Observations on life & art and the inspirations I see around me

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ready or Not....Wishing You PEACE & JOY!

It's that time on Christmas eve when I begin to slow down and remember that Christmas isn't about what I've gotten done but about what has been done for all of us. My favorite moment of the season comes when we're sitting in the dark close to midnight; the candles start to light and the santuary fills with a wonderful healing glow as we sing "Silent Night". It's a reminder for me that truely Light has come into the world. Each of us has a chance every day to choose light over darkness and it is my fervent wish that we see more of that in the year to come.
For me I have come to realize that my light is my art. It is a gift I hope to share more and more in the year to come. One of my recent frenzies of creativity is on Ashley's blog - the curtains for her kitchen. It was such fun helping her decorate and I look forward to the next round of projects.
Already I've received many lovely gifts and I am appreciative of each one. My good friend Lu not only gave me a beautiful pin cushion but inspired me to make a few myself. These are some that I will share. She is also inspiring me as we work on a collaborative art quilt that we're both excited about. It will debut in Jan.
We didn't do much decorating this year as we're traveling, leaving early tomorrow morning. Last night we celebrated with the Browns, enjoying the lights and music in their neighborhood and lots of laughter with their 2 beautiful children. The little ones remind us to hope. It's up to each of us to create a safe, secure, and healthy future for all the children of the world. That is my Christmas wish, Blessings and Peace for all the World.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Karl's handiwork

I wanted to show off a bit of Karl's latest handiwork. I love this image and hope the family who lives in this house really enjoys the space.

Karl's handiwork
Originally uploaded by crazyfibers47


Originally uploaded by crazyfibers47
This was near the trail of our Thanksgiving weekend campground and I love the star pattern of the plant. I hope to do a screen of it to print on fabric.

When the rains came

Our trusty 1972 Airstream proved comfy space during the rain and cold of the Thanksgiving adventure. Ashley learned to crochet that weekend and has now made 2 hats and a scarf in addition to all her other projects.

When the rains came
Originally uploaded by crazyfibers47

A gathering of friends

Gathering with friends is always a special treat. This was a time of great fun, food, laughter and catching up on the Sat. after Thanksgiving. This extended the holiday merriment for sure.


This is one of my latest experiments involving recycled sweaters. I also dyed the wook as well as the silk in the ba

Originally uploaded by crazyfibers47
ckground with MX dyes. I used vinegar for both to create an acid dye and I'm pleased with the result. I'm not sure if it will become a scarf or wall piece.


Originally uploaded by crazyfibers47
This is a collar created from a sweater I tied with pennies, shrunk, dyed, and cut. Fun and free. Lu gave me the ribbon which she had dyed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Scattered Directions

My energies have been especially scattered this past week. I partly attribute it to the change in weather. There's a real feel of fall in North Texas. Other factors are the pull of family and friends activities. I'm not complaining; there's been lots of fun going on and it's a priviledge being part of a wonderful circle of love, fun, and friendship. Getting inspiration for my art is icing on top of all that.

Typealyzer. I got this from Gerrie who always has something delightful happening on her blog.
ESTP - The Doers
"The active and play-ful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.
The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time."

That "follow thru" thing certainly fits. I MUST work on focusing my energies - Someday?

Yesterday was the about the BESTEST fun in a long time. Art Wonders gathered to celebrate Flo's 80th birthday. I mentioned here before that she's one of my great inspirations on how to age. I think we really did the celebrating in style - great food and lots of laughs are good for body and soul. She loved the "ala artgirlz" crown, personalized Harley shirt & tyvek jumpsuit along with funny cards and an absolutely fantastic cake http://www.deborahsjournal.blogspot.com/ created. The GRAND Finale was Michelle taking her for her first ever bike ride. We'd celebrated Julianne's 4th birthday last week and I do believe we older girls laughed more.

Today I've been up to my elbows in a different kind of creativity. I'm including an "in process" shot. I hope this segment gets finished by the weekend as we're having a holiday sale here on Sunday. Mostly Ashley & Jane Ruestmann will have great stuff. I don't have much finished (that word again).

Oh well. I must be patient and can't do every thing at once. I'd been itching to get some painting done for some time and my painter of choice had the time this week so thus the "mess". There are lots of house projects that need doing and hopefully we'll keep moving with this being the kickoff.

Since Houston(IQF) I have done some dyeing, sorted out some fabrics to interview for wall quilts and did some small fiber pieces on the Embellisher that will get finished when the sewing machine comes home from the repair shop. In the meantime maybe the energies will get pulled together like the leaves that have to be raked after being scattered by the wind and I'll learn to enjoy the beauty of each stage of the experience.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Tonight we celebrated Ashley's 33rd birthday with yummy El Salvadorian food and laughter.
Wasn't she a doll? Pensive from the beginning. She always seemed to be checking out the road before she took a step.
Love you baby and very proud of you.

