

This will give the opportunity to interact with another textile artist, share weaving with the public and provide a space to sell my custom colored, fine art textiles and accessories such as scarves, shawls and necklaces. The visibility and sales opportunity provided by the studio will be a great addition to my current gallery representation. Additionally, the studio will help me achieve the balance I seek between my family responsibilities and that of a working artist.

This is a huge new adventure for me and would not be possible without the support of all those that have been there encouraging me with kind words and purchasing my woven textiles, since I first started weaving. And I ask that you please continue to support me with your encouragement by cheering me on, pass the word on about my move to Brookside. I will be updating the progress through my Newsletter, website,Facebook and my blog.


I am currently in the fundraising stage of my move. If you would like to help participate in raising money for this new studio and move, here are a few ways you can;
*You can do this by coming to my Holiday Trunk Show/Studio Fundraiser hosted by Susan Lordi-Marker on Thursday December 10th, 6-8:30. All my scarves and woven wall hangings will be available for purchase to help raise money for my studio move. You can read more details about this event down below.
*Shop on-line. I opened a new on-line shop in October where you can easily purchase my woven textiles. Please consider this holiday season, giving a gift of a one-of-a-kind handwoven textile.  Please click on this link to visit my textile shop.
*Lastly, if you simply want to donate any amount with helping me raise money, I would greatly appreciate it. I have added a donate button to the homepage of my blog. Just click on this link, and you will see the "Donate" feature on the right side of your screen.

Since learning how to weave in 2004, my passion is to create artwork that is beautiful, genuine thoughtful and inspiring. I have made and sold hundreds of woven textiles throughout the world. And none of this would be possible without your wonderful support, rather it be an encouraging word or the purchase of a woven textile, it has mattered to me and made a difference in my life. Thank you again and look forward seeing you in Brookside next year.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

ArtsKC Inspiration Breakfast Woven Commission

I was commissioned by ArtsKC to make scarves for their Inspiration Breakfast Honorary Chair Bobby Epsten and Event Chairs Brad Douglas and Arzie Umali. I hand-dyed two separate tencel warps, one that had a color gradation from silver to black and the other black to silver. Then I striped them next to each other on the loom. All three were woven with different wefts.  Here's a look at each of them. 

This one was for Brad Douglas. All three scarves, I hand-dyed two separate tencel warps, one that had a color gradation from silver to black and the other black to silver. Then I striped them next to each other on the loom. Then I choose to weave this one with black bamboo yarn.

This one was for Bobby Epsten.  I choose to weave this one with chocolate brown merion/tencel yarn. 

And for Arzie Umali, I choose to weave this one with aqua, gray and fuchsia tencel yarn. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

ArtsKC Inspiration Breakfast Featured Artist

ArtsKC Inspiration Breakfast
Thursday, October 22nd0am
Starlight Theatre
Join ArtsKC as they take the stage at Starlight Theatre to present the 6th Annual Inspiration Breakfast.  This year's theme is Elevate and will feature textile artist Debbie Barrett-Jones whose work has been featured at Children's Mercy Hospital and Truman Medical Center.  Her unique story tells how she uses textiles and fiber arts as healing.  Guests will leave inspired by the amazing work that art can do in our community.

Join Honorary Chair Bobby Epsten, Event Chairs Brad Douglas and Arzie Umali, and Presenting Sponsor Spencer Fane for this fundraiser to support and promote the arts in Kansas City.

Here is my script along with my slides from Thursday morning. Please share this post to anyone you think would be interested. Thank you so much for all your encouragement throughout the years. It means more than you will know. 

First of all, I want to thank Arts KC for your wonderful support and believing in me enough to give me this opportunity. It is a joy and honor to be here with you this morning.

My name is Debbie Barrett-Jones and I am a textile artist.

I have been working from my home studio for 8 years while raising my two daughters with my husband. I am a weaver, which means I get to see and be a part of the transformation of a white cone of yarn into a colorful delicate piece of fabric.

I create one of a kind, custom colored hand-woven textiles for homes, businesses, churches and hospitals. 

