31 Aug

Blurred Boundaries Show

Blurred Boundaries started today and runs through September 4th.

It is a Mixed Media Fiber Art exhibit Juried by Virginia Spiegel and curated by  Lynn Krawczyk.

The definition of Fiber Art has evolved greatly over the past few years, opening up a new range of possibilities to artists working in various disciplines. Fiber artists are incorporating more mediums into their work, creating unique art that reaches across previously defined boundaries. Artists from other mediums are discovering the infinite possibilities that fiber can offer, also creating hybrids that are eye catching and moving. Blurred Boundaries seeks these arttworks for a week long exhibition honoring the ingenuity of mixed media fiber art.

I have two pieces on display:

“Fairytale Forest (click to enlarge) ©2009  32″ x 32”

Pink House

Pink House ©2009  18″ x 18″

The exhibit will be open to the public during the following hours: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Exhibit Location: Fabrications Retreat, Raddison Plaza Hotel Kalamazoo, Michigan

Show dates: August 31 – September 4, 2009

28 Aug

Bundle Love

I feel like my blogging has been all messed up lately. I had two things to post when my blog was down for a day and a half and when it came back up they were there, but I think it took longer than usual for RSS feeds and stuff to find them. Then I joined FaceBook. Now I’m over there as much as here and I forget what I’ve said in which place. I have to admit that a quick little blurb over there is so easy, though I feel like posts over here have a little more presence. On top of that I am totally caught up in Mr. Incredible’s IBOL project. Not that I’m actually doing anything, I’m just constantly bouncing between my email, the IBOL blog and the IBOL FaceBook page to see how amazingly the project has grown.

When he first told me of the project I never imagined that so many people would come out to support it. My post alone has over 60 comments and I never get even close to that kind of traffic on this blog. His number of hits and comments is understandably astronomical! It’s so much fun to see other people blogging about it too. Blogs that get lots of traffic and those that get little bits — it’s all added up to an amazing amount of support. Then Sew Mama Sew jumped in with bundles for people without a fabric stash to draw from and that ended up being perfect for people outside the US too (since postage can add up), plus I think a lot of sewers who just plain like SMS ordered additional bundles because they could. They sold out in an amazing 48 hours. Now Quilts, Inc. is on the bandwagon, Mr. Incredible’s got a press guy, he’s done a radio interview and there’s more in the works. Don’t forget the fun little side projects that spring up spontaneously like Nadine’s T-Shirts based on my SIL’s heart-for-an-O labeling of her box, and Happy Zombie’s adorable blog button which is way more lovie than my persian rug one. How can I possibly blog in the shadow of all this awesomeness?

Iraqi Bundles of Love


So thank you thank you thank you for all your bundle love and support! Sooner or later I’ll get back to the art bras, Hawaiian music on the lawn, quilty things, Guild happenings, and  possible projects. But right now, it all seems beside the point.

24 Aug

IBOL and Sew, Mama, Sew!

Mr. Incredible’s Iraqi Bundles of Love project is growing in leaps and bounds! I want to thank everyone who has so generously mailed bundles to him (he’s already received at least 80!), blogged about the project, and shared information with your friends and quilting guilds. My hubby was a little concerned that there might be some people out there who want to help but don’t have a stash of fabric, thread or yarn from which to create a bundle. Never fear, the generous people at Sew Mama Sew* have 150 fantastic bundles all ready for you! All you need to do is hot-foot it to their online shop, plunk down the minimal cost of $15, and they will mail a fantastic bundle with enough fabric and notions to make a substantial project directly to Mr. IBOL Guy.

*Let’s hear it for Kristin power!

24 Aug

Support Your Calabash

Our local chapter of the American Cancer Society is launching a program to raise money specifically for Breast Cancer programs and services here in Hawai’i. Funds raised will go directly to education, support, look & feel better programs, screening, mammograms, a funded research position and more!

Part of the program is an exhibit of altered bras, and here’s my contribution.

  Support your Calabash

It’s titled “Support Your Calabash.”

I’m assuming the word calabash itself was adopted from the portuguese immigrants brought to work the plantations. I do know that it refers to gourds used as bowls to eat out of. Traditionally, family meals were eaten out of shared bowls, and the term “calabash cousins” means people who eat together  — they may not be blood related, but they’re family just the same. The staple food in those bowls is poi. Poi is made from the taro plant which Hawaiian legend says is our brother, born of Father Heaven and Daughter Earth before man. It is the lifeblood of the land and the people.

