Catch the Creative Mojo! March 6, 2013


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski!

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Quilter, Author, Designer, Teacher, Modern Quilt Icon




A new world is being patched together by young quilters with fresh, creative ideas. Victoria Findlay Wolfe entered the modern quilt world when making quilts for her three-year-old daughter. Now she is known for creating unique one-of-a-kind quilts of her own design and sells her original works to collectors, architects and decorators while also available to work on commissioned projects.

Findlay Wolfe found her first influence from her grandmother’s quilts, which were vivid and had creative color choices. “As a little girl, being buried under her warm quilts during the winters was wonderfully comforting,” Findlay Wolfe recalls. Her mother was also a skilled seamstress and her father had his own upholstery business on the family farm.

Graduating from the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota with a B.A. in Fine Arts, Findlay Wolfe began her creative profession as a painter, sculptor and photographer. She has had a painting exhibited at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York and sculpture in Spike Gallery in Manhattan, New York. Her travels have taken her through Europe to countries including Italy, Spain, France and Germany as well as other parts of the globe from Japan to Peru. In 2003, Findlay Wolfe founded Bumble Beans Inc. and began making custom children’s clothes after designing a few pieces for her own daughter. This lasted a few years and was put on hold until she began to blog on behalf of the company in 2008. She wrote about her quilting and quickly started working on commissioned quilts. She now has a number of unique quilts for sale in her Manhattan studio.

Findlay Wolfe has collaborated with other quilters including her most recent quilt, “Exquisite Journey.” This quilt will be shown at the Houston International Quilt Festival as part of the juried section of the event, the highest honor at the largest of quilt shows. She is on the board of the Quilt Alliance as well as a member of the EMPIRE quilters, Minnesota Quilt Guild, SAQA, IQA and American Quilt study group. As the president and founder of the NYC Metro Mod Quilters, Findlay Wolfe designed a group for non-traditional quilters to connect and create. Her first book, 15 Minutes of Play – Improvisational Quilts, which teaches inspiration, creativity and discovery techniques, will be on sale both online and at bookstores nationwide in November 2012.

Giving back to the community is important to Findlay Wolfe. “I’m lucky that I can do what I love each day by creating something that will outlive me. It’s very important to do what you love and share that,” she explained. Her quilts have been auctioned off for Craft Hope to aid earthquake victims in Haiti and Love Without Boundaries, an organization that helps Chinese orphans in need of medical attention. Findlay Wolfe also founded Bumble Beans Basics to aid Acacia Network – formerly known as – a not-for-profit whose mission is to partner with communities to lead change offering services in health, housing and economic development, making 20 quilts in 2010 that were auctioned off and raised over $30,000. Now, the project has turned into a quilt drive in which more that 700 quilts have been donated to families.

Findaly Wolfe co-resides in Manhattan and the Hamptons with her husband, Michael and daughter, Beatrice. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and gardening as well as riding her Harley-Davidson.


So proud of my buddy! Victoria’s design, “Double Edged LOVE,” collaborated & quilted by Lisa Sipes, just WON BEST IN SHOW at QUILTCON!

CLICK HERE for Victoria’s website!


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“What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?”


Designer, Crocheter, Author



About DREW…

50Drew Emborsky has been featured in national publications including BUST Magazine, Interweave Crochet, Knit.1, and Crochet Today!, as well as international newspapers like The Sunday Telegraph (in London). He co-authored “Men Who Knit and the Dogs Who Love Them” and his latest book of crocheted men’s clothing designs is titled “The Crochet Dude’s Designs for Guys: 30 Projects Men Will Love” (Lark Books-2008).
Drew provides design support to: Tilli Tomas, Luxury Yarns, Caron International, Lion Brand, Coats & Clark, South West Trading Co. and Conjoined Creations. And he has been published in these magazines: Crochet Today!, Crochet!, Interweave Crochet, Knit & Style. Perhaps you’ve caught him on these television shows: Uncommon Threads (HGTV-DIY), Knitty Gritty (HGTV-DIY), Needlearts Studio with Shay Pendray (PBS), Paint, Paper, & Crafts (PBS).

CLICK HERE for Drew’s blog!





About SANDI…

Sandi is a West Virginian and has been a home sewer for most of her life. She started quilting in 1992 and has since received over 50 ribbons for her quilted works.

In 1996 she began her own quilt business named “Stitched Buy”. Sandi’s work is sold primarily locally but can be found at select locations across the United States. She makes quilts of all types and styles from miniature to king size,from pet quilts to wallhangings. She quilts both by hand and machine.

