Doubt Your Doubts And Believe Your Beliefs.

“I believe…” But do we really “believe”? or is it just lip service or wishful thinking. There is a BIG difference.

Definition of “Believe” – to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.

Believing starts in the mind. It’s a seed. You water it with thought patterns. Whether its achieving a goal or changing a circumstance the more you feed your mind with the right thoughts your life will blossom in that direction. Hence I thought it was appropriate to illustrate a bright colorful flower in a hip bohemian way.

FREE SPIRITED, FUN — BELIEVABLE!

Cherish The Seniors In Your Life

Yesterday I was sitting in Barnes and Noble drinking a Gingerbread Latte and checking out some new books when I broke out in a conversation with the women sitting next to me. One of the ladies was 93 years old! She look remarkable and I asked her what was it like to live through the Great Depression. She went on to tell me it was terrible times, people were starving they would go through the grocery store’s disposable rotten produce for food. There were long lines just for bread and another long line for butter. Her grandmother would see a line and just go in it not knowing what she was in line for because it was so long and then when she finally reached the front of the line it would be like winning the lottery sometimes because it was a very important thing they needed other times it was something they didn’t need and she could have spend her time in a different line. I think of Thanksgiving’s Black Friday and the long lines for the cheap gadget that everyone must have then finally getting there and it’s all sold out. But this just doesn’t compare – we are talking about basic necessities for survival! She also when on to say after our country was finally coming out of the depression, World World II happened. There was the black outs where a siren would go off and you had to turn all lights out. She was pregnant with her first child at the time and was outside walking home one night when the siren went off, the street lights and buildings went totally black. Not being about to see and being afraid she might trip over something, fall and lose her baby, she just sat down until the raid was over which lasted several minutes. She was from Pittsburgh which was the Steel making capital of the world at the time. She said the air was so polluted from the factory and the ground was covered with soot that women’s white long under slips were grey from the pollution. This isn’t the first time I have heard stories from the Great Depression, my grandparents and even my in-laws use to tell me stories but that was 10-20 years ago. It seemed foreign then and it comes across even more foreign now that people lived that way. I love it when you can actually talk to someone who has experienced it not something you read  from history. My point is she had a very interesting Life Story. The lady with her was a much younger friend and replied that she has told her many times to write a book about it. I agreed with her and added at least write a journal so you can share your experience with generations to come. These stories are precious. You might not think what you are going through today will have any impact on the future but some day your grandchildren or even great grandchildren will get a glimpse of a world that seems foreign to them and will be amazed too that the world was like that. This woman’s story is her legacy. What about you? Do you have a Great Depression or Great Recession story? Comment below and share. I would love to hear it.

My grandparents not sure of date but looks around the time of the Great Depression.

Stop Human Trafficking

When you hear the term human trafficking what do you think that means? My first opinion was the abduction of young people and forcing them into labor or sexual exploitation in third world countries. What I didn’t realize is this despicable criminal injustice is a massive global issue and growing in the United States.

A couple of months ago I watched the movie “Taken” and it opened my eyes to the undercover world of sex slaves. To think that this is actually going on is unspeakable and yet it is true. In Europe and America not just third world countries.

A couple of months ago I watched the movie “Taken” and it opened my eyes to the undercover world of sex slaves. To think that this is actually going on is unspeakable and yet it is true. In Europe and America not just third world countries.

According to Polaris Project a non-profit organization to stop human slavery, human trafficking is modern day slavery and is the second largest criminal industry in the world. The Polaris Project website best describes defines human trafficking as “Victims of human trafficking are people forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Labor trafficking is widespread in variety of situations that encompass domestic servitude and small-scale labor operations, to large-scale operations such as farms, sweatshops, and major multinational corporations. Sex trafficking is one of the most lucrative sectors regarding the illegal trade in people, and involves any form of sexual exploitation in prostitution, pornography, bride trafficking, and the commercial sexual abuse of children. Under international law, any sexually exploited child is considered a trafficking victim, even if no force or coercion is present.

An estimated 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked annually in the United States alone. The number of US citizens trafficked within the country is even higher. An estimated 200,000 American children are at high risk for trafficking into the sex industry each year.”

Here are the types of Human Trafficking in the US according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)

Labor Trafficking:

  • Domestic Servitude/Domestic Worker Cases
    • Nannies
    • Maids/Housekeepers
  • Small Businesses/”Mom and Pop” Operations
    • Landscaping
    • Nail salons
    • Restaurants
    • Industrial cleaning
    • Construction
    • Hospitality
  • Peddling Rings/Sales Crews
    • Magazine sales crews
    • Flowers/Candy sales crews
  • Large-Scale Labor Cases
    • Agricultural
    • Factory settings (i.e. garments; food processing)
    • Other large factory work environments (i.e. industrial welding)

Sex Trafficking:

  • “Hostess” Bar/Club Operations with Inflated-Price Schemes
    • These cases may be classified as labor trafficking if commercial sex acts do not occur. However, these operations often involve some linkage with commercial sex acts.
    • Eastern European/Russian stripping or exotic dancing “Go-Go Clubs”
    • Latino cantina bars
    • Asian room salons, hostess clubs, and other karaoke clubs
    • Domestic strip clubs and gentleman’s clubs
  • Residential/Underground Brothel Settings
    • Residential brothels can be based in homes, apartments, hotel/motel rooms, trailer parks, mobile trailers, and other outdoor locations.
    • Residential brothels are diverse and can include both foreign born and US citizen populations.
  • Escort Services (Both Incall and Outcall)
    • Bar/Hotel-based
    • Internet-based
    • Private parties (house, club, lap dance clubs)
    • Boat cruises
    • Phone chat lines
  • Pimp-Controlled Prostitution
    • Hotel-based
    • Internet/Escort-based
    • Private parties
    • Street-based
    • Truck stops
    • Other miscellaneous locations

Other:

  • International Marriage Brokers/Servile marriage
  • Personal sexual servitude

I feel strong need to help this cause. My next handbag design will be called “Deliverance” and will go towards stopping “Human Trafficking”. There’s alot of information about warning signs and what to look out for. I really just mentioned what it is here. To learn more about Human Trafficking check out these websites.

