Summer Dress – do all the summer things you love

Maura Sun Threadz Sept '15 006New summer dress for the beach, for the destination wedding, as a bridesmaid dress, any anytime dress design suitable for dinner overlooking the ocean. This dress can be casual or dressy, you be the stylist for the easy, flowing new Sun Threadz dress. Can be topped with the jacket for ultimate sun protection, if not wearing the jacket be sure to use sunscreen on your shoulders and arms.

Don’t forget your full body check up, could save a life!

Do all the summer things you love! xo

From Concept to Camera Ready

Maura Sun Threadz Sept '15 012It has been a long time coming, the Sun Protection Dress. I have been working on this design for two years, yes that long. First it was a vision, then it was capturing the vision, then taking the captured vision to paper. From design on paper on to the prototype, which by the way was a very good mock up, I used for display at the Abramson Cancer Center Conference for Melanoma last May and it received rave reviews. Once the sample dress went from pattern to fabric I then needed the perfect model to showcase the dress. Maura is my beautifully talented model for the Sun Protection Dress, working in the fashion world in Manhattan. Maura has been touched by skin cancer; her mother, cousin, aunts, and uncle and she knows what is required to be sun safe.

I am currently working on a new design for a wear anytime tee shirt, designing for optimal sun protection.

Another project is in my metalsmithing world; I am working, learning, and having fun navigating the wonderful world of wire. I will share some completed pieces on my Sun Threadz website since the pieces are all sea related. While on vacation this past summer in Turks & Caicos, my daughter and I went snorkeling in a protected reef area and we were truly “swimming with the fishes.” We watched lobster emerge from their little caves, climb down the side and go back inside. The colors of the fish were amazing and it has brought on another project – learn the types of fish there are in the waters of Turks & Caicos.

And speaking of the islands, if you are planning a Destination Wedding, this dress is a great bridesmaid dress.

Back to the drawing board!

Handcrafted Sun Protection Clothing

Handcrafted designs start with an idea, then the artist needs to put this idea on paper and watch it come to life. Sun Threadz designs go through this same creative process. As I mentioned previously I have been experimenting with color incorporated on to the sun protection fabric to give your piece just the right creativity to fit your personality. This color process will be through silkscreening and block printing hand done by me, the artist/designer. We can also collaborate on a particular design you may have in mind, call me or email me to discuss.

Do all the summer things you love and stay sun safe in the sun.

Summer glow tip; add some bronzer to your face cream for that sun kissed look!

xo Colleen

Autumn & the Sun is Shining on the Life of an Artist

The weather has been magnificent, temperatures in the high 70’s and some days, like yesterday, in the high 80’s. If you are like me you are still enjoying these last days of “summer.”  On the weekends, I eat breakfast poolside, umbrellas in the up position. In fact, headed to the beach today, I can never turn up an opportunity to sit by the ocean, with my feet in the sand, listening to the gentle roll of the waves. This is Paradise. I will bring books, and a sketch pad to capture a design, never leave home without a sketch pad or at the very least paper and pencil.

Last weekend I was an exhibitor at the juried Nassau Museum Art Show on Long Island, Roslyn, NY. The weather was much like it is right now, magnificent. I was exhibiting my metal work, I met some wonderful artists and buyers. The New York crowd is wonderfully embracing, they have a true appreciation of the arts and I love meeting them and talking all things art.  October 18 – 20 I will be exhibiting at the Academy Art Museum South Street Easton, MD, 65 juried artists. I will be a first time exhibitor at this show, expecting exciting things from a show that has taken the manual labor out of set up by supplying pipe and drape, tables and chairs and has a porter at your disposal. If you are in the area, please stop by and support the Academy Art Museum and the very talented artists exhibiting. I have included a one-of-a-kind piece, Portrait of Love, sterling silver, baroque pearl, boar’s hair, bronze stand. The piece is wearable and when not worn is a sculpture.

As always be sun safe and plan your full body check this fall, this is a great time to plan this after spending a summer in the sun. Take your family, tell a friend…could save a life!

Portrait of Love

Best Summer Songs

173I thought I would gather what are considered “the best” summer songs, timing is perfect as it is pretty much the middle of the summer so here goes;

Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams – “those were the best days of my life”

Kokomo – Beach Boys – easy to imagine yourself laying on a beach anywhere in the world without a care in the world, some beaches I recommend; Perry Beach Cape May, NJ, The Point Beaches, Cape May Point, NJ, Higbees Beach, Cape May, NJ and Grace Bay Beach Providenciales Turks & Caicos

Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett – “blew out my flip flop” who hasn’t done that..ahh the flavor of summer

Girls in their Summer Clothes – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – My all time favorite group. This song was featured at the Fashion Show I put on at the Melanoma Conference for Penn Medicine May 2010

In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry “when the weather is fine”

Summer in the City – The Lovin Spoonful “hot time, summer in the city”

Heat Wave – Martha & the Vandellas …you have to dance in the summer

Surfer Girl – Beach Boys all the Surfer Girls out there, this one’s for you

Surfin USA – Beach Boys …to all the Surfers out there, this one’s for you

The list was compiled with the help of Billboard

Do the summer things you love and enjoy the Summer of 13!

