Category Archives: Art

Craft in America: The “Threads” Epsiode

Watch Threads Episode Preview on PBS. See more from Craft in America.

Friday night I had the chance to catch the latest episode of Craft in America on PBS and was very excited to see the episode was entitled “Threads.”

For those of you not familiar with Craft in America, this has been on for a few seasons now and showcases different artists, their influences, what drew them to their medium, and so on. It is a very interesting show!

The “Threads” episode highlighted four different artists and focused on weaving and storytelling through quilts. The four artists all come from different backgrounds and points of inspiration in their lives. Each artist uses their life experiences and view of the world to create amazing fiber art. The work highlighted in this episode was just amazing!

I especially enjoyed leaning about the works of Terese Agnew and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood. Among many different inspirations, Terese has a special focus on the outdoors, which I of course just loved and Consuelo used a variety of different media, such wire, in her work, which I love to do as well!

I hope you consider checking out the episode as well as the series. It is a great offering on PBS and you will certainly not be disappointed!

Network Charity Brunch and Arts/Crafts Sale in Denville 2/26

On Sunday, February 26th, I hope you consider attending a Network Charity Brunch and Arts/Crafts Sale in Denville. The event includes a medical lecture, chamber music, light luncheon, and an arts and crafts sale – all free! The complete event is listed below, if you would like to attend, please RSVP to 973-994-2484 and tell them you are my guest. I hope you decide to attend!

Urban Auditorium: Saint Clares Hospital, 25 Pocono Road, Denville, NJ
Lecture: Pediatric Injuries: Concussion by Rositta Michael, M. D., F.A.A.P.
Permanent Make-Up: Scar Camouflage by MaryAnn Velardi, Dermatechnician
Plastic Surgery: Trauma and Scars, Lorelle N. Michelson, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Tribute: The Center for Food Action
Musical Selections: The West Essex Chamber Players

Shopping opportunities: Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten, Fiber Artist; Anne Woodman Jewelry Design; Artisan Silk Flowers and Wreaths; Baubles Beads & Gemstones; Handmade, One-Of-A-Kind Jewelry by Ms. Barbara Bloom; Christabel Unique Concepts in Glass Jewelry; Ganise Creations…because jewelry ought to be fun!; Gem-N-I Fine Jewelry; Gina Bratter Designs One-of-a-Kind Art To Wear…Jewelry, Clothing, Accessories; Glam Sucre Fashion Jewelry; Healthy Changes Health and Wellness Center Personal Growth, Development and Hypnosis; House of Treasures Lavender & Eucalyptus Bath & Body Products / Spa Wraps / Masks; Jeanette’s Jewelry; Lia Sophia; Linda’s Things Custom-made stationery, decor and gifts; Mary Kay; Sachi of Tokyo Exotic Handcrafted Purses; Scentsy: Grissel & Dee; Silpada, .925 Sterling Silver Jewelry; Sophia’s Salts and Spices;; Stella & Dot Trendy Jewelry, Handbags and Accessories

Review of Sticks, Hooks & Mobius

sticks, hooks, and the mobiusEarlier this month, the show Sticks, Hooks & Mobius: Knit and Crochet Go Cerebral opened at Lafayette College. I was honored to have four pieces accepted for inclusion in the show. I went to the opening and was excited to not only meet other fiber artists, but to see the amazing creativity that was part of the exhibit!

When you first pull up tot he Lafayette College campus, you see the organized yarn bombing event. The exhibit kicks off with a “yarn bombing” at noon on Sunday, Jan. 8 led by guest curator Susan Huxley of Easton. Huxley has been collecting afghans from thrift shops for the past six months. Members of the Lafayette and Easton communities are invited to help attach the afghans to the handrail of the lafayette college yarn bombingstaircase that links North Third Street to Lafayette’s campus as a symbol of unity. The colorful afghans will also add beauty to a stark urban landscape, a primary goal of the worldwide “yarn bombing/knit graffiti” phenomenon.

