Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Everyone Needs a Barbara

Everyone needs a friend like the one I have with Barbara Wester. I love when we get together to play which is never often enough. She is an attorney for the EPA and a mother of two sons (both in high school). I've never been good at receiving and Barbara's enormous generous spirit is helping me overcome this. One of the things that I love about playing with her is that what is mine is hers and what is hers is mine. We don't keep track. We just support one another in every way that we can. I love to watch her free flowing way of creating and while our work is different, we feed each other well. Speaking of feeding, Barbara is also a great cook! Her lunches feed me body and soul. Our play dates are always different. One time we might play with paper and the next time quilt. Sometimes we work on the same things and other times our own projects. We always try to have our Christmas gifts done early and never seem to succeed. "There is always next year!" She also knows me (good and bad) and loves me! We all need a Barbara in our lives and I count her as a true blessing!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Calla Lily

I can't even remember when I donated this Calla Lily post card to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, but it's still for sale ($25.00). I would love to see it sell. I took the $1,000 Promise (I promised to make and donate works of art until $1,000 was raised. I am pleased to say that I met my promise long ago and have continued on raising $1,593.62 for research to date. It is time to find a cure (and hopefully a home for my post card)!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peace and Reconcilation Ribbon

In remembrance of the tragic events of September 11th, the Human Thread Center invites all of us to be a part of a call for peace and reconciliation. Add your voice! Create a wish for peace for the world, in a common "Thread" of Human Fellowship and Unity. These ribbons from around the world will be tied together and made into a unique work of art.

Steps to participate:

1) cut a 12 inch ribbon (or fabric, yarn or other knotable material)
2) write a message of hope or a wish for the world, or just sign your name
3) mail in or drop off the ribbon at the address below:

HumanThread Center
645 W. 18th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60616

t: 312.243.9423
e: humanthread.net@gmail.com

Please join me. It's simple and this wonderful organization deserves our support.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Solitude and Self-Reflection

The theme for this month's ATC exchange with my group Arts in the Cards was balance. Since balance has been one of my goals this year (I'm doing pretty well too), the theme was near and dear to my heart. I choose a quote that I have used for the year to base my cards.

"Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away."  --Barbara de Angelis

Wishing you balance.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I have a friend whose daughter Dana has Asperger's which is a form of autism. I've bounded with Dana through her love of reading. She gives me hints and I guess the book she is reading. She loves when she can stump me and that's just what happened when we last saw each other. Before I could even say "hello" to her she shouted, "You're in my book. You're a Thing-finder!" For the life of me, I could not bring up a book with a "Thing-finder." Do you know? Well, it's from Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. I had to run to the library to get a copy and find the passage. Translated by Florence Lamborn, The Viking Press, 1950 (pages 28-29).

"What are we going to do now? asked Tommy.

 "I don't know what you are going to do," said Pippin, "but I know I can't lie around and be lazy. I am a Thing-finder, and when you're a Thing-finder you don't have a minute to spare."

"What did you say?" asked Annika.

"A Thing-finder."

"What's that?" asked Tommy.

"Someone who hunts for things, naturally. What else could it be?" said Pippin. "The whole world is full of things and somebody has to look for them. And that's just what a Thing-finder does," she finished.

"What kind of things?" asked Annika.

"Oh, all kinds," said Pippin.  "Lumps of gold, ostrich feathers, dead rats, candy snapcrackers, and tiny little screws, and things like that."

Yep. I'm a Thing-finder. Dana loves to come to my house because she is allowed to play with my bowls of rocks and other found objects from my travels, my containers of shells from living in Aruba, the children's desk full of empty spools of thread, etc. I feel blessed that my house is the only house that she anxiously wants to visit and one where her mother gets some respite.

I use to collect and still do many other things--old photographs, feathers, old textiles, rusty found objects (the E's from Georgia one of my favorites).  There was a time when I feared using my treasures. I feared running out and not being able to find another. I feared I would ruin it then discover in a future project that it would have been the perfect piece. I've come to realize that making art is a risk and that the universe seems to provide me with more and more treasures all the time. My advice--Use the good stuff! It's not serving anyone, and certainly not you, if it's in a drawer.

P.S. The photograph of the butterfly was taken today while I was hanging out in my garden with my granddog, Tanner. I thought Jeremiah and Sang would have returned today from their honeymoon but Tropical Storm Irene had another plan for them.

Monday, August 15, 2011


The weather could not have been more cooperative. My son's wedding was beautiful. Sorry I don't have a photo to share as Sang's mother and I did the marrying (we did vows and rings). It's nice having a female in the family. I look forward to having a daughter. Now it's time to get back into the studio and make art!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sizzle Two

My oldest son Jeremiah is getting married on Sunday to a wonderful woman Sang. Just finished a wall hanging for them.  I have not been someone who has remade a quilt. More than ten years ago I made a quilt with this same design. I was playing with half square triangles in an effort to give my students and especially my Georgian Quilt Group (country not state) examples. Well, it turned into my family's favorite. I titled it "Sizzle" so this will be "Sizzle 2.0".  The joke for years has been "You love me best so I get the quilt." This version is a little pinker than the original but it stays pretty true to the original. Hopefully Jeremiah and Sang will like it. For me, it was an interesting experience and one that was more enjoyable than I expected. I suspect it was because it was being made with lots of love.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Before I Die

 Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.  - Elbert Hubbard

I just discovered Candy Chang and her project Before I Die. She took a building in New Orleans and turned it into an interactive work of art. I find it amazing! She's now looking for a ghost town in the West and plans to take the project internationally. So now I'm thinking, "what do I want to you before I die?" How about you? There is a place on her website where you can answer that question. For now, I'm thinking and being amazed by Candy Chang. (photos used with permission)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Living Without

We had a bad storm which caused a monetary power blip. It didn't even reset my clocks but it did kill my PC which forced me to use the Mac my husband bought me for my birthday. My son Nathaniel was able to fix my computer so that I could get the files and email addresses that hadn't been moved to the Mac. Learning the Mac has been interesting. It's certainly not perfect but I don't want to ever get to the point where I don't want to learn new things.  In the past, I've been very tied to my computer and I'm trying to spend more time in my studio and less time on the computer. The week I lived without my PC was very productive and caused me to spend four days cleaning my studio. I've revisited all my fabric and donated two 30 gallon trash bags to charity and another bag for my group at the National Museum of Mexican Art (I have not given up in the hope we will meet again.). Having a messy studio didn't use to bother me. It does now. Not exactly sure why. Maybe I'm finally honoring myself and my space.

The Prayer Flag was made on the day of the storm. It honors my 15 year old black cat, E.G. (named after one of my favorite authors, Ellen Gilchrist). Whenever I am upset, E.G. senses it and sits on me and purrs. It's also a reminder for me to lighten up when these kinds of things happen and keep it in perspective. It worked too.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I belong to a postcard exchange group Postmark'd Art and this round I signed up for the theme Poetry.  I have loved poetry for as long as I can remember. While the group voted for the theme only one person signed up to join me. I hope she likes the card. I combined my love of poetry and a poem I recommend all the time and revisit often. It's called "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver. It's worth revisiting regularly for the provocation of these lines:

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with you one wild and precious life?