Monday, December 30, 2013

Stitching away the holidays!

(Above:  Detail of Stained Glass LV.  Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

December has been a little crazy.  With Mom's 75th and Grandma's 95th birthdays falling immediately after a trip to England, the first part of the month slipped away in a very busy fashion.  Holiday custom picture framing at Mouse House occupied most of my time until Christmas Eve.  On that day, I took down my solo show I Am Not Invisible at the Tapps Art Center.  I spend Christmas happily in my studio listening to "Classical Christmas Radio" on Pandora ... stitching and stitching ... and thinking of the coming year, new resolutions, and the things I want to accomplish in the coming twelve months.

 (Above:  Stained Glass LV.  Framed:  64" x 24"; unframed:  57" x 17".  Polyester stretch velvets and chiffon scarves with previously painted Wonder Under/Bond-a-Web on recycled, black acrylic felt.  Machine stitched and melted with both a soldering iron and a heat gun.)

Since returning from England and Slippery Rock, PA for the birthday parties, Stained Glass LV was completed and framed.  Stained Glass LVI is now being melted.  I also constructed and stitched a large, medium, and small work in my "In Box Series".  Photos are coming! 

(Above:  Stained Glass LV, detail.)

When I traveling, however, I was working on another piece, Appreciate. It is for a group formed by Karen Musgrave called CLAWS.  (Crossing the Line:  Artists at Work.)  Every six months the eighteen or so members create a vertically oriented, 24" x 18" art quilt in response to a given theme.  This is the fourth piece I've made for the group.   

(Above:  Stained Glass LV, detail.)

 The earlier work hasn't been blogged properly.  Why?  Well, this group initially had one of those silly rules prohibiting artists from sharing their creations publicly, especially on the Internet.  The work has been marketed to college and university galleries and hasn't received any significant interest at all.  One of the problems, of course, is that the work HASN'T BEEN SHOWN ELSEWHERE!

One of my hopes for the future of art quilts is for the makers to realize that the wider art world doesn't cling to 19th century ideas of some grand, red-curtained fine art unveiling.  Secrecy no longer heightens the desire for an audience.  More exposure through websites, social media, and public marketing are the norm.  More images in more cyber locations generate excitement!  These are the means to stimulating interest.  Thus, Karen said she'd be lifting the anti-blogging rule for this group, and I am showing my latest piece, Appreciate.  ( ... and I really do "appreciate" this change!)   

(Above:  Appreciate.  Art quilt made in response to the thematic exhibition title:  Twenty Quilts That Could Change Your Life.  24" x 18".  Snippets of embroidered, vintage household textiles with beads and buttons on recycled, white acrylic felt.  Hand stitched.  Click on images to enlarge.)

I stitched on this piece on the plane to and from England, on trains, and in the car while going to and from Slippery Rock.  I loved every stitch.  I especially loved using all these old, neglected linens.  They came from Bill Mishoe's walk-around auction house.  I paid next to nothing.  No one really wants these things.  For me, using each piece is a way to show my appreciation to all the anonymous women who stitched lovely linens meant to adorn their homes and lives.  They are my ancestors, my inspiration, my history.  

(Above:  Appreciate, detail.)

As a young girl, my grandma gave me a handkerchief with the exact little Indian girls on it.  I still have it.  I thought it was the most beautiful and totally unique hankie ever.  It is funny that I now have four more of them ... all exactly alike!  My Dad thought I used some of my Grandma Lenz's linens when he saw the little blue stitched birds.  I have that special piece too ... saved in my cedar chest.  The piece used here was very similar to Grandma Lenz's piece... and similar to many others I now have too.  Some of these old, vintage household linens are actually common, part of our collective memory.  Lots of families had the same patterns and bought the same textiles.  While stitching, I thought about the words "precious" and "rare".  I thought about the threads of family memories and passing time, styles, and fashions.  What makes a keepsake?  Whether these linens are ordinary or utterly unique, I appreciate the hope they represent.  They once were hope for a pretty, happy home.  By transforming them into a contemporary art quilt, they represent my hope that all these stitches (old and new) are treasured for years to come.

(Above:  Appreciate, reverse.  Crayon grave rubbing on vintage household linens.)

