Monday, February 1, 2016

It is February .... FEZTASTIC!!!

print me and color me!!! 
Here is a coloring page for you!!
to fill with color on a cold, gray february day.  
on my daily blog I posted this quote about february,
 and felt like a fun coloring activity
would be a welcomed break if the weather is bleak! 

"Winter is a time of promise because 
there is so little to do,
or because you can now and then permit yourself 
the luxury of thinking so."
Stanley Crawford

have fun and happy coloring!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A little snow didn't stop the women in the Senate ...

I saw this from the Washington Post and I just needed to share ... 

©virginiafitzgerald 2013 ... dailydress series

in post-blizzard D.C. it seems as though only women made the effort to go to work?!?! 

“Something is genuinely different — and something is genuinely fabulous,” Murkowski said."

Click on the title of the article to go the Washington Post's site or you can read the article below.  I felt this was a very telling event and should be celebrated and shared.

Women don't let a blizzard stop them from doing what needs to be done!!!

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) noted that only women turned up to run the Senate Jan. 26, following a weekend blizzard that brought D.C. to a standstill. (C-SPAN)

Something was a little different in the Senate on Tuesday morning. And Sen. Lisa Murkowski noticed it.
The Alaska Republican was one of only a few lawmakers in the Capitol building following the weekend blizzard, and it was her job to handle the formalities of delaying Senate business until her colleagues could get back to work. After finishing a bit of parliamentary business, she described what she saw in the ornate chamber.
“As we convene this morning, you look around the chamber, the presiding officer is female. All of our parliamentarians are female. Our floor managers are female. All of our pages are female.”
Murkowski noted that she and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who was wielding the Senate gavel, hadn’t planned the all-women session. It was, she said, just a coincidence.
“Something is genuinely different — and something is genuinely fabulous,” Murkowski said.
She theorized that the lack of men in the ranks of members and staffers might not have been a simple fluke. “Perhaps it speaks to the hardiness of women,” she added, “that put on your boots and put your hat on and get out and slog through the mess that’s out there.”

Sunday, January 10, 2016

the bustier is leaving the building ... the story behind the first eggshell dress

'eggshell dress ...' (2008)
me, removing my 'eggshell bustier...' from Renew Arts & Industry ...
the beginning .....
Just a few of the headlines from April 2007:
  • College Student Guns Down Dozens in Virginia (April 16): Male student kills two in a Virginia Tech dorm. Two hours later, he kills 30 more in a classroom building before committing suicide. The shooting rampage is the most deadly in U.S. history. Fifteen others are wounded.
  • Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Abortion Procedure (April 18): The ruling, 5–4, which upholds the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, a federal law passed in 2003, is the first to ban a specific type of abortion procedure. Writing in the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, "The act expresses respect for the dignity of human life."Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who dissents, called the decision "alarming" and said it is "so at odds with our jurisprudence" that it "should not have staying power."
  • Earthquake and Tsunami Strike the Solomon Islands (April 3): Magnitude 8.0 earthquake and tsunami that follows kill at least 20 people and destroy villages.
  • U.S. Squadron Hit by Suicide Bombers in Iraq (April 24): Nine U.S. soldiers are killed and at least 20 are wounded by two bombers attacking an American post in Diyala.
  • Bombs Kill Nearly 200 in Baghdad (April 18): Five bombs targeting Shiite neighborhoods ravage the Iraqi capital in the worst violence in weeks. One bomb alone kills about 140 in Sadr City area.
  • Bombs Kill Dozens in Algeria (April 11): Some 35 people are killed and hundreds are wounded when suicide bombers attack a government building in the capital, Algiers, and a police station on the outskirts of the capital. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility for the attack.

It was April 2007 .... the Iraq war was a never ending quagmire, Mother Nature was making herself heard with Tsunamis, snow storms and tornados, taking lives and property, a male student went on a shooting spree on a collage campus and a good friend's marriage abruptly ended.               In April of 2007 I was feeling the fragility and pain of life quite clearly.  

As a way to deal with the overwhelming sense of loss and helplessness I headed to my studio.  
I had been collecting eggshells from my house and my neighbors, knowing  that they would be a beautiful and poignant material in which to create a dress, therefore I had a good collection of eggshells at my disposal. So as a way to center myself amongst all the craziness going in the world, I grabbed my eggshells and my hot glue gun and began building. I still remember thinking that the hot glue was so messy compared to the delicateness and fragility of the eggshells, but that dichotomy was appropriate for how I was feeling.

