08 Jan

Part of Those New Year’s Goals

Some of my goals for the new year are to post to my blog more, update my website, and get better at promoting my work. I tackled an easy one first. I created a Facebook Fan Page and it’s going to be awesome. Why? Because I am somewhat ambivalent about my personal Facebook page. I know that FB is a good way to connect to people who might be interested in my art. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with far-flung family and friends. And then there’s the people from past lives or professional connections, who I want to stay connected to, but don’t necessarily want to know what they are doing on a daily basis, or want them to see all of my goofy antics. I’ve limited my Facebook “friends” to people I know personally or have established professional relationships with, and I try to keep my posts pretty art-related. It’s a tough balance and it means that not everyone who is interested in my artwork will be able to find me on FB to see what I’m up to.

A fan page is open to everyone. I will post my art, some inspiration and in-progress work, and information about where to see my work. February is a big month for me, so be sure to “like” the page to get updates, and tell your friends too. I may even end up posting more on my Kristin La Flamme – Artist page than on my personal page. My personal page will probably narrow down to travel, family, knitting, goofing off with friends. I may even unfriend a bunch of professional contacts if I know they are happily following my artist fan page — where my professional info will be. That would come in time though.

Next step should be to create a newsletter. That will be awesome for those who don’t do much Facebook.

24 Nov

Around The World Blog Hop

My buddy Deborah Boschert tagged me in an Around the World Blog hop in which we answer four questions about our creative process and then tag two more bloggers to do the same. Check out Deborah’s blog post to read her answers and follow her links to read back through many other fascinating blog hoppers.


1. What am I working on?
I’ve usually got several things going on at once which each appeal to different moods and need.
• Right now I’m working on the next in my series of Security Blankets. This one has to do with the TSA and incorporates those blue figures I was working on a while ago, plus floral weaponry.
• I’m also working on a piece, or collection of pieces, for my Army Wife series. Inspired by eye momentos, either photographs or miniature paintings set into jewelry as a reminder of absent loved ones, I have transferred images of my husband’s eye (at specific time periods) onto hankies and am now in the process of embroidering the dates and locations of his corresponding deployments onto the hankies.
• And, in the background, I am working on creating a business in which I make stylish lap quilts from military uniforms. It will be called Modern Military Quilts and I hope to have more to say about it soon.

Star Quilt sm

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a tough question for me because I’m not entirely sure what my genre is. I love to draw on the history of traditional quilts, but my work is definitely not traditional. I suppose I could categorize my work with improvisational quilters, but mine has narrative underpinnings. Of course, every quilt has a story, so it’s really just a matter of how far that story goes. I call myself an art quilter, and I suppose my work differs from many in that genre in that I don’t stick to just the quilt form, but work in other fiber techniques as the concept of the individual work dictates. But, already I can think of many artists who work in various fiber traditions simultaneously, so I’m not so different in that way. My work is definitely concept driven, but there is a precedent for that both in the art quilt crowd and in the greater art world. In fact, I worry that if I call my work conceptual I’ll be too readily compared to others who are far smarter than I in their artwork. Maybe my work is different in that it doesn’t easily fit into a genre, but that’s a little too self-important for my tastes. We all like to think we’re different in our own ways.
Momento of an absent loved one


3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I make art because I am, and always have been, compelled to do so. I love working with my hands and there is no lack of ideas in my head to fuel those hands.
Floral Weaponry

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
I start with an idea, of course. Then I go to my sketchbook, which is more like a diary or log book some days; I write the basic idea and then a conversation with myself about ways I could interpret said idea. Sometimes things flow, sometimes I let it percolate for a while and add notes a day, or a week, or on occasion a year, later. At some point, it’s time to get to the making, so I gather my supplies — which may be fabric from my stash, but recently has meant deconstructing a flag, culling photos from our albums, or experimenting with methods of sun printing human bodies. If I need to prepare a cartoon or grid to follow, as in Zeitgeist, Selfie, or Temporary Safety, now is the time for that and it includes some time at my computer working with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Click on the link to Selfie for a nice blog post about the process of creating that particular artwork. Of course, each piece is different, so for example, the process of actually making Selfie is very different than the making of embroidered hankies. I almost always have an idea in my head of what I want the finished artwork to looks like, generally, but it really takes form in the making. I never know exactly how each fabric or element is going to affect the others until I see it in the cloth. That keeps the process fresh for me. There is always room for adjustment, surprise, and serendipity while I’m making something. A piece is finished when I feel like I can walk away from it.


