Currently on exhibit at the Bexley Public Library, through the end of May…a collection of fabric collages. Some featured are from a previous collection, shown at Gallery M in Granville, Ohio. Some are new pieces, never before shown! All are works focused on the interplay between fabrics, textures and colors, while incorporating vintage textiles, sugar, rice, flour and salt bags and selvedges. If you are logistically close enough, I hope you’ll stop in and enjoy!
May 6th, 2013
April 29th, 2013
I just finished this needlepoint book mark, self designed and stitched, and realized it sums up how I’m feeling today…going to be a contemplative Monday! The rain, while appreciated for washing away persistent pollen and nourishing our blossoming surroundings, was a surprise to me this morning as I ran out the door!
Tempted to grumble, I jumped into my rain boots and opened the front door to a gift! Walking my youngest, Miles, to school and the ability to hug the whole way as we shared the umbrella, was precisely that! A gift! A moment to chat, giggle and prepare for another busy day! Moments like these will be short lived I know, as he is growing up so quickly!
With that said, I encourage you to get out and look for the little gifts that today brings you! Happy Monday!
April 10th, 2013
So I ask you…are corn flowers, actually flowers or are they a pesky, weed that chooses to grow in the most desolate, dismal spots along the road?
This particular debate has been waged in my family for years. Every summer in fact. Our summers when I was a kid, included an annual station wagon ride down south, to visit my Mother’s family in Tupelo, Mississippi. With windows down, the car broiling to the point that the backs of your knees stuck to the pleather seats, my mother, (trying to break the monotony) would happily exclaim in her renewed southern accent, ”Oh look! I just loooove cornflowers!”
My brother and I, taking a break from our bickering over the coleman cooler, would exchange glances, roll our eyes and shrug our shoulders. Corn flowers? Really? They looked like lost weeds lining the road, much like people who lined up for a parade on the wrong day. Why are they popping up there? When the view from my window only offered never-ending fields of tobacco and the occasional dilapidated barn, I wondered why such a thing could stand to pop up through the cracks in the hot, dusty road, to receive nothing but blistering abuse? Considering that they only get a drink if it rains, that they get constantly pummeled by the hot breeze off endless tires speeding by them, and worse yet, remain roadside and perpetually ignored… I couldn’t drum up any connection in the name of admiration or sympathy…simply put, from my sweltering backseat-view, Mom’s favorite flowers were WEEDS! My frustration continued with this flower, later when I learned (by trying to pick a bouquet of them for one Mother’s Day), that if you pick them, they immediately close their blue blossoms and wilt, dying on their sticklike stems in your hot little hands. What nerve!
Now that I am 45 years old and my Mom is no longer living, I still encounter her beloved cornflowers along the road. I now realize, or admit, that I like them too! After all of these years, I have figured out why Mom liked them so much. These flowers have guts, popping up in the least desirable locations, standing tall and smiling in the face of adversity, and by doing so, spreading a little joy to the weary traveler! A little pop of color, where most admittedly needed! It’s truly the little things!
That was my Mom…always rooting for the underdog, always appreciative of the understated, of the subtle beauty and little gifts that life presents us in the least likely places along our journey. It’s all in how you view it from your window on life…here’s to CORNFLOWERS, not weeds!
March 19th, 2013
In second grade at Wheeling Country Day School in Wheeling, West Virginia, I had Mrs. Maroon as my teacher. She had a reputation for being stern. In her large, big-bossomed build, overly dyed black hair and bold makeup, she proved rather intimidating. Let’s just say I worked hard in her class… strictly out of fear.
What I learned in second grade shaped me for life, not knowing it would at the time. One day, Mrs. Maroon gave us the homework assignment to bring in a piece of light colored fabric from home, that was large enough to write our names on. I happily appeared the next day with a scrap of yellow plaid cotton. She had me write down my “monogram” in pencil and then placed my fabric in an embroidery hoop. What a cool contraption- my kind of accessory! She then threaded a needle with red thread and got me started. She showed me how to knot my thread at the bottom, which required great concentration and of course my tongue sticking out! She taught me how to come up through the fabric from the back and start a running stitch. I took it from there. There were points in the beginning of my “A” that I was overly tense and concentrating too hard, resulting in tight tiny stitches, completely uneven! There was a point that I wanted to give up (as can be seen on the top, right side of my “A”). As we all stitched and admired each other’s developing monograms, Mrs. Maroon quietly went desk to desk and assisted where needed. She encouraged me to start over in stitching my “A” and to make bigger stitches each time. Through her gentle encouragement, I relaxed and got the hang of it. I remember her saying she liked my fabric choice and how cheery the red thread looked against the yellow. I was proud from the extra attention but mostly relieved to see a friendly side of her. Mrs. Maroon ceased to be intimidating to me from that day forward! So much so, that I cried at the end of the year having to leave her classroom for third grade!
Little did I know that I would pick up a skill that would shape my life, but even more so, to learn one of life’s most important lessons- not to judge someone based on appearances.
My mom finished my yellow fabric into a pillow, which I still have today. Though dingy and faded, it sits in my armchair in my studio, reminding me of my introduction to sewing…thank you Mrs. Maroon…for the best assignment EVER!!!
March 18th, 2013
Happiness is a new bookcase! More storage for my daily tools…vertical wall space waiting to be consumed with inviting shelves…nothing makes me happier than the promise of organization (probably why The Container Store and Target are so popular)!
I have to function in a small space and sometimes it can prove challenging when I work in three different mediums- fabric collage, watercolor and needlepoint designs/stitching! Often I will have collages in progress consuming my table, watercolors drying in my sewing spot and needlepoint canvases parked all over the place with their bags of coordinating threads!
I strive to be as creative as I can with my approach to storage and organizing and find it surprising that some of the tiniest features have proven the most helpful and most economical! For instance, the tiny stick-on hooks that hold my scissors and towels out of the way and yet within reach, when needed!
The small table-top ironing board is perfect as it can be tucked out of the way easily…
and who knew that photo boxes could hold so much (other than photos)! They are great for pulling out a lot of paint at once and being able to replace it all quickly when finished. The fact that they have a lid allows me to hide contents if necessary!
My old quilt hanger had been abandoned in the basement when I pulled it out and hung some plain fabric up as a design wall. It allows me to pin up works in progress and to keep track of the fabric selvedges that I use in my design work.
So if you’re space is needing a little re-organizing this Spring…get creative…think small and resourceful… I’d check in the basement first! Ahhh the little things that make one happy!
March 13th, 2013
March 11th, 2013
After the warm and sunny weekend which left me encouraged for Spring’s arrival, I was disappointed to wake to the rain this morning! I’m craving color at this point of the year! Enough cold, gray scenery for me!
Glad I made this colorful wreath last night as I watched my taped episode of Sunday Morning!
This was so easy to make and took only a few minutes!
By using a straw wreath base, I simply cut 3-4 inch wide strips of scrap fabric and tied them on, carefully overlapping each additional strip. I knotted them and left the ends hanging until the wreath was filled and I could determine how long I wanted the tails…I chose to snip them short and then I tied a small bit of string (which blends right into all the color) for hanging! It kind of reminds me of one of the many sun motifs that are submitted and used throughout the Sunday Morning segments).
Great color fix on a rainy Monday! Enjoy!
February 22nd, 2013
Just recently picked up a copy of Lilla Roger’s, I just Like to Make Things and how refreshing! An agent for artists, shares a lot of great information for artists of all types, in all mediums, trying to break into various markets. Unlike other “how-to” books, this one is generous with information, interviews and needed insight. I’ve followed many of the artists that the Lilla Rogers Studio represents and they have all seen their share of corporate success. Lilla is very smart, experienced and very dedicated to her stable of artists. This is a great book if you simply want to understand how things work “behind the scenes” of magazines, the licensing world and book publishing! It is also just an exciting book to peruse if you are not an artist, but need a little pick-me-up this gloomy time of year…it provides great eye candy!
In the words of our local library’s marketing slogan..check it out!
November 29th, 2012
I love hostess gifts! There I said it! I don’t mean I love RECEIVING hostess gifts…I love planning, making and presenting them. I love that they come without expectations or limitations. I love that they can be anything, any size, shape or item! Now, even though I know I can zip through Target and grab something suitable, I dread that because for me, it removes all the joy.
Today I took a few minutes to pull together a hostess gift for an upcoming party we are attending. No, I didn’t make the wine! But I did embroider the felt ornament with a snowflake and make the fabric wine bag. I was so pleased to create something that I know will keep giving…the gift of having a new ornament to hang on the tree, the gift of a glass of wine on a cold night, the gift of having the hostess realize it was created with them in mind. To me, that is the best part of this season… simple statements of appreciation! Pass ‘em on – go forth and MAKE!
November 5th, 2012
Karen at Needlepointnet gave me a shout out today on her blog, highlighting the canvases I have designed for kids! I spent last night teaching my son, Miles, some embroidery stitches and he is really doing a nice job for a first timer! I can’t wait to get him “hooked” on needlepoint too!
Miles, hard at work…such concentration!
He designed and stitched his piece…well done! Next I am going to show him how to fill in his ‘stache!!! I’m glad he is unplugged from technology and learning a new skill. I think I’ll show him how to sew on buttons too (perhaps sparing his future spouse some headaches)!!!