newton open studios!
open what?

Posted on Apr 3, 2018 | 0 comments

newton open studios! open what?

It’s Newton Open Studios time again!

Open Studios, one of my favorite community events, wherever the community! For the last few years I have been sharing Newton Open Studios exhibit space with 6 gifted artisans and have had a wonderful time. But I have been surprised by the number of questions I’ve received from friends who have never visited an open studios. So, since Newton Open Studios is all about community, I thought I’d share some of those questions & answers.

What is Newton Open Studios?

Newton Open Studios is an annual self-guided tour of 50 pop-up exhibits/sales in homes, studios, and shared spaces all across Newton. It’s an opportunity to visit with 160 local artists and learn about their work in a relaxed non-gallery setting. And it’s free!

What will you see?

A wide range of fine art and crafts. Painters, illustrators, jewelers, potters, weavers, photographers, printers, sculptors, fiber artists, glass artists, and more. The breadth of Newton artists is amazing.

Who are the artists?

Your neighbors! This is an open non-juried event. Some artists are hobbyists, some have non-art day jobs, and others are full-time artists showing in multiple galleries. What they have in common is extending this invitation to the community. Many artists spend a majority of their time working alone, so it’s a joy to share their work with others.

Where are the open studios?

In your neighborhood! With 50 venues scattered across Newton there is bound to be one near you. Many artists show in their own studio, either in their home or a rented space. But not all venues are in the artist’s work studio. Some artists will share a larger exhibit space; the camaraderie of community is an added bonus! As you walk/drive around town, keep an eye out for bouquets of red balloons which indicate an open studio location.

What do I do when I get there?

Most artists will have a variety of finished work available. Some, especially those who open their home studios, will have works in progress to see. Browse. Ask questions about the process, materials, and how they began making art. Be honest (but kind) about what you like or dislike. The feedback is appreciated; after all, they invited you to visit.

Do I have to buy something?

Of course not (though the artists will be thrilled if you do). Among those who have items for sale there is a wide price range. You may see a stunning precious stone necklace, an 8 ft wide oil painting, a postcard print of a watercolor painting, or a ceramic spoon rest. Enjoy the browse, support the artist if you are so moved.

Okay, how do I start?

First, you need a map. You can download one from NewtonOpenStudios.org or pick up a copy at the Library or City Hall. The map and website have thumbnail photos of each artist’s work. Interested in a particular art media? Want to focus on a neighborhood? Looking for a specific artist? The map can help you get started. Also, stop by the Newton Free Library on the evening of Wednesday, April 4 for a preview of some of the work that will be exhibited (and some snacks, too)!

What are the dates?

Newton Open Studios Preview Reception

Wednesday, April 4 at 7pm
Newton Free Library

Newton Open Studios

Saturday & Sunday, April 79 &8
11am-5pm

Where will I be?

I will be showing some of my quilts, tea towels, and fabric collages at 72 Columbus Street, Newton Highlands (the Woman’s Club Workshop building). In addition to myself, there will be six other award-winning artisans at the venue showing weaving, jewelry, photography, glass work, and fish rubbings. More details at Artisans at 72 Columbus St. We can’t wait to meet you!

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tea towel time

Posted on Apr 26, 2017 | 0 comments

tea towel time

Tea towels are the ultimate functional kitchen item. Drying dishes. Protecting from heat. Cleaning up. But why use boring towels?!

We all have family recipes that have been passed down through the years. One holiday I printed tea towels for my family with my grandmother’s hand-written cookie recipe; it was a lovely connection to a shared family history. I’ve since added others to my collection, and each one tells a story. Mom’s lemon meringue pie, Mary’s mother’s treasured recipe collection, etc. They make a great gift for family reunions and weddings.

But recipes aren’t the only items that tell a family story worthy of sharing … children’s art work, wedding invitations, maps, photos of special places or people. What fun to have these memories in your hands.

After I entered into the world of art quilts and fabric collage, I realized that some of my vegetable collages would also make great tea towels.

The evolution of vegetables: Take one
Farmer’s market … Fabric collage … Tea towels!


tea towels!


The evolution of vegetables: Take two
Farmer’s market … Coleslaw … Recipe tea towel

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aprons are back!

Posted on Apr 17, 2017 | 0 comments

After taking a little time away from them, I miss my aprons, so they’re coming back! (Karen, Michelle, Ross … you’re welcome! :) )

Aprons offer a unique opportunity to combine the frivolous with the functional, and, at a reasonable cost. Putting on a fun apron might just inspire an untapped domestic creativity to share with friends and family. After all, the kitchen has always been the most popular gathering place in the home.

So, tie on an apron, and bake some cookies or heat up some pizza. Then invite the neighbors and create some memories!

Apros will soon be filling my etsy shop so click on over and take a look at them and other items for sale. Don’t see what you want? Email me!

And check out recipes to see some favorite foods I’ve been thinking about as I sew …

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the #60project

Posted on Jan 19, 2017 | 0 comments

the #60project

This year I will be celebrating my 60th birthday.

As many of you know, this has been a goal of mine for a number of years … every birthday my sister asks, “Aren’t you 60 yet? What have you been doing with your life?!”