My bra represents two calabash filled with poi, my metaphor for a woman’s nurturing breasts — the lifeblood of the family. That “melons” (and by association, probably “gourds” and therefore “calabash”) is slang for “breasts” doesn’t hurt.

Calabash detail

In the center of the bra are the plumeria blossoms always associated with the islands, but also with a bit of a dark side. Setting off the plumeria are red lehua flowers for Pele, the goddess of fire, because any woman battling cancer needs a strong presence beside her. Of course, I also had to include a lei. This one represents maile leaves, sacred to Laka the goddess of the hula and worn for celebrations. It’s scent is also associated with ghosts, so I think it (and the plumeria) appropriate for walking the fine line between celebrating life and acknowledging the possibility of death. Twisted in with the maile leaves is a strand of mokihana pods used for their spicy scent since ancient times. I believe both maile and mokihana are also associated with healing. The calabash are “set” on a lauhala mat — the traditional all-purpose mats woven from the leaves of the hala grass. 

Calabash back

Bras will be displayed in a Gallery at Making Strides, an event planned by ACS on Sat. Oct 3, 2009 and will be auctioned off at a charity event in October, 2009.


BTW, if you want to participate, send your size 36C altered bra to Rubber Stamp Plantation by September 15th, or contact me to sponsor my bra!

21 Aug

Grimur Roeriksson says “Save the Date (aaaarghh!)”

I know it’s not officially “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” but I got his wonderful paper Viking from Sandra and I just had to show him off.

Grimur Roereksson

I also have a few events coming up worth mentioning.

August 30th — September 4th: see two of my fiber collages (“Pink House” and “Fairytale Forest“) at the Blurred Boundaries exhibit at the Fabrications Retreat in Kalamazoo, MI.

September 7th: This is the last day to put your Iraqi Bundles of Love in the mail. Purge your stash, contribute to a good cause, and make the world a smaller more pieceful place all at the same time.

September 10th: First day of the annual SAQA Auction. I didn’t make the deadline for submitting a piece this year but that shouldn’t stop anyone from checking out all the other wonderful and affordable textile art and supporting a great organization.

September 25th — 27th: Breaking Traditions benefit exhibit at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI. This year’s theme is Home and I’ve donated one of my house/chair/roots pieces. If you go to the show, vote for my art and I might win a prize.

October 15th — 18th: Tactile Architecture at International Quilt Festival Houston. My art quilt “Aquifer” will be there and then travel with TA to IQF in Chicago, IL and Long Beach, CA in 2010.

17 Aug

Ripple Afghan: Finished

Ripple Afghan, originally uploaded by Umzavi.

I did it! I finished the Ripple Afghan.

The specs:

Neat ripple pattern by Attic24.
14 skeins of Plymouth Encore poly/wool blend yarn.
56 stripes (the red/orange stripe counting as one).
Barely four stripes per skein.
My starting chain was 214 stitches.
Final size was 57″ square.

It’s wider than necessary for a lap blanket. It seemed right when I started but it gained width as I added stripes. Odd. The length is good. And now it’s done just in time for the two hottest months of the year!

16 Aug

Mail is Great

Every now and then I get a great week or so of mail.I had one of those a few weeks ago. it started with this cute little mushroom baby from Bitter Betty. After the mushroom swap she had said she’d send me one to go with my little mushroom guy. I had totally forgotten about it, so it was a fun surprise when this little one arrived at our door.


I had also sent my insane hexagon quilt, “Am Rand von Oma’s Weizenfeld,” to Germany to be part of an exhibit of hexagon quilts at the Heidelberg Hearts and Castles Quilt Guild 20th Anniversary Quilt Show. Margarete and Christine returned it with a CD of photos from the show AND a magazine with my friend Valerija’s artwork on the cover. Inside were both the optical illusion quilt and the tote she made from the scraps, plus two accessories! Way to go Valerija! I am also the proud recipient of my third Valerija bag — this one in a fun black and brights print with shiny silk inside.


And if the week couldn’t have gotten any better, my long time friend Silke sent me pot holders from her home town to remind me of Germany, a recipe book so I can make my own german treats, the french fry spice that my german-born kids can’t live without and a box of semmelknoedel. Of course, you don’t see the knoedel because we’ve eaten them already! Oh, since it matched the blue color scheme, another hero card from my hubby is in the picture.


Finally, speaking of my hubby and mail, the first Iraqi Bundles of Love arrived! This is getting exciting.