That first day of building was cathartic, I just grab whatever shell that was closest, I didn't think.   I didn't care if it was brown or white eggshell, I just needed to build something.  However the next day when I returned to my studio I was put off by the randomness of the colors of the shells; I didn't like it.  Yet I didn't want to start again,  I wanted to honor how the dress began. So to 'compromise' I started covering both the brown and white shells with smaller pieces of the opposite color shell, as a way of blending the two colors.  
And as happens so many times with my 'dressproject', my solution to camouflage the different color shells not only succeeded, but it also visually suggested lace.  I loved this suggestion but I had NOT planned it. This is the beautiful serendipity found in my 'dressproject'.

I continued to build the dress, embracing the messiness of the hot glue, using the ever-present wisps of hot glue to suggest dripping whites of the eggs.  While making this sculpture I needed to learn patience and mindfulness.  I learned the hard way not to just yank the hot glue gun's cord out of the wall, as it could and did go flying into the eggshell dress (clean up aisle 3).

Once the dress was finished I had the opportunity to exhibit it at the Natick Collection and the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA, 
the 'dressproject' at the Natick Collection, Natick, MA (2008)
where it got much attention ... 'look, those are eggshells?!?!?'

at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA (2008)
Unfortunately, even with a well thought-out and throughly cushioned mode of transport, the traveling was too much for the sculpture and once she returned from Watertown, she succumbed to gravity.

It was odd because the dress didn't break in transit.  It was a day or so after returning from Watertown. 

I was in my studio when I heard a very soft crinkling sound, almost undetectable.  I stopped what I was doing to investigate.  At this time my studio had a leaky ceiling and possible rodent residences, so I wanted to see what was making this sound.

As I walked around my studio, ears straining, I realized that the sound was coming from my eggshell dress?!?! As I got closer to the sculpture I understood that it was crumbling and there was nothing I could do about it.  I tried to save it but only was able to salvage the top ...


But there was much I loved about this sculpture ~ the patterning created by the mosaic of eggshell, the beauty of the eggshells themselves and most of all, I wanted to honor the 'place' from where the piece started, it was a physical expression of how crazy fragile life was. 
So instead of scrapping the entire piece, I created the 'eggshell bustier ...' which I exhibited at my solo shows at the Dana Hall School, 2008 and the Holliston High School, 2009, before in took up residency in the offices of One80Visuals/ Renew Arts and Industry, Natick, MA.

There, the 'eggshell bustier ...'  stayed, quietly crumbling, until last Friday when I gingerly removed it. I was pleasantly surprised how the piece still had some integrity and I was able to transfer it into a bin in one piece.  And today, as my daughter Harriet spied it in the backseat of my car, she insisted that I salvage the eggshell dress/bustier yet again because, "it has been so many places."

'this comes from with ...' (2009)
Medicine Wheel Productions, Boston, MA

So we will see where the bustier will go from here, but it did inspire my room installation/environment, 'this comes from within ...' which is a very good thing....


Saturday, December 12, 2015

A story for the birthday boy ...

'the day it snowed and snowed and snowed ...'
today is my dad's birthday, Happy Birthday Daddy!! and I thought in lieu of buying him yet another 'thing' that he most likely doesn't need, I will give him a story of a childhood memory of a magical  evening adventure!!! 
Daddy and me a few years later

Daddy and me in the courtyard

Happy Birthday Daddy!!! 
love you lots!!! XXX

'The day it snowed and snowed and snow ...'
by Virginia Fitzgerald
for the birthday boy and my Daddy,
Robert Fitzgerald

