Monday, December 31, 2007

Spring is Emerging

Progressing....I have decided not to cut up the whole cloth....this is a closeup of the bottom portion with added foiling and the start of some free motion quilting - if you click on the photo it will get very large and you can see a lot of the far, so good....

You know what I need to do? I need to acknowledge Dixie of North Dixie Designs for giving me a tutorial on the wonders of acrylic paints altered with isopropyl alcohol. Dixie is a great folk artist who creates these amazing dolls but Dixie's paintings are my personal favorite. So much so that I bought one she did of Little Red Riding Hood to give to someone but ended up keeping it for myself (yes selfish...but we all need to gift ourselves once in awhile!). Anyhoo, many months ago Dixie mentioned something about paint and alcohol on a message board we both belong to. I was intrigued and asked her for more info...then I figured why couldn't I do this on fabric....and so the experiments began. Thank you, Dixie!

Spring Emerges

Today's challenge is.....can I take this abstract (that I kinda like) and add enhancements and stitching to further the imagery of spring breaking out from the ice and snow? Or will it disintegrate into a failed mess? My husband certainly hopes it ends up being successful. Yesterday he was telling me that I am much nicer and more fun to be around when I'm having a 'good art' day. Sorry to say I can't argue with him on that one.

You know what? As I'm writing this the screen is cutting all but the bottom 1/3 of the piece off. It looks kind of cool. I wonder if should cut this piece and make it a triptych? Or cut it up and then rearrange it back together. That might be kind of funky and fun.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Country Life

At about 10:30pm on Christmas Eve my husband took our dog out for his last walk of the day. The Blue Dog (as I refer to him) immediately began sniffing around the front porch and driveway, acting a bit more odd than his typical Blue Dog behavior. Steve was wondering what was around - was it the bear that has been paying nightly visits around our neck of the woods? (Do you like how I tied in the photo of the bear shirt I made Steve last year to this story?)

Being the big, brave, not-afraid-of-the-dark man he is, Steve continued down the drive onto the road. It was a very dark & murky night with the thin beam of Steve's flashlight supplying the only illumination. In the very same instant that Steve hears a rythmic clopping and a snort, Blue woofs and our neighbor's very large, black horse stops short right in front of Steve and Blue. All three of them exchange startled looks, various gasps and assorted noises then speed off in different directions.

Steve was the first to gather his wits and was able to notify the neighbors that Charlie was loose and providing a bit of Christmas surprise around the neighborhood. Charlie was quickly caught and returned to his stall, Blue was found busily marking the parameter of our front yard and Steve provided me an excuse to show off his bear shirt.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Greetings

"Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.
Action has magic, grace and power in it."
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

May your Christmas be exactly what it needs to be, and may the new year bring you the inspiration and resources you need to fulfill wishes and dreams.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Perelandra Landscape

While messing around with paints and alcohol tonight (not the drinking kind, the rubbing kind) this fantasy landscape emerged. I could live in the color of this world, couldn't you? I can't wait to start dropping in some stitching as detailing - both machine and hand but I must be patient and let the piece dry overnight.

Not Those PrePrinted for Embroidery Pillowcases, For Sure

I started this piece months ago. It's the type of thing that gets picked up and put down - often. One minute I love it and then the next day - not so much. I worked on it again yesterday and decided that we can resume our love affair. Abstract embroidery - hmmmm.... I wonder if my grandmother is turning over in her grave?

Saturday, December 15, 2007


My latest passion is collecting vintage wood printing blocks. These blocks can have a huge range of prices with some of the very detailed, ornate, large ones in primo condition going for hundreds of $. Then there are the orphans, the less desirable (to some) smaller blocks that are simple in design and can be gotten for a few dollars - like the one pictured above. I find it amazing what a bit of hand dyed silk, discharge paste and an antique textile printing block can do. More experimentation to come.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Starry, Starry Night

12" of snow fell here yesterday. I left work early and after a 2 hour drive (those icy windshield wiper things are a lot of fun, aren't they?) I was able to snuggle in. My husband's nuclear physics final (yeah well....maybe he can figure out equations but he has no idea what to do with acrylic paints) was postponed until Saturday and he didn't have to travel into the City during yesterday's mess. He shoveled and I did art. Perfect!

