Thursday, December 30, 2010


Deep down I know time is an illusion. But I cannot seem to shake the hold time has on my psyche. I am forever navigating the moguls of things I want to do, have to do, relaxing, having fun, and just being. It is that silly time of year when we evaluate what has been and what may be. I always think of an Eckart Tolle moment with Oprah. He was talking about being in the moment and he had said something so profound and Oprah said something like ' I hope I will always remember what you just said ' to which he replied-'I hope not'. She looked amazed. That was everything in a nutshell.....I hope you don't remember this--take in what you need at this moment and leave the rest behind....

I find myself thinking about what is needed at this moment. And then I ask-well how long is a moment? Was that my tail I just passed?

This blog is one of my moguls. (I was a skier. I love moguls) I think of it often. I think about how much I want to say and then time slips. I will do better at catching it.

It is a new year. Many new opportunities on the horizon. I will share them. Because I love this mogul.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wow! What A Great Garlic Fest!!

the booth, which was dubbed - The Party Booth!

The North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival was this past weekend. This festival is eleven years old, completely volunteer driven and continually entertains its visitors. I spoke with people from Westchester, NY, Long Island, NY, Boston, VT and Pennsylvania. It is always a chance to see old friends from around the Quabbin, former classmates and on and on.....We weren't dubbed the Party Booth for nuthin'.

I have to say, every time I am in an exhibition, do a show, participate in a festival I get really, really, really nervous. But when the work is on the walls and the people start to come I turn it into a little party and we all have a great time. Who couldn't have a great time at this year's Garlic Fest? After a few days of rain we were all ready for the sunny weekend, good food, good music and great artwork from around the North Quabbin.

Response to the birch pieces I have been working on for the past year were overwhelmingly positive. The compliments are appreciated. Thanks to those who took pieces home. I am excited by the commission conversations and ready to get to work. Because Art=Work.

time to clean up and get back to work.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Church-a place to bond

This past Sunday's church find-vintage Irish linen threads, cut-work linen, bone rings (whose bones, I don't want to know) mother of pearl buttons, and wooden spools. All for $3.00.

When my dad was still alive he would call me on a Saturday evening and say, "Meet me at church tomorrow morning? I will bring the donuts and coffee." Growing up church was not the white building with a steeple you went to on Sunday mornings. Church was the the huge flea market in a nearby town. Church was where we bonded over antiques, people's trash-our treasures, sunshine, donuts and coffee. Church was where he taught me the fine art of haggling. Church was where he taught me not everything is at it seems. Church was our place. When we moved back to the area I was happy to get his phone calls looking for a church get-together. He has been gone nearly twenty years. I still go to the huge flea market from time to time. I still call it church. I haggle, find great treasures, drink coffee, eat a donut-and think of my dad. Church was our place.

Friday, July 16, 2010


With apologies to David Bowie. Why so quiet, you ask? Just life. Shall we do the list....sure. I turned 50 in June, my son announced he is moving to California with his girlfriend (she is a sweet girl), my youngest leaves for college in a month (she is a sweet girl, too), and I have to say it again-I turned 50!!! Now, I know I am not the only person to turn 50 this year. Just about every one of my classmates from ORHS class of '78 turns 50 this year. The time leading up to 50 was a lot of hand-wringing---like I could somehow stop it with hand-wringing---some chastising, some nostalgia, and a dash of Bring It On!. Today I am not quite a month into it and I have to tell you it has been liberating. I had read that happens but didn't really believe it. For me it was true, with a little help from my friends. Four friends got together to raise a glass and ask the important question, "So what gets you juiced up?" Insert lots of laughs, another bottle of wine and some dessert and you have me on a new path. I am still obsessively stitching on large pieces of cotton. But the path now contains freelance work in social media engagement and laying the groundwork for some individual consulting with artists and teaching. Fifty is ok.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Tags for New Work

