Entries organized under Refugees

Welcome 2016!

January 22, 2016

Well I must say I am not sad to say farewell to you, 2015. It felt like one of those tough years. I spent much of my creative time making pieces to enter juried shows.

This piece was created with beautiful embroidery purchased from Syrian and Iraqi refugees living in Jordan. You can learn more about their group here http://www.collateralrepairproject.org/



As well, I created this piece from their stories about their life, which I found horrific!



Deadlines are gruelling! And rejection is disappointing.


So this year, I’m doing things a little different. I have returned to my roots! I began as a quilter. And for 2016 I have started out where I began.image

This pattern is from Lee at http://www.freshlypieced.com . It is called Morracan Lanterns. I loved it, because lanterns are such a part of the Middle East.  I felt it would be a great quilt to create given this will be my last full year in the Middle East. What surprised me the most was what I learned from this quilt. It is pieced together in a very different way from anything else I have ever made and it has me thinking I’m a different direction! I also learned that years ago I would not have ever attempted this quilt as I felt I was not a very percise quilter, but I feel like perhaps I am…see all those points?? Now for the quilting!!!

The most important thing I learned was that I enjoyed this and that was enough.

Yes, enough.

Enough is my word for the year. I have enough, I am enough and enjoying what I do is enough! I don’t always have to be working toward a big goal or deadline.

This does not mean I have abandoned my art, not at all. But I feel a shift. I find that getting out of that element for a moment while still being creative generates all kinds of ideas.  More to come!

And I’m ending this post with a photo I took at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice. It’s a great reminder about kindness…..personally 2015 was a little more cruel than kind for me…so farewell to you 2015!image


Part II – The Horror

August 14, 2015

The second part of this three part project I am currently working on is without a doubt the most difficult. It may well be the most difficult project I have ever done.

It starts here.


This is a Syrian table cloth. The embroidery is amazing. It was difficult to photograph, because it is black on black and it is stunning. These cloths were always abundantly available in the market place. Not so any more. They have been come increasingly difficult to find. And I needed this black cloth for my project. It took me a long time, I didn’t want to cut it, I didn’t want to part with it, but then I would think of the stories. The stories needed to be told, and I needed this cloth to tell them.


When preparing for this project, I had contacted  Collateral Repair Project   in search of some items to work with for my project. I was able to purchase what I needed for the project (more on that next time), but also included were biographies, horrifying stories of what these refugees had endured. It took me months to read them all, not because there were so many, but because of the stories themselves. The stories that needed to be told.


This was not a part of the original plan, or design. It became important to me. And as I worked with their words, to place their quotes on the quilt, it remained horrific, but it was their reality. I couldn’t turn away. Real experiences, this is their life.

I needed the quilt to look war torn. I burned it.


Then I filled parts of it with mixed media



But the words. The words are the most important part of this story.




I have cried, ached and been inspired by these stories. These amazing woman. Their status is refugee, but their persona is brave, courageous, and for me, they are inspiring. They carry on, they do what they have to do to protect and provide for their children. They are wives and mothers who have left everything behind to get their families to safety.  And everyday that I am honored to work with their stories, I am grateful to know of their unbelievable trials and their ability to overcome and I am humbled.


For more information about Collateral Repair Project, click here