This piece was created with acrylics and pigments on cloth, free motion quilting and hand work. A holiday 'card' that will be sent to a lovely friend.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Published? Moi?

The past 3 days have been filled with surprises and all good things. A national magazine contacted me on Friday and I have committed to writing an article that will feature one of my techniques and some of my artwork. Pinch me, please! I am under a crunchingly tight timeline, given the holidays and this busy time of year, but since I typically work best under pressure (ignore the meltdowns please) I suspect that having less time than more time will make me buckle down and get to business! Ummmmm....did I say I was on cloud nine about this?

Yesterday my friend Deb and I had a small art/craft/open house day at her place. The radio was blaring warnings of an imminent ice storm so attendance was not what we are use to having at our little shows. Be that as it may, the smaller numbers gave us the opportunity to chat with the people who did come which made the event become more social than buisness related although Deb and I both had enough sales to make us happy.

On Saturday my husband and I were able to spend some much needed time together. We didn't do anything exciting or thrilling, rather just shared some quiet activities together. I often feel as if the small times are the bonds that bind us together as humans. Anyone can plunk down the money to participate in a big extravaganza, Las Vegas type event - but not everyone is able to appreciate the importance of a hand quietly placed on another's when you know their thoughts are deep and filled with emotion.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Don't have anything new to show since I've been busy finishing up work from the past months. Anyone have a title suggestion for this one? I'm stumped. I'd love a funky, off-center title but the best I can come with is Weeds. If you've ever seen the Showtime series titled Weeds you would know how off-beat and bizarre this word can really be but I'm not sure if it works for this piece. Any ideas from you creative souls out there?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Tools of the Trade

Soooooo.....this is what happens when you use your new Shiva Paintstiks and new discharge paste on hand dyed fabric. Very interesting and worth further exploration. Again I ask the supreme being, the power in control and the ethereal higher energy - why aren't I wealthy enough to be able to stay home and do art all day instead of working a day job?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Funkadelic Dishtowels

I have been busy dyeing and discharging dish towels! I found dishtowels already sewn and ready to dye on dharma trading's site. These are my first attempts and while a bit dark they are still a lot of fun, don't you think? I love having cool items for everyday type of activities - like an assortment of all different pottery bowls to use for breakfast Cheerios or hand knitted cotton wash cloths, etc, etc. I'm going to try to make a bunch more of these to use as gifts and maybe even to sell....we'll see....the best laid plans in my busy world never all seem to happen!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Relics II

More sheer fabric altered with matte medium, tissue paper, and paints along with some dyed cheesecloth, tulle and embroidery. The focal piece is inked, painted, stamped, and burned with natural shell pieces attached. All it needs is a border....actually I have about 5 pieces at the point of "all it needs is a border"....time to finish up some things and get them ready for sale.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ice, Ice Baby

I found this holiday card today. It's made from an image of a Gerhard Richter painting entitled "Ice". I love this card and already- immediately - plunked down the plastic money to buy them. I think my husband might have a bit of trouble wrapping his mind around using these as our Christmas cards but he loves me and will usually bow to my artistic wishes! But I'll wait until they arrive in the mail to show him....hee, hee....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


This piece is almost completed. I started with sheer fabric that was altered with matte medium, paint and inks PLUS collaged tissue paper. Then I added painted & pigmented cheesecloth, some threads and embroidery. The focal piece is thick interfacing that was painted, stamped and foiled.

I also wanted to take a minute to thank all of you for your kind words and thoughts during the past weeks. The support of caring people means so much during times of turmoil. One never knows what life will bring but time moves forward and with that comes evolving acceptance with all circumstances.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Special Gift

I received this wonderful gift from Jan of Laughing Dog Arts yesterday. Jan also included some lovely dyed cheesecloth that provided the perfect back drop to highlight her gorgeous textile art. Thank you so much Jan!

