Saturday, September 29, 2007


These pieces with foiling, beads and shimmer paint are really difficult to photograph....of course, the fact that the batteries in my camera need recharging doesn't help any either! Anyway, this is another in that series inspired by cairns, standing stones and now old stone building elements. Another 4x6'er....but I do think I'm going to start on a larger one today...might even reach for those double digits.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I Learned A Lot!

Last night was the final session of my Beginner's Art Quilt class. When I formulated the idea for this class I imagined myself as - not so much the teacher - but the encourager. The class was small which turned out to be a blessing. We had plenty of time to interact with each other. All in all I believe it was successful and that the participants left with some inspiration to continue working with cloth. Mostly what I learned was that all people are creative and a nurturing environment can help enable them to express their vision.

I want to thank each of the participants and tell them what a joy it was working with them.

This is what Kathy completed. Kathy took the 'Beginner's Art Quilt Class' title literally. She had never sewn before (!) but look what she created. She and I will get together at a later date to finish her piece off with binding. She thinks she is going to lay in some funky, chunky quilting stitches with embroidery floss.

Florence is a lovely lady who has done traditional quilting but said she learned how to quilt so she could make art quilts. She definitely has been bitten by the bug and plans to continue being creative with cloth. Below is her abstract piece that is successful in creating the impression of a landscape without being obvious. I suspect that Florence's future art quilts will become more and more complex while still retaining a soothing, calm appearance.

Elaine is not an art quilt beginner but came to my class anyway (what a doll she is). This great cloth is hand dyed silk she did using natural plant dyes with some added discharged fabric she also created. I can't tell you how luscious it is in person. Seems Elaine was fascinated with some examples of hand appliqueing I had done. The bottom photo shows her diligently working away making those tiniest of invisible stitches.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Work in Progress

Another 4x6’er in the works. The photo isn’t the greatest but you get the idea. This is painted & inked hand dyed fabric with foiling and hand embroidery added. It will also have embellished fabric rods attached – maybe with some of those tres cool, vintage, clear sequins I found.

You know, I wish there were a huge demand for 4x6 textile art. For some reason these measurements & I get along really well. I could make this little gem size all day long. But I know that in order to reach my art goals I need to start working bigger more often. I don’t think I’ll ever produce really large work but geez…I might need to at least get into the double digits!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lots of Shimmer

Building on the cairns theme more....except now it's become more about a feeling of ancient decoration on stones and building structures than just the stones themselves. If you click on the photo it will open a window and show it much larger - then you'll get an idea of all the textures and sparkle. This piece uses hand dyed silks (cottons wish & dream they could take dyes as well as silk!), painted and distressed sheer fabric, a vintage jewelry finding that I altered, beads and vintage sequins. It's a 4x6er and is my current favorite.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Man & His Dog

This picture about says it all....good thing I'm not the jealous type.....

Beautiful Sunday Morning

Clear, sunny and cool seems to be on tap for the weather today....absolutely gorgeous! Sept and Oct are my favorite months of the year. I am not a beach person - more a wood fire, homemade soup person. No doubt this blog will have at least one posting showing a bonfire that we will have out at our pond sometime in the next few weeks. You are all invited as long as you bring the marshmallows!

I made this 4x6er last night from hand dyed & painted fabric that was further embellished with foils. The other elements are rolled cloth that was secured together with gel medium and wrapped with beads and wires. I call it Ancient Ruins and is further exploration of this cairns, portal, standing stones series I've been busy with.

Oh...and....the class Thurs night went great (at least that was my take on it). I believe I realized some success in my mission to only provide inspiration and encouragement to design creatively rather than instruction on specific construction methods. Part 2 will be this Thursday. I hope the participants are all as enthusiastic as they were last week.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Class is in Session

This evening I will conduct my first Beginning Art Quilt Class at a local quilt shop. Hopefully, I will be able to provide a bit of inspiration for aspiring non-traditional quilters with a desire to spread their wings. I decided to hold this class not so much because I believe I have any power or authority or special knowledge in regards to art quilting but because I believe in the need to bring our art message forward to anyone interested. If I am able to help generate any enthusiasm in regards to boundary stretching and pushing envelopes I will regard the class as a success. Please wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stars in Alignment

You know those days that are filled with all good vibes and karma? You know, the ones that make the Everything is Going Wrong days seem even worse than they probably are? Well, yesterday was a day filled with good tidings for me. Here’s a quick run down (and remind me of this day when I’m moaning and groaning when things aren’t feeling so great):

Went out to dinner with a forever friend who I’ve known since 8th grade.

