Monday, January 18, 2016

The Five Year Plan


In April 2010 I exhibited my first 2 pieces of art at the Del Ray Artisan (DRA) Gallery here in Northern Virginia. My only goal was to see the word “artist” behind my name.  I set a new goal at the start of 2011, to see if I could sell my art by participating in the DRA Summer Market and then the October community Art on the Avenue Festival.  

Thanks to the support and encouragement of friends, family and new patrons, I set a new goal at the end of the year.

At that point, I decided I would give myself 5 years to see if this artful adventure was going to be just a hobby, or if it was something that I would enjoy doing through my retirement years as a small business venture.

Since 2010 I’ve worked to stretch my skills and creativity at cutting and sewing fabric and recycled aluminum from soda cans. At the same time I also explored larger and larger venues for exhibiting.  Last year I attended two new events.   

I was accepted to attend the Taubman Museum of Art’s Spring Art Sale which was an excellent event. Then in October I attended The Crozet Fall Festival, a lovely event near Charlottesville, VA. As a result of attending the Crozet event, I received a very unexpected invitation in December to participate in my largest event to date.  

Along with 400 other vendors I will be exhibiting my art in Booth #3611 at the Spring Southern Home & Garden Show in Charlotte, NC over two weekends: Feb 26 to 28 and March 4 to 8.  

My booth is in Independence Hall at the Park Expo and Conference Center. Show exhibitors include all manner of builders, contractors, interior and exterior designers and decorators, landscapers and home furnishing companies. The Independence Hall exhibitors are largely focused on interior goods, services, art, design and "green" products plus the artists and craftsmen.

Below are just a few samples of my art. Right now I’m busy creating several new pieces which I will preview here as we get closer to the show. In the mean time you can always follow my most recent efforts on my Facebook page Cut Sew Create Studio.   
Fresca with gold fabric
Blue Circles (MONSTER soda)

You can follow my artful  
adventures as 
Cut Sew Create Studio on:
Silver and Gold (Coke can only; no fabric)

Recycled Patriotism (Pepsi and Coke cans)


Dew on the Mountain (Mt. Dew Cans)

Why aluminum cans?
I’ve been sewing since I was about 12 years old which would be over 55 years now.  I made clothing and a few traditional quilts as my children were growing up. I was an art major in college but I never made time to create art other than through sewing.   

Then about 7 years ago I met Judy Gula, at a Sewing Expo. Judy is an artist and the owner of Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria. As soon as I visited her store, I knew I wanted to create mixed media art. 

I started taking classes and one day we were stitching paper, then I was stitching paper and fabric together. And at some point……..I decided to cut apart an aluminum soda can to 
Recycled Affordable Housing (Blue)
see if I could sew it along with the 

paper and fabric. And I’ve been doing it ever since; saving the planet 1 colorful soda can at a time. And I’ve been doing it ever since; saving the planet 1 colorful soda can at a time. 
Recycled Affordable Housing (Red)

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Thanks to the encouragement of my cousins who live in Roanoke, I applied and was accepted this past May to participate in the Taubman Museum of Art Spring Art Festival. It was a big step up for me in the world of exhibiting and selling and only my second venture outside NOVA.
All in all it was a very good weekend!

The museum is ultra modern, the event is held on the streets between the Taubman and the famous Roanoke Outdoor Farmer's Market. The weather was great (well most of the time) and the crowd was large and very friendly. The set up for exhibitors and volunteer support was super

One of several new small pieces

I created just for Roanoke.
The background is quilted
fabric with scraps of metal
weaving laid on top; each is
embellished with metal dots.
I changed the booth and added a table to accommodate the "smalls"

 To see more of the Taubman visit their website

Friday, June 12, 2015


This July I'm excited to be offering two workshops at the Del Ray Artisan Gallery for their GUAC or Grown Up Art Camp. The Gallery has offered art camps for kids for several years. But last year we decided that adults needed a little time for artistic fun as well. This year, I'm offering two workshops. Both only 1/2 day and both involve the creative us of recycled aluminum soda cans.

