Friday, January 9, 2015


as anyone who has read my blogs know I have a love/hate relationship with all things social media!!!  
I understand it's perks but I am very suspicious of the black hole of time is can be and how social media fans the flames of comparison and create even more internal strive.

'studio light . . . ' vlf©2015

and I am totally addicted to Pinterest (I swear it is my crack cocaine)!!! 

just a fraction of my boards . . .  click here to see them all

I have always LOVED blogging, this blog was my first foray into the 'social' cyber-world!!  

And now I see that my Art & Inspiration page on FaceBook has almost 400 followers!!! 
'guppy . . . ' #fromthelandofdragons ©2014
That is cool!!! 
So thank you all for the 'likes'!! That is one of the perks of social media, these venues bring like minded people together.  The people who like my FB page are interested in the going-ons of my studio and my work. That is a wonderful, wonderful gift to an artist!!! 

thank you and peace . . . .

Friday, January 2, 2015

the two sides of procrastination . . . .

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably
the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” Jessica Hische
'always beginning . . .'  © v.fitzgerald 2015
if the above quote is true then i am supposed to be creating for the rest of my life!!! 
'no nitrates added . . . ' made while cooking breakfast for the girls.
and they wondering why there meals take so long!!!!
I am the queen of 'productive procrastination'!!!! 
but if we factor in what ms. Hische says, then maybe my procrastination has 
been some much needed research for where to put my time and energy, especially now$$

And as not to procrastinate even more with a lengthy post
 (i have other places that i need to be) . . .
here is a quick visual tour of what i have been doing instead of my paying gig!!! :D

first, a quick doodle turned into an entire day affair - working on 
hand-lettering and experimenting in photoshop (and loving it!!!!)!!
and voila at midnight last night i finished 'always beginning . . .'
'winter wonderland ball gown . . . ' #faeriecouture #scruffywalk
then there is my ongoing and omnipresent obsession with the dress . . .
I wonder if other mothers get distracted by the idea that 
bacon strips would make an awesome skirt??
'janus . . . ' #fromthelandofdragons
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus  is the god of beginnings and transitions, and thereby of gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus, but according to ancient Roman farmers' almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month.
Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace. The doors of his temple were open in time of war, and closed to mark the peace. As a god of transitions, he had functions pertaining to birth and to journeys and exchange, and in his association with Portunus, a similar harbor and gateway god, he was concerned with travelling, trading and shipping. (thank you wikipedia)
'yearning . . . ' #fromthelandofdragons #scruffywalk
and then there is a love for photographing nature, 
story-telling and my beloved #landofthedragons!

so i gather from these different activities, produced in just the last few days,
 shows my deep desire and need to create!!! 
when i procrastinate I create . . . 

but then there is the other view of procrastination: 
time thief, black hole of inspiration, a scapegoat . . . .

“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, 
just keep putting off doing it.”
– Olin Miller

so ciao for now, 
I'm off to the studio!!! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

wishing you a . . .

very happy 2015!!!
may it be a year full of creativity, love, kindness, 
good health & good friends!
may it be overflowing with passion, clarity, 
strength, joy, compassion and magic!!

and for you  . . .  a printable calendar for january. 
i found this quote to be amazingly transformative . . .

to print this calendar either double click on the above image and print
where you can download the calendar

namaste & peace on earth!! ~ Virginia

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

note to self: trust the process

© virginiafitzgerald 2014
as I was doing my version of 'morning pages' I caught myself suddenly getting anxious, my head and heart began to whirl not knowing where to put my focus and energy . . .

but then I remembered my intention to be more mindful, present in this moment, this breathe and I doodled myself this reminder:

trust the process.

The act of doodling brought me back to my kitchen table
and soothed my anxiety!!!
( I think this could be the reason zentangle could be so popular.)
I reminded myself that stress and worry is not going to help,
and that i just need to trust myself and my journey.

As I sat with that idea I realized that this was a good thought to share, especially as the end of the year looms and the need to tie up loose ends can be suffocating.

So I expanded my doodle to a pencil drawing, scanned it and worked on it in photoshop (a technique i wish to learn more about in the coming year) and voila!!!

And as I trusted the process my day,
so far, has unfolded in
a pleasant and productive way
without me stressing and worrying . . .