I tagged my local friend Lotta Helleberg to join the blog hop next. Be sure to check out her post next Monday, November 31st. Since tagging a second person was confounded by our good friend Murphy and his laws, my friend Terry Grant graciously offered the post she wrote only a little while ago. You can read her answers and follow her links right now.
29 Oct

Peek Into My Studio

My studio room has been looking pretty crazy lately. I try to keep things under control since the room doubles as a guest room, but since there are no guests on the horizon, and I’ve got a lot going on, I spread out! I took these photos after I’d cleaned up and cleared out a bit and I must say, it doesn’t look quite as full as I was feeling last week.

Wanna see?

Studio pan 1


Walk in and look to the left. There’s an ever-growing stack of framed or mounted artwork ready to go. This is after I took four framed drawings to a new gallery in town, so the pile doesn’t even stick out as far as before. There’s also only one mannequin loitering by the ironing board. Normally there’s three, but two are now at Walter Reed Medical Center for another few weeks. On the ironing board is a finished sample for a new project. There’s some excess fabric from a few quilts and costumes under the treadle machine as well as uniforms. Cut up uniforms are taking over the floor! They are also joined by a pile of painted quilt bits that hope to become another Flag piece in my Americana series. Oh, and there’s a box with my sister’s Christmas present, and a staging area for things I want to take to Houston. The table itself is so full of fabric, paperwork, and general supplies that I hardly have room to cut. Kitty is helping though.


Studio pan 2


Looking to the right, there’s another sample quilt on the machine, and a bag of scraps underneath waiting for me to do something with it (I have a plan, but haven’t gotten to it yet).  Next to the bag of specific scraps is a pile of random scraps waiting to be sorted into the small bins also under the machine. The bed was completely full last week, but I’m slowly clearing things off. There was a giant roll of batting that’s now been cut down to fit all my in progress quilts and is now small enough to go in the closet. There are six quilts ready to be basted and quilted, but the space next to their pile is now empty  since I finished the most important of the baby quilts. There was also a pile of backing fabric which is now, you guessed it, on the backs of quilts!  The Macy’s bag and the pile next to it are quilts waiting to happen. The big blue pile is my next Security Blanket which I am excited to get back to. The glossy pile next to it is a bunch on hankies and transfer paper which will become another piece in my Army Wife series. Behind that is a pile of painted quilt parts and canvases that are halfway to becoming two more Americana series pieces. At the end of the bed is artwork that will go to McGuffey Art Center for their November show, and my knitting and drawing class supplies.


Studio Closet


A peek inside of the closet. It’s a huge closet and I like to be able to walk into it, but between Broken Bob the mannequin and drawing supplies and framing overflow on the floor, it’s getting tough. My fabric stash is in here to the left, and the big bins hold miscellaneous supplies, uniforms, odd fabrics, and batting. There’s some finished and unfinished projects in here too. Behind Bob are seasonal decorations, portfolios, light boxes, my aprons (hanging) and just more stuff.

It feels a bit out of control to me, but as I finish up things and clear spaces that feels great. It’s actually nice to see tangible evidence of accomplishment!

16 Sep

Art and Friends

Weekend before last I drove to New York on a bit of a whim. As part of the online group 8 That Create, I had work in a small show at Etui Fiber Arts gallery in Larchmont. The reception was on a Sunday afternoon, and normally I wouldn’t drive 6+ hours just for a reception, but my good friend Natalya suggested I stay with her and we get some visiting time in. Time with friends is definitely worth a drive.




