Going To Maine To See The Tiny Pricks Project

A screen shot from the Tiny Pricks Project on Instagram. (That’s one of mine, third down on the left) These are just a few of the Tiny Pricks created by people from all over the country. There are over 1000 so far.

When the Tiny Pricks Project was in a gallery in NYC I thought about going to see it, but didn’t.  Now it’s going to be at the Speedwell Gallery in Portland Maine.

So Jon and I are going.

I wanted to be there for the opening reception September 14, but Nicole, our farm sitter wasn’t available.  So we’re going the weekend after.  Which, when I thought about, it is probably even better.

Opening Receptions are like parties to me.  If someone asks me to go to a party a month away, I’m all eager, thinking it will be fun.  But a few days before I start to get jiggy about it.  On the way there,  I wonder why I ever agreed to go.

At first, I was disappointed not to be going to the opening, but when I pictured myself in the crowded gallery, with people standing around talking, I started to get that uncomfortable feeling.

And suddenly the thought of me in a quiet gallery, taking as much leisurely time as I chose to look at the exhibit, was very appealing.

We’re planning on staying somewhere south of Portland overnight, I’m still working all of it out, but excited to be going.  I’ll be sure to get pictures and blog about it.

The Tiny Pricks Project will be at the Speedwell Gallery from September 14 – November 3rd.  Click here for more information.

“Come Together” My Fourth Tiny Pricks

A good friend emailed me after Donald Trump was elected president.  She told me she voted for Trump and some people she knew, who disagreed with her choice, were angry with her giving her a hard time.  Some of them wouldn’t talk to her anymore.

It was during that time, just after the election, when I was trying to figure out how I would deal with the results of the election,  that I decided one thing I would not do is let the divisive nature of the Trump campaign and presidency make me divisive too.

I could and would express my feelings and beliefs without hating my friends and neighbors.

After the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, when Donald Trump was asked by a reporter if he thought his rhetoric was divisive he replied, “My rhetoric is very—it brings people together.”

This absurd doublespeak by the president left me speechless.

But I did find my voice, in creating a Tiny Pricks.

With Trump’s words in mind, I looked through my stash of vintage linens and hankies that people have been sending me for years.  In a collection of small children’s hankies, I found what I was looking for.

I always found this hankie a strange way to teach kids how to spell fox, goose and rabbit in five different languages. But I now its other lesson, about how the rabbits looked on happily as the fox ate the goose, knowing they were safe for a while, anyway,  was clear to me.

At first, I wanted to use the whole quote from Trump, how he stumbled over his words.  Not to ridicule him, but for accuracy.  But they didn’t fit as well on the hankie as the fewer words, that is the essence of his statement, did.  It’s more readable this way too and the words fit nicely between the images.

This is my fourth Tiny Pricks.  You can see the other three here.  And you can see all the Tiny Pricks in Diana Weymar’s #tinypricksproject   here and learn how to participate in it here at tinypricksproject.com.

And if you would like to make a Tiny Pricks but don’t have a linen or hankie to stitch it on, I’ll be happy to send you a couple.  Just email me at [email protected].  I’ve already mailed out hankies and linens to 5 or 6 people who are making their own Tiny Pricks.

Invasion/Infestation. My Third Tiny Pricks

Tiny Pricks Invasion/Infestation

My third Tiny Pricks, called Infestation/Invasion, turned out just as I pictured it.

I started with the vintage embroidery of a Mexican couple that someone sent me a while ago and surrounded them with the words, infestation and invasion.

Donald Trump has used these words again and again to describe immigrants and refugees coming into our country, and neighborhoods where people of color live. When used in this way, both words have a long racist history in the United States.

Language Columnist, Ben Zimmer wrote about them in two different articles.

In “Where does Trumps Invasion Rhetoric Come From“, Zimmer describes how in the late 1800s Chinese immigrants coming to the West Coast were thought of as unarmed, insidious, invaders.

When Chinese immigration was restricted in 1882, the word invasion continued to be used to describe other groups of people coming to the United States at different times in our history.

In his article  What Trump Talks About When He Talks About Infestations, The frightening political history of the word infest, Zimmer writes:  

Historically the verb “infest” has been used to talk not just about literal pests and diseases, but also to compare people—very often minorities and immigrant groups—to pests and diseases.”

He makes the point that when you compare people to pests and disease, they don’t have to be seen as people anymore.

