Thursday, January 31, 2008


It has been brought to my attention that I didn't make this very clear!

I can trade ONE Fiber ATC per person.
I can trade ONE Fiber POSTCARD per person.

Obviously, a person can trade one of each....but not more than one of each.

I would really love, however, to start getting some ATCs with self-addressed, sufficiently stamped envelopes for the International Random drawing scheduled for Saturday, January 17, 2009....any media....flat....limit THREE! (We are working on PayPal for those out of the USA...although we can accept VISA/MC via private email. $5.00 for the first ATC return envelope and $2 for the second and $2 for the third!)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dale Rollerson and Sharon Boggon accept invitations to display!

There's just one more name on my "wish list" my dreams are nearly a complete reality! Dale Rollerson of The Thread Studio in Perth, Australia and the very famous Sharon B (Boggon) have accepted their invitations to display at CYBER FYBER. Of course, I will add to the invitational section of the exhibition after the August trip to Sweden. It is impossible to anticipate the best way to include art/artist(s) that show how an Internet relationship results in international travel before actually going!

Several weeks ago I planned to "officially" announce CYBER FYBER on Saturday, February 2. At the time, I didn't think I could get all the postcards and ATCs stitched, photographed, and uploaded before that time. I certainly didn't think as many invited artists would have agreed to participate. I thought I'd be pulling my hair out frantically trying to prepare for an Internet launch. Instead, I'm waiting. I'm ready. I'm eager for Saturday...though, admittedly, a bit nervous. It's an excited sort of nervousness I'm anxious to enjoy.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Acceptances and trading

All the personal messages have been sent to those on my "Wish List". There are only three more artists from whom I've not heard...but its been only about twenty-four hours! I'm nervous but thrilled to announce that Jacqueline de Jong, Arlee Barr, and Beate Knapp have accepted their invitations to exhibit.

Beate Knapp's acceptance has really touched my heart because it was made with a huge leap of faith. Although I speak some German, I cannot write adequately in German. Without understanding the fine details, Beate accepted anyway. Fortunately, I have a dear friend Britta Cruz who now lives in Chicago. Britta was born and raised in Germany, has lived in Spain (and speaks Spanish fluently), and now resides with an adopted daughter (3 years old) and newly born twins, Aiden and Mia. Britta is a great ceramicist who also spins, knits, and expresses herself with fibers. I emailed my letter, Beate's response, and the link to CYBER FYBER. Within a few hours, Britta was typing to Beate. Britta is also now trading a postcard, and I am absolutely thrilled at the idea of having Beate's wonderful work in the exhibition! This is just another wonderful way in which the Internet has formed a supportive, global community for fiber artists.

Britta also let me know that she has work in the newly published book by Pluckfluff

INTERTWINED: The Art of Handspun Yarn, Modern Patterns and Creative Spinning

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More Acceptances and first trades!

Well...let's see...Nikki Wheeler accepted her invitation to participate in CYBER FYBER. Doreen Grey also accepted. That meant yesterday was a great day.

Dianne McGarth worked with me on the first fiber postcard trade and the first fiber ATC trade. They serve as an example. I took the first envelope to the post office and learned all about the costs of overseas shipping...information for ATC Trading Day and the International Random ATC Trade! That meant yesterday was a great day.

Corinne Stubson mentioned CYBER FYBER on her blog which resulted in a traded postcard with Dawn Sellers...before I got the starting day posted! Dawn provided some cool links to another fiber postcard group. That meant yesterday was a great day.

Before going to bed last night I checked the CYBER FYBER email...Dijanne Cevaal accepted my invitation. I hadn't even gotten up the courage to write to her yet! Now, that meant yesterday was a great day.

Today started out really well too. Peggy at Creative Sewing responded enthusiastically to my email about CYBER FYBER....hopefully, this means I'll have a business partner for Saturday, January 9, 2009, FIBER DAY!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Artists Accept Invitations and All Postcards Are Up!

