Helping Each Other

I’ve always been a believer that if I help someone, someone will help me back.  It’s not always the same person (what comes around, goes around) but this time, it is.  I was at the Craftsy Summit a couple of weeks ago and had the chance to meet Cynthia Bleskachek.  She has a beginning class on Craftsy about upholstering.  I remember many years ago, buying some dining room chairs that needed to be updated and I decided to buy a staple gun and recover the seats.  Unfortunately, Cynthia’s class wasn’t available at the time and my best efforts didn’t turn out so great.

Anyway, Cynthia had an interesting idea.  I would make some Stupendous Stitching fabric to send to her and she would use it to upholster a chair seat.  Then, we could both help each other by promoting our classes to our respective students.  Here is the chair she chose and I just finished making the fabric.


I can’t wait to see the finished chair.  It should be spectacular!

Interested? Click here how to sign up for her class.


Posted in Being an Artist, Craftsy | 7 Comments

Learning to See Color


Judith surrounded by color — Tim Hahn’s “Zig Zag” on the left and Monroe Hodder’s “Paris Velvet” on the right

My friend, Judith Cassel-Mamet and I are teaching a weekend retreat together in February and its all about color and texture so when she invited me to the opening reception of the “Learning to See Color” exhibit at the Vicki Myhren Gallery at the University of Denver, I jumped at the chance.

It was fascinating to read the descriptive cards next to the art and to realize that everyone sees color differently.  And that different colors have different meanings.  And, thanks to Joseph Albers’s color studies which permeate the exhibit, colors change based on their surroundings.  Definitely worth seeing.  The gallery is located at 2121 E Asbury Ave and the gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, 12-5 and Thursday 12-7pm.


Posted in Art Exhibits | Leave a comment

Craftsy Summit

IMG_1383As many of you know, I teach online at Craftsy.  This is an amazing company that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 5 years in the online learning market and now hosts 1,000 classes from more than 700 instructors.  I was so fortunate to be one of the first instructors to teach on their amazing platform and this weekend, Craftsy invited their instructors to come to Colorado for their first Instructor Summit.

I was so excited to attend since I knew I would be meeting with the most talented people across the country who taught quilting, sewing, spinning, knitting, crocheting, cooking, baking, cake-making, drawing, painting, …. and I could go on and on!  It was going to be a weekend rubbing elbows with the DIY creatives and I couldn’t wait!

I arrived on Friday and that night, we all hung out together and got to know each other. People were constantly saying “I know your name but it’s great to put a face with it!”  I met people I knew from teaching on the road and many people I didn’t know but who were funny and interesting.

Saturday was packed with information about marketing.  A subject I knew a lot about but realized I now know little in the “social media” marketing space.  I was happy to open my mind to consider the power of Facebook and storytelling.  (Can you teach an old dog new tricks???)

Craftsy asked me to tell my story as well so I spoke for about 45 minutes on how I came to be a fiber artist and how I was able to earn a living from being a fiber artist (with the enormous publicity I received from Craftsy).

Saturday night we played fake blackjack and craps (lost at both!) and danced until 10.

Sunday, we heard about making videos (the “must-have” marketing vehicle) and also had a Q & A with the Craftsy executives.

We ended by giving Craftsy a standing ovation. All the instructors that I spoke to (a lot!) were so impressed with the effort that Craftsy made in helping us improve our business acumen and marketing skills.  As they said, it was a “win-win” for everyone.

What a great weekend!

If you haven’t yet taken a Craftsy class and would like to sample one, here’s a link to save 50% off any of my classes!  Feel free to share this with your friends and family.


Posted in Craftsy | 5 Comments


IMG_1365This is a photo of  part of my home office.  It’s the place where I work many hours, marketing my art, responding to emails, mentoring other artists, etc.  But, it’s also a place where I have surrounded myself with inspiration — other artist’s work!

I love looking at each piece every day.  I know each artist and it makes me happy that a part of them is with me every day.

Today, we spent some time looking at condos in order to downsize our living quarters. Selling a house and moving into 1/2 the space presents some challenges!  I know when we put our house on the market, some real estate agent will consider all this art “clutter” and make me remove it from my window sills. But its not “clutter” to me and I know that I will find a place to bring these small pieces of art with me because I need this inspiration in my daily life.

Changing things in your life is always a challenge but one I find makes me even more creative that I was before.  We sometimes sink into ruts and routines.  Because it’s easier.  I am determined to shake up my own life in 2016 see what happens!

How about you?



Posted in Inspiration, Personal Story | 4 Comments

New Book

Thirty years ago, my best friend, Judy LaBelle and I wrote our first book on designing and making quilts.  It was called The Patchwork Quilt Design & Coloring Book.  We wrote a few more quilting books and then turned our attention to our careers.  Judy became an attorney and I became a marketing consultant in the educational publishing industry.

After retirement, Judy moved to Costa Rica and emailed me last year about doing another book to address the current “adult coloring book” craze.  So we have been working on a new book that will be published this Spring.  One of the designs created by Judy is called “El Bano” and here is the quilt that was made by Nancy Smith and quilted by Deb Geissler from this design that will appear on our front cover.




Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments