July 25, 2014

I recently spent some time in Barcelona admiring the works of one of my favorite architects, Antoni Gaudi.

Much of Gaudi’s work was inspired by nature.

One of my absolute favorite pieces is this door grill.


Which was inspired by this!!


A honey comb!

The columns in The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia were inspired by trees.



The Basilica was being worked on at the time of Gaudi’s death and work halted for three decades and began again in 1954. The current estimated completion date in 2025.


He used a variety of materials in his work.





Wood in this staircase is used to resemble dinosaur vertebrae.




Casa Batllo with its balconies that remind me of  Venetian masks


I find looking at Gaudi’s work, just at face value, totally inspirational. Now I am delving deeper into what inspired him, how he used his inspiration in the designs of his incredible buildings. Curves and glass and mosaic, at times it felt so original and so inspired, yet almost Seuss like. I loved spending time in his creations. It is worth checking out the amazing architecture of Antoni Gaudi if you are looking for inspiration!

And of course, we still found a little time to cheer on the German Football Team (yeah!)!


It was a wonderful trip.

I am inspired!




Organized under Architecture, Inspiration, Travel. No comments.


July 19, 2014

One day way back in April I was out walking my dog. There, under a tree was a neighborhood cat. I am always amazed that she just watches and never runs when I come by with my big black lab! I wondered if she would let me take pictures of her. She was quite cooperative. When I got home, this photo really resonated  with me.


Why, you ask? Because it’s spinning. And so was I!

I had so many great intentions way back in April. I was going to do one more blog post before leaving to travel for a few months. I was going to finish a donation piece and a few other things on my plate. Absolutely none of that happened. Between all that I wanted to do and all that I had to do, I was spinning!

I’m a little more grounded now. I’ve been on holiday, spent time with friends but the best part was a side trip with my daughter. Living as far apart as we do, it is always so much fun just to be together!

I’m back in the studio today. I’m rested and inspired by all that I have seen in the places I have been. Hopefully it will translate into some new fun creation!

As for the cat, haven’t seen her since I got back. She must be hiding in some cool shade, if there is any to be found here in the Saudi summer sun!






Organized under Photography, Travel. 3 comments.


March 27, 2014

I was reading through Lilla Rogers book I Just Like To Make Things and read this line:

Enjoy being a beginner

I have spent quite a bit of time mulling this over. We have all been beginners. I thought about learning to walk. I don’t remember that experience, but I’m sure there was some fear, some incredible excitement, a sense of pride when that foot moved. And so it is with beginnings.


In Bloom

In Bloom 2007 one of my beginning pieces.

It is somewhat like falling in love. That beginning, that apprehension, the excitement and emotion.

When I floated the idea of an online presence, I felt all of those beginning emotions. My website launched in November, I was relieved and excited. What an incredible amount of work. I had no idea! As well as the relief and excitement, I felt somehow vulnerable and exposed. It was a beginning.

Five months into this I still feel like a beginner. I still struggle with aspects of technology – but I have learned so much. I still have moments of feeling fear and vulnerability and doubtfulness. But oh, the joy, the excitement of a letter of acceptance for your work or the thrill of a kind comment on a blog post. None of the joy would be possible without beginning, taking the first step, being brave enough to put yourself and your work out there.

Be brave, simply begin.



Organized under Beginning, Fear. 4 comments.

My work is being published!

March 21, 2014

A number of weeks ago I submitted some images of my work to hopefully be included in a book being curated by Sandra Sider entitled 1000 Quilt Inspirations. I received this from Quarry Books last week!


1000 Quilt Blocks entry Banner images are from Quiltmaker’s Color Workshop by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle (Quarry Books, 2006).

Good news! 

At least one of your images has been accepted for Sandra Sider’s new book, 1000 Quilt Inspirations! You will be hearing more from us about this exciting project in April.  
In the meantime, our online submission module will remain open through March 31. Please help us spread the word about our extended deadline!


Quarry Books    

Needless to say I am over the moon with excitement and will let you know as soon as I know which image Sandra has chosen.
I am happily spreading the word about their extended deadline. If you are a quilter or a textile artist, you can find more information at the following link
Deadline is March 31.
Oh, and, Happy Spring!!






Organized under Photography, Published, Surprise. 10 comments.


March 13, 2014

The Dhahran Art Show was last weekend and I was totally surprised that my piece “dream” took first place in the Fiber Arts category!