Sandi is an artisan of the Wheeling Artisan Center in Wheeling, West Virginia and the state artisan project “” (an internet shopping catalog for West Virginia artisans). Several of her quilts were selected to be on display at the Ideal Home Exhibition in London, England in 2000, and the West Virginia High-­‐Tech Foundation in Fairmont in 2001. In March, 2001 she had a wallhanging juried into the West Virginia Culture & History quilt show.

One of her winning miniature quilts was published in the “Miniature Quilts” magazine #48 in July, 2000, and was featured on the cover.

In May of 2001 Sandi was juried into Tamarack, the premiere West Virginia artisan outlet located in Beckley, WV. Her work is now on display and sale there, as it has been since 2001. her works there include a line of “antiqued” table toppers, table mats, wallhangings, miniatures and lap quilts, as well as special orders.

In March of 2002, Sandi created a commissioned full size patriotic quilt for the West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women, which traveled around the state before being raffled off at their convention in September 2002. Since then, she has designed and created the quilts for the next seven years.

In 2003 she completed a commissioned wallhanging for the lobby of the Stonewall Jackson Convention & Resource Center in West Virginia. Over the past years, she has completed several commissioned works for the Wheeling Heritage Association.

Quilt Magazine has published several of her quilts and patterns, the most recent issue featuring her quilts and patterns is “Miniature Quilt Ideas” #35 of October 2002.

She has also designed and published her own quilt patterns. She currently has four quilt patterns available for sale.

One of Sandi’s greatest pleasures is talking to people and demonstrating the world of quilting to others. She has done numerous quilt demonstrations for the Wheeling Artisan Center, the West Virginia center (Washington DC and Thomas, WV), as well as numerous local craft fairs and schools. She enjoys traveling and has met quilters in her travels from Northern Europe (Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands) as well as numerous locations in North America.

She teaches classes (both beginner and advanced techniques) at a Wheeling quilt shop and for quilting groups, as well as private lessons. Sandi has been accepted into the National Quilt Association teacher certification program.

She is a member of AQS, NQA, Fort Henry Piecemakers Quilt Guild, West Virginia Quilters, and the Virginia Consortium of Quilters. She was also selected as the NQA Member in the Spotlight for October 2010. Sandi’s newest venture is becoming an author. Her first book”Square-­‐agonals; A New Angle on Quilting” was released in September of 2010. It is based on a new technique that she has developed. She is also creating a series of quilting books based on this and other new techniques. Sandi resides in Wheeling, West Virginia with her supportive husband of 36 years and her two very wonderful young adult children, who graduated West Virginia University in May 2009.

CLICK HERE for Sandi’s website!


Fiber Artist




Frances  Holliday Alford found her medium in Fiber Arts after experimentation with many  different art forms and mediums.  As a painter, she feels that her use of fabrics, fibers, and textile paints are an  extension of her medium.  Known for brilliant colors and for narrative  subjects, often humorous, she uses materials in fresh and innovative ways.

A native Texan, Frances learned to escape the Houston heat in the summertime when her mother took the family to Vermont.  There, she spent the summers with brothers, sisters, and cousins enjoying fresh air and cool evenings.  In retirement from teaching, she now resides in Grafton, Vermont, just blocks from her grandparents’ former home.  In her studio, Embellishments, situated in the two story Tuttle barn Frances creates her quilts and holds classes and retreats.

Frances studied fine arts as an undergraduate.  She holds a Master’s of Education in Special Education from the University of Arizona.  She served in the United States Peace Corps as a Rehabilitation Volunteer in South Korea, teaching blind students at the Cheong-ju Home and School for the Blind.  During her many years in the classroom, Frances’ art background enabled her to create effective multi-sensory activities for teaching students with various disabilities. Today, she continues to enjoy developing activities that teach a set of skills to interested art quilt enthusiasts.

As a world traveler, Frances has found her inspiration in many places.  She takes photos incessantly and picks up materials where ever she goes.  All of this gives inspiration to her art, and her art gives inspiration to her life.  Frances lives in the yellow house on Main Street with her two female Yorkies.

CLICK HERE for Frances’ website!


