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A Play and A Framing Day

November 17, 2008

Into the Woods
Friday evening we attended a community theater performace of “Into the Woods” which was great fun (and by the way, there are two remaining performances. You can get ticket information at the link.) My friend Dina Kerik made the costumes for three of the performers, and if you knew Dina, you’d know that no detail was overlooked as she spent what must have been weeks (maybe months?) designing and creating some absolutely stunning pieces.

I can’t adequately describe Dina’s fiber creations, or how deep her knowledge is of everything involving cloth and ornamentation, or how hard she pushes herself and her medium. I can barely get a zipper foot locked down. So I’d suggest you just see for yourself by checking out her blog. You can stop right now and go do that. I’ll wait for you.

Framing Day


“River Sweet” – Phyllis McEwen
Ink on Paper, 8-1/2 x 11 inches

When I take a break from the ordinary, nothing makes me happier than getting out all my collage stuff. Today I can reward myself with a day “off” to play with collage, since I worked all day yesterday. Anyway, I’m calling it “work” so I can justify taking today off. Here’s why.

Yesterday my friend Phyllis McEwen came over so we could frame up a whole bunch of her drawings and so that she can perfect her framing skills. Phyllis is well-known in literary and performance art circles, but not yet known for her visual art. But she will be.

She has a growing portfolio of these incredible drawings that need to get out there for the world to see, and it came time for some of them to be framed so that the next step can happen. That’s where I come in. I actually enjoy framing art, I think because the end result is always so much fun to see. Armed with a pot of coffee and some croissants, we were good to go.

Since we’re both a little bit perfectionist about cleaning glass and making sure every last speck is gone from underneath, it took us four hours to frame eight pieces. But today I’m realizing the other reason it took so long: the metal frame kits were so over-packaged that it takes all kinds of gyrations to get them open and assembled. So before we have the next session I’m going to open all the stuff up beforehand and get it sorted into separate pieces, assembly-line style.

We’ll probably do this again at least once so that Phyllis will get really fast at it, and so that she’ll have plenty of work available for some galleries and shows.

Note:  Phyllis writes stories about each one of her drawings, describing the comings and goings and adventures of these colorful and magical beings, and they always contain important life lessons and bits of wisdom. Examples are on her blog.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2008 1:06 pm

    Into the Woods is one of my all time faves!

  2. November 17, 2008 1:48 pm

    John, I would love to see a big production of it, but never have. I loved, loved the songs and some of the lines were just priceless!

  3. Mary Cummings permalink
    November 17, 2008 10:56 pm

    I love Phyllis’ work – I think she will love it that you took the liberty… I hope so,,,

  4. November 18, 2008 1:54 am


    You are truly the Mother Earth of the art world !! I love how you spin and weave the various doyennes in your life into greater things – TRUE confidence! Not a jealous or covetous bone in your body, girl !! Your motto is, “Not only will I make it good for myself, but I will bring along the whole of mine and what I find delightful of the Earth with me.”

    Surely, you must be blessed amongst women and artists because you promote, encourage, champion and cheer on the inumerable talented folk of various srtipe who gravitate to you. I’ve known you to outfit, kit, and supply artists just starting and shy of experience and funds with mountains of supplies and advice and encouragement that could not have been less than dear in cost and time. “Do it! Create!” , “This is how you accomplish that.”, “The best way to get your art out there is to….”

    You have promoted and endowed the unknown and upcoming and exhausted of all of us with a motherly prod of confidence. This is the real purpose of mentoring art and creativity in all forms from the guileless spirit of one who truly makes and lives art.

    This is the mark of true confidence to me: “I do well and I want you to do so as well.” That you love and nurture the muse in each of the ones of us who come to you, Alabama Mama of Art that you are, is a gift and a blessing. My wish is to grow up to be like you – as selfless and talented an artist and as shameless a promoter as I have observed you to be over and over again throughout all the years I have know you.

    That there must be a giant biscuit of a prize made in a Dutch oven over an open fire of confidence in your name is redoubtless. I hope to mentor, encourage and help a tenth as many on the path of creativity as you have.

    You are my example, a sister, and an map of do unto others as any holy person I have known. And to the rest of you out there, when I tell you that this is a nascent being without a selfish bone in her Southern Belle body, it is accurate to a fault and to be admired as exemplar.

    The Other She has spoken,

  5. November 18, 2008 6:39 am

    Mary, I think she’d be so OK with it!

    Dina, what can I say? You are a true friend. (Can I hire you to be my agent?)

  6. November 19, 2008 12:38 pm

    I enjoyed peaking at both of your friend’s talent! Oh I bet when you get together with your girls there is creativity overflowing as the wine glasses become empty! So… much fun!
    Thanks Martha!

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