(note to self :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday LOVE #fromthelandofdragons and virginia fitzgerald (me)

(In the virginia fitzgerald tradition of best laid plans but that is a longer story which I have posted below.) 
can't look (2014) #fromthelandofdragons
But in brief . . . as a way to THANK everyone who has been so responsive and encouraging about my most recent obsession, my #fromthelandofdragons series, I wish to offer 4 of the top favorite images, matted and frame ready for a holiday special price of $48 (including shipping). Click HERE to go to web site: Link

I will be running this offer through the end of the year, however for those who may want to gift one of these print I will be send your orders out on Saturday/priority mail. 
More details and information is on the web page.
Any questions either leave a comment below or email me:
va.fitzgerald (at)
& now for those who are interested the longer story . . . 

In regards to the above mentioned, best laid plan . . . my 'plan' was to print some of some photos from my #fromthelandofdragons series in response to the many inquiries I have received about purchasing an image.  

In fact, I thought the holiday season would be the perfect time to roll out a collection from the series; cards, calendars, etc. . . 

However this idea was hijacked by life & a very stubborn case of bronchitis!, and here we are, in the midst of holiday celebration & cheer.  

But I did want to offer something who all those wonderful folks who have shown an interest on this latest obsession of mine and who have been so wonderfully supportive of this latest endeavor!!!

 SO I present to you, the first four prints #fromthelandofdragons!! These are four that have received the most inquires and 'likes' :) 

To see more of the series click here to visit my #fromthelandofdragons flickr album.  And if you want to read a bit about the series, please visit THIS post.  

And again thank you for all your encouragement to this series, it is a very special 'place' for me, my landofdragons.  Thank you and . . .

Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Winter Solstice or Shabe Yalda, Happy Celebration of Lights & Sinterklaas/ St. Nicholas' Day, Happy Newtonmas, Merry Christmas & Happy Boxing Day, Happy Kwanzaa,  Bodhi Day, Pancha Ganapati & Happy Festivus, Joyous Chalica and peace and love to all during this month of celebrations and good cheer!!! 

Blessed be ~ X

Friday, November 21, 2014

from the atelier, week #47 (aka a week in review)

This week i finished my latest #wellnesswrap,
finished for a friend who is fighting breast cancer.
this has been my response to the news 
of a friend battling cancer, 
i crochet . . .

 i start with a color and then the shawl grows  
organically  . . .
i am never quite sure 
where it will go. 

this one surprised me with a button and a collar.
below is a link about the first #wellnesswrap and the thoughts behind this practice:

also this week i received this picture of a card that i designed for a friend 
who lost her husband earlier this year. 
she has been a long time fan of my dailydress inspirations 
but we felt that a dress wouldn't be appropriate 
so i learned how to make an origami star. 
since she needed a good number of cards, 
i got them printed. 
i am so happy with the way the origami still has some of the 3D quality, 
i'm consider creating 
a set of quote and origami notecards . . .
any suggestions for which quotes to print?!?!?

'casted sun rise . . . .'
and to wrap up this w.i.r. 
here are some of this 
week's photos from my
 #fromthelandofdragons series
(especially for those of you not on FB and/or instagram . . . :) 

'one if these things is not like the others . . . ' 

'top of the morning' . . . '
thank you for visiting and peace . . .

if you have received this post as an email

click below to visit the entire blog, blog link

or click below to visit my FB art page:
virginia fitzgerald . . .art . . . inspiration . . . ink

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November . . . the month I take back my studio!!!

I was in my studio last week and I realized that it had been about 
one and a half years 
since I had last really worked there!!! 
(cringe, sob, faint!!!)
 NO MORE!!! 
This month I am #takingbackmystudio ~ 
and to start off this adventurous month, 
here is a printable calendar for us all . . .

I will be using it to keep track of all the coming days that I am going to my studio!!! 
And I plan to be posting visuals of this grand adventure on my instagram account 
with #takingbackmystudio, if you are curious . . . . 

to access this calendar either click on this link to go to Flickr 
where you can download the calendar or just click on 

the calendar above 
and then right click for the option to download the image.

If you are having any technical issues just leave me a comment and 
we will figure out what needs to be done :D

I hope you enjoy your calendar ~

Happy November and

Saturday, August 16, 2014

This story will bring you hope . . . .

“We’re not just sending dresses, we’re sending HOPE!” Little Dresses for Africa's website
Today I learned the inspiring story of Lillian Weber, a 99 year old woman who spends her days sewing beautiful dresses for little girls in Africa.  And once again I think to myself, 'the power of a dress'.
I have attached a video of her and the article from Station WQUAD8 , as well as the link to the charity "Little Dresses for Africa" AND the link to the pillowcase dress pattern they recommend as a dress to make, so you too can join Lillian.

I find this entire story so uplifting and hopeful at this time when news from around the world and home is so grim.  And for those who might scoff at the effects that little girl dresses can have on world matters  . . .
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
Girls are the future mothers of our society, and it is important that we focus on their well-being. Miriam Makeba
Research shows the presence of women raise the standards of ethical behavior and lowers corruption. Hillary Clinton 
In fact I was so moved that I m going to make a pillowcase dress (or more) and send it off, and/or host a dress making party!!  But for now cheer, cheer to Lillian Weber!!

or Click here to see the video

& here is the article from  WQUAD8's website :

Lillian Weber is on a mission.

Every day she makes another dress for a small child she’ll never meet.

“I could probably make two a day, but I only make one,” she says.

The dresses are collected and sent overseas to little girls in Africa by a Christian outreach group called “Little Dresses for Africa”.

“I have to be busy,” says Lillian.

And she’s been very busy.

In the past two years she’s made more than 840 dresses and she plans to make 150 more by May 6th of next year.

You see, by next May, Lillian will turn 100 years old and it will be her one thousandth dress.

“It’s just one of those things you learn how to do and enjoy,” she says.

In Lillian’s Scott County farm house are completed dresses for little girls, made from a pattern, but each with extra stitching and individual details, designed to give each child a little extra pride.

“She personalizes them all,” says Lillian’s daughter, Linda Purcell. “It’s not like good enough that she makes the dresses, she has to put something on the front to make it look special, to give it her touch.”

What started as a hobby has become a daily labor of love.

Lillian says she starts work on a dress in the morning, takes a break during the midday, and puts finishing touches in the afternoon.

“I just think she’s somebody to look up to, somebody whose not just sitting around and frittering her life away,” says Tonya Urbatsch, who nominated Lillian for the “Pay It Forward” award.

“I’m amazed at her every day,” adds Linda. “I’m very, very proud of my mother.”

Family and friends will continue to be proud of Lillian, well after her 1000th dress. After all, 1000 is just a number.

“When I get to that thousand, if I’m able to. I won’t quit. I’ll go at it again because there’s no reason to not do nothing.”

When Lillian is finished with her dresses, her daughters deliver them to a Davenport senior living apartment complex where a group of residents have a weekly sewing appointment to make dresses for the charitable organization.

“Little Dresses for Africa” is a Christian charitable organization founded in 2008 in Michigan.

Its founder, Rachel O’Neill, says 2.5 million dresses have been distributed.

The simple dresses are distributed to orphanages, churches, and schools in Africa.

Rachel says she’s traveling to Africa again in September 2014 and February 2015 and hopes to be able to present to a child one of the dresses personally made by Lillian.

Friday, August 15, 2014

IF: journey

mixed media collage: assignment was night traveling in eastern europe

 a weekly drawing challenge sponsored by Illustration Age, where every Friday a new topic is posted and illustrators from around the globe have one week to come up with their own unique interpretation and share it on the IF home page.

Off and on, over the years, I have participated in this creative illustration challenge. I would do it every week if I had 48+ hrs. in the day.  

IF has always been a touchstone for me, it gave me a opportunity to be creative. I would participate when I was in-between projects or generally at ~ sea creatively, which would accurately describe my current state.  

So when the IF email popped up in my inbox this morning, with the topic of JOURNEY
it felt like a sign.  

I am on a journey, a journey of self discovery and new direction.  I am taking stock to see which and where I go next, how to proceed, especially in the area of occupation, since I was a stay-at-home mom/artist who now needs to support herself and her girls, this is a tricky topic.

One possible career 'trajectory' that has recently been surfacing again and again 
when I ponder said future is:
Yes, even as I write it I feel a quickening.  

Now this is not a new desire, I have wanted to be an illustrator since I was a little girl, soaking up the riches of Richard ScarryMargaret Wise BrownMaurice Bernard SendakGarth Williams, Beatrix Potter and Joan Walsh Anglund (click on her name to go to the world of Joan Walsh Anglund :) to name a few.  

I spent hours racing through the halls and riding the elevators of the Plaza Hotel with Hilary Knight's Eloise, and days accompaning Dare Wright's Lonely Doll, Little Bear and Mr. Bear on their many adventures.