Vacation & a Hoby Cat

Hoby CatMy ideal vacation; sun, sea, surf, and sailboat. You can still do all the summer things you love if you wear your sun protection clothing and use sunscreen on any exposed areas. I am able to swim for hours and sail for an hour and feel fully protected in Sun Threadz bathing suit, and swim jacket. “As for sunscreen; ingredients that indicate a product has adequate UVA protection include avobenzone, octocrylene, and zinc oxide. SPF measures protection against the wavelength of sunlight known as UVB which is the major wavelength that causes sunburn. Therefore, a product with a higher SPF value offers higher UVB protection.The SPF value does not measure the degree of protection against UVA the other portion of the UV spectrum. Both UVA & UVB rays can cause skin cancer.  When choosing a sunscreen product, you should look for the designation of broad spectrum, an SPF of 30 or higher for daily use. If you will be participating in sports or other outdoor activities, you should look for an SPF of 50 or higher along with a designation of water resistance.

To attain the level of protection stated on the packaging, an adequate amount of sunscreen must be used. For an average adult, the ideal amount is 2 milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. This translates to about three tablespoons (1.4 ounces) to cover the back, torso, face, legs, and arms.

Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside and reapplied every two hours if you are staying outdoors. It’s also important to choose a product that you enjoy using, both in its texture and its smell.” (Dr. Wang-Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)

Sun Threadz is rated 50+ UPF protection which equals 97.5-99+ sun protection – A relatively new rating designation for sun protective textiles and clothing is UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). Unlike SPF (Sun Protection Factor) that traditionally uses human sunburn testing in a laboratory environment, UPF measures both UV radiation transmittance using a laboratory instrument (spectroradiometer) and an artificial light source and translates these results using a mathematical expression based upon the sunburn action spectrum (erythema action spectrum) integrated over the relevant UV spectrum. Sun Threadz fabric is regulated by a federal agency: ARPANSA.

UPF Ratings and Protection Categories

UPF Rating Protection Category % UV radiation Blocked
UPF 15 – 24 Good 93.3 – 95.9
UPF 25 – 39 Very Good 96.0 – 97.4
UPF 40 – 50+ Excellent 97.5 – 99+

Image from my Turks & Caicos Summer Vacation!

Enjoy your summer!!

Melanoma Awareness Month


Do all the summer things you love!

In honor of Melanoma Awareness Month, a skin cancer that can kill you, plan to have a full body check by your dermatologist. We should all have a dermatologist we call our own to ensure we are monitored and checked for anything suspicious. My dermatologist is at the Abramson Cancer Center University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Dr. Michael Ming. I highly recommend Dr. Ming, he is thorough and thoughtful in his exam and time with you. You can schedule an appointment by calling 800-789-PENN (7366.) Penn Medicine is also providing FREE Skin Cancer Screening on Saturday May 18, 2013. This is a great opportunity to have your skin checked by a Penn Dermatologist to determine your risk for developing skin cancer. Call now since space is limited and appointments are required 215-662-2737. Take your family, tell your friends…could save a life!

I am also recommending you attend the 10th Focus on Melanoma Friday May 17th at the Hilton Hotel, City Avenue Philadelphia, PA  8:00am – 3:00pm. This is a FREE educational conference and you can attend in person or view via Livestream at  I hope to see you there. No one should die from skin cancer!


Sculpture Beach aka Higbees Beach Cape May NJ

I visited my sister and brother in law in Cape May, early October and went for a long, peaceful walk on the beach. It was a beautiful sunny day with diamonds shimmering on the ocean. This beach has the most amazing driftwood colored in the silver that comes from many years of saltwater and sand washing over the driftwood. The driftwood appears rough and textured in areas but is satiny soft to the touch.

These walks are to reflect on the world around me, to bond more with my sweet sister and to think creatively; three things that are good for the heart and soul.

I only wish I had the means to get some of these nature works of art to my studio but I know they are only a two hour drive away.

Enjoy all your sunny days!

Memories of a Summer Day in August

Papermaking Class - August 2012

Sun Over Paradise

The sun is just starting to come out and I can feel the warmth in the air although it is not quite the same as the sun on a summer day, as it is officially fall. I am recalling a summer that was full of many exciting and memorable days, the most important; my daughter’s wedding. To unwind for a moment during all the frantic last minute preparations I decided to do something for my creative spirit and signed up for a papermaking class taught by a fellow Artist of Yardley member. I arrived at Kathy’s home bright and early on a Sunday morning in August to find a tent and tables set up in the driveway of her home. Kathy, and I worked hand in hand filling the tubs of water with the materials that would eventually result in beautiful handmade paper. But what was more thrilling was then taking this paper that I had just made and adding colors. The bins of color; yellow/sun, blue/sky, green/ocean, papaya/imagination were there to dip your paper and create the most amazing designs on the paper. I have some paper that is beautiful enough to frame and I have attached one titled; Sun Over Paradise. If ever you have the opportunity to take a papermaking class, do it, you will love the process and the result.

Fall – A Time for Check-Ups


Sunburn Awareness – Could save a life!

Most of us plan to check the batteries in our smoke detectors, at this time of year. A smoke alarm is critical for the early detection of fire in your home and could mean the difference between life and death. Fires can occur in a variety of ways and in any room of your home. But no matter where or how, having a smoke alarm is the first key step towards your family’s safety.

Another fall check-up is your own personal full body check. We all spent a memorable summer swimming, sailing, surfing, fishing, boating, beachcombing, gardening etc, to be sure you are sun safe schedule your yearly dermatologist appointment for yourself and your family, could save a life! Tell a friend, could save another life!

Helpful tip about our bodies; if you have a sore that has not healed within 2 weeks, have your dermatologist check. Our bodies are amazing machines capable of healing quickly.

So if you happened to look like the image attached to this posting at any point this summer or ever, run don’t walk to your nearest beloved dermatologist. Call Penn for the best in skin care; Penn specialist 800-789-PENN or visit