A small group I am a member of occasionally has photo challenges.  We select one of the photos taken by a member of the group to be our inspiration.  We can go in any direction we are inspired, using any techniques, styles or themes. We set a size requirement and a deadline and get to work.  It is always rewarding to see the wide variety of interpretations.  We are hoping to have a group exhibit, and for now you will just have to settle for my interpretations.

The first photo was one that I took in the courtyard of a 700 year old French farmhouse.  The quilt challenge and my quilt are both named “Welcome to Provence.” The background fabric is cotton painted with ink and all the rest is machine appliquéd silk organza. I especially like how the silk looks where it is overlapping creating new colors.



The second photo challenge used a photo by Ruth Anne Parker as the inspiration. Her photo was taken of a flower market in Paris.  The challenge and my quilt are named “Parisian Flower Market.” I used a combination of commercial cotton fabrics, silk organza and sun printed cottons.




© 2018

The Mary Fisher and Friends exhibit at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach is most inspiring. Although it has been only a few days since I attended the opening, I am almost ready to attend again. There is an impressive number of works by five textile artists, and so I can only offer you a little sampling here.

Mary Fisher ‘s  work, the lion’s share of the exhibit,  includes a variety of techniques and materials.

The installation in the center of the largest space is a bit challenging to describe even when using multiple images.  It feels peaceful, inhabited by souls-perhaps of loved ones lost, soft music playing, light filtering through…


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Complex textures make Fisher’s pieces inviting to inspect.  These are random close ups of some of her work.






The following framed piece by Mary Fisher is “Outside Perspective.”

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The pieces included in this exhibit by Jane Dunnewold of San Antonio, Texas, appear to include everything from old quilt blocks, book pages, spackle, paint, to maybe even spray paint. (My apologies to Dunnewold for not recording the names of the following two images.  And my thanks to DiTota for taking the two photos.)


Photo credit: Gabriele DiTota



Photo credit: Gabriele DiTota


The front room of the exhibit has work by English textile artists Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn.  For more information on their work see the interview with them at Textile Artist.


“Colour Drift 6” by Jan Beaney



“Thames Vista” by Jan Beaney


The small pieces by Jean Littlejohn draw you in closer and reward you with the beautifully detailed stitching.


“Snow Moon” by Jean Littlejohn



“Tappa’s Moon” by Jean Littlejohn


West Palm Beach artist, Marsha Christo, uses a variety of techniques and materials including silkscreen and mono printing, stencils, painting and stitching.


“Side Gate” and “I Could Stitch Forever” by Marsha Christo

Architectual Digest just published an article on the exhibit which runs Jan. 20th – February 10th.  So if you plan to see it, you better get going!


I have always loved the quoted attributed to John Lennon as well as to numerous others before him that life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. The quote feels very accurate in my more recent experiences.

I have loved the beach from the earliest age.

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How fortunate I am that I was able to relocate close to the ocean.beach.jpg

I didn’t realize how often storms could potentially interrupt daily life.

I have continued in recent time to be busy with kitchen remodel plans.


In addition to some art quilt projects, I have also been pursing learning the basics of 3D modeling software. (Though now I am questioning both why I am working with the most expensive and more technical program, when there are others less expensive and potentially easier to learn.  Plus I am wondering if that is the best use of my time when I have so many other ideas and projects in the works. I really need to re-evaluate all my activities to make sure I have time for the ones that mean the most to me.)

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All these wonderful pursuits were interrupted with the need to prepare for a hurricane. (Hurricane Irma that is.) Everyone has a hurricane story.  Everyone loves to tell their story.  Everyone wants to know how their story is the same or different from everyone else’s story.  All these days later we are still telling them. There is no escape for you.  You get to hear it too.

So all the outside furniture was brought inside. Family photos went into plastic bins placed up high.  Important documents were gathered.  Gas was put into the cars. Cash was obtained.inside.jpg

Shutters went up all around the house.

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Mandatory evacuations were ordered. But we discovered where we evacuated to put us more inline with the oncoming storm.


I quickly learned why they say to fill up your car with gas.  On the way out of town, we travelled on back roads.  At one point, as we neared an intersecting turnpike exit, the traffic backed up badly.  All the cars lined up exiting the turnpike were trying to get to one little country gas station we had to pass by. I wonder how long it was before it ran out of gas.

We quickly lost power and then phone service at the place we evacuated to, so were unable to know exactly where we were in the storm and where it went after it passed. Because the electric went out the pump couldn’t work. Now I know why they say to fill the tub with water when a hurricane is coming.  We had to use bathwater to force the toilets to flush.