It goes without saying that Natalya and I had a lovely time taking about art, looking at each other’s creations, laughing a lot, and commiserating.  The show at Etui was equally as wonderful. As a group we weren’t quite sure how all our work fit together, but by focusing on the fine details in all of our works, it came together perfectly. It doesn’t hurt that Etui has a bright, open, elegant space for it’s gallery. It is also a yarn shop and that section is pretty classy as well.




There were plenty of people coming to admire the work. The atmosphere was very convivial. On the wall are my works and Natalya’s, which work super together as they are all architectural.



I had met fellow artist Benedicte Caniell last Spring at Art Quilt Elements so it was a treat to spend more time with her at and after the reception. She drove me around Larchmont and to a gorgeous park on Long Island Sound. It was a perfect day and many people were out enjoying the great weather and scenery.

Long Island Sound


We also went to Benedicte’s house and enjoyed a toast in her and her husband’s charming garden. I look forward to more visits in the future with my ever expanding circle of artist friends.

Me and B


While in the area, I also stopped at the Katonah Museum of Art to see the exhibit of Icelandic Artists. It was a small but well conceived exhibit and definitely worth the trip to see. My friend Vivien is one of the docents and I only wish that she had been there that weekend so I could join one of her tours, but she was out of town. Next time.

And because one weekend with friends isn’t enough, I drove to Frederickburg yesterday to have lunch with my gal pal Lorie. She showed me the new co-op gallery she’s part of and I got a sneak peek at her Quilt National entries (I got to see Natalya’s too while in NY, and Lotta’s two weeks ago). From what I’ve seen from my friends, the jurors will have plenty of great and varied work to choose from. It’s too bad we can’t share our creative process while working on these pieces because they are full of heart and soul.

Today is lunch with Nanette. I love being in the middle of things — without an ocean between my friends and our happenings.


25 Aug

Hello Oregon

Hello Mt Hood.

I’ve been to Oregon and back. One of my Army Wife aprons was part of a fantastic show at Hap Gallery in Portland and I wanted to go to the opening reception. I was also curious about the new Quilt!Knit!Stitch! show organized by IQF as a replacement for their Long Beach, CA quilt show. The two events were a week apart and I wasn’t sure I could justify going to one let alone both. But… our family will be moving next summer — to the location of our choice — and the Willamette Valley in Oregon tops our list. So off I went to satisfy my artistic curiosity and to do some location scouting for our next home.


Terry's Studio
This was my temporary home for the first half of the trip. I stayed with my “Quilt Aunt,” Terry Grant and this is her fantastic little studio/guest bedroom. We had a wonderful visit talking about our art and goals. She was kind enough to drive me around Beaverton so I could get a feel for the area, and in my investigation of potential schools for my kids, Terry got to know more about area high schools than she ever wanted to know!


Unraveling, by Kristin La Flamme
Together, we enjoyed Portland’s happening First Thursday and went to a reception for Columbia Fiber Arts Guild in which my friends Terry and Gerrie both had artwork, and to “my” reception at Hap Gallery. Fail/Safe is a fabulous show, thoughtfully curated by Marci Rae McDade and reviewed positively in Willamette Week and The Oregonian. I am honored to have been a part of the show, and especially chuffed since this was the first time someone had come to me to ask for specific art to put in a show. I wish I had taken photos of this gem of a show to share, but I just soaked it up instead. Afterwards, Terry, her husband Ray, and I went out to dinner. Lovely evening.


I've Been Framed
On another day Terry took me to I’ve Been Framed, and electing framing and art supply store on the opposite side of Portland. It’s a warren of papers and paints and who knows what else. We both found treasures we did and didn’t know we needed.