These images are details from larger pieces. The bottom image has rust printed, upcycled linen as the background. I think these came out great. To the printer tomorrow. TWIST starts Friday. I am excited about the new work---the bottom image is new work. I will spend the rest of today figuring out what to bring. There are good and bad features to having a table-top show. You don't have to lug around so much. But you are limited as to what and how much you bring. My large pieces just aren't practical for this venue. I will have my slide show running so at least the work will be out there. Very excited.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Conversation Continues

I am a very fortunate person to have strong artists working nearby. My friend Sharon is a big part of my process. I am also grateful to be part of a design group. I was invited about a year ago. Getting together with three other artists has been a once-a-month gift. My work has grown with the input of these women. It is a simple format of chatting & eating, looking at work - one person at a time. Once the work goes on the wall it is all business. Fresh eyes on a piece you have been staring at for weeks is welcome. They ask great questions. Make me a better artist. Last week I brought this piece. I designed it this way. I loved it. I love the stitching, the shapes, the play of the painted area in contrast to the wide open spaces. It was saying what I wanted to say ( more on that later, when it is completely done). When I hung it up and walked way back, it was lacking. What was going on? The lyrical play of space, paint and stitching were faltering. The conversation between us began..."What if there was more stitching up here?" "What if you added more painting over there?"

And then L. said "What if you turn it 90 degrees".... voila! The issues were resolved. It no longer needed more paint....more stitching. It worked. What was that Carly Simon song...when you are unhappy take a new picture, find a new view. I started to find new areas in the piece I had totally missed, I was seeing the edges differently. The edge of the painted area really popped and looked as though it was beckoning to the stitches....let us be a part of you.

Which brings it all back to the beginning. Conversations between elements.

This is how I am viewing it now. It is a good view. Once again, design group comes through. Thank you!

this is a detail of some stitching. I am enthralled with random, free-flowing, free-form stitching.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

a little conversation

Today in north central Massachusetts it is breezy and warm. The sun is shining. I was sitting in the backyard. Behind the sounds of the road and my husband working on one of the motorcycles I heard woodpeckers. Woodpeckers on either side of the property. One would taptaptapaptaptpatpatap and then the other would taptaptpatpatpatptptaptap. One was on a decidedly hollow-ish tree, the other not. They were talking to each other. It was quite a lengthy conversation. "How'd you do this winter?" "Not bad, how about you?".....

I drifted off to thinking about the latest whole cloth map piece I have been working on. When I was reminded that really successful pieces are conversations. The elements converse with each other. It goes back and forth. They are congenial. They get along. They wonder how each other's winters were.

When you can hear the conversation you know the piece is working.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I was talking with my friend Chris the other day. Chris is a felt artist of the highest order, owner of New England Felting Supply/ and an all around fun and fabulous woman. We were talking about blogs and how so many of the blogs she comes across lack focus. Which made me go back and read my blog. I wouldn't call it fuzzy (the opposite of in focus). It has jumped around-'let's show Chirps, let's show trees, let's show quilts'. Do you sense a pattern here? Yeah, there is no pattern. And what is that saying about me? What do I want my work to say about me? What baffles me is when I am working at a job-job, focus is my middle name. "Get the job done". When it comes to art I jump on the wind and let me take it where it will.

Which is why there are days I walk into the studio and just don't know what to do. So I make a tote bag. Anybody want a tote bag? I seem to be accumulating a lot of tote bags.

This mental exercise has led me to let go of the Chirps. Fly, be free. I will be selling the remaining chirps at the Orange Innovation Center Open Studio and Artisan Sale on March 27 at 10:00am at OIC on West Main St. Orange, MA.

Three cheers for more focus. I am not done. More down the path.

Thanks, Chris.

Friday, March 5, 2010


If you haven't discovered the power of the Bleach Pen don't wait much longer. Fun, fun, fun-albeit toxic fun-so make sure you have windows open or use it outside.