Along with my large woven pieces, I love making scarves. Scarves are my learning tools to figure out how colors work together and then I can apply what I have learned to my larger pieces.  

When I was young I knew two things about myself that have continued through my adulthood.

One is that I love being creative.

And two; I have a huge desire to help people.

However, after graduating from high school, I didn’t have confidence in my artistic abilities.  So, I decided to pursue a career in nursing.

My heart was set on the idea that I wanted to help bring peace, comfort and healing to those in a hospital setting. I was confident and excited for my career path decision.

The moment I started nursing school, I was so surprised by the terrible feelings of doubt, discovering I was in the wrong place.  Nursing wasn’t my calling even though I knew I wanted to help people. Many tears of shame and failure came in those weeks, knowing I had to give up what I thought was my "dream".

After quitting the program, I started fresh. My husband and I got married and I landed a job at a decorating store. That is when everything changed for me.  I started studying the color charts and finding life and energy in working with color. And I found a reason to create again, making paper collages and mosaics.

After a year and a half of creating again, I was encouraged by my husband, family and friends to apply to the Kansas City Art Institute. And much to my surprise I got accepted.

So in 2003, my husband and I moved from a small town in Iowa to KC. I still didn't believe very much in my abilities as an artist, but instead of having that horrible feeling that I was in the wrong place while pursuing nursing, I had a peaceful feeling that I was in the right place.

I choose the fiber department just because I thought it would be fun to learn how to sew. On the first day of my sophomore year, I stepped into the room full of looms and shelves of yarn and knew was in the right place.

I was hooked to weaving from that day on. I fell in love with the process from start to finish. There is something magical that happens when I am sitting at the bench of my loom, in front of hours and hours of yarn dyeing and threading.

And when I finally get to weave, thread by thread, beat by beat of my loom, it’s one of the most satisfying, rewarding and sometimes therapeutic experiences I have.

I loved every minute of being in the weaving studio at KCAI, being taught by such amazing teachers. Just behind me is an example of one of my hand-dyed, woven textiles I made to hang in the three story stairwell located in the Vanderslice Building for one of my weaving projects.

At the end of my first semester of weaving, I received my first commission from Community Christian Church on the Plaza. And thankfully, my second commission from them right after graduating, (with a 4 month old baby) that paid for my loom that I have since worked from these past 8 years in my studio in the basement of my home.

Four years ago I was selected to make a piece for the new Lisa Barth Interfaith Chapel that was being built at Children's Mercy Hospital. 

This came at a time when I really doubted being an artist.

We have two children; it can be extremely hard to pay the bills every month. I wasn't sure if I was good enough to make a living as an artist.

Along with those doubts I was also grieving a miscarriage. I found a lot of healing came from making the three woven textiles for this space.  For many years, I still felt ashamed for leaving nursing, I was unsure about my future as an artist, I was confused and angry and so terribly sad that I lost a baby.

However, I found moments of peace and clarity as I sat at my loom, moving with the fibers, as if the movement allowed me to transfer my loss and pain and ultimately my healing into the actual textile in front of me.

For an entire year I was given update on this beautiful chapel along with images of different artwork that was selected along with mine. A few months before the opening of the chapel, I was shocked to find out that my piece was not going to be in the chapel but was to be placed in a side room by itself.

During a tour, I was led through the gorgeous space. Finally, I was brought to their "family room".  

This room was the only room in the hospital that was converted into a hospice room. There hung my piece.

Grieving families will spend their last precious moments with their little loved ones before they pass, in a room with my artwork.

At that moment, I remembered that great desire to become a nurse because I wanted to help bring comfort and healing to those that were hurting. And I remembered the great sense of shame and failure I had when giving up that dream. Those feelings crept up in my life for years. And here I was, years later doing the thing I wanted to do, provide healing, but in the right way for me, by making art.

I was humbled, and in awe.  When I have my doubts, and I still do, I remember the Children's Mercy piece hanging in their hospice room, and am reminded that is what I know I was made to do.

Since graduating from KCAI in 2007, I have tried everyday to live the balance of motherhood and being an artist, making and showing my work in churches, businesses and hospitals along with art galleries. But last year, I realized how much I needed help with figuring out how to make a career out of being a textile artist.
Connecting with ArtsKC programs was the next step for my career.

