Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day Snooze

I think someone was up all night guarding the house against fat men in red suits with full beards in the company of a band of looting elves.

Needless to say she did a good job! No presents under the tree, just some spare pine needles.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A green fireplace

All painted and trimmed out!

This didn't take all that long since it was a small wall. I had to paint it gray and then 2 coats of the green. I think it is way cool. Much better than the brick and beige.

Now I have several projects to do. My web site is completed but I need to upload it. It's time, my process has changed so drastically from painted cotton duck and xeroxed gel medium-ed down and painted. I am working on my aunt and the jockey. Lots of stitching, her dress is going to be covered in french knots. The top part is done and I have started on her skirt.

Then there are Christmas cookies to make. And my family is coming over next Sunday so there is a bit of food to prepare ham, potato salad and baked beans.

The house is decorated. I knew if I decided not to decorate until it was painted I would get the painting finished. I still have plans to paint the woodwork white. I think the door to my garage will be orange to match the walls.

And a Christmas present to myself, insulation. I am going from R4 to none to an R44. Take that gas heating bill!

If I don't post till after next week, a Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Changes coming

This is my fireplace, it always depressed me. Ugly old brick.
It made me go buy a quart of paint.

Looks better, yes?

Note the quilt over the fireplace, amazingly I did that before I ever looked at this house. I couldn't have measured and got the size so right.

Anyway, now I am thinking wall paint.

Humorous green, how can you go wrong?

Stayed tuned.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Color and correction

 I have been working on the prospectus for Focus: Fiber 2014. It is TAA's fiber show that will open  September 2014 at Erie Art Museum. One of our considerations was whether photos can be modified.
I know from working in advertising that digital photos need to be modified. Digital cameras do not capture color correctly, they tend to be weak in the black component and a good photographer will adjust to make the photos richer.
At the left is a photo of my current quilt, it looks very yellow with a red cast (from the flash) to me.
I know it is a green quilt, I bought the fabric!

This is more like it, though it is washed out on the right from the window to the right. The red cast is gone also. Now the jockeys pants are white.
We have decided to allow correction, as long as the work is not altered in form.
I think some major shows need to rethink their policies and get an understanding of the current state of photography.
I wish you all happy holidays. Since I couldn't wait and the turkey was fresh I have been eating turkey all week, with dressing and cranberry sauce! Yum!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Artist as Quiltmaker

Avoid the rush — enter now!

The entry deadline for The Artist as Quiltmaker XVI at The Firelands Association for the Visual Arts in Oberlin Ohio has been extended to December 20, 2013.

  May 11 – July 27, 2014
The Artist as Quiltmaker is the second-longest-running art quilt exhibition in the world. FAVA deliberately chooses not to define ‘quilt,’ thereby encouraging both established and emerging artists
to submit innovative artwork, pushing boundaries and challenging expectations, whether they use traditional or non-traditional techniques or materials.

Friday, November 8, 2013

OK, where was I?

Dang! Too much time has gone by, but it is leaf season and my big oak tree is shedding and I try to keep up. I spread an old double bed sheet on my deck and dump my lawn mower bag on it and haul it out to the tree lawn. I can pretty much get the whole back yard on it and thank God leaves aren't heavy. I am like a kid in the candy store when the city sucks them up. Much better than 4 hours of mowing and emptying the big blower bags on our towering mulch pile that we never used. I'll take a 1/4 acre over 2 and 1/4 any day. Enough to fuss with but not kill yourself. The garden is cleaned up and Skittles contributed several bins of manure. After it gets some serious snow on it and melds into the ground the veggies are going to love it. My front flower bed is full of strawberries from the 3 plants I planted  2 years ago. Hopefully the chipmunks will share with me. I don't mind them having some but they eat half and leave it.
I was at the Art Quilt Network retreat last week. Talks about technology, demos on different surface design techniques and show and tell. Catching up with old friends and making new. I roomed with Mary Bartrop and we became fast friends. So much in common. If you think you would like to join or find out what AQN is about leave me a message. They have room for new members.
At the left is the fabulous Debbie demoing markers and alcohol on silk scarves.
Someone is still giving me the stink eye from being boarded with the vet. But she is loving cooler weather which calms her allergies down. The first snow will have her rolling and laying in it.
On the other hand we had a light covering of snow at the barn and my hot house flower of a horse was just a wee bit miffed. Like "What! Whoa!!!"
Her friend Willy told her to get over it, there's grass underneath. Come to think of it, I've owned her since she was 8, she's 23 now and I only put her out in snow once and she stood by the door until I let her back in.
Here is my latest project on the design board. More to come on this. I need to photograph a few things for show entries.
Artist as Quiltmaker is due December 6.
Time flys.
But I was having fun!

