Friday, November 29, 2019

Finished! Lots of small pieces!

(Above:  Relics made in the recent workshop for Quilters' Connection outside Boston.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Every time I conduct a workshop, I challenge myself to finish, frame, price, and enter into inventory each and every demonstration started.  I call them "relics" because they are the artifacts that remain after the experience (plus, I like the words!)  While recently outside Boston with eleven fantastic participants, I created these three.  Since returning, I've framed them.  From left to right:  In Box Relic CCXXVIII, $60; Relic CCXXVII, $100; and In Box Relic CCXXIX, $60.

 (Above:  Four small, totally hand-stitched In Box series pieces.)

On the way to and from Boston, I hand-stitched while riding in our cargo van.  In fact, I even zapped one of these pieces as a "bonus" demonstration while there.  Since returning home, they've all been finished and framed.  Photos of each one are below.  Thankfully, I have other hand-stitching projects on which to work ... because Steve and I are off again on another adventure.  We're about to leave for Hilton Head Island, a trip planned in order to watch the Ohio State Buckeyes in their rivalry game against "the team up north".  For the past four years we've watched this Thanksgiving weekend game at Mangiamo's, a 24/7 and 365-days-a-year Ohio State decorated pizza parlor.  It is so much fun to cheer with other scarlet-and-grey fans!

 (Above:  In Box CCCLXIX, Inventory # 4632.  Framed:  15" x 12". $150. Polyester stretch velvet on recycled black industrial felt, hand-stitched in assorted, cotton embroidery floss, and zapped with a heat gun.)

(Above: In Box CCCLXXI. Inventory # 4634.  Framed:  15" x 12". $150. Polyester stretch velvet on recycled black industrial felt, hand-stitched in assorted, cotton embroidery floss, and zapped with a heat gun.)

(Above: In Box CCCLXXII. Inventory # 4635.  Framed:  15" x 12". $150. Polyester stretch velvet on recycled black industrial felt, hand-stitched in assorted, cotton embroidery floss, and zapped with a heat gun.)

(Above: In Box CCCLXX. Inventory # 4632.  Framed:  15" x 12". $150. Polyester stretch velvet on recycled black industrial felt, hand-stitched in assorted, cotton embroidery floss, and zapped with a heat gun.)

Monday, November 25, 2019


(Above:  The interior courtyard at the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

My husband Steve and I just returned from a fantastic trip to the Boston area.  I've only been looking forward to this since I was about nineteen years old!  Seriously!  Going to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has been on my "bucket list" since studying Italian Renaissance art in college.  The collection is amazing and includes works by Botticelli, Fra Angelico,  Piero della Francesca, Cellini, Michelangelo, and Raphael (to name a few from this particular era) but also works by Titian, John Singer Sargent, Matisse, Rembrandt, Degas, Whistler, Tintoretto, Andres Zorn, and too many others to name.  The very building is magnificent.  Yet, the reason for the trip wasn't this museum!  It was the opportunity to conduct a two-day workshop for Quilters' Connection in nearby Watertown, Massachusetts.

 (Above:  Trunk show for the Blythewood Historical Society.)

First, however, I gave a trunk show of my Grave Rubbing Art Quilts for the Blythewood Historical Society.  That was last Tuesday afternoon.  Steve and I headed north directly after this fun afternoon. 

 (Above:  My HOT workshop for the Quilters' Connection.)

The HOT workshop was on Thursday and Friday.  I also gave a my "Beyond a Series" lecture for the guild's monthly meeting.  This workshop was the first time I had a past workshop participant return for a second experience.  I am ever so grateful to Laura Brady ... not just for returning but especially for an amazing gift!

 (Above:  Me with Laura Brady's incredible Max the Miracle Cat fiber art piece.)

Laura usually does dogs, greyhounds in particular; but for me, she made a fiber art picture of Max!  It is AWESOME.  To see more of Laura's fabulous work, visit her "Skinny Dog Stuff" Esty Shop.  When I'm teaching, I often say that I want every participant to bring her own style and aesthetics to my technique, to find her own unique way to explore with polyester fabric and heat, and to become a better artist because at least "one little thing" from the workshop made a difference.  Well ... Laura has certainly done all of this and more!  I am so proud to hang this piece in my dining room  THANK YOU, Laura!

 The rest of this blog post is simply a few of the images I shot while enjoying the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  I really do hope to return some day because a couple hours are not enough to take in the place!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial, and a new piece!

(Above:  In Box CCCLXVII, detail. Click on any image to enlarge.  The photo of the entire artwork is further below, the last picture in this blog post.  Just scroll down!)

It's hard for me to realize that last Thursday (a full week ago!) was the gala opening party for the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.  At least Steve and I remembered to snap a photo of my booth right before the big party started.

(Above:  Me and my booth at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show ... right before the gala started.)

It is such an honor to be among the 190 artists selected by a team of jurors from over 1200 applications.  Yet, it is also risky and a lot of work!  Sales aren't guaranteed.  Our 10' x 15' booth rent was about $1800 (and that doesn't include the $150 for electricity!) Lots of physical labor is required too.

Steve and I loaded the cargo van last Monday afternoon.  We left Columbia on Tuesday morning and spent the night about an hour south of Philadelphia.  Our scheduled move-in time was Wednesday at 9:00 AM.  Fortunately, cargo vans are allowed to drive straight onto the convention center floor.  We were able to put down our interlocking carpet tiled floor before dumping everything else onto it.  Ideally, unloading should take no more than forty minutes ... in order to allow another cargo van access.  Then, the fun starts ... erecting the ProPanel walls, installing the lights, hanging the artwork, posting pricing labels, and preparing receipt pads, pens, bubble wrap, bags, and a PayPal machine in anticipation of a busy weekend.