(Location of installation at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation)
One of the ArtsKC programs I’ve taken advantage of is their Now Showing program.  You heard from some Now Showing artists in the video, and I have to echo their sentiments.  This program has given me some great exhibition opportunities, in office and other public spaces, such as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. My textiles have been viewed and hopefully being enjoyed by hundreds of visitors each day.

This past spring I was a part of Artist INC Live, a professional development program that ArtsKC helped found which gives artists the fundamentals and strategies to become better business people.

What I took away from Artist INC was a lot of resources, a new strategy to promote my work, and a network of colleagues that still remain a great sounding board and source of encouragement.

Currently I am apart of Artist INC Advance which helps artists to create all the pieces they'll need to bring a specific "project" to completion. I am happy to announce that my project is moving my art studio outside of my home, where I have been working from since 2007. In 2016, I will open a shared art studio located in Brookside, Missouri. This will provide me with the opportunity to interact with a milliner, share weaving with the public and provide a space to sell my artwork, including custom colored textiles and accessories such as scarves. Artist INC Advance is helping me with project planning, budgeting and goal setting. 

During Artist INC Live, I was encouraged to apply for an ArtsKC Fund Inspiration Grant.  Inspiration grants are awarded to artists for special projects, new ventures, training opportunities and innovative ideas. I worked with the staff at ArtsKC to help refine my idea, review my proposal and provide moral support.  And although I didn’t receive funding my first time applying, I was encouraged to not give up and apply again, which I did this summer, and was approved!

Thanks to the Inspiration Grant I just received, I will have a small budget to create some marketing tools to help me launch my Healing with Weaving Initiative.

Healing with Weaving will help highlight the importance of how art can be a tool for healing and therapy, not only the making of art, but the viewing of art. The process and the act of actually sitting at my loom and weaving has been a gift of healing to me in so many ways. I hope to continue to make artwork for hospitals, mental health and counseling facilities and places of worship, along with teaching weaving as a part of therapy and healing.

I am so honored to share my story with you although it’s not unique.  We all struggle with being a good person, a good parent, a capable professional, a genuine contributor in whatever we do.
My story embodies all of our struggles to be human, humble, yet inspired and generative. We all know loss and we all know that art can challenge, transform, and touch us in very unique ways.
You’ve seen today how art can heal so much in life and society and how important it is to have an organization like ArtsKC around to help nurture that creative community.
ArtsKC has elevated my career and I hope today you’ll help ArtsKC continue to elevate the arts and artists who create on a daily basis.

Thank you so much!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Artist INC Kansas City Class of Spring 2015

(Photograph came from Artist, Inc Facebook Page.)

On Monday April 27th, I finished my nine-week Artist, INC class in Kansas City. Here's what Artist INC is all about. 

"Artist INC is a cutting edge training seminar that addresses the specific business needs and challenges artists of all disciplines face every day. Limited to 25 participants per session, artists gather for one night a week for eight weeks to learn business skills specific to their art practice and apply those skills cooperatively with their peers. Using an innovative class design, artists learn and grow together through artist facilitator mentoring, small group application activities, as well as large group discussion and multi-media lecture. Now in its seventh year, the Artist INC workshop has been completed by more than 300 Kansas City artists. "

This was extremely beneficial for me in many ways. The last time I was in a classroom setting was when I was attending KCAI in 2003-2007. Most of you know that my husband and I found out we were expecting our first daughter, Cora, right before my senior year. She was born at the end of December in 2006. So when I graduated with a four month old daughter, I made a decision that I wanted to find a balance everyday to be a healthy wife, mom and an artist. It has been extremely hard sometimes but extremely rewarding at the same time. I would't have it any other way. The beauty in my children help inspire my work on a daily basis. And the balance of working when I can find time in between naps and while they are at friends and my parents house, and at night, helps me to not take studio time for granted. Owning and running my own art business can be exhausting while balancing motherhood. I am in charge of not only creating but marketing and selling my artwork. So, this class helped me in areas of my business and art that I have needed help with for years. It was a pleasure to also meet other artists and be encouraged and inspired by their stories, art, struggles and success. I will miss my Monday night classes and classmates.  