Polaris Project

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking

The A21 Campaign

Stop Child Trafficking Now

LA Dream Center

Feel free to add if you know of others.

Artistic Snippets Of Fabric And Thread Transformed Into Pictures.

Artistic Snippets Of Fabric And Thread Transformed Into Pictures.

Painting, sewing, arts and crafts have always been a favorite pastime of mine growing up in Bridgewater, New Jersey. As a young child, I enjoyed making gifts for family members and they cherished my handmade creations. I always tried to create something that would have a special meaning to them. For example, in high school I painted a picture of my grandparent’s beautiful home for them. The painting hung over their fireplace for years and became quite a conversation piece (the proud grandparents they were). Now my mom has the painting as a keepsake of my art and my grandparent’s home. I created a portrait of my grandmother holding my son which was made from fabric sewn together. This was given to my grandmother for her 80th birthday. That picture will someday be passed down to my son. These are just two examples of many gifts I enjoyed creating to touch people’s lives.

After my son was born in 1992 I started my own design studio. After several years of building a portfolio of fabric art in the commercial art world, family and friends suggested I create patterns for the quilting industry. In 1996, a new dimension was added my art. I started a small pattern publishing company called “Artistic Appliqué”. Artistic Appliqué published several intermediate to advance applique patterns and a book called “Celebration of Summer”. In 1999 and 2000 I taught classes at Husquvarna Viking annual dealer’s conventions on appliqué and embroidery. My different machine appliqué technique has inspired many quilters to a new approach to quilting. From this, Cactus Punch licensed some of my designs by digitizing them for the home embroidery sewing machines.

What Do I Call It? Fabric Art, Fabric Illustrations, Fabric Collage Art?

What Do I Call It? Fabric Art, Fabric Illustrations, Fabric Collage Art?

I have always had a love for textile and art; in college I would experiment with combining fabric, paint and thread to make pictures. My junior year I entered a contest for Mademoiselle magazine where the winner receives a summer internship with Conde Nast in New York City. I created a perpetual calendar using fabric prints that matched the season for the background and felt letters with Velcro for easy removal. The calendar would flip open with rings. I received $100 and was in the top 10 of all entries.

During my senior year I entered another competition called “The Real Show” sponsored by the Art Director’s Club of Washington D.C. The contest required students to submit solutions to “real” projects in the working world. I designed a cover for the Washington Post Magazine showing boys fishing at summer camp. The piece was created using fabric and paint with hand stitched outlines. It received first prize in its category. I was beginning to think this was what I am gifted to do but I couldn’t see how I could earn I living doing it. I wasn’t  aware of anyone using that technique in the commercial art world. At that time, even quilts were considered something placed on beds not displayed as wall art. So after graduation I did what most graduates hope to do, I got a job in my area of study – visual communications.

In 1981, I started as a graphic artist for a furniture chain creating advertising layouts, store displays, and black and white line art drawings of furniture. Then moved into publishing for a tourist guide. My career was moving in the right direction when I became an art director for an advertising agency. While working there I saw a directory for illustrators called “The Creative Black Book” which featured the nations top illustrators. I came across an illustrator who worked with fabric as her medium. I thought to myself “There it is! Someone doing what I love to do!” So I did my research, found out most of these illustrators had artist representatives so I looked for one in the Tampa Bay Area. I contacted Alexander Pollard to show them my portfolio. Their biggest concern was how the art would photograph, since it would be the photograph of the art used for production. They agreed to represent me if the art photographed well. On to the next hurdle, finding a photographer who is great at taking pictures of textile art. Working for an advertising agency was a benefit for finding great photographers – Hans Kaczmarek, a German master photographer. Hans did a beautiful job photographing my art and Alexander Pollard agreed to represent me.

Computer art didn’t enter the market until the late 80′s so most commercial illustrations consist of traditional mediums of paint, ink, pastels, paper collage or pencil. Illustrations were either scanned or photographed. The majority of art directors understood the traditional mediums and felt comfortable directing the illustrator with a particular assignment. But they didn’t understand my technique or how I went about it. They thought it would take too long to meet the assignment deadline or would cost too much. We had to educate them to my commercial art background that my technique took no longer than any other medium and costs just slightly more (for photography). Once I got more assignments, art directors could see the many uses but it did take a while for it to catch on. In 1990, my art was featured in Step-by-Step Graphics (now Step Inside Design) magazine for an advertising campaign for Thomaston fabrics. During that time, I received several other assignments for illustrative work from clients like Ford Motors, Honda Motors, Georgia Pacific, Publix Supermarkets, Florida Power, and Bank of America (Nations Bank). My national breakthrough came from Berkley Publishing when they commissioned me to create 13 romance novel covers for their new “Romance in the Heart of America” series. The series become such a success for the publisher and spawned the careers of several authors that the series continued for several years with over 60 covers illustrated from 1990 – 1995. Several of the romance covers won merit awards from the Dimensional Awards Show, which selected the best in 3-D Advertising and Publishing Worldwide. During that time I was constantly struggling with what to call my technique – fabric art, fabric illustrations, fabric collage art? I was trying to take fiber art into the commercial art world of advertising and publishing where it was virtually non-existent.