Saturday, March 30, 2013


You know the trouble with memory is that sometimes you misplace it. Forgive me if I've posted something similar before. I've been gathering some images tonight and thought I'd finish a composite of scarf details that I started some time ago and that shows the wide variety of marks that can be made with shibori rusting. You may recognize some of the designs or colors from past posts. The blues were created with elderberries. One blue piece in the center also has some yellow created by turmeric. The rest is just the the usual rust and tea with whatever tannin I had handy.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring in Illinois

1:30 pm.
Snow started around 9 am.
Note the difference in the bushes in the next pic.

7:55 pm. I was enchanted by the soft light. Plenty of it with the reflective snow and daylight savings, but the camera turned everything blue because the flash would have done no good. 

My studio is way out there behind the barn to the right of the propane tank. Haven't measured. Heavy and wet and bowing the branches of trees and shrubs. Great for building snowmen.
It is still snowing.  It is the 4th day of Spring.  Yesterday was shirtsleeve weather.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friends of Art

I've been a supporter of the FOA since graduate school and a board member for several years helping organize the auction.  As I have for the past couple of years, I photograph every single item that is donated--183 items and counting to date.  (Which explains in part why I haven't been posting lately!) Donations come from students, faculty, alumni and friends in every medium.  SIUE's event is unique among art auctions in this area in that we hire honest to God auctioneers whose rapid fire calling keeps everyone on their toes.  So much fun!  Check out our Facebook page at Friends of Art SIUE to see the donations as they roll in.  You can also view items by media category at our website:

In addition to working behind the scenes I am donating these two pieces:

This is one of the shibori rust scarves I made while teaching the rust workshop last year at the university. It measures 72" by 14".  Silk Satin.

This is a quilt collage piece I did in 2008 inspired by the presidential election. The title is The Madness of King George.  

The fabrics include composted silk, rust printed silk, rust printed nylon, wool, wool blend felt, commercial  print fabric as well as one small scrap of one of my mom's dress fabrics. Free motion quilting was done with silk thread. It was pieced in process onto a commercial wool blend backing and is mounted on 1/2" fabric covered foamcore.

If you live in the area, consider yourself invited!  You won't be disappointed by the quality of the work donated and the cause is a good one--all funds go back to the SIUE Department of Art and Design to fund the visiting artist program.  SIUE is Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  See you there!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Save Once Upon a Toy Store

Sorry I haven't been posting just gets in the way sometimes.  I've been hibernating for quite a while now, but things are starting to happen.  I'm involved right now in photographing all the art work that is donated to the auction that benefits the school where I got my degrees-Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  I'm responsible for posting the photos to Facebook and readying images for the slide show the night of the auction.  Haven't even had time to decide what I'm going to donate. 

I'm also trying to teach myself how to crochet.  My mom was fast and prolific, but alas, I could not grasp the concept as a child.  Lots of tears and failures back then, but now I truly want to learn.  And I'm also collaborating with friend Elizabeth Adams Marks to plan a fibers exhibit in 2014.  Slow going on that.  But hopefully there will be news on that front soon.

But in the midst of all that I've learned that a wonderful and beloved independent toy store in Edwardsville, Illinois has been forced to close its doors last week because the bank unexpectedly called the SBA loans (about 5 years early).  A fellow artist from SIUE, MFA grad and friend, Shawnta' Ray is the owner.  It is a sad situation, made worse by the short notice.  Shawnta' and her husband have been pursuing all possibilities.  Some very devoted friends started a Save the store page on Facebook and started a fund raiser at Crowdtilt in hopes of raising enough to satisfy the bank.

I'm posting the link to the crowdtilt site and hope that my readers might be moved to make a small contribution.  We have a daunting goal of $75000 and it must be met by Friday.  But amazingly in about 24 hours, over $26,700 (as of 6 AM Wednesday) has already been raised by the community determined that another small business will NOT fail.  The bank has promised to honor the loan if the goal is reached. 

If you'd like to help the cause you can read about the store and donate hereFYI--your credit card is not charged unless the goal is reached.  

Shawnta' serves on the Friends of Art board as I do working with the auction which raises money for the visiting artist program at SIUE.  Last year she and her husband lent us part of their stock room to store donated items and we catalogued nearly 200 pieces in the store one Sunday last Spring, spreading the art out amongst all the merchandise.  I took these photos of the toy store after the catalog was complete.  Several areas in the store are devoted to play.  Love that green couch! 

The toys in this store are unique.  The experience of shopping there is unlike any ordinary store, most especially big box or chain stores.  I hope the campaign is a roaring success!  Shop local and independent whenever possible. 

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