For the reverse, I took a slightly damaged doily to my local cemetery.  Letter by letter I made a crayon grave rubbing ... spelling out the title, Appreciate, my name and the date.  I'm very happy with this work.  The other words to be in this collection of art quilts are:  Begin, Imagine, Laugh, Believe, Seek, Play, Trust, Listen, Create, Connect, Touch, Give, Hope, Choose, Pray, Read, Write, Forgive, and Release.  I think this is an excellent collection of thought provoking words and will inspire an equally wonderful group of art quilts.  I look forward to seeing these pieces.

(Above:  Sweet Dreams, art quilt for SAQA's (Studio Art Quilt Associates) 25th anniversary trunk show.  10" x 7".  Crayon on silk grave rubbings.  Free motion and hand embroidery.  Vintage buttons.  Click on image to enlarge.)

While digging into my grave rubbing art quilt supplies, I decided to make a piece for SAQA's upcoming 25th anniversary trunk show.  Each submission for this traveling exhibition is required to be 10" x 7" and be a showcase of the individual artist's artistic expression.  The show will premiere this summer at the 2014 SAQA conference in Washington, DC.  Past SAQA trunk shows have traveled the world fulfilling the organization's mission to educate the public about art quilts and to promote their inclusion in the wider world of fine art.  A sampling from the 2014 trunk show will be chosen by jurors Linda Colsh and Margaret Keeney to become a permanent part of the Paducah, Kentucky National Quilt Museum's collection.

(Above:  Sweet Dreams, reverse.)

I had a good time stitching this quick piece ... thinking about the places it might go and the people who might see it.  What fun!

 (Above:  Holiday lights at Saluda Shoals Park.)

On Christmas night Steve and I went with our friend Dolly Patton and her daughter to Saluda Shoals Park for the annual holiday lights drive.  Dolly is the executive director of the park's non-profit foundation.  We had a great time.

(Above:  Holiday Lights at Saluda Shoals Park.)

I took lots of photos but few turned out.  It was magical nonetheless.  The next day we headed back to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.  Our time earlier in the month with my parents was just too busy and too short. Two more days were needed.

(Above:  The Slippery Rock Area High School Lady Rocket Basketball team.)

This also gave us the opportunity to see Nicole Papley, our niece, play basketball in a local, holiday tournament.

(Above:  #50 Nicole Papley.)

Nicole is #50.  She stands six feet tall, is a senior ...

(Above:  My dad, me, Nicole, Steve, and my Mom after the tournament.)

... and won her team's MVP award for the two-day tournament.  Her team also finished in first place!  Go Rock!

I am updating this blog post for a link to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site to share fiber artwork. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

December is a time for celebrations!

(Above:  Christmas decorations at the Hall's Croft house, part of the Shakespeare Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon.  Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

Steve and I have had a fabulous last two weeks!  We started with a six-day trip to England in order to see our elder son, Mathias Lenz Dingman, dance the role of "the prince" in Birmingham Royal Ballet's production of The Nutcracker.

(Above:  Natasha Oughtred as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Mathias Lenz Dingman as the prince, and Miki Mizutani as Clara.)

The company performed this classical holiday feature THIRTY-FIVE times.  Obviously, there are multiple casts!  We were able to see a total of three shows.  In two, Mathias was the prince.  In one, his girlfriend Laura-Jane Gibson was Clara!  I cried through each one.  

(Above:  Stratford-upon-Avon's central shopping street with Christmas lights.)

Instead of staying in Birmingham, Steve and I got a room at Hamlet House in Stratford-upon-Avon.  The entire town and the cozy accommodations were WONDERFUL!

(Above:  Our knowledgeable and ever-so-kind guide for the Stratford-upon-Avon walking tour.)

On our first day we took a walking tour.  It was so worth it!  Our guide was great. The cost was very reasonable and we received coupons that saved us quite a bit more money than the cost of the walking tour ... half priced tickets for the Shakespeare Trust houses, discounts at fabulous restaurants, and a pound off the admission to the Butterfly Farm.  Steve and I both highly recommend this walking tour.  (Click HERE for their website.)

That night we had a fantastic dinner in the charming, historic Garrick Inn.  Fine pub food, local beer, and plenty of old world atmosphere ... just the type of evening one dreams about in England! We planned to return to most of the locations on our "free day", the one without a ballet performance.