I've written a few more personal emails to some of the artists on my "Wish List". Susan Sorrell and Veleta Staffney of Sammy's Stuff have accepted! I'm thrilled. I also wrote to Creative Sewing suggesting a partnership called "Fiber Day", January 9, 2009. I've got my fingers crossed.

I made arrangements with Dianne to conduct the first trade for the ATCs and the there is now and example of each trade! Plus, all 163 postcards are now pictured!

This is exciting. I'm still a bit nervous...but...It's exciting!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Corrine Stubson Accepts Invitation!

More good news! Corrine Stubson has graciously agreed to display one of her incredible books at CYBER FYBER!

ATCs finished and Penny Sisto joins Invitational Art

Who would have ever guessed that eBlogger requires a word verification on each post past the first fifty during twenty-four hours! This it not deter me. Today, the ATCs were all posted...all 130 of them. Better news: Penny Sisto agreed to send two artquilts from her fabulous Slavery Series for the Invitational Art Section of CYBER FYBER.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

ATCs and remaining postcards have been photographed

(Click on image to enlarge. This is how the ATCs are organized.)

There's done! There are now 163 postcards and 130 ATCs. I've got them all photographed and organized. Tomorrow, I'll start color & contract corrections, reformatting, and uploading them. I'm getting more and more nervous. I hope people want to trade. The faster I work, the sooner I'll know!

Friday, January 18, 2008

130 Postcards on view

There are now 130 postcards on view! I'm still finishing the two dozen others I've started and the four dozen more ATCs. Hopefully, I'll be photographing the ATCs and these remaining postcards by tomorrow.

Doreen caught all sorts of spelling errors. These have been corrected. My sister Wanda viewed this site and accepted her invitation to exhibit in that portion of the show...leaving the first comment. I'm starting to get worried...wondering...will anyone really want to trade with me? I sure hope so; I'm just excited and with this comes a case of "nerves".

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Postcard system

This afternoon I continued uploading each postcard onto the postcard blog. I thought I'd share my "system". Each postcard is filed and labeled with the same number used on the postcard blog. So far, I've posted the first 65...halfway there. Now it's time for me to go to the studio and get some ART done!

I've fixed the site meters. I still have to add the three other people, including Doreen, to the invitational wish list. I also must create a connected blog for ATC Trading Day and the information for the international ATC random trade. So far, Robert Kennedy, Stephen Chesley, Sharon Licata, Pat Callahan and Jeff Donovan has agreed to create ATCs from Vista Studio to start the random trade off. They're the only ones I've seen to ask, so this is a positive response.

I'll start the ATCs photos when the postcards are done...but I still have about two dozen more postcards and four dozen more ATCs waiting for edging in my studio. There's so much to do...but it is also time to share this with Doreen...before it becomes overwhelming to proofread. I'm going to send her a message before I leave for the studio.

Uploading pictures

(Above: Photo of the backs of several ATCs being signed and dated in free motion embroidered stitches. Most of the postcard backs were done the same way.)

I'm taking a break from uploading the postcard images. It is going very well though. I noticed that my site meters are applied incorrectly. Somehow I managed to get only the site meter to the main blog all the connected blogs too. I'll have to look into this. More postcards will be uploaded later in the afternoon.

Monday, January 14, 2008

From focal point to fiber postcards

(Click on image to enlarge.)

