Tag Archives: polar bears

Blog Action Day 2009 – Climate Change


I am participating in Blog Action Day today.  It is in its third year & promising to reach millions of people connected through social networks.

The list below comes from the Blog Action Day website.

More Ways to Get Involved

  1. Sign the Tck Tck Tck campaign’s “I am ready” pledge supporting an ambitious, fair and binding climate agreement in Copenhagen this fall: tcktcktck.org/people/i-am-ready
  2. Register for the 350.org International Day of Climate Action October 24: www.350.org
  3. Join the UK Government’s “Act on Copenhagen” effort to promote a global deal on climate change: www.actoncopenhagen.decc.gov.uk/en
  4. Learn and act with The Nature Conservancy’s Planet Change site: change.nature.org
  5. Watch and help promote Current TV’s green-themed video journalism at: current.com/green
  6. Support strong climate legislation in the US by making calls to your Senators with 1Sky: www.1sky.org/call
  7. Put yourself on the Vote Earth map and upload your photos, pictures and weblinks to show the world future you want to see: www.earthhour.org/home
  8. Put yourself on the Vote Earth map and upload your photos, pictures and weblinks to show the world future you want to see: www.earthhour.org/home
  9. Join the Greenpeace cool IT challenge campaign to turn IT industry leaders into climate advocates and solution providers: www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/climate-change/cool-it-challenge
  10. Add your personal story and tell the world what you will miss the most when you lose it to climate change with the United Nations Foundation Climate Board: www.unfoundation.org/global-issues/climate-and-energy/its-getting-personal
  11. Find the latest and most popular climate change actions online at globalwarming.change.org
  12. Join the Causecast community and find new ways to get involved with organizations working to end climate change. Watch videos, read news and support one of the many environmental nonprofits on Causcast. www.causecast.org/environment
  13. Post to your blog or Twitter account about the impact of climate change on the world’s poorest, and then take action with Oxfam International: www.oxfam.org.uk/climate

Also, check out what Mother Jones is up to!

Special Feature in Their Latest Issue: Make Your Own Climate Cover!

“For the upcoming issue of Mother Jones, we printed four different covers, featuring four different kids, to dramatize the point that if we don’t deal with the climate crisis now, our children will be the ones to pay the price.

Now it’s your turn. Next week, on the eve of International Climate Action Day, we’ll launch an app that lets you put your kid (or your pet, or yourself!) on a MoJo cover with a customized message, and send the image to your friends, your members of Congress, your president. ”

Lastly, I include a few shots of
two of my Global Warming quilts in progress.





The top layout morphed into something much bigger and more complicated and is on my floor being pieced right now.  The tabletop quilt has been pieced, but the issue of how to render the polar bears unresolved.  I actually can’t find the quilt top right now, which says a lot about the state of my studio and my mind, but that’s another post altogether!

Sewing paper, swimming bears


Journal Quilt Week 5 (18" x 24")

For the first time since starting these journal quilts, Sunday morning arrived without my having so much as having picked a background fabric.  I knew I wanted to depict a polar bear, but that was it.  Two weeks ago, sitting with two other artists in a fledgling crit group (yeah!!), a painter asked another quilter in the group, “Do you ever do studies before making a quilt?”  While I make variation upon variation, I’m not sure I’ve ever made a study.  I liked the idea.  So, given that the “hot” part of the large global warming piece that is all over my kitchen table is resisting attachment to the  “cold” part — study was definitely in order!


"Willy" by ucumari

On Saturday, I did a google image search, gathering a handful of pictures of bears swimming, and fell in love with the above photo by ucumari (check out her great animal pictures on flickr!)

Sunday, I started the day flipping through a book of Rick Bartow‘s artwork — incredible pastels, ink drawings, and sculptures of animals — mythic and full of gesture.  Absolutely gorgeous work.  I was also remembering the stunning, muscular animals of the artist Nancy Erickson, who works on fabric and paper.  (I looked at her website today and found that one of her polar bear quilts is titled the very title I was considering for my kitchen-table-piece — and that is,  “Where’s the Ice?”)  Anyway, their combined artistry inspired me to render my polar bear with pastels, rather than fabric.  Since I am out of sheets of fabric to feed through my inkjet printer and since the deadline was rapidly approaching, I stitched the paper right on the quilt.


Now, I have stitched a lot of paper — for cards, in particular — but never for the central image of a  mid-sized quilt.  It was exciting and freeing, and justified the whole discipline of doing these journal quilts, I think, but I wonder at the durability of it.  Even though these pieces are meant to be finished by Sunday, I plan to bind this one, and also to trim some of the pointy edges of the paper.bear-constellation

I stitched a bear constellation in the sky, using the leftover Heat n’ Bond paper from my earlier bear journal quilt as a guide on the wrong side of the quilt top, right against the batting.  It was a good idea, but I would like this quilt better without it.

I am encouraged by this piece.  It suggests a direction that might satisfy my need to work faster.

Speaking of stitching on paper, here is a flashcard I made awhile back.  It is too big to be an official ACEO (Art Cards, Editions and Originals – must be 3.5″ x 2.5″, the size of a trading card), but could be a collectible nevertheless.  I think I’ll offer it for sale in my etsy shop.


The front is a photoshopped digital image of a small Buddha statue which might have become a holiday card if I was someone who got it together enough to send holiday cards.  I like the fact that there are two sides.  The very emphatic directive to “find that peace” seems like a pretty apt suggestion from the Buddha!

Piecing along…




Piecing takes a long time, especially when every seam makes me rethink an entire area.  The two layouts above and the one to the right are earlier versions, from last week.  Today, I decided my polar bears will not be wandering around on ice, but swimming.

jan-30-bottom jan-30-mid

Already, large and completed sections have flown off the table into two other separate quilts.  The last large Global Warming Quilt that I made started out about this size and ended up as three smaller quilts.  I am still hoping to integrate the bottom section with the polar section and to create a large-ish piece (3′ x 4′), although it is not yet clear that I’ll be able to make the hot and cool sections work together.


Today was a good sewing day, with only one call to go out.  I took Jack to Wellesley for errands.  We shopped for apples, bird seed, and sand and salt.  The walkways have thawed a little in the last day or so, but it is still pretty treacherous out there.

In spite of much effort, though, I did not progress very far on the quilt.  This business of making the pieces, which become larger pieces, all work together, is not as easy as one might imagine.  I have never done this process on the kitchen table before. As much as having my work upstairs (instead of down in the cellar/studio) gets aggravating on account of the mess, it is useful to be glancing at the design at different points of the day.  A different part of the brain can get engaged.  Also, I am happy to report that I woke from a nap today with a novel idea for how to attach the bears. Yet another part of the brain!

Changing viewing orientation or scale can be useful in design.  If the colors and patterns are well laid out, they will work in any direction.