Wearable art

I’m donating to HIAS and I want you to help

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The November midterm election results give me hope that the pushback against hatred is gaining ground. But, the undeniable truth is that we live in troubling times and there’s still much to be done. Consider the following.

On Saturday, Oct 27, 2018 an anti-Semitic terrorist stepped into the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh armed with an automatic rifle and multiple handguns. He then murdered 11 people and wounded 6 others, all of whom were gathered for worship.

In a country where words like Pulse, 9-11, Oklahoma City, and Charleston Emanuel AME are etched into dark and tearful places in our minds, why does this latest atrocity stand out? It’s the antisemitism. It’s the hate-filled killing of innocent people, several old enough to have already witnessed and experienced more than enough suffering for a single lifetime. It’s the attack on people in a holy place in the very act of worship. It’s the terrorist’s bigotry that he twisted into a rage over the work of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and their efforts to help people fleeing danger and persecution.

It’s not the first hate crime, and it won’t be the last. But, for me it was the last straw for that particular week—one already marked by other acts of violence and remembered violence. There are undoubtedly mental health considerations in all of these cases. I just can’t accept that humans are born to hate and kill one another. So, while I’ve been mulling that over, wondering how to forgive and how to have hope, I’ve been thinking about other things.

Since the attack I’ve taken the time to learn a bit more about HIAS, their history, and their work. You can read about the organization on their website at https://www.hias.org, or you can visit Charity Navigator (https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3820). For now, I can think of no better response to these killings than to do good in the face of evil, and to do it in a way that’s diametrically opposed to the supposed object of the terrorist’s rage.

That’s why I’m donating to HIAS, and I want your help. Here’s how.

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I’m offering 8 wearable art scarves for sale and donating 100% of the sale price to HIAS.

Each of these lightweight cotton scarves features affirmative words appropriate for our present situation, and patterning reminiscent of…well let’s just say “past times of protest” and leave it at that. Let’s work together to push back against the darkness and send a positive message and good energy out into the world draped around your neck. Click the SHOP button in the menu above to visit my online store and select “HIAS Fundraiser” from the lefthand column.

The fine print:

  • When I say 100%, I mean 100%. I will absorb all of the credit card processing fees and material/labor costs. All I ask is that you pay the sales tax and shipping costs. So, purchasing a $60 item results in a $60 contribution from me to HIAS.

  • I’m not operating a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so yes, you do need to pay sales tax on this purchase; and no, I cannot provide a gift letter for your income tax preparer.

  • In order to give everyone equal access and make this truly a first-come-first-served kind of thing, all purchases must be made by credit card through my online store.

  • If you live locally and would like to arrange to pick up your scarf at my studio, go ahead and complete the purchase online and use the code HIASFUNDRAISER during checkout. This will apply a $7 discount to your order, thereby reversing the shipping charge. You must then contact me to arrange a pickup time ASAP.

Vending at Southern Comforters quilt show March 10-11

Mark your calendars. I'll be selling wearable art scarves at my booth at the annual Southern Comforters Quilt Guild show next weekend, March 10-11, in Bowie, MD (Samuel Ogle Middle School, 4111 Chelmont Lane). The event includes the quilt show, about a dozen vendors, a silent auction, and some wonderful raffle items, including the award-winning quilt pictured above. It's well worth the $10 admission. It's also a manageable sized show. You can probably do the whole thing (including shopping!) in an hour, making it a nice weekend afternoon activity.

The Guild is a great organization that supports quilters and provides educational and service outreach to the community. Come out and see my latest wearable work and support the Guild. 

Greenbelt festival was a big success

The russlittlefiberartist booth at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights, 2016 (Photo: D Ryan)

The russlittlefiberartist booth at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights, 2016 (Photo: D Ryan)

I'm happy to say that we had another great year at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights Juried Art & Craft Fair. I got to reconnect with many of my longstanding local customers and supporters, meet many new folks, and enjoy the company of some outstanding fellow craftspeople. This is a really wonderful event. It always happens the first weekend in December. Pencil it in on your 2017 calendar now.

If you couldn't make it this year, but still need that unique gift for a special someone, please check out the growing list of new items in my online store. The last day for shipping pre-Christmas orders is December 20.

