Friday, September 27, 2013

Donation to ClaySpace Raffle

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. 
                                             -ee cummings

Next weekend ClaySpace is having an open house to celebrate the move to Lisle. Each resident artist is being asked to donate a substantial  piece for the raffle. I don't have a lot of "substantial" ceramic pieces so last night I finished a mask I had begun months ago and never finished. This piece continues my desire to combine clay with fiber. Chances are $1.00 each and you don't have to be present to win. I just hope it raises some money. This is one of those times where I just put my work out there and see what happens and not take it personally. It is something different. Hopefully it will find a new owner that is happy to own it. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dini Parsons- Awesome "Handler"

My time in West Jefferson, North Carolina, was made a joy by my "handler" (her term) Dini Parsons. Thank you Dini! Here we are standing in front of the winner for the best of theme for "Quilts in the Attic." It was made by the Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Guild's president, Brenda Cole.

One thing that I loved about the quilt show was that you did not need to be a member to enter a quilt. This reflects my experience with members of the guild who I met. They were warm, friendly and welcoming. It was refreshing. I also loved that the first place in the wall hanging category was won by a man, Ron Hoffesteder, who has only recently taken up quiltmaking and his wife was so pleased that he outshines her. Do go to the guild's website and check out his wonderful quilt.

I feel truly blessed that I was able to travel to West Jefferson.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Buffalo Tavern Bed and Breakfast

My time in West Jefferson, North Carolina, was amazing. I stayed a the Buffalo Tavern Bed and Breakfast (c. 1872) just a short drive from  downtown. While it was only 3.5 miles off the main road, the winding road made it seem much further and added to the feeling of adventure. I won't forget my first night and watching the fog roll in a I drove to the place. I met some great people unrelated to the On the Same Page Literary Festival, too, which made the stay even more meaningful.  Doc Adams, the owner, was a great storyteller. He left on a cruise so I only got to spend one morning with him. What a hoot!

I stayed in the "Madam's Room" named because the widowed woman of the house needed lots of
firewood (I forget how many fireplaces there are but it's a lot!) and "took care" of the men who gave it to her. The room is also haunted, but Flora, the ghost, didn't seem to mind my presence so I did not get to meet her. The room is on the second floor and I enjoyed a cup of tea on the second floor porch in the evening before turning in for the evening.

If you are ever in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains and near West Jefferson, I highly recommend you book a stay. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How One Things Leads to Another

While working on my power point presentation for On the Same Page Literary Festival, I needed an image for Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories (an oral history project that I had given more than 10 years of my life) and remembered a quilt I had made. It was for Lynn Krawczyk's 2008 Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit with the theme "With One Voice." Artists were asked to give voice to all the good in the world by showcasing a person or organization that they felt contributed to making the world a better place. Ninety-four artists answered the call.

As I was looking through the catalog, I was struck by how many people I know now that I didn't know then- Liz Berg, Mimi Holmes, Linda Boone Laird (essay in Quilts in the Attic), Heather Lair (essay in Quilts in the Attic and fellow Postmark'd Art participant), Catherine Lamkin (interviewed her for Q.S.O.S. and have remained friends), Ann Louise Mullard-Pugh (our quilts hung next to each other for the Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece traveling exhibit and I also interviewed her for Q.S.O.S.), Diane Petersmarck (interviewed her for Q.S.O.S.), Bonnie Smith (member of my group CLAW (Crossing the Line: Artists at Work) and a good friend), and last but not least Patty VanHuis-Cox (member of my heARTist Trading Cards group). And while Ami Simms and I knew each other then we are much closer now. It's just too cool.

So I have an image to illustrate all the connections in my life and I took a nice trip down memory lane. Who could ask for anything more?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Villa Park Library Presentation

I am giving a presentation on my book, Quilts in the Attic: Uncovering the Hidden Stories of the Quilts We Love, and the importance of quilts at the Villa Park Library tonight beginning at 7:00 p.m. If you are in the area, do come. I'm bringing quilts to show too. Love to see you.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

New Business Cards

What is it about paper products that make me so happy? I decided to treat myself to some new business cards. I was not sure if the image would work small. Thrilled that it did. Can't wait to hand them out.

