Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Presence

prayer flags
Prayer Flags

Several prayer flags... and more to share in the upcoming workshop on techniques.  For these two I used tea bags to make leaf rubbings, then appliqued the paper to the hand dyed cotton flag.  Breathe, inhale and exhale are all reminders to stay present.

prayer flags
Prayer Flags

The third addition is a leaf rubbing directly on the fabric with oil sticks, paint added later... and writing (Stay, Inhale, Exhale, Stay) about staying with the breath in the present.  Where I am living now.  See more on flags here

I am enjoying the recent quiet lull of summer days.  After the months of nursing Rosie, then navigating new territory (along with my supportive family) during Mom's recovery process, it is good to have some simple ordinary days here at home.  Among other things, I have been immersed in reading women's heartfelt words... what books?  Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamott, The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison, and now... When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams.  I recommend them all.  What are you reading?

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.

I don't think anyone 'finds joy'.  Rather, we cultivate it by searching for the preciousness 
of small things, the ordinary miracles that strengthen our hearts 
so we can keep them open to what is most difficult.
~ Dawna Markova

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Visions on Fiber

On Saturday, Quilts on the Wall held the July meeting at Visions Art Museum in the Liberty Station area of San Diego.  After museum Director, Beth Smith, spoke about Vision's background history, we were treated to a tour by Lisa Yoder of the current exhibit: American Tapestry Alliance Biennial 10.  It was fascinating to learn more about tapestry while seeing this unique collection of contemporary works by international artists.  Slow art is indeed a term that fits this art form, where even a small work can take much time and planning. Quilting is speedy by comparison.

I was intrigued by the delicate imagery in "The Land Gives Us" by Clare Coyle.  Christine Rivers' "North Coast Reflections" beautifully portrayed a moment in time.  Rebecca Mezoff's "Emergence VII" was most striking.  Anna Kocherovsky's "Wishing Well" intricate work drew me in.  Though no photographs were allowed, you can see the full show on Rebecca Mezoff's blog post.  She was not only one of the artists, but also Biennial co-chair with Michael Rohde.

Also on view were exhibits: Fugitive Pieces with unique dyed quilts by Elin Noble; An Alaskan Perspective by Ree Nancarrow.  All these exhibits close this Sunday July 20th.  Lots more coming August 1st, with Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, Deidre Adams.

Another note about tapestry- now on view at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh from July 1- September 13, 2014 is the 160 panel Great Tapestry of Scotland, stitched by contemporary groups depicting the history of Scotland.  This is the longest embroidered tapestry in world at 143 meters long. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Healing Traditions

Healing is not a science, but the intimate art of wooing nature.
- W.H. Auden

Yoko Ono Wish Trees - Arlington Garden
Yoko Ono Wish Trees - Arlington Garden

In preparation for flag workshops I have been researching healing traditions related to the prayer flag. I learned about the "Clootie" (coming from the Scots word for cloth or rag) wells.  In Celtic areas these places of pilgrimage are wells or springs, often with a neighboring tree, where strips of cloth or rags have been tied to the tree's branches as part of a healing ritual.  Down through the ages throughout the world, there exist wish tree traditions, using a all manner of materials as offerings including fabric, coin, paper.  Japan has a strong wish tree culture. In 1990's Yoko Ono began using the wish tree in her work that has been shown in exhibitions around the world.  People have been invited to write their personal wishes for peace and tie them to a tree branch.  More tree links hereWhat better way to send healing than through art! 

And here is a personal textile hanging to support my Mom's healing process...

Linda A Miller healing banner

Made from leaf rubbings with water soluble crayons, background is sponge painted.  Embellishments with words for healing, some foil and embroidery.

Linda A Miller Healing banner

She continues to recover well.

day lily

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

To the Gallery

Shining Jewel © 2014 Linda A. Miller
Shining Jewel © 2014 Linda A. Miller

"Shining Jewel" is now available in Galleribba.  This hand dyed 10" x 7" piece began with shrinking for texture.  The hand painted sun was appliqued on.  Oil sticks add highlights throughout.  Metallic yarn was hand couched, along a multitude of french knots and other hand embroidered additions.  

And from my somewhat neglected garden, an abundance of strawberries! 

strawberry pot

Grapes are coming along, but may not make it to my table with uneven ripening due to cooler temperatures (half rot before the rest ripen), and from being eaten by wildlife (who munch these green concords at almost any stage).  How they can eat them unripe I do not know...very sour!


Saturday, July 5, 2014

On the Move

Two of my mini quilts have found new homes.  Thank you, Karen and Julie!  You can see other work available my in Galleribba gallery.

 Fire Within   © 2014 Linda A. Miller
Fire Within  
© 2014 Linda A. Miller
Private collection

 Opening 3   © 2013 Linda A. Miller
Opening 3  
© 2013 Linda A. Miller
Private collection

And here are the flags created at last weekend's Creative Circle Workshop in Solana Beach.  A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in good company.

prayer flags
Prayer Flags
Reminder that another flag making workshop is coming up on July 26th at the wonderful Threads of Awakening Transformative Arts studio in Oxnard.  Follow this link for more info.  Spaces still available.

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.   What are you up to creatively??

Monday, June 30, 2014


Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. 
Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
~ Lao-Tzu

Below is a recent photo of my friend Sherry's granddaughter playing with her whimsey ball that I made last year.  Such joy in those eyes!

baby and ball
Genevieve and ball

Last week my Mom fell, needing surgery to repair damage to her hip.  Thankfully all went well.  She was up and walking the day after surgery.  Always an active woman, she continues to progress wonderfully.  Yet, it is a reminder that she is more vulnerable now.  We are all vulnerable, but perhaps don't acknowledge the fact until something happens to wake our minds to it.  In this timely post from Sara and Robert Genn's recent newsletter on vulnerability for artists, some systems are offered as a means for dealing with ups and downs.  My favorite is counting one's blessings, which also aligns with my meditative/spiritual practice.  So much to be grateful for everyday.

(Thanks to Sara Genn for the Lao-Tzu quote.)

Thursday, June 26, 2014


thread bowl

My thread bowls have been featured in several recent articles, online and in print.  A bowl illustrated Neroli Henderson's informative article "Social Networking for Artists" for Down Under Textiles, Issue 15.  Neroli is a quilter, graphic designer, writer and administrator of the Facebook Textile Arts Group.

Down under textiles issue 15

The second article was Karen Brown's Etsy blog post "Sticks and Stones: Making Something out of Nothing" about creating from found objects/materials.  Interesting to see what the other included artists utilized for their craft. Karen, designer and creative director of the Center for Ecoliteracy, believes that the handmade movement is a fundamental force for transforming society.

Thank you, Neroli and Karen!  I appreciate your interest in my artwork.

You can see more bowls and quilts in my Etsy shop.


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