As I got older I realized that illustrations weren't only in books,and  I wanted to follow in the foot steps of Sandra Boyton, Sara Anderson or better yet, Lily Pulitzer, designing bold and colorful fabrics with her name hidden in every pattern - a creative puzzle of sorts.

My love of illustration has never waned, however it was damped by the foreboding reality of how impossible it is to become a financially successful illustrator. I took many an illustration course in New York, only to hear that your success is basically based on the chance that your portfolio lands on the top of the art director's desk the day she/he is looking for your particular style . . . it was grim.  

So I decided to make myself stand out from the sea of submissions by creating a name for myself in other creative fields, which I did, which I have, so . . .   

Now I don't believe that the destiny of being a financially solvent illustrator has changed, however I have changed and I have learned much, so . . .  

For now I am going to let this idea of illustrating percolate more, as I take some much needed time to assess.  But I do believe it was providence that I received this IF prompt today,  as it reminded me of a journey that I wish to take, a path that I long to follow.  

Happy Friday & peace . . . .

Friday, August 1, 2014

a gift for you . . .

Happy August!
Here is a printable calendar for you ~

click on above image and download it to you computer so you can print.
There is a longer story about august and this calendar on my Dailydress Inspiration blog, which some of you follow but for those who don't I wanted to share my dresscalendar with everyone. 

So if you need a calendar for your desk, refrigerator, car  . . . please enjoy this dresscalendar.  
I have loaded the calendar image to this blog at a high resolution, 
so you should  be able to click on the calendar and download it.  or visit my album dresscalendars on my flickr account.
It should fit on an 81/2 x 11 piece of paper, 
however I always click the printing option "scale to fit". 
(see picture below)

Please contact me if you are having problems and I can email it to you?!?! 
I am having a bit of trouble posting the dresscalendar so that others can download?!?! 
always more to learn . . .

so, happy august & let the dog days begin!! 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

women take yet, another hit! so the gloves come off . . .

"By suspending Rice for two games, a lighter sentence than players who smoke marijuana receive, the NFL’s leadership is sending a terrible message that violence against women doesn’t matter to the league." CREDO action
For many years I have been reluctant to be too political here, on my blog.  I appreciate that my work in has a political bent, especially in terms of the feminine experience.  However I have shied away from posting anything too controversial, too radical,  I have restrained myself from truly expressing my feelings but today I was pushed to far . . .
'in memory of . . . '

I was raised by a code of conduct that discourages being too political, too opinionated, especially if you were a women.  I was counseled against being outspoken or conspicuous, especially in matters of politics, I was taught not to offend or alienate.  So I treaded lightly, though I believe that my dressproject was my answer to these mandates and restraints.  With my dresses I 'cloaked' my opinions and thoughts.  My true beliefs were 'veiled' in a more acceptable, less threatening manner, they were presented in pretty packages. 
But today I am taking off the gloves, I can hold my proverbial tongue no longer!!

In the past weeks 'women', as a whole, as a collective, have taken hits (plural)! 

To name a few of the major setbacks :

April: Senate Republicans blocked legislation meant to close the pay gap between men and women.

By Sarah Baker, in response to the Supreme Court decision on Hobby Lobby.
July: the supreme court's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, basically saying corporations are more rights than women.  And that rulings has brought birth control and Roe vs Wade back into play.  

And this week the NLF has handed down a weak punishment to Ray Rice for the documented (click here to view video) assault of his fiancee and mother of his daughter Janay Palmer.  

click here to go to petition
The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell gave Rice a TWO- game suspension and a $58,000 fine. What I find so infuriating about this decision is that  this punishment is lighter that what a player who smoked marijuana would receive.  
What message is that sending out into the world??? It is worst to smoke marijuana than to beat a woman unconscious?!?!?
All of the above issues are high voltage topics and with many layers, they are not black and white.   In Ray Rice's case it is reported that both Rice and Palmer attacked each other and both were charged, although the charges against Palmer were dropped.  So Palmer wasn't completely innocent in this incident nor is she to blame for what happened to her (as some have insinuated).

What I need to express here is, regardless to the circumstances,  there is NO acceptable amount of physical violence unless the situation is life threatening, and I am thinking Rice 's life was NOT threatened.  Rice is a football player, which I am assuming means that he is physically fit and strong which makes physically attacking a woman wrong, even if this woman herself is physically fit and strong.  Rice should have known better! 