Here is a link to Jan's Etsy shop, for your viewing pleasure...and now it's time to get back to work on the textile piece I'm doing for Jan....

Saturday, November 24, 2007


The woodstove is fired up and warming the kitchen and dining room. Last night we lit wood in the living room fireplace. Sometimes our home helps me to feel safe and secure - even if only for certain windows of time. This feeling of comfort and established roots allows me the freedom slow down and feel centered. I am able to let go some of the stress of the past weeks.

This piece began with sheer fabric that was painted and inked. Hand embroidery was added along with some painted cheesecloth, a few beads and some painted branches. It will be listed on Ebay Sunday afternoon, about 3pm Eastern time. If you type in wildthread in the Ebay search bar it will bring up the listing.

Monday, November 19, 2007


This purely intuitive collage began with tissue paper that was torn, wrinkled and glued down with matte medium then painted, rubbed and highlighted. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Meanwhile discussion and ideas have begun for the scholarship fund we will be setting up in Carla's name. I want to thank everyone from the QuiltArt list who emailed me with information, suggestions and experiences. Your guidance has helped us find a direction. Initial thoughts are that the scholarship will be nebulous enough to help a child in any artistic pursuit (be it the visual, musical or written arts) and to be granted to a child of any age at our discretion. We plan to arrange this as an investment fund so the scholarship will be self supporting and ongoing. Carla was an extremely generous girl and we know this is making her smile, while giving us some solace.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cradle Me

Sheer fabric dyed, painted, inked with added embellishments. This piece cries out to me about being comforted and cradled in safety.
Every time I create one of these nether-world landscapes the word "Perelandra" comes to mind. This is the second book of the C.S. Lewis sci-fi triology - a book I read when I was very young. Something powerful about the imagery in his writings and the beautiful word Perelandra became strong memories for me.
I like creating these alternate universes in cloth. I wonder if I've been working on series without realizing it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I finished painting this at 5a.m. this morning. I am very much a morning a person and sometimes wish I could freeze that feeling of solitude and tranquility when the house is quiet and only I am awake. I love working with my tools and thoughts as daylight is just a hint peeking through the windows.

This piece will be machine quilted with added hand stitched and embroidered accents. I call it Endings. Endings can also be beginnings, don't you think?

Friday, November 9, 2007

There is a Season - Turn, Turn, Turn

My step daughter died in a car accident a week ago. It has been a time of disbelieve and pain. I would pick this piece up during some quiet times and embroider the stalks. I still have a few more on the left to complete but that should be done in the next day or so. Carla was gifted with extraordinary artistic ability although she wasn't producing much work the last year or so. She always seemed to love my art work and said she was drawn to its beauty. Two days before she passed Carla told her father she wanted to get back to her art while looking at some recent things I had done. I'm sure she's creating incredible beauty now - the likes of which none of us can comprehend.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Laughing Through the Tears

If you look at my Nov 1 post you will find photos of my friend Deb & I in high school and an art quilt I did of us a couple of years ago. She just sent me this photo in an email titled 'Us'. Thank you for this, Deb - I'm sure Carla is laughing along with us. (I do think I like my beads the best.)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

In Loving Memory of Carla

Angel came down
From heaven yesterday,
Stayed with me just long enough
To rescue me....
(Lyrics to Angel by Jimi Hendrix)

May you now find the peace, love and serenity that so often escaped you while on this earth.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Some Things Never Change

My high school yearbook photo. You know how they had little writeups underneath the photos? Mine said something about liking sunny days and keyboard players (oh, those musicians), plus having an aversion to cars that won’t start. Important stuff back in the ‘70’s – I’m not even going to comment on the absence of listing any lofty goals!

My friend Deb’s high school yearbook photo. Now Deb had a very cute guy do her writeup (Deb was tres popular). He said that Deb was an outta sight chick who wanted to travel in space….or some such wacky 70’s nonsense. I never realized how short Deb really is when we were in school. Her hair added such height.