Recently I made the comparison between the race to the moon and the current energy situation. I guess others of my generation are realizing that it's time to pass the torch - Al Gore's editorial in the Sunday New York Times: "The average age of the systems engineers cheering on Apollo 11 from the Houston control room that day was 26, which means that their average age when President Kennedy announced the challenge was 18.
This year similarly saw the rise of young Americans, whose enthusiasm electrified Barack Obama's campaign. There is little doubt that this same group of energized youth will play an essential role in this project to secure our national future, once again turning seemingly impossible goals into inspiring success."
Good luck kids! I have faith in you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Now What? Reach for the Moon.

Canyon Song is coming home. I created this piece last year. It was in the Texas Federation of Fiber Arts show in the spring and won an award which made me extraordinarily proud as it was the first time I had shown my work in a long time. It's been at the Denton library since Aug. and I will be happy to have it home again today. It expresses some of my hope for what is happening right now and the challenges before us. We really are reaching for the moon - and the sun & stars......
I know from past experiences that I do more and better work; feel more positive and upbeat; and have a stronger sense of hope and well being when I plan and work for what I want to happen. I admit to lots of "drifiting" lately. I'm committing to take a new approach. I have lots I want to accomplish and none of us knows how long we have.

One of my inspirations is Flo Berry. Flo is turning 80 next week and she's still a creative DYNAMO. She inspires and challenges me and I'm very proud to call her a friend & I'm excited that a group of us will gather to celebrate her with good food and laughter. I'll be sure to post pictures.

Worth consideration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrPXUxD0LCo. I believe it is important for everyone to respond to the challenges we face as a country. It will take effort and committment but we CAN solve the energy crisis. This is a "reach for the moon" possibility. Do you remember where you were when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon? Do you remember the pride you felt? Do you believe we can do it again?

Another opportunity we have before us is to use our money for good - buying & wasting less; making it ourselves or buying hand made; eathing locally; recycling and reusing. These are a few of the things I'm working on. While in Houston I visited with Ina le Roux and purchased some small embroideries made by women of Venda women of South Africa. Check out her web site as you plan for the holidays, http://www.tambani.co.za/.

Time to make a list and get to work.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More from Houston

Here I am working in the Wonderfil booth.
Connie & Kathy, Best friends since 10.
I'm very proud call Heidi Pridemore my friend. We first came together thru Mary Kortemeyer who was a generous mentor to both of us. I hope we can always bridge the distance between Arizona & Texas to keep our friendship growing.
This is a detail of "Storm Grid" while it was under construction. It's one of the pieces I created with Woderfil Threads, every thing from Hologram to 8 wt. rayon.
This is "Tide Pool #5, Wonderful". This was inspired by a photo Ashley shot when we were in California last Dec.

Houston & a New Direction

I'm feeling a bit like Tigger as I bounce around and try to settle myself from all the excitment lately.

Of course, the election yesterday was the BIG event and I'm feeling extraordinarily hopeful about a new direction for America and the world. Obama's speech last night was great and John McCain offered a gentlemanly concession. I've said before that the country and I were in similar transition; now I am hopeful that we can move in a positive direction. I am praying that peace and prosperity prevail; it will take lots of work from lots of people. I do hope some of the naysayers will shut up and get to work toward common good.

My 10 days in Houston for Quilt Market and Festival were great. I'm still not completely unpacked and leaving my sewing machine at the repair shop on the way home seems a bit like child abandonment. I've got lots & lots of project ideas to develop and work on in the meantime and even did some small bits of dyeing yesterday and today. Many thanks to Wonderfil Threads for the opportunity to work in Houston and to Andrew for teaching me lots about thread.

This was my first time to attend the wholesale market and that was very interesting. There's been lots of discussion in various forums about posting quilts & art work so I won't do so now. One of my greatest thrills was seeing so many young designers of fabrics & patterns and more later at Festival. That is the future. I love Jane Sasseman's new fabric as well as Anna Maria Horner's and met Linda McGhee, purse designer extraordinaire, who inspired my mother early in her career (Linda's career that is).

Thanks to my bff Kathy and her sweet Philip for putting me up for 4 days and then also my 89 year old Aunt Nathalee for the remainder of my stay. Friends & Family are SPECIAL. Deborah B, http://www.deborahsjournal.blogspot.com, has lots of other great pictures of friends and Houston happenings.