Down below are the list of artist I got to spend the last nine weeks with. 

Elaine Buss
Morgan Cooper
Betse Ellis
Emily Evans Sloan
Noor Higley
Brian Huther 
Camry Ivory
Jesse Kates
Michael McClintock
Sydney Pener
Danielle Prestidge
Cydney Ross
Michael Schliefke
Calvin Scott
Brandon Segelke
Phil Shafer
Anson the Ornery
Jen Watson
Paul Wenske 
Casey Whittier
Don Wilkison 
Clarke Wyatt 
Cody Wyoming

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The soothing sounds of weaving......Debbie Barrett-Jones Textiles

Some may find this sound annoying...... and I would totally understand that. It is not for everyone. But for me, I could fall asleep to this sound. I just might make an app for that. The soothing sounds of weaving. ;)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Artwork In Truman Medical Center; Part 1

YAY!! I dream come true. My piece is up at Truman Medical Center in their Radiology Hallway. Without going into too much detail right now, my work being in this exact location means a lot to me. Right after Emma, my five year old daughter was born, I started a two year long journey of chronic daily headaches. And during that time, I had four MRI's taken of my brain that came with unanswered questions, lots of fear and a whole lot of anxiety. Fast forward now, ( I will write more about that time in my Healing with Weaving Section soon. ) I am doing a lot better. I still deal with lots of headaches but I know now how to manage them better. And I am trying everyday as a gift. So, to have my work in a place that could help patients like me, scared and fearful of the "would if's" and the unknown, means so much. I hope my work will help some people find a little more peace and comfort.

My sweet Cora came with me to visit the hospital. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Debbie Barrett-Jones' Artist Inc. Elevator Speech

**WARNING** Totally getting out of my "comfort zone" and showing everyone this but I am thankful for all your support throughout my years of making and would love your feedback. For my Kansas City's Artist, INC​ class I had to create my Elevator Speech. An elevator speech is a 30-second commercial about yourself.  It should include:
*Who are you?
*What do you do?
*Something to differentiate you from others or to peak interest in the people you are speaking to.
*Tell People why they should be interested in what you do.

Here's my go at it for the first time. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

In loving memory of my friend, Bryan Kristofer Dale

In loving memory of my friend, Bryan Kristofer Dale
May 30, 1985 - February 27, 2015

A week ago from today, on Sunday March 1st, my husband and I received terrible news that one of our friends passed away. His name was Bryan Kristofer Dale. He was only 29 years, 8 months and 28 days of age. For years I called him Dale..... I still have in my contacts as Dale. I met Bryan Dale when he started hanging out with my younger brother, Paul, in middle school. They quickly became best friends that did everything together. So, Bryan or Dale was like a brother to me.

Bryan had such a love for life, creativity, art, nature, music and beauty. When he graduated from high school he commissioned me to make him one of my paper mosaics. His mosaic is the photo above. Before I learned how to weave during my sophomore year at the Kansas City Art Institute, I was cutting up little pieces of colored paper and making collages and mosaics. In 2003, I was pretty shocked that I got accepted in to art school and got scholarships all with a portfolio of these paper creations. Bryan's commission meant so much to me because I remember I had a hard time believing in myself and my creative abilities and here was this 18 year old that paid me to make him something. He was always so encouraging throughout the years before textiles and after.

Before Cora was born, Bryan lived with us for a short time. Brandon and I just bought our first home and I remember how excited I was to decorate. I hung up in our living room three large weavings and this one was the one was the middle piece. 

Bryan was so encouraging of my art making and talked about my weavings a lot. For years he talked about someday having enough money to buy one of the three weavings for his mom. He loved his parents dearly. 

