Monday, November 22, 2010


Everything's in the suitcase now - art quilts, artist books, labels, collages, postcards and materials for making story ropes & labels. Tomorrow I'm heading off with a dear friend for team teaching in the back of beyond.

I'll be On The Dark Side Of The Moon for a few weeks, so no blogging, email or FB. Be back online in December.

Lunar Circle
Postcards from Kunming series
aka On The Dark Side Of The Moon

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Choosing art to bring on my trip for sharing. This series on Suffering has resonated with people I've met from around the world. I made these collages prompted by a conversation with a friend who was going through, as she called it, a trial by fire.

I can't explain it but I needed, at a soul level, to make these collages as an act of prayer for her. While creating I reflected on my own experience with suffering. Verses written by the collages are from Job & gave me hope on my own long journey.

It is amazing how these abstract pictures communicate experience and hope cross-culturally.

Yes, I will tuck SUFFERING into my suitcase too.

Job 23:8-10

But if I go to the east,
He is not there;

If I go to the west,
I do not find Him;

When He is at work in the north,
I do not see Him

When He turns to the south,
I catch no glimpse of Him.

But He knows the way I take;

When He has tested me,
I will come forth as gold.

Top to bottom:
Suffering (cover)
The God Who Is There
Where Are You God?
Furnace of Belief
Emerging Golden

Thursday, November 18, 2010

STORIES ON THE ROPE childhood was very happy
...then the war
...this was the depression
...and this was Pearl Harbor mother died in childbirth
...there was no work-we moved father died in Auschwitz
...I liked playing in the dirt with my brother's friends
...Hitler came & it was bad for a long time
...I went to college
...we were poor mother wanted me
to study to get a job
...we went to a lake in Hungary
...I had 3 careers
...we had a wonderful life

Making & sharing their story ropes today at the Watermark. My reward was hearing their stories. They did not know each others life history before today.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Tomorrow I'll do the story ropes with seniors at the Watermark. They have a great art room to work in. Collecting up: cut fabric strips 2 1/2" x 35" - 1 per person; ribbons in assorted colors*; buttons & thread; fabric scraps; & scissors.

I'll be telling them that this is not a piece of artwork or even a craft. It is simply a way think through your life sequentially by tieing pieces of ribbon, buttons, small strips of fabric on to the long strip. Each piece is thoughtfully chosen to represent a significant event, experience, person, location, whatever. When they are done making their 'rope' they are welcome to share their story with the rest of the group. But only if they want. (Usually they do.)

My story rope on the mantle. I develped the story rope idea in Rwanda, working with the genocide survivors, as a way to process the pain in their lives. It was the Rwandan's who came up with the term story rope.

*Decided to save the ribbons for the trip. The fabric options will be plenty.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Putting together a basket of materials for doing the Story Ropes at Watermark Lifecare on Thursday.
Choosing a variety of fabrics today for the strips.

This will be an interesting project to do with a group of 80+ year olds - they have lived through so much personal and world history. More prep tomorrow.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


The last couple of posts have featured quilts from POSTCARDS FROM KUNMING. This series was inspired during a week of teaching design and exhibiting art quilts at 2 Universities in Yunnan Province, China at the '99 Kunming International Festival of the Arts. Light on the Journey is the first in the series of 9.

The POSTCARDS were first exhibited at the Jin Heung Gallery, Seoul, Korea. I designed postcard graphics with a message to be hung with each "postcard" quilt. The texts were written in Korean, Chinese and English. I took this photo at the opening. There's Light on the journey hung with the 'postcard' graphic.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Saw some of my friends today, who were at Quilts and their Stories yesterday at the Watermark. Evidently the joy continued over dinner last night as they talked about the afternoon with the quilts. My dear friend, Leah, wrote me "You inspired so many old people. Thank you!"

Here's the final quilt from Postcards from Kunming, A Shipful of Relationships. For that is what I went home with yesterday from the Watermark.

I already have an invitation to share at another assisted living facility. A new call - bringing joy into the hearts & souls of the often forgotten elderly? I think maybe so! I never expected to be so blessed. My heart is full!

Friday, November 12, 2010


The presentation at the Watermark was great! Joy entered hearts through color, design & story. My dear friend, Leah 85 yrs. young !, invited all her friends from the Watermark and from our study group. Over 45 came and this is was during nap time! She said it was the most she'd ever seen at an afternoon presentation!

One couple were people I knew from 20 years ago-they are 95 now. They had looked forward to this day for weeks. They sat in the front row and smiled throughout. JOY!

Another couple were particuarly special to have in the group. A lovely woman(in her 50's), who had been an artist, is in the final stages of MS. What loving care she receives from her husband. And what a joy to bring joy into her life! I reminded them about the story rope workshop next week. I said, "you have a story to tell" and she said, "yes I do". I think they will come.

Throughout I talked about my spiritual journey, which is so connected to the quilts & their stories. Many came up to say how much they were so encouraged & uplifted. I smiled and said that was why I came. It brought me great joy to bring them joy. I really needed that.

Here's 2 more Postcards From Kunming that I showed. Aerial Rice Paddies & Fruit For a Friend.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Showing this small quilt at the Watermark presentation, Quilts & Their Stories, tomorrow, Friday, November 12 in Southbury, CT. Sunrise Meditations was a cover commission for Discipleship Journal. Had some great illustration opportunities with their fabulous art editor, Anne Meskey Elhajoui.

Small quilt, hand painted fabric, metallic threads, buttons, machine stitched.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Pulling together Quilts & Their Stories for Fri. @ the Watermark*. 2 of the quilts I'll be sharing, inspired by traveling, teaching & exhibiting at the International Festival of the Arts in Kunming, China

Warmth to My Soul in a Cool Time

Tai Chi in the Morning
*Lifecare Living in Southbury, CT

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Drove along the California seacoast up to the Santa Barbara Marathon this morning. The view is so different from our east coast.
My daughter-in-law, Esther, ran her first marathon (26 mi) in 3 hrs. 44 min.!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Green space is valued here in SoCal.
Planned communities are built around belts of green grass. My grandchildren have a green belt right outside their condo - complete with play equipment.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I'm in California now. I never ceased to be surprised by the contrast in landscape between the LA area and the northeast where I'm from. The hills here are brown - they have been for some months now. At home we live in lush green much of the year. Beauty on both coasts in different color-ways.
We passed the canyons to the west as we traveled up from LAX. And beyond those brown canyons is the sea - colors for another day.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Finished the labels.
Painted papers ready for classes.
Title on Sketchbook cover.
Assembling quilts and ideas. Presenting @Watermark University next week.