Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Challenge quilts

The other day I sewed all the 16x 20 quilts together and put a sleeve on the top edge and hung it up. Then I took it down to hang up the quilt I needed to photograph to enter the AQS contest, then hung it back up. Whew the ladder got a workout too. Probably the most exercise I've got since this crappy cold weather set in. It's just too cold and dreary for walking (no matter how much I bundle up) and although the temps forecasted (sp?) for tomorrow sound good, rain is imminent. Boohoo! Since my spectacular week of Thanksgiving, when I walked over 30 miles, I have been a slug in comparison. Plus I've nearly eaten my body weight in candy. Ugh. I do not want to get that sweet tooth back. And my vehicle is acting up again.
Will stress and anxiety see me out of this year? Okay by me as long as it does not follow me into the next one!
2010 online challenge quilts
   So here's a photo of all my challenge quilts from 2010. I really did enjoy doing these and was able to put so much more of my heart into my work than ever before. I hope to continue the feeling with whatever art I make from here on out.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 challenge quilt

Alas, the 2010 online challenge has come to an end, as all good things must. I'm not sure where we are supposed to post the final installments so I'm showing it here.

  The final theme is "Destination". Very fitting place to end up, I think. This offering describes a happy place for me, the home body. I hope to someday get to that happy place, wherever it may be.(For some reason I remain the eternal optimist, despite my comments to the contrary.)
  I sewed all the challenge quilts together today and will post a photo of that on a different day. 

Friday, December 24, 2010


It's nearly over! I have not been a holiday person since forever and this year seems to be worse than other years. Worse than the year I asked my teenage children if they REALLY wanted a tree in the house. Being boys they had no preference one way or the other and it was fine by me to not have that dead plant in the house again, since the tree from the year before did not make it to the curb till nearly Easter. Ah, Easter. At least yummy chocolate bunnies are involved in that holiday.
   So here's the best I can do to summon up any holiday spirit. This is the card that was sent to all deserving friends and relatives for the xmas season of 2010. Enjoy. The caption on the card was something about food. This refers to the weight loss experienced at this domicile. You can lose 40 lbs in no time at all, if you quit cooking dinner!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

Even though it was a few hours late, I had a solstice fire this evening. I missed my pyro buddy, but he had to go home and I had to attend a guild function. I spent ALL day at the zoo with my grandson and missed the actual solstice time preparing food and myself for the get together, but I did have a fire to celebrate the time of year. Unfortunately there is a tinge of sadness as was the case for the summer solstice last June. I do so hope my life gets back on track soon. I'm starting to believe it has something to do with planetary alignment. Just when I start feeling like things might improve, there's a full moon or equinox or the earth has a hiccup and I'm back at square one.
  But what else can I do but dust myself off and set on another course that might be in the direction I should be heading.  We'll see.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Artistic Validation

Dragon Moon

Today, I installed the wall hanging that a wonderful art supporter commissioned. I had a very hard time walking away from the quilt, but it's new person assured me it would be well loved in it's new home. I enjoyed every moment of creating the quilt and it was a total pleasure working with the art supporter. I wish everyday could be this fulfilling.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A date to remember

Today would have been my father's 100th birthday. He was born in 1910. For some weird reason this is special to me and I sent "Happy Birthday Dad" cards to my siblings to honor the occasion. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's Official Now

Tonight I attended the Memphis Association of Craft Artists annual holiday party. My first function as the incoming president of this fine organization. The food was fabulous and plenty. It is an awesome responsibility and I hope I can live up to everyone's goals and expectations, especially since I have a tough act to follow. Gail Grice, the out going prez, raised the bar VERY high. Fortunately, the board is an outstanding group of people, who are willing to work for the members. Wish us luck for the coming year.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


