On Hellebores Watch: Beginnings
Not Superstitious . . . Just a Bit Grumpy

Open . . . to New Ideas

When I go to the Chicago Flower & Garden Show each year, I love to see all the blooms and the bright colors and the gardening ideas.  But my favorite part isn't the flowers!  I always look forward to seeing the exhibit from the Women's Journey in Fiber, a group of fiber artists from the greater Chicago area.

This year's exhibit did not disappoint!  This year's theme: Umbrellas . . . Open to New Ideas.  Each artist used an umbrella as the starting point for their own take on the theme.

Some of my favorites:

Rain that makes you feel alive.  (There are crystal raindrops hanging from the umbrella.)


Magical fairies.  (This one was hand-quilted and just exquisite.)


Contrasts between "open" and "closed" minds.  (This one is felted wool; the outside is bright and "open"; the inside is dark and "closed.")


Pennies from heaven.  (This one is made completely of copper and brass wire -- and pennies!)


Starry nights.  (Painted silk; it just glowed!)


Spring . . . coming again. (This one looks like tree bark -- but is actually exquisite embroidery stitches!)


Clouds. . . with silver linings.  (Fluffy crochet clouds -- and the inside, of course, was silver fabric.)


Coral reefs . . . with a plea for protection.  (This one shows the inside of the umbrella - quilted to create the reef; the outside was the calm sea -- with no clue of the beauty inside.)


Dancing in the rain.  (Simple, bright, and lovely.)


Fun - with a Seuss-inspired umbrella.  (Such whimsy!)


And my two favorites:

A simple remembrance of the artist's Dad.  (Delicate painting on rice paper.)


And . . . a yarn bomb.  (I wanted to throw this one on for a shawl!)


Each umbrella (and my photos here represent only about half of the umbrellas in the exhibit) was unique and wonderful -- and such a treat.  Really -- the best part of the Flower Show!

To learn more about the umbrellas - and to read the artist's statements - click here.



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I have a certain thing for umbrellas and just love everyone you show! It's hard to pick a favorite, as each one is an incredible creation!


It's not even 9:00 am here, and I'm fairly sure this is the best thing I'll see and read today! I love how these artists put so much time, effort, and skills into each one of their beautiful pieces. Thanks for sharing your photos and their statements -- I'm entranced!


Those are amazing! So much talent and such variety, too. I love the yarn one and also the one made from pennies.


Wow, such an eclectic group of interpretations on a theme! All of them beautiful!


Wow! Those are spectacular!! I am with Carole - the yarn bomb and penny art are truly amazing!


What a great exhibit!! They're amazing!


LOVE these umbrellas...I've never seen anything like them - ever! It's difficult to choose a favorite, but I especially like Pennies from Heaven and Starry Nights! Creativity certainly is alive and well in Chicago! So glad you had a great trip!


what a wonderful metaphor - and what a canvas for creativity. I do love the blooms, but I think this exhibit is my favorite! thank you for sharing this glimpse with us!

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