Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Quilting and Sacred Threads

"Missing" 28" w x 34" h
The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I have been asked by several people if I have given up making quilts. Of course not. I do not think I could ever give up making things in fiber and remember I have never just done quilts. I have been working on a new quilt "Missing" for Sacred Threads. The background is a small painting that I had created into fabric. Originally I thought I would just create a quilt with it, but when it arrived, it did not feel right. I had a "ah ha" moment when I decided to make a quilt with chairs. Food and gatherings have always been a huge part of my life and with the loss of so many family members and friends these last few years I thought about the how to express the loss--a theme that seems to be a focus of so much of my artwork--and decided on empty chairs. I even quilted one in the background. Now I need to write 100 words about the quilt. By the way, the deadline has been extended to January 4 so you still have time. 

"Feeling Blue" 12" w x 17" h
Since I can enter two quilts for the entry fee, I decided to also enter "Feeling Blue." This quilt has more to do with dealing with feeling "not enough" and hence, depressed. And even though I do get depressed, I always remain hopeful which I also hope this piece expresses.

If you do not know about Sacred Threads, I strongly suggest you check it out even if you cannot enter at this time. It began in 1999 as an exhibition that dealt with spirituality and inspiration. "The show does not emphasize any particular religion or theology but conveys the spirituality, healing and inspirational messages that transcend all people." The shows use to be in Ohio and were run by the founders Vikki Pignatelli and Wendy Bynner. They handed over the reins in 2009 to Lisa Ellis and friends. The show now takes place in the Washington, D.C. area.   Pieces from the show also travel. I did not entered the last show in 2015, but both my quilts that I entered in 2013 traveled which was gratifying.  

I do think it is time to make something with a lighter theme! What themes do you repeat in your work?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Tale of Two Quilts

Women derive a pleasure, incomprehensible to the other sex, from the delicate toil of the needle. 
― Nathaniel HawthorneThe Scarlet Letter

When my first born requested a quilt, he asked for a "real" one, which meant hand pieced and hand stitched. He grew up watching me bring quilts to soccer, baseball, track and cross country meets where I was either hand piecing or hand quilting. Don't tell him but it was to help me keep my sanity. He wanted a very traditional quilt made in earth tones and so that is what he got. He took the quilt to college with him. I was touched that it was something he insisted upon taking. When his best friend spilled soup on it and asked,"What's the big deal? It's just a blanket," he did not speak to her for a week. Just a few years later, his dog Fletch would eat a hole through it and my offers to repair it went unheeded. I suspect it has been thrown away and while this saddens me, it's just a thing. 

When my second son asked for a quilt, he wanted a contemporary one done in black and white. He choose Karen Stone's paper pieced "Spinning Stars" pattern. When I kept sneaking in other colors, he put his hands on his hips and said, "You just cannot follow rules, can you?" Only later to admit that he really liked that the quilt was not just black and white. 
He is a minimalist by choice. He does not wish to own things but got quite distressed when his quilt started crocking. I will admit to being surprised since I used a Kaufman black, but nothing lasts forever. So I have been doing repair something I do not find particularly exciting and it reminds why I gave up quilt restoration many years ago. It always takes more time than expected. I am surprised that the metallic thread I used to quilt it has held up so well. No breaking or problems. I just figured out that the quilt is 17 years old. Time certainly flies. I suspect more repairs will be in its future until it simply cannot be repaired anymore. Have you repaired a quilt that you have made?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Black or White: You Decide

Opinions are like belly buttons; everybody has one. I never knock a man for his opinion.   

-Shaquille O'Neal

It is interesting that I can have the same conversation with different people over the course of a few days. This time it concerned white backgrounds. "Art needs to be on white backgrounds." "Everything looks better on white backgrounds." I was struck by the passion that went into these statements. "Museum walls are white, so that proves my point." Except I know this is not true. The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago has brightly colored walls and it works. "Black backgrounds on websites suck." I don't particularly like black backgrounds on websites, but one would be hard pressed to say that Apple did not do an outstanding job with their Mac Pro website. I will say that black background sites, do get my attention in part because they are now rare. I remember when they were the rage. My problem with black background websites is that it takes my eyes time to adjust to reading the white text. ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Center has a photography booth with a gradation background- it goes from black to grey to white. Sometimes I like the look and other times it just doesn't work for my artwork, but I know that it is a preference for many of the artists there. They simply do not like a solid colored background.