Three days were with my mom, exploring the corridor between Portland and Eugene. I discovered that I’m not at all interested in living in a town smaller than Corvallis (about 55,000 pop) and that I appreciate the influence a large college or university can have on a place like Charlottesville where we live now, and on Corvallis and Eugene, but not necessarily Salem. However, Salem has a fantastic quilt shop!

Guard Frog
Greenbaum’s Quilted Forest is a wonderful place, owned by the same family for three generations. It’s up for sale and I wish I was the right person to buy it. It’s a local fixture though and the right person will come along. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly and the stock is fresh and interesting. They have a huge range of patterns and books and activities to engage all levels and interests. I broke my nearly year-long vow not to buy any new off-the-bolt fabric and came home with yardage for several projects. Being a forest, Greenbaum’s has a “frog pond” and when you stack up your fabric for consideration a frog guards it so no one else accidentally returns your bolts to the shelves. Adorable.


Woven hangings and stalactites
Back in Eugene, my mom and I stopped at the Eugene Textile Center which I was happy to see is going strong. It is focused mainly on weaving, but stocks other yarn goodness as well. They’ve also got a small gallery which is currently hung with weavings and these subtle stalactites which I quite liked. I’m sorry that I didn’t take note of the artists names.


The latter half of my trip was spent near downtown Portland at “The Congdo” with my quilt mom Gerrie Congdon. One afternoon I walked myself down to the Alphabet and Pearl neighborhoods. I decided that I wouldn’t want to live there, but I would very much like to be close enough to visit often! In my walk, I came across Cargo which I immediately recognized as a must-stop in any Portland visit. It was a trove of color and texture.


Small Medium Large


Nesting Tables



At Quilt!Knit!Stitch! in Portland, OR 2014
The end of my trip had Gerrie and I at the Quilt!Knit!Stitch! show volunteering at the SAQA exhibit area. I quite enjoyed the show. It was similar to the Festival in Houston, but not nearly as large and overwhelming. There’s lots of room for improvement, especially in attendance and inclusion of local talent, but I think that comes with time and the show will definitely be back next year. I’m excited to see how it evolves.


At Quilt!Knit!Stitch! in Portland, OR 2014
Click on any of the photos to go to my Flickr stream where I have more pictures of individual quilts and exhibits that I enjoyed.

Thank you Oregon, it was a great trip! Perhaps next year I will be attending QKS as a local.

18 Jun

The Exhibits

Yesterday I posted about all the places we went on Natalya, Robin, Vivien and my art posse day in NY. This is a deeper look into a few of our stops.

Day One:

Museum of Art and Design

Multiple Exposures. I wasn’t sure what to expect in this exhibit of photography and jewelry, but it was surprisingly inspirational, not to mention beautiful. No photos were allowed, but they did have a selfie booth with which we had way too much fun.

MAD selfie group MAD selfie

In addition to contemporary jewelry and body adornment which incorporated photography in a wide variety of ways, there were also historic pieces which I found intriguing and inspiring. There was a grouping of photographs of a single eye, supposedly that of an absent loved one, which I could see informing some of my work, as well as Trench Jewelry made from found bits of armory and other metals. Some things were weird and wonderful, some beautiful, some gross, and some surprising. Overall, it was quite inspiring.


RE:Collection. I took photos for my own note-taking purposes, so they are pretty poor, but just for a taste of the exhibit, I’ll share them. This exhibit was subdivided by theme. I was very attracted to the collection of political and socially minded works. That’s similar to what I’m exploring in my own work so it’s no surprise.

Re-Collection at MAD, NY

This is “21 Countries” by Stephen Dixon. Each plate represents a country where the US has had military intervention. I didn’t completely understand why plates, or much of the imagery, but I really liked the layering of images, color, and line. Robin, I think, mentioned that layering might be the trademark of our era. Thinking of sampling in music, I think she could be right.


Boris Bally

I don’t remember the title of this necklace by Boris Bally, but it might be “Brave.” Given what I’ve been working on recently, it struck a chord.


