Adding Particular Details in Commissioned Work

One of the joys of creating commissioned art is to add particular details about the client to the work. " Ancient Words, Today's People" is a set of white altar and pulpit frontals made for a congregation which has worshipped for over 250 years in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I wanted the congregation to see … Continue reading Adding Particular Details in Commissioned Work

A Stole for Ordinary Time

Take my yoke upon you....for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. About 7 years ago, a Lutheran pastor and I discussed movement away from congregations owning buildings. We talked about a more flexible church. We chatted excitedly about moveable altars and banners and worshippers with electronic tablets, not hymnals, in hand. We … Continue reading A Stole for Ordinary Time

A Year of Listening: Week 20

I believe that we are offered up opportunities to practice and rewrite the places in our souls where we have not best served ourselves. -- Norma Colman Yes, I am quoting myself this morning. This was written a decade ago and I rediscovered the words this winter. My sister, Beth Nyland, and I discussed Sabbath … Continue reading A Year of Listening: Week 20

A Year of Listening: Week 16

Always stay in your own movie.           --Ken Kesey I discovered Kesey as a young adult.  He can still create in me an odd exuberance. It is Easter Monday.  Empty tomb.  I am grabbing those big scissors, cutting fabric, and creating a good scene for my movie. What are you doing today?  Are there any "alleluia"s in your … Continue reading A Year of Listening: Week 16

Good Tools

I listen and observe when artisans speak about the tools in their hands.  Passion infects the speech.  The tool is clearly an extension of the hand. The hair stylist demonstrated scissors that rotate with her hand, reducing the chances of injury.  The gardener quickly cut tree branches with a lopper that has gears, not a … Continue reading Good Tools

A Year of Listening: Week 14

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is awaiting us....The old skin has to be shed before the new one is to come. -- Joseph Campbell I collected this quotation many years ago.  Spring cleaning away yard debris and winter's film on windows … Continue reading A Year of Listening: Week 14

Accelerate Results

Who wants to create more in the time allotted? How can that happen? My friend Cathy Stark photographed me in this pose that illustrates, "Runs With Scissors." When the cutting begins, I am in the creative zone. And while I am more of a risk taker than my high school teachers could have ever imagined, I usually … Continue reading Accelerate Results

Paradox, not Comfort

I wanted the funeral pall to have the message of comfort.  I chose to make a quilt of soft white cotton, adding a cross, gold leaves, and words from Marty Haugen's hymn "All Are Welcome."  I planned and schemed over logistics of how to make this 6' by 10' piece in my small studio.  But … Continue reading Paradox, not Comfort