Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Wishes

This beautiful collage piece that I bought was made by Lisa Flowers Ross and it now lives in my studio. It says "Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come." I just love that.

For me the green tree represents a spirit of gratitude and a willingness to be open to growth and new possibilities, and I think without those two things opportunity will simply pass by. I like having this reminder close at keeps me in a right frame of mind.

As we come into the heart of this season of holiday celebrations, my wish for all of us is that we "keep our trees green" and wait with excited anticipation for the good things that will bless us all in the coming New Year.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Let It Snow!

Since I live where it rarely snows, I have had to satisfy my wish for a white Christmas by playing with virtual snowflakes...and it is FUN! Mrs. Goodneedle found this neat site Make-A-Flake where you can "cut" your own "paper" snowflakes. How cool is that?
I think I'll have to go and make some real ones with my kids...they're wishing for a white Christmas too!
Blessings of the season to you all!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Salem Stitcher has tagged me in a challenge where I am to go to my 4th photo file and pick the 4th photo, post it, then explain what it is...I take soooo many pictures, it's hard to tell, so here I go...let's see what I find..... (there's NO telling...)

Well, hardly a glamorous photo, but one that brings back great memories! Last year I had the privilege of being the interior designer for the renovation of the old Coast Guard Station on Ocracoke Island, which became the Eastern campus for The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, or NCCAT for short. It was one of my most favorite projects ever! This photo was taken on the day that the furniture arrived and was being installed, hence all the boxes. The building in the picture is the dining and staff quarters building; it is connected by a large deck and covered walkway to the main building. And in the far background is water...the views from this facility are AMAZING!

The people of NCCAT and the people I got to know on the island are just the best! And now, because of this project, I have a "very most favorite place to go." I fell totally in love with Ocracoke Island. I have to share a few more pictures...enjoy, and you'll see why I think it's such a fantastic place!

Pic 1 is the NCCAT campus, Pic 2 is the Ocracoke lighthouse, Pic 3 is this funky gnarly tree that caught my eye, Pic 4 is of some of the wild ponies on the island, Pic 5 is us surf fishing (the beach is pristine...all natural, no buildings!), Pic 6 is sunrise from the ferry (the only way to get there is by boat), and Pic 7 is a shot taken in the main lobby of NCCAT...notice the Mariner's Compass quilt...done by yours truly! (I had to make this quilt related somehow, right?)

So, now I'm supposed to tag 4 people...but I think I'll just tag you all! This is sure and let me know if you consider yourself tagged, so I can come visit and see what's in your 4th file!

Friday, December 12, 2008

got fabric?

Our bee - Miss Bee Haven - is selling those fabulous got fabric? shirts, with the proceeds to be gifted to the Women's Fund. If you are interested in having one for yourself and all of your friends, you can leave me a post here, or email me at and I will get you sent to the right place for ordering. Sorry for any confusion for anyone who has gone to the Foundation's site looking for how to order! We are working in the background to give them a holiday surprise... :-)

Be sure and let me know how to get back in touch with you!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A "Miss Bee Haven" Christmas

Huh? Christmas? This motley crew?

Yep...that's us...the ladies of Miss Bee Haven at the annual Christmas dinner of Forsyth Piecers and Quilters Guild. What a HOOT! Casting aside the traditional notions of sparkle and elegance, we decided to live up to our name. Donning our do-rags and "Born to Quilt" tattoos (temporary ones!) along with our "Got Fabric?" tshirts created by our fearless leader Leanne, we turned a few heads to be sure! The Bees of the guild were asked to decorate tables...our table was decorated in black fabric and chain link with metallic red spirals, complete with a motorcycle riding animated Santa that played "Get Your Motor Runnin..." (I had a good time playing with was just too funny!) But it was not all just for is also part of our fundraiser for The Women's Fund of Winston-Salem. The tshirts are for sale! Santa also rode off to a good home in the guild's Toys for Tots drive.

Thanks to my son John for being our photographer and capturing the memory of this fun evening!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cosmic Cow Society

Tomorrow evening, December 4, is the opening reception for the Cosmic Cow Society's first group art exhibit! Join us from 7 - 9 PM at the Maya Gallery, 340 Tate Street in Greensboro, NC, just a couple of doors down from Tate Street Coffee. There will be food (catered by Let's Dish) and music, and the reception is free and open to the public. This exhibit will hang until January 4, 2009.
Members of the Cosmic Cow Society are: Founder, Sharon Mitchell, Scott Plaster, Cheryl Plaster, Perry Boswell, Jude Lobe, Cass Catlett, Melanie Wilcox, Carole Donovan, Karen Shelton, Rose Wenkel, Brydie Palmore, and myself. Visit the Cosmic Cow Society web page for more information on this fun group of artists!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Arts in Education

The classes have begun!

