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Nancy Hutson Art on Display

 Nancy Grace Hutson, is a self-taught artist who pursues her artistic vision by combining her love of crochet with her drawings on archival paper. Not only will her artwork be on display at Sow's Ear in Verona, Wisconsin now through February 27, but she will also teach a workshop on her method of "free-style" crochet. Sundrops courtesy of Sow's Ear Sundrops : close-up Nancy's "themes for her crochet wall hangings are nature-based: a flowing river, clouds in the sky, the sun through trees. Even her abstract pieces – her vision of sun drops falling onto a lake, and the wild sky colors behind a three-dimensional tree branch – come out of playing with natural images. Mixed Media; crochet over wire for 3-D effect, courtesy Hutson Hutson is also displaying a few of her drawings, which she says are “colorful, rhythmic, and playful.” Also displayed is the coming together of her drawing and crochet media, with a drawing framed in creative crochet shapes." The Fl
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Wild Webs Opens Tomorrow in Manassas, Virginia

Freeform crochet artist, Karen Ballard shares that a sampling of her freeform crochet, beading and weaving will be featured at the ARTFactory exhibit, Wild Webs , in Manassas starting October 15 and running through December 4, 2021. Also featured is the U.S. premiere of 50 Years of Flower Power Prudence Mapstone's Freeform collaborative crochet and knit art. "Freeform art is unrestrained by patterns, techniques, materials, shapes or colors. Over 200 artists representing 24 countries collaborated on the 35 x 5 foot piece that commemorates 50 years since the term flower power was coined in Berkeley, California, and used as a passive resistance slogan for non-violent protest against the Vietnam war.  Fifty Years of Flower Power Ballard is an author, textile and bead artist who has lived in Northern Virginia most of her life. She is the 2020 Crochet Guild of America Hall of Fame recipient. Mapstone was born in Sydney Australia and currently lives in Brisbane. Karen Ballard: NC N

Finding Peace Part II

  Healing Through Art  by Cheryl Chojnacki; Daily Herald; September 28, 2008 "The Awakenings Project won a Celebration Recovery award in 2006 for Outstanding Contribution to Recovery by a Non-Profit Organization. The project plays a vital role in the well-being of many who struggle with mental health issues. Through Awakenings, some are discovering, for the first time, that mental illness has an upside. Virginia Goldrick, at the Eckert Center for Mental Health in Elgin, Illinois explains, "Some people see mental illness as a burden, as limitation. But it can also open your eyes to many things-not just to human suffering, but also to the depth of human spirit. In her 1993 book  Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament , Dr. Kay Jamison builds the case that mental illness often goes hand-in-hand with artistic ability-citing Lord Byron, Robert Schumann, Vincent van Gogh as examples. The initial idea was to investigate Kay Jamison's claims of t

Finding Peace Part I

Chicago Tribune,  4/9/2003 Making Peace with Yourself (while the country is at war) by Barbara Brotman; Chicago Tribune, April 9, 2003 "Between the war and the economy, there is enough anguishing news to turn a concerned person into a despairing one. How do we navigate a worrisome world without being engulfed by it?"  Although those words were written in 2003, they are eerily familiar to me today; and, I suppose, to many of you! I have pretty much stopped watching the national news; the enormity of our daily problems leads me to despair as I am unable to solve the world's problems! I'm also done talking about the "mask/no mask" controversy. Just because I am pretty much isolating again and have very little to report when I check in with friends near or far, it doesn't mean I have to fill the void with negativity. Today, we have a seemingly never-ending pandemic thrown into the mix of everyday life.  There is plenty we can do to bring happiness to each d

Covid Art Therapy

I've blogged before about how crochet is good for our health; and lately, I've been seeing lots of references about how many have turned to art endeavors during the Covid-19 pandemic to maintain a healthy outlook.   Personally, I used the "free time" I felt I had been given during the pandemic to  dig deeper into my artistic abilities, and to enjoy the challenges of pushing myself to create. I even gave water painting a try! Now seems like a good time to re-visit the topic, both by looking back at our realizations that crafting is a healthy activity; and thinking about how we have found that crafting continues to help us cope in healthy ways, post-pandemic. Christine Boland in Fashion United writes: " Thanks to the pandemic, we've seen a rise in all things handmade, not only in fashion but also in interior design. This has brought about a renewed interest in traditional techniques used for and evolved over centuries by indigenous communities who live close t

Tania Rich, Crochet Activist

June is Pride Month; and Tania Rich has been busy crocheting hours and hours to  enhance the atmosphere at the NEON District of Norfolk, Virginia.  Her love of crochet got her involved in public art projects that highlight women and the LBGTQ Community. She wanted to add a little more love and color to the NEON District near where she lives. Due to lack of trees-lined streets, she lent her creativity to the light poles. Neon District, Norfolk, Virginia Tania also contributed a 24" x 24" square to a 40 foot mural of Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington, D. C. as a part of Love Across the USA . Tania Rich and her square for the Harris Mural Led by well-known street artist, London Kaye , Love Across the USA was founded by Olek in 2017. London explains, "We create large, poweful crochet art installations that amplify the voices and visions of women from the past and present that are changing the world. Women are no longer just participants in conversations, we are le

Book Review: Crochet Kaleidoscope by Sandra Eng

Crochet Kaleidoscope ~ Shifting Shapes and Shade Across 100 Motifs is a fantastic book.by well-known designer Sandra Eng. You may recall my recent post about the Violet Protest . I have now finished the five squares I committed to send to this exciting project; and I used Sandra's book as a reference for making each square. Along the way, I decided to review the book for you because I enjoyed it so much. Included in the 100 designs are not just run-of-the-mill designs, but unique squares and also chapters on Circles, Hexagons, Triangles and other shapes as well. Publshed by FW, Eng says the book was "born out of her love of crochet, color and geometry." Her readers love crochet and color; geometryis a fantastic bonus that contributes to her unique design abilities. Karen Manthey, named by Eng as " Technical Editor Extraordinaire , has provided her diagram creation skills for each motif." She has been well-known in the crochet industry for years for her amazing