RE-Collection at MAD, NY

A detail from a work by Jennifer Trask. I REALLY like the way she makes creepy beautiful. So many inspiring things to see. We just soaked it all up!


Urban Fabric

The Hudson Guild had another exhibit we enjoyed. Urban Fabric’s creator Lix Kueneke embroidered city maps on fabric and then invited the city’s inhabitants to stitch on the maps in response to several questions, such as “what is the heart of the city?” and “what is a negative place in the city.” It was interesting to see that in some cities, the loves, hates, and interesting bits were scattered overall, and in other cities, they were clustered in specific spots. The maps are beautiful in an of themselves, but the viewers’ responses on them add a wonderful depth. Even the backs of the embroideries are intriguing.

The Urban Fabric

Urban Fabric


Day Two:

The Sugar Baby

On Sunday, Natalya took me to see Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety” at the Domino Sugar Factory. It is worth reading up on this because of all the layers of meaning she has imbued it with. I can’t remember where I first heard about it, but I was excited when Natalya posted her visit on Instagram and then suggested we could return to see it on my NY weekend. I have admired Walker’s paper cut imagery for years, so this was particularly interesting to me. Artsy has a nice page with a range of Walker’s work too.

A Subtlety


The sugar factory is about to be demolished, and as a send off Walker had the opportunity to create a very site specific work. The centerpiece is an enormous, and I mean enormous, Sugar sphinx. She is powerful from the front and subjugated from the back, and completely dominates one end of the building.

A Subtlety



She is attended by life-sized molasses boys that glow when the light catches them just right.

A Subtlety


All around is a disintegrating, syrupy, sweet mess. It’s makes quite an impact. I would love to see cities and private entities take an interest in engendering more provocative, public, and site specific art like this. It is a gift to the community and anyone fortunate enough to visit.


A Subtlety


Submerged Motherlands

I had never heard of street artist Swoon before about a week ago, but heard an interview on public radio about her junk rafts being installed in an exhibit. The interview intrigued me, but I didn’t really take note of when or where the exhibit was. Natalya had heard about it as well and, knowing it was at the Brooklyn Museum, suggested we go look. Oh wow, was it breathtaking!

Submerged Motherlands


Another site specific work, the installation centers around a huge fabric tree that extends all the way up to the rotunda and blooms with lacy paper cutouts that cast delicate shadows on the walls.


Submerged Motherlands

The cutouts extend all the way to the floor and extend out as graphic water swirling around the boats.


Submerged Motherlands

Submerged Motherlands


The rafts themselves are made of junk and found materials. They are fantastic vessels which, like all of Swoon’s work, are a deft combination of rough and refined.


Submerged Motherlands

Submerged Motherlands

And the best part? She can draw! The combination of loose and tight, rough and refined, decay and growth, and plain old fine craftsmanship left me standing in awe. I studied each larger than life woodblock portrait hoping to soak up some of Swoon’s skill by osmosis. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

An inspiration-filled weekend like this begs for follow-through. We talked a lot about what we were seeing, what spoke to each of us and why, what our own goals and hopes are, how the exhibits might inform our work, where to go next, how to emulate those we admire, and on and on. More on my thoughts tomorrow.


17 Jun

Art Girl Posse

Almost exactly three years ago, Natalya, Deborah, Robin, Vivien and I got together for the first time for an arty girl’s week. The photos got lost in my blog update a few years ago, but you can read about it here. Last weekend, we did it again! No Deborah (too far), and only for one day with Robin and two and a half for me, but it was fantastic all the same.

Rear view from the train

I brought my daughter this time, who was excited to take a train to New York. I think it sounded quite adventurous or sophisticated to her. So, we hopped on the train Friday morning and off we went, passing through DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia along the way.

Pink Trees!

Speaking of Philadelphia, this shocking pink grove of trees caught our eye as we sped by. It was followed by a pink bridge section and an orange building. Turns out they are an art intervention titled Phsycylustro, part of a revitalization effort called PlanPhilly (click link for specific info on the project).