This week, I made a milestone in my endeavor to remain reasonably healthy. I walked a total of thirty miles in the last seven days. And good thing, since I've eaten more this week than the rest of the month of November put together. These pesky winter holidays are upon us and all the well meaning folks abound, wanting us to eat their yummy food. And we feel so eager to comply, since the food IS yummy!!
  So as long as the weather cooperates, and the food fest continues, I guess I'll be walking a lot, a WHOLE LOT! I bought a nice warm sweatshirt, thermal underwear and colorful little gloves to keep me warm on these cold days.
   Anyway, I am determined to be thin and fit. Walking is the best. I love being alone with my thoughts and most days the sun is warm and invites me to come outside and wander. Thankfully I still can remember which way is home. Life is good.

Friday, November 26, 2010


The day after the huge feast. This day is completely different from yesterday--it's 30 degrees colder, I'm 200% fuller, the sun is shining and I'm waiting on the plumber to come back again. Old house, old pipes and the same could be said for me too (haha).
   Since I'm stuck here for who knows how long, I worked on the final online challenge quilt. The last theme is "Destination" which I think is very fitting for the final chapter. Notice how many references I make to the end of this exercise. I am very sad for the challenge to end. It has been such a rewarding experience for me to explore different techniques and put a little more of my heart into my art work. And the challenge helped me express some of the turmoil in my life this past year or so. (Lots of "ex" words too. Hmmmm....maybe I'm up for a little more exploring?)   Anyway, the quilt is mostly done, just some hand stitching left, and it seems to fit my conception of the theme in a non threatening way. Every challenge theme offered up a suggestion for the extreme in my mind. But my main goal is to keep the peace and I might have myself a personal challenge in 2011 to produce the quilts I REALLY wanted to make. At the very least I did get to think about how to make them and that was fun too.
theme of the day

veggies for poncit

noodles for poncit

a few dishes being served
  Enough of me, back to food. Every thing was yummy and there was lots of it. Bad Americans!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh Boohoo two

Okay, so I get the other rejection letter in the snail mail Saturday, after I had been by the art gallery on Broad Avenue on Friday evening and they had only two of my pieces up for the huge street party that was happening Friday and Saturday. Needless to say I had a tiny pity party complete with tears, then promptly got over it.
  Took Vincent to visit the Noodlemans on Sunday and what a wonderful relaxing day in the country. Donuts from Banky's. Barbecued pork chops and yummy macaroni and cheese--just like Mama used to make! Amy's fabulously strong coffee. Slight hiccup taking Mr. Man home. Then a huge dose of mental health Monday--there was cake, too-- followed by a surprise visit from my friend from the West Coast. This week is shaping up to be a good one. Fingers crossed!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Here is one of the quilts rejected from the Form Not Function show. I like it and my friends like it too, so that's good enough for me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh Boohoo

Yesterday the email came telling me I DID NOT get into the Form Not Function show. Now I have to wait for the letter in the mail to come saying the same thing. Adding insult to injury.
  But that's life. At my presentation on Saturday I mentioned that if you put yourself out there and enter shows, there's a chance you will be rejected. And I have the letters to prove it! I did get in that particular show a couple of years ago so I guess I should be happy with that.  I wanted to show you one of the quilts the jurors didn't like but blogger won't let me. maybe later.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Busy weekend

Last Friday, the group show at Wings held it's opening reception. Saturday I went to a lunch with several friends, who get together every so often to eat, chat, and share our latest projects with each other. This time the gathering was held near my neighborhood so I rode my bike. What a beautiful day it was. Fall is great here in Memphis. It makes you proud and happy that you are able to survive the heat of summer.