Came home to these most wonderful, the greatest trades from Annica in Sweden. Annica, I bow to your skills! Anyone who makes art like this, lives in Sweden and knows who The Mammals are and has seen them perform is The Best in my book. Check out her blog for more info about her tasty work:

Opened up my emails to discover that an art quilt had sold on Etsy.

Opened up ebay to check the art quilt I have listed and – whoa – that has a bid too!

Opened up another email from a publication asking me to submit my ‘press kit’ (uh huh, what the heck is this? and I’m pretty sure I don’t have one) for their consideration.

Have a great journey today and I wish all of you a #1 Rock Star Day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Craft Fair

This wonderful, funkdified necklace was made by my friend, Deb. She makes these great necklaces that sell like hotcakes to women of all ages. They are colorful, fun and vibrant. We are going out to dinner tonight to discuss a date for our next open house. She sells her necklaces and earrings and I sell my art quilts. This year I think I'm also going to dye some silk scarves and offer them too. Experience tells me that us ladies love to adorn ourselves as much as we do our walls!
The bottom piece is a work in progress in my cairns series.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kentucky Coffee Beans

Finished this today. It's the latest in my how-to-avoid-doing-what-I-should-be-doing project. My first attempt dyeing silk just cried out to be made into something. features dried Kentucky coffee beans from a tree in our front yard (very cool seeds and pods)...if you click on the photo it will get very large and you can check out these beans.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cairns, Standing Stones & Inunguaks

A piece of Wikipedia information on the section Cairns As People....

"The practice is common in English, cairns are sometimes referred to by their anthropomorphic qualities. In German and Dutch, a cairn is known as Steinmann and Stenenman respectively, meaning literally "stone man". A form of the Inuit inukshuk is also meant to represent a human figure, and is called an inunguak ("imitation of a person"). In Italy, especially the Italian Alps, a cairn is an "Ometto" a small man."
I am fascinated by these rock art structures.
Large man-made formations are also know as standing stones, megaliths and orthostats. These huge stones standing upright are believed to be as old as 2800 B.C.E. (how politically correct am I?), maybe older.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Working in a Series

Rayna Gillman (hope you don't mind, Rayna) has some interesting postings with comments about exploring work within a related series. Serendipitously it happens that I've begun to explore work with 2 different types of series. The first is painting and stitching on sheer fabric. I suppose that could be called a series based on technique although these abstracts I'm painting all have a very organic feeling about them. The other is the series I've begun with representational cairns using my hand dyed fabrics. This cairn series certainly is an exploration of my attraction to these stone structures. As I create these carins I keep looking at them and feeling energized. They actually bring a smile to my face. Obviously something about the idea and the imagery is reaching deep down inside and calling me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sheer Fabric Painting

More sheer fabric painting happened early this morning. Now I need to finish stitching the first one done a couple of weeks ago and this one. If I can do that and complete two more I might - just might - submit them to the local gallery that has expressed interest in my work (of course it will still have to go through a jury process and who knows where that will go!).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Finding our Paths

As my just-out-of-college, working-in-the-big-city daughter walked up the stairs from the PATH train in lower Manhattan 6 yrs ago she lost her innocence. There are many stories more horrific than hers (she was taken under the wing by an older person and guided through the turmoil of that day) but her experiences from that day were life altering.

We all need & seek guidance throughout our lives. There are as many sources that can help us travel through this life as there are people. Cairns are directional markers that have existed since man began walking this earth and started bonding into family/communtiy units. I like the spiritual aspect of cairns – rock solid, expressive art that aids people in navigating difficult or confusing terrain.

We can all use some good karma cairns in our life.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Cornucopia – Mixed media art piece comprised of textiles, paint, spackle tape screen stuff, dyed silk ribbons, vintage brass jewelry finding, painted wooden pieces, papers, painted canvas & brass rods – SOLD

This morning I was looking back at photos of some of my pieces from the past couple of years. It’s interesting….the ones I liked the best when completed have held up well with time in regards to their popularity with me…..the ones that bothered me when finished still bother me (even though many of those have found homes with new people). This piece was one of those inspired pieces that came together late one night. I still like it very much and hope it still brings a smile to the face of the lovely lady who bought it.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Now It's Time to Make Them!