Both words imply that something needs to be done to eradicate the people they refer to. “Infestations justify exterminations,” wrote NY Times columnist Charles M. Blow.  And military force is what we usually use to stop invaders.

You can follow my process of making Invasion/Infestation here.

My Fourth Tiny Pricks…

I just finished my third Tinypricks (I’ll write about it later) and came up with an idea for another one.

I had this quote on my mind (“I think my rhetoric is a very…er…it brings people together”)  since Trump said it. And today I found the perfect hankie to stitch it on.

You can see all the Tiny Pricks so far (along with mine) here. 

And don’t forget, if you’d like to make a Tiny Pricks, but need a hankie or linen to embroider it on, I’ll be happy to send you one.  Just email me here at [email protected].

You can read all about Diana Weymar’s Tiny Prick Project and how to participate here. 

Tiny Pricks Makes Me Wonder…..

I was sitting in the living room stitching my  Tiny Pricks and thought of all women, over the centuries, who sat in their houses embroidering.   I thought of all the samplers, bible verses and saying I’ve seen I’ve seen in museums and books.

And for the first time I wondered how many women from the 18th, 19th and early 20th century stitched subversive phrases or words into their work as they sat in their homes stitching and stitching.

Maybe someone out there has a collection of them because now that I’ve thought about it, I’m sure they exist.

“Invasion, Infestation”. My Third Tiny Pricks

I wrote about starting my third Tiny Pricks last week.

This one will have just two words repeated over and over on a vintage linen that someone embroidered a Mexican couple on years ago.

This linen was bigger and has two other parts to it.  On one end the image was repeated and in the middle was the same couple getting married on a Sunday.

I’m repeating the two words, Invasion and Infestation as Donald Trump has repeatedly used them when referring to people and communities, that he sees as a threat,  who aren’t white.

First, I cut this section of the linen and hemmed it.  Then I wrote the  words on the linen in pencil.

My third Tiny Pricks

Now I’m embroidering the words, using two different shade of brown of embroidery thread.  I hope to finish it tonight.

There is a thunderstorm gaining strength out there, so if the lights go out, I will not be doing embroidery by candlelight like so many women have done before me.   I’ll just wait till tomorrow.


My Third Tiny Pricks

A screen shot from #tinypricks on Instagram, with my tiny pricks in it.

I got this picture from  #tinypricks on instagram.  That’s my first tinypricks in the upper right corner.  It’s Donald Trumps response, “I sorta get away with things like that”, when interviewed about his bursting into the Miss America dressing room.

It’s placed with a few of the other tinypricks, made by other people and sent into The Tiny Pricks Project.  They all refer to or are statements made by Donald Trump about women.

Having my tinypricks alongside all the others makes me feel like I’m a part of something that makes a difference.  Seeing all the tiny pricks together, knowing they come from all over the country, each one hand embroidered, shows the power of the individual when we join together.

The Tiny Pricks Project is a wonderfully creative political protest.

And I know as long as Donald Trump is in office, I’ll always have another idea for a tinypricks.

This is the linen I’ll be using for the next tinypricks.  I cut it off from a larger piece, the other part it shows the same couple on Sunday, getting married.

This tinypricks will have just two words repeated, covering the white space around the original embroidery.  Those words are “Invasion” and ‘Infestation“.  Two words that Donald Trump has used again and again to describe, what he believes, that people who aren’t white, are doing to the country.

These two words speak strongly of Trumps racist beliefs.

In his article, Combating The White-Nationalist Terrorist Threat,  Simon Clark at the Center for American Progress writes:

“… there is plenty of evidence that Trump shares many of the beliefs that underpin white supremacy—most notably in his continued use of the tropes of invasion and infestation so typical of this genocidal ideology….”

I’m going to stitch the two words on the linen in different shades of brown, representing the skin colors of the people that Trump is targeting with these words.

I’m grateful to Diane Weymar, who created the Tiny Pricks Project, for giving me this creative venue to express my idea’s and beliefs.

And if you’d like to create a tinypricks, but need a hankie or linen to embroider your Trump quote on, I’ll be happy to send you a couple. Just email me here at [email protected]. I’ve already sent out hankies to 5 or 6 people.

Weymar wants to have 2020 tinypricks by the 2020 election and she’s more than half way there, but can always use more tinypricks.

You can read about the Tiny Pricks Project and how to participate here. 