   On Halloween evening my husband and I went on a tour of Elmwood, the premiere graveyard of Memphis. I had never been there and was blown away with the monuments. It is also an arboraetum and bird sanctuary, so it was triple delight. 
   This coming weekend will probably be as busy. The Davies Plantation is having its annual quilt show and I have been asked to give a presentation of my art quilts. I am a nervous wreck right now, but plan on rising to the occasion.
  Sunday, I'm taking Vincent to a birthday party at Pump It Up. Never been there before either, so wish me luck.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Art Work at Wings Gallery

These are my three pieces hanging in the gallery at the West Clinic. The opening last night was great and there are a total of 45 pieces in the show. Watercolors, paintings, mixed media, photographs, and wire sculpture. Everything looks great hanging together. Big thanks to Sarah Blackburn and her team for making this all happen.
   I used some of the fabric I made with the deconstructed screen printing process along with hand dyes. Machine quilting and a few hand stitches completed these pieces and I like how they turned out.
   They are for sale and 30% of the proceeds from all art sales goes to fund the cancer support programs provided by Wings for the patients at West Clinic.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Online challenge- Music

Hear My Song

This time it was harder for me to visualize and execute the design for the theme "Music" but I did it and finished last Saturday. I was trying to capture the ethereal feeling of music, which I think floats on the air and slips through your fingers if you try to catch it. And of course, I continued with the heart and black X's as design elements to tie all the pieces together. I really like how this turned out.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Water falls from the sky!!

It is actually raining here! I don't know how long it has been since we had more than a few drops fall from the sky. And thunder and lightning too. And a six hour power failure, but just for our neighborhood--we are so special. The trees seem relieved and I'm sure all the plants will be happy tomorrow. Rain is also predicted for Tuesday.
   The other downside--beside the power outage--was the River Arts Festival. We went this morning thinking we would beat the rain, but no such luck. But Vincent watched the speed painter and blacksmith do their thing, we got vendor food, and I got a new pair of earrings, so the day was not a total loss.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Upcoming Show

Julie FegerPlease join us Friday, October 29th in the Wings Gallery for a wine and cheese opening reception for Caregivers.
Featuring Marlene Gwathney, Betty Mason, Lou Hoover, Marty Smith, Ariel Baron-Robbins, Dani Harris, Marilyn League, Julie Feger, Veronica Tronolone & Joe Inderbitzen.

The WingsGallery is located in The West Clinic's interior waiting room. It is an extension of the family room atmosphere that greets patients as they enter the clinic and remain until called to begin their visits.
The WingsGallery enhances this healing space by adding to the total healing environment found at The West Clinic.

Location: 100 N. Humphreys Blvd, Memphis, 38120
Date: Friday, October 29th
Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
no charge

30% of all art work sold benefits Wings Cancer Foundation.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Last Friday

The 5th annual Broad Avenue Art Walk was held last Friday and I had the honor of having some of my art work hang in a gallery there, with work of a few other artists. Thanks to Jerry Coulliard for inviting me to have my art in his space, Metalworks. It is quite a nice space too, and he had iron working demos in his smithy that evening. The weather was great which was a huge plus for the crowds turning out en mass. 

The foot traffic was huge and I saw a lot of people I know, even folks from my old neighborhood. A few of my things sold, which is good and helps me feel a little bit validated as an artist.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Warty Pumpkins

An article in the newspaper today had the name of the unusual pumpkins with warts. They're called knuckleheads. The article went on to say how that particular trait in squash was bred out because it is not attractive for something you may want to eat, but pumpkin farmers embraced it for those of us who want crazy looking decorations. There's a photo of one on an earlier post. It is sitting on the bench with some strange looking gourds.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Town

So we made it back to Ripley--well, north of Ripley--to get more pumpkins. It was quite the adventurous journey, too. A quick stop at Banky's Donut shop in Millington, then another stop or two after Mr. Man threw up his donut and chocolate milk, to hose down, and get a fresh change of clothes in Covington. I'm NOT a Walmart shopper, but you have to give them credit for being convenient, especially in an emergency.

pumpkin maternity ward

   Anyway, on to the pumpkin patch. The farmer grew a couple more varieties this year that are interesting, ones that have warts, but I always love the French ones and the variety he calls Fairy Tale pumpkins. They do look like the pumpkin turned into a coach by the fairy godmother in Cinderella. Despite the trauma on the way there, it was a fun day and the weather was perfect for a drive in the country. And Vincent got to see where pumpkins are born. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's That Time of the Year

Next Friday, some of my art work is going to be shown at Metalworks Gallery in conjunction with the 5th Annual Broad Avenue Art Walk. I am very excited to be apart of this event and am looking forward to seeing my art work on display.

