Friday, July 20, 2012


" Trust yourself.  Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.  Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner spark of possibility into flames of achievement"

- Golda Meir

I received a lovely gift in the mail yesterday...The Fall '12 issue of Altered Couture, in which I have the honor of exhibiting four of my pieces over ten pages.  It's exciting to be included within and applauded by a community of other artists who embrace a like passion and goal.  Altered Couture gives us a beautiful forum in which to not only share our work, but also share musings about ourselves and our creative process....and hopefully inspire others to fan their own creative spark.  Most of my days are spent in relative seclusion, quietly reveling in the sound of a needle and thread being pulled through fabric.  I've never been someone who has needed the sound of hands clapping in my honor, or pats on the back to feel fulfilled by my craft.  I realize that in order to financially make what I do pay off, I need to do what doesn't come naturally and that is to promote myself....constantly!  I struggle with this every day.  The past year, the publishers at Stampington have helped me to explore new avenues of self promotion and I am so grateful to them for that.  I've made some new friends along the way; readers who were inspired enough by my work to contact me in person....the exchanges I have with these people are really the payoff in the end.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


" If a man loves the labour of his trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him."

-Robert Louis Stevenson

I've been struggling to quiet the noisy marching band of thoughts racing through my head this week.  It's difficult to write when my focus is scattered in so many different areas. I've come to the realization that a lot of the tension I feel is because the manner in which I work is in conflict with the sensibilities  of the world that I work in.  In a world where nothing can be completed quickly enough....instant gratification at the push of a button, fast food, 30 minutes or less....the way that I work is archaic.  I prefer to hand stitch nearly everything.  Listening to a needle and thread being pulled through fabric is like a gentle reassuring whisper in my ear telling that there is still one place left that I can hide from the rest of the world that is trying to pull me apart at the seams.  It can take me weeks, months or years to finish a single piece, which is why I work on several pieces at once.  I become very emotionally attached to nearly every piece that I work on as I pack them up and take them with me to continue working wherever my day takes me...they are like my children; little parts of me that I am coaxing along, preparing to send out into the world when they are ready.  I have the most difficulty when a piece is finished and it is time to release it, not because I've become too attached ( although there are some pieces that work their way into my own closet...I'm a walking billboard after all!), but because I need to put a price on my work.  It's difficult to compete in a world where quantity often wins out over quality, where hand made isn't as valued as inexpensive and " good enough".  Other artists urge me to raise my prices, because they understand the time that I've put into every piece.  But if pieces don't sell, because the world is gauging everything according to Walmart pricing, I'm lost.  Trying to work out a price somewhere in the middle is the challenge.  I rarely am paid for my time with dollars. There are sacrifices that I've had to make because of this.  But what is my time worth?  I am paid by not having to fight traffic on the 5 freeway every day, by having the experience of raising my own children, as well as other peoples'.  Being paid daily with the peace that I receive from the whispers of a needle and thread make me very rich...I wish it could also pay the rent....