A friend asked me to photograph some snake skin (Yep, I own snake skin. I found it in my yard more than 20 years ago.) for an art project (sketching) that she had in mind. After seeing the snake skin on black, she asked for it with white so I decided to use these photographs for this blog post.  While I like the composition of the white backgrounded photograph, I prefer the snake skin on the black background.  There is a right or wrong answer. So which one do you like? Do you always use a white background when photographing your work?  What is your favorite background?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Should Art Be Explained: Thoughts on "Home"

Best of Show
Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make. -John Cage

I have been thinking about "Home" at the ARC Gallery since attending the opening. There were had that I loved and pieces I just did not get.  I attended the opening with Barbara L. Wester and I am so thankful that I did. It was good to discuss the art with someone. And maybe I should not have been surprised (I was) that we both had the same opinions!

Neither of us got how the Best of Show related to "home." I know art is suppose to speak for itself. I also know that when I encounter a piece or an artist I want to know more-- thought process, life, etc. When the judges spoke about their process for selection and talked about some of the pieces of art, they did not talk about the Best of Show at all. My favorite part of the evening was listening to the artists talk about their work. Knowing that the painting of the playground by Anitra Frazier was inspired by a photograph her father took. The video "I Need a Hug" dealt with his parents divorcing. I wish the gallery had provided at least a binder filled with info on the artists and their statements about the work.

The jurors, Trevor Martin and Asha Veal Brisebois, did speak at the opening and a written statement from them was available. For them, it was important to include as many different mediums and points of view as possible.  They did not want to just have photographs or paintings. While Trevor was asked to be the juror, he wanted to provide a learning experience for a student so Asha became a juror. He said that he appreciated having someone to discuss the art with and that they did not always agree.

From the Jurors:

"Home may be defined in a variety of ways: as a place of residence, a place where one flourishes, a congenial or familiar setting, a place of origin, a family unit, even a finishing point in a race.

Home can also be a contested site, marked by monetary, physical, and emotional economies, family histories, and threats from both without and within.

So often, home is defined in relation to others, amid complex equations of community--how one is included, excluded, allowed to speak, be spoken for, how one is welcomed or not, and how power and agency flows through this social fabric. As jurors, these notions of community have been on our minds over a course of recent weeks. How can we, as cultural agents, define and redefine community?

Like-minded souls and communities are not defined by borders, colors, or even languages. This is something we always believed in, and now stand by even more boldly. We are proud that The Home Show represents so many artists, exemplifying the great society that we call home, and the fierce intelligence, creativity, and generosity of multicultural communities, and societal leaders through the arts.

The work of artists---as makers, as provocateurs, as critical thinkers--has felt so important all along and now feels even more urgent and expansive.

In our individual homes, families may have tow mothers, two fathers, or one of each. The neighbor next door is Black, Chinese, Columbian, or Irish American. Some neighbors visit other nations, and we are glad to know one another., occupying the same space, now as countrymen and also as friends.

Welcome to our home. Believe in and work toward this place."

Newbold Bohemia's piece was selected to publicize the exhibition. Newbold considers herself to be a "photographic artist." Both Barbara and I liked this piece. Both of us were bothered that the telephone did not appear to be plugged in. I guess for us the details matter.

I am familiar with Kathleen Eaton's work. She is a Chicago artist.  Her piece Twilight was displayed behind the gallery desk so it was next to impossible to see it up close and personal. This piece did not speak to me even though I am impressed by how well it is painted. I like her urban landscapes so much better. I encourage you to check them out.

Adrienne Der Marderosian's collages were quite interesting. The two pieces had the same images but one had more detail and the other was faint. They were only approximately 5" x 7" framed. Sorry I don't have a photograph but the lighting did not allow for a good photo.

One of my favorite pieces was a book, Faucet, by Sally Schluter Tardella. Unfortunately, only a small portion of the book could be seen and while there is a small photo of the book on her website there is no detail. I did peek at the other side and of course, it was the side that most interested me. It was full of writing and anyone reading my blog knows I love the written word on things. This piece has inspired me to try a codex book.

Barbara and I also both liked this painting of a bar scene. I feel terrible that I did not get the artist's name. It reminded me of a Edward Hopper's Nighthawk. 

Sara Allen Prigodich's piece, Wait, was tucked in a corner at the front of the gallery. It was nice to see a piece of ceramic art being included. I like that while it appears to be soft, it is actually hard.

If you are in or near Chicago, I encourage you to visit the gallery and see the show. I would love to hear your thoughts.  Once again I am reminded how subjective art is and that I am grateful that we are not all the same.

