Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Inspiration - Fiona Rainford and "The Remains"

One of the things I most enjoy when looking at pieces of art is learning what inspired the artist to create it, what went into their process from idea to finished work. has a wonderful interview here with mixed media artist Fiona Rainford talking about her piece The Remains, which was inspired by an old woolen mill that a group of artists she was part of was focusing on.

The Remains, 2016

Fiona talks about what first interested her about the mill, shares the photographs she took (which are wonderful studies in textures and form), and tells about her research.  It's especially interesting to read about how what she first was interested in and focused on did not become the subject of the piece she created, but led her to looking at the old machinery parts and cogs.

If you want to see more of Fiona's artwork, visit her website - there's a lot to see!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Many Rivers Shawl and Short Rows

I've been slowly checking off my list of new knitting techniques I want to learn - cables, check, colorwork, check .... short rows.  That was one I was a little worried about!  You hear such stories .... There was this intriguing shawl sitting in my queue for ages before I realized it was done using short rows.  The reviews on how easy it made learning how to do them convinced me to give it a try - and they were right!  The perfect project for first time short row-ers!

The pattern is Many Rivers by Pam Jemelian and is available on Ravelry here.  The pattern calls for (and is lovely in) three colors, but I had a Madelinetosh exclusive Georgia yarn from two years ago (more on this in a moment) I'd been dying to use and another that went well - didn't have a third that I loved with them, so I went with two.  Madelinetosh Sock in Chattahoochee and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Solid in Kerfluffle.

I love the way the motifs look like eddying river water!  Now, more about the yarn - a couple of years ago, Madelinetosh made an exclusive colorway each month based on a Georgia landmark.  This yarn was only available at a Georgia yarn shop, Eat.Knit.Sleep.  Chattahoochee became a permanent exclusive and is still in stock in a few of Madelinetosh's yarns, but I believe all the other colorways are long gone.  This year, Madelinetosh is creating an exclusive colorway each month based on the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to go along with a fun game you can play, earning store credit and other prizes based on the projects you knit or crochet.  Be forewarned - it's addictive!!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, October 6, 2017

Halloween/Day of the Dead Shop Update

The new Halloween and Day of the Dead beads, pendants, and bracelet spacers are now available in the shop!  Click the button at the top of the page or go to  

Next up is a big button update in a couple of weeks.  Big update, not big buttons - they're all regular sized!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday Inspiration - Faith Ringgold

Way before I ever realized who Faith Ringgold was as an artist, I knew and loved her as a children's book author.  Her stories are engaging, the illustrations are vivid and intriguing.  These were the days I bought books for my own children and for the schools where I taught preK.

When I began exploring quilting as fiber art I ran across her again - this time as an artist and activist.  She began her art career painting and teaching art in the New York City public schools and campaigning for the inclusion of female and black artists in gallery representation and museum exhibitions.

She began creating the quilts that most people know her by in the 1980's and created the first of her children's books based on her quilts, Tar Beach, in 1991, based on her quilt of that name created in 1988.  It's hard to find an exact count of how many she's published since quite a few are now out of print, but it's somewhere around 19 - 20!

Faith's quilts are intricate narratives of things she wanted to say, in the only way people would listen.   It's hard to pick favorites from among her large body of work (and at age 87 she's still creating!), but two of mine are The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles (1996)

and Subway Graffiti (1987).

If you'd like to learn more about this fascinating woman, see her website here and visit ArtNews for a good story about her.  And there is a short, wonderful video featuring her talking about her work on PBS's The Arts Page available here.

Happy Creating!  Deborah