And my new website is done, now I have to figure out how to upload it. Lots of new work!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

American Craft Council Challenge

OK my little chickadees I am the first blog post on the ACC site.
Check out the previous library card project while you are there. They have a cool site, lots of videos also.
Still working on the fish portrait. This Sunday October 20 is our (TAA) big fundraiser at Landerhaven. Preview shopping at 53 vendors for one of a kind clothing, lunch and a Wearable Fashion Show with over 80 pieces. The lunch and fashion tickets are sold out, we have 600 for lunch. But you can shop after 1pm for a $5 price. Very worth it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Barb and Joan in Conference

A jpg of Barb and Joan in Conference has been sent to the American Craft Council. They plan to start blogging the results at the end of October. I will post a link when it happens.

Now I will go back to beading the fisher man and thinking about the next project.

 I have 2 things printed. One is my great aunt Kitty handing a silver plate to a jockey. I am thinking this would be cool as a vertical blind piece. I would have to have a reverse image printed but I will do a paper mockup to see if it would work. If it works you could reverse the panels so the jockey is accepting a plate from himself. Don't ask where these ideas come from.
 And this is Mama's Boy. It won't be that big but it will be fun to play with her dress. This is a flea market photo. They needed to be adopted!

Monday, September 16, 2013

American Craft Council

I love American Craft magazine. I get their e-blasts too and I was excited when I read of their latest project for their blog. If you responded with a jpeg of your work that would fit with the project they would send you photos from their archives. You make a piece of art from the photos and send them a jpeg of the work. To the left is the photo I received of Barbara Rockfeller and Joan Mondale.

I have scanned it and done some photoshop work, had it printed at Spoonflower and now I need to sew them down. I actually have the background quilted now and Barb and Joan ready to be stitched. I will post a link to the blog when it starts probably in early October.

In the meantime tomorrow I am giving a talk on my work to a seniors group in Berea, Ohio. Should be fun, I have a power point presentation and I am taking a selection of new and old pieces of work. And it's of my favorite subject, ME! Me, me, me, it's all about me, all of the time. ME!

Alright, calm down girl and get a grip. As my mother told me when I first got in Quilt National in 2007. Your head will be so BIG! Ha, not really. As I say, "I try my best." As we all should.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sequins and Beads

You wouldn't think I am a sequin and bead girl but I do have small secret projects where I bead the snot out of a piece of cloth. These projects are the nicest thing to handle, they have a satisfying weight and feel.
I have hand stitching projects also like the kitchen towel project that is stalled for the summer.
And there is the tag project where I have been using photos out of the flea market photo albums.
So many projects, so little time. I must quit taking afternoon naps. And picking up extra work hours. But then it's nice to have extra spending money for little projects and I like to stay up late and work! Life is a circle.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Uncle Jim and a Big Fish

This is a photo of my great uncle EJ (Jim) Tranter. He was the owner of Fasig-Tipton, the auction house of many famous race horses back in the 20s and 30s. This was in Saratoga New York. But Jim and my Aunt Kitty also lived in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. This was taken in Fort Lauderdale, and it was a record wahoo catch.
I love the fact that he was fishing from a boat with neck tie and dress shoes that would not happen today. From the photos I have found fishing was popular and I think Uncle Jim also golfed. Uncle Jim died before I was around but I remember my Aunt Kitty visiting and the fun she was. I wish I would have been old enough to ask about her family history but I was in grade school and those thoughts didn't enter my little head back then.
I am in the middle of beading the fish.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Eyes are done!

20/20 vision! Not sure I ever had that! And now I have readers and sun glasses. But I bought a cool pair instead of the charcoal grey wraparound standard issue.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Julie owns the barn where I board my horse, Skittles. A few years ago she was married to Brad who was stationed in Iraq when the war was just getting hot. Brad was killed by an IED. At the time Julie was showing Grace a very nice quarter horse mare who took Julie to many ribbons and was a comfort in a troubling time. Julie was working her way up in the AQHA ranks and sold Grace to a woman who had some health issues and needed a quiet safe ride.