I also decided to make bookmarks to give as thank you gifts at the On the Same Page Literary Festival. It was such a "duh" moment and I can thank heARTist Trading Cards small art trade for the idea. I had never made bookmarks before.
My friend Carolyn had made address labels with an image of my book cover for me so I put them on the back. I hope the people who pay to have lunch with me enjoy them.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gathering Grief

 Here is the second piece in my "gathering" series. This is "Gathering Grief." This has been a year of far too many unexpected deaths of people I love. I thought this would make the creation of this piece easy. It wasn't. Tears always seem to come when I look at this piece so I guess I was successful in tapping into that sad place inside me. This piece is 48" h x 12" w so it is just a little shorter than "Gathering Stillness."

ClaySpace is still under construction and hopefully things will get back to normal soon as I am anxious to begin working on "Gathering Joy." I am still trying to figure out what color to make the bust part. So tell me when you think of joy, what color comes to mind?

Wishing you only peace today.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On the Same Page

I am the featured author for On the Same Page Literary Festival in West Jefferson, North Carolina. If you are in the area, I would love to meet you. I will be giving a presentation, doing Lunch with an Author (guess no spinach salad for me) where 15 people get to eat lunch with me and pick my brain and a panel discussion. This should be a fun and interesting experience! Cannot wait to share what happens.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunny Bookmark

Creating is a great stress reliever for me. This month's small art trade for heARTist Trading Cards is bookmarks. While digging through my drawers of rubberstamps (I am on a mission to use them!), I came across one with a quote from Virginia Woolf, "I don't believe in aging. I believe in altering ones aspect to the sun." It became my inspiration. I used watercolor paints for the background then added a piece of Washsi tape that I found on clearance at Michael's down the center. Added the two rubbertamped images, a sticker that says "live, laugh, love,"some dimensional paint and fiber. Went to bed happy and woke this morning with a smile on my face.

Does creating help you relax?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Gift and Village Quilters

The Cooper Hawk that hangs out in my yard decided to take a bath in one of my pots. He just sat in the water for about 5 minutes before totally immersing into the water. He was fascinating to watch. Lucky was with me because that he was far enough away that my camera did not cause him to fly away.  Yes, I know I am easily entertained.

And if you're free Monday night come here my new lecture, Putting Stretch Marks on Your Comfort Zone, at the Village Quilters Quilt Guild meeting. I can't wait. Hope to see you!
Blanchard Alliance Church
1766 S. Blanchard St.
Wheaton, IL
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Gathering Stillness: An Exciting New Direction

 "In order to accomplish an experience, you have to have a chance to dance with it. You have to have a chance to play, to explore. Then each style of exploration that takes place is a different manifestation, we could say. Nevertheless, it is all part of one big game." -- Chogyam Trungpa

It actually hangs on the wall! Not perfect but I am so happy.  The final touch was earrings I made using wire, a hand charm and two beads. It feels good to be learning, stretching and growing. Now I can't wait to make "Gathering Joy."

This piece is a combination of ceramics and fiber. It is part of a series that I am creating. It is 52" h x 12" w.  It was created to hang on the wall. Next in the series is "Gathering Grief." These pieces represent some of my goals (stillness) and what is happening in my life (loss and joy).

My contribution to Off the Wall Fridays!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gathering Grief Quilt Done!

Forgive the quickly pinned and crooked quilt in the photograph. I am just so excited that it's done and wanted to share! I have spent every free second working on this quilt. Five days and probably 8 hours a day.  I used more than two skeins of pearl cotton and a bag of beads that I purchased in 1999. How do I know when I purchased the beads? Rings and Things puts the date on the label. What are they thinking? However,  I don't feel guilty or bad because they were perfect and I had them when I needed them. No shopping necessary! Love my stash of things.

People are always surprised when I tell them that I find handwork very relaxing. It's been good to have something relaxing to do because I am entering a high stress period (the month of September). It's exciting but it is stressful! Lots of travel and new opportunities.

Now it's time to sew the quilts on the busts and get them out into the world. It feels so good to be done so join me in a happy dance around the block! Haven't given the neighbors anything to talk about for a while.