Dear Fleisher 2018

Dear Fleisher, 4×6 Inches of Art is a biennial fundraising exhibition showcasing the work of hundreds of artists from Philadelphia and beyond. Artists submit original postcard-size works in a wide range of media and styles, each of which is exhibited anonymously and sold on a first-come, first served basis for $50.


My contribution this year was all about repurposing.  The screen-printed fabric is an old shopping tote turned inside out.  I made the dangle from a silver candelabra I found in the trash.   I sawed off off the drip pans and milled the round metal arms into square wire that I forged into the dangle hanging from the porcelain pendant.  I added a chain and jump rings.


I couldn’t make it to the sale this year.  There was one piece in particular that I really wanted to buy.  Can you guess which one it was from the pictures below?

So many outstanding works of art by so many talented people.  And a great way to raise money for a wonderful institution.


A Melange of Topics Including Melange!


I needed cinnamon.  My favorite spice store, The Spice Corner,  had closed.   I didn’t feel like running up to Reading Terminal and pre packaged spices from the grocery store were out of the question.  That left Melange, a tea and spice store at 11th and Pine Streets in Philadelphia.  Melange has been open for a couple of years but I had never shopped there before I stepped in that November afternoon.  When I asked if they carried cinnamon, proprietor Boris Ginsburgs  steered me to a shelf that held Saigon cinnamon, Sri Lankan cinnamon and Indonesian cinnamon.

“Could you explain the difference between the three of them?”

Boris launched into an explanation that was concise, lucid, and which branded him as a tea and spice nerd. Maven would be a better description.  I ended up buying small onamounts of all three varieties intending to try them in different dishes.    And I will go back to Melange when I need more spices because they have such a big, reasonably priced assortment.

Boris Ginsburgs knows his tea and spices.  Just read through the Melange web site if you want a tea and spice education.  Better yet, go to Melange and buy some new spices to try.



In other news,  I raised a little money for the Fleisher Art Memorial  by running a make and take bracelet table at their annual Holiday Craft Fair.   I also contributed a piece to Fleisher’s semi-annual fundraiser, Dear Fleisher, 4 x 6  inches of  Art.


   More than 300 artists contributed work to the fundraiser.   All the work  is  priced at $50.00 and  the artists remain anonymous until the work is  sold. The polymer  piece I donated  went home with a buyer.

Where Satellite Dishes Go to Die


Bead Soup is Served!

I have recently learned that tubular bead crocheting with gemstone chips employs the same part of the brain you use driving through a blinding thunderstorm when there’s no safe place to pull over;  you keep plugging away slowly,  steadily and carefully, concentrating on what is immediately in your path and ignoring distractions.

I could have done a stringing project for the Kalmbach Books Bead Soup Party, but I wanted to do something different. Linda Jacobs-Pence of Your Beading Heart sent me some yummy and inspirational bead soup. I decided to try tubular crochet but could not find much information so I went by the seat of my pants as usual. I added chips and seed beads to the mix and was going to make this a wrap around double layer necklace, but it looked terrible! Then I got the idea of knotting the crocheted seed bead section of the necklace and it all fell into place. The beads around the clasp were also part of the bead soup. I didn’t want to hide the pretty metal beads Linda sent in the crochet work so I decided to showcase them in the closure but had to come up with an idea for a closure because a toggle was clearly not going to cut it.

I ended up attaching a rare earth magnetic clasp to the necklace and beading a “turtle neck” for it to hide in.  I added a small safety chain just in case the magnet fails, but it’s pretty darn strong.

The seed beads and chain are from my stash.  The drum-shaped beads and 3mm bronze beads came from Your Beading Heart.

Here’s a closeup of tubular crochet with chips and 6/0 and 8/0 beads.  I used black crochet cotton.

Here’s a close up of the knotted crocheted rope.  I used a sparkly blue yarn to crochet this portion.  The necklace is about 24″ long and not as heavy as it looks.  It’s easy to take on and off too which is a design aspect I think is very important.

You can read the story behind this Bead Soup creation here and here.

If you’re in Philadelphia this Sunday,  don’t forget

Dear Fleisher, 4×6 Inches of Art is a biennial fundraising exhibition showcasing the work of hundreds of artists from Philadelphia and beyond. Artists submit original postcard size works in a wide range of media and styles, each of which is exhibited anonymously and sold on a first-come, first-served basis for $50.

Some  well-known artists have contributed work.  So have some not so well-known artists like me.  The buyer does not know the name of the artist until after the piece is sold.

Proceeds support Fleisher’s nationally recognized award-winning arts education programs.

Click here for more information.