In NY, my daughter was amazed at how many people were in Penn Station, and then at how crowded the sidewalks outside were. She’d been to LA on our road trip two summers ago, but it’s a sprawling kind of big, whereas NY is a congested kind of big. We switched transportation modes and took a coach out to Nyack to meet Natalya and her girls at a Russian Fest. If you’ve never seen Russian folk dancing, it’s very athletic and a lot of fun to watch. We also ate a delicious dumpling called pelmeni which I couldn’t pronounce, but was happy to eat.

Saturday was art posse (as another friend dubbed it) day. I’ll save the specifics of the larger exhibits for the next post. We met Vivien at another train station and then Robin in the city at the Museum of Art and Design where we saw two very intriguing shows. From there, we checked out The City Quilter and the adjoining ArtQuilt Gallery. The shop has their own NY themed fabrics which I eyed, but was quite restrained and didn’t buy. They also have a nice selection of books. In the gallery were quilts by Michael Cummings. They are the kind of bold, fabriholic, statement work that I love. And, I was even bold enough to leave a resume and CD of work (more about the weekend’s conversations in another post too).

After The quilt shop was lunch, and then we searched out The Hudson Guild to see the Urban Fabric Exhibit which was so worth the effort to find it off the beaten track. Serendipitously, that put us right under the High Line, so off we went to stroll NY from a different perspective.

High Line


Did you notice the face in the windows of the building on the right? The whole weekend seemed to have an underlying current of street art, from the view out the train window, to murals and graffiti seen from the High Line, to what we would see on Saturday — a museum worthy installation, and curiously tagged billboards on the BQE (a little Googling revealed they were by RAMBO).


Rubber Sentinels


Not too far away, on Broadway, are the Rubber Sentinels by artist Chakaia Booker. Interspersed with cafe tables and chairs in the pedestrian zone, this was the perfect time to take a cupcake pause and placate the tweens.


Me and my art posse


At this point we said goodbye to Robin who had evening plans, and returned to Grand Central Station where we had just enough time for a quick look at the Centennial Quilt show organized by The City Quilter and displayed at the Transportation Museum.


Yarn trees

On Saturday, Natalya took me and my girl to Brooklyn. First stop was the Textile Arts Center. It is such a great looking resource, with looms, sewing machines, dye space, a small gallery, and little studios for visiting artists. The class schedule makes me wish I lived near Brooklyn! In the gallery, I recognized work by Joetta Maue, who I’ve admired, and weaver Erin Riley.


Street art Brooklyn



More street art along the way. I like the way the Bananaman ties together the yellow and the black in the building.

After TAC, we went to see Kara Walker’s installation at the soon to be demolished Domino sugar factory. Impressive! That in itself was worth the trip. We lunched nearby and then, on a whim, decided to visit the Brooklyn Museum to see Submerged Motherlands and Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party. While the Dinner Party was a huge influence in the feminist movement, and have most certainly paved the way for my friends and I, it was interesting to see it as very in-your-face and almost crass, despite the gild and shine and fine workmanship. I know that’s all part of it’s power, but at the same time, I was surprised at how far we seem to have moved in the time since. My peers can be so much more subtle about our subject matter and message, and we definitely take a lot of things for granted which Chicago and her peers had to grapple with. In contrast was Submerged Motherlands, which was also very feminine, but in a softer way. That’s the one that just blew me away. Loved, loved, loved it.

Sunday, we met Vivien again for a quick dog walk on an old Rockefeller estate overlooking the Hudson (lovely!), and then Natalya took my daughter and I back to Penn Station for our train ride home.

Bridge, NY

I don’t remember which bridge this is, but it’s for Natalya. It was a great, inspiring and invigorating weekend and we have pledged to do it again in a few years. I can’t wait!


