2019 Inspiration & Motivation

Staying focused can be difficult sometimes. Actually a lot of the time. There are so many things competing for your attention. Staying on course requires concentrated effort. I like having little visual or auditory tricks to help me stay focused. In the past it has been a focus word for the year, but in 2019 I am employing two different tricks. My thinking is that by employing more than one sense, it will be doubly reinforced.

Quote of the Year

I’ve always loved inspiring quotes; so much that I have two little books on quotes. So for 2019 I’ve chosen my favorite motivational quote as as my mantra. This has been a favorite quote of mine for years and still inspires me to make the most of each day.

Yesterday is a canceled check
Tomorrow is a promissory note
Today is the only cash you have
Spend it wisely

Song of the Year

Choosing a song was difficult. I love anything by Aaron Neville; his music never fails to motivate me and lift my spirits. But I decided to chose something different and choose the theme song from Star Trek Enterprise. Which is funny because that was my least Star Trek series, but I loved the song and it really touched me. I hope it touches you also.

There are many versions of this song, the original was called Faith, but it was reworked by Russel Watson as Where My Heart Will Take Me as the theme song to the 2001 television series Star Trek: Enterprise.  This is the short version that was used for the show, but below are the full lyrics of the song.

And for those of you who prefer the written word here are the lyrics.

It’s been a long road, getting from there to here.
It’s been a long time, but my time is finally near.
And I can feel the change in the wind right now. Nothing’s in my way.
And they’re not gonna hold me down no more, no they’re not gonna hold me down.
Cause I’ve got faith of the heart.
I’m going where my heart will take me.
I’ve got faith to believe. I can do anything.
I’ve got strength of the soul. And no one´s gonna bend or break me.
I can reach any star. I’ve got faith, I’ve got faith, faith of the heart.
It’s been a long night. Trying to find my way.
Been through the darkness. Now I finally have my day.
And I will see my dream come alive at last. I will touch the sky.
And they’re not gonna hold me down no more, no they’re not gonna change my mind.
Cause I’ve got faith of the heart.
I’m going where my heart will take me.
I’ve got faith to believe. I can do anything.
I’ve got strength of the soul. And no one’s gonna bend or break me.
I can reach any star. I’ve got faith, faith of the heart.
I’ve known the wind so cold, and seen the darkest days.
But now the winds I feel, are only winds of change.
I’ve been through the fire and I’ve been through the rain.
But I’ll be fine.
Cause I’ve got faith of the heart.
I’m going where my heart will take me.
I’ve got faith to believe. I can do anything.
I’ve got strength of the soul. And no one’s gonna bend or break me.
I can reach any star. I’ve got faith.
I’ve got faith of the heart.
I´m going where my heart will take me.
I’ve got strength of the soul. And no one’s gonna bend or break me.
I can reach any star. I’ve got faith, I’ve got faith, faith of the heart.
It’s been a long road.

So that is some of what helps to keep me inspired and motivated.  What about you? Do you have any special ways to keep you going when the going gets tough?  Would love the hear about them.

2019 A New Year – A Stronger Focus

It is already 7 days into the new year! Where did the time go already! We were away for Christmas and didn’t get home until early New Years day so it feels like I got a late start to 2019. Many things I do the last week of the year didn’t get done until the first week of the new year.
But that time away actually because being our of my normal environment helped me to see things in a different context. There wasn’t the normal visual and mental noise going on. It helped give me some clarity about what I want to focus on for 2019. You know, I call myself an artist and sometimes I feel a bit like a fraud. The main reason is why I make art. I don’t make art because I have this burning desire to do so. All my work stems from my desire to learn and to share what I learn with others.