Quilter, Knitter, Designer




Michele Muska is a Marketing Communications Manager for Simplicity Creative Group and their family of brands which include Simplicity Patterns, Wrights, Boye, EZ Quilting, Conso and British Trimmings. During the last seven years Michele has helped in the development and design of new product, implemented educational opportunities and worked with their customers to provide a clear vision of how Simplicity Creative Group can foster and inspire creativity in the individual. She had a long career as a Recreation Therapist in the Art field and spent many years in her community performing service work which came in the form of advocating for Learning Disabled individuals. Michele graduated from UMASS Boston with a degree in Art which focused on painting and photography. She began sewing and knitting at age four and never stopped. Michele has appeared on Quilting Arts TV and Creative Memories. Her work can also be seen in many national quilting and craft publications including Belle AmoireHaute Handbag and Altered Couture.


Mixed Media Artist, Quilter



About SARAH…

As a young child, Sarah lived in Spain, Thailand and Argentina. Shortly after her sixth birthday, her family returned to the United States to live. That year a neighbor girl made an apron for Sarah’s favorite doll, sparking a fascination with fiber that continues to this day. Before long, Sarah began making clothes for her dolls and trolls, then graduated to clothing for herself.

At the San Domenico School in San Anselmo, California, Sarah learned to love learning, and is grateful for the nurturing environment provided by the Dominican Sisters. It was here that Sarah seriously began to learn how to sew, and first saw someone making a quilt and knew instantly that she wanted to learn how. It was also in high school that her art teacher expressed disappointment that, when Sarah had to choose, she opted for sewing over art classes; thank you Mrs. Hoffman for that vote of confidence!

It took nearly fifteen years until Sarah found her first book on quilting. By that time, she had graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service; worked as a Legislative Assistant for a U.S. Congressman in Washington, D.C.; earned a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Mass.; volunteered in Guinea-Bissau with Operation Crossroads Africa; met her soon-to-be-husband, and became a U.S. Foreign Service Officer (diplomat). Sarah’s first tour with the U.S. Foreign Service was in Toronto, Canada, where she took her first drawing classes while living across the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Finally, fate picked up a thimble: while assigned to the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, Sarah came across someone’s discarded Keepsake Quilting catalog, which opened up the doors to the quilting world. Sarah hasn’t looked back since–at long last, a way to marry her love of sewing with her love of art! Much later, in 2002, another set of doors opened when Sarah joined the artquilt list (, which she has called her education in the art and business of art quilting.

After returning to the States in 1991, her first son was born and, in 1997, the Smith family opted out of the rat race. Just as her husband was ready to retire and Sarah resigned from the Foreign Service to raise their family, their second son was born. From 1998 to 2004 they lived on San Juan Island, an island paradise 20 miles off the coast of Washington State. While there, Sarah began her own business doing custom sewing for the home, providing great experience in creating one-of-a-kind patterns for home decorating projects.

A quest for better schooling for the boys led the family to Camden, Maine, in 2004, where Sarah relishes the supportive environment for fiber art and art quilts. In 2011 the familly moved to next-door Hope, Maine.  Sarah considers herself most fortunate to have two wonderful sons, a husband who believes in her art and be able to do what she loves—sew and make art.

CLICK HERE for Sarah’s website! 

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Author, Life Coach, Career Strategist, Family Counselor



About RENEE…

An internationally-recognized coach and consultant, speaker and author, Renée Peterson Trudeau is founder of Renée Trudeau & Associates and sister company, award-winning Career Strategists.  Since 2000, Career Strategists coaching team has helped professionals and entrepreneurs create passion-filled careers and come into greater work/life alignment through integrating who they are with what they do.

She is the author of the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-balance Your Life (Balanced Living Press, 2008) co-author of Courageous Parents, Confident Kids: Letting Go So You Both Can Grow (Spark Press, 2011), a contributing author to best-selling What Happy Working Mothers Know (2011) and her newest book is Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life (New World Library 2013).

Trudeau speaks and leads life balance workshops and retreats for Fortune 500 companies including IBM, Ernst & Young, Dell Computer Corporation, State Farm Insurance, 3M, AMD, MCI as well as government agencies, nonprofit organizations and national conferences. She is on faculty at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and Esalen Institute—two of the largest wellness centers in North America. Her unique approach to life balance and work-life alignment has been featured in numerous media, including the New York TimesUS News & World ReportGood Housekeeping and more.

Before launching her first coaching/consulting business in 2000, Trudeau was a highly successful communications executive for almost 14 years. Highlights of her accomplishments include managing the international advertising/public relations account for Whole Foods Market; creating a corporate branding campaign for the third-largest medical-device manufacturer in the U.S.; developing public-service campaigns for national health-based nonprofit organizations; and securing national media coverage for clients on CNN, the CBS Evening News, The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesNational Geographic and other national news outlets.