   Other than this news, nothing much has been going on. I have been busy decorating my bottle tree and by the time it is covered I should be going to two meetings a day at the local AA. Last Sunday, I made a short trip to Ripley to buy pumpkins from Mr. Carmack and plan on taking my grandson this weekend for more of the same.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Avast mateys

Last Sunday, I went with my grandson and husband to the Pyrate Fest. It was held at the National Ornamental Metal Museum--say that 5 times real fast--on the banks of the Mississippi River. There was a play pirate ship for the kids and my grandson stayed on it all day except to watch the fire dancer. Yes he has the family pyro gene. There was much entertainment for all, music, dancing, beer, and costume contests. My husband placed 3rd in the men's division. More info at www.pyratefestival.com. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Road trip

On Friday, Three of my gal pals and I went to Nashville (thank you Mrs. McFarland for driving) to see the exhibit of vintage couture from the Victoria and Albert Museum, at the Frist Center for Visual Arts. It is way cool. The building and the exhibit. The center is the old post office in downtown Nashville. Wonderful reuse of a building from the 30's.
   The garments are absolutely breath taking from a design standpoint and by the way they are constructed. The clothes were all the more interesting to us because we know what goes in to making a perfect garment. I wish we could have had a more "hands on" experience with the garments. At one point I was on the floor inspecting a hem, and would have loved loved loved to have seen any or all the clothes inside out. (Many thanks to Mrs. Smith for helping me up off the floor--old knees.)
 Since then I have had many hours entertaining myself by imagining I got to try on some of the ball gowns. Or playing with that doll and her wardrobe. If this exhibit comes to a cultural venue near you, make EVERY effort to visit and experience the awesomeness. Even if you are not a fashionista type, the historical reference of the exhibition is huge.
Plus there was a collection of Dale Chihuly glass and that was totally amazing. Especially the video of his studio/arena, showing how the art is made. That was a combination of sporting event, ballet, and rock concert, in the most dangerous atmosphere imaginable. Fire and people swinging hot glass all around.

              On the way to dressmaker nirvana, we stopped along the interstate and I want to share a sign from the ladies room. 


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Toe update

If anyone is interested, and I know you are, my toe is okay. Back to the daily walking. Making new art work with the deconstructed screen printing fabrics. Photos someday when they are done. Going with some of the girlz to Nashville tomorrow to see vintage couture at the Frist Center. Will definitely report on that!!
   I did remail the postcard to myself and this time it came back WITH a postmark. But don't tell anybody I used a stamp twice. shhhhhhh...........

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to me

and they smell good too
what's not to love about champagne
Yesterday was my birthday. Whoopdee frickin' do!! I got cards and phone calls. Candy and flowers. Dinner out and champagne cocktails. My younger son gave me some art pieces back in August, too. Thanks to all.
  And I broke my pinky toe, which is not good for my daily 3.25 mile walking routine. Might have to switch to the bicycle for a while.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bizzy werk

Some of the deconstructed screen printing results were not so wonderful I need to keep them to pet on a regular basis, so I made book covers from the less desirable fabrics. They look pretty good. The one on the upper right is something I monoprinted and then stenciled over with textile paint. I highlighted the design of the stencil with a marking pen.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I'm going all 21st century