I am one of the artists participating in an Arts Council grant program coordinated through Associated Artists in Winston-Salem which brings workshops into area middle and high schools. So far I have visited Jefferson Middle and Atkins High with "Fabric Is Your Paintbrush - Using Fuseable Fabric to Create Visual Images." It has been so much fun! The students designed their own expanded squares and then transferred them to fabric. Here are some of the results, and I think you will agree, they did a terrific job!

Cool, huh? I was impressed with how well everyone listened and participated, and I also got to see some of the things they have been working on in class. There are some talented kids out there!
This program is such a good thing...I remember how important my art classes were when I was in grade school. In large measure I can thank my high school art teacher Mrs. Wonderly for directing me along a creative path and my math teacher Mrs. Tillman for teaching me the aesthetic beauty of geometry...these two subjects were the foundation for my college studies and my career development. Arts and sciences combined...I'm glad to see arts are alive and well in our schools! And thanks to the Arts Council and Associated Artists, I'm able to contribute in some small measure...who knows, there may be a future art quilter in there somewhere!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Change of Scenery

This is where I spent last weekend And the views aren't even the best part of it....
The best part is that I was on a quilting retreat! Twice a year about 20 of us head to the beautiful NC mountains to Montreat and sew until we can't see straight. It is the MOST fun, and one of the times I put aside art quilting and go back to my roots of traditional piecing. I caught up on my Block of the Month blocks and worked on my Christmas quilt there are 36 of them...each with 29 pieces. I also enjoyed catching up with everyone and seeing what they were working on, and of course as usual there were great things going on. Didn't sleep much...but that's not the point!

Monday I got to continue my traditional quilting at the 3rd grade Old Tyme Day at my children's elementary school. Complete with prairie dress and bonnet (what we do for our kids!) and several of my quilts - including one that is about 100 years old - I told the students about quilts in Colonial America and let them stitch on a whole cloth in a hoop stand. The cool thing is that the boys were as into it as the girls were and it was hard to get them to stop when it was time to move on to the next station! There were lots of fun hands on things for them to experience, like candle making, tin smithing, weaving, and there was even a horse so they could learn first hand about transportation back then.

Tuesday I jumped back to interior design and did a space plan for one of my corporate clients who is reallocating space on their second floor.

Wednesday I was up and out at the crack of dawn to teach fabric fusing to two art classes at one of our middle schools as part of an arts grant program. It was fun and I will be headed back there tomorrow to finish things up. I'm hoping to be able to take some pictures or their work to post. I will be working with 2-3 other middle and high schools as part of this grant.

Tomorrow evening is the opening reception for the invitational exhibit Reflections: Politics and Religion in Art where my piece "Temptation" is showing. This is at the Salem Fine Arts Center on the campus of Salem College...if you are local and want something fun to do come on by! It's free and open to the public.

Saturday is our turn to host our dinner group..."Grub Club" as it is called, which is made up of 6 families (12 adults and 14 children). We have been gathering monthly since all of our children were's lots of fun and lots of good eating! This weekend it will be a traditional Thanksgiving feast. And by Sunday, well, by then I plan to rest! Right after I get up and teach Sunday School... :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I watched last night's events unfold with a sense of hope that perhaps we have finally reached the point in history where we can look past the color of a person's skin and come together as what we ALL are in essence - humans, sharing this one planet we have to inhabit. Change has come. It's a new day!

Regardless of where your vote was cast, it's time for each of us to move forward and make a better future...for the sake of us all.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hangin' Around

'Tis the season to be exhibiting...thought you might want to see where I'm hanging around, so to speak:

Just about to come down is the PAQA South Member's show ArtQuilts:reflections which has been at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center in Cary, NC. Have a look here at the virtual exhibit put together by member Janine LeBlanc...I'm in Gallery 3 with two pieces. (Be sure and look at all of the show...they are all amazing pieces!)

Opening soon is The Piedmont Arts Association's invitational Art of the Quilt exhibit curated by Linda Fiedler and Tina Sell, where I have two pieces. This show will run from Nov 7 - Dec 27 in Martinsville, VA.

I also am included in three upcoming art exhibits...first is Fall for Art, a one night event of Associated Artists of Winston-Salem where I am a juried member. This event will be held at the Winston-Salem BMW showroom on Nov 2 from 6-9PM. I have one wall piece in this event and also have a solo booth with my vessels, journals, purses, and other small works. It will be a fun evening! I am hoping for good sales...but anything not sold will be available in the AAWS Gallery downtown after this event.

Next is an exhibit at Salem College in Winston-Salem by women artists, Reflections: Politics and Religion in Art which will hang in the Salem Fine Arts Center from Nov. 3 - Jan 30.

