Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Inspiring Women - Beatrice Dobbins

Mary D. Williams was inspired by her Grandmother, Beatrice Dobbins, to become a gospel singer.  She remembered holding her Grandmother’s hand when going to town, walking by the Welcome to KKK Country sign that was up until 1972.  Beatrice would hum gospel songs so Mary would feel safe.

Made 2/25/15                      Recalling 70s

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Memory Cloth – AUNT MAE

When I was 8 or 10  - I got to visit my Aunt Mae in Racine.  We would bake cookies and she taught me to sew with her treadle sewing machine.  They didn’t have children so one bedroom was her sewing room.  I thought that was such a luxury.  I could use her scraps to make doll clothes.   It was so fun to figure out how to make them.  There weren’t any patterns and she let me work on my own.  She taught me to hand sew and embroider flowers on my doll dresses.

Embroidery has become a time of reflection and meditation for me.  My memories are transformed while stitching.  I discovered this way of working from "Amazwi Abesifazane: Voices of Women," the South African project dealing with apartheid experiences.  They’ve asked me to spread the process in America and that’s what I’m doing.

Made 2015                           Recalling Summers 1958

Monday, February 29, 2016



Helen Klebesadel honors both her grandmothers, 
Helen Sherwood Richardson and Ruth Hodgson Klebesadel with inspiring her to become an artist.

 “As the first daughter in my family I was named Helen Ruth after both of my grandmothers.  This made me feel special all of my early life because
I shared their names.  They both inspired as the matriarchs of their families.  It was they who showed me what it looked like to be a strong woman leader.  

My grandmother Ruth could make something beautiful from nothing. She could cook, garden, sew, landscape, and she was an excellent interior designer.  She knew how to make things beautiful and make beautiful things.

My grandmother Helen lost her husband to drowning at 30, leaving her with five children to support.  She worked and raised her children running a hardware store and as the town funeral director.  There were often bodies in her parlor and her car served as hearse AND an ambulance.  She knew how to help people care for each other, even during the worst times in their lives.  

I am honored to share their names.”

Made July 4 2015


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Inspiring Women: MISS ROSEMARY

Memory Cloth – MISS ROSEMARY

I woke up one morning thinking about who inspired us to believe we could be more than the limiting feminine stereotype of wife and mother. 

I asked Professor Barbara Ewell who inspired her to create a life larger than seemed possible growing up in Baker LA. She described Miss Rosemary White who lived in the Big House (it had 2 stories) with her mother, Leonora, and sisters Miss Angie, Miss Pearl, Miss Mattie. Her sister-in-law, Florence, lived just down the street.. Rosemary was on the City Council and was the person who always helped those in need, in spite of serious rheumatoid arthritis.

I’ve made a FaceBook page, Inspiring Women, where I invite others to tell the stories or show their art about who inspired them.

Made 1/5/15         Recalling 1954 – 65