Posts tagged angel

Jacks Are Wild

2013 Accomplishments


Last year, for the first time, I made a list of my accomplishments in 2012 — followed by a later posting of goals for 2013. I kept better track of my time than I had before — and both used my goals and, for some items, ignored them when they didn’t suit me. (I’m allowed.)

2013 was a big year for me — I sold three of the six pieces that I made — and I finally broke into the sunshine at the International Quilt Festival/Houston by winning a blue ribbon in my category. I made a lot of new friends — and lost one just before Christmas to breast cancer.

It was a year of highs and lows — but I’m still here — I’m still kicking — still creating — and I hope to share a lot more in 2014.

The BowlJudgments

The Bowl Judgments

– Made spreadsheet of goals with a timesheet.

– Printed two years of blog posts into books (1997 & 1998).

– Developed seminar on choosing fabrics creatively (delivered to my Fiber Art Fusion group in February).

– Accepted into Sacred Threads in Herndon, VA (The Bowl Judgments, Beach Guardians).

– Published in book Sacred Threads Exhibition 2013 (The Bowl Judgments, Beach Guardians).

– Piece published in Machine Quilting Unlimited article about Sacred Threads (Beach Guardians).

– Piece published in Martha Sielman’s book Art Quilt Portfolio: People & Portraits (Celtic Woman).

– Juried into invitational Sacred Threads-Omaha in Omaha, NE (The Bowl Judgments, Beach Guardians).

– Accepted into International Quilt Festival special exhibit It’s Raining Cats & Dogs (Firecracker).

– Accepted into Internal Quilt Festival/Houston World of Beauty (Lincoln, The White Raven).

– Won first place at IQF/Houston in the People, Portraits, & Figures category (Lincoln).

Firecracker sm


– Accepted into the La Conner International Quilt & Fiber Arts Show in La Conner, WA (Amelia Earhart).

– Won 1st place at the La Conner Quilt & Fiber Arts Show (Amelia Earhart).

– Sold The Bowl Judgments to a private collector.

– Sold Firecracker to a private collector.

– Sold The White Raven to the International Quilt Festival collection.

– Created 5 portraits and 1 abstract. Original goal 6 portraits. Currently halfway through a family portrait.

– Entered Art Quilts XIX (was not accepted).

– Exhibited at East Cobb Quilt Guild Show (Beach Guardians).

The White Raven

The White Raven

– Won 2nd Place in the Original Design category at the East Cobb Quilt Guild Show (Beach Guardians).

– Accepted into Georgia Artists show at the Abernathy Arts Center (Lincoln).

– Participated in SEFAA’s Fiber ARTlanta show (Bukonyan Elder).

– Accepted as an artist at and was featured on their website July 1st.

– Increased Facebook fans from 23 to 77 (goal was 46).

– Designed new labels to use on the Mac.

– Designed & printed new business cards.

– Designed thank you cards with Lincoln. These were used to thank all of the IQF/Houston sponsors.

– Updated FaceBook banner with new work.

– Updated the menus on my website by moving older work to the back and grouping portrait and abstract work into new galleries.

Jacks Are Wild

Jacks Are Wild

– Started tweeting articles of interest to fellow Creatives.

– Started a weekly blog post of my tweets called Tweek!

– Tweeted 183 times during the year (although 46 of them were made during my time in Houston).

– Made 254 posts on my FaceBook page and met my goal of posting 3 times per week 85% of the time.

– Made 42 blog posts on my website and met my goal of posting at least 1 blog post per week 65% of the time.

– Spent 455 hours in my studio, 55 hours on my website, and 53 hours doing other administrative things related to my work (like entering shows, shipping, shopping).

– Updated my website for each of my new pieces.

– Added Buy Now buttons (with links to PayPal) to all of the pages of pieces for sale.

– Updated my artist resume.

– Maintained a regular log to account for my time in the studio, on my website, & other administrative tasks related to my art.

It's All Relative

It’s All Relative

– Reached my pre-pregnancy goal weight (took me 17 years but I got there!)

– Continued to take hundreds of sports pictures and share them through DropBox.