Along the way Grace was sold to a farm where she became a brood mare, she herself had some hoof issues and last fall she was sent to auction where Julie connected to her. Julie figured she would be a safe ride for her two little girls, Lily and Ruby, for Julie had married again. Grace came to the barn in October, in foal, and having a lot of hoof problems. The vet and farrier were constantly in attendance. On Palm Sunday, early on a blustery morning, Baby was foaled.
Unfortunately Grace grew steadily worse and the vet felt she was in tremendous pain and would soon be unable to walk. Baby was just over 2 months old and eating on her own so it was decided to wean her to take some of the stress off Grace.
She was moved to a stall next to Skittles who became the maiden aunt who stood next to Baby and comforted her. They have a bond going.
Baby is growing and will soon move to a bigger barn with playmates her age so they can run in the pasture together.
Skittles will miss her.

Baby is going to be a bay roan. Right now she is a little rough looking with tufts of red hair covering her roan coat. She is a little raggamuffin, with a  black mane and tail and black legs with two white socks.
We will all miss her when she leaves. I have a feeling she may be back when she is all grown up.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

One down

One eye done. Now I am driving around with a pair of glasses with one lense in and one out. Very strange working with one bifocal-ed eye! I went and bought a pair of cheap readers today since I absolutely can't see close up. Last night I tried to bead my quilt with one eye. I gave myself a headache!
I think I have enough ruffles and lace, but it could use more beads.

Before surgery I finished my great niece Autumn's 16th birthday banner. This was hung on her wheelchair ramp inviting everyone to her party. It now hangs in her bedroom.

The studio assistant is inspecting my work. Personally she would prefer I not use the sewing machine.

She would also like it to stop raining and for the fireworks to end. She is spending a lot of quality time in my small bathroom beside the commode. Anything for comfort and security!

Here is a link to an article on Quilt National from the Columbus Dispatch. If you click on the photo in the article it will give you a slide show.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Right now I am coasting along. Finishing my Mary Queen of Scots piece, debating on a new project. I have dug out the photo and found a few more interesting ones. Finished the TAA newsletter. Next Tuesday I will have cataract surgery on my right eye followed in 4 weeks by the left eye. I have worn glasses since the fourth grade. Now I will be glasses free except maybe for readers.
I plan to lay low for the month of July. Not knowing how one good eye and one bad is going to work. Glasses with one lense? I admit I do not go anywhere without glasses, i can't see across the room. It will be a big adventure. But what an age we live in. Surgery that once meant weeks on your back with sandbags around your head is now 15 minutes. Yowza!

Since I sold my Quilt National piece I decided to go with the expensive custom laser option. Your art is only as good as your eyes!

I have to correct this last statement. Susie Shie is legally blind and does wonderful work and there are other visually challenged artists, Mea culpa!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Quilt National 2013

Me and The Conversation at Quilt National 2013. This is from a photo of my dad and his sister Kay. They were talking on the sidewalk in front of their house in Lyndhurst Ohio. This is the second time I have been in Quilt National, also the second time for my dad. Funny when you think of all the quilts I have done of my mom. I got a great position in the gallery when you look to the right when you come in I am on the end wall by the gift shop.
Even better the fact that it has been purchased by a MAJOR collector.  The fact that it has been purchased is wonderful in itself!

This is the piece I worked on at QSDS. It needs more work, beads, buttons, etc. and probably the sides trimmed in. Working title is He Discovered the Down Side to Buddhism When He Was Reincarnated as Mary Queen of Scots.
Things to do this week, license plates and a turn signal bulb for the car. And if dry weather holds my front porch pillars will get painted. And maybe the rest of the back fence.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Quilt Surface Design Symposium

or QSDS! Independent Studio for the week. And teaching this weekend.
So I have a whole room and this is the corner I huddle in. But it is easy to grab a piece of fabric and stitch away. The bonus is I can walk back pretty far and look at it.

Here is what I started with, I worked the background at home and am adding lace, fabric and trims.

Here is where it was when I went to lunch. I need to work on the sleeves. It looks like a man with a frilly apron right now.
Inspired by the Renaissance Galleries at the Cleveland Museum of Art, this piece is called:

When He Woke Up from His Four Day Binge, He Realized that He Was Truly and Rightfully, Mary Queen of Scots

Oh what I will do for a laugh!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Quilt National

My Quilt National entry!
And I won the QSDS award!
Lots of people, It's fun to know many artists and fun to get to know more.
We got to speak for 2 minutes on our quilts and I realized this is the second time my Dad has been the subject. Way to go Dad!
Tomorrow I will leave but stop at QSDS on the way.

Below is a small part of the QN opening crowd

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Spring 2013

Spring has sprung after teasing us for a month. Spring rains would be welcome! In a week it will be Memorial Day. And the opening of Quilt National. Someone told me your second or third QN is just as thrilling as the first. I think so.

