Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Word of the Year

Last year's word was JOY
When I reflected on last year's word, and if I had achieved it, at first I wasn't sure.
Then I realized that indeed my husband and I had achieved a new joy in our love and relationship.
In February he started working again after almost 3 years.
This was the beginning of the next phase of our life together.
We have a new appreciation for our time together and spend of most of it laughing. 

This year's word is:

There are many changes I would like to make happen in 2011.
Too many to list, covering the whole spectrum, from health to career.

This is a piece I made in September to mark the beginning of living as if a leaf in the river of life.

I now try to trust more in the universe and not resist or fight the events around me.
I was inspired to live a more peaceful calm life after listening to
I highly recommend his work.

The leaf is 3 dimensional and floats above the river.
I have found living this way to be much more enjoyable than my old way.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Egg Muffins

My neighbor back in NY posted these on her Facebook, so I had to make them.
Use Puff Pastry sheets by Pepperidge Farm from your local grocery store.
It needs to thaw 40 minutes, I used one sheet.
 Bake some strips of bacon with brown sugar in the toaster oven.
 Fill the muffin tins with the puff pastry and bacon
 Add egg, milk and cheese mixture
 Sip on some coffee as they bake, about 15 minutes
 When the egg puffs up like a muffin, they are done
 They pop right out of the muffin tins
I can't wait to make them again tomorrow.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Basement Discoveries

While at a friend's parents' house for Thanksgiving, playing a post-dinner Round Robin Ping Pong game in their basement, I noticed a striking fiber piece tucked behind some stuff.
As a fiber artist, I was immediately intriged and asked about it.
I was told that it came with the house 37 years ago.
Not being their taste, it has lived in the basement since then.
 It was made of unusual material and I was attracted to the earthy feeling.
Knowing how I love fiber, they offered it to me. 
Of course I accepted, a sucker for fiber and anything free, 
my husband and I crammed it into the backseat of our car.
 We have no wall space left, but the thought of leaving it hidden,
tucked away in a basement didn't seen right.
Employing the wonders of modern technology, I Googled the artist.
It turns out that Helen Webber was not a challenge to find.
 Here is a side view, you can see the unique textures created from the fabric and cording.
Not sure what we'll do with it, I'd like to find a nice home for it,
since it really is a beautiful piece.
It brings me joy, not only because I love trees and it is so unusual, but also
because it is a basement discovery that we now have the opportunity to give a new life.

I can't help but also feel a little sad thinking of my own art,
and where it might end up in 37 years.
The story of this piece is not that uncommon,
it is the nature of art and the unpredictable life it will live.
Just something to keep in mind as you make your art,
you make it for that moment and once you set it free, you can only hope for the best.
It will have its own life, maybe it will live on someone's wall to bring everyday joy,
or maybe it will have a rebirth many years later and enlighten and bring joy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

September-November 2010

There has been a few important things that I have been involved in over the last several months, including working on my National Board Certification. It is an intense and extremely time consuming process. That being said, my updates will be sporadic in the next 6 months as I focus on getting through the writing process involved with passing it.
Here is the chart I made for it:

In September, I put together an exhibit of the show, The Unspoken Truth About Color: A Dialogue in Art Quilts About Racism at The Facing Race Conference in Chicago. The exhibit includes 27 diverse artists from around the county that contributed 31 pieces to the show.
 Here is the entrance to the "gallery"
  We used cheap easels and foam core to display the pieces
 Here I am with my two pieces
 Carol Beck came up all the way from North Carolina to help, she stayed in the gallery the whole time, speaking to everyone who came in. Here she is with here piece.
 She shared the personal stories behind the pieces
as well as educated attendees about racism and art quilting.
 The space was well lit and often filled with people.
The public response to the show was incredible.
Many had strong emotional responses to the pieces
and thanked us for sharing such a powerful show at the conference.
 Here we are with our conference organizer, Donna Hernandez,
an amazing woman and new friend.
This exhibit will travel with the Mancuso Quilt Festival in 2011
in Chicago April 27 – May 22, 2011.

Opening reception will be on Friday, April 29, 2011 from 6 to 9 p.m
in conjunction with the YWCA’s National Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism.