In my conversation with Asha, she asked me where I consider home after I shared that I had lived in a lot of different places. I did not have an immediate answer. I have concluded that home for me is family and not a place. Where do you consider home?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Night that I Will Not Soon Forget--Going for a Dream

Last night was the opening of "Home" at the ARC Gallery in Chicago. It was almost a surreal experience. I learned that more than 400 pieces of art were submitted and 36 were accept. When I went to visit my piece, "Mirage: Not Always as It Seems," I discovered that I was one of four honorable mentions. There are also one best of show. If as the evening could not get better, one of the board members approached me about applying for membership in the gallery because my piece was her favorite and she was thrilled when it was accepted. She also liked the other piece I submitted and felt if this indicated the type of work that I do that I would be most welcomed into the gallery. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I am still processing it all. And, yes, I am considering applying because it scares me and I haven't done enough things that frighten me.

I thought I would share the other piece I submitted. I have been creating a series of dresses in cloth, clay, resin and paper. "Not in This Body" has to do with women and transgenders who do not feel at home in their own bodies. I was so proud of myself for actually being able to create barbed wire out of clay and successfully getting it out of the kiln in one piece.

"Mirage: Not Always as It Seems" deals with home not always being a safe place but the outside world does not know this. It's a deeply personal piece so having it accepted then acknowledge by the judges - Trevor Martin (Director of Exhibitions and Associate Curator at the School of the Art Institute) and Asha Veal Brisebois (graduate student in art administration and policy student at School of the Art Institute Chicago)- is beyond words for me. My parents never embraced my desire to create art. They thought I should become a teacher or a secretary. Seeing the world differently was something that made them uncomfortable. Deciding it was time to risk more has paid off more than I ever imagined. What risk have you taken that has paid off more than you imagined?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Planning Ahead- New Journal

This pouring thoughts out on paper has relieved me. I feel better and full of confidence and resolution.”
― Diet EmanThings We Couldn't Say

Thanks to everyone for their kind words about the passing of my cat E.G. I thought I was handling it well until a traffic jam at my grocery store had me making a quick detour. I suddenly realized I was in the pet isle and starting crying. Thankfully I had tissues with me. I felt a little silly, but I know grief is a process and stopped beating myself up. Progress!
Journal is 9.5" x 6.5" x 1".

I have not felt overly creative but I have been working on a new journal. My intention was to use it for next year but I wrote about E.G.'s death in it and a short note on Thanksgiving. It is a handmade book that I purchased years ago. As I have said in the past, I am going to start using things that I have "saved." This felt like a good start. The handmade paper is presently some challenges. It absorbed the watercolor paints so much that getting a watercolor look did not happen and it does not like fine point pens. A Sharpie seems to work best so I will need to go with the flow.

I decided to do things a little differently this time because I want to be able to list somethings and think about others.

Here is just one example-- "Things to Remember" has to do with having more gratitude. "Things to Let Go" has to
do with healing the past. I have a place to list all the books I read and things I want to learn. Some pages have photographs, found and created paper, envelopes to put things in, blank pages for sketching, etc. I am excited!

Do you journal? Have you created your own? What have your challenges been?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Life Had Other Plans

I had planned to start a couple of new projects on Monday, but returning home from picking up by piece at the Burning Bush Gallery, I discovered that my cat of more than 20 years, E.G. (named after one of my favorite authors- Ellen Gilchrist) had decided to die. By the time I found her, she had slipped thankfully into a coma. I sat with her until she drew her last breath. While it was and still is extremely sad, I am glad she died at home. She hated car rides and really hated the vet. I knew it was coming because after all she was old and had been going downhill for quite a while. She lived far long than I had ever thought possible especially considering she was feral. The grieving continues and I am ready to start my new projects that I will be sharing soon. How have you coped with the loss of a pet?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

ARC Gallery

I joke that I am trying to get all my vices in one room and it's true! I have collected and made so many things and it is time to start using them before it is too late. Assemblage has always fascinated me and this came together while I was working on a class proposal for ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Center in Lisle. It actually came together rather quickly. It is made from an old cheese box that I added some chair pieces. The chair was in my yard and fell apart. Now I wish I had kept more pieces from it! The nest is an actual robin's nest that I dipped in slip (runny clay) and was wood fired. Because of where it was in the kiln, it got over fired and fused to the kiln shelf. I added other found objects like a mouse skull, bones, rocks, a piece of glass, whole nutmeg and a shell piece. I really like the way it came out. It's called "Mirage: Not Always as it Seems."