It seems like ages ago when I made this piece. In truth, it was the first piece I finished in January 2004...only four years ago. I called it Last Light Before Vespers. It measured 35" x 40" and was made by applying chiffon backed with unpainted Wonder Under to a large piece of polyester. The design was first affixed to that polyester using heat-activated transfer paints. I pieced together several sheer, black chiffon scarves over the entire work and added the details in free motion embroidery using a variegated thread. At the time, it was an "important" piece. I needed it. I was about to have my first solo show. Sure, it wasn't a "big deal" in the art community...but it was a big deal to me. The show was at Spartanburg Day School...a beautiful, friendly, and wealthy private institution with a great art center. The school printed and mailed color invitations, hosted a reception with live music, and hired me to teach their upper school students for two weeks as an artist-in-residence. It was an enchanting experience. I will be forever grateful...and I knew I needed something "BIG" for the exhibition. All the other work was 21" x 17"...smaller. The art center was BIG. I needed a BIG focal piece. Last Lights at Vespers was it. It looked fantastic...right in the middle of the large wall. I also used the piece in my solo exhibition at the Sumter Museum of Art, in Blues Chapel, my installation. Yet, I won't need it for Blues Chapel in Pickens this coming summer. The piece is too old to submit for other venues. It is too big for many other opportunities. It's been collecting dust in the back room for over a year. The frame was damaged...but the blue linen liner and the gold inner liner might look great if cut down on another piece I'm currently stitching. So, it was time to remove it from the frame. It was time for it to find a new become POSTCARDS...forty-five or so postcards and several ATCs. Funny, I like it better as postcards than I ever did as a whole work...despite all the memories!

Creating the work

Doreen G. is one of the only people who know about my plans for Cyber Fyber. She and Jean Bourque have agreed to proofread and advise me along the way...helping to make this exhibition successful. I am very, very grateful. I sent Doreen this image the other day and thought I had about forty or so postcards. After this weekend, I thought I had almost 100 least 90. Well, I can't count.

Today, I photographed all the postcards individually, color & contrast corrected each one, reformatted and numbered each image and started to post them on the connected blog for the postcards....there are 130...roughly 30 to 40 more than I thought. There are also two dozen more waiting to be edged in my studio. I think this is quite adequate for now!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thoughts over the weekend, Jan. 12 and 13, 2008

(Above: I can't stand the edges of the postcards and ATCs. They just won't zigzag perfectly...or at least I can't make them perfect. The corners aren't lovely. The layers show on the sides. Yet, Kate North told me that "anything goes", that means paint. I've painted the edges of almost every postcard and ATC I've created...filled in the corners...made them "pretty". Above and below are pictures of the pieces I made this weekend...drying outside my studio door.)

Last weekend I decided to make my idea for an exhibition a reality. I decided that I would mount an exhibition called CYBER FYBER. I booked the dates for the show and I started making postcards and ATCs for trade. Throughout the week I've had to spend most of every day at Mouse House, my business, framing pictures...but my mind has been on CYBER FYBER. Every spare moment was spent on the computer, creating these blogs and my "wish lists". My late afternoons were spent back in the studio...cutting up older work for even more postcards and ATCs. It's been invigorating.

Today and yesterday were glorious weekend hours...full days in my studio...making postcards and ATCs. There's nearly 100 postcards and about 70 ATCs now. About two dozen more postcards and four dozen more ATCs are just waiting to be edged. I pinned up row after row of them in the gallery and shot pictures...suggestions for the exhibition to come.

I posted a picture on my blog about painted Wonder Under (Bond-a-Web) if this was how I spent my time. Truthfully, it takes me about an hour to paint a bolt of Wonder Under and clean up the brushes. Honestly, I was just trying to maintain my blog while subtly showing off the fabulous gallery that will host CYBER FYBER. I was also thinking...thinking about the things I need to do.

I need to select a blogger I've regularly read that successfully and beautifully can contribute a piece showing last year's "Take a Stitch Tuesday" challenge. There was a blogger making a book of all 52 weeks...who was she? Can I find this again? Who should I can't be Sharon B's blog because I need to add her to the invitational show for her new design challenge. There is also at least one other person to invite...Doreen G. She exemplifies the best reason for reaching out to a cyber community...friendship.