Six years ago, Brandon and I were expecting our second baby. While 13 weeks pregnant, we were up in Marshalltown, Iowa visiting family for Christmas along with celebrating Cora's second Birthday on the December 28th. That same day was my parents' 35th Wedding Anniversary that I was planning a surprise party for. The day after Christmas I had to go to the ER due to spotting. Bryan's dad, Allen Dale was my doctor that helped me through the tragic news that we lost our pregnancy. Sadly, two days later, I passed out due to blood lose and I had to go back to the ER on the same day we were celebrating Cora's birthday. My parent's anniversary party was cancelled. That time in my life sucked. But to have Allen be my doctor when we found out our lose meant a lot to us. 

Months later Bryan was visiting us and found out that we wanted to finish our basement to move my studio from the third bedroom to downstairs. Brandon and I still wanted to try for a second child and needed my studio to move. But because of all our medical bills there was a hold on the addition. Bryan told his dad about our plans and Allen being the kind and generous man he was, offered to help Brandon finish our basement for free. Such an incredibly generous act. So for a couple of months Allen traveled down to Kansas City on his weekends off and helped Brandon finish our basement into the weaving studio that I have enjoyed for more than five years. 

During those weekends that he came down, I was kind of stunned by his generosity. I remember still working through a lot of my grief from my miscarriage. It was the most traumatic experience I had gone through. So, I knew I said thank you but I kind of kept to myself when he visited. For five plus years I have enjoyed and am grateful for all that Allen did for us. I am so thankful that I get to work from my home in such a safe and peaceful space. In my studio, I have worked through not only my healing process but I have woven several pieces for Truman Hospital and Children's Mercy's. In the Lisa Barth Interfaith Chapel at Children's Mercy I made three woven textiles that are hung next to each other on the wall in the hospital's only hospice room where family and friends can share their last moments with their little precious loved one. Having artwork in hospitals has been a dream come true. Many times throughout the five years I have thought about wanting to give Allen and his wife a gift to say thank you. 

Last Sunday, soon after hearing the horrible news about Bryan leaving this earth, I started reflecting on how much Bryan and his dad, along with his wife, did to impact our life. I just knew that this was the time I needed and wanted to let Allen know how much I appreciated him. I had sold two out of the three weavings that were on my wall while Bryan lived with us. I still had one left, the middle piece. On Tuesday I cut the piece in half. The top half was for the Dales and the bottom half a gift for my brother and his wife. I cannot imagine the pain and sorrow Paul is and will continue to go through.  I have probably cried a years worth of tears in one week but seriously, with the sadness and pain, comes thankfulness. I am so grateful to God for the gift of Bryan and his family have been in my life and my family's life. Bryan wove his life, passion and beauty into so many people in his young life, including mine. I wanted to gift the weavings as a dedication of Bryan's inspirational life. It was an such an honor to know him......

Doing this was incredibly healing for me. Sadly, something I wanted to do for years, came out of loosing a precious friend and for the Dales, their son. But I know as Brandon and I talked to his parents at their house after Bryan's funeral and celebration service, my friend would have been so happy if he was there. It was so freeing to look at Allen and Judy and talk to them in person about the impact Bryan and they made on our lives. 

The night before his funeral, Brandon wrote in a card to help express our gratitude towards the Dale family. Here are his words;

"Dear Allen and Judy,

It would be impossible to express all your family has meant to us over the years. In fact, you probably don't even realize most of the incredible ways you have impacted us. First and foremost, your son has meant the world to us. He was always so genuine, encouraging, challenging and kind whether it was discussing African rhythms in modern jazz or the overwhelming encouragement toward Debbie's art, he loved and cared deeply.

Furthermore, you will never know the impact those days in the ER and working in our basement had on us. your family has been paramount for Debbie's development as an artist. Please accept this gift of Debbie's weaving as a small token of our gratitude. It was on of Bryan's favorite pieces. He was always so encouraging of Debbie's development. May it remind you of his beautiful soul and the positive impact he made on all who met him. 

Brandon and Debbie Jones"

Thank you my dear friend for all that you gave. Your life was an inspiration. In your young life you persevered through much pain to touch so many peoples' lives.  You accomplished more in your life than most people twice your age. You were a true Gift from God. I love you Bryan and will always miss you.....but your inspiration and spirit will be woven into each new textile I create. 

Photographed on the left is my brother Paul with his arm around is best friend Bryan Dale. This photo was taken on January 9th 2015.