Then the call from ARC Gallery (2156 N. Damen Ave., Chicago) came into my inbox for an exhibition called "Home." I decided to enter my piece and pinch me! I got in. I still cannot believe it. The judges were too people from the School of the Art Institute. The exhibition runs from November 23 - December 17. The opening reception is December 2 from 6 pm - 9 pm. I cannot wait. ARC Gallery has been around since 1973. It grew out of the women's movement and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever have a piece of my artwork hanging in it. Once again, I am glad I ventured outside of my comfort zone and I cannot wait to create my assemblage pieces.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Michelle Owens Free At Last

More than seven years ago, I drove to Maryville, Ohio, to interview quiltmakers for Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories, an oral history project, in the Ohio Reformatory for Women. The women had made quilts for a special exhibit for Sacred Threads called Beyond the Barrier. This is where I met Michelle. To be honest, I did not feel a strong connection to Michelle when we met, not like I did with some of the other women. And yet, I have the closest relationship with Michelle.  I have watched her grow, work hard and become self aware. Michelle was 35 years old when she entered prison and it is now more than 12 years later. Tomorrow she will be released after serving her full sentence. She will be facing lots of challenges. Her mother is suffering from dementia. She will need to get a job, but will not have a car, etc. She hopes to knit for homeless and children in need. She truly has a good heart and knows that she made some bad decisions including the man she married and hopes to divorce soon. He did the crime, made a deal and got out early, but that isn't what I want to concentrate on here. It does explain her new last name. I hope you will join me in helping Michelle feel supported and encouraged by sending her a card and/or a fat quarter, etc. Thanks!

Michelle Krajcovic
874 Triplett Blvd.
Akron, OH 44306

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Lesson of Burnt Toast

Dropping Out of the Conga Line to do the Merengue 
"Being tolerant does not mean that I share another one's belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another's right to believe, and obey, his own conscience." -Viktor Frank

It's interesting how a memory from childhood suddenly sprung in my mind as I listened to a woman behind me rant about art quilts to her friend. I didn't mean to ease drop but it was impossible not to hear her because she was so loud and passionate. "Quilts can never be art." "People who make art quilts are snobs and disillusional." I so wanted to take her friend, new to quilting, aside. I thought about saying something but from past experience, I knew that there was nothing I could say that would change this woman's mind. And that is when my childhood memory popped into my head. I was 10 or 11 years old and visiting my grandparents in Maryland for first time with just my brother along. My grandfather was never a warm man and even though he had three daughters and no sons, he always seemed awkward around me. Since my brother was also present, the "boys" hung out together as did the "girls." Anyway, my grandfather liked his toast burnt--black and completely lacking in any moisture. When he ate it, you could hear the crunch and watch the crumbs fall.  I liked my toast "warm" as he would call it. He did not think I should be able to have my toast the way I liked it. Thankfully after listening to a long lecture, he left the table and my grandmother gave me "warm" toast. To this day, I do not understand what the big deal was about the way I like my toast. So I turned around and asked the woman, "How do you like your toast?" and then asked anyone that was nearby. As I suspected, no one answered the same way. "Making quilts is a lot like toast," I said. "There is lots of different ways to make them." I got applause from the person behind the cash register. I wish I could tell you that I got through to the woman instructing her friend. I did get a thumb's up from her friend (when her friend wasn't looking) so I am happy. Do you have a burnt toast experience? If so, I would love to hear it.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Real Simple magazine

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  -Ben Franklin

When I lecture and teach, I talk a lot about taking risks and not being afraid to fail because that is how I try to live my life. Over the years I have entered Real Simple's call for their "Your Words."  I have never been selected until "What is your secret to hosting a great Thanksgiving meal?" I was and still am in shock that I was selected because my "secret" had nothing to do about planning the meal or selecting a theme as others shared.

The actual experience was interesting. When I first received the list questions, my answers were not long enough (they got edited in the end anyway). When asked what I do for a living, I stated that I make art, teach, lecture, write and curate. The reply was to ask if I was retired. LOL They would not list everything that I do . I still don't understand why so they chose mixed media artist and curator. I am fine with that, but still wonder why doing many things that all feed my soul and for me, are all connected, could not be listed.  So far only my mother and one friend have noticed I am in the magazine so I guess I won't have my 15 minutes of fame. I can only hope that if I can start a movement for sharing more about what we are grateful for in the people we love then I will have accomplished something. Here's to "the buffet in between." I do love Thanksgiving and I am so thankful to those who read my words.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

ReEntry: Life is Good!

Life is so ironic, it takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence and absence to value presence.