(Above:  Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon.)

That day was perfect!  We spent time in Holy Trinity, the church in which Shakespeare was baptized ...

(Above:  Shakespeare's Grave ... and a sign with the epitaph: 
Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.)

... and buried.

(Above:  The churchyard at Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon.)

Naturally, we also visited the churchyard.  Anyone regularly reading my blog knows how any burial spot is a source of deep inspiration for me.  This one was particularly wonderful with heavy moss, colorful lichen, wet fallen leaves, and a view to the Avon River.

(Above:  Sculptures in the garden behind the Nash's House ... an area that once also included New House, Shakespeare's last residence and gardens.)

Finally, we were off to see the Nash House, Hall's Croft, and the Shakespeare Birth House, all part of the Shakespeare Trust.  I took loads of photos but pared them down to a mere 211! LOL!  They are HERE

(Above:  Sweet bag, circa late 1500s. Silk, satin, and beads.)

The furniture, wall treatments, wattle and daub construction, and relics in each home were really interesting ... especially some of the embroidery.  I love all these historical pieces, especially when displayed in historic home settings and decorated for Christmas.  Every house was simply wonderful.

(Above:  The Remembering Tree, a yarn bombing by

Of course, the historic house weren't the only locations with fiber and stitch!  Right in the park along the Avon River is this Remembering Tree, a yarn bombing!  People were posing for photos, reading the sign, and really loving this unique public art.

(Above:  One of the costumed guides at the Shakespeare Birth House.)

Shakespeare is totally connected to fiber arts!  His father was a glove maker and a costumed guide discussed this trade, the tools, the tanning, and the time required to create a single pair.

(Above:  The Shakespeare Birth House ... the bed in the birth room.)

I was happy to visit the actual room in which Shakespeare was born and see a period bed on which a man's vest was displayed ...

(Above:  Period costume with great buttons.)

Of course I would like this!  What great buttons!  (There are plenty of additional photos from Stratford-upon-Avon on my Flickr! set.  I don't just snap photos of textile arts!)

(Above:  The Shakespeare Birth House ... holiday light show.)

In the evening we returned to the Shakespeare Birth House in order to see the brief light show.  Actors appeared in various windows and doors to recite some of the dramatic passages being illustrated through the projected film.  This one was Romeo and Juliet

(Above:  Steve in Selfridge's with a five pound Hershey bar.)

From Stratford-upon-Avon we trained into Birmingham for the ballet performances.  Of course we spent time in the annual Christmas Market but also in Selfridges ... considering a five pound Hershey bar.  Unfortunately, it wouldn't fit into our suitcases!

(Above:  The new Birmingham Library.)

We also visited the newly open Birmingham Library.  Admittedly, the exterior looks strange but the interior is fantastic!  It is so visually dazzling that I saved nine of my photos in a Flickr! set all its own.  Click HERE to access.  The views from the upper gardens are great too!

(Above:  My mother, my nephew Tony Papley, and my Dad at Tony's college graduation.  My Dad walked with the faculty as a professor emeritus.)

Steve and I returned to the States and went directly north from the Charlotte airport.  We arrived in Slippery Rock in time to celebrate my Mom's 75th birthday last Friday, December the 13th.  The next day was also a milestone.  My nephew Tony Papley graduated from college!

(Above:  My Grandma toasting her 95th birthday!)

Yet, the BIG celebration was on Sunday!  Grandma turned 95 and we threw a party in the community room of Greystone Manor, the senior citizens building in which she lives.

(Above:  My sister Sonya in front of the decorated tables.)

The party couldn't have happened without my sister Sonya's dedication to planning it all.  Sonya brought all the decorations, table coverings, and arranged the cakes, invitations, etc.  She found Grandma's cloth napkins and punch cups in storage.  She made all the blue card-stock placemats that featured a photo of Grandma on the Atlantic City boardwalk circa 1965.  She made thirty, individual party favors from recycled materials.  In fact, the centerpiece was created from spray painted twigs and pom-poms made from newspapers and plastic grocery bags!  Sonya had an assortment of twinkling lights, real greenery, feather boas, and pinecones.  All this "stuff" came in looking like a junk store.  Our cousin Joann looked horrified by the mess but in less than two hours, the entire room was transformed into a magical location for a very special occasion!