Well, now that I will be achieving this new decade, it has come to my attention that I need some new goals. And so, introducing … the #60project!


the #60plan

The plot is to make sixty 5″ quilt squares over the coming year. And each is to have some meaning to me; I’m keeping a list of ideas to somehow translate into fabric. So far, I’ve got things like: 60, 2017, my family, my pets, my neighborhood, Grand Rapids, Boston, science, words, books, art, color, food, travel, music, sewing, winter, and so on. I have a feeling I may be soliciting suggestions down the road, so please feel free to contribute ideas! I don’t think I will have any rules regarding the techniques used … I’ll probably do some patchwork, some collage, and maybe some cutting out of a 5″ square piece of fabric when I’m stumped! My game, my rules …

the #60fabric

60 fabricTo give the whole thing some cohesion I bought $100+ worth of bright coordinating batik fabrics in half yard pieces. What fun to freely indulge! (A shout out to Fabric Corner in Arlington for stocking this fabulous fabric.) I just love the colors; they definitely are “my” colors. And as I said, I haven’t totally figured out the rules of my game/project, but I may be allowed to add in some solids if necessary. (Of course, when have I been known to follow such rules!)

the #60goal

To display my progress, I will get some 50″ stretcher bars and make a dark grey felt “wall” to pin up the squares to as I go. My end of year goal is to arrange the completed squares in a pleasing array and sew them together to make a wall quilt. I’ll probably set them up in an 8 x 8 grid … giving me the concept of 60 plus 4 to grow on, or a defensible out if this thing takes me four years instead of one!

the #60thanks

I could conclude this with some deep commentary about life, new challenges, etc., but, yeah, who wants to read that. I’ll just keep it to a simple moment of gratitude for all that I have and all who are part of my life. Thank you! And, of course … “Thank you, Mom!” for being the unwitting underwriter of my project through your generous birthday gift! That and your never-ending encouragement …

Please join me on my journey. Knowing you are watching will help keep me on track …
Let the #60project begin!

thank you

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who’s a good boy? …

Posted on Dec 14, 2016 | 0 comments

ziggy wants in ... please ...

ziggy wants in … please …

Of course, all dog (and cat) owners know the answer to that question!

Dogs are thrilled to learn that they are the good boy (or girl), and it never gets old. Cats, of course, have always known that they are the good boy/girl and will walk away acting unimpressed; but, really, even they appreciate the recognition.

morrison's gang

morrison’s gang

And so, what could be better than a portrait of your most important family member to let them know that you, too, always know “who’s a good boy?” Even when you’re not there to let them know of their revered status.

I began making photo pillows of pets when my daughter went away to college and missed her cat. I enlarged a good photo, printed it on fabric, and made a soft pillow with a flat base so that her loyal companion could sit on her bed and greet her after class.

layla wants food ... now ...

layla wants food … now …

But sometimes there’s an empty space on the wall that needs a pop of color. Or other pets do not appreciate an inanimate interlope on their couch.

Enter the quilt collage portrait.

With a combination of a minimal palette accented with free-motion thread sketching, these portraits can convey your pet’s personality in a special way that once and for all can answer that question …

“Who’s a good boy/girl?” “Me!!!”

me & my pal

me & my pal

If you would like a custom pillow or portrait of your good pet, just send me an email and a few pictures.

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holiday burn-out …
and hurrah for neighbors

Posted on Dec 2, 2016 | 0 comments

holiday burn-out … and hurrah for neighbors

This fall has been a whirlwind and so the usual last minute sewing for the holidays has been ratcheted up yet another notch. And then came the holiday burn-out.

Not for me, but for my trusty sewing machine. I had taken a quick snack break and then sat down to finish up the last batch of luggage tags. Hurrah! Lovely range of blue fabrics. Flipped the switch. Silence. Tried again. Unplugged. Replugged. Checked outlet and power cord. Silence. The only sound; a muffled whimper coming from the vicinity of my soul.

Pulled out the screwdriver and a fresh batch of hope. Aha! A blown fuse on the power supply board! Hurrah, that’s easy. And look, what pretty christmas colors on the board.

fuse

Okay, not so easy. Long story short-ish. New fuses were good, until I installed them. Called Tom (at Ann’s Fabrics in Canton), again. He helped diagnose and ordered a new power supply board which will arrive next week.

In the meantime, I have the best neighbors!

Turns out you can borrow not only sugar, flour, spices, refried beans, butter, eggs, parking spaces, and pet-sitting services BUT even a fabulous aqua vintage sewing machine to get me through the coming week.

My neighborhood rocks! Thank you!!!

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tip of the day

Posted on Nov 2, 2016 | 0 comments

tip of the day

Wow. How many years have I been carrying a bag with a pincushion? How many times have I pierced my finger on said pins?

Years ago, my mother wove some lovely fabric and made me the bestest pincushion and needle folder. They travel with me regularly for all those sewing emergencies that come up if your life is fabric. And many was the time when I would reach for the pincushion and stab my finger.

ow

ow

Then one day, unexpectedly, my brain kicked in and did this:

duh ...

duh …

Yeah, that should not have taken 20 years … it’s not rocket science. And that takes me back to one of my all-time favorite comedy skits Mitchell & Webb Brain Surgery. Enjoy!

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