Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pagenkopf Commission

 The commission pieces of the past few months have kept my creativity alive over the otherwise lazy days of summer.  It took a leap of faith the day that I contacted Cindy Pagenkopf to share with her my style of mandala fiber art and my vision for possibilities for the funeral home decor.  She was moved to tears when she actually saw with her own eyes what I was trying to describe over the phone.  The idea that "one look is worth a thousand words" really rang true in this case.  She had an idea for the funeral home, a kind of a quilt that would be used to honor the deceased during the farewell ceremony at the Angel's Grace Hospice.

So in early June, I met with her husband Kevin who is the 4th generation funeral director of this family owned and operated establishment and their staff.  This meeting was my opportunity to "show & tell" my 'LoveLights'.  We brainstormed ideas and came up with a design that would incorporate the Pagenkopf name with the center mandala that used the word "Peace", as in 'rest in peace'.  Cindy has a great sense of style and had her vision for the remodeling project that was about to take place during the summer months, so she and I immediately went out and shopped for the fabric in just the right color & texture to be used for this project.  My creative spirit was alive with excitement at the prospect of bringing forth the perfect art piece to reflect their ideas.

Once I put my hands on the fabric and started to play with the paints and threads that could be used for this project, I found myself in the "zone" and the MUSE took over.  At the final outcome, I was completely surprised and grateful that my hands were used to bring this piece to life.  It's always a mystery to me how these beautiful projects evolve on their own and I somehow get all the credit.  For this, I am eternally GRATEFUL!

What Talents do you possess and what Blessings do you count daily?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's a WRAP!

My artist friend, Casey Puetz and I traveled to Madison, to take part in the Wisconsin Regional Art Program (WRAP) Annual Exhibit and State Art Conference on Saturday, September 19, 2009 held  at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  The conference was an opportunity for us to network with other artists of many mediums from around the state of Wisconsin.  After viewing the art exhibit which took up three floors of the Pyle Center, it touched my heart to listen to the guest speakers; Artists Henry Hawkins and Helen Klebesadel talk about their art.  They shared slides of their retrospective bodies of work and spoke of the struggles, joy, and passion of being an artist today.  The program was educational and comforting to hear first hand accounts of their inspiration, point of view, finding their voice, and how they find Joy in working on their Art.  Viewing the exhibit was sheer pleasure for my soul and it was a special thrill to see my art "Gaia ~ Fire & Water" hanging amongst all that talent.  I was proud of Casey as she received the Stateline Artists Award for "Aspen Duo".  This thrilling day came on top of the Delafield Art Walk the night before.

If you have ever taken part in a county fair, church festival, or worked a booth at a conference, you will appreciate the physical demands of setting up and taking down an exhibit. There is a certain amount of stress related to 'remembering to bring everything' and 'opening yourself up to public opinion'.  But somehow sandwiched in the middle of all that stress are hours of FUN when you see your friends, meet and greet new people, Show & Tell the Art, and then find a new home for your 'LoveLights'.  The activity is a real roller coaster ride of emotions.  Again, Casey stands by my side as we share the ups and downs of this experience.  When all is said and done, we are in awe of our journey since we started our 'Stand by Me' meetings a few short years ago.  We are so grateful to the Powers that Be for putting us together in the first place - - - but that's another story.  For now, this grateful spirit needs to rest her mind and aching body.

Until next time~
Remember that "Colorful Art lifts the Spirit!"

