Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Buried Treasure: Blasts from the Past

Today is Seth Apter's (The Altered Page) annual Buried Treasure challenge. Participants look back in time and re-post a hidden treasure. I haven't been at this blogging thing as long as others but it has been more than a year. I decided to go back to this time in 2012 to see what I was up to. As it turns out, I was up to my ears in printing weeds! Hope you enjoy a walk down memory lane and be sure to visit Seth's post today for more links to other buried treasure.

What If-ing Weeds Part 3: Plein Air Printing

Despite the fact that it was a hot Sunday in Northern Virginia, I packed up some gear (i.e. cotton fabric, opaque fabric paints, glass palettes, Rollrite brayers and my camera) and headed outside to test out a what if that's been rolling around in my head all week.

What if I lay some fabric down directly on the growing weeds in the garden and roll fabric paint over the fabric?

My first test was a bunch of dandelions in the front garden.

I found it interesting that the dandelion stems showed up in these brayer rubbings but not softer, leafy parts.

I then tried a patch of clover in the grass.

Finally, I managed to lay a piece of fabric really in the thick of it...over those pesky Velcro (my name) weeds with their furry little burrs.

Here are the results...


 And here is one of my favorite posts from a year ago...I just love serendipity...dont' you?

A Little Bit of Healing Magic

Butterfly hanging in my studio

Yesterday, while working at Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery, some magical things happened.

I was training a new member who is originally from Korea. At some point while we were talking, I decided to show her my mom's 80th birthday hamsa.

She was really intrigued by it and told me that it reminded her of Korean shamanic symbols. I wanted to know more. I was surprised to find out that Shamans in Korea are women. That this title and role in the community often passes from mother to daughter. But on occasion, there will be a woman who is not of shamanic lineage...she is called to this duty by a natural ability to communicate with the spirits of the ancestors...

Later in the day, a young woman came into the gallery. Although somewhat hesitant, she wanted to ask a question. Did I know of someone who might be willing to make a memorial quilt for her. Her husband, a member of the military, had recently died in action. She had his uniform and some of his clothes and could not bear the thought of giving or throwing them away.

I immediately thought of the wonderful quilting couple, Sue and Gene, who had just taken my weekend workshop. The words that best describe these two are warm and generous. They work together to create commemorative quilts and what I can best describe as healing quilts. I was most moved by the quilts they make for very young terminally ill children. These are always butterfly quilts which comfort the children and later comfort the parents.

I sent them an email last night with the young woman's information. This morning, I received an email that they looked forward to getting in touch with the young widow.

All I can say is that perhaps a bit of shamanic magic was involved...or at least a little bit of healing magic.


  1. I came earlier, thought I left a message, then got caught up in some of your other posts. When I got back to the main part of this post, I see my comment got lost in the ether.

    I am a big fan of surface design, and have been looking around your blog. I'm now a real fan of your art and surface design techniques.

    I can't really remember what all I wrote, but I know I said I was green with envy over grass painting. Love the concept and it's now on my to-do list.

    1. Welcome and thanks for your comment! I remember that heading outside for some weed and grass rubbings was so much fun...should probably get to that again soon. You might like to take a look at past issues of my newsletter (see top right hand column) for more surface design techniques...It's a free newsletter in case you'd like to sign up. If you do some surface design on fabric let me know. I would love to see what you're up to.

  2. Magic in the air...a wonderful thought ...and a great post. Worth digging up again.

  3. Thanks for your comment on my Hidden Treasure post earlier. I'm so glad I popped over to discover another lover of fibre and textile art. I love how simple this technique is and I'm sure I'll be using it soon for one of my art quilts!

    1. I really enjoyed your post and other posts about creativity...hope to keep up with your blog in the future.

  4. Hi Julie! Loved the grass/week painting/printing! Right in my Art in Real Life wheelhouse! Summer project for sure. Thanks for stopping by my blog during Seth's Buried Treasure week. I am a little late digging in to the list. And the next time I am in the Torpedo Factory I will be sure to look for you. Lindi Art in Real Life

    1. Hi Linda- I still have to get to all the wonderful blogs on Seth's list! I'm glad you made it over here to visit. I checked out your upcoming workshops and they look really interesting. Please stop by Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery if your ever up at the Torpedo Factory...that's where I show my work.