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The Rumor is True

September 7, 2016

Well if you have heard that Pamela Penney Textile Arts is leaving the Oak Park Arts District (after over 15 years of envolvement there), you have heard correctly.  Yes, it hasn’t been an easy decision.  But, the time feels right for a change for me.  I started out as a member of what was called the Harrison Street Cooperative Gallery in around the year 2000.  We were a collective of about 25 artists who displayed our work and shared gallery sitting duties.  After 3 years there I decided I was ready to take on more studio space (I was working at home from 1996 until 2003).  In the fall of 2003 I took space at 41 Harrison Street in the Arts District and shared it with another artist for a couple of years.  In 2008 I moved into 130 Harrison Street where I have been creating, teaching and selling my work for the last 8 1/2 years.  It has been fun to be a part of the Oak Park Arts District community.  It has been a dream fulfilled.  But, now it is time to follow a new dream.  Of course, that dream is still a bit hazy.  Each day it get a bit clearer and I am excited by the possibilities ahead.  For now I can say that my immediate plans are to move my studio back into my home (my kids are grown!) and focus on the creation of new artwork.  I will be taking a break from teaching for awhile, but who knows, I’m not sure how long that will last!

Please know that if you have been a customer and student or a friend to me,  I have so appreciated all the love, support, creativity and joy that you have brought into my studio and my life over the last two decades.  I will forever have so many fond memories of my time with all of my students and my customers.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your time and talents with me over the years.  And you will continue to hear from me!

And please join me in Celebrating the last 20 years of my business with a toast to the future on Saturday evening September 17, 2016 at 6 to 10pm.  At 130 Harrison Street, Oak Park, IL.  I hope you can be there!
Gone, but not forgotten ~ Pam

P.S. If you have lessons paid for in advanced or a gift certificate, please contact me at to make arrangements.  I apologize for any inconvenience and will work to accommodate!

I’m So Excited (and I just can’t hide it)

April 12, 2016


I’m not sure why it is, but my best ideas and inspiration come to me when I am out in my backyard soaking in the hot tub (time machine) under the moon and stars.  Tonight there was a lovely, bright crescent moon and the brightest “star” is actually Jupiter.  He is my “action” planet and together we say, “by Jove I think we’ve got this!”

So, tonight I have a plan of action.  Looking back in time I realize I am celebrating the 20th anniversary this year of my business, Pamela Penney Textile Arts (where a stitch in time saves!)  I started creating women’s art to wear jackets and children’s special occasion garments in the spare bedroom of my home when my children where babies.  (Crazy, I know!)  I’ve expanded and grown and want to share my joy. Tonight I had a spark…

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What I Learned from a 5th Grader

April 7, 2016

I learn as much from my students as I teach them .  And sometimes it is more about the process than it is about the technique.  I started working on a project with two lovely young women who came in after school for several weeks.  They decided they wanted to work on a mixed media work with tape and foil sculpture on boxes.  We added paint, collage, beads (oh, they love the glue gun!) and junk jewelry.  I created along side them, trying to model and inspire. (See more about my personal process creating Ishtar at

They really didn’t need my inspiration.  They went boldly ahead with their own unique visions (as only 10 year old girls can do).  And that is what I learned by creating my “High Priestess, Crone” sculpture.  She may be a Crone, but there is still a bit of the 10 year old girl hidden within her.  Enjoy our process:

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What is A Stitch In Time Saves?

March 31, 2016

A Stitch In Time Saves. half page 2016

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Sewing into Spring

March 20, 2016

It’s the first day of Spring and the sewing students were feeling it this week in the studio.  We had several adorable new garments get finished up this week from Easter dresses to Spring break tops and shorts headed to Florida in a couple of weeks and a twirly cotton skirt, too.  It’s time to sew for warm weather, yeah!

I’m Back

February 24, 2016

Ok, you might not have even missed me.  But whether you did or didn’t, let me explain where I was.  Mid-January my mother experienced a medical emergency requiring surgery.  I traveled to Michigan to help my dad while she was in the hospital.  I am happy to report that in just over a month’s time she is back home and recovering well.  Following that, early in February I was summoned for jury duty.  I served on a jury for a two week trial. (read about the experience at There Are No Coincidences) And that experience led me to something new.  A path I am just embarking upon.  Even I don’t really know where it will lead.  But I am inviting you along for the journey.  Please join me at A STITCH IN TIME SAVES.