And to add to the savagery of the situation Rice beat up a woman he supposedly loved, a woman he was engaged to and the mother of his daughter!!! And now the NFL has basically said that is OK, this stuff happens, he is really an ok fellow!! 
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested over the weekend for allegedly getting into a physical fight with his fiancee at an Atlantic City casino. Pictured about in March 2013 with long-time girlfriend Janay Palmer and their daughter Rayven
Read more:
The NFL had a chance to really make a statement about physical abuse.  They could have taken this opportunity to tell their millions of fans, both men AND women, that hitting a woman is not acceptable!! That physical abuse to any loved one is unacceptable! But they didn't.  The punishment for this incident is less than the punishment that Rice would have received if he had been caught smoking marijuana (which, by the way, is now legal to smoke in some states) 

This week the NFL basically told the world that it isn't that bad to beat your fiancee unconscious. Not only is it not so bad to beat your partner unconscious, you don't even need to treat her unconscious body with respect -  Rice dragged Palmer's body out of the elevator,   he 
couldn't even carry her which would have eliminated his need to 'nudge' her with his foot to move her out of the way of the elevator doors?!?!? Or better yet, why didn't he call 911?!?! mother of your child is unconscious?? 

So I signed this petition put together by CREDO action a social change organization that supports activism and funds progressive nonprofits.  The petition basically says  "Enough’s enough: Tell NFL Commissioner Goodell to take violence against women seriously."

Below is my comment from when I shared the petition on FB and it was my questions about what is the reasoning behind the NFL being so feeble in their response to this incident is what drove me write this post.  
 Abuse of women must STOP!!
 It can NOT be acceptable in any context.  
Why is it so hard for this fact to be recognized?!?! 

And in fact, why are the basic rights of women under such attack recently, 
the right to feel safe, especially with the men in their lives; 
the right to make their own medical decisions about their own bodies 
the right to get paid a fair and equal salary for doing their job, 
all of the above would allow women the freedom 
to live the life they choose 
(hmmm . . . interesting?!?)
 to be continued . . . 
 FB comment:
Signed the petition!! however I am still absolutely sickened by the NFL's response ~ really!! here is an organization that could make a real statement about the horrors of violence against women that would reach so many men who need to hear that message, but alas they wimped out . . .  it makes me wonder why??? are they afraid of losing revenue?!? are they afraid that taking a stand for the basic safety and welfare of women would tarnish their reputation?!?! besides the weakness in their response it is just another example of what really drives our culture . . . money and fear.

link to page to sign petition

Friday, July 4, 2014

a day to celebrate freedom ? ?

Today is July 4th, Independence Day here in the states, a day we celebrate the freedoms we have?!?!?

Today I also learned about this tremendous project, Faces of Courage: Intimate Portraits of Women on the Edge, by Mark Tuschman, that is looking for funding via Kickstarter and I wanted to share this with you, today, as it is about freedoms; freedom from abuse, repression, and giving women and girls some say in their lives.
Here is the link to the kickstarter site and the video explaining the project.  I was truly moved by the presentation and feel that this is a worthy cause to support.

Faces of Courage:

And I feel that it is importnat to highlight the plight of women and girls around the world as we here in the USA, had a wake up call for women's rights this week.

Today, in the Boston area, Mother Nature presented us with a much quieter and thoughtful holiday, as the threat and rains of Hurricane Arthur cancelled fireworks, town common concerts and parades.
This dampened and subdued acknowledgement of our country's birth feels apropos in the light of recent supreme court rulings and the fall out and discussion following said decision.

This week I feel as though women's rights and freedoms took a serious blow. The Hobby Lobby ruling by the Supreme Court has so many ramifications for Women's Rights that we really should be acknowledging this day with our own revolution.

But that is not happening, there are many women and political groups making statements and making stands, however the silence from the majority of women, and men as well, really unnerves me. There is an apathy in our country which should scare all of us.  The pervasive thought that our opinion really doesn't matter, that the big machinery of government will do what it will regardless of our opinions is alarming.

To emphasize the danger of such apathy let me quote a man you may have heard of:

“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”

 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
Also, this case involved the word, birth control, which is such a minefield of emotion and religious zeal that it clouds the waters of any clear discussion of the facts. I have watched as well educated people turn this subject into the dos and don't of unwanted pregnancies - NOT THE POINT!!!