To sign up for my workshops or any of the other outstanding options, go to the Del Ray Artisan Gallery website at this link: Del Ray Artisan Art Camp Calendar 2015

Come join me and let's have some fun.....let's be creative with recycling. Come join me and let's work together to save the planet; one soda can at a time!!!


DATE: Friday, July 10; 10 am to 12:30
$45 DRA (Del Ray Artisan) Members
$55 non-DRA Members
$10 Supply fee
CLASS SIZE: 5-15 Participants

Want to make a fashion statement this summer?                                 
Then join the fun and make your own unique 
earrings from your favorite aluminum beverage
can. Participants will use scrapbook punches to
cut earring shapes, which will be embossed 
with a Cutterbug Machine. These light weigh 
accessories are so much fun you'll want to
make them for all your friends. 

All supplies and some tools provided. Instructor (that's me) will have 100's of pre-cut cans. But if you want a specific color, flavor, or brand, bring 2 clean (un-cut) soda cans for each pair of earrings you want to make. Tools list is sent at registration.



DATE: Friday, July 10; 2 TO 6:00 PM
$65 DRA (Del Ray Artisan) Members
$75 non-DRA Members
$10 Supply fee
CLASS SIZE: 5-10 Participants

Want It's never too early to start working on your holiday greeting cards! Join this workshop
and learn a quick 3-step process to turn junk mail postcards into recycled seasonal fun.
participant will collage the front of postcards with mixed papers. Pine trees pre-cut from
recycled aluminum soda cans will then be machine stitched over the collage. 

In step 3 participants complete each card by machine stitching a finishing paper to the back. These completed postcards can be mailed without an envelope. All supplies provided, except
sewing machine, thread and needles. Complete supply list will be sent after registration. 

Monday, May 4, 2015


It's hard to believe the new summer season of art fairs and festivals is fast upon us! It seems like the Havre de Grace Art show and the Del Ray Artisan Holiday Market were only a few weeks past instead of several months ago. Where does the time go?

Well, I've spent these long cold months at home ARTING
And now I'm ready to break out and show off the new work!  I love the term ARTING. The first time I encountered the word was in Quilting Arts magazine. As soon as I read it, I thought YES; that's what I'm doing when I'm creating....I'm ARTING. I thing it's a great word that totally explains I'm working in a contemporary fashion with unconventional materials or methods. Recently I've seen other artists on Face Book using the word ARTING to describe their creative time. I really hope others will embrace the term and pass it on again. 

When you're a painter, a sculptor or a composer it's easy to tell people what you're doing in your creative space or time. But when you're a fiber artist or a mixed media artists, how do you explain what you do?. Telling a close friend or co-worker that I've been sewing or quilting always sounds so old fashion. And telling anyone that I've been nailing rusted auto parts to a dirty wood box from a barn really leaves them in a state of confusion. So I leave out the details when someone asks what I did last weekend; and instead I tell them spent time ARTING!

New ART for the new year..........Birdhouses for the Soul.
An art quilt created for and accepted into the 2015 Sacred Threads Art Quilt show occurring this summer in Reston, VA. The quilt is 40"x40" with 8 unique bird houses, each made from soda cans stitched to a background fabric. 

The machine quilted blocks between each bird house are cut in the Rayna Gillman style of Free-Form Quilting. Each block was then randomly split to give the illusion of trees and branches in this colorful happy forest.


New ART for the new year..........

I spent time this winter experimenting with new quilting designs and I definitely think I will keep expanding on this technique. I've tried a circles in the past, and stitched free motion, free form flowers but this was the most fun I've had doing it so far. I used the end of a plate to capture the curve and then did echo stitching.. Since a lot of my work is quilted with a walking foot and I typically do conventional squares or diagonals. So laying down circles was a challenge and I enjoyed it.

This piece is old gold cotton woven with Polar Seltzer soda cans. To bring out the blue graphics on the can I used navy thread. The pattern started with a dinner plate. After drawing and stitching the first outline, I used my walking foot to echo stitch the other lines. 