Doreen reads my blog, comments regularly, writes personal messages of support. She responded immediately to my half-hearted post about the "possibility" of trading Christmas ornaments. She provided most of the physical addresses I needed in order to surprise other bloggers with my first (rather poor) attempt at making postcards...Christmas gifts. She sent me the only ATC (other than my own) that I currently own. She's agreed to proof read and help with CYBER FYBER. I don't think she's on the Fiber Arts Friends blogring....she's just a TRUE FRIEND, who happens to live half way around the world.

To change the subject, I've also been thinking about contracts. I'll need to revise one of the contracts I've signed in order to establish a professional relationship with the invited artists. I've been thinking of the things I'd like to see in this contract if I were being invited. Obviously, dates of the show, deadlines for sending the art, time table for return of the art, insurance, return postage arrangements, invitation allotments, publicity matters....this is going to be hard, but I'm going to try my best to make this the sort of show I'd be honored to be in. The biggest problem is insurance. I don't know if it is even possible, but I do know a prominent, local artist with an insurance agent for a husband (my life insurance agent). There must be a way...but will it be affordable? I'd like to pay for all return shipments...but this would depend upon funding. I will be seeking funding...but how can I say that I'll provide it if I can't get it covered? I don't know but I'll work on this...personally, one-on-one with the invited artists...if each one gives me a chance...if they don't laugh first and say "no". I wouldn't say "no"...but I'm a risk taker and "hungry" for opportunities, willing to try anything with even a slight chance at promoting my art. I just don't know how some of these better known, more important artists will take my invitation. I do know that I'll work hard for them...for us...afterall, I am going to be part of this!

That's about it for today....yes, this entry is an exercise in "stream-of-consciousness" writing...just typing out what comes to editing...sharing my concerns, my plans, my hopes....hoping that the words ring with the sincerity of my convictions. Thankfully, I type fast...really fast.

Oh, one more thing for the record...Penny Sisto emailed me. Now, this is the Internet in action. She doesn't even have a blog. She has a website. Her granddaughter dances ballet. Her daughter mentioned her fiber arts when I read the posts on Ballet Talk for Dancers. Of course, I looked her up. Of course, we communicated through emails. Of course I've checked out her new series of art quilts. Of course I put her on my "wish list" for the invitational artwork. Evidently, she noticed CYBER FYBER on her site's meter. She emailed me today....oh, the power of the Internet...oh, the reach of a supportive, global community.

(Above: The stack of postcards made on Saturday...after the painted edges dried on Sunday!)

Friday, January 11, 2008


While I was working in my studio, I began to think about how an exhibition like CYBER FYBER ought to be organized...and why people would come....and how I could best represent the effects of the Internet/blogging on my art...what the purpose of the exhibition was...and when the show ought to be held. Selecting the dates was the only easy thing.

The purpose became clearer and clearer...the purpose of this exhibition is to show viewers how access to the Internet can create a supportive, global community. By using me and my art as the example, viewers will see how such exposure changes a person, an artist, and might even change the viewer.

In order to best communicate this purpose, one thing became quite clear. I'd need Internet access during the exhibition. There will be at least two laptop computers available for viewer use...for viewers to post comments on the blogs of the participating artists. More than anything else, this will be FUN! Creating a cyber community is FUN! Viewers become participants. The purpose is met.

Next, the community I've established would need a physical presence...and the various aspects of this community as it applies to me would need physical definition. What does that mean? I'd need to show off work by as many cyber fiber friends as possible. I'd need to show specific reasons why this community is important to me and my work.

Well, the fiber postcard and fiber ATCs trades should certainly show off works of an international community of blogging fiber'll likely expand my community too! I didn't want to ask people to send something for nothing...hence, the trade! If this works well, I could need lots more fiber postcards and ATCs!

The trickier part, however, was showing specific examples/benefits of blogging. I had to think a long, long time because there are so many good examples, talented stitchers, fabulous pieces....and I know I couldn't include them all. This was going to have to be invited work. This was going to be hard...asking myself tough questions, picking some, not picking others. I'll never want to be a juror now. I've learned a lot of respect for those who curate, those who jury, and those who make these difficult decisions.