Feeling like a Celebrity

Jenny Doh & I at Wonderfil
WOW! I'm feeling extremely excited and flattered that Jenny Doh, editor-in-chief of Sommerset Studio and other publications commented favorably on my work. Thanks, Jenny. The new quarterly "Where Women Create" is GREAT!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I won't be posting for a while as I leave for Houston tomorrow for 10 days. I'm excited but also a bit anxious. I've spent most of my days these last few months working in solitude as my life turns in a new direction. Where to from here is not quiet clear. I feel the country and I are in similar transitions.

I always enjoy seeing where people create. Here is the view as you enter my "studio". Normally it's hard to see the floor for the layer of scraps. Yesterday I decided to clean and create a bit of order so that I can jump right in when I return. I know I'll be full of new inspiration.

I will work at Quilt Market, visit family & friends (I lived there 38 years), and hopefully take in the fabulousness of Festival without major shopping insanity (I joke that I could be locked up here for 20+ years and not run out of materials). That's Miss Meowgie standing guard at the foot of the machine. I think she knows I'm taking it with me.Several folk in northern climates have lately posted lovely pictures of fall colors. Here is the North Texas version. These giant Coreopsis burst forth in Oct. and are taking over the flower beds and gardens since first planted 4 years ago. All summer they look like weeds but now I know to look forward to cooler days and their warm yellow exuberance.

Monday, October 20, 2008


"Faces of Democracy"....Karl & I went to vote this morning (first day of early voting in Texas). Drawing these folks was part of my amusement as we waited in line about an hour. I couldn't help but wonder how these folks view themselves - "proAmerican" or "antiAmerican"? Who decides? When did having different views and opinions become criminal?

Having voted does make me feel better. Now to wait for Nov. 4th. The ranting will probably get worse before it gets better. It was good to hear Collin Powell yesterday speak with a voice of reason. I truly pray that the country can move in a new direction soon and we can all be just plain Americans.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Special Days and Memories

Happy Birthday Elliott! Wish we could be in California with you to celebrate today. You are much loved, as you have been from the beginning; here you are with Dad and big sis, Ashley, back in 1980.
I always loved that Elliott had such a special bond with his Pawpaw, my dad Bo Ashley. Here they are with their afternoon catch from our pond back in '92. Elliott thought it was his pond because it was filled with fingerling fish on his 6th birthday in 1986. They were fed well and were good eating in turn.
There are lots of happy memories out there and it was good that Pawpaw enjoyed the pond thru this spring when this last shot was taken. Pawpaw left us on May 10th but will always be in our hearts.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Karen's Wedding 081

That's me on the left and Kathy & Karl. Kathy & I have been friends since we were 10 years old. We missed having a celebration of our "Golden" anniversary last year due to flooding in Houston and her obligations caring for her folks. We're still planning on a girl's get away - soon I hope. I've very glad that we made the choice to stay friends all these years. And also Thanks, K for putting up with our silliness at times. It was my priveledge to make her dress for Karen's wedding and help with the flowers. Beautiful!

More Celebration

Karen's Wedding 076

Today is Ashley & Frank's 4th Anniversary. Love you guys. She's posted pictures on her blog from their happy day. Here they are celebrating on Sat. at Karen & Ken's reception.

What a Lovely day

Karen's Wedding 063
Originally uploaded by crazyfibers47
Last Satuday we gathered at Umlauf Sculpture Garden in Austin, Texas, to celebrate the marriage of Karen Abbott to Ken Bodden. It was a wonderful celebration of love and committment. Congratulations to Karen & Ken and their families.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday evening ramblings

Understanding how to post and arrange pictures and such will take me a while. Thankfully, Ashley helped get my title to a better size. I hope to post pictures of important people and inspirations but realized that I've been lax in taking shots lately. Next weekend we have a wedding in Austin so there should be opportunities for family pics.

Today I've been working in solitude. I tried to pretend it was fall in Texas but the hot, dry wind got the best of me and I opted for ac in the studio after cooking green chili pork stew. Karl's gone off to move equipment from last year's deer lease. He called to say he'd be late and it sounds like a Beverly Hillbilly load of stuff is being moved across the plain.

Hunting reminds me of my Dad. Here is part of small quilt I did this afternoon with a picture of him as a child. Next I'm going to do one of my Mom and then work thru Karl's folks too.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Moving forward

One of my goals of 2008 is to move my art out of the studio into the wider world. This is my first post toward sharing my inspirations and motivations for creating art.

Since I've been following a number of blogs that I admire, most especially my daughter Ashley, http://ashleyakers.blogspot.com/ it seems like a good choice to get started here.

I have been making art for 50+ years. I have taught for nearly 40 years. I love to sew and mix things up (finding bits of treasures all along the journey that some call junk and trash).

This is a bit scary and is taking more than a bit of bravery on my part so I hope you will be patient and come back to share