Thursday, September 17, 2009


My obsession with mandalas (I see circles everywhere I go!) has resulted in years of study and exploration of these magical circular forms.  My bookshelves are full of colorful books on this subject.  I use them for inspiration in creating my version of these ancient icons which are affectionately called "LoveLights".
As was stated in an earlier post, I turned 50 with a bang!! My appendix ruptured on the night of my birthday. The upset stomach that I felt the next morning caused me to regret eating that second piece of ice cream cake.  Little did I know then what had really happened and I lay around for a couple of days thinking I had the flu.  Needless to say, when I finally was admitted into the hospital, I was critically ill and stayed there for a week!!  I learned a great lesson through this experience - - LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!  You know; that little voice that says "get help quick!"  I tried to ignore it, but when the pain grew too intense, I had no choice but to surrender to the moment and ASK for help.  The outpouring of good wishes and prayers from family and friends also taught me what it feels like to be surrounded by LOVE. It was an eye-opening, AHA! moment and I'll always be grateful for the entire experience.
 After recovery, when I was finally able to get back to my sewing, the first "LoveLight" was created.  You see it pictured here.  The black background supports the red marble mandala that is filled with the colorful butterflies all trying to get out.  (It reminds me of my spirit looking for it's voice back in those days.)  The name "LoveLights" had been revealed to me years earlier through my morning journaling ritual ~ but we'll save that story for another post.

Until next time ~
Be Well,


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why Fabric?

My lifelong love of fabrics and working with my hands to create something from an idea, started at an early age under the guidance of my mother. She taught me how to thread a needle and soon started the journey of sewing doll clothes by hand. By the age of twelve, I was constructing my own clothing on a Singer treadle sewing machine. As the years went by, my experience as a homemaker had included all forms of sewing: home decorating, crafts, and clothing for my children.

I became an instructor at Stretch & Sew Fabrics in 1977, teaching hundreds of women the basics of sewing with knit fabrics. The introduction to the world of quilting in 1995 came while working in a quilt fabric shop where I quickly became a garment and serger machine specialist.  I taught classes in  garment construction, fit, and Jacket Jazz wearable art. The fashions that were created won ribbons in local quilt shows and had been exhibited nationally; one piece, in particular, traveled in the Hoffman Challenge trunk show in 1999. Next, I wanted to try my hand creating Artquilts and began concentrating on nontraditional designs using many of the quilt techniques that I had been using in the garments. Consequently, I discovered the joy of teaching and lecturing at guild meetings and area quilt shops.

I turned 50 with a bang!! My appendix ruptured and I was critically ill. It was during this time that Spirit touched my heart in the form of mandalas ~ sacred circles. I began to see circles everywhere I looked and naturally, they found their way into my sewing. At about this time I was invited to join MArQ ~ Milwaukee Art Quilters group and began to explore the possibilities that took my sewing hobby into a new direction. I studied Mandalas and while working with unusual fabric textures and specialty threads, began to create quilts “in the round”.

The meeting of artist/teacher David Walker, in 2003 had a profound effect on my self esteem and a Fiber Artist was born. Since that meeting I have been passionate about my mission to share my Love and Light in the form of LoveLights™ ~ my healing color Mandalas. Sharing this art in the virtual gallery of my web site gives a purpose to my LIFE. It is my hope that you will visit often, and are blessed by the work of my hands.

Until next time ~

Be Well -

Friday, September 4, 2009

Guess who's Blogging!

Can you believe your eyes?  It's me, Kasia, and I'm blogging!!  Okay, I will admit that I came to this site kicking and screaming- - there is always so much to learn with these new ventures in technology, and I just wasn't sure that I wanted to become involved.  You, my Dear Ones, have encouraged me to do this.  You know who you are.  It is with some reservations about making my mistakes in public, that I have decided to face my fears, take a leap of faith, and give this blogging a shot.  So hang on - - here we go!

For those of you who don't know me, let me start by introducing myself.  I am Kasia - - pronounced: kaa, sha.
I live a very active life wearing many different hats:  Loving Wife & Mother,  Joyful Grandmother, First Daughter, Wise Sister, Crystal Girl, Fun Friend, Artist, Mandala Creator, Humanitarian, Mediocre Golfer, Cool Curler, Traveler, Seeker of Wisdom, Homemaker, etc.  It is my hope that with this blog, we will help each other to take a deep breath, calm the chaos, and gratefully explore the blessings of this LIFE.

Be Well -