I am awaiting discharge paste from Pro-Chem, but I couldn't wait.
Today the I hit some black linen, blue cotton and a Hoffman batik.
Love it!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Playful as Dolphins

I am a huge fan of FreeWill Astrology I am a Cancer and my horoscope, could it be your as well, for last week.

Last night I had a dream in which I was addressing a crowd of thousands of Cancerians in a large stadium. I was referring to them as dolphins rather than as crabs. "I say unto you, my fellow dolphins," I proclaimed (I myself was born June 23), "that you have been given a sacred assignment by the great gods of time themselves. And that assignment is to master the art of Timeology." When I awoke from the dream, I was awash with feelings of deep relaxation and ease, although I wasn't sure why. I had never before heard that word "timeology," so I googled it. Here's how the Urban Dictionary defined it: "spending time doing what you want to do, not accomplishing anything major but also not wasting time." It so happens that this prescription is well-suited to our current astrological omens. I suggest that you and I be as playful as dolphins.

which I wish I had read last week.....

Dyeing - Oh My.....

I have been wanting to try my hand at dyeing for quite some time. Kendra came home from a friend's house with a t-shirt she had dyed. It needed rinsing. Instead of watching all that lovely dye go down the drain I caught in a big pot. Then I started scouring around for things to throw in. (Good thing we don't have a white cat---) I found an old curtain, a piece of vintage Sister Parrish fabric, muslin, canvas and a lovely linen handkerchief I picked up at Savers. The linen handkerchief I tied with string - my first shibori - everything else just went in the pot. What you see above is the result of about 10 hours in the dye, rinsed, washed in the machine and dried in the dryer. I am hooked. Just don't tell my dear husband there are yet more art supplies to be had and they coming into the house. It is going to be a very colorful spring. If anybody who lives in the area wants to come play for a dye day let me know. The more the merrier.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Online Shop

I have just started participating in 1000 Markets. Visit my shop at:

Let's see how this does!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just About Done

I just love how these birch pieces are coming along. I can feel the wind blowing the leaves off the trees.

A little piece of New England for you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mega Doily

This is so very cool. I love it when people take an object and mentally pull at it to envision in a whole new way. This mega doily is from Ladies and Gentlemen . Wonder if our grandmothers ever thought making a huge doily to walk on?

And because I am on the lookout for balance, here is the antithesis: Miniature Doily

this is from e pattern central

I first saw the mega doily on Oh Joy! A fun design blog.

Have fun today thinking about the large and small of life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Gift

This morning I had the good fortune to meet and interview Scott Norris of Elam's Widow, Scott weaves linen textiles for the home. Tablecloths, dish cloths and towels in dreamy hand-dyed shades of lavender, green, grey and more. The minute I walked into his lemongrass painted studio I felt an ease and excitement at the same time. What followed was an hour or so of easy conversation about Scott's path to weaving, his palette choice, and a genuine love of fabric. I left his studio feeling as though I had been given a gift of tranquility, inspiration, knowledge and color. Please head over to Scott's website and see his work. I guarantee you will be left dreaming about using one of the most beautiful dishcloths you have ever seen. And trust me, they feel even better than they look. Enjoy!!! You can read my interview with Scott in the next month or so on

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fabric illustration for the local food co-op

image copyright 2010 Linda Ruel Flynn

This is the art quilt (hand-dyed cotton, machine and hand stitched) illustration I created for the North Quabbin Community Co-op,

Amy of Shelter Bookworks, is picking a type to complement the illustration.

I took the simple concept of farm to table and made the farm and table one. It was great fun making little veggies, plates, silverware and most of all the trellis laden with peas.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Surface As Playground/Return to Teaching

(click on the image to see larger image)
This class is being held at Cherscapes Fiber Studio at 278 Main St. Suite #307, Greenfield, MA .
Tuesdays, March 30, April 6 & 13 from 6 - 8 pm. Email me with any questions.