Sunday, March 15, 2015


You have to believe the buds will blow, 
Believe in the grass in the days of snow;
Ah, that the reason a bird can sing
O his darkest day he believes in Spring.
                              -D. Malloch

My bronchitis and sinus infection has not gone away (more than three weeks) even after a round of antibiotics. I cannot remember the last time I was this ill for this amount of time. To say that I am not a good sick person is putting it mildly. It looks like I am back to the doctor tomorrow. 

I was feeling particularly low on Friday so you can imagine my surprise when a box arrived at my door. I didn't order anything and did not even think that it could be for me. Diane Dunder, you sure know how to make a girl cry. Thank you, thank you! I am speechless. Your wonderful piece of artwork now hangs in my office. I am deeply, deeply touched by your kindness and plan to pass it on. 

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts on teaching at the local quilt shop. I have decided to release the place with love. Time to get healthy, regroup and figure out what's next for me. "We are all here just for a spell and then pass on. So get a few laughs and do the best you can. Live your life so that whenever you lose it, you are ahead." -Will Rogers

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

To Teach or Not to Teach, That is the Question

Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I go to my friends. - Virginia Woolf

I love teaching and I have come to realize that I am good at it too! While I continue to lecture, guilds simply are not booking teaching gigs so after being asked several time by a local quilt shop, I agreed to teach. They too have been having difficulty getting people to sign up for classes. It is a traditional shop so I had my concerns. I was to be their first "art quilt" or as one of my students so wonderfully called me "not boring." I have offered three classes and all three have gone with at least four students. I have loved reconnecting with my local quilt community, opening people to new experiences and thinking outside of the box. My evaluations have been incredible. I love sharing and getting people to know that they are capable of creating something unique. I understand the role of a teacher teaching in a quilt shop (get your students to support the shop). In past lives, I have managed a quilt shop and taught in several. I know this shop is much more focused on selling sewing machines (the money is there) than classes. Shortly I am going to have to decide whether to teach there again. I am struggling. Twice the time I asked to teach was cut. The last time I taught my samples were hang above the classroom door with huge thumb tacks and one was upside down (there are sleeves and labels on all my quilts). My class time was not only cut but changed. I found out by checking the website. I did express my disappointment. It was not really dealt with at all. I am suffering from a nasty sinus infection and bronchitis (the universe did not hear my cry of "uncle") and the anniversary of my dad's death is approaching so I am asking your advice.  I feel too emotional lately and tired.  Do I continue or do I let it go? 

As for the quilt shown, it is one that I started many months ago and because of the class I taught I was inspired to finish it. It gave me an opportunity to show how you can alter fabric with fabric markers. It is also square but I am too tired to reshoot it. Life it too short!  Might just be my answer too. Hugs.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Okay Universe- Uncle!

There's a fine edge to new grief, it severs nerves, disconnects reality--there's mercy in a sharp blade. Only with time, as the edge wears, does the real ache begin. --Christopher Moore

The last two years have been tough ones. I had such high hopes for 2015 and still do, but the challenges have begun. My husband is once again out of a job--no funding for the start up company where he was employed. Another casualty of falling gas prices. Add to that a series of rejects for my group C.L.A.W. (Crossing the Line: Artist at Work) and personally. Groups asking prices for teaching and lectures only to go silent.  I could add more to the list but you get my drift. I started feeling particularly stressed until a few days ago when I finally yelled aloud, "okay, universe uncle!" I felt a certain calm. I have spent time writing in my journal and realized that maybe I could recognize my way out of past patterns rather than repeat my way out. I am back to being mindful and I am back in my studio! And while March came in like a lion and the ground is still covered with snow with no sign of spring, I feel hopeful.

As with so many times in my life, serendipity has played its part. In my sculpture class, we are learning about the Japanese practice called kintsugi, which means "golden journey" in Japanese. Kintsugi is the art of fixing broken ceramics with a lacquer resin make to look like solid gold. The trues makes us question the complexity of aesthetics. How can something that was broken be more precious, more beautiful? And yet, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. So this made me think, can I envision myself like a kintsugi vessel, make precious by my brokenness? I'm going for the gold!