Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In Memory of Black Jack

I had to put my cat Black Jack to sleep early this morning. He was diagnosed with Leukemia 3 weeks ago and took a turn for the worst last night. We decided not to let him suffer through the night. He has peacefully gone on to join his brother Bingo, and other beloved pets from our past: Hunter, Littlebear and those from my childhood. Blackjack was a great cat and he will be missed.

Photo by Shimoda

Friday, September 30, 2011

Featured in this month's "Quilters Newsletter" magazine.

It's Official. I just recieved the Oct/Nov issue of Quilters Newsletter from its publisher and there is a very nice picture of my quilt: Terrorism, Tragedy and Tribute. The featured quilt is part of the Fiber Artists for Hope exhibition on racism titled "The Unspoken Truth About Color" curated by Jeanette Thompson. Terrorism, Tragedy and Tribute is inspired by the bombing of the East 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL in 1963 and a painting by my father marking that event. I hope to have both the quilt and the painting on view in my gallery this December.
For more on the Fiber Artist for Hope and this exhibition visit this blog:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Playing Well with Others :o)

Last night 3 of the "Harlem Girls" got together for a playdate at my place. This was a chance for us to try out a new fabric medium that we had each wondered about and purchased but never used before. With a little salmon spread and some sour dough bread in our bellies we feverously attacked the fabric discharge process using Decolourant in several colors and Jaquard Discharge medium. We let the fabric fly (literally) and a couple of hours later we had learned something new. Ife dove right in y cuuting screening and stamping. Paula meticulously staged a trial and error test with different fabrics to see what the effects would be while I go a late start but did put some work in once the group left. The result: we eached learned someting new to extend our knowledge base when attacking a project not to mention the wine consumption and the laughter.
Grown folks need play dates too. I remember when I was a teen my mother Beverly, godmother Ocie and my friend's mom Miriam would get together and practice belly dancing, playing the recorder... with a glass of sangria somewhere near by. My girlfriend Lisa and I would sit at the top of the stairs laughing our heads off while secretly vowing to never be that insane. Well - over 3o years later there is yet another generation of crazy but still productive. Some thing to think about when arraning your own playdate:
- Keep it small: too much crazy in the room can be dangerous but just the right amount keeps it fun.
- Plan around a particular activity: this gives the play some structure
- Gather like minds: I have many art and quilt friends but for this evening I gathered those that had a similar interest (fiber art and new mediums) and those whose schedule would allow them to break away from there usual routine. Also there was no one thier who had a high anxiety when introduced to omething new or needed their hand to be held.
So get some folks together and learn something new.

Discharge with Decolourant

While at the Mancuso quilt show in Pennsylvania this month I stopped at a booth with wonderful artist mediums for working on and with fabric. I purchased 2 - 3bottle sets of Decolourant, a discharge medium that not only bleaches out the color of a fabric but also sets in the color that is in the bottle. You can stencil, paint, stamp or screen it on to fabric (cellulose and dyed fabics work best) and after a playdate with the "girlzs" this is what I found out:

- Love this medium and I am already planing projects with it!!!

- Stencils made from freezer paper work the cleanest and give the most predictable outcome (nice sharp edges)

- Colours are the most vibrant when you heat set your design just after it becomes dry to the touch. When I let some of my work dry over niight the results did not have as much POP after ironing

- The color becomes more brilliant after the finished product has set overnight and that is why it should not be washed until 24-48 hours.

You don't have to wait till the next local quilt fest to get your hande on this product. 2 sites that I have found that have Decolourant at a decent price are and .

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Faith Ringgold

Well it is going on 6 am and I just finished my Faith

Ringgold quilt (due today). I may do a few more touches to it and have to complete the sleeve but other than that she is DONE! I'll turn it into Myrah Brown Green at CCNY later today. Now I'm so wired that I hardly feel sleepy (yes I was up all night) but my butt is going to bed before the sun comes up.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 12, 2011

Harvest Taupe Coat

I a very proud to have presented my latest crochet coat at Pahti NYC's "Kocktails & Kouture" event. She debuted along side the fabulous work of Twains Twines (hand spun & knits) and Michi's machine knit fashions.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:St Nicholas Terrace,,United States

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Harlem Fine Art Show, in review :-(

This February I had big plans to move up in the world by participating in the Harlem Fine Art Show (HFAS). This annual event which is only in its second season seeks to take the place of the Black Fine Art Show and Art Off the Main; both shows were previously held downtown at the PUCK building. Fine artists from all over the country took part in those shows and HFAS was no different in this respect. And then the other shoe dropped... I scrimped and paid my fee which seemed a very reasonable price at the time and made my display the best I could on a small budget. By the time it was all said and done I end up in a shabby cramped spot away from the crowd, near clothing and slipper vendors ( "Fine Art Show"?, really?). To put it mildly I was HIGHLY disappointed (almost to tears) and made no money. I thought this would be my artist coming out party and ended up on chicken row at a chitlin' circuit shin-dig. Anyway , big girls don't cry and I am stronger and wiser for the experience. I might do the show again next year if I can come up with a master plan (can't keep a good artist down you know) . It is an everyman for himself kind of business and even the agencies and agents that are supposedly set up in your favor are making odd choices. (that is my politically correct comment). So to keep it on a positive note; life lessons can be hard on a sistah so if this was a lesson in being an artist I guess I got off cheap.

Harlem Sewn Up goes to print

My first publication is about to be released to the public. I have put together a short paperback for the 2009 Harlem Sewn Up exhibition at the Dwyer Cultural Center. This exhibit featured Harlem quilters and their work along with anecdotes about life in Harlem. My print project is in its final editing stages now and I hope to have it ready for the "Spring Fling" event at the Gadson Gallery in April. When complete Harlem Sewn Up will be available for online purchase directly from the publisher. This is the 1st of a few projects that I would like to put into print. How Exciting!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Going International

I just received the February issue of Patchwork Tsushin, a bi-monthly Japanese quilting magazine that interviewed me last year. Naomi Ichikawa of Tokyo came stateside last year to do an article about quilters in Harlem and I was blessed to be featured along with master quilter Michael Cummings. At the time of the interview the "Harlem Sewn Up" exhibition was on view at the Dwyer Cultural Center so there are pictures from that exhibition. I have a full page spread - how exciting (though the picture of me is definitely on the ugly side). If there are any Japanese readers out there I encourage you to pick up this February issue of Patchwork Tsushin . There are a couple of Japanese magazine stores here in NYC including one that I remember in the Palisades Mall. NYACK, NY.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


Well it is officially 2011 and I already have a list of things I want to accomplish this year. Some tasks are just the completion or extension of things started in previous years. Others have to do with achievement in my art, the business of art and getting/staying organized. Cleaning wouldn't hurt either. At least I have hit the ground running by blogging on this 1st day of 2011.

Do you have a list of goals for 2011? I think it is a great idea to help stay focused on the important things. Get a book or keep a list on your computer. Write and the come back to it periodically to check how you are doing. Listed items could be as simple as reaching out to relatives on a regular basis to as elaborate as a major home improvement. Be honest with yourself about what is achievable (reaching for the stars should be on separate visualization list). Use the list as positive reinforcement toward achieving the things that you want and need to do and don't beat yourself up if things don't happen according to the plan. Its all about not allowing time to get frittered away and making the most out of LIFE!