Learning is what drives me. If I couldn’t learn anymore, I’d just as well die. When I want to learn something, there is no stopping me.
In Las Vegas I learned machine knitting. In South Carolina I’ve learned some computer coding on my first compute, the Commodore Vic 20. In Arizona it was tole painting and smocking. The smocking I taught myself. In Little I got into weaving and took a complete upholstery training class. While living in Italy I learned pattern making and during our last tour in Turkey I tutored with a Turkish tailor, learning all sorts of new things. After retiring I went back to school to learn more pattern making and got back into machine knitting.
After moving back to Florida, I switched gears a bit and in 2000 I learned how to make slipcover When I discovered the Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild in 2008 it opened up a whole new world of surface design. I’ve learned screen printing, dyeing, rusting, marbling, discharge, indigo and eco-print just to name a few.


Sharing my knowledge with others is also super important. Knowledge in a vacuum is useless in my opinion. I’ve been told that I am a very good teacher, and I do agree with that. I work very hard at it.
In Italy I taught sewing classes and in Seattle Taught several years at a national machine conference.
After taking a slipcover class in 2000 I continued to teaching myself, improving my skill to the point where in 2004 taught for the first time at the annual slipcover conference. I taught each year until the last conference in 2013. Since joining the surface design guild I’ve learned and taught many surface design techniques to guild members and other groups in my area.


Since starting on this textile art journey, so many people have inspired me. Jan Navalas, Linda Dawson and Jane Dunnewold to name a few. And the many members of the Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild. Now it is time for me to pay it forward. Not exactly sure how, but I know it will come to me.

Being True To Thy Self

I guess this should have not come as a surprise since I’ve learned something new and taught others everywhere I lived. To say that I love learning and teaching would be an understatement. And to give myself credit, I am very good at both of these things. It is in my DNA, so why fight it. To do so would be swimming upstream, and I don’t swim. To paraphrase the Iseley Brothers It’s My Thing.

2018 Review

I usually don’t do an end of year review, but 2018 saw some big achievements for me, so I decided I would do one this year.

Art Cloth Mastery Program

In February 2018 I completed Jane Dunnewold’s Art Cloth Mastery Program.  It was 2 years of intense, yet fun work.  During those 2 years I pretty much put everything else aside so that I could concentrate on the program.  At times it felt like I was making progress and not understanding everything; not finding my artistic style, but in the end, it all came together.

Funny thing though, I entered the program with definite ideas on what I wanted to learn and focus on, which was printing.  I did learn a lot more about printing, but what I greatly improved on was color.  Color theory and understanding was something I had avoided; actually I was afraid of it.  It all seemed so daunting and overwheleming, that i just didn’t bother.  But during the course, I made huge leaps in understanding and applying color theory.  Because my personal color perferance are neutral colors, I’d never had a desire to delve into color theory much.  I’m pretty proud of my understanding of color and my ability to mix almost any color I want now.

International Quilt Festival

At the end of the Art Cloth Mastery Program we hung a show that was held in conjunction with an annual artist studio tour in San Antonio, TX.  Our show was also submitted and accepted at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX, November, 2018 as a special exhibit.  To have my work shown in such a prestigious show was amazing.  And it was even more fun to attend for the first time with my friends Pat Grice and Diane Gardner-Rhoden.

Reflections Solo Exhibit

Another big milestone of 2018 was my solo exhibit held in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Surface Design Wearable Art show ‘All Decked Out’.  I exhibited 12 pieces of Itajime Shibori pieces, focusing on split complementary color schemes.  Pulling together these pieces was a challenge and a learning experience.  I totally loved doing it.  Check out this post and this one to see more pieces from my Reflections show.

One Last Milestone

There was one more big highlight of 2018, but it deserves a post all to itself.  So do come back in a few days and check it out.


I hope your 2018 was an exciting for you!  What is the one or two things that stand out for you?  Let me know in the comments below.



100 Printmaking Tools Update 2018

100 Printmaking Tools Update 2018

2018 is less than 24 hours from being over and I managed to make a few more printmaking tools, this time thermofax screens of two of my favorite subjects–leaves and backgrounds.


Leaves are probably my favorite designs, and was actually one of my first original designs.  For these leves I gather fresh leaves where ever I go and then print them by inking the back side and printing on plain white paper.  this creates a wonderful print with lots of fine detail.

