Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday's Muse

So what is inspiring me these days? I always like to join with to discuss this very question. In her blog, Heather says, "one of the biggest lessons I’m trying to learn is that just because I don’t have all the time in the world, doesn’t mean I don’t have time to do something. If I have 10 minutes, I can do 10 minutes worth of something creative." Sound familiar? I am always complaining here about my lack of time, the fact that I hate creating without long stretches of time but I think I have embraced the 10 minute dilemma. My fabric cuffs were the start of this and now I have been having fun creating t-shirt shrugs/vests with some of my left over scrap pieces. After cutting the pieces it practically takes 45 minuters to an hour to complete. they are great little shoulder toppers or add a sense of color to a black ensemble. Here are some pics of one I made. I need these short-on-time projects to help me feel productive in between the larger ones.
Heather also recommends looking at I LOVED browsing around this site. I totally recommend it if you are creative and are short on time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mirabal Sisters Cuff

Here's a new addition to my Nelesc Design's shop on etsy. It's a cuff feauturing the Mirabal sisters. The Mirabal sisters were political activists and highly visible symbols of resistance to Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. . They were repeatedly jailed, along with their husbands, for their revolutionary activities toward democracy and justice. On November 25, 1960, three of the Mirabal sisters, Minerva, Patria and Teresa were murdered, along with Rufino de la Cruz, their driver, by members of Trujillo’s secret police. The three women were being driven by Rufino to Puerto Plata to visit their imprisoned husbands. The bodies of the three sisters were found at the bottom of a precipice, broken and strangled. The news of their brutal assassinations shocked and outraged the nation and helped propel the anti-Trujillo movement. Trujillo was assassinated on May 30, 1961 and his regime fell soon after.The Mirabal sisters have become symbols of both popular feminist resistance. In the years since their deaths, they have been commemorated in poems, songs, and films.

I really loved making this cuff. I have been an admirer of the Mirabal sisters for years and am so glad one of my clients requested it. Here, the design consists of three stenciled images, one for each sister, Maria Teresa, Minerva, and Patria. They are framed by an abstract/island like pattern in soft pastels, a bow to their femininity and Caribbean culture. The stark black and white portraits of these strong, fearless women, make this a powerful and stylish piece. Check it out at

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Remembering Archbishop Oscar Romero

Today, March 24, is the anniversary of the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero. I remember learning about Archbishop Romero in one of my Latin American history classes in college. His story immediately impacted my life. As a Christian, I was always looking for role models who engaged in the world. I was raised in a very strict church that viewed the world as evil and encoraged its members to retreat inside its own comfortable walls. I was struck by this preacherman's compassion for the poor and the courageous stance he took against those that opressed them. I would like to be like him.

This is a short biography from

Oscar Romero was born in Ciudad Barrios, a town in the mountainous east of El Salvador, on August 15, 1917. He was the second of seven children. When he was thirteen he declared a vocation to the priesthood. In February 1977, Oscar Romero became archbishop of San Salvador.

As Archbishop of San Salvador, Father Romero was a source of strength and hope for the poor and for the oppressed of his country, working with and for them, taking their struggles as his own. Romero wrote and spoke passionately and publicly of the need for Christians to work for justice, frequently faced with threat and danger from those who opposed his ideas. On March 24, 1980, while celebrating the Eucharist, Archbishop Romero was shot and killed at the altar by a death squad assassin, paying the highest price for the commitment about which he spoke so often and so eloquently. Because of his courageous stand for justice, he became a martyr not only for poor Salvadorians but for all struggling to overcome oppression and poverty. Today, his sermons are read as powerful reminders of Christians' obligation to fight for a just society. Shortly before he was murdered, Romero said: "It is my hope that my blood will be the seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be reality." The example of Romero's courageous life and ultimately death continue to inspire those who struggle for human dignity and justice.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Faith through Art

I am once again joining with www. to talk about what is inspiring me this week. Well my son, M is. This is a collage I did two years ago in a moment of fear, doubt, and uncertainty, concerning his future. My oldest son, M, was diagnosed with autism when he was two. When I made this collage, M was about to enter Kindergarten and I was fighting with the Board of Education for an appropropriate setting for him as he is high functioning and had a lot of potential. They either wanted to put him in regular ed or in a low functioning program. Neither was acceptable to me. As I made countless calls, visited programs, prayed and cried out to God continuously, I decided to create art. I was lead to this verse in the Good Book, Jermiah 29:11, which says "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. " The text is over M's face as I am pictured praying. Somehow, creating and believing this simple image and text concoction symbolizing my giving M to God and letting Him handle the situation, let me rest.

M is now in an amazing inclusion program, talks a mile a minute, is a legos master, loves music and drama, and is quite assertive. He is an inspiration. Recently, my younger son also was diagnosed with mild autism. I immediately took this collage out in a moment of sadness. It made me feel hopeful. If God can work miracles with M, he will do it with D too. God's power and reassurance through art, never ceases to amaze me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Productive Day Today

I had such a productive day today. I have a great new customer who ordered a bunch of items which I am custom making for her and I am about done with the first item. She wants this jacket with longer sleeves, in black, and with Che Guevara on it. This is what I worked on today.

As I mentioned before, I hate working in piece meal fashion; cut the fabric one day, sew the bodice the other, the next, sew the sleeves, etc. I LOVE long stretches of creative time. Have I mentioned that before? Yes, about a zillion times on this blog. Anyway, I decided that with two kids, if I wanted to get anything done, I had to give into working this way. So I cut the pattern yesterday and would have been content today if I simply got the bodice of the jacket done. However, I was pleasantly surprised when my little D continued to be distracted by the fish tank, his toys and the Baby Einstein video I put on for him, that I just kept sewing. When he took his customery 2 hour nap, I was surprised to have finished the entire jacket save the buttons and the serging. So just when I finally gave into working piece meal, he goes and gives me time to finish the whole thing. Now I am spoiled and expect this same kind of behavior from him all the time. Aaaaaah what to do.