And the last one I will mention today also comes with the news that I've been accepted as a member into The Cosmic Cow Society , an art group based in Greensboro, NC. They had posted a call for applications and I just couldn't resist...the sense of humor in the name got my attention! I have this thing for cows...goes back to my childhood farm days...but I digress. Anyway, we will have our first show as the new group... Natural Bliss: Instinct and Inspiration will hang from Dec 4 until Jan 5 at Maya Gallery in Greensboro.

I continue to be amazed by the doors that keep opening for me...I am having the time of my life and I am truly blessed!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Progress - Interior Design

I got a call from the painter today and the condo project (more here) has paint going up on the walls!!! I made a site visit recently when the drywall was up. That's when things start to happen more quickly and where what had long been in my mind and only on paper takes recognizable's exciting to me, even after all these years in the business, to see on site what I've seen in my mind's eye...and for everyone else to start to see the reality of what they've entrusted to my design. It's just too much fun! I'm not posting pictures yet...I'm saving up for the reveal, so stay tuned....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008

Being relatively new to blogging I was not aware until just now that today is Blog Action Day, a day for bloggers to all focus on the same topic: POVERTY, aimed at stirring a world-wide discussion and focus on this inexcusable problem. Inexcusable, that's my opinion. We live in a world of abundance tarnished by an ever present sense of greed. It's so easy to turn a blind eye and step over the person in need on the way to wherever we think we deserve to go, gathering more than our share along the way. How much better off the world would be if we all practiced what we learned in preschool - SHARE. Such a simple concept, even a child can learn to do that. Why is it so hard for us "grown-ups"?

So I will turn my thoughts today to my own actions..... Where do I see unmet need? What will I do about it?

We can all do more. It's a responsibility, and approached with the right spirit, it's a privilege.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Taking Flight

First a "J" Then a chrysalis...check out the metallic gold dots!

Then TA DA!!

Isn't she beautiful? (Yes, I know it's a she because of the wing spots and the longer body...see the 2 dark dots on the wings next to her tail?)

Like joy unexpected, I looked over at the bug box today and there was a beautiful, newly hatched Monarch butterfly just hanging there. I missed her coming out party...I always do. But that's OK. The fun part is getting to hold them and take them back outside. So that's what we did, and another year's cycle of life has revealed itself to us. I'm keeping watch over the other chrysalis (what's the plural of that word?) in the garden...we spotted three today. Meanwhile, back in the bug box we have moved in one of the Swallowtail caterpillars. I can't wait to see that one transform!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In My Garden

It's the height of caterpillar season...I have lots and lots of Monarch's and have even found a few Swallow Tails munching away at my parsley. Today I discovered a Monarch chrysalis hanging from my mailbox post. I rarely see them in this stage outside - I think they usually hide in the bushes to transform, so a close up view like this normally only happens in the bug box.

In these uncertain times it's nice to see reminders like this that life goes on. Beauty is all around us...where have you found it?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's new

Boy, am I behind on posting! It seems like everything happens in September.
The boys have settled into their new routines for school and all of the homework that comes with AG classes, and they both have their first baseball games of the season this week. Scouts starts Friday.
I'm tending to this year's Monarch caterpillars...I took 6 to the elementary school for the kindergarten classes to raise, I have one in a bug box for us to watch up close, and there are at least 20 more in the garden. I suspect there are lots more than 20 but that's what I counted on today's run by. I don't think I'll ever tire of them - though I'm sure my neighbors tire of the sight of that flower bed. It's a mess!

It's been a crazy busy time in the studio...I have my exhibit up at the library, 2 pieces going to the Piedmont Arts Association invitational 'Art of the Quilt' exhibit in Martinsville, VA, 2 other pieces going to the PAQA-South member's show in Cary, NC, a piece to submit for a women's exhibit at Salem College, a piece to make for EPU II, my first FFFC (Fast Friday Fabric Challenge) that will begin this Friday, a solo spot at Associated Artists 'Fall for Art' coming up the first weekend in November to make more things for....somebody pass the OXYGEN!!!

And then there's my 'day job'. I have three interiors projects going there.

I just love fall!! I really do. That first little hint of coolness in the air re-energizes me. Good thing, huh.....?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More FUN!

Once again, the ladies of Miss Bee Havin' gathered for an all day quilting retreat, and this time everyone got to come. We spent Saturday from 8 am until 7 pm creating away to our hearts' content. There were quilts being pieced and basted and tied all over the place. Gorgeous stuff, and if they weren't my good friends some of them would have gone missing! I mean the quilts, not my friends!! I may covet but I'm not a kidnapper. Well, I'm not a thief either. But there were some really fine works happening in that room. Anyway, as usual when this group gets together, we had a blast!