And yes, I still plan to continue to post updates here on the work of my students and the activities in the studio.  I just have a feeling that the new blog is going to be a bit broader in perspective, more wholistic, encompassing  stories of not only the fiber and textile art that I create primarily out of salvaged and re-used materials, but my teaching of sewing and art as a way to relax and find enjoyment, and my practice of using energy healing and stitch as a method of mindful moving meditation.

To prove I am back in the studio I will share a few images of the fun I had this snowy afternoon with a couple of my young students.  We started “tape and foil” mixed media sculptures today.  I can not wait to see how they evolve over the next month!  Stay tuned and you can see the progress here too.  If you are ready to join me for some fun studio time please schedule your lesson time here at Schedulicity.  I hope to see you soon.  It feels good to be back!

Update:  See our completed sculptures and learn more about the process HERE.

New Year * New Moon January 2016

January 9, 2016

Dear Students, Customers, Friends, Family and Creative Community,
Happy New Year! We are well into the first weeks of our new year, and I hope yours is off to a happy and healthy start. I find it interesting how a somewhat arbitrary calendar date has become collectively agreed upon as the “start over” date for us humans. But alas, a RESET button is often a good thing to have. So, I have set upon planning my adventures for 2016. Today is also the first new moon of 2016 and each month I make a habit of using that marker to reflect back with gratitude and evaluate what the last moon cycle gifted me with, as well as set new intentions and look to the light of the next full moon to bring in the “good tidings”.   Along with some new offerings in the studio I have some adventures beyond my walls to share as well.
I am excited by my two exhibit opportunities this month. First, I have a work titled “Liber*Tree: Bend Don’t Break” in A Common Thread, the annual members exhibit at the Textile Center of Minnesota, where it will be until February 27, 2016. I created this piece about a year ago as I was mulling over the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris and my thoughts were wrapped up in our personal and collective Liberties and how those are challenged in this era of terrorism. It also reflects the strength of the feminine throughout the Ages to find a way as the trees do, to remain strong, yet flexible in the face of adversity.

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Liber*Tree: Bend Don’t Break, Pamela Penney 2016

I am also featured in a duo-show “Between A Rock and a Soft Place” with artist Kristi Sloniger of Moonstar Pottery through the Oak Park Art League at the West Suburban Hospital Satellite Gallery location. The opening reception is January 15, 2016 at 6:30, at the West Suburban Medical Center, 3 Erie Court, Oak Park, IL. Kristi and I will be on hand to answer questions and entertain our guests with tales of our lives as “living, working artists”! Please join us if you can. The exhibit runs through February 23rd. I will be exhibiting a large body of my work from over the last several years. This gives me the opportunity to really see, share and reflect upon the direction I have taken with my art.
And because we had so much fun in the studio with our Fall session of Friday After School Open Studio for Kids, I can’t wait to get it rolling again. We will be starting up again January 22, 2016 and offering another 6 week session. Kids ages 8 & up may come to one, several, or all 6 sessions. We will be providing the materials and instruction/guidance to create a unique project each week. Techniques will include felting, fiber, hand-stitching, machine stitching and more. Please register on-line in advance HERE. We are working on plans for our summer art camp offerings and will have news out regarding those in the next few weeks.
And finally, to make it easier for me and my students I am utilizing a new scheduling application. It will offer the opportunity to see all of the time slots available and book one or more lessons that work for your schedule. Automatic reminders and the ability to put the appointment into your digital calendar are also provided. I’m hoping it will free up a little more creative time for me and add some convenience for my students. There is a “register now” button on the CLASSES page of our website or just go HERE and schedule a lesson! As a bonus, you can schedule a private lesson for January or February through the application and receive $5 off! I hope to see you in the studio for some inspiration, learning and fun soon. Get your 2016 off to a creative start!!!