16 May

SAQA Conference 2014

Several months ago I had the pleasure of being asked to speak on a panel of local artists at the Studio Art Quilt Associates annual conference which was held two weeks ago in Alexandria, VA. The invitation was just the push I needed to register for the whole conference. This was my first one so I had no idea what to expect, but I am very glad I attended.

I wasn’t able to be there for the Thursday night check in and activities. There were meetings for the regional reps and for the Juried Artist Members (formerly PAMs), which I think is a great idea since these two groups have specific issues that affect only them and they can use each other for networking and resources. I spoke to a couple of regional reps who attended and I think they got a lot out of the experience. One mentioned that the meeting made her feel more confident about what she was or was planning on doing for the region. Not being in either group, I couldn’t have gone to those meetings, but I would have loved to go to the artists speed dating session open to all which seems like a fun ice breaker and chance to network.

Friday was the main event. It was great to see so many local members — those whom I have met before at our parlor meetings and a few new-to-me faces. With sessions like photographing your artwork, navigating the gallery scene, promoting yourself, and growing your business, it all seemed geared towards members who are ready to sell work at or near a professional level. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though — I suspect that those who would invest in a conference would be at this place in their journey. I certainly am, and I came away with lots of good info. I attended the photography lecture which was very helpful, and the promote your work without apologizing which was OK. Lesley Riley gave a lecture on being your own art coach, which might have been good for someone looking for some direction in deciding where to go next with their work (maybe I would have gotten more out of that than the no apologies session). There was also a digital designing session that would probably appeal to people not as interested in the how to be a professional artist stuff but looking for inspiration. Our local artist panel went well. Lots of people came up to me later and said they enjoyed it. Cindy Grisdela did a good job getting four people whose art is very different. My new artist crush is Jinny Smith. Since the Textile Museum is nearby but currently closed as they are moving to new digs, the director brought a slideshow of some of her favorites in the collection. Lots of costumes and historical ethnic stuff from around the world. Very nice.

Saturday I attended a lecture on navigating the gallery scene which I really got a lot out of. Curator Trudy Van Dyke spoke, and not only is she very knowledgable and instrumental in Fiber Art Now, but she is very approachable and helpful. Lots of people were handing her business cards after she spoke so she said she’d just email us all back and we could continue our individual conversations from there. I thought that was a great way to move quickly through the crowd and still be able to give thought and time to each person’s request. I look forward to more contact with her.

The other highlight for me was hearing several students from Maryland Institute College of Art speak so enthusiastically about their work (which is inspiringly “out there” compared to what most of us are doing!). Then we took a field trip to see the Radical Elements show which went well. On the bus, I caught up with Nanette from NC who is doing fantastic legwork on making my Army Wife show happen at her local art center and growing it into an exciting event. I only wish I could have seen our Tarnish show as well, but it was too far away to add to our bus trip and there really wasn’t enough time for a separate field trip.

It was great to see so many faces I knew. Lots from the DC/MD/WV group that I join in on when I can. I said hi to everyone I saw and spent some time with the lovely Diane Doran. I ended up hanging out mostly with the NC people I had met when I’ve gone to their area for combined SAQA and PAQA-South events (Nanette Zeller, Eileen Williams, and Christine Hager-Braun). Also, my VA pal Lorie McCown was there so were were pretty much each other’s sidekick the whole time. It was kinda fun being the one who could introduce people from one group to people in another group.

I missed Sunday’s retrospective with Yvonne Porcella because I really needed to get home, but I did meet her (and Iris from MistyFuse) via Lisa Ellis last night. I wore my aqua cowboy boots on Friday and so everyone not only noticed me, but remembered me. That was a good move — wearing something memorable, so people will have at least half a clue who I am if I ever wish to contact them again.

So, in conclusion, a good time. I’m not sure I’d be able to justify spending the money to fly to a conference, but if there’s one that’s reasonable easy to get to I’d definitely go. The networking possibilities alone are worthwhile. Next year’s is to be in Portland, OR, so I’m not sure if that one will fit into our plans, but we’ll see…