(Above:  My Uncle Larry and Aunt Gloria with my parents and Grandma.)

More than just a 95th birthday.  This was a family celebration for Tony's graduation, my Mom's 75th, my Aunt Gloria's 80th, my parent's 55th anniversary, and my aunt and uncle's 55th anniversary!  December is a really jam-packed time for partying in our family!

(Above:  Thirty people having Sunday brunch!)

Although Sonya probably could have managed it, LOL, the brunch was catered and we also had a professional photographer taking shots.  After the brunch, we transformed the room again ... into a reception for all the people living in Greystone Manor.  Grandma certainly was "Queen Bee" ...

(Above:  The party is over!)

... and she left in style too!  By the way, I shot TONS of photos and even some videos.  I posted all the links on my FAMILY BLOG.  Just click HERE to access.

(Above: Stained Glass LIV ... a first refusal for a client.)

Now one might think I haven't been working on my fiber art!  That would be wrong!  I took a little 24" x 18" art quilt named Appreciate with me to England.  I stitched on it while flying, training, and riding in the car.  It is progressing very, very well and will be shown later.  Since returning to Columbia late last Monday night, I've also completed the framing for Stained Glass LIV.  This was a "first refusal" and is currently at the potential client's home!  My fingers are crossed that a sale will result.

(Above:  Stained Glass LV in the process of being mounted on mat board and framed.)

I'm also in the process of mounting and framing Stained Glass LV.  This piece and Stained Glass LVI are also "first refusals" for a local church!  I'm excited!

(Above:  Stained Glass LVI on stretcher bars awaiting the melting process.)

So here is Stained Glass LVI on the stretcher bars, waiting to be melted!  There will be more fiber art coming soon.  In the meantime, since I do have at least this one image, I'm linking this blog post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

I Am Not Invisible

(Above:  Signage for my solo show at the Tapps Art Center with framed statement and one of six framed, nude photos.  Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

Last month my solo show, I Am Not Invisible, opened during "First Thursday" on Main Street.
I wasn't there.
I was in my booth at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.  In fact, I didn't even see how it looked until after returning to Columbia.  Brenda Schwarz Miller, the director of the Tapps Art Center, designed and hung the exhibit.  Now, I'm looking forward to tomorrow, December's "First Thursday".  It is sort of like "my reception"!  I will be with my work, watching people's reactions, and making some important decisions regarding the future of this work.

(Above:  View from inside the Main Street, front door, to the Tapps Art Center ... looking down the left-hand side of the wide, center aisle.  On the left wall is The Virgin of Gone and Forgotten Triptych and four framed journal entries.  On the center aisle is the signage, framed statement, and six small nude photos spaced between three large pieces called I Am Not Invisible I, II, and III.  )

Let me back up a bit!  This show is the result of last January's New Year's Resolution to create an entirely new body of work based on the concept of remembrance.  I had plenty of ideas about "the way we remember", "the way we forget", and especially about the likelihood that everything and everybody will slip into the oblivious past in just a generation or two.  As a visual artist, this is a scary thought.  Will anyone remember me?  My art?  Will anything I create actually become a treasured family heirloom? Be valued? Stand the test of time?  

(Above:  View of the space just inside the Tapps Art Center's front door.  The main aisle extends down the opening between these two walls.  On the left wall is The Virgin of Gone and Forgotten Triptych and four framed journal entries.  On the far, right wall are four more framed journal entries and two 3D assemblages:  The Nature of Memory and Gathering My Thoughts.  Just visible on the center aisle is the start of The Wall of Ancestors.)

So, to add an accountability factor to my New Year's resolution, I contacted Brenda Schwarz Miller and arranged to have this exhibit.  There's nothing like the pressure of a deadline to keep the work on pace!  It was my intention to 1) make this new body of work 2) mount the exhibit 3) write an exhibition proposal for future opportunities.  I kept a journal through which the concepts developed.  Eight entries were edited, printed and framed.  This habit of writing also led to the various avenues for creative discovery that became this body of work ... or these bodies of work!

(Above:  View of the space just inside the Tapps Art Center's front door.  The main aisle extends down the opening between these two walls.  On the near, right-hand wall are four framed journal entries, The Nature of Memory and Gathering My Thoughts.)