The gala was wonderful.  We even sold a few pieces (which is actually a bit unusual during a gala!)  Then on Friday morning, the line starts forming outside the show.  Steve always likes to go out and snap a photo of the crowd.  We were busy all day on Friday, 11 AM to 9 PM.  My feet were sore ... but I really couldn't think about them because I was standing from 10 - 6 on Saturday and 10 - 5 on Sunday.

I managed to take exactly one picture of people in my booth.  Otherwise, I was busy talking about my work, selling Christmas ornaments, and trying to place artwork into permanent homes!  As far as I can tell, there's no good way to figure this "art thing" out.  In the past, my Lancet Window Series has always been my best selling size.  This time, I didn't sell a single one.  At home, no one has really been excited about the pieces over which I poured artist-grade, UV filtering epoxy.  Yet, I sold five of the seven I brought to Philadelphia.  The fiber vessels did well too.  The only thing that was really different is the location in my booth where I put the display stand on which the vessels sat.  All in all, it was a very good show ... and then Steve and I dismantled the booth, loaded it back into the cargo van, and came home to the mountain of required paperwork that comes with out-of-state sales tax!

(Above:  The Loss Installation on view at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art's South Carolina Biennial.)

This week has been busy with other things too!  Yesterday was the opening reception for the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial.  Two of my works were accepted.  I went by earlier to take a look and snap a few photos.  I am profoundly happy that my Loss Installation was on view.  Before this, I was the only person to have ever seen it hang.  That happened because I installed and took pictures all by myself.  Sure, I shared images on this blog, my website, and on social media ... but it is just not the same as having the work really seen in person!  For a blog post about this installation and how it was my way of coping with the grief of family estrangement, CLICK HERE.)

The reception was really nice.  It is an honor to be among the state's most talented artists and to hear the things people say when viewing my work.

 (Above:  Visitors to the show admiring my Anonymous Ancestors Folding Screen.)

The show is up until December 22.  There's a catalog too.  Before going to the reception, however, I finish mounting In Box CCCLXVII, a totally hand-stitched piece.  I stitched it in the cargo van on the ride to and from Philadelphia.  It is similar to the one I finished after riding to Fort Myers, Florida a weekend earlier.  Fortunately, the other piece did find a home while in Philadelphia.  This new piece will be going to the Grovewood Gallery this weekend.  With luck, it too will be adopted!

(Above:  In Box CCCLXVII.  Framed 26" x 20".  Inventory # 4631. $435.)

Monday, November 04, 2019

Back in Town ... Only to Leave Again!

(Above:  An assortment of fiber vessels made before the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

During late October ... if I had even five or ten minutes of "free time" ... I zoomed up to my studio and zigzag stitched on a fiber vessel.  These thirteen managed to get completed in time to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.  (These pieces are not made using a clothesline!  They are made first by zigzag stitching several strands of yarn into a cord ... and then zigzag stitching the cord into a fiber vessel.  For a free tutorial, CLICK HERE.)

 (Above:  The packed cargo van.)

Yesterday was "hunter-gatherer" day, a time to collect all the things needed to set up booth 104 on Wednesday.  Today was "pack the cargo van" day.  Inside we have a display unit for the fiber vessels hanging above the booth walls, artwork, boxes of interlocking floor carpet, lighting, extension cords, bubble wrap, chairs, and a small file cabinet with pricing labels, receipts, pens, business cards, tape, the PayPal card reader, and lots of other very necessary things for the show.

 (Above:  In Box CCCLXVI, Inventory # 4630.  Framed:  22" x 18". $350.)

One of the last pieces to be packed was also the last piece to be finished!  This is In Box CCCLXVI, a totally hand-stitched work.  I  stitched it while riding to Fort Myers, Florida and back.  That was just days ago.  My husband Steve and I went in order for six of my garments made from recycled materials could be in a Trashion Fashion Show at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.  That was on Friday night!   

 (Above: Detail of In Box CCCLXVI.)

The Trashion Fashion Show's aim was to bring awareness of textile waste.  In this country alone, more than 15 million tons of textiles go into landfills.  Most of it is less than three years old!  By showcasing these garments, the hope is that audience members will think twice before pitching their clothes and will look for ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!  My six garments in the show were The Leaf Dress, The Pantyhose Dress, You Are My Sunshine, The Class of 1949, The Red Carpet Dress, and the Flower Dress.

We were short a model short ... and so I actually walked the runway in The Flower Dress!  Yet the best thing was the fact that You Are My Sunshine won first place.  It has stayed in Fort Myers and will be on display with the Turf Wars: Art Speaks for the Earth exhibition through November 25th.

 (Above:  Writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' home ... which is now a Historic State Park north of Ocala, Florida.)

On our return drive, we stopped for a fabulous house tour at Cross Creek.  It was a remarkable step back into time, to the cracker homestead where Marjoie Kinnan Rawlings wrote her Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Yearling and other beloved books.  (Click HERE to access the website for this renown location.)

Almost everything inside was original ... including the stove, pots and pans, and cooking utensils that Marjorie used while writing her Cross Creek Cookery book in 1942.

The tour was as wonderfully slow paced as the suggestion of time surrounding the acreage.

The tour guide was genuinely passionate and able to tell great stories about Marjorie, the locals, and the house ... including a story about this bathroom, the first in the area to have indoor plumbing ... an event that Marjorie used for a celebratory party!

Now ... on to Philadelphia!