Thursday, January 22, 2015


I think I have bitten off more than I can chew (surprise? I think not)

As old as I am, you would not think I would be naive.  When I joined the SAQA Board of Directors last May, I forgot to ask what my job would be.  Ooops.  Membership Committee?  Wonderful!  My heart is with the Regions and their support of our membership.  

Then I realized there never has been a standing MC, issues were addressed on an ad hoc basis.  SO.  In on the ground floor, so to speak.

Can I just say that absolutely everything is related to Membership?  Okay, maybe not Exhibits, directly. 

Interestingly, I started loosing my hair this summer.  Doc is working on thyroid angle but admits it could be stress.

On the heavily positive side, I have had the opportunity of working with some WONDERFUL, committed, talented members.  Just that is a grand place to be.  After I took a deep breath, let go of my stress (step at a time philosophy seems to be working) I can envision how important this committee's contribution to its members can be.  Yep, a wonderful place to be.

This, in part, keeps me not-so-productive in my own studio....or blogging for that matter.  I have taken Work in Progress snaps of the two pieces that I've worked on this year.  "Where Have All the Cattails Gone?" is now completed and photographed.  The Heron is still a WIP with the background mostly quilted...many more layers will be added. But you get the idea.
Heron WIP

Where have all the cattails gone WIP
You MAY need to remind me of this at some point in the resolution for 2015 is NOT to volunteer for another thing!  I have enough in the way of commitments.

Stop Me Before I Volunteer Again!  I used to have cocktail napkins (gift from knowledgeable friend) with those words printed on it.  I should have it emblazoned on a throw pillow, a tee-shirt, a bath towel, an apron, key ring....I have to remember it!  Resolved.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Viewpoints9-2 Reveal Day!

I have been SO remiss.  It has been more than a month since I last posted.  I don't think that's ever happened since I began this blog several years ago.  I guess it says something about the time of year and my energy level.

But today is Viewpoints9-2 reveal day.  Ramp up the energy, Diane.  You ARE a team player!

The challenge was posed by Betty Busby in November was "Potential".  Here's my post:

My father was a taciturn statistician.  A time and motion expert in the US military.  I recall the wonderment in my father's voice when he described his trip upon returning from a secret destination.  Somewhere in the US there was a  huge cavern under a mountain.  We knew that.  We didn't know where.  He would tell us about huge machines housed there that could figure out everything.  He lit our imaginations telling us how wonderful our world would be when we were adults and had kids of our own.

Now we know a bit more.  Not the details. But we do know he was talking about the late 1940's first Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer financed by the US Army. 

We can all relate to how incredible the prospects must have seemed (and still do) at the potential for artificial intelligence.  As interesting is the potential in the stories and ideas told to small children by their parents.  Those tales generated such curiosity in us, his four children, that each studied mathematics and three went on to life-long careers.  Fortunately he lived to know that.

Fiberwonk Recalls ENIAC
Cotton and found objects 18" x 18"

I created this weeks ago.  Then on Christmas Day we took the family to see The Imitation Game.  Being a family who loves math AND Benedict Cumberbatch, it was a must see for us.  It is a true to life film about the life of Alan Turing, the inventor of the computer.

As for potential:  I really do think that words spoken to small children REALLY do make a difference.  Yes, actions too.  But those stories that are replayed in little people's heads are very powerful.  Which, interestingly, my father also reinforced in his teaching to me when I was his lab assistant after he embarked on his second career:  University Psychologist.  My second major.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Back from Turkey. Back from Houston. Back to Work.

Our tour and home-hosting in Turkey was AMAZING!!  We took hundreds (thousands?) of photos.  And, we renewed our friendships and made new ones during our cultural exchange in Izmir.  I can't tell you how warm and welcoming our stay was.  Such hospitality!  Oh, and the food!!
Within two days of our return, I was off to the Houston Quilt Fest with four of our Sisters in Cloth group (we met up with another Sister member Carol Ludington, who had work juried into a special exhibit)

My participation in the SAQA Benefit Auction bookended my trips.  Before I left I won Lorraine Dena Kpo's "Against the Odds" in the online auction.  Later while I was in Houston I saw Norma Schlager's "SW#4, Greening Up" displayed there and 
was demanding that I take it home.  I could do no less.  How lucky am I, anyway!?!
Norma Schalger's "SW#4 Greening Up"

Larraine Dena Kpo's "Against the Odds"

And that brings my collection to eleven.  L-R: Row 1: Cathy Smith, Cathy Smith, Holly Altman,
Row 2: Vivien Zepf, Cathy Smith, Sandy Gregg, Row 3: Debbie Bein, Lutgard Gerber-Billiau and Ali George, Row 4: Norma Schalger and Larraine Dena Kpo.

Hmmm....I really NEED one more ;^)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Viewpoints9 Reveal Challenge 7

Lin Hsin-Chen posed a timely challenge to the group:  Our environment, considering the current climate changes to all of Nature.

The day she posted the Challenge, coincidentally, I happened upon my maternal grandfather's obituary.  He and his four brothers were second generation farmers and ranchers in Sutter County CA, which is part of the Sacramento River Valley.  Later that evening I watched the grim realities of the results of the current long term drought affecting this entire area.