The road out of the rural property we were on was blocked off by a fallen tree and electrical wires so we were really blocked off from the world for a while.

When we got home … I was pretty relieved that the structural damages were minor and that the plants that weren’t snapped off at the base would recover nicely. (The photo of the back wall shows a fallen 20 ft. high white Bird of Paradise.  It’s twin simply disappeared last year in Hurricane Matthew.) We are still waiting on repair crews.

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I was happy the plumbing worked.  And in the miserable heat, cold showers seemed like a real luxury.

Now I know why they tell you to stock up on ice.  Without power we had to throw out every last thing in the refrigerator.  Because no ice could be found anywhere, we could not keep anything cold in the house; not milk for cereal, not a soda, not water. We couldn’t find ice and so we had to go out looking for food for every meal.  I also know now why you stock up on cash.  Without electricity you sometimes have to have cash to pay for gas and for food.  Many/most of the local businesses were without power.

Two of the local restaurants without power opened up with very limited menus. One opened for the morning and the other for the afternoon.  Staff worked in the dark, cooking on a gas stove and wearing lights on head bands so that they could see what they were cooking.  I admired their spirits so much and I never tasted better scrambled eggs and grilled toast!

I wish I could say I showed that same hardy pioneering spirit.  I am unhappy to report that was not the case.  I melted in the heat.  I turned red and grumpy and fatigued. I was very aware that we were very fortunate with minor damages and everyone safe.  I realized that many others had much more difficult things to deal with.  But that knowledge still did not make me a happy camper in the drenching heat. There were two times (other than the cold showers) I could get some comfort.  At night, in the backyard you could feel some cool breezes coming off the ocean.  The unfortunate thing was that the only generator in the neighborhood was next door just across our backyard fence.  So to get relief from the heat you had to have loud sounds blasted at you.  It was too bad since otherwise night time was amazing.  There were no lights on our street and being on a barrier island the stars were incredibly clear; very zen if only you could get past the loud noise. The other time I  could get relief was in the car. The car was the only way to charge my cell phone, so to keep in touch with the world, with news, to tell others we were ok, I had to use the car which …uh …had…air conditioning.  So any excuse, let’s find lunch, let’s look for ice, let’s cool off the dog, let’s find a laundromat…anything to turn on the AC. So the following photos were taken driving around, cooling off and charging my cell phone.

These signs are typical of the numerous signs which were either knocked down or had the centers blown out.

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Quite a few gas stations had damages.

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At first most of the traffic signals were out.  It was a bit unsettling going through intersections until temporary four way stop signs were placed in busier intersections.


It was a very happy thing to see traffic lights and electrical lines being worked on.

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Before we got power back on, I was due to fly to San Antonio to take an Eco Printing class with Jane Dunnewold.  Tell me, would you stay at home without electricity or would you fly to an air conditioned studio with a wonderful teacher and creative classmates?  Yep.  I thought so.  We made many wonderful samples of eco printing. These two are simply what I had on my phone. Perhaps another time I will go through and find examples of different techniques and materials.

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More than enough for one telling.  Night!






My aging little buddy ended up with a spinal injury. I was afraid he wasn’t going to make it.

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But with the help of accupuncture, meds and rest, he has recovered in a way I did not think possible.


While staying at home with my little buddy recuperating, I had time for lots of projects.


Painting my work table a fresh new color.



Making pillow cases from these fabrics and more.


Sewing a reversible shoulder bag. (Pattern is Lickety Split Bag by Made by Rae.)


Cooking. (The first a simple recipe from Smitten Kitchen. The second is a version of a cold greek pasta salad, perfect for a hot summer day.)



Then to try to get myself back on track, back into a creative groove, I started a drawing class.





After procrastinating a year, I have started to plan a home remodeling project. This will involve the kitchen and a guest bath, so you know this will be a big messy job.  I have looked at so many paint colors and painted so many little sample cards you wouldn’t believe it.  I have so many variations of the color teal that I am looking around the house for what all I can redo with the sample paints.


Another project was the making of these tiny shorts.  Yes, they are pretty wild, but toddlers are much less inhibited in their clothing choices than are the rest of us.  Plus the fabric has all kinds of trucks, one of the favorite things (other than pianos, guitars and violins) of this little guy. I used the pdf basic shorts pattern from the website Made Everyday with Dana.


Another project made for the same little treasure, is this toddler blanket. I love the Nightfall collection designed by Maureen Cracknell and manufactured by Art Gallery. Hopefully the little one isn’t too grown up to appreciate all the owls, rabbits and dragonflies.


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