The exhibit itself shows the amazing creativity of those who work with hooks and needles. I certainly enjoyed wandering the exhibit and looking at all the different works that were accepted into the show.

albert einsteinOne of the most amazing pieces is a lap-blanket-size Albert Einstein. When you look it at straight, it looks just like a brown and off-white blanket. However, when you look at it on an angle, you see Mr. Einstein. I have no idea how that works, but it is amazing!

Of all the pieces I had accepted, I think my favorite is my motherboard. Someone once described me as a “digital personality with analog hobbies.” While I never liked the person who told me motherboardthat, the description definitely fits. My motherboard allowed me to artistically combine my two sides.

I am in complete awe of the pieces that are a part of this show. Guest Curator Susan Huxley has done an amazing job pulling this show all together. All the photos I took at the show can be found at my Facebook page. The show is open until February 5th. I hope you consider going to see all the amazing creative pieces that are a part of the show.

Sticks, Hooks, and the Mobius: Knit and Crochet Go Cerebral

On Sunday, January 8th, an interesting exhibit opens at the Williams Center Gallery on the campus of Lafayette College in Easton, PA.

Sticks, Hooks, and the Mobius: Knit and Crochet Go Cerebral will begin with a “yarn bombing event” at noon and then the exhibit opens at 2:00 p.m. I am very excited about this exhibit, as this is my first juried exhibit! I have four pieces that will be on display.

My wonderful husband Glenn and I will be attending the exhibit opening on Sunday and I will be posting photos afterward. If you have time to check out the exhibition, I hope you do! The exhibition will be open until February 5th.

What are Your Fiber Art Goals for 2011?

As 2010 draws to a close, many of us start to make goals for the next year. Along with the usual wants like “lose weight” or “exercise more,” I think about what fiber arts goals I would like for 2011.

So what are my goals? I want to find more time to spin as well as improve my spinning skills. This year I haven’t had anywhere near enough time to spin, so that is right at the top of my list.

Next, I want to actually crochet (and finish!) a pair of socks. Yes, I know this sounds a tad silly, but I can’t tell you how many socks that start out, well, as socks and end up as wrist warmers!

I want to spend more time being creative. That means developing more patterns, focusing on my free form and felting and writing more fiber-focused articles.

So, I would say those are my three main fiber goals for 2011. What are your 2011 fiber goals?

Happy Halloween!

knit skeletonOK, I’ll admit it. I really like Halloween. Not sure why. I don’t like the gross part. I like seeing the kids dress up, going to my condo’s Halloween party and the historical aspect of the day. It is a lot of fun.

I don’t ever remember doing a Halloween-theme project, which is kind of funny to me. I’ll have to remember that for next year. I did, however, see a project that is simply amazing! It is a completely knit skeleton, so I wanted to share it here.knit skeleton

This amazing piece was created by Ben Cuevas and while he was an artist in residence at the  Wassaic Project, an arts collective and residency program located in New York state. The amazing piece of fiber arts was exhibited at the Wassaic Project Summer Music and Arts Festival.

I hope you check out more of Ben’s amazing work. He is an amazing artist!

Happy Halloween!

Join Me at the Ringwood Farmer’s Market August 7

This Saturday, August 7, 2010, I will be at the Ringwood Farmers’ Market and Artisan Sale! This will be my first time at this event and I hear it is just great! The even runs from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. this Saturday, rain or shine.

In additional to fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits, local artisans will have many different items available for purchase, including pottery, jewelry, pet items, woodworking, and of course crochet and knitted items!

The Ringwood Farmers’ Market and Artisan Sale is sponsored by Eat Local, Inc., who works to educate the public on the importance of eating locally grown foods, provide access to local foods, support local farmers, and cultivate a community in which the values of eating locally are promoted and celebrated.

I hope you can stop by and say hi!

Free Form 2010: Somewhere In My World

Somewhere in my worldI am proud to announce the launch of the 2010 International Freeform Crochet Guild Project: Somewhere in My World!

The 2010 International Freeform Guild’s show, Somewhere in My World includes 61 freeform fiber artists from all around the globe.
The artists were given the choice of creating one freeform piece interpreting the theme. The artists were not restricted to scrumbles and many of the pieces are wearable art and sculptural as well. None of the artists saw each others pieces until this online show.

Later this year, the entire online show will be available for purchase in book form. The proceeds of the book will benefit KIVA and to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Stay tuned for purchase information.