This is a Deb and me inspired art quilt assemblage I did about 2 years ago. Yes, we are still friends and even though we lived in different states at various times in adulthood we now live in neighboring towns. This Sat. is our 3rd annual Art & Craft Fair that we hold in Deb’s grand old Victorian house. We invite a ton of people, serve cheese and crackers, drink some wine and share many laughs. Oh – and…..Deb sells her wonderful beaded jewelry (her company’s name is The Bead Goes On - isn’t that great?) and I sell art quilts. Oh Happy Day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Disintegration II

Last night I finished this dyed, painted, silk screened, foiled and embroidered cloth that ended up being 13x9" when completed. I am more pleased with it than not - although I am my own worse critic and not a great judge of my own work. I would love to be in a small supportive circle of fellow artists who are able to establish enough support & trust (important, that trust thing) among themselves to view each other's work and comment on what works, what doesn't, etc. Does anyone out there have experience with a group of this sort? How well does it work? Is it beneficial?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Machine Work - Hand Work

My sewing machine and I were tight yesterday! This is a section showing the free motioned, background stitching on this painted piece - that, by the way, measures 17x14" (hip, hip hooray - well into the double digits!). If you click on the photo it will enlarge and you can see all the details.
Now I'm hand stitching accents on the flora. I wanted to finish this today but that's not going to happen. The hand embroidery is going to take hours that I can't give! We're going to friends for the afternoon. Would it be rude to bring along hand sewing? Talking and stitching....that works for me.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Just a quick note this evening to share a link that made me smile and brought a tear to my eye. Click on this link and listen. Some of you will know about this success story, some of you will be as blown away as I was. I LOVE when quiet self-confident humility wins! (Especially when it doesn't involve pop music)


A cairns motif that morphed into a Garden of Eden image.....FAMA....Folk Art Modern Abstract. These pieces I'm doing may not have the sophistication of altered cloth art that features paints, foils, printing and inks but - darn - I like doing these. There's something about them that reaches deep down inside me....getting to the roots of something.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Fall Sunday in My Life

A view from our backyard this morning....very special...

Deb Lacitiva's art quilt (upper left) hanging in an installation in Woodstock, NY...very special....

Husband person checking out a glass art installation that he thought was cool...very special....

Husband person inspecting and figuring out another art installation (and what a tres imaginative sculpture this was)....once a tool and hammer guy always a tool and hammer guy...very special...

OH! And I was tagged by Thelma Smith I still smile when I remember how she contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in becoming part of PlanetTextileThreads . I am in such esteemed company on this website.

Anyway, I need to tell 7 things about myself that may (or may not) be interesting and tag 7 other people. I'll leave the tagging for later but here are the facts:

1.) I was born on 3/19 @ 3:19a.m.

2.) Music can transport me to other places and times.

3.) Growing up I never believed I was artistic but always wanted to be an artist.

4.) I am the happiest now than I've ever been.

5.) I am a bit of a misanthrope.

6.) I don't use a clothesdryer (ok - you have to admit someone who still uses a clothesline in this day and age is unusual but boy do those sheets smell great).

7.) I am quite intuitive.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Happily working away here in Shawangunk Ridge land. The top piece is a closeup showing the bit of foiling I added to the whole cloth I've been altering. Right now the cloth has been painted, dyed, printed and foiled enough - the next step will be to quilt it. Probably free motion machine stitching but maybe with some added hand stitched details - we'll see. The bottom photo is of a larger cairns inspired piece that seems to have morphed into a bit of the Garden of Eden. This one will definitely get hand emboidery added - and maybe a snake image or two...we'll see.
Time to get back to work!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Disintegration II

Today's creative work - hand dyed cloth altered with alcohol inks, textile & acrylic paints and a bit of screen printing. It should end up being in the double digits....12x12" or so.....still needs stitching and fabric rods. Have a dinner date with hubby and friends but want to keep working on this...patience...patience....

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Facing Challenges

The creative spark is coming back – slowly but surely – as is the typical pattern. I have started work on one piece and have an idea for another. Hooray! I want to thank everyone who took the time to drop me a kind word or two about being blocked. A supportive community is so important to many of us.