– Curated the Fiber Art Fusion exhibit It’s All In The Cards with Rebecca Reasons-Edwards which showed at both The Art Place in Marietta and the SEFAA Center in Atlanta.

– Grappled with my hosting service to move the website from a legacy server to the grid. (I should get a medal for this one. GoDaddy just let my site crash and never notified me that I needed to move to newer technology. I now plan to call them annually to discuss the health of the server on which my site resides.)

– Played role of year round lacrosse and choir mom.

– As of 12/27/13, there were 13,483 views on my website, an increase of just under 6% from the previous year.

– I started my Twitter account with no followers and currently have 21 (small — but it’s growing every day!)

Golden Moment

Golden Moment

– From August through December, donated over 100 hours in a start-up company.

And then there were some things on my list that I just didn’t do. I saw them there — and I either didn’t enjoy what I had started — or I didn’t feel motivated to do it at all.

– Complete draft of book on textile portraits. I may still do this — it’s just not at the forefront of my mind right now. I’ve also been asked to teach classes. The truth of the matter is that these are big projects — and doing them would take away from studio time.

– Create email/snail mail list. I see this in practically every article I read about art marketing. Maybe I’m lazy but I struggle with keeping up with the blog and Twitter. I don’t have an interest in making a newsletter right now.

– Participate in SEFAA Square Foot Fiber Art Pin Up Show & the Abernathy Art Center Pin Up Show.  These are shows that ask for 12″ or smaller pieces — which is not what I typically do. It’s hard for me to pry myself from one of my larger projects to work on smaller ones. I tend to work on one project at a time and don’t start the next one until I’m finished with the one I’m working on.

– Visit at least 12 galleries in Roswell & write a blog review (only did this in January and February). This sounded like a great idea at the time. It was my desire to spread my wings and prepare material for my blog other than my own studio work — but the truth of the matter is that I work in a vacuum. Leaving the house changes the creative dynamic for me, and when I get wrapped up in a project, I like to concentrate on it to the exclusion of other things. I did find a different outlet by sharing articles about art on my Twitter account and then summarizing them each week on the blog in a Tweek!

– Make 2 small pieces a month & list small pieces for sale at or This was (and is) a great idea — but as I’ve said, I tend to work on a larger scale. There is something to be said for creating smaller pieces — they are infinitely more marketable and more likely to sell (particularly in the current economy). However, to be smaller, they also need to be simpler — most of the pieces that I find engaging and develop into fuller projects are complex — and I find that more interesting.

I did spend the year with a focus on marketable pieces. I stopped working on people (with the exception of The Bowl Judgments — although you could argue that the angel falls into a category of her own). Many people will see a portrait of a person and say something like “one day I’d like you to do a piece of my grand-children” — but moving that into an actual sale is extremely difficult. Animals have much broader appeal as subjects than people. Anyone that has had a bull-dog will see artwork of a bull-dog and want it.

And although I sold three pieces — which I think confirms my theory about the marketability of certain subject matter — I have to acknowledge that the blue ribbon of Lincoln tells me that there is still room to work on portraits of people — as long as the subject is carefully chosen.

I won’t say that my end goal is to sell all of my work — I think I make my work for me — but it is nice to have a way to cover your expenses and have something left over to contribute to your family.

Good-bye 2013 — it’s been a hell of ride!

Enter the Angel


Back in December, I created a small 5″x7″ piece called The Dark Angel. As I’ve mentioned before, I loved it so much that I decided to use that as a study and create a larger piece based on that image. This is how I came to create The Bowl Judgments.

I do not usually add a border to my pieces but in this instance, I decided that a border could add another dimension to the piece. Just as the middle portion is about the luminosity of the colors on the black, I wanted the border to be the inverse. Using black fabric and a light purple thread, I created a subtle sweep of quilting lines.

I did, by the way, attempt the McTavish quilting technique on the borders. I probably got better as I went along. I suppose that the variance in the the quilting will just have to be chalked up to artistic variance.

I must admit that photographing his piece has been very difficult. My camera has not been happy and I have taken many pictures in an effort to create an image that accurately portrays how the piece looks.

