Irene Rawlings

credit: David J. Foxhoven


Irene Rawlings grew up in Detroit, went to school in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and moved to Colorado in the 1970s. She is the host of an award-winning radio program, "Focus," aired on the Clear Channel stations. She has been editor-in-chief of Mountain Living and Log & Timber Style magazines as well as group editorial director of Colorado Homes & Lifestyles. She is currently the editor of Call of the Wild, the magazine of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming.

She writes about food, craft beer, contemporary art, travel discoveries, and the environment for Art & Antiques, Sunset, Style 1900, Town & Country, Robb Report, ForbesLife, Private Clubs, The New York Times, Country Living, Hemispheres, O, The Oprah Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, and Visa's Black Card Mag.

Irene has also been art reviewer at the Denver Post, curator of the Anschutz Collection of Western Art and editor in chief of the now-shuttered (alas!) Country Home magazine.

She, along with her colleague Andrea Van Steenhouse, wrote a book on clotheslines (The Clothesline) published by Gibbs Smith in April 2002. Portable Houses, co-authored with Mary Abel, was published by Gibbs Smith in the spring of 2004. Sisters on the Fly was published by Andrews McMeel in the spring of 2010 and is in its third printing.

A launch party and old-fashioned "happening" for her new book, Cast-Iron Cooking with Sisters on the Fly, also published by Andrews McMeel and featuring the Dutch Oven Divas of the Desert was at Tattered Cover Bookstore (LoDo) in Denver on April 29, 2013. It was a standing-room-only, sell-out signing. Yay! And thank you! Several darling vintage trailers were parked in front of the bookstore and open for trailer tours before the signing. Donations were taken for Casting for Recovery.

A huge book signing party, luncheon and trailer tour took place at The Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, Texas, on October 15th. More than 100 Sisters on the Fly and their colorful vintage campers attended. They came from as far as Tennessee, California and even Canada. Thank you, Sisters. Food from Cast-Iron Cooking with Sisters on the Fly was prepared by Reata Restaurant. A big favorite was Maurrie's Mac and Cheese (with bacon topping). Thank you, Reata. Tours of the Sisters' trailer benefited The Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Thank you, Cowgirl Museum.

Irene and Sisters on the Fly were recently featured on CBS This Morning:

And on Colorado Public Radio:

In her spare time, Irene enjoys fly fishing, looking for a vintage trailer to buy and fix up, collecting handmade quilts tops and antique Chinese shipwreck porcelain, canning peaches and traveling by train--not necessarily in that order. She lives in Denver with her photographer husband, two rescue dogs and a ginger tomcat.

Selected Works

Hanging the laundry is a labor of love that connects us to our mothers and grandmothers, and to the simpler times spent sharing recipes, remedies and closely held secrets over the back fence. With tips for creating a fabulous laundry room, information on laundry collectibles, hints for easy care of heirloom linens and traditional wash-day recipes like lavender ironing water and verbena soap, The Clothesline puts a positive spin in everyone's rinse cycle.
From restored trailers to all-weather tepees, whimsical yurts, converted packing crates, modular ski pods, inflatable one-room huts, renovated train cars, vintage wooden boats, and even a 747, Portable Houses takes you behind the scenes to meet the designers, architects, builders and owners who will inspire you to choose the portable life style. Illustrated with photos of some of the worlds most ingenious portable structures, this book shows how to make movable homes functional and practical by including tips on acquiring travel tools and gear, problem solving and converting the dream into a highway-legal reality.
What's stronger than campfire coffee and wider than the Montana sky? It's the bond shared by Sisters on the Fly, a group of more than 2,000 women, ranging in age from 22 to more than 90. They enjoy fly fishing, playing poker for pennies, cooking food in cast iron (heavy, yes, but you don't have to go to the gym quite so often) and telling tall tales around the campfire. Sisters on the Fly find (sometimes for as little as $50 in a farmer's field), restore and travel in their uniquely decorated "homes on the range." Their one-of-a-kind vintage trailers have iconic names such as Sister Sioux, Rhinestone Cowgirl and Calamity Jane. Sisters on the Fly features tales from the open road, chic trailer décor, recipes that would make John Wayne himself weak in the knees and plenty of hints and tips to help transform a vintage trailed from "trashed to treasured."

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