Friday, April 29, 2022

Going to TEXAS !!!

(Above:  Nine new Relics.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Last week was SO EXCITING!  My Found Object Mandalas were accepted into the Smithsonian Craft Show. (April 20 - 24)  I was Booth 507, a 10' x 20' foot space surrounded by 119 of the best craft artists in the USA.  Several pieces found permanent homes. I reconnected with friends and met lots of new people.  Steve and I drove home on Monday, unpacked on Tuesday, and did necessary "paperwork" (like paying the DC sales tax) on Wednesday.  There were plenty of other things that were on our "immediate to do list" because we are actually leaving town again!  Tomorrow, we drive to Greenville, Georgia for the reception for my solo show Once & Again at Artisans on the Square. Then, we drive to the Atlanta airport for a flight to San Antonio, Texas.  Our plan is to take a rental car to Big Ben National Park, go hiking, and return for two days in San Antonio.  

(Above:  Relic CCLIX. Framed:  11" x 8 1/2". $75. Each Relic is layers of polyester stretch velvet fused to upholstery fabric with free-motion machine stitching, hand stitching, and beading.  This one does not have glass ... because it doesn't need it!  

Despite having so much to do, I haven't been neglecting my embroidery.  I started these nine Relics before leaving for DC and finished them earlier today.  Generally, I make them while conducting a workshop but there haven't been workshops for two years due to COVID-19.  With workshops coming up, I decided to make a few more.  They serve as examples plus ... THEY ARE FUN!

(Above: Relic CCLVII.  Framed: 7" x 6 1/2". $60. No glass here either.)
Thankfully, the world is starting to return to in-person events ... including me teaching at QSDS in Ohio in June and at Aya Fiber Studio in Florida in December.  I'm also busy stitching Christmas ornaments ... because ... well ... the holidays will be here soon enough. 

(Above:  Me in Booth 507 at the Smithsonian Craft Show.)

Before showing the rest of the Relics, here's two photos from Washington, DC. 

(Above:  Steve and me at the Jefferson Memorial on Sunday morning ... before the last day of the Smithsonian Craft Show.)

Below are the rest of the recently finished Relics.  To purchase, just drop me an email at  The price is before SC sales tax (even on out-of-state transactions ... because South Carolina is just one of those pesky states) and before shipping.  I can't ship until I return, but I can estimate the shipping and send a PayPal invoice beforehand.  It is amazing just how much technology has changed our world and how much one can do even on one's cell phone!

(Above:  Relic CCLXVIII. Framed: 9" x 7". $60. No glass.)
(Above:  Relic CCLX. Framed: 12 3/4" x 10 3/4". $75. No glass.)
(Above:  Relic CCLXI. Framed with mat and glass: 17" x 11". $100.)
(Above:  Relic CCLXII. Framed with mat and glass: 12 1/2" x 11 1/2". $100.)
(Above:  Relic CCLXIII. Framed with mat and glass: 14 3/4" x 10 3/4". $100.)
(Above:  Relic CCLXIV. Framed with mat and glass: 13 1/4" x 12 1/4". $100.)

 (Above:  Relic CCLXV. Framed without glass: 6 3/4" x 6 3/4". $60.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Mandala CXXIV

(Above:  Mandala CXXIV. Custom framed: 30" x 30" when hung as a square; 43" x 43" when hung as a diamond. Found objects hand-stitched to the center of a vintage, applique quilt.  Found objects include:  a stainless trivet; a brioche mold; a red Tinker Toy connector; green, lilac, and red, plastic bottle caps; gold flatware; clamps for fluid/IV type bags; wavy hair curlers; jingle bells; four white-and-red toy wheels; white, leaf-shaped party favor containers; expired medical devices in clear/green plastic containers; four, gold shank buttons; assorted flat buttons.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

One of the most amazing things about my Found Object Mandala Series is the generosity of others.  People have sent all sorts of things, even vintage quilts.  This quilt came to me in the mail from a kind lady who was down-sizing before moving to another state.  The quilt was something her mother bought and passed down.  It had a label with an embroidered date: 1965.  Over the years, this quilt had to been well loved; it was well worn.  Thankfully, I put a layer of bridal tulle over all my Found Object Mandalas.  Thus, the frayed parts are protected.

(Above:  Detail of Mandala CXXIV.)

Yet, the quilt is not the only thing that was donated to my creative endeavors.  I was given the red Tinker Toy connector, the four toy wheels, the brioche mold, all the plastic bottle caps, and the unusual "green things".

