My dear, Pursuing two high intensity businesses, waiting to see which one takes off, will never work. You have to pick one or the other.

In today’s world, working for yourself is the best option. Nobody wants a job. Your second job, which brings in a little cash, exists to complement your passion. If it’s consulting, get clear about what you have to share and who wants what you have. Then you’re life becomes meaningful. What more could you ask for?

Know that it takes time to build your business. Begin a regular writing practice. This is how you will become clear on who you are, what you want, and what you want to do to have the life you imagine. Write your one year, five year, 10 year, 20 year, 40 year plan. What do you want to be doing in 40 years? It’s easy to write a one-year plan. And the list will be long. But looking forward to 40 years, the list becomes simplified. When I wrote mine 40 years ago there were only three things left on my 40 year plan. I wanted to write, make art, and have a house with the picket fence. That’s what I’m doing. The list of books I wanted to read, workshops I wanted to take, kids I wanted to get involved in sports and activities hav been accomplished.

Now, I write, make art and share. Ultimately that’s the essence of your consulting business. Sharing who you are. Not selling. And asking for fair compensation. Which people will want to pay.

These days, I’m working on more felting on the FeltLOOM, using repurposed clothes.


Vintage skirts with merino wool

Living a Layered Life


The layering begins with fabric and words

L     Living a layered life

A     All writing counts

V     Vibrancy abounds

E     Expression emanates

R     Ready

N    Never bored

E    Embracing each day


Community, the Ultimate Art

It was suggested that I admire my bravery for growth, no matter what happens. Fortunately, having an art practice allows me to do that and I encourage you to develop one also. An art practice happens when you value the process as much as what gets created. That’s where the growth lives. The act of sharing your art is where bravery lives. Bravery feeds our growth. Keeps us happy and healthy. Broadens our community.


The older we become, the more need for bravery. One of the consequences of age is we see more. We experience more. We must be brave. There are more people in our life and their suffering touches us. Our creative process is how we prevent suffering from overtaking us and leave room in our hearts to comfort others without taking on their suffering.


That’s a biggie for me. I want to fix everyone’s problem in ways that are not sustainable. I feel the weight of this desire in my shoulders, the back of my neck. My body sends me warnings in the form of headaches and anxiety lives in the pit of my stomach.


The phrase, “the art of . . .” has come into vogue. Everyone is an artisan. At first I was offended. I saw it has marketing jargon without substance. Now I see it as problem solving. I have expanded my definition of art to include anything that has problems to solve. Your creativity comes into play when you implement the solutions revealed.


Rock climbing becomes an art with the numerous problems presented with each rock. After assessing the situation, you come up with a solution and proceed keeping the most important factor in mind. I don’t  care. Of course you care that you are safe. What you don’t care about is what others think about your solution. The path you choose. Slow and around. Straight up. Or that you ask for help when needed. 

And then you share. When you share your accomplishment community is created. The ultimate art. Community lives in the act of sharing of what you create. 

Letter to my 17 year old self


My dear Laverne, 

Soon you will graduate from high school, travel to Chicago, live with your Polish grandmother and pursue a job downtown as a secretary. Daddy told you girls don't need college to raise babies and suggested you take shorthanded and typing. You were the the short hand wiz and received the secretarial scholarship after Daddy called the base commander because the school had given it to someone else and told us they wanted it for a town kid not an Air Force Base transient.

You also took pre-college class courses, just in case. All your friends were in those classes. You were smart and had no trouble getting good grades. When you never found a job in a law office you used your secretarial scholarship to take elementary ed classes at Wright Junior College. This was your first transgression. It began you're determined life to pursue dreams, no matter what the circumstances. 

You will continue to make unconventional choices beginning with your first divorce in 1976 and letting your children live with their dad. You will be judged. You will know you have done the right thing. That is what is most important to remember. When you make the right decision for yourself, it will be the best for everyone in the long run. Don't look back. Stand steadfast. Persevere.

Me receiving the secretarial scholarship, Rome Free Academy, Rome, New York, 1964

Me receiving the secretarial scholarship, Rome Free Academy, Rome, New York, 1964

You Have To Have Vision

“You have to have vision,” I heard my mentor, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, say from across the room.  He wasn’t talking to me.  He was talking to one of his students.  I was fortunate to be working on the FeltLOOM in his classroom and could listen.  

You have to have vision.  

How true, I now realize.  And vision is different than a plan.  A plan comes second.  A plan comes after the vision has been defined and chosen. We can have many visions and focus is where determination comes in. 

What vision do I want to focus on?

In the past there was the vision for the move back to Kentucky.  The transition was smooth and provided us with the amazing cabin we now live in.  Today, there is the vision from my art, each piece of shibori dyed silk using carefully chosen colors creates many versions of wearable art.  

Today, in order to keep from getting bored and to keep from repeating myself, I begin a new vision quest asking myself, “what do I want?” This becomes the quintessential question, the question most necessary to keep in the forefront of my mind everyday.

Today, I say to myself, I want each piece of art I make to become part of an intentional ensemble from the beginning of the vision.  

Since I discovered the power of gathering around me only what I like, life is easier.  While I realize it can become cluttered, I leave room for those moments when “opportunity knocks.”  These are the moments when my questions are being answered, ever so subtly. 

What do I want to explore? 


Everything contains energy. My vision. My art. My cabin in the woods.  It’s why I surround myself with art.  Wearable art.  Art on the wall.  Art on the floor.  Art in the garden.  Art I serve my delicious food in. The art in my home, the handmade items I look at, use, wear, are closer to the maker, and the energy is more intense.  It is stronger, hence more transferable to me.

You have to have vision.

Even my Garden Girls remind me of this fact when they talk about writing.   In my creative writing I invented the Garden Girls to accompany me on my quest to take risks and live the layered life of an artist.  

“How do you find the words?” Rose asked.

“Look at your hands,” Clove said.

“I think you mean that’s really all I have to do.” Rose said.

“Of course I mean it,” Clove said. “Look at your hands, Rose it’s all in your body, in the way you walk, the way you smile, the way you think. Look at your hands and take a deep breath and you’ll find the words.”

The thought was exciting, physically. Rose felt her body move. Mentally she felt her mind churn. “Let’s write together again,” she said, “the next time we can claim a moment to own.”

In writing, Rose was seeking passion, the passion that gets you excited and keeps you awake at night. Rose was always passionate; there was no getting around it. She wasn’t ever going to give it up. To be able to create passion, that’s what freedom is, that’s what life is; just keep on writing because what else is there? Sometimes preachy thoughts showed up, talking to Rose, but she listened only when she had to. Mostly there were other sounds to consider— the voices and the quiet. When the voice was soft and the message was sweet love was all around it. Mostly when Rose heard the voice it meant listen.

When ideas were overwhelming, she’d take long hot baths, one right after another. The writing challenged her not to divert her eyes, keeping them on her vision which is to keep on moving, not stopping, except to meditate, watch her breath, while looking at her hands to find the words waiting, and believing they will come, because they’re right there in the table, the light, and window.

First I’ll make a list, a quick one, Rose decided. “Do I write it all down? Do I make notes?” She asked Clove.

“You can,” Clove said, “or you can just look at your hands. It’s in your body, Rose it’s all in there.” 

“Do you realize that you are saying there are no right answers. You are saying that whatever I say is okay, to just be me and say it. Take the risk.”

What does it take to become a Garden Girl? A desire made manifest, to discuss intimacy, passion, wisdom, and authority. And take risks.  

Today, I take a deep breathe.  What I want is in my body.  I begin a new exploration of layering fabric, color and textures creating statement wearable art ensembles.