The stamp I carved represents the acres of orchards/vineyards now in peril: Almond, walnut, peach, plums/prunes, kiwifruit, grapes (Thompson Seedless were developed here)

Forecast: Hot and Dry is a lament for the farmers of the Sacramento River Valley and us all.

This piece is made with both commercial and hand-dyed, painted, stamped and inked cottons.  Machine and hand stitched.
Forecast: Hot and Dry
Detail of artist-cut block, printed and stitched

Monday, October 13, 2014

What's up? oooooh World Wide Blog Hop!

Work in progress Heron
Welcome to my blog!

Like everyone else in this endeavor, my work days are full of variety.  I can't think of the last time I had a span of time when I just worked on one thing in my studio.  Usually I have a couple assignments in progress.  Currently on my design wall is the blue heron, above.  I have interviewed several different backgrounds and am going for this wonderful piece of hand-dye from Carol Eaton.

Work in progress Commission

Next, on my work table is a commission.  Yes, a commission.  I don't get them often, maybe once or twice a year.  This one is for a couple who know my work well and like my last series.  They've asked me to create a piece that relates to it, but is not part of the series.  They have had a lot of input along the way.  And, fortunately for me, I have no deadline.  This is very important because of the rest of my schedule.

At the end of today's busy day, I was able to arrange to meet the purchaser of my Local Color piece, Town Green.  The woman had actually seen it in the last venue of the exhibit's travel in April, she rang me several weeks later.  Interestingly, it was within of being shipped to in Quilting Arts magazine for a feature about Local Color....and Town Green was away at the magazine's photographer's studio.  My buyer was patient.  Fortunately, because Quilting Arts asked to take the Local Color pieces they had in their possession to exhibit at the Sew Expo in Atlanta.  Truth be told, I excitedly said YES without asking the woman's permission (tho' she hadn't paid for it rationalization).  She was thrilled when I hurriedly told her. "Her" art was on tour.  Further, she was tickled to share the magazine article with all her friends. (whew!)

Photo taken by happy new owner

This Sunday (Oct 12) my husband and I leave for a cultural exchange (Friendship Force International) to Turkey.  Actually, the day this posts we will be in Istanbul!   After a few days of being tourists, we will rendezvous with the Turkish group who visited us last year.  We showed them what ordinary life is like in CT along the shoreline and they, in return, will show us life in Izmir.  Can't wait.

When my buddy Jeanne Marklin asked if I could participate in this Blog Hop, I initially said no...however, she persuaded me that it was possible and it would be great fun. :^)  It was easy for her, since I seem to be unable to say NO and mean it.  Check out her amazing work:

And hop on over next week (Oct 20) to my friend Diane Cadrain's blog.  She is one of Five Fiber Friends exhibiting this month at FairHaven Furniture in New Haven, along with Kate Themel, Mickey Lawler, Trish Hodge and me. (Diane's:

Then blog hopping still, to Sisters in Cloth, the Art Quilt group that grew out of the small-town quilt group that I started in Guilford CT 14 years ago.  Now a vibrant, inspiring...always-exhibiting-widely group of artists.  In fact, on their calendar are exhibits at the Guilford Free Library in Dec., Willoughby Wallace Library Gallery in nearby Stony Creek in April 2015, and a gallery in Brookline NY also in April.  Current work is being exhibited in Australia after a successful tour of two venues in Europe.  A very busy group, indeed.

One of our 'newbies' to the Sisters' group is Gina Frank who is a full-time college administrator, an assistant to her potter husband David and a rising art quilter.  She is also new to blogging :)
Encourage her at Imagination & Inspiration.

Now.  I'm off to finish packing!

But WAIT.  There's more.  This JUST in:  In the category of "My Cup Runneth Over".  My piece Sing Out Loud (Part of my Aging Lines Series) was just juried into Modern Spin: Contemporary Textiles in an Historic Mill, Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River MA   Fortunately, I don't need to worry about shipping etc until I return.  WOW! What a going-away gift!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Support Your Local!

From my Secret Series
A House Full of Art
Fine Art Sale to Benefit Guilford Art Center

Thursday, October 9, 6-8pm
55 Wood’s End Road, Guilford

Please join us for a great evening of fine art, wine & appetizers

Local fine artists and artisans will have their works for sale including:
Kim Ruggiero, Dolph LeMoult, Ken Dorros, Lisa Hess Hesselgrave,
Steve Plaziak, David Frank and Diane Wright

A portion of all proceeds will benefit Guilford Art Center’s
 Educational and community programs

Free to the public; no rsvp is necessary
We look forward to seeing you!

Thank you for your support of the arts and Guilford Art Center!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SAQA Auction Wins

I have decided to enjoy my SAQA wins from the past while watching this year's Auction, waiting to bid on another.  On the top:  L_R Debbie Bein, Sandy Gregg, Lutgard Gerber-Billiau, Vivian Zeff, Cathy Whall Smith, Ali George, Holly Altman, Cathy Whall Smith, Dijanne Cevaal, Vivika DeNegre, Cathy Whall Smith, Janine Anderson-Bays, Dijanne Cevaal, Vivika DeNegre, Louise Schwab and Laura Cater Woods.  Inspiring!