When my brother and I got up it had started to snow.  We were so excited.
My mom and dad were worried about a big storm, but to us, it just looked like fun.
After breakfast, we played in the courtyard,bundled in our snowsuits, hats and mittens. 
At lunch Mr. Schuller, the super, came by to make sure the heaters were working. He said this storm was turning out to be a big one! 
Mom watched the TV as my brother and I watch the snow. 
Daddy came home early from work. He brought groceries and some friends who were going to stay with us since they were stranded in the city. 
Suddenly our apartment was full of neighbors and friends, music and laughter. We were having a snowbound party. 
As our apartment got louder and louder, the city got quieter and quieter. 
The snow kept falling, blanketing the streets; no cars went by, there was hardly anyone about. 
As the snow dwindled off, my brother and I stared out through the steamed-up window at this winter wonderland. 
Daddy joined us looking out the window too, then asked if we wanted to go for a sleigh ride?! 
We explode with excitement!!! Yes!!!Yes!!!Yes!!! 
Mom thought it was too cold, too late, but my dad convinced her to let us go if we promised to go straight to bed. 
We promised!!! 
We bundled up again, this time with extra scarfs and socks. Daddy got the sled from our basement storage closet and we headed off. 
The street was so quiet and white. The streetlights reflected off the park cars covered in snow, making them look like giant sleeping trolls. 
The sidewalk had vanished under the blankets of white. They were impassable. I thought this would end our adventure right then and there, but my dad didn't waver. 
He trudged through the snow and into the street, where it was not so deep.We had been told to never play in the street, so we hesitated. 
Daddy told us that tonight was a special night, with special rules. There were no cars tonight, in fact nothing was moving so we could be in the street. 
My brother and I looked around, he was right! 
We climbed on the sled, my brother in my lap, and we were off, down the middle of Dearborn. Light streamed out of every window, giving everything an enchanted glow. 
I heard the sleigh blades skate along the snow, my brother quick breaths and my father's boots crushing the freshly fallen snow. 
This was magic; to be out so late, to be with my dad, to feel warm and safe with my brother in my lap and to be surrounded by such quiet in the middle of the city. It felt like a dream. 
So while we clambered back to the apartment, with our cheeks kissed pink with the brisk winter air, and we shed our coats and boots while saying good night to the party, I held on to that dream. 
And as I wandered up the stairs, heading to bed, I knew that I was going to continue the dream, I was going to return to the day when it snowed and snowed and snowed.

little me
the end

my styling mom and dad

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Coming to you from the Windy City ...

It's been a bit quite here on my blog because I have been on the road, helping the lovely & talented Bree Richey Designs at the One of a Kind show in Chicago!! 

But as one who follows me knows, I'm always doing something ... So during the show I have been documenting my morning (& sometimes evening) beverages. So here are a few of my drawings from chi-town!!! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Practice Gratitude today and EVERYday!!!! It is good for your health ...

'dress of plenty ...' (2012) westwood, MA

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  

Besides celebrating a quality that I feel is quintessential to one's quality of life ~ gratitude; it is also a holiday that most everyone celebrates.  I love this because for the weeks leading up to the big day I can wholeheartedly wish everyone a "Happy Thanksgiving'.  This is not true with many of the other big holidays.   And I enjoy spreading the concept of gratefulness especially during this growing frenzy of materialism, aka black friday, but that is for another post. But for now let us remember to be grateful, practice gratitude today and everyday ...
it is good for you, your health, your life, your loved ones and all of us!!!
Thank you & peace, va

From Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D.’s book, Thanks!…
“When the well-being of participants int he gratitude group was compared to the control group. a strong and consistent pattern appeared: The gratitude group was still enjoying benefits six months later. They were experiencing more positive emotions, were more satisfied with their lives, felt better about their lives as a whole, and continued to feel more connected to others.  Even though the experiment they had participated in terminated nearly six months before, they maintained levels of overall well-being that were nearly 25% higher than persons in the control condition.  The evidence contradicts the widely help view that all people have a set-point of happiness that cannot be reset by any known means : in some cases, people have reported that gratitude led to transformative life changes.”

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

'flirt ...' flies again and other arty adventures

'flirt ...' (2014) installed in the shop window at Renew Arts & Industry, Natick, MA
I am so happy and please to announce that my dress sculpture, 'flirt ...' is back out in the world!!! For the next few weeks, 'flirt ... ' will now be calling the window at Renew Arts & Industry home!!!

view from the ladder, when I was installing her....
from inside the shop
in all her glory ...
'flirt ...' and la luna

'adrift ...'  (2015)

 also thanks to the lovely and talented David Lee Black, you can now find some of my photographs sprinkled around the Wrentham and Providence area!! 

 'adrift ...' is drifting at the Looking Glass Cafe in Wrentham, while 'guppy ...' and 'pandora's box ...' are relaxing at The Spa at the Providence Biltmore

'pandora's box ...' (2015)
'guppy ...' (2015)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

i have no words, but can share the words and wisdom of others ...

a beautiful illustration by artist/illustrator: Nelleke Verhoeff
of Red Cheeks Factory

prayer from the author, Paul Boynton, from Begin with Yes

"There are times when there is so much darkness, so much hate and anger and so much hopelessness that we can barely breath much less make sense of it. It is as if darkest of all clouds has finally prevailed and we feel helpless and afraid. During these times we must open our hearts and our arms and remind ourselves and each other that there are more candles than guns, more love than hate and much more light, stronger, brighter and more powerful than any evil that may swirl around us. And at the darkness moments, we must, through our thoughts, prayers and actions remind each other of the ultimate truth that light, hope and most of all love always wins. Forever and ever. Amen." 

