Project Colorado - Guided by God
I created an original piece of art called "Guided by God" to raise money for my daughter Bliss to go on a mission/adventure trip to Colorado. The inspiration for the art was a crucifix that we bought in Mexico a couple of years ago on a family vacation. I drew the cross in the center of the page and then hand lettered all 10 scripture verses that Bliss had to memorize as part of the AUG (Approved Unto God) program. We had 70 limited edition prints made from the original which were signed and numbered. I then took the original and tore it into one inch squares. These squares were placed between two pieces of glass, inserted into a reclaimed slide frame and secured with copper foil tape. My husband Mike, helped by making a small walnut stand to hold the miniature work of art. The photos on this page are of the original artwork,Bliss, the pencil drawing, the framed mini work of art and the artwork torn into one inch squares.
People who donated to Bliss' trip received a signed limited edition print and a mini work of art with walnut stand. We were able to raise enough money to pay for Bliss to go on this life changing trip the summer of 2013.
Mom's Memory Jacket
When my mom turned 90 in August of 2006 I wanted to create something very special for her. A jacket made out of all of her family member’s clothes. Little did I know that getting the clothes from all of my family members who live in Iowa would be the toughest part of the project!
I wasn’t able to collect the clothes for her birthday or even for Christmas. I made the decision that I was going to make the jacket for Mother’s Day 2007 with whatever clothes I had received. In the end, I was able to get an article of clothing or fabric from all 24 members of my family.
As a guide for my Mom so she would know which fabric came from whom, I created an album. The album contained a swatch of fabric along with the family member’s name and what type of clothing was supplied for the jacket. In addition, I asked family members to write a note of why they wanted their particular item included in the jacket. For example, one of my nieces donated her soccer socks. She said that when my Mom came to take care of them when they were young she would always fold the socks even if there were as many as 50 pairs!
I traveled to Iowa to be with my Mom for Mother’s Day and to give her the jacket. We had a wonderful time together and spent two days going through closets and drawers at her house as she was now going to live at the nursing home permanently. We laughed as we counted handbags and shoes we were going to donate to GoodWill.
On Mother’s Day she wasn’t feeling great when I gave her the jacket, she didn’t even feel up to trying it on. Instead she held it up so I could take her picture with the jacket. Back at the Nursing Home she hung it on the wall so she could tell everyone the story of the jacket and show them the album. She was so proud of the jacket and her family.
A little over a week later on May 22, 2007 my Mom passed away. She had lived a wonderful life and as she said, “I am ready for God to take me home.” She was an amazing woman and I learned so much from her example. She had faith in me and encouraged me to start my own business and do what I love... create artwork that honors people’s memories!
Elaine wanted to have a special teddy bear created out of her mother's mink stole for her very first Grandson - Brennan. The mink stole was made beautifully with her Mom's initials embroidered on the satin lining.
To make sure that Brennan knows where Minky came from... both of his paws have been autographed. One says "Lovingly created from Grandma Mickey's mink stole" and the other one says "Especially for Brennan from Grandma Lainey"
In the photo Grandma Lainey is posing with Minky.
Minky loves to relax and take it easy.
For a "Special Delivery" the lining from the stole (including Mickey's initials) was used as stork bag to deliver Minky to Brennan.
Minky and Brennan finally meet and it looks like they will be friends!
Elaine loved how Minky turned out. He has his own special personality. Brennan's Mom is planning to use Minky as way to measure Brennan's growth.
Un-tie to Thrive
Sharon wanted to have custom artwork created from her husband and father-in-law's neckties to honor their memory.
The artwork is 52" square. It has a wooden frame that has charcoal grey wool suiting fabric stretched on it. The neckties are all sewed on to the fabric by hand so that none of the stitches are visible from the front side.
The initial thought was to have them very straight and orderly, much like they would be on a color wheel or a quilt block.
As I was laying out the neckties, they seemed to want to twist, turn, and expand. They were reaching for more, wanting to grow and THRIVE!
My Visual Journal was a helpful tool in the process of designing this piece. I used it to sketch some ideas and also dig deep to understand the meaning behind the art. Here is what I wrote "I have been thinking a lot about letting go or "un-tieing" from the things that are holding me back in my life. It is hard- it is easier to be safe and secure, but is very freeing to let go and THRIVE!"
Sharon was very touched by the piece, she says it brings back such wonderful memories.
Twists and Turns
Keyla and her mom Jennifer came to me with a huge bag filled with T-Shirts, sweatshirts and leotards that represented 14 years of her life. Keyla started gymnastics as a 4 year old and now as a freshman in college, she is a coach. A knee injury cut her career as a gymnast short, but she still has many fond memories of the years she spent in the gym and in competitions.
As design inspiration I used the swirl or tumbling figure that is part of the gym's logo where she spent much of her career.
Since all of the materials I was working with were knit, I didn’t have to worry about the fabric raveling, so I could cut them into shapes I wanted without finishing edges. I used a white sheet as a base fabric. All of the Tees, Sweats and Leotards were pinned directly to the sheet. I started with the pieces I knew had the most meaning to Keyla and put them in the most prominent places, then I worked on balancing the color throughout the duvet. I then just started cutting unique curved and twisted shapes from each garment. It is sort of like putting a jigsaw puzzle together without the benefit of a picture to look at! Once everything was sewn on to the sheet, the raw edges were covered with a varigated ribbon.
Now when Keyla is at college, snuggled under her duvet or resting on her body pillow, she has all of those wonderful gymnastic memories with her as she enters the next chapter of her life.
Dual Duty Tote
Lisa had her Grandfather's well worn army jacket and a blouse, handkerchief and belt from her Grandmother. Since she rides the train to work, she decided that a tote would be a great way to take a little bit of her grandparents with her on her daily trip.
The pockets of the army jacket are so roomy they were kept on the outside to hold water bottle, cell phone, keys, etc. The inside of the tote was lined with her Grandmother's pale yellow blouse. One of her handkerchiefs was used to create an inside pocket. The belt made an excellent sturdy strap. The epalets from the army jacket were used to create a snap closure for the bag.
The army jacket is now on it's second tour of duty... on Lisa's shoulder as she goes to work every day.