Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I am sewing, stuffing, embroidering and painting alot lately. I finally found the energy to post a few things on Etsy. I will get these three babies up later today - at least I photographed them...

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I have not had an opportunity to blog, so sorry. I will try to get to it this week . But here is a picture of a fading tulip from after Easter. It is so wonderful to see the tulips blooming in the gardens here in Rochester. Lilacs will be next! I am off to sit at the Knitting Guild's table at the Artistry in Thread Exhibition at RMSC. I'll be there 12-2, please find me and say hello if you are there too.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Bill Moyers was once again illuminating and upsetting.The evening was spent discussing the horrible wall street and big banking screw ups and their ability to continue to make billions of dollars during this so called "crisis."

But my favorite part was a very interesting side story about Binghamton, NY. I don't know how I missed this amazing news item. After more than eight years, the fight against terrorism and its cost has Binghamton's mayor rather annoyed. In the midst of passing a budget that cannot begin to cover the city's needs and having to make choices about laying off workers or raising taxes, Matt Ryan wants to do something dramatic.

He has designed an electronic counter that would continually calculate how much money Binghamton citizens have paid in taxes to fund America's two-front war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan. Money that could (should) have been spent at home.

The war cost ticker will be privately funded, and will be present for all to see on the outside of city hall.

The other item I enjoyed was a show tune called "Betting against the American Dream."

This is the chorus:

We're gonna bet against the American Dream. We're gonna be on the winning team. Purchase risky debt on a massive scale and then place a bet that the debt will fail!

Hundreds of millions from Magnetar, the economy collapsing like a dying star.

No one will know 'til it's on NPR

and who cares?!

It's time to hit the town!

This sucker could down!

The housing market's losing steam,

And all we gotta do... to make our dreams come true... is bet against the American Dream!

Record Store Day Today

Record Archive is celebrating Record Store Day in the most stupendous way!

With Live music all day:

11:00 am Roger Kuhn

12:00 pm Boneyard

1:00 pm Bogs Visionary Orchestra

2:00 pm Sports

2:45 pm The Professor of Rap

3:00 pm Joe Henley

4:00 pm Miss Tess

5:00 Nevergreen

6:00 Velveteen Fox

Also tons of limited edition exclusive music just for independent record stores!! Hurry in!

Food by Sticky Lips


I don't know what this is, but I am excited to find out!


And the party continues on at Abilene!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Felted Bags

When I am not in my wonderful studio, I have been working at home, focusing on felted travel bags to be sold at the Memorial Art Gallery Store. I may be able to have them for sale the day of film screening of "Who does She think She is?" I won't have the chance to meet with the store manager until next week - but I am pretty sure it will work out. If you are interested in purchasing any of these bags feel free to e-mail me, ( They all have zippers and cotton fabric linings and range in price from $35 - $55, depending on size, amount of work, and zipper pull - most of which are hand made glass beads. I am excited about some new designs. The hand sewing has been really hard on my hands though. I woke up this morning with no feeling in either hand and when I rolled over in bed I hit myself so hard with my own hand it really hurt. I only wish I could sew with my toes!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I have been invited to be in a group show in June, called Bits and Pieces at Shawn Dunwoody's gallery called Four Walls. So, I need to get some new collage work completed and framed by the middle of May. Nothing like a deadline to get one motivated. I am working towards completing the blue and green pieces I showed in the previous post. I want them to seem like pages from a travel guide, have a map like quality with the theme of tourism and travel and "getting away from it all." I just scanned these images to have forever in my digital files so that I am free to cut them up and use them in the collages maybe...

Monday, April 12, 2010

I now have a studio outside of the house. My dear friend Sarah offered to share a lovely space that she is renting. Even though I am still getting settled, I am amazed how much I can achieve in a short time while I am there. I happened to have lost my cell phone, so I truly have no distractions when I am working in this wonderful studio. While there, I feel at peace, focused, able and strong. Above are pictured some paintings/collages that I am in the midst. I am excited, have a plan and feel like anything is possible!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Allen has a "chandelier" in the show - you don't want to miss this!





Turned On!! is a unique exhibition that brings together sculptors, glass artists, painters, neon artists, graphic designers, ceramic artists and more who work in a range of materials including glass, metal, wood, neon, paper, clay and found objects. Twenty artists have been invited to interpret “the chandelier”. Opening night the studio will be lit up with fantastic fixtures that range from functional to funky!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Who does she think she is?

I have been asked to participate in a panel discussion about balancing art and life.