beautiful and poignant graphic created by Jean Jullien and which is becoming
the symbol of hope and support for the recent nightmare in Paris
  here is a wonderfully written post by Sarah Hill which I want to share here: "Paris is Burning; Paris is the City of Love.
I have 567 friends on Facebook. I don't think a single one of you is a hater. Maybe you have a hater among your friends, though. If you do, think about what to say to haters, today, and every day. Here are my thoughts for today:
There will be fear-mongering. There will be hate-mongering. It’s already started.
But before falling into the trap of religious hatred (in other words, today, deciding to hate Islam because it appears to lie behind yesterday’s hateful acts), let’s remember that religion is a tool of hate, not the other way around. Religion gets mongered up by hate. Hate is what lies behind these acts; not religion.
Love is what all religious arguments should be spreading. Love, however does not arm its arguments. Love does not use violence or force. And it never will. Anyone who arms for religion is arming for hate, not love.
Both love and hate are inherent to us; they are written in our DNA. The first time I was boiling mad at my own child, I recognized, in ways that had never been so clear to me before, that hate is not just taught, it needs to be untaught.
Don’t confuse ISIS for Islam. Don’t confuse Westboro for Christianity. They are hate, masquerading as religion, which is to say that they are hate masquerading as love.
In the Christian duality there is God, which is Love, and Satan who is Hate. I don’t believe in Satan and I don’t really believe in God. But I do believe in love and I know that hate is real. If you believe in God, and spew hate, remember that in so doing, you stop doing God’s work and start doing what you of what you believe is God’s antithesis.
To date, I have lost no one in hateful acts. I cannot speak from personal experience. But I know that at some point in my life I may be challenged to not hate because of a love stolen from me by a hateful act. Or maybe a random, accidental occurrence. Whatever the source of that loss of love – which we all face – I hope I have practiced enough love to overcome the hate that, like the everyday rising of the sun, will well up in me." heart emoticon

Powerful insight regarding the Paris attacks from George Takei.

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.” ― Carl SaganCosmos

Love is the spirit of this church, 
and service is its law;
 this is our great covenant: 
to dwell together in peace, 
to seek the truth in love, 
and to help one another.    
James Vila Blake, 1894


Friday, November 13, 2015

#4UFriday: A is for authentic

Last week on my 'dailydress' blog, I announced my intention to post a free printable on Fridays as a 'just-for-instance' present for all those of you who have been following me and supporting me on my artistic journey.

This idea of the 'just for instance' present comes from the wonderful children's book series, by Carolyn Haywood, B is for Betsy.  Here is what I posted last week ...
One of my favorite parts of being a mom ( and there are SO many) was reading to my daughters, especially at night when we were all cuddling and cozy and winding down from a full day.
One of our favorite series was by Carolyn Haywood's Betsy series, which starts with "B" is for Betsy'. A truly charming collections of stories that kept me and the girls laughing and in a lovely state of mind.
It was through these stories that I was introduced to the phrase/concept of a "just-for-instance present"; present given with no rhyme or reason, just because. I LOVE this!! I had given gifts for no given occasion but I LOVE the phrase ... "just-for-instance present".
So with that in mind I am hoping to make Friday's even a little more fun by giving all my followers a "just-for-instance present" ... printable for your enjoyment! 
So with no further adieu, here is this week's freebie printable.  This is the first page in my "ABC of Being" (working title) coloring book.  Each Friday I plan to share another coloring page with a letter and a mindful quality.

Happy coloring!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

celebrating poetry ... How to be Perfect by Ron Padgett

'english pea dress, with a nod to Ron Padgett ...'
#dailydressseries, 9nov15, 39F, 10PM, Natick, MA

How to Be Perfect

                                                  Everything is perfect, dear friend.
Get some sleep.

Don't give advice.

Take care of your teeth and gums.

Don't be afraid of anything beyond your control. Don't be afraid, for
instance, that the building will collapse as you sleep, or that someone
you love will suddenly drop dead.

Eat an orange every morning.

Be friendly. It will help make you happy.

Raise your pulse rate to 120 beats per minute for 20 straight minutes
four or five times a week doing anything you enjoy.

Hope for everything. Expect nothing.

Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room
before you save the world. Then save the world.

Know that the desire to be perfect is probably the veiled expression
of another desire—to be loved, perhaps, or not to die.

Make eye contact with a tree.

Be skeptical about all opinions, but try to see some value in each of

Dress in a way that pleases both you and those around you.