I've got my WISH LIST. I hope each artist says "yes". I am certainly willing to entertain other ideas!

WISH LIST (in no particular order)
Corrine Stubson, as an example of fiber books
Penny Sisto, an an example of finding a fiber artist through a non-fiber but computer communication (We are everywhere!)
Beate Knappe, as an example of an embellisher
Dijanne Cevaal, as an example of an international artist/curator and the first fiber blog I ever followed
Veleta of Sammy's Stuff, as an example of a beader
Jill Rumoshosky Werner, as an example of a conceptual fiber artist and communication from a former fiber forum
Nikki Wheeler, as an example of "inches" and "fabric paper"
Lynda Monk, as an example of a professional level student (City and Guilds) and writer of free on-line tutorials
Susan Sorrell, as an example of an Internet fiber instructor
Arlee Barr, as an example of a small group/RR organizer and how community is established in remote areas
Dale Rollerson, as an example of a supplier
Maggie Grey, as an example of a published author and for her close association with Valerie Campbell-Harding
Jacqueline de Jong, as an example of experimental techniques influencing work
Wanda Lenz, as an example of family communication

ATC Trading Day/Lunch with Jean Bourque

I invited Jean Bourque to lunch earlier in the week. Jean is a passionate artist who also has a very informative blog, especially for artists living in the Midlands of South Carolina. Jean belongs to several local art guilds, knows all sorts of art teachers, is professionally organized, often works with fibers, and was an excellent person with whom to share a meal and discuss CYBER FYBER. Jean has agreed to help promote the exhibition on her blog and through her many contacts. This is going to be really important for the success of ATC Trading Day, Saturday, January 17, 2009.

This is the vision for that important part of CYBER FYBER: An afternoon get-together for artists of all ages and media trading ATCs. ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. They are all 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". They can be in any media. Obviously, the success of such an event depends on artist participation. That, of course, means that local artists will need to understand what an ATC is, make them, and come to trade them. I've already got a few of the artists at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios willing to participate. I'm counting on Jean to spread the word...especially next fall!

Now, how can artists in other areas participate......INTERNATIONAL RANDOM ATC TRADE!

Yes, Part of ATC Trading Day on January 17, 2009 at Gallery 80808, 808 Lady Street in Columbia will allow artists from all over the world to send an ATC for trade. Those in the USA will need to send a signed ATC and a self-addressed, sufficently stamped envelope. Those outside of USA will need to send an signed ATC and arrange (via private email) a $5.00 US VISA/MC payment through Mouse House (my business) in order for me to generate the stamped envelope! During ATC Trading Day, January 17, 2009 we will randomly pull the ATCs and stuff the envelopes. Everyone that sends an ATC will receive someone else's ATC...a trade! ALL long as it is flat enough to go in a paper envelope. This is going to be fun. I plan on inviting various ATC trading groups in the USA and abroad to participate.

Getting Started

The idea for this exhibition isn't entirely mine. It started with a conversation in my studio. Janet Kozachek, a mosaic artist from Orangeburg, suggested a show of artists that blog. The idea was a great start but too large for a single show. I asked her how she planned to focus such an exhibit. She wanted "good writers". That sounded funny to me. Too many of my favorite blogs are written in the author's second language, with help of an on-line translator that doesn't quite get all the words and doesn't understand all the grammar...but the content is still outstanding...and there are blogrings for writers. I said something like, "Janet, if I were you, I'd focus on either South Carolina artists who blog or mosaic artists that blog".

To the best of my knowledge, nothing ever developed after this conversation other than a seed sprouting in the back of my mind. I kept hearing that seed's voice, "What about fiber artists that blog?" By January, I knew I was going to take the idea forward. I knew I wanted an exhibit to show people how access to the Internet changed my art; created my supportive, global community; and how FUN it all is! I'd opened "Pandora's Box".... I was going to show the magically things inside. CYBER FYBER was about to be born.