My son came by today to bring me a portable hard drive and showed me how to put music on my computer. I didn't even know I could do that. Right now I'm listening to Brian Eno and David Byrne's "My Life In the Bush of Ghosts", one of my all time favorite albums. Life is good. I've spent the better part of the last week in the dungeon, er, basement with the deconstructed screen printing. My red dye is acting up though and I've gotten some very unpredictable results, but nothing I can't save by over dyeing or over printing. I received an invitation to be in a gallery in October so I've busied myself making book covers. Photos later. The postcard workshop has inspired me to make some more to have available to sell at the gallery, too. I mailed one to myself to prove they could go through the post office, but when it came today it wasn't even postmarked and the stamp has not been canceled. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. I'm going to remail it.
   The new theme for the online challenge is "Music" (queue Twilight Zone music) how appropriate for today now that my computer has a song to sing. I have no clue how to interpret this theme. The others came to me so fast and I had the quilts constructed in my head right away.  And the other quilts had symptoms of the problems I've been dealing with this past year. Music never figured into any of that crap except as an escape from the anxiety. Hmmmmm.....I smell an inspiration. Oh my, the song playing now is titled "Jezebel" where can I go with this???

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010 challenge

Here's the latest  entry for the online challenge. The theme is "Reflection" and I spent several evenings watching the sun go down on the Mississippi River to capture the right moment for this quilt. I took lots of photos and printed some onto fabric. Then I pieced the background and did a bit of machine applique for the face. After quilting I applied adhesive with a popsicle stick and fused on gold foiling. Hand stitching reminds me of the starlings that fly over the water eating the dreaded mosquitoes. Hurray for starlings!
  I am enjoying the challenge and really like the themes and am making every attempt to stretch myself as an artist.  Only time will tell that I have succeeded. Click on the badge for other submissions to the challenge.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More screen printing

green prints
charged screen
I did another round of deconstructed screen printing and used a greenish dye and a different motif on the screen. I used a couple of plastic lace coasters, bubble wrap and potato bag. The bag didn't show up as well as I hope but I can always go back and add some of it's texture with paint. There's a fourth screen ready to go that I covered with the dye then scraped in a freehand design with a palette knife. Fingers crossed on this one turning out as well as I expect it to.


On Monday, my mental health day, I attended a workshop on making fiber/paper postcards. The session was led by Diane Herbort, an acclaimed fiber artist who is in town for a program with the quilt guild I belong to. She had another workshop on Saturday that she calls "Trash Bag Quilting". Both sessions dealt with mixed media and were great fun and learning experiences. I attended just the Monday workshop but friends who came to the class on Saturday had a wonderful time there too.
my stuff
all the postcards
   I made 5 cards and already have two of them ready to go in the mail. Everyone's cards were different and all were works of art.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Adventures in Fiber Art

my basement studio-the dungeon
screen charged with dye
the placemat
fresh screens
direct prints
In my last post, I failed to mention that Mrs. Gilman gives credit to Kerr Grabowski for the instruction for deconstructed screen printing. My second attempt was much more fun and fruitful. The consistency of the paste to mix the dye in is very important. I made 8 prints from the screen I charged the other day. No pictures of those yet.
 I used a plastic placemat for the design. I will give the friend who gave it to me first choice of prints. If she wants one that is. Of course the photos are all crazy and I don't know how to get them in the proper order, but here is all the stuff I've done for the last two days. Notice there are NO photos of laundry.
  The place mat was covered in dye after I squeegeed it on to the screen, so I soaked two pieces of fabric with activator, wrang out the excess, and layed them on the placemat and got a couple of direct prints, which look pretty good. The pieces I did today look good too. And I charged another screen with the same dye that has a little yellow added to give it another color. I used different objects for texture. We'll see how that works another day.
   I'm very proud of my screens. I made these three for less than $15. It took me about an hour to build them then I sprayed them with clear enamel paint before adding the screen fabric. I already had the supplies and got to use my miter box and stapler. Then I had to wait for the tape to "cure". Notice (or don't) that I forgot to put tape on the sides of the charged screen above. It's one of my old screens. No one died.