The studio assistant had a vet appointment so she would be ready to spend some quality time at Camp Wellington. The vet explained the green bean diet where half her food was traded for green beans which are pretty calorie-less. I knew there was a reason to hate them. If you substituted half my food with green beans I would have a drastic weight loss and a lot of left over green beans. I figure the assistant will refuse to eat at Camp Wellington, run with the other dogs and come home rather svelte. No problem!

Here is a tease of my next piece, Our Lady of the Kitchen.

The next post may be from QN or QSDS. Enjoy!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Blind Date Show

 Last night was the opening of Blind Date the Third at Translations Gallery, 331 Cleveland St. NW in Canton, OH.
What a gathering of diverse artists and writers, from 14 states, no less.
Prints, paintings, photographs, assemblage, collage, art quilts.
One side of the gallery was selected art that the writers were assigned to write about. The other side of the gallery was art made about an assigned writing.
I was lucky to receive a piece of writing from Julie Winters. That inspired my piece Mom G. She is with me on the right above, below is her writing. Hopefully she does not mind that I am making this writing public. The show runs till May 30. Thanks Craig for the invitation to participate!

To Have and To Hold

Two full refrigerators and a freezer,
and cabinet shelves bowed with cans of food,
pinholes in pasta boxes from whatever bored out, or in,
jarred olives shriveling above their half-volume of brine.
Furniture and mementos
jam bedrooms long deserted;
old suits hang waiting to be worn
to a job retired from years ago. Then,
the worst one could say
was that the house was perhaps tacky,
but that was before
three bouts of cancer,
two arterial stents,
pinched nerves,
carpal tunnel syndrome,
urinary tract infections,
Medicine bottles stack and spread
over three rooms, and every room
hosts a chaotic mix
of bills,
insurance papers,
candy wrappers,
used paper plates,
bags of chips opened and forgotten,
whatever the dogs tracked in
along the permanent smudge
of dirt and oil from their coats.
His hands, once brown and strong,
are pale and unsure, and she
is long past tired.
The house is filled,
but there is want in every corner:
I want to mow the lawn again,
the hot grass smell rising around me;
I want to drive, to know where the road leads,
or to choose not to care.
I want to dance, sparkling,
feel you guide me, glide me around the room.

I want to be free.

Monday, April 22, 2013

QSDS Class

It's a great honor to be asked to teach at Quilt Surface Design Symposium. It's where I learned about Art Quilts. Quite innocently, in fact. I took a class in fabric manipulation as I was making Western Pleasure Show clothes and thought I could get some different ideas for embellishment. I bought a Quilt National catalog which I enjoyed, but then I had the bright idea to actually GO to QN and see the quilts in person. WOW!! I wanted to be part of art quilting. I knew I was going to be an artist since the fourth grade. I was making a living as a graphic designer and messing with my own art after work. Not actually making anything great, just messing around. Seeing the quilts at QN stirred something in me and every summer was QSDS time. I took a lot of classes and learned a lot of technique. I took a Fran Skiles class and that made my direction clear. That year was followed by Ned Wert's collage class, he made me believe in what I was doing. Dorothy Caldwell was another eye opener and Judy Hooworth was inspiring.
Now it's my turn, June 8 & 9 this year come learn a bunch of transfer ideas and play with collaging everything together. Fun guaranteed!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Spring is hopefully finally springing!
I have a very large Swamp Oak tree in my backyard. It is a shedder. Constant small branches, some are from the squirrels sharpening their teeth but it was full of dead branches and has never been trimmed. Until 2 weeks ago. . . it has to be done before the trees start to bud as it can get disease from the cuts to it. The tree trimmer made a date, and then it snowed, it blew, it rained gustily.
Finally it was a decent day and the tree was trimmed. It had to be hand climbed and trimmed because there is no access to the back yard with a crane. It doesn't look like much was done but just having the dead stuff over my electric wires removed is good. I hate dead branches in a tree. We'll see marked improvement once it greens up.
On the show circuit, I will have pieces in the QSDS Unexpected show at the Ross Museum at Wesleyan University. I have been busy adding rods and labels to quilts. Not that I am complaining.
Now I am hoping for rain because I put Weed & Feed down to improve my lawn. but I don't want the Studio Assistant to walk on it until is soaks into the weeds I call a lawn.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blind Date Show

My piece for the Blind Date show is very close to being finished. It needs the binding done, a rod and a label. I am very pleased with this piece.
I was not sure how working in collaboration with another artist was going to work with my thinking and working process but an hour after reading the poem I was given I had a concrete idea. The serendipity is that the poem has a lot to do with the aging process, something I have dealt with and used in my work for the past five years. (I signed up for Medicare this week, so it is really close to home now!)
It will be interesting to meet the writer and get their reaction. Since this is a blind date, neither of us have met. The show opens to the public Friday May 4 from 6 -10 at Translations Gallery in Canton, OH. It will be part of the Friday night Art Walk.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Show and more shows!