Tiny Pricks, Words and Responsibility

My second piece for the Tiny Pricks Project

“You Americans, you are so naïve. You think evil is going to come into your houses wearing big black boots. It doesn’t come like that. Look at the language. It begins in the language.”  Joseph Brodsky

I remember when Rap music first came into my consciousness.  It was because of the debates over the misogynistic lyrics in some of the songs.  Although the lyrics I heard made me angry, I was intellectually curious about the ideas of freedom of expression and freedom of speech.   Rap  did what good art does, it got me thinking.

Because of this, I came to believe that we’re all responsible for what we put out into the world.

I believe that we have to be as thoughtful and clear in our message as possible.  We may not always be able to control how other people interpret it, but if we say it, sing it, write it, create it, we have to take responsibility for the impact it may have.

And the more powerful we are, the bigger reach we have, the more important it is that we understand that our words can be equally uplifting and inspiring as damaging and destructive.

My whole life I’ve heard women defend men saying that they didn’t really mean what they said, or that they were only joking, and they were really “good guys”.  If someone whats to believe that in their person life, that’s their choice, but in my mind there’s a different standard for people in public life.

As an artist, I take seriously what I choose to put out into the world.

And I believe that anyone who has a much power as the President of the United States has to  be responsible for his or her words and the actions, good or bad, that they provoke.

Beto O’Rourke’s response to the shootings in El Paso on Saturday speaks directly to this belief.  That’s why I chose it to be a part of Tiny Pricks. I feel it speaks not only to this mass shooting, but to so much of Donald Trump’s presidency.

This is the second piece that I’m sending to the Tiny Pricks Project. My first one was a quote by Donald Trump.   You can read more about Tiny Pricks Project and how to participate in it here or follow it  here on Instagram.

And if you’d like to make a Tiny Pricks, but don’t have a hankie or linen to stitch it on, I’ll be happy to send you one, just email me here at [email protected].



Another Tiny Pricks, This Time The Words Of Beto O’Rourke


The linen I chose to make my Tiny Pricks on

I woke up this morning to Beto O’Rourke’s voice.  Jon was watching a video of his reaction to the shooting in El Paso yesterday.

What O’Rourke said, was precisely how I felt, but couldn’t articulate.

My art often becomes my voice in times like this.  After the shooting at the Stoneman Douglas Highschool I created my Crocheted Gun and Babyblanket sculpture.  Then I had postcards made of it and sent them to my representatives.

There have been other shooting since then, but I often finding myself feeling numb to the news,  surprised and disturbed at how easy it has become for me to just accept mass shootings as a part of life in America.

But this morning I found voice in O’Rourke’s words.

And after hearing about the second shooting in Dayton Ohio, my mind went to the Tiny Pricks Project, which has given me another place to take my anger and feelings of hopelessness when it comes to politics.

The Tiny Pricks Project was started by Diana Weymar to “process this presidency  in a way that doesn’t involve withdrawing from following politics. This project is about witnessing, recording, taking notes in thread, and paying attention. Paying attention to his words.”

Weymar invites anyone to take quotes from Donald Trump and embroider them on linens.  She says, “Tiny Pricks Project counterbalances the impermanence of Twitter and other social media, and Trump’s statements by using textiles that embody warmth, craft, permanence, civility, and a shared history. The daintiness and strength of each piece stands in a stark contrast to his presidency.”

But she also uses quotes, that define Trumps presidency,  from people other than the president.

So I listened to the Beto O’Rourke’s words till I found the right ones for my next Tiny Pricks. Then I emailed Diana Weymar (as she asks people to do when using a quote that isn’t from Trump), to make sure she could use it in the project.

She got back to me 15 minutes later saying she would find a way to use the quote.  “Send it in!” she wrote, “ox Diana.”

Diana’s goal is to have 2,020 Tiny Pricks Pieces by the next presidential election in 2020.

After making my first Tiny Pricks, I put aside some linens that I thought might work for another one.  So I knew which linen I would use.  The one with the Mexican man embroidered on it.

For my first Tiny Pricks I did it all freehand.  This time wrote the words out on paper first, then roughly measured them and wrote them on the linen in pencil.

And I now have an embroidery hoop, which makes  stitching the words so much easier that I hope to finish this tonight and send it off to Diana,  in the mail tomorrow.

You can read more about the Tiny Pricks Project here or follow it on instagram at #tinypricksproject.

And if you’d like to participate in the Tiny Pricks Project but don’t have a linen or hankie to stitch your quote on, I’ll be happy to send you one.  Just email me here at [email protected]




Full Moon Fiber Art