Somewhere in my world

Learning Free Form Crochet From the Master – Prudence Mapstone

Even Ghandi was cold today!

Today I had the pleasure of finally having the opportunity to take a free form class with one of the masters of the art — Prudence Mapstone! I have had the opportunity to get to know Prudence over the last few years and couldn’t wait to hear about her process directly from her. It was quite cold when I left the house (10 degrees Fahrenheit) this morning at 5:45 a.m. to meet up with a fellow free form buddy to catch the bus to New York City.

Within the hour we were a few blocks from the Lion Brand Yarn Studio enjoying a wonderful breakfast! Afterward we headed out into the wind and cold to walk the last few blocks to the Studio. We arrived at 9:25 a.m. for our class. To our disappointment, the woman working refused to let us in saying we were there too early. We tried to explain that we were told by arrive by 9:30 a.m., but she was adamant and wouldn’t let us in and said to come back at class time. Annoyed and cold, we walked another block to a coffee shop and sat another little bit to sit and warm up. We let 15 minutes pass and decided to walk back and tell her that if class is supposed to start at 10:00 a.m., they would have to let us in ahead of time to be ready. Well, to our surprise, the shop was already bustling! I was quite miffed! When I asked why it was now OK, she said (and I quote), “well, you got here at 9:25 and I wasn’t opening the doors until 9:30.” Um, really? She knew I was less than pleased and ignored her and headed over to see the person I wanted to see and visit with most of all…Prudence!

We all immediately started chatting at once like school girls! It was wonderful! After a quick catch-up, we settled down, ready to begin.

Prudence’s amazing wall hanging!

She already had some of her wonderful scrumbles out, her wraps, beautiful coats and an amazing new wall hanging!

I cannot describe how helpful her guidance for free form projects was today! She shared how she develops her scrumbles, assembles her garments and connect scrumbles to each other. At one point I became somewhat stuck with the piece I was working on when I asked her for assistance. She simply said “it has finished telling you what to do with that piece right now–put it aside and start another one.” She also advised to never pull apart a scrumble because you don’t like it at the moment. Set it aside and start a new piece. It has finished “speaking to you” at the moment. Give it some time…a few days to even when you are ready to do something with all your pieces. You never know how they will all work together!


One of Prudence’s amazing scrumbles!

The hours passed by quicker than you could imagine. After a few quick purchases, the ladies of the International Free Form Crochet Guild posed for a few photos. We said our goodbyes so Prudence could prepare for her afternoon class and headed into the cold again (now a balmy 30 degrees) to catch the bus back to New Jersey.

I cannot thank Prudence enough for her time, her encouragement and her creative thought process. I plan to send her photos as my scrumbles progress and turn into whatever they tell me they should be!

If you would like to see more photos of today’s class, please join my Facebook page.

Peter’s Valley Looses State Funding

The following is an email that was sent out from Peter’s Valley Craft Center in Layton, NJ. Bottom line is that they lost $78,000 in funding from the state. It would be a terrible thing is New Jersey and the art community as a whole looses this wonderful resource! If you can help, I urge you to make a donation…every little bit counts!

Dear Friends of Peters Valley,

We have a crisis! On Friday, December 4th, we received the news that our $78,000 grant from New Jersey has been frozen. No information is available about if or when it will be re-established.

The loss of the New Jersey funding on top of the short fall of workshop income and reduced expectations for future funding has created a serious financial crisis. We have taken immediate steps to restructure to improve our financial stability and to function during these difficult economic times with reduced  income, but need additional help now.

With your help and our belt tightening program, we can survive the next few months, until workshop revenues begin  to arrive.

Our board has been generously supportive. Please join them with your donation.

Donations of $500 or more will receive a special thank you gift of a signed pottery piece by Bruce Dehnert.  Bruce is head of our ceramics department and a well known ceramic artist.

Additionally we will give a special thanks to all supporters with a listing on our website.

We truly need your help now and your support is deeply appreciated.

Kristin Muller
Executive Director
Peters Valley Craft Center
19 Kuhn Road
Layton, NJ 07851
973-948-5200  ext. 201