Archive for November, 2013

Lace up your shoes and join the Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer

Lace up your metaphorical running shoes and join the race to fight cancer. The Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer opens on January 15, 2014.


It’s a pretty simple concept – donate $ directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause and move our red shoe around the 5K course.  $5000 raised = Finish Line!  We’ll have some fun, you might win a fantastic prize from one of our very generous Prize Sponsors during the many drawings, and you will know that you have moved the fight against cancer a little bit forward.

3genoffundraisersweb Three generations of fundraisers to fight cancer.
From left, my sister Nancy (chair extraordinaire of the Relay For Life – the ACS’s largest grassroots fundraiser – in Forest Lake, MN for the last ten years), our niece, Jenny (a music teacher who had her hair cut for Locks of Love after this photo; she also chairs her school’s Relay At Recess), me, and our Mom, Florence (who taught us all the meaning of service and supports Relay generously).

Fundraising for the ACS is a Spiegel family tradition in honor of my Dad, a colon cancer survivor. Every year I say I’m retiring from fundraising to fight cancer, but then I look around and see how many people I know have suffered this year alone. Whose lives haven’t been touched by this senseless disease?

While this is a very small effort, many small efforts do, eventually, mean lives extended and saved.  Fiber artists, patrons, and businesses have already donated more than $230,000 through Fiberart For A Cause. Let’s add just a bit more and have some fun doing it!

Three simple steps for you to help spread the news about the Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer. The more people we have on our team, the faster we finish the race.

Thank you for your support.  Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.



11 2013

Three New Artworks!


Formerly Present 8

Three very complex new artworks.

FormerlyPresent9400Formerly Present 9

All focused on the beauty of things left behind.


Formerly Present 10

Evocative, subtle, resonant.  More information.

Photos by Deidre Adams.


11 2013

What’s Up This Week in the Studio


As you know from last week, I’m in the painting studio while the work continues upstairs. This week I’ve been working on collages. The key to collage is having lots of fun raw materials.

People are always asking me what mixed media means.  For me it means I like to work with fabric, all kinds of paper, paint, and wax among other materials.  You can see examples of all those media even in the small photo above.  What’s important to me is transforming all my materials by painting with a variety of tools; screen printing; monotyping; inkjet printing using my own photos, stamping with my own carved stamps, etc. etc. before I even start collaging.


Here’s the general set-up with my fav purple chair. Note the painting I added since last week. Cheerful is good with winter coming.


Here’s what it looks like when I’m actually working.  Note the 10×8″ mat with a 7×5″ opening on the right.  I like to see where I am with a collage by using the mat as a framing device.  I use Liquitex matte medium as both adhesive and top coat.


Here’s an ultra-sophisticated collage press.  It’s the weight from the bottom of a floor lamp that died and an old woodcut.  Works a treat!


Here’s one of the works in progress.  See what I mean about mixed media?


11 2013

2014 Cancer Fundraiser – Can You Donate a Prize?


I keep saying that I’m retiring Fiberart For A Cause.  Well, it didn’t stick this year either.

We’ll be having a fundraising event in January 2014 with a goal of adding $5000 to the more than $230,000 we have already donated directly to the American Cancer Society.

I’m still working on all the details, but what I could use now is your help in building a big pile of fiber-related prizes to encourage donations.  Of course, everyone wants to help fight cancer without a reward, but it’s all part of the fun.

If YOU would like to receive something as a prize, then it’s a great idea. If you are a fiber-related biz, I’ll be doing promos from now through the event, so it’s win-win. For example, Fiber On A Whim is once again donating one of its wonderful FOAW Packs.

I love the creativity of artists in donating for the event also.  For example Mary Ann Van Soest has donated Eco Colour by India Flint with some nature inspired altered fabric plus hand-dyed special fabrics packed in a shoe box covered with fabric and embellishments. Let’s talk!  Virginia(at)

Some ideas from last year.  What’s been donated already for 2014 – posts today and yesterday on Facebook.



11 2013

What’s Up This Week in the Studio


Well, I’m still in the painting studio (a.k.a the basement), but we are on the home stretch on the studio refresh with the painters hard at work. I have bins of fabric that need just something else before I can be serious about using them. The above fabric was something I did to use up paint, so I’m pretty sure I scrunched it up and then painted the ridges with a foam brush.  Then I took a film canister (remember those?!) and dipped the bottom in the paint and stamped away.

Sometimes an improvement is as easy as adding a color as in the above piece.  I painted half red and half blue – -double the possibilities.


I’m also hanging a few things on the wall down there to make it a more inspiring space. This is the trendy “hang-the-empty-frame” thing with the actually useful clipboard full of inspiration. Currently on display is my hero, Helen Frankenthaler.

collagebk Remember this?  It’s a 365 day collage book I did in 2006. (Here’s an interview with Pokey Bolton and WAY at the end is a short clip of the Quilting Arts TV segment I did about using the book as inspiration.  It’s worth a look just for my goofy outfit.).  Let’s just say the book has gone to a higher purpose.


I’ll share more when I have them in place, but here’s a pretty big hint.


11 2013