The piece above is a mixed media deal I did about 2 years ago. It was an answer to a mixed media challenge for an online group of various (mainly collage) artists. I think the theme was crowns. I bet this was probably one of the most unusual answers to the challenge.

Happy day to all and I hope all your challenges are easily overcome!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wired Up

Nothing new to post because I am blocked, stumped, at a standstill - and everything else descriptive of feeling drained with my imagination on vacation. This is a piece I did about 4 years ago when I was doing art quilting assemblages. I remember when I was painting the canvas that is the background of this piece. It just flowed and became what it is without a lot of thought. Those times when our hands are driven by another force are the best, aren't they?

Forgot the fountain of youth - I'd like to bottle creative adrenaline and drink from it when necessary!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hand Work is the Answer to a Motion Filled Day

Yesterday we had company - and when that company includes 3 children under the age of 11 it involves a lot of motion and kinetic energy. We fished in the pond, made a scarecrow, had a bonfire and ate lasagne.
After they left at about 7:30, I checked my email and saw that my Garden of Eden had sold (hooray) and then was able to to do a bit more hand embroidery on the abstract above before falling asleep in the chair at 9:00. Yes, kids can keep your spirit and mind young but - goodness! - they can suck you dry of any and all energy, plus dig into your reserve tanks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Letting Go

"Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong." Lao-Tzu (600 B.C.)

The last day or two I’ve been thinking about controlling. Controlling as in trying to fix things, coerce other people into making the decisions I think they should make, trying to anticipate every ‘what if’…etc, etc, etc…ad naseum….

I always feel the most centered and in control (now there’s a paradox) when I keep out of situations that need to run their own course and keep out of lives that need to be lived by the people they belong to (for sure their lives don’t belong to me). A gentle touch, a soft smile or an encouraging nod is really all that’s needed in many situations where our loved ones are trying to find their way.

The first piece above is some free form stitching and embroidery I started doing one night. The second piece is the third in my cairns series that morphed into a symbolic image of an adult letting go of a child.

Monday, October 8, 2007


Worked on this all day...I'm not sure of the fabric auditioning as the 'frame' so I'm going to let it rest until tomorrow.....I must say I am happy with how the focal piece came out.

Nice 3 Day Weekend

This arrived on Saturday in the mail from a great textile/collage artist, Karen Stiehl Osborn . We agreed to trade 4x6'ers and I think it was a WIN for me! Isn't this small piece of art marvelous? Lots of texture and depth. A really great addition to my growing collection. Thank you so much Karen!

I'm a Painter Wanna-Be so on Saturday I tried my hand at interpreting that squash photo I posted earlier in the week.

An artist's group I belong to was discussing Garden of Eden painter had us in stitches (ha! only figuratively as I'm the only textile person in this group) over her thoughts on an image of an Angelina Jolie/Mother Theresa/Evil Snake image. Anyway, this discussion lead me to start this piece that will end up being at least 12x12" (double digits all around - yea). It uses all my hand dyed fabric and is hand appliqued. It's about ready for some free motion quilting and then the embellishments will start. It looks kind of cool in my mind's eye.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Not Bigger Than a Breadbox

Started working on this the other night. By the way, do you notice I usually talk about working on something at night???? That is one of the joys of having a day job - grabbing precious moments in the evenings and wishing you had more time. Anyway, it should end up being at least 9x12" (hee, into at least one double digit side) and will have a couple more appliqued orbs and - probably - a fabric rod or two. Artsy....

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Second Cairns - Inukshuk

My first cairns inspired 4x6 art quilt was sold yesterday. This photo shows the second in this series of hand appliqued pieces using my own hand dyed fabrics and was inspired by the Inuksuks of the Canadian Arctic.

These markers vary in shape and size, and were (are) created to perform different functions. They are symbols with deep roots in the Inuit culture of the far north. Obviously they serve as directional markers but are also considered beacons and portals that signify safety, hope and friendship.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fertile Veggies

I do have to say that my husband did look at me a bit oddly when I said (as I was snapping away with the camera at this buttercup squash) "This is very organic and sensual". Anyone out there agree with me?