(4x6", painted sheer fabric, free motion machine quilting, hand embroidery, rusted wire, wood beads)

What started out as a trade with one has ended as a trade with four. I can't wait to get my booty from Jan, Annica, Karen & Deirdre. Of course, me getting my treasure trove entails some production & reciprocating on my end. I have a ton of ideas right now so - hopefully - the inspirational mode will remain!

On another note, I've just about had it with the humid weather. My sweat pants are demanding equal time. I promised my 90 year old mother-in-law I would make her a lasagne but I refuse to turn the oven on when the weather is like this....just seems like punishment....

Saturday, September 8, 2007

How Sweet It Is

Can I get paid to just paint on sheer fabric all day long???? Oh, what a wonderful world that would be! The top abstract will be made into 4x6er's - JAN email me, please! The bottom 4x6er is the finished postcard that will be on its way to Deb in GA.
I think I am making all these small pieces to avoid a personal commitment I made with myself. I was planning to create larger pieces for juried consideration for a local gallery but can't seem to 'get to it'. I think I know why....although I'm secure enough to know that juried selection rejection is, often, not a real comment on the quality of one's work; I do find it a bit disconcerting to be told 'thanks, but no thanks'. Of course, the trade off is the sweeeeet feeling when one's work is accepted.
Perhaps I'll be able to settle down this weekend and get to some serious work on larger pieces....we'll see.....

Friday, September 7, 2007

Fair Trade Practice

More adventures in the world of sheer fabric painting. I am having great fun with this technique. I think I will make up a 4x6er postcard with part of this fabric. Anyone interested in doing a trade? Your art for my art?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Hand Work

Worked on this last night while listening to television and waiting for Steve to come home from his Nuclear Physics (quake & shudder) class. It uses only my own hand dyed fabric and was done purely intuitively – no planning done on this little baby. I’m actually pleased with how it’s turning out. When finished this 4x6 postcard will be sent to Deb L,
who is owed a long overdue trade from me. Better late than never is a motto I live by way too often!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Spicy African Sweet Potato, Carrot and Peanut Soup

Made this for dinner last night. If you like ethnic & spicy (and we do) give it a try. This soup with some warm, whole grain crusty bread is a complete meal. Yum!

Note: This is very spicy - turn down the cayenne for a milder soup.

Ingredients & Method:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 large cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
4 medium tomatoes, peeled & chopped

1 small apple, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped, roasted pecans
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (most people need to only use a pinch to 1 teaspoon)
2-1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/3 - 1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot, and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes.

2. Pour the broth into the saucepan, and season the mixture with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 - 45 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft.

3. Remove the soup mixture from heat. In a food processor or blender, blend the soup and peanuts until almost smooth. Season with cayenne pepper. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter and cilantro, then cook until heated through. If soup is too thick add more broth until it is the consistency you want.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sunday Afternoon

Kathy asked in a previous comment how this was made. It is sheer fabric attached to a frame then matte medium was applied to both the front and back. When that dried I went to work with acrylic paints, dynaflow, rubbing alcohol and water. Then I created folds that I stitched together. Now the free motion quilting is progressing with more to be done. This is very sensuous when seen in person. I think I will try to create more of these pieces and submit them to a gallery for their consideration. I doubt they'll have anything similiar.

Autumn Hearth

Yesterday was Steve's b'day and we traveled north into the Catskills (the photo is from a stock photo site but you get the idea) to see Los Lobos at the Bellayre Music Festival. It was a cool, fall evening with temperatures in the 50's! Yes, we had to do some dancing to stay warm - good thing Los Lobos provided quite the right amount of great music to keep the body moving.

Another piece that you've been seeing in my posts for the past month or so got completed. It's completely constructed of my own hand dyed fabrics and I really like the modern yet primitive feeling of this piece. I don't know how arty it could be considered but I do know people seem to like it very much.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Odd Things Happen Late At Night

Some of most interesting (creative?) work happens late at night. Of course the need for sleep often gets in the way. But those times when I'm wide awake and full of energy are some of my most pleasurable. Last night at about 11:00 pm I created this and I like it as much in the daylight as I did last night (sometimes these later night venures don't look as promising in the daylight). Now to drop free motion stitching into it.....maybe some beads....maybe some different textured threads....cross your fingers for me.....