In October I had my first public show as part of The Ravenswood Art Walk, where over 300 artists and businesses participated in the 9th Annual Tour of Arts & Industry in the Ravenswood Corridor in Chicago. This self-guided tour of open studios, galleries and spaces along the historic Ravenswood Corridor
is the annual kick off to the 15th Annual Chicago Artists Month.

I was assigned 34 feet of wonderful wall space in one of the participating buildings.

 You can read about many of these pieces in old blog posts.
I greatly enjoyed having the opportunity to share my work with the public
and experience first hand people's reactions to my work, which was all good.
Many were interested in the medium since fiber work is not usually well represented at shows
like this. I enjoyed sharing my process and techniques with interested viewers.
 Dancers below, inspired by a friend's wedding and how fun it was to dance.
Yes piece below is a third in a series called, I am Am I
 The Belly Dancers that I started in November of last year
when I saw them perform at the Ravenswood Art Walk.
 I was thrilled to finish them in time for this year's Ravenswood Art Walk.
I hope to find some time between NBC writing to make some new pieces,
if I do I will post about them. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blue Chair

This is a third chair in a series of 3. 
The series is called Primary Chairs.
The series started with a yellow chair for a challenge about adapting.
The second chair is red.
For this piece I took some new pictures to use as reference.
I wanted the chair facing the light, the hammer and nail represent how you can keep yourself balanced during challenging times of unbalance in your life. 
Here is a close up of the hammer & nail.

I used thrift store shirts for all 3 pieces and Triangle Paper to create the background for this one.
I made many, many, many triangle combinations for the piece. These are just a few of them. 

As I pieced, trimmed, and pieced again, I listened to the audio book, The Other Wes Moore.
A great book, especially for anyone who works with urban kids.
When I look at this piece that story is embedded into the fibers of the piece and it brings me joy.
The white box on the red chair represents faith.
The stones on the yellow chair represent friends and family.
All the chairs represent how you can get through difficult times of unbalance in life.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Heal The Ocean, Oil Disaster Response Piece

This piece was inspired by Susan Shie's positive approach to dealing with the oil disaster in the gulf. She posted on her Facebook page about creating a piece for SAQA about healing the gulf, and I thought that was such a wonderful way to work through this disaster that leaves us feeling so hopeless.

My piece is about the Ocean Goddess, who is energized by our prayers and postive healing thoughts to absorb all the oil in the gulf. I do believe in the power of positive thinking, but I understand that this disaster will take more than postive thoughts and prayers to fix it.

If you too would like to make a piece of art to help contribute, The Foster Collective,  a Chicago based artist collective, seeks visual and written responses to the oil disaster in the Gulf. All entries must be on gas station paper towels. You can draw, paint, collage or write directly on the paper towel. Or, glue or tape your artwork/photograph to the paper towel. Paper towels can be found at any gas station and are usually in the same container as the windshield squeegee. Paper towels can be any color or texture. The postmark deadline for inclusion in the Landslide Gallery exhibition is July 19.

I hope to make a piece for that exhibit, too.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Quiltart Quinceanera: Celebrating 15 years of contemporary quilting on the web

The QuiltArt list is Celebrating 15 years of contemporary quilting and in honor of the event members were invited to make a 15 inch square piece to celebrate what QuiltArt has meant to them over the years.
Here is my piece for the celebration:
They ended up with 80 quilts. 
Quinceanera: Celebrating 15 years of contemporary quilting on the web, can be seen here.
Each photo on the top page links to an individual page.
Here are some detail shots of my piece.
I spent over a day hand stitching the beads

I used Scrabble pieces to embellish the piece, the points add up to 15.

The piece represents my journey from learning how to make traditional quilts, to discovering how to paint with fabric and create art quilts as my artistic voice.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Racism: A Dialogue in Art Quilts, America Fragmented

A group I am a member of has decided to put together an exhibit about racism in America called:
Racism: A Dialogue in Art Quilts.
Here is one of the pieces, America Fragmented, I made for the show.
The front
The back
I was inspired by recent events and media coverage of politics in America today.
The original sketch for the piece.
In progress
It took many hours and many small pieces to fill up the spaces to complete the images.
Once the collage part was done I had to figure out how to quilt it.
I used old laminator material placed over the piece and a sharpie to play with quilting options.
Here is an example of experimental quilting lines.
This piece is heavely quilted, as you can see from the picture of the back above, and in this close up.
I am the curator for this exhibit and in the process of finding venues for the show across the country.