Here is  detail of my brother Mickey as shown in a previous blog post Mixed Media and Textile Too: Mickey. This piece will be in the Ohio Designer Craftsman Best of 2013 show which opens May 5 at the Ohio Crafts Museum in Columbus. It then travels to the Southern Ohio Museum and the Springfield Museum of Art. It's a great show of all kinds of crafts: ceramics, glass, jewelry, wood, quilts and mixed media. This is the seventh time I have been in it. The Ohio Craft Museum is celebrating a big anniversary this year so I would definitely look into shows there. This show runs May 5 through June 23.

If you are going to Quilt National, the Ohio Craft Museum is worth a visit, as is the Zanesville Museum of Art. It's a bit out of the way but the scenery of rolling hills and farms is worth it. The museum has a great collection of ceramics and a very eclectic collection of art. The show Superlatives II opens June 1. I have two pieces there. Outstanding in His Field featuring my horse Spatagus (or Spat), he is long gone but fondly remembered. And Men of Clay a photo of two ceramic manufacturers I took at the museum. It is an exploration of kantha stitch.
This should be a fun summer!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Grandma called Mom

This is another photo I took while in art school or shortly there after. This is my grandmother, Barbara A. Gilgenbach. She only had schooling through the eighth grade. Her mother died at that time. She had wonderful penmanship, made all kinds of crocheted things and quilted. She was a kind, wonderful grandmother. She raised 9 kids on a dairy farm with chickens and a large garden and orchard. We lived across the street from her 100 acre farm. I used to drive over and bring her to our house for dinner every night. I didn't have a license as I was 15 at the time. It was a different time.
I have been invited to participate in a group show at Translations Gallery in Canton, OH. I submitted 3 images of work. The owner picked a piece and gave that to a writer who wrote a poem about the art work, which was then sent to me. This is the piece I am making in response. The artists and writers will meet each other for the first time at dinner the end of April. The show is called Blind Date and runs through May. More details to follow.
I love this photo and can't wait to start stitching but I am going to get a few things out of the way while I contemplate what I am going to do to it. This is fresh out of the Spoonflower bag. It's 42 inches across by 32" high.
Next week I have 2 garden committee meetings, a TAA programming meeting and an accession meeting at CMA. That's Monday. Wednesday is our TAA board meeting. Then the deck is clear for some art. YAY!!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Quilt about Evil

I know this is not your typical beautiful quilt. I titled it Beauty and the Beast. When you look at it up close the quilting lines are scrolls mimicking my brothers very curly hair, there is silver stitching in there also. I have been using some of the photography I did back in art school. There was something magical about developing film and printing photos. You never were sure what you had till you went through the process.
This was an assignment to photograph evil. We did it in a darkened room with a flashlight under his chin. My original thought was to photograph a burnt out church. The problem was finding a burnt out church.
Anyhow now evil lives as a quilt.
This week has seen two newsletters started and finished, the last one went off to the printer today.
TAA has been very active, we are working on annual luncheon plans and a celebration of the opening of the Textile Gallery at Cleveland Museum of Art this June. The last of CMA's galleries go online this fall. The galleries that have opened are magnificent. And interactive. You can go through the galleries and use your ipad to get information on the art. No ipad? CMA rents them for $5 a day. Since I am ipad-less, I would have to rent. But I do enough on the computer to enjoy my time without it. If I see something I like I write the name down and go home and research it. Like Lee Bontecou. Now how did we get here from a quilt about evil?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Good eating!

You know the snow was good eating when you come in with it still on your nose!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

3 Small Ones

The Ohio Craft Museum is hosting a Quilt National Show, pieces from the 17th Competition from Feb 3 to Mar 24. The museum is located in Columbus, Oh 1665 West Fifth St. Here are 3 small pieces I sent down for the Museum Store. I was able to whip these up in about a week. A very good design exercise! I started with the image, added a background color and then moved extra colors around until I reached something I liked. The stitching went fast. Of course with my big machine you can sit down and quickly zip around the surface. Very fun!

Price wise? Between $100 and $200.