This piece was thermofax screened onto commercial cotton and then quilted with fun variegated thread. It is mounted on stretcher bars and measures 6″ x 6″ and I love to keep it on an easel in my studio!

When all of this talk of building a website and making art began, I felt that I needed to learn how to take pictures of my art. I am still learning, but what I hadn’t expected was to fall in love with photography. Yet another surprise!! Just for fun, I entered two pieces of my photography in the show.

Nightfall London

Nightfall London was taken in August. Speaking of surprises, the trip was a surprise for my birthday, complete with surprise guest from far away!

Venetian Piegons

Venetian pigeons was taken in Venice last fall. I just love the color of the lamps.

These photographs were printed on canvas and mounted on 2″ thick stretcher bars measuring 12″x 12″. I really liked how they looked. The final surprise of the weekend was that these two photos sold at the show. I was thrilled!

Surprises are such fun. I would love to know what was your best surprise ever!


Organized under Photography, Surprise, Travel. 12 comments.


March 4, 2014

I am definitely a rule follower.

And I think it all began as a child.  One evening, we went for a family drive. My dad knew this great ridge where we could see the lights of the city. Sounds great, right? When we arrived at the entrance to the ridge, there was a gate, with a sign, NO TRESSPASSING. This is a red flag for me that immediately tells me I should not go there. But, we do, we go. The view was pretty spectacular. As we go to leave, the gate is  locked. I quietly go into panic mode in the backseat. My dad says he will go and get help, but I am pretty sure we are all going to be arrested! I was terrified, knowing we had broken the rules, and very afraid of the consequences. Well, my dad came back with the guy with the key and we were off. The police were not called, and all these years later I wonder if my dad knew the guy. That would have been useful information for me, while I quietly panicked in the backseat of the car.

This is how life has been for me. Thousands of others can get away with little infractions of the rules, but as for me, I always get caught and questioned and life seemed for me to be less complicated when I lived inside the rules. A little more carefree and much less time spent in panic mode!

Then I started to play with art and being creative.


I have been working on a series of Arabian Doors. This is outside of the lines and the rules because the designs and patterns that I am using can be found in various doors, however, I am making my own patterns and using colors I want to play with.

Yep, someone said something! Someone mentioned to me that these are not the colors used in the doors. I felt like I had trespassed, colored outside the lines, yes, broken the rules.

So I started a door in the traditional colors and I felt like a fraud! I felt like I was totally copying the work of someone else. And more than that, I was not enjoying the work. It was then that I realized I was using the beautiful doors I had seen as inspiration. As an artist, I can interrupt what I see as I like, that is what makes me, well, me!

I edged closer to doing mostly textile art instead of quilts because it just felt freer. I got to decide. There is not this list of rules for the work I do, because it all comes from me.

I do find it interesting that I do still follow the rules of life and community. When it comes to art, I am totally outside of the lines, breaking rules and loving it!

This piece form sums up exactly how I feel about creating art.


I hope you are having all the fun!


Organized under New Work, Rules. 4 comments.


February 9, 2014


I was almost six years old when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. I remember watching it on TV. Big, clunky, console TV, offered two colors, black and white. Had a switch to turn it on and turn up the volume. The dial to change the channel went as high as twelve. It came complete with rabbit ears!

What I didn’t know then that I know now is what an incredible feat of technology it must have taken to get this man to space, get him out on the surface of the moon, and send pictures of that walk back to earth!

And so technology goes. We had a rotary dial, non cordless phone. No call waiting, no caller id. When you made a call, you were in that location until the call was complete.

Fast forward forty four years.

I am watching the Sochi Olympics live on channel 601 in my home in Saudi Arabia. While I am watching the games, I can send an email, write a blog post or spend time on facetime with my daughter who lives halfway around the world. Amazing!

I surf the web, read tweets, stay in immediate contact with friends from home on Facebook, pay bills, transfer money, shop. There are many things I do very well on the internet!

But wait….a glich!

Last week as I attempted to upload a new piece of work to my website, I deleted the entire gallery. Horror of horrors!!! I know what I did, and I will never do that again, however, it was very stressful for me. Apparently I hadn’t totally eliminated the gallery and my website designer at fixed me right up. I am actually starting to feel very technically challenged. This is all new for me. And I want to learn it, really I do.

So now we are back to a place of fear. I need to set aside a day and go through the instructions again and attempt to update my website. And I will. Right after I figure out how to send this blog post to the people on my mailing list in mailchimp!

And I know I am not alone! This part of technology is difficult for me. It is time consuming because I am unsure, uncertain, and, yes, fearful!