(Above:  Clamps for fluid/IV type bags sent to me by my cyber friend Ann Scott.)

The "green things" came from my cyber friend Ann Scott.  I had to write to her and ask what they were.  All I knew was that they were a gorgeous green that added so much to this piece!

(Above:  The clamps for fluid/IV type bags ... in use!)

Ann sent the photo above.  Now ... how cool is that? !!!  (By the way ... I've got more of them!)

(Above:  Detail of Mandala CXXIV.)

Ann sent these "green things" recently.  My friend Nancy Cook, however, sent the white, party favor containers months ago.  I'd tried to use them several times but they were simply "too white".  Sure, I could have painted them but I sensed that there would come a better piece in the future.  This was definitely it!  (And ... I've got more of them too!)

(Above:   Mandala CXXIV, hung as a diamond.)

Despite having a nice stash of found objects for future Found Object Mandalas, I will not be stitching on a new one for more than a week.  Why?  Well ... half of them are headed to Artisans on the Square in Greenville, Georgia for a solo show.  They get delivered on Saturday.  The other half are headed to next week's Smithsonian Craft Show, April 20 - 24, in Washington, DC.  Steve and I will be using this week to build crates to transport the artwork safely.  We are also tying up some of the loose ends to other, major projects.

(Above:  Me with the 150 original fiber artworks for the individual guest rooms at the Columbia Cambria Hotel which is currently finishing up construction and heavily into completing each and every room!)

Just this morning, Steve and I delivered my 150 framed, original guest room pieces to the Columbia Cambria Hotel.  There's more to come regarding my creative involvement with this project ... and I'm excited!  So far ... April has been busy and promises more of the same!

Friday, April 08, 2022

Mandala CXXIII

(Above:  Me with Mandala CXXIII.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

This Found Object Mandala is BIG!  When it was stapled to the larger stretcher bar, it was difficult for me to reach to the center and stitch the brass rooster trivet onto the underlying stainless trivet.  It was, however, worth the effort!  This piece also went through an "ugly phase", a time when I didn't think the vintage Drunkard's Path quilt was going to be visually pleasing. Yet, by the time I was finishing it, the balance between the found objects and the quilt worked out perfectly!

(Above:  Mandala CXXIII. Custom framed: 43 1/2" x 43 1/2". Found objects hand-stitched to a section of a vintage Drunkard's Path quilt. Found objects include:  a brass rooster trivet; a stainless trivet; plastic forks and spoons; a "Barrel of Monkeys"; carved, wooden mules/donkeys; silver brioche molds; violin-shaped, plastic Christmas ornaments; large, wooden dominoes; orange, plastic circles cut from a six-pack beer yokes; neon green, plastic lids; red Tinker Toy connectors; decorative, copper baking molds; laminated Tampa Nugget cigar bands; assorted beer caps; felt hammers from an old, broken Steinway upright piano; keys; copper-colored, aluminum can tabs; Peet's and Starbucks single-serve coffee pods; brown rings of unknown function; and buttons.)

I am in debt to lots of people who have contributed to my stash.  THANK YOU ... each and every one of you!  Special thanks, however, goes to Brian Cuthrell, an archivist at the South Caroliniana Library.  He's been helping his Dad sort through the things his mother saved.  I hope she is looking down from heaven with a smile, seeing so many of her former keepsakes being transformed into art.  One of the things she saved was the Barrel of Monkeys which truly inspired this mandala.

(Above:  The vintage quilt used for this mandala.)

I've had the Barrel of Monkeys for several weeks.  I tried to use these colorful, plastic monkeys several times but they weren't quite right ... until I ended up with this Drunkard's Path quilt.  There was just something about "monkeys" and "drunkards" that just had to go together.  The odd assortments of colors on the quilt made it easy to cut too!  Seriously, the woman who made this clearly ran out of some of the materials!

(Above:  Detail of Mandala CXXIII.)

I am already stitching on the next mandala but it might be the last one for several weeks.  Why?  Well, Steve and I are very busy building crates and preparing for both a solo show at Artisans on the Square in Greenville, Georgia and for the Smithsonian Craft Show.  It's an exciting time!

(Above:  Detail of Mandala CXXIII.)

Brian's mother also saved the plastic forks and spoons.  There's no doubting that they came from the 1970s.  When else would one find harvest gold, avocado, and rust colored disposal utensils?  I am truly grateful for people like Brian's mother and for his generosity!

(Above:  Detail of Mandala CXXIII.)