Visit my booth at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights Art+Craft Fair this weekend

I'll have a booth this weekend at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights Art and Craft Fair at the Greenbelt Community Center. Stop by Saturday (12/3) 10 AM - 5 PM or Sunday (12/4) 10 AM - 4 PM. I'll be offering a whole new selection of original art scarves as well as framed art. Look for preview images later this week. 

This is a wonderful show. I'm been fortunate to participate for several years, and I've always been impressed by the turnout and by the work of my fellow art/craft vendors.

Hope to see you there. Spread the word to your friends.

Check out the new items in my online store

Black Friday? Really? Isn't there still a pile of Thanksgiving dishes in the sink?

Whether you're a conservative shopper or an an all out shopping maniac, it is indeed the time of year when we all begin to contemplate gifts for friends and loved ones, and perhaps for ourselves. It's also an incredibly busy time of year for everyone involved in creating, marketing, and selling. I know I've certainly been busy. 

Click on over to my online store and see some of the newest creations. Buying from local merchants and small businesses is a great way to support the community. These folks--people just like me--are wonderful source for original, one-of-a-kind gifts.

And, if you find yourself in the Washington, DC area next weekend (Dec 5-6), stop by my booth at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights craft fair to see more of my work.

Tuesday morning clothesline

I was in the studio at 6 AM this morning (before work) washing out the dye from Sunday and Monday. Last night, all of Sunday's wax and print work got a nice over-dye. I left 12 yards of cloth drying on the line today while I'm at work so they'll be ready for me when I get home. Tonight I get to press out all of the wax (ironing between mountains of newspaper) and launder out the residue. This is about my least favorite task, but it's the only way forward it I want to apply more color. It's that Karate Kid thing--wax on; wax off.

The clothesline as I left for work.

The clothesline as I left for work.

Let the season of making begin

I'm busy in the studio all year, but over the past 5 years or so I've fallen into an annual pattern of activity. January through April is usually a time for research and developing new ideas--and the time for a much needed winter vacation. May is usually the time that I'll fit in a workshop if I can. June through September I'm often working on art with an eye toward summer and fall exhibition deadlines. But, it's in October through December that the activity level really ratchets up. I sell wearable art (mostly scarves) online all year long, but I also do one 2-day craft show at the beginning of December. Producing enough work for 2 days of selling and working a full time job takes months of part-time effort. 

And as I write this, I've got several yards of printed fabric downstairs in the studio batching--oh, yeah, and dye-stained hands. I absolutely love this frenzy of dyeing, printing, and sewing, but I'll be exhausted by Christmas. That's just the way it is. 

Here are some photos of just some of the weekend's activities. Many thanks to Dan, my in-house photographer.  

Adding soy wax resist to silk crepe de chine using an Indonesian tjap. The wax will block whatever color I add next. 

Adding soy wax resist to silk crepe de chine using an Indonesian tjap. The wax will block whatever color I add next. 

Inking a large sheet of plexiglass with thickened dye for monotype printing.

Inking a large sheet of plexiglass with thickened dye for monotype printing.

Creating pattern on the monotype plate.

Creating pattern on the monotype plate.

Printing the waxed cloth on inked plate.

Printing the waxed cloth on inked plate.

Pulling the print.

Pulling the print.

The next steps will be letting the dye cure then putting the whole thing in an immersion dye bath. After that I'm not sure--probably removing the wax followed by...whatever it needs.  

Greenbelt Festival of Lights just 2 weeks away

FOL web graphic
FOL web graphic

Visit my booth at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights Art & Craft Fair Dec 6-7th where I'll be selling original art cloth scarves. This is always a wonderful event and a great opportunity to shop locally, support makers and small businesses, and save money by purchasing directly from the source. It's hard to believe that this will be my 4th year participating.

Festival was a big success

Although we loaded in while it was raining, closed an hour early on Sunday, and loaded out with sleet bouncing off our heads, last week's Festival of Lights was a big success. Many thanks to all of you who came out to shop and support the event. If you missed the event and are still looking for that special gift for yourself our someone else, please stop by my online store at shop.russlittlefiberartist.net.