But I haven’t given up on technology. I think of all the changes in my lifetime, and I marvel at the advances. If they can put a man on the moon, don’t you think I can put a picture on a website? I hope so! Stay tuned!

Share with me your technology triumphs, or your favorite technology! Facetime wins with me!




Organized under Fear, technology. 2 comments.

First work of 2014

January 30, 2014


My first piece of the year is very Arabian. I am currently working on art to be shown in Saudi Arabia and am planning a series of Arabian Doors

I painted a piece of cotton a few weeks ago. This piece began looking like this.


After I completed the painting on this piece, you can still see some of the brown through the paint, which I was hoping would give it a painted wood look. It is quite interesting to take a look at this piece before it was quilted.


The quilting is my favorite part. It brings color and texture and life to the piece!

I had it mounted on stretcher bars and framed so the size is 9 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ x 3/4″.

I am hoping to make a few more of these Saudi doors. I’m planning the next ones to be in more traditional colors.

The art show is in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia March 6, 7 and 8. I better get to work!



Organized under New Work. 10 comments.


January 22, 2014

Queen of the castle

In 2005, my husband and I traveled to Jordan, a land full of history and so many exciting sights. We were on our way back to Amman from the Dead Sea when we stopped at an ancient Crusaders Castle, Kerak Castle. It was amazing. I took a tour of the Castle with a very kind Arab man. As we worked our way through the Castle, the big finale was to have this picture taken, me sitting on the high wall of the Castle.

What you don’t see in this picture is my terror, my incredible fear. I sit down, I can hear the traffic moving below, I can hardly breathe, the blood is pounding in my ears, I’m feeling dizzy. I am terrified that I am going to fall from the wall into the traffic. Then, my body moves to paralysis. I have no clue how I am going to move away from this wall. You can see my hands almost attempting to hang on to the wall. This all happens in the time it take to snap a photo. The kind tour guide finishes taking the picture and puts his hand out to help me up. I am certain I could not have gotten up from that wall unassisted.

It was then that I realized I had a fear of heights, a fear of falling, particularly into traffic. It was one of the most fearful moments of my life.

The most common time I feel fear is around creating art. Of course, it is not as frightening as the fear of falling into traffic!

I spent much of last week sitting, paralyzed by the fear of starting, fear of making a mistake, the fear of failing. This talk carried on to snowball into questioning if I really wanted to be an artist, and, well, I’m sure any of you who have experienced “creative” fear know where this continued to lead. Finally, I knew I had to start. I knew that if I continued to sit, the paralysis would just simply become permanent.

And so, I began.

Paint mix

I am using Daler Rowney Arylic Artist Ink. I like using this paint because it offers a few options on fabric. If the fabric is wet, it will run and pool and give you interesting patterns. It does work well dry if you have specific areas to paint, however it does take a lot of ink to get a deep color.

Once I started, it felt better. Once I was in full paint mode, my mind started to explore other possibilities. And instead of saying, “I can’t”, I began to question “what if?”


I finally got the painting finished and it was forward on to the quilting, my favorite part! Because I like to stitch in specific areas, I start and stop in those spaces, and spend quite a bit of time burying the thread ends by hand, into the piece. It is labor intensive, but I am so much happier with the results!

The piece is almost finished and will go off to the framer today. I have to keep moving forward!

I would love to hear how you overcome your creative fears.

Organized under Acrylic Inks, Fear, Travel. 4 comments.


January 8, 2014

I spent sometime recently choosing a word for the year. I am new at this. 2013 was the first time I ever chose a word, “imagine”. Well, to be honest, it was a year that took me to unimaginable places, it was the most amazing year of my life! Here is hoping that in 2014, “forward” will work the same magic. I worked with a friend of mine who, when the going got tough, used to say to me, “keep moving forward”! I often find myself stuck in a rut, sitting, thinking, fretting, feeling the fear of creating when truly, if I just kept moving forward, the creativity would consume me! That is what this year is about for me. It is about continuing to make art, creating everyday, moving past the fear, onward to forward!

That said, here I am blogging, which is something I never envisioned for myself. Apparently forward is working.

I did some painting yesterday and was very happy with the results.


While the fabric was still wet, I folded it and left it to dry. I’m loving all this rich texture before I even begin with the piece. I have an idea where this piece is leading me!

I hope your New Year is going great!. I would love to hear about your choice of a word for 2014!

Organized under Word of the year. 23 comments.