I thought I was done. I would hang out with my family, play in my garden and make art that I wanted to make without any thought to entering or even what I would do with it. The universe thought otherwise. Suddenly I was inundated with requests to lecture and even more wonderful, teach! My youngest son started pushing me about getting back out there and selling my wares.  So I have jumped back in with both feet after some major surgery. I entered "Gathering Stillness" in Burning Bush Gallery's show "The Inner Journey" and it got in! This small gallery is in an old 1890 (216 Main Street) house in Wheaton, IL. The opening was on Sunday and I left feeling so good that I danced to my car. The people were wonderful and the artwork incredible. I got many much needed hugs. The show is up until November 20 and is well worth the trip. The gallery is open Sundays from 1- am - 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday 9 am - 4 pm and by appointment (708.705.8669). Looking forward to sharing more good news with you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Serendipity Strikes Again

I've always loved life, and I've never known what's ahead. I love not knowing what might be round the corner. I love serendipity. -Twiggy

I was cleaning out my studio and came across a bunch of fabrics that would be good for faces. This is something the women in Los hilos de la vida/Threads of Life, a quilt cooperative in Northern California, were often in need. My gut told me for quite a while that the group had disband, but I didn't want to believe it. It was time and sure enough funding had dried up and the group had disband. Molly Johnson Martinez, the founder and director, hopes to start a similar project in another county in the future. However, here's where it gets interesting. A week later, Peggy Hazard contacted me about Los hilos because her paper on the Migrant Quilt Project was accepted for the American Quilt Study Group's 2016 seminar and she couldn't find contact information. Peggy needed a photograph. I love how the universe works when you listen and act. Sharing with Peggy brought back some great memories and I am glad when my need to purge computer files that I did not purge the one of Los hilos. But I am also sad because the cooperative helped so many women and now there is a void. I am thankful that the group will live on forever through the 35 interviews with Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories project so all is not lost. This is all so bittersweet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kiln Gods Were Not Kind

There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. - Leonard Cohen, "Anthem"

I took up ceramics to exorcism a past experience that caused me to give up my love of clay. Most of the time, I feel I have released the past, but at other times I wonder why anyone would ever want to use ceramic as a creative endeavor. There are so many variables especially in a cooperative. I will admit that partly it was my fault. I love playing with different clays. I was told that a new brown clay that come into the studio was extremely easy to use and that it played well with our glazes. I was told that I could get a nice blue, which was what I needed. The gallery I am in requested that I recreate the two masks that had sold. Not something I usually do, but with an unemployed husband this was not an option. So the first image are the masks that were made from the new brown clay done with the exact same glaze and done on the same day. It's a go figure. None of the experts can give me a definitive answer.

There was a time in my life where the voice in my head would have said, "You're no good. You should just give up." The voice is still there, I just don't listen. And while I don't like the idea of starting over, I feel blessed that I can. I also know I won't be using the new brown clay. Lesson learned! Have you done any exorcisms of your own?

By the way, one of my best activities that I have done at ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Center was an evening where I got people to create kiln gods that protect our kilns. Here is mine.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Indigo: In Search of the Color that Seduced the World

I stumbled upon Catherine McKinley's book Indigo: In Search of the Color that Seduced the World at my local library and while I have not finished it I would like to recommend it. This is not a history book but instead a memoir that contains the history of indigo especially the Gold Coast of Africa. It is beautifully and eloquently written (I admire good writing.). I have been drawn to memoirs lately so this was a bonus find for me. If you do read it, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ideas and Multiple Discovery

Ideas are like rainbows. If the conditions are right and paying attention, you are rewarded.

I got an email from someone I don't know who I have decided is concerned for me (attitude is everything) even though she feels I have "stolen" an idea from someone. I have been teaching "my" quilt-as-you-go technique internationally for more than 20 years. I readily admit that I did not invent quilt-as-you-go and my version is also based on my love of strip and scrap quilts. I simply put it all together in my own way. About five years into teaching "Bending Quilt-As-You-Go," someone asked if I knew of Ann Bauer's work, which I had not. She said that while our work was similar in construction (quilt-as-you-go), she also noticed differences. From that point on, I avoided Ann's work (sorry Ann, just did not want to be influenced). I also suspect that this might be what the email is referring. Although I cannot be sure because the email does not share the "who."