The Nature of Memory was created because it is central to the theme for the entire exhibit.  It was wonderful to make and it brought "the brain" into consideration and conscious awareness.  Through my writing, I associated "the brain" with both "thread" and with modern technology.  Thus, Connected, Shared, Saved (later in this blog post) came about but also Gathering My Thoughts just had to be made.  

(Above:  The Nature of Memory and Gathering My Thoughts.)

Gathering My Thoughts evolved.  It was first just one tiny basket filled with thread.  Then it became this installation.  It is going to evolve again ... or at least I hope it will.  I honestly would love to create an even larger installation.  Try to imagine dozens of baskets and miles of thread ... a thread bomb ... and more appropriate to the millions of thoughts running through any brain on any given day.  I hope this will become its own exhibition proposal. 

(Above:  The right-hand side of the center aisle.  The Grid of Photos is flanked by The Wall of Ancestors.)

Through the process of writing and reacting in stitch, many pieces organically grew and morphed into other work.  The Grid of Photos naturally spawned The Wall of Ancestors.  (The links are to earlier blog posts about these pieces.)  Now that I'm looking at this past year's work, I realize that these two installations can really stand on their own.  I sort of want to make another, larger grid of photos and I can envision three or four times of number of framed "ancestor" pieces ... or more.  Finding the source material isn't much of problem.  I probably already own quite enough of it.  These two pieces are likely going to become a proposal on its own. 

(Above:  The Grid of Photos and The Wall of Ancestors.)

(Above:  The left-hand side of the center aisle.)

The funny thing about exploring a concept for a future exhibit is that the work I initially thought to make didn't quite happen.  I ended up with so many other deadlines, commitments, and the retail shows in November that I never finished the large, nude art quilts I wanted to make.  Oh ... they are started ... and one of two smaller pieces did get completed ... but the original mental image for this show is still in the works and will likely become another, separate exhibition proposal.  At least that's my current plan!  In the meantime, I did get the images created.  There are six nudes of me in barren landscapes (as if dead) or atop sprays of funeral flowers or on various cemetery plots.  Yes, this means I posed; Steve snapped the camera.

(Above:  Seven basted art quilts ... ready to stitch.)

The images were altered in Photoshop, sent to Spoonflower and printed on fabric, and were basted onto recycled black acrylic felt.  One is in the process of being stitched.  I will, of course, stitch all of them ... and likely cover the surfaces with poured epoxy ... a thin, light-reflecting layer that puts the image just out of physical touch and more like the finish of a photograph.  Now, I guess I have my next New Year's resolution already in place.  

(Above:  Four of the six nude photos and two of the three I Am Not Invisible pieces.)

Quite a bit of my writing dealt with the ephemera from Bill Mishoe's auctions ... whether I bought it or not.  The scraps of paper, the old photos, the nicknacks, and formerly precious things of other people's lives is a constant source of inspiration.  They seem to ask:  Why wasn't I saved by someone in the family?  Was there no family? They seem to beg:  Use me for art! 

(Above:  One of the I Am Not Invisible pieces.  The link is to a former blog post with more information on these three pieces.)

I used all sorts of papers ... from my family and from families I don't know but found at auction ... and collaged three giant canvases.  The surfaces were covered with light washes of white paint which semi-obscured the details ... as if fading off into a forgotten past.  Returning to the idea of using my own body, I stitched my silhouette onto very sheer chiffon.  This was just another way to explore the concept of remembrance.  I'm pleased with the results and think these pieces could easily be shown with the art quilts to come.

(Above:  Handed Down on the right with The Wall of Ancestors and The Grid of Photos on the center aisle.)

The only work in the exhibit that was not created during the past year is Handed Down.  For me, it is a bridge between all the work I've done before this year and this new body of work.  My past work includes my Grave Rubbing Art Quilt Series and 3D assemblages based on "time".  These were more abstract ways of looking at the concept of remembrance.  Handed Down, however, uses my family's names.  Creatively, it marks a transition into the new work.  This new work goes a step further ... it considers my ultimate death, the way I want to be remembered, and my fears that my memory will not last more than a generation or two!  The new work is much more personal.    

(Above:  The area at the back of the center aisle.  On the right wall is Connected, Shared, Saved, a triptych of found cords and computer parts.  On the left is Ashes to Ashes; Dust to Dust.  In the center aisle is part of The Wall of Ancestors.)