Do not speak quickly.

Learn something every day. (Dzien dobre!)

Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.

Don't stay angry about anything for more than a week, but don't
forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm's length
and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass ball

Be loyal.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Design your activities so that they show a pleasing balance
and variety.

Be kind to old people, even when they are obnoxious. When you
become old, be kind to young people. Do not throw your cane at
them when they call you Grandpa. They are your grandchildren!

Live with an animal.

Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.

If you need help, ask for it.

Cultivate good posture until it becomes natural.

If someone murders your child, get a shotgun and blow his head off.

Plan your day so you never have to rush.

Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if you
have paid them, even if they do favors you don't want.

Do not waste money you could be giving to those who need it.

Expect society to be defective. Then weep when you find that it is far
more defective than you imagined.

When you borrow something, return it in an even better condition.

    As much as possible, use wooden objects instead of plastic or metal

    Look at that bird over there.

    After dinner, wash the dishes.

    Calm down.

Visit foreign countries, except those whose inhabitants have
expressed a desire to kill you.

Don't expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want to.

Meditate on the spiritual. Then go a little further, if you feel like it.
What is out (in) there?

Sing, every once in a while.

Be on time, but if you are late do not give a detailed and lengthy

Don't be too self-critical or too self-congratulatory.

Don't think that progress exists. It doesn't.

"Walk upstairs.

Do not practice cannibalism.

Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don't do
anything to make it impossible.

Take your phone off the hook at least twice a week.

Keep your windows clean.

Extirpate all traces of personal ambitiousness.

Don't use the word extirpate too often.

Forgive your country every once in a while. If that is not possible, go
to another one.

If you feel tired, rest.

Grow something.

Do not wander through train stations muttering, "We're all going to

Count among your true friends people of various stations of life.

Appreciate simple pleasures, such as the pleasure of chewing, the
pleasure of warm water running down your back, the pleasure of a
cool breeze, the pleasure of falling asleep.

Do not exclaim, "Isn't technology wonderful!"

Learn how to stretch your muscles. Stretch them every day.

Don't be depressed about growing older. It will make you feel even
older. Which is depressing.

Do one thing at a time.

If you burn your finger, put it in cold water immediately. If you bang
your finger with a hammer, hold your hand in the air for twenty
minutes. You will be surprised by the curative powers of coldness and

Learn how to whistle at earsplitting volume.

Be calm in a crisis. The more critical the situation, the calmer you
should be.

Enjoy sex, but don't become obsessed with it. Except for brief periods
in your adolescence, youth, middle age, and old age.

Contemplate everything's opposite.

If you're struck with the fear that you've swum out too far in the
ocean, turn around and go back to the lifeboat.

Keep your childish self alive.

Answer letters promptly. Use attractive stamps, like the one with a
tornado on it.

Cry every once in a while, but only when alone. Then appreciate
how much better you feel. Don't be embarrassed about feeling better.

Do not inhale smoke.

Take a deep breath.

Do not smart off to a policeman.

Do not step off the curb until you can walk all the way across the
street. From the curb you can study the pedestrians who are trapped
in the middle of the crazed and roaring traffic.

Be good.

Walk down different streets. 


Remember beauty, which exists, and truth, which does not. Notice
that the idea of truth is just as powerful as the idea of beauty.

Stay out of jail.

In later life, become a mystic.

Use Colgate toothpaste in the new Tartar Control formula.

Visit friends and acquaintances in the hospital. When you feel it is
time to leave, do so.

Be honest with yourself, diplomatic with others.

Do not go crazy a lot. It's a waste of time.

Read and reread great books.

Dig a hole with a shovel.

In winter, before you go to bed, humidify your bedroom.

Know that the only perfect things are a 300 game in bowling and a
27-batter, 27-out game in baseball.

Drink plenty of water. When asked what you would like to drink,
say, "Water, please."

Ask "Where is the loo?" but not "Where can I urinate?"

Be kind to physical objects.

Beginning at age forty, get a complete "physical" every few years
from a doctor you trust and feel comfortable with.

Don't read the newspaper more than once a year.

Learn how to say "hello," "thank you," and "chopsticks"
in Mandarin.

Belch and fart, but quietly.

Be especially cordial to foreigners.

See shadow puppet plays and imagine that you are one of the
characters. Or all of them.

Take out the trash.

Love life.

Use exact change.

When there's shooting in the street, don't go near the window.
Ron Padgett, "How to Be Perfect" from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2013 by Ron Padgett.  Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press.

Source: Collected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2013)