I was hesitant to write a post about this ruling and my opinions because I was taught to tread lightly when it concerns politics. That having a strong opinion about a hot topic could alienate people and somehow have some nasty backlash effect.  But this decision has infuriated me and, at its core, it threatens the rights of my daughters and all women.  This ruling has opened the floodgates to more scrutiny and judgement about a woman's personal and private health choices by organizations, corporations and politicians that have no right to tell me what choices I make in regards to my body and my welfare! I needed to get on my soapbox.

If I remember correctly from my American history classes, in middle school and high school, that there 'should be' a separation of church and state.  As I learned it or as I understood this to means is that the government can not and should not tell us, its citizens, how and what to believe.  Granted this is mucky waters to begin with.

One of my main interests and concerns as a living, breathing woman and a mother of two brilliant daughters is that the government does NOT mess with or alter the rights of a woman to make her own personal health decisions according to HER body, her beliefs, her life style and her choices, PERIOD.

So on this fourth of July I hope that we all really take a moment and consider our freedoms and the freedoms of our fellow citizens.  Let us be able to look at the big picture and not through specific religious and economic and moral lens.

I will close with a quote from Mark Tuschman, author and photographer behind Faces of Courage: Intimate Portraits of Women on the Edge:

thank you and peace ~

Sunday, June 1, 2014

art is my religion . . .

 . . .  and I am so fortunate to belong to a church which can count many artists as their members, and  that celebrates and supports artists of all kinds, and this weekend was a perfect example.  

photo by maureen gormley
On Saturday my church, the First Parish of Sherborn area church,  hosted their first Festival of the Arts.  The festival is a wonderful expansion of the beautiful annual tradition, Art in Bloom, where members of the church create floral arrangements based on or inspired by works of art done by the youth of the church.  Art in Bloom is always a treat but this year they added more, a special Performing Arts presentation that included 20-25 talented people ages 10 to ...... well, seniors! as well as an art exhibition of works by member artists, which included yours truly.  

As the theme of the show was 'rebirth' I decide to exhibit 'dear jeff . . . '  the story behind this sculpture adds to the piece and I realized that I haven't fuller described it on any of my different sites.  So here is a concise description of the inspiration behind the work.  
The story of 'dear jeff . . . '  
This dress is a commissioned sculpture for a man, Jeff,  who lost his fiancée in the events of 9/11/2001.  She had flown to New York early that morning to attend a business breakfast at the Windows of the World restaurant.  

On the 10 year anniversary of this tragedy Jeff felt that it was time to let go of his box of memories.  He contacted me and asked me if I could create something from his collection of letters and cards and remnants from the tragedy. I was honored to have been asked and accepted the task.

Jeff handed me a large box full of letters; notes between the couple during college, cards of encouragement for new jobs, the announcement about their engagement, articles about 9/11, the missing person flyers, and then an abundance of condolences cards, from friends, family, coworkers, communities and even strangers. These communiques played a huge role is Jeff's recovery; the power of a caring community.

When Jeff approached me, he didn't want a memorial of his fiancée and her death. He wanted a sculpture that would portray the importance of community, and the positive growth that can come through adversity, as well as a celebration of Amy's spirit.  The essence of this dress is similiar to the story of the phoenix, who rises  from the ashes renewed after apparent disaster or destruction.  peace

Along with 'dear jeff . . . ', I exhibited 'to have and to hold . . . ' which is always a crowd pleaser with its skirt made out of hundreds if not thousands white rubber gloves. And since this was more of an intimate venue I was able to let people truly experience all of the aspects of the sculpture,  this piece speaks to four out of the five senses; you see it, you can smell the latex/rubber gloves, you can touch it (when given permission from the artist :) and when it is being touched, one can hear it.  It is always a treat to give people, especially children, the chance to really interact with a work of art.

And to add to all this wonderful creativity, this past week the church received their new processional banner which I helped design.  I worked with Gage Heath from our church and once we created the design the lovely and talented Karen Holmgren from Standing on the Side of Love Stoles made our design come to life!!!  The new banner needed to have our message, 'we welcome all' and to represent our dedication to love, justice and service.

So I feel extremely blessed to belong to a church with such a strong artistic community, and one which not only celebrates artists and us creative type, this church/community celebrate everyone, which is a practice I wish more people would adopt.