Multiple discovery- a term used in the scientific community whenever two or more scientists in different parts of the work come up with the same idea at the same time- is something I think also occurs all the time in all fields. One example from the quilt world involves Kathy Schmidt and Rayna Gillman who were both working on books about "no rules" or "free-form" quilting at the same time. I believe that ideas are out there floating around looking for people who are open to them (see my quote). Ideas are limitless. We just have to be open and do the work.

My technique was born because I wanted people to keep making quilts. I kept hearing about too many UFOs, not being able to master machine quilts, but not having the funds to pay for quilting, etc. I can remember the day the idea came to me and how I could not sleep until I figured it out. I love those magical moments that don't happen often enough, but just enough to keep me working. My technique is now being used to create unique shoes in Georgia (country not state).  An artist in Almaty continues to make a living selling potholders using my technique. It makes me happy because creating is a good thing.  So what ideas have sprung up into your head?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I am back to lots of handwork. It grounds me. It also uses the indigo piece that I have had on my design wall for more than a year. Time to use it! So my question to you is, do I use the butterfly or not? Thanks for your input.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Letting Go- SteamFast SP-660

I remember a wonderful conversation about letting go with Arline Crowley. She has a story in my book Quilts in the Attic called "History Returned. "I heard people say that when they got older, they started giving things away. I just thought that was nuts until I turned seventy-two, and now I understand." I am not seventy-two but I do feel a strong need to clean out items I am simply not using. I have a lightly used SteamFast SP-660 with manual, pressing pad and water container for filling the water tank. Retails for $249.99 and I am asking $100. It is great for pressing large pieces of fabric. A friend uses her to fuse. I am willing to ship for the actual cost of shipping. 

With gratitude,


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Everyone Needs a Hand Now and Then

People who wonder whether the glass is half empty or half full miss the point. The glass is refillable. -Anonymous

To say that this year has not going as planned is to put it mildly. I have decided to consider it a sad Country Western song that will have a happy ending. I am healthy again and more hopeful. The dead Kindle and furnace have been replaced and fixed. The broken work is being recreated. Time to get moving and make up for lost ground. To let go (looks to be the theme for my year) of what did not happen and focus on the moment. I continue to be a process person--it's a journey.

Jasper Johns's quote from one of his notebooks dating from the early 1970s really says so much about how I feel:

To give up
To do the work
To doubt that the work needs doing?
At any rate, time passes.
A clear object.
An unclear object.

To begin to do.
A way to begin.
(which might or might not include a way to end.)

On a lighter note, I love exchanges and have missed doing them so I suggested to two friends--Linda Edkins Wyatt and Marie Z. Johansen that we use our hands to create art. The left hand (the one closest to our heart) will be used for a round robin. For mine, I did simple watercolor so that Linda and Marie could add to you then I decided that I would create a book so there are also blank pages. For my gift (right hand) one, I am creating something out of clay. My first attempt got knocked over and broken. While disappointing, I try to remind myself that I can always create more and this attitude is a must when it comes to creating with clay. There are times when I honestly wonder why anyone would work in an art that has so much outside our control. Since I was trying a new technique, I think my second attempt will actually be better. Practice does make perfect (or at least better). Linda was on the ball. I share her "Seek" with you. You can also read her thoughts on our hand project on her blog.

Here's to making it a great day! And hoping that your new year is going well. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Treasures from the Past

First, thank you to everyone for the kind words. It has been wonderful to reconnect. I have missed you!

This year is not going as planned. My grandson shared his cold and it hit me hard. I've been battling a nasty cough and congestion for 9 days. Guess I needed to rest. I have worked on the first dress. Dipping the resin, as opposed to brushing it on, was a challenge. I think I am going to need to brush more resin on if I want to add anything to it especially at the top. The dress was too pale so I dyed it with strong tea and turmeric. I do like the way it looks. I am still undecided about adding wings, but not sure that as it is that it is enough so please share your thoughts. This is the medium sized dress/slip. It is 19 inches tall by 14 inches wide.

I was surprised by how many people reached out to me about their family treasures and their struggles. I think this is a great topic for us to explore if you are game. Perry has lots of family lace and wonders what others would do with it. I am sure she would appreciate suggestions as I did not have any. I was also asked if I feel any guilt about how I am using this gift from my mother-in-law and honestly, I don't. I feel gifts should not have strings and my mother-in-law never expressed more than she wanted me to have Carolyn's clothes because she knew I would care about them, which I do. I also feel that having them out in the world if even just on my blog is better than sitting in a drawer. So I look forward to being healthy again and hearing your thoughts. So is it enough? And don't forget thoughts on all of Perry's family lace. Also I would love to hear if you have also transformed a family heirloom/object.