Her Sister’s Keeper Project

Marie Plakos is an artist friend. In 2016, her exhibition, Our Sister’s Keeper, opened at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. 

Prior to her exhibition, Marie spent several years traveling to communities around the world photographing women in an effort to capture images (in her words) “ That depict the beauty, dignity, and strength I see in women and children who are living in some of the most underdeveloped regions in the world.” She visited Chiapas, Mexico, Gujarat, India, the Witch Camps of Ghana, West Africa, and Peru. Her photos are striking. I was taken by the gorgeous fabrics commonly worn in these settings. But also by the buoyancy on the faces in the pictures. I choose that word intentionally. The looks on the faces aren’t always happy, but they are resilient.

Mexican Story Fish Stencils & Giveaway!

It’s always a thrill to get my new stencils from Stencil Girl, so I can begin playing to see what they can do. Here are a few of my recent explorations! I hope these will unleash all the ideas swimming in your own head. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!!)

First, I tried my homemade gelli plate. Just an FYI, I made this plate with gelatin, water and rubbing alcohol and I’m going on a year with it, with no refrigeration required. It’s amazingly sturdy and easy to clean.

Guest Blog: Emily Graham—A Happy, Hoppy Easter Without the Mess Is Possible With These Kid-Friendly Crafts

I am always looking for ways to include creativity in daily life, so when writer, Emily Graham, reached out and wanted to share a fun tutorial with our audience—I was pleased. A mother herself, Emily finds ways to interact with her children creatively every day. We think she's found great strategies for kids, grandkids and adults alike–and ideas to celebrate Spring no matter where you are or what your spiritual practice.

Crafting is as much a part of Easter as chocolate and egg hunts. Kids cannot get enough of them, but parents often worry about the mess pastel paints and dyes can leave behind. Here are some egg-cellent tips on how you can embrace arts and crafts that won’t leave you with another round of spring cleaning afterward.

Guest Blog: Joanne Weis Interviews Project Runway Contestant, Zach Lindsey

With costuming, you are working around a character.  With fashion, you are working with a woman in mind.  My mom taught me how to sew.  When we were living in Chicago, she taught me how to make pillows so I had a little pillow company for a while but I kind of got bored with that. 

Originally, I wanted to be a lawyer. I interned for a day under a lawyer and we went to court and it was the most boring thing I ever did and I figured I have to find something different. I also played saxophone and every time my family would say to go into music I would say It's fun and I like it but it's not where my heart is.

The hardest part for the customer is to decide which shirts to put in the quilt. The number of shirts determines the finished size of the quilt and they are all individual.  Usually, I receive 20-30 clean shirts. The images on the shirts determine the size(s) of the blocks. I combine smaller images such as pockets into larger blocks. The shirts are cut down, interfaced and the top designed and sewn together. The design is the hardest, yet most creative part for me. I like to find ways to make the quilts interesting such as pockets made to look like flag banners or the Cubs baseball shirts set on point as diamonds. Then, the backing is chosen and I have the quilting done by a long-arm quilter. This is a person with a large machine used solely for this purpose. I get the quilt back and trim and bind it by hand.

Threads of Resistance

The Threads of Resistance art quilt exhibition was organized by the Artists’ Alliance.

Our statement begins:

“Art has always expressed both the hope and fear of its time. As artists speaking through our quilts, we come from a long tradition of political activism. The first known fundraising quilt supported the abolition of slavery. Quilts through the past two centuries have spoken to many causes, including the Temperance movement, women’s suffrage, nuclear proliferation, and AIDS awareness.

Just as quilts are traditional symbols of comfort and healing, our art can help us unite as Americans. Our quilts let the fearful know they are not alone and isolated in their struggles. Our quilts can inspire us to be greater and braver than we think we are. Our art speaks for those who are oppressed and have no voice.”