I don't believe I balance anything very well, but I imagine (hope actually) that it will interesting for people to hear that... probably not - I guess I should come up with some fantastic fiction about how I am able to create, cook, clean, walk the dog, knit, market my work, shop, pick up, drop off, watch the birds and look gorgeous all while wagging my tail being a wonderful daughter, parent, wife, friend to those I love (not necessarily in that order).

I will be pretending to be perfect and discuss these art and life issues after the screening of the film "Who Does She Think She Is?" on Saturday, April 24 at 1:00 p.m. at the Memorial Art Gallery.

"Who Does She Think She Is?" is an 82-minute documentary by Pamela Tanner Boll and Nancy C. Kennedy about five women artists struggling to balance parenting and work, partnering and independence, economics and art.

After the screening, the audience is invited to join roundtable discussions moderated by Nora Bredes, Director of Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership, and led by area artists Kaaren Anderson, Nancy Gong, Shelly Green Stoller, Sarah Rutherford and Nancy Topolski (me!). Admission is $5 (includes film, activities and Gallery admission).

Children ages 3 and up may participate in an art activity in the Creative Workshop during the screening and roundtable discussion. There is no extra charge for this art activity, but advance registration is required; please call 276.8959.

The program is funded by the New York Council for the Humanities with support from co-presenters the Memorial Art Gallery, UR's Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership and UR's Art and Art History Department.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

new bird

The common Grackle - not so common after all.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Dreams May Come

I have always been a dreamer. I remember so many dreams and more so, so many nightmares. I have very metaphoric dreams. There are two recurring ones that are so clearly about being disoriented in my searching for a life for myself and having a safe special place to live that life.

On Monday morning I woke up from a terribly disturbing dream in which I was lost in the corridors of a large hotel, the spaces I found myself were the parking garage, various restaurants and a connected shopping mall. At the end of all of my chasing around Gage became part of the dream and I had to get him back to our room. But I couldn’t. The elevators opened onto empty space or didn’t work at all, and then I lost him. This dream comes to me almost every night. I am often in the hotel like space, or it can be a castle or ancient space or even a resort town with wonderful waves in the ocean and I am running lost through streets and boardwalks. I always awake feeling misplaced, off-course, without direction.

So last night I promised myself as I fell asleep that I wouldn’t have that kind of dream. It sort of worked. I had the renovating the weird house dream instead.

This dream happens a lot and is sometimes very entertaining, as I really like the houses I dream up, but usually they are wrought with anxiety of problems that need to be solved or people coming over and everything isn’t quite right. But there are often undiscovered rooms that are found and are so needed for storage or guests. I have detailed memories of the houses from past dreams, one or two had pools, and one had two pools.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Not so sunny in America

Mississippi Delta Children, photo by Dorothea Lange 1936

Last night I watched the Bill Moyers Journal on PBS as I do most Friday nights. Sometimes it is more than I can handle as I can get very depressed about the truth of this world. But last night's show made me want to do something, made me feel like I can do something, I don't know what just yet, but I will do something.

He began the show saying,

"The other day, I came across a report in the October issue of a medical journal. It's a study done by Boston's Children's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School which found that uninsured children were over three times more likely to die from their trauma-related injuries than children who were commercially insured. In other words, it could be a matter of life and death, whether a child lives or dies depends on whether the family is rich or poor. The report is just one indication of a rapidly accelerating gap that cuts right to the core of democracy."

In this show Bill Moyers references several works on inequality in America. Among these is The Spirit Level - Why greater equality makes societies stronger, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett,

among their findings:
  • The most unequal countries have more homicide, more obesity, more mental illness, more teen pregnancy, more high-school dropouts, and more people in prison.
  • The more equal the society, the longer its people live.
  • The United States has the greatest inequality of income of any developed country except Singapore.
The United States is one of the most economically stratified societies in the western world. As The Wall Street Journal reported, a 2008 study found that the top .01% — or 14,000 American families — hold 22.2% of wealth. The bottom 90%, or over 133 million families, control just 4% of the nation's wealth.

The discussion in inequality of wealth was blanketed by the deeper issue of racism and the lack of justice in this country for minorities. One of the authors is also a lawyer and he spoke of a young black man that he represented who is now in prison for life without parol under the three strikes law. The man had committed four misdemeanors - stealing a bike, urinating in public and two other insignificant violations. The discussion was the most eloquent one I have heard on the cultural impact of images, economics and misuse of broad laws that keep blacks down. We used to call people racist, but it isn't that simple - the society at large is racist and although we cannot point fingers we should do something about it.

You can read an edited transcript here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Playing in the sun

I did some gardening today. The sun was brilliant and I noticed these violets in the grass on my way to dumping the weeds in the woods. The only really green plant (other than the weeds) in the garden are the asters pictured above. I played with the pictures of the violets in photoshop...