I started out dye painting some silk/cotton blend fabric - just a small piece. I'm working on an art quilt that will have 2 sided leaves and I thought the shimmer from the silk would play well into that piece. I used Dynaflow but I didn't get quite the color I was after and the sheen was almost all lost in the process. It's a color that I can use elsewhere but not in this one, so I opted for some other cotton that I had hand-dyed about a week ago and I'll check the store again to see if they had green silk. Shoulda thought of that to begin with...I just saw white and said,"ooooh, shiny!...think of the possibilities!" I'm still going to play with the rest of it...maybe a little rust dyeing, and maybe some color dyeing with a product better suited to silk.

Meanwhile, while the fabric dried, I got on with another art piece that I'm cranking out for a Black and White challenge. I ended up spending the entire day on it and got the top completely done! I can't show it's hopefully headed to be juried if I can get it quilted in time. Nothing like a tight deadline!

At the end of the day we headed over to our favorite Italian restaurant and had a wonderful meal and some really good red wine. I can't wait for the next retreat!!

The cutting... The sewing...


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Flying Solo

I'm very excited to announce my first solo show! Um, OK. It's not really a 'show', it's a display case. But hey, all 16 linear feet of it are mine! And I have to admit, just that little bit is still exciting. I've had one other display case before, but it was part of a larger art quilt exhibit. It was in another city. I was anonymous. Well, I mean, my name was on it, but who knew me there? Not to downplay that one at was great. But I could still hide behind the rest of the show. This time it's just little creations...right there for everyone who comes into the library to see...right here where I live.

It will be on display until the end of September, and then it will move on to the Associated Artists gallery in Winston-Salem, NC.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Art Unleashed Auction

Last night marked the second Forsyth Humane Society's Art Unleashed Auction fundraiser. As before, the entire evening was well planned, well attended, and a great big lot of fun. The event was hosted in the gorgeous lobby of the Wachovia Center building in downtown Winston-Salem. There were 28 pieces sold in the silent auction (where mine was) and 20 offered in a live auction. It was fun to encourage bidders on my piece...near the end it became a bidding contest between two people, down to the wire. At the close of the silent auction is when things got really lively...(I guess that's why they call that part a LIVE auction!) They had a great auctioneer and people were cheering and clapping, encouraging the bidders to out do one another.
I don't know yet just how much money was raised, but whatever the amount it will go to help fund the many programs of FHS and enable them to continue helping animals in need. I'm glad I got to be a part of that! A big thank you goes out to my sponsors, the Womble Carlyle Bulldogs.

Here is my Lucy Loves the 'Bow-House' - a play on Bauhaus and inspired by the real Lucy, whom we adopted from FHS. (The 'Garfield' sign is for the adjacent piece not shown)

And here are her proud new owners!

FOOTNOTE: I heard the total was about $55,000!!! Yea!!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

12+ Hours of Fun

Friday was a BLAST! I arranged a mini in-town day retreat for some of my best quilting buddies. We started at 8 am and sewed until dinner at 7 pm...well, they sewed. I left Bernie at home, and instead designed and fused and glued the beginnings of my next art piece. And actually, Salem Stitcher spent her time pin basting...about a hundred quilts (That girl is amazing!! Every time I looked over she had a new one on the table...and I'm not talking little tiny wall hangings, they were all large quilts. I don't know how she does it...I am always in awe).

All day, great friends, no phones, right across the street from my favorite coffee shop, and thanks to Quiltkeemosabe we had CHERRY M&M's. Oh my...those are some kind of GOOD!!! There were lots of other good things to munch on too. And for our mid day entertainment, Nane's sister brought in lunch and by request "the biggest Diet Coke that they have" for 2 of the quilters. Lesson in be careful what you ask for...she picked up lunch from KFC and the biggest "individual serving" drink they have is a half gallon BUCKET. With a lid, and a place for a straw. Like a giant sippy cup. We laughed so hard it made me cry!

It was heavenly. In fact, since we were using the fellowship hall of the church I attend I called it "Quilter's Heaven."

We finished up the day's fun with dinner at the neighborhood Italian restaurant, joined by 3 other quilters in from Raleigh for a Saturday sew-in with Salem Stitcher. I bet she gets most of those basted quilts quilted...she is a FM goddess! (That's free-motion quilting for my non-quilting friends). Good food and more laughter. The perfect end to a perfect day.

In attendance were Salem Stitcher, Quiltkeemosabe, Mrs. Goodneedle, Nane, Bonnie and myself. We will be having a repeat performance in 3 weeks with more friends from 'Miss Bee Havin' and I can't wait!

Mrs. Goodneedle, Quiltkeemosabe, and Nane

Salem Stitcher...speed basting

What I was working on...doesn't look like much yet but by day's end it was starting to take shape!
And I don't think I can show what Bonnie was doing because it is going on the cover of a magazine and I don't want to be arrested by the Quilt Police for spoiling the reveal. But keep a watch out for it in is a fun scrappy quilt!