Trudeau was nominated for the prestigious Association for Women in Communications Headliner Award and she is the recipient of the Profiles in Power Award and the Mentor Award from the Association for Women In Communications. At 22, Trudeau was selected to participate in the Leadership America Program and she has received state and national recognition for her creative, solutions-based approach from numerous nonprofit, professional and service-based organizations.

Her coaching, leadership, training and development background includes more than 14 years of coaching-specific training with The International Coaches Federation and more than 25 years training and development with organizations such as The American Society for Training and Development, Leadership America, The Center for Creative Leadership and Conversation Among Masters (a global invitation-only network for master-level coaches).

Her personal development background includes seminars/training with leading authors/teachers including Martha Beck, Joan Borysenko, PhD, Byron Katie, Louise Hay, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Kathleen Woodward Thomas, Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks and Dr. Wayne Dyer.  Her yoga/movement and wellness training include in-person workshops with Richard Miller, Amy Weintrab, Sarah Powers, Shiva ReaSeane CornGary Kraftsow, Dr. Claudia Welch and Ayurvedic practitioner Craig Williams.  She is a certified iRest Yoga Nidra teacher through Richard Miller’s Integrative Restorative Institute.

Trudeau graduated with a double major in Journalism and Creative Writing from Texas Christian University. She has graduate-level training and education in leadership and organizational development, executive coaching and is certified as a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) facilitator/trainer through the Association for Psychological Type.

She lives in South Austin with her husband and elementary-age son and loves dancing, making soup with local veggies for friends and family and taking long, meandering hikes in the Texas Hill Country.

CLICK HERE for Renee’s website!




Textile Artist, Quilter, Designer, Teacher


Mary Pal, Ottawa Canada

About MARY…

Mary says, “My passion is fibre – specifically, the marriage of cloth and stitch – and the translation of images employing that medium.   It is the tactile quality of fabrics that draws me – the coarse texture of burlap, the smooth weave of linen, the rough fluidity of cheesecloth.  These textiles might seem unlikely candidates for work in portraiture, but my portrait pieces depict mature faces. While our contemporary culture reveres youth and celebrates a flawless complexion, I see far greater beauty in the lines and creases that develop in a face over time – to me they signify the wisdom gained during the course of a life well lived.

When I work from a photograph, I generally begin by studying the positive and negative space created by light and shadow.  During construction,  I am continually surprised that the smallest pieces of cheesecloth can reveal so much about the mood of the person I am portraying. The final stage, when I step back and see that I’ve captured the nuances of the personality in the face, is always the most exciting and rewarding for me, especially if I succeed in communicating that magical quality to other viewers.”

Pal-Memories of Gombe - web


Mary and I are talking about Art Quilt Santa Fe!


Art Quilt Santa Fe, a three-day, hands-on, fiber-art workshop, returns to Santa Fe, N.M., for the third year in 2013. Attendees may select either a three-day workshop with Mary Pal of Ottawa, Ont., Canada; OR a three-day workshop with Betty Busby of Albuquerque, N.M., and Holly Altman of Santa Fe, N.M.

Mary Pal will teach her signature technique of sculpting and painting cheesecloth for texture in art quilts, adjusting photographs to create useful patterns, and professionally finishing artwork.

Betty Busby’s students will explore different types of non-woven materials, ways to produce images with them (via paint, dye, etc.), and methods to incorporate them into art quilting.

Holly Altman will teach three-dimensional effects using all types of traditional and non-traditional materials and techniques to create embellishments for art quilts.

The organizers are Gale Oppenheim-Pietrzak and Ann Anastasio, two friends who are longtime art quilters. All five women are members of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). SAQA’s annual conference will be held in Santa Fe immediately prior to the workshop at the same location.

The price of $493 includes either the three-day workshop with Pal OR the concurrent three-day workshop with Busby (two days) and Altman (one day); a welcome party prior to the event; and morning and afternoon snacks and beverages. The dates are Monday, April 29, through Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

Art Quilt Santa Fe will take place at the Lodge at Santa Fe, 750 North Saint Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Attendees will receive a special lodging rate of $79 per night if they call 1-888-563-4373 (toll-free) or 1-505-992-5800 and mention the event.
For more information or to register, the AQSF website is at or questions can be emailed

CLICK HERE for Mary’s website!

Mary blogs HERE!

CLICK HERE for Art Quilt Santa Fe’s website!



Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Mentor



About JUDY…

Judy Wicks is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and mentor working to build a more compassionate, environmentally sustainable and locally based economy.

GoodMorning_smallHer recent book Good Morning, Beautiful Business: the Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer was published by Chelsea Green in March, 2013.

Judy’s speaking engagements focus on the topics of local living economies, responsible business, and the role of the feminine in building a new economy.  She has addressed communities throughout the USA and Canada, as well as Berlin, Delhi, Havana, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.  Her keynote presentations at numerous conferences provide insight and inspiration concerning the deep connections between local food, ecology, economy and social justice. Judy is popular with students and faculty and has presented at many universities including the University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, Keene State, the University of Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Yale, Harvard, Bryn Mawr and Haverford College, where she gave a commencement address and received an honorary decree.

Growing up on the outskirts of Ingomar, a small town in western Pennsylvania just north of Pittsburgh, Judy developed a deep love of nature and witnessed the role of small businesses in community life. After graduating from college in 1969 with a BA in English, she lived for nearly a year in the remote Alaskan Eskimo village of Chefornak as a VISTA volunteer. Here she had the transformational experience of living in a culture based on sharing and cooperation.  During the 1990’s this insight was further expanded by working with the Zapatista revolutionaries in Chiapas, Mexico, to set up a fair trade coffee venture. Her experiences working with small farmers in Chiapas, as well as at home in Pennsylvania, evolved Judy’s vision of a global economy comprised of a network of self-reliant and sustainable local economies connected by small-to-small fair trade relationships. 

In working toward this vision for self-reliant local communities, in 2001, she founded the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, and co-founded the international Business Alliance for Local Living Economies,  BALLE, which now includes some 30,000 local independent businesses in the U.S. and Canada, envisions an economy that provides for the needs of all people while working in harmony with natural systems.

As an entrepreneur Judy is best known for Philadelphia’s landmark White Dog Cafe, which she founded in 1983 on the first floor of her house and managed for 26 years.  After helping to save her block of Victorian brownstones from demolition to make way for a proposed mall of chain stores, she grew what she began as a tiny muffin shop into a 200-seat restaurant featuring fresh local food.  Over the years White Dog grew a national reputation for community engagement, environmental stewardship, and responsible business practices. In 2009, Judy sold the company through a unique exit strategy that preserves White Dog’s sustainable practices and maintains local, independent ownership.

Under Judy’s leadership, White Dog became a leader in the local food movement, purchasing sustainably grown produce from local family farmers, and only humanely and naturally raised meat, poultry and eggs, sustainably harvested fish, and fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Other business practices she implemented at White Dog include paying a living wage, mentoring inner-city high school students, recycling and composting, solar heated hot water, eco-friendly soaps and office supplies, and purchasing 100% of electricity from renewable sources, the first business in Pennsylvania to do so.

Searching for a vehicle to spread the farm purchasing practices of the White Dog to other restaurants, in 2000, Judy founded Fair Food, which now has numerous programs to connect local family farms with the urban marketplace. Both Fair Food and Sustainable Business Network were incubated at White Dog Community Enterprises, and supported by 20% of the restaurant’s profits, customer contributions, and local foundations.

In her retail career, Judy was founder and owner of Black Cat (located next door to the White Dog Cafe), a shop that featured locally made and fair trade gifts for 20 years. In 1970, Judy co-founded the Free People’s Store, now well known as Urban Outfitters (with which she has no affiliation).

Among her other publications, Judy is co-author of White Dog Cafe Cookbook: Multicultural Recipes and Tales of Adventure from Philadelphia’s Revolutionary Restaurant, published in 1998. She is a contributing author to Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat andMoonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, both published in 2010.

CLICK HERE for Judy’s website!

Judy’s on FACEBOOK!


And when your MOJO listening’s done. . .

If you’ve never used Auriful Thread. . .

. . .  then you haven’t really sewn!

Why not start off with my BASICS ?

Go to my web site to order YOUR collection — CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED.

Been Fly-ing Lately?

Your projects will soar with my new fabric line for Andover Fabrics, I CAN FLY!



Many thanks to Nessa Reifsnyder of Fabricate, for assistance with Mark Lipinski’s Blog!


Listen to a re-broadcast of all of my shows by CLICKING HERE.

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One Comment on “Catch the Creative Mojo! March 6, 2013”

  1. March 6, 2013 at 6:17 PM #

    Hope your surgery goes well and you’re feeling better soon, Head Cupcake!


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