Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Stitching Fraktur

For those of you who follow my mom’s blog,, you will know that she recently went to Iowa to teach a wool appliqué workshop at Wheaten Woolens. I went along as a helper, in exchange for bringing a few things with me to sell. It was an adventure, to be sure, in more than one way.

I met some lovely new people there and spent time at a beautiful stone house and barn, a hidden oasis in a Davenport neighborhood. Since I was visiting a new state, crossing a new river, and meeting new people, it seemed an apt opportunity to do something else new. While mom was teaching the workshop, I began my first attempt at a wool appliqué project. I designed my own little piece using whatever mom had on hand and stitched with the lovely ladies.

The funny thing about sewing is that if you are already an artist, you sew like you paint. Mom has always said that, and as you can see by the image below, it is true with me as well. My wool applique design looks like a fraktur. It is fun to do what you are comfortable with in a different medium. There is a beautiful rhythm to stitching which makes the hours slow and puts your mind at ease.
I designed my own piece using frakturs as inspiration.
It just came out that way!

And now I am hooked! I did one little piece, and I already have two other matching pieces in progress to make a little mat, with more ideas coming every day. I never thought I would get into sewing, but here I am. I won’t be selling anything in the near future, and it is nice to have something to do just for myself. So I encourage you all to try something new! It could be the start of a new hobby. While not good for your wallets (or mine), it will be good for your soul. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A New Chapter

The months have whizzed by since I last put my fingers to the keys and my words to this page. So much has happened since then. I now have a Master’s degree in Museum Studies. It is hard to believe that two years have passed. I feel very much the same as I ever was, and yet so much more has been added to my mind. “Education is not the filling of a pail but lighting of a fire.” The source, though often misattributed to Yeats, is unknown, but it encapsulates how I have always felt about my education. I look forward to feeding the fire.

Looking forward is the next step of course. The museum field is not an easy one, but worthwhile. And so as I search for a job, I take up the old-fashioned pen, dipping and scratching out the pictures in my head on the page. Perhaps my art tells no apparent story—no memorable Greek myths, no records of my time, no firm political statement. My art does not belong in the great museums of our time. But when you look at my work as a whole, it tells a story about a family who has kept a tradition. A story of small beginnings, slow growth, and little rays of sunshine handed out with every exchange.

If you are interested in seeing what I did during my time in grad school, feel free to check out my portfolio here (and share it!):

My mom and I have a web show coming up June 15, 2015 at 8pm EST. I will have some new frakturs available (including those pictured here), so come see at