Just as before I printed these on both paper and mylar.  This collection of screens brings me up to 40. Still a ways to go before reaching 100, but slow and steady wins the race.

But since I like a more graphic look I go back and enhance the markings to get the look I want.  These are a Maple leaf and what I believe is a Yellow Elder.  The Maple leaf I tried something different, and did a stipple look.  The Yellow Elder leaf I did more of a block look.  Not sure how I feel about the stippling.

Background Texture

Next I created some background textures. In my opinion you can never have too many background screens.  I love textures, but have a hard time coming up with some that I like.  For these I used some white on white textured wallpaper like this one.

Using a hard brayer, a rolled on black paint, which colored the raised areas without sinking down into the recesses to much.  Turned out to be a great way to highlight the textures.  I then photocopied them and made thermofaxes.

So two of my favorite design elements, leaves and backgrounds.  What are your favorite design elements?  Let me know if the comments below.

Reflections, A Solo Show

It’s been two weeks since the opening of my solo show, Reflections.  This show is in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild Wearable Arts show, All Decked Out.

I’m just now posting about it because opening night I could not get good pictures, so I had to go back a week later and take pictures.  And it’s taken me this long to get things edited. 

My show information literature
Statement about the series, my artist’s statement and bio

This series is all about my love of Itajime Shibori and my continuing studies of color.  I’ve had this idea in my head for a while now, so I took the time to get it out.  Actually I was on a different path for this show, but at less than 2 weeks out from hanging, I wasn’t feeling that direction.  So I ditched it all and went with this.  Surprisingly it all came together effortlessly.  Lucky me, especially since I had less than 2 weeks to pull it together.  These pieces are all split complementary color schemes.  They were all dyed with just one or two dyeing sessions. 

Itajime Color Story #1
A card like this accompanied each piece to explain the color scheme.  Very helpful for
Itajime Color Story #2
Itajime Color Story #4
Itajime Color Story #5
Itajime Color Story #6
Itajime Color Story #7

I still didn’t manage to get good pictures of every piece, so I will be making another trip to get the rest. 

But of all these, which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

Reflections Exhibit

A quick sneak peak at my one woman show in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild Wearable Arts Show, which opens tonight and goes until Jan 10, 2019 at the Unitarian Universalist church in Clearwater,  Fl.

Some of my art cloth waiting to be hung.

Art cloth grouping

Art cloth grouping

And a few close ups.

Over-dyeing Workshop

Several weeks I lead a workshop for the Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild on over-dyeing fabric.  Students bought in fabrics they had previously dyed and learned how to over-dye them.  We discussed color options and manipulations options.  I had premixed all of the single color dyes for them to use.  Here are a few pieces they created.

by Donna Winchester

by Donna Winchester

by Donna Winchester

by Donna Winchester



by Donna Winchester

Bonnie Ward strong orange over-dyed various colors

Bonnie Ward before

Bonnie Ward sun yellow

Bonnie Ward lemon yellow

Bonnie Ward tangerine

The last three pieces by Bonnie shows the original piece before over-dyeing (the small swatch) and an almost solid piece of the color and the larger over-dyed piece.  In addition to over-dyeing several pieces, Bonnie took the time to dye samples of all the single color dyes.  Now she has a great idea on how the colors interact with other colors and a great start on creating a dye notebook.


100 Printmaking Tools Day 15

A few weeks ago I posted about my 100 day project where I panned to work on creating 1 printmaking tool a day for the next 100 days.  Well, I’ve decided to modify this project just a bit.  When I started making my first tools, it just made sense to work on several at once.  So I drew out several stamps, cut them all at once and completed them over several days.  I realized I would most likely work this way instead of working on one at a time.

So I’m modifying my project to be 100 printmaking tools in 100 days or less.  And here is my first batch; a total of 14 stamps.


And here they are printed on both paper and mylar. The mylar is so that I can audition them on fabric.

I’ve already started of the next batch of stamps.  So the project continues.