At first, my camera locked up completely. As far as I can tell, it couldn’t tell where the image was — even in a room with special spotlights pointed at it. At some point, late in the day, it finally gave me something.

The BowlJudgments black

But really, this picture makes the border look almost like printed fabric. The quilting lines are more subtle and the image in the middle is not that washed out.

I finally realized that the camera would be happier if I used a white background. I thankfully had a large piece of white felt in my closet that I hung on my black design wall. From there, I set the autofocus point on the black border — and I think that this comes closest to the actual piece.

The Bowl Judgments

It always surprises me when the camera doesn’t just take a picture of what my eye can see. Our eyes are so much more complex than we give them credit for.

I so loved working on this angel that I would like to do another one — but I’ll have to plan some trips for pictures. Right now I’m researching another portrait to do but haven’t settled on an idea yet.

The Dark Angel


If you’ll remember, back in December I made a 5″x7″ piece for my art group holiday exchange entitled Dark Angel.

Dark Angel

I loved it so much that I decided to use it as a study for a larger piece. It also coincides nicely with a show for which it is appropriate (although we’ll have to wait and see on that.)

I had my original image — and the image that I had manipulated in Photoshop and resized to 5″x7″. Interestingly, when I took the original image — which was larger — and tried to recreate the effect, I couldn’t. I need to take better notes as I work. So I was forced to upsize the small file. This has to be done carefully or the image quality will suffer greatly.

In Photoshop, I increased the size in 15% increments using bicubic resampling and then using the unsharp mask tool. I think it came out well.

I printed these out onto Jacquard cotton inkjet fabric sheets. (I considered sending it out to a commercial printer, but they all wanted minimum order sizes and I couldn’t justify the expense.) After printing them out, I sprayed them lightly with Scotch-Gard and let them dry.

Angel printed into sheets

I knew that sewing this piece together would be tricky. I had used PosteRazor to print them out and didn’t specify a border — and wouldn’t you know, my top border came out shorter than 1/4 inch.

I could have reprinted them, but given the expense of the sheets and the printer ink, I decided to make do with what I had. I used a lightbox to align pieces before sewing them together. I made sure that I couldn’t see a shadow of the one underneath — and then I glued them together. Yes — I glued them. I’ve been using the trick of ironing clear Elmer’s glue instead of pins when applying binding and it works so well I thought I would use it here as well. I used as little as possible though.

Angel on lighboard

I used my open toe foot and sewed just inside the printed image so I wouldn’t see any of the white border on the front.

Angel being sewn together

This shows the three rows sewn together. I did, by the way, iron the seam allowances to one side to add some durability to the seams that were cheated a little in fabric and also to help the rows sew together straighter (sewing a left and a right opposing seam together is more likely to give you a perfect match in the middle).

Angel in rows

This is the final piece — well, before quilting and finishing. I will spray it again with Scotch-Gard one last time before I start quilting.

Angel in larger size

Holiday Spirit


Last night my Fiber Art Fusion art group had our holiday party and we exchanged 5″x7″ sized pieces.

I created this from a picture I took in a church in New Orleans. I’m so pleased with it that I think I will make a larger version for myself. I love the dark angel against all of the ironwork. My friend Hellene Vermillion took this home. She is an incredible silk painter — you can visit her on her website here.

Dark Angel

We brought all of our pieces in a plain brown wrapper so no-one could cherry pick. A couple of women wanted to turn it into Dirty Santa and have stealing — but we decided that that might lead to hurt feelings so we kept what we opened.

I was lucky indeed to receive this piece entitled Here Comes the Sun from Martha Myers. The sun wraps around the back. I love the sashiko stitches in gold thread — and the colors are wonderfully vibrant.

Here Comes the Sun by Martha Myers

Here Comes the Sun by Martha Myers

I have quite a collection of pieces from past parties. I almost didn’t go — everything is so crazy this time of year — but I set aside several hours yesterday to finish my piece so I could go. I’m glad I did.

I feel blessed to have such wonderful friends — and artists to boot!

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