Monday, August 29, 2011


The pre-cut story rope fabrics are gently rolled, packed into little bags & ready for my carry-on. I have enough for 70 people wanting to learn the process to take back to their nations. And if I run out....I can 'show 'n tell the rest'!

Thank you, Amanda, Dante'ya & Careece for getting the strips of fabric ready to go! You 3 are on my sending team! And here they are!

MANI* 2011 Consultation in Abuja, Nigeria begins on Monday, with 1000 invited leaders coming from almost every African nation & 24 nations outside of Africa. An honor to be invited to listen, learn & share. MANI* Movement for African Initiatives

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Listening to The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series on CD's...takes me back to Africa.

You have to have been there to catch the subtle humor. Some of the lines are quite funny.

Continuing to network the Abuja consultation attenders list.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Putting out some of the Africa stuff for packing. Cut strips & buttons ready for story ropes. Sample story rope. African jewelry. Rwandan dresses to iron.

Check out my new blog! Our Stories

Monday, August 22, 2011


working on new blog

writing a bunch of posts

getting it up to speed

sharing info in Africa

post on transparency

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I have a new piece of art work. A little gem of an abstract acrylic painting by Jacquie Gouveia, titled DEEP BLUE. It said sky, sea & sand the moment I saw it on FB! It has a touch of orange at the horizon line & I love that it's a square piece with extra deep stretchers.

I'm enjoying it with other deep blues with touches of orange - my book, RAIN & two fabric collages, AERIAL ROCKPORT 1 & 2. It's fun moving art around - making one piece work with another.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


On thursday afternoon, my Indian friend, came over to do her story rope.

She told me her life story the last time she was over. It was so culturally different from my own. It had 2 distinct parts - the years lived in India and the years lived here in the US after she married.

All we had a chance to do last time was cut a very long strip of filmy orange sari fabric. Orange, the color on her flag.

On thursday she cut ribbons & sari fabric strips to tie to the filmy orange 'rope'. Even how she assigned color choices to communicate each segment of her life story were exotic & unfamiliar to me.

It was fascinating sitting with my friend, listening once again to her story as she cut and tied pieces. She pinned it to the work wall for the picture.

Much conversation came out of our time together & our friendship deepened. It was a good afternoon.

• creating at the table with sari fabric, ribbons, metallic effect threads, organza, shiny metallic fabrics
• the finished story rope

Friday, August 19, 2011


Two great art people visited me yesterday morning. Amanda & a new art friend, Siovhan. We did a lot of looking at art work, dreaming of possibilities & yes, talking non-stop!

Siovhan is a mosaic artist. Beautiful work! Incorporating broken pieces of stained glass really makes her work stunning. We got along famously-on same page about a lot of stuff.

Amanda and I go back just a couple of weeks. We clicked from the get-go & started dreaming about using art experiences with Danbury's immigrant community. She has amazing connections & speaks a bunch of languages!

Of course it all came round to a conversation about the story ropes & the myriad of venues this could be used in.

Teaching blog on story telling coming.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Through my own & friends experiences, the blog will teach how to use storying techniques with people.

Story ropes, accordion books & altered books are some of the techniques we'll share.

Needs to be ready for Africa. Keep you posted.

• story rope with African fabrics & buttons

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


My art buddy, Pat Butler, came over today-fresh up from Hot-lanta which has cooled off like it has up here!

When we get together it is a non-stop download of: sketchbooks, tags, photos, cross collages, books, new postcards, hearing about latest travels & art team leading - this time into the world of graffiti in Hungary, updates on Om & GEM & how is so & so and on & on!!!

Good thing she is coming back in another week before she leaves to go back home. We didn't have time to cover it all!

• looking at collage materials & thinking about possibilities.

• tags !!! labels !!!
Some years back, I shared the idea of tags as a surface to create on. Pat has since taken the idea and run with it! Several years ago it was lino block printing on the tags. This year she created a creative slide of tags inspired by her world view! Many of the collage materials were found on her trip. Totally a WOW!

Pat's awesome sketch book! She is a writer & she can draw!!! On many pages words are incorporated into the art work. On the left side is the graffiti design one of the ArtsLink participants came up with.