New ART for the new year..
To stretch myself even more this winter I explored the world of 3D assemblage. Over the years I've collected a lot of interesting bits and pieces of material....the usual wood spools, clock and watch parts, marbles, tin cans.......and more.

 It was a lot of fun turning all those lost
and found parts into something completely new!.

This working clock started with an old aluminum
headlight grill I found in a junk store in Roanoke,
Va. I paired with a discarded grandfather clock face
 from an antique mall in Staunton, VA.

The piece was created for the Del Ray Artisan Dreaming show. The angel "wings" were hand cut from
aluminum normally used as the kick plate for a
storm door. Embellishments are old clock and
watch parts. 

And finally my most recent assemblage..More New ART
those old rusted gears, 
wood spools, marbles, tin
cans, torn vintage quilt scraps, 
a wooden carpenter ruler and
two very old, very heavy wooden
boxes from that barn. This one is also a working clock. The two boxes are both hand made. I bolted them together and covered the bolts with vintage quilt scraps. The Prince Albert can is an homage to my maternal grandfather Henry Vickers of Elkview, WV; a man who always had Prince Albert in a the old joke goes. This piece was give a Curator's Award at the current Del Ray Artisan Gallery show MIXED.

Monday, October 6, 2014


The day started with a little rain, but it turned out to be absolutely beautiful all day.  Thanks to everyone who came by the booth. Here are just a few pictures. Next event will be the Del Ray Artisan Gallery Holiday Market the first weekend in December.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Art For A New Adventure

This past weekend I exhibited my art in the small town of Havre de Grace which sits at the head waters of the Chesapeake Bay. It was a lovely location for an outdoor show; the weather was perfect, and the crab cakes were divine!
                                                                                   My two best memories from the weekend

will be about having both my daughters with me as helpers for this 3 day adventure.  And second, receiving a very large blue ribbon acknowledging my collection as "best in" the Mixed Media category. Together these two things made for a very special 66th birthday.

 Looking back, I think this weekend also marks the start of a new chapter in my book of artful adventures.

Chapter One has been a time of experimentation and growth. It started in April of 2010 when I exhibited my first two small pieces of mixed media art at the Del Ray Artisan Gallery in Alexandria, VA. The show was titled What's Your Bag. It was curated by Theresa Kulstad and Karen Schmidt who have since become good friends, super cheerleaders and mentors. I highly recommend all artistic makers engage the support of good friends
like these two wonderful women.

 The DRA Gallery provided a safe place to exhibit. At the same time Judy Gula at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria provided me with encouragement, support and many opportunities to improve and diversify my skills via her regular mixed media classes. Thanks to Judy and her partner in art Cyndi Souder, two of my art quilts traveled nationally and I created an art quilt which was accepted into the nationally recognized bi-annual art quilt show Sacred Threads in 2013.

The art I've created during Chapter One of this adventure have, for the most part, been relatively small in scale. And range of designs and materials has been wide and varied.                                                                                                           The one constant of course has been that I cut and weave recycled aluminum with torn fabric which I then quilt and often embellish. Over the past two years, my work has grown slightly in scale and the style has continued to evolve.

Chapter Two...........what's next? Experiments with scale......experiments with color....and possibly additional shows. It's time to open the ETSY story and it's time to increase my skills with and use of social networking. In other words, it's time to take it to the next level.....stay tuned for more to come.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


For the second year in a row I had the pleasure of exhibiting my art at the Del Ray Artisan Gallery Holiday Market. It's a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. Along with 12 other regional artisan's I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the gallery meeting new people and visiting with old friends. What did you do this season to support a local artist? What did you do this season to support a small local business? If you missed the DRA market this weekend, you still have time to shop with 14 different artists next weekend. And if the holiday season is over by the time you read this's still not too late to support someone you know who loves to create. Merry Christmas, and thanks to all of you who supported me during these past 3 years.