Connected, Shared, Saved is more personal too.  I try desperately to keep an accurate inventory of my work.  I document everything.  This blog is another, modern example of my commitment to being remembered ... through the tools I use ... the computer.  Yet, it is also part of my fears.  Will I be able to keep up?  Will new systems, equipment, and programs simply replace all my efforts?  Will all these Internet words fade into oblivion?

(Above:  Area at the far end of the center aisle.  On left-hand wall is Where Have All the Flowers Gone?  On the far wall on the right, Handed Down.)

Another transitional piece is Where Have All the Flowers Gone?  Although I created it this past year, the piece started in 2012 when I poured epoxy over a pane of glass and covered it in the plastic stems and foundations of artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters.  Originally, only the title of the folk song inspired this act.  During the year, however, I figured out how to actually make the piece.  It needed a focal point.  It needed something personal, more than just a response to well known lyrics.  It needed a photo of me ... naked on a spray of funeral flowers.  This brought me into the inevitable cycle.  

(Above:  Ashes to Ashes; Dust to Dust and framed exhibition statement.  Center aisle:  The Wall of Ancestors and The Grid of Photos.)

Finally, the one nude art quilt that is in the show is Ashes to Ashes; Dust to Dust. It was one of two smaller works I stitched before ordering seven larger images from Spoonflower. 

(Above:  Ashes to Ashes; Dust to Dust.  26" x 20".  Image transfer and artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters. Trapunto. Self-guided, free motion machine embroidery with hand stitching and beading. )

The other piece is very similar.  It is called Earth to Earth and has been sent to Karen Musgrave for the CLAWS group she is curating.  It was for a group of twenty 24" x 18" pieces called Rewriting History.    This exhibition theme is an exploration of women artists who aren't included in standard art history texts, shown often in major museums, and part of many private collections.  I selected Ana Mendieta.  Why?  Because I knew I wanted to make these pieces ... both of them ... plus the upcoming, seven large others.  The exploration of Ana Mendieta's earth/body art falls quite naturally into my own interests in remembrance.  If history is "rewritten", will it include me?  Will my work be remembered?  Will I be remembered.  For me, these two pieces are equally a response to Ana Mendieta's life and work and to my own. 

I can't show a full view of Earth to Earth.  Why?  Because the CLAWS (Crossing the Line: Artists at Work) has one of those silly rules against sharing the full image on line.  In order to have a QR code for my piece, I did write a blog post.  It is hidden on my "Strata" blog, a place for just these sorts of things ... and for my "full CV".  It includes a detail shot only.  It is HERE and includes the lengthy statement ending with this paragraph:

By posing my own nude body on a spray of funeral flowers, I physically worked in Ana Mendieta's medium, documenting the experience through photography and fibers.  My concept asks, "What if Ana Mendieta had lived to post menopausal years?"  This question and others is directly related to my ongoing exploration of the ethereal nature of memory, the passing of time, and the traces one might leave on earth to mark one's existence.  My hope is that Ana Mendieta would have approved and that by continuing her legacy, art history might include a more equatable number of works by female artists, even me.

(Above:  People visiting my show at the Tapps Art Center.)

Tomorrow night I'll be with my work, able to see and listen to responses to the work, and think about how I might write more than one exhibition proposal.  It should be interesting.  Not every artist has a personality that might allow her to pose nude and display the results.  I do.  It isn't narcissistic.  I'm not a nudist or an exhibitionist at all ... I'm only willing to do this in order to best make a point.  For me, there is no better way to face one's own ultimate death and the possibility of being lost over time than to put yourself naturally into the work ... just the way one came into the world ... nothing else ... just the human form, the person ... ME!

By the way, the people in the photo above did walk the rest of the way down the center aisle while I was taking these pictures.  They looked at Ashes the Ashes; Dust to Dust and then asked me if I were a photographer.  I'm not exactly sure what to think; they never recognized me as the artist in the image at all! LOL!

Update:  I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts.  Obviously, it is now Friday and "First Thursday" was last night.  It was fun to watch people looking at my work.  Most didn't know me.  Some did.  I was twice asked if I had a good model's release ... because these people didn't know I was the model.  Strange ... and funny!