I made 2 videos of Pat talking about her sketchbooks last spring in my studio. One of these days I'll get the video clips into IMovie to share with you.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Last year my friend, Marjie McCandless, came over to see my quilts & studio. I sent her home inspired with 2 giant bags of African fabrics.

Last week we met up at the 2 day Leadership Summit. She told me about the quilts she made with the fabrics. "Please! Tomorrow bring the quilt you still have & I'll put it on my blog!"

Marjie's daughter, Kate, spent a year in South Africa as an assistant to the house mom at an orphanage with 12 "Little Kids". Out of that experience comes Marjie's quilt story:

"It was a world view changing, upside-down world turning, foundation building, heart enlarging and spirit engaging year.

We all discoverd SKYPE and communcated often. Kate would place the computer at the dinner table and we would sit with the "Little Kids" get to know their names and what they liked and who they were.

The quilt shows 12 beautiful
rescued children with happy button faces. Above them is the source of the rescue the heart of the God who so loved and poured his spirit of grace and love upon them.

Quilting has been a part of me for 19 years. It was my expression of the creativity inside me ---- colors, textiles, shape and design ---- a visual combination from inside.

After I met you (Marge) another dimension burst into the dynamic. What was my spirit saying? To quilt from that expression - to quilt with spirit was as an expression of worship."

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I took this photo when I was preparing the wordless story book for the young man in Uganda. Here's that story.

Yesterday we used a lot of the African fabric scraps for the story ropes and strips. But the pile is still looking big.

I've been at something called the Leadership Summit today and have to say I was challenged by the last speaker, Steve Furtick, to 'dig more ditches'. I translated that to mean: prepare more story rope materials! & watch God use all of them in Africa.

OK. I will!
art on ledge: G. Andersen; F. Booth; M. Malwitz

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


My friend, Amanda (in black), came over this morning with students, Dante'yh (in blue) & Careece (in yellow).

We worked on getting the strips ready for 'story-rope' making when I go to Africa. Together we chose fabric scraps, ironed & cut strips - lots and lots of strips of African fabrics.* Thank you, ladies! We got so much accomplished!

Amanda will be bringing the girls back. I want to hear more about their hopes & dreams for the future, show them my art work & probably make some collages.

*the African fabric scraps are from my seamstress friends at Amani Ya Juu (peace with God) the Christian sewing cooperative for marginalized women in Kigali, Africa.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


All 14 pages.

My grandson, the artist, was quite proud that his storytelling collages look a little like Eric Carle's picture books.

Kind of does!

What's next?
• Write the story.
• Think up a title.
• Photoshop smudges.

More to do before publishing.

click on photos to enlarge

Monday, August 8, 2011


• The accordion book is finished & the little artist is on his way home.

• Here's a couple pages & the completed project.

• The rest of the close-ups tomorrow.

• Zach & grandpa are working on the story as they travel back to the West Coast.

click on photos to enlarge

Sunday, August 7, 2011


In the morning the little artist created a couple more pages in his accordion book.

Then an outing up to Kent Falls, CT.

7 pages completed.

7 more to go.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


A trip to NYC on Thursday.

No art work that day.

Where did we go?

Top of the Empire State Building.

The little artist with his grandpa.

We were beat after the 3 hour wait on line!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


A little cutting & pasting before we take the little artist to the Maritime Aquarium.

Working on page 2.

click on photos to enlarge

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


....but not in the art room.

Went to our friend's organic farm,

the supermarket,

played board games,

the pool,

read books &

squeezed in some art.

Did only one page in his accordion book.


The Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk, CT

Will there be any time in the art room? Stay tuned....

Monday, August 1, 2011


A night of missed sleep? Didn't matter to our grandson!

He just flew in this morning with his grandpa after taking the red-eye from the west coast.

He wanted to get right into the artwork shortly after coming in the door!

The painted papers, rubber stamps, scissors & glue sticks were all set to go. No instruction needed. He started right in!

The artist is taking a long nap this afternoon. When he gets up I'll ask him to tell about this piece.

Click photos to enlarge.