Friday, April 18, 2014


    A friend, and a very fine artist herself, Colleen Werner, recently commissioned me to create a 'memory piece' to honor her sister Irene. Irene passed away one year ago this month.
    When Colleen came by my studio she brought with her a bag full of things that belonged to Irene and a few that belonged to their mother to be used on the memory piece. The bag contained bling and bits of this that were special to Irene, Colleen and their mom.
    While Colleen was at the studio, she also selected the perfect substrate for the memory piece.
The image below is of the wooden horse she chose. In this photo, I had already altered the horse's tail, the original tail was made of rafia grass . . . it is now made of black yarn.

     Colleen liked the idea of a carousel horse, embellished with bling, then she mentioned she really loved zebras, and wondered if I could make this horse a zebra . .  . humm.
      I thought about it for a few days, and realized I am not skilled enough to 'paint' the stripes on the horse, so I started to think about other options.  

     FABRIC!      A fat-quarter of zebra print!
But YIKES!  It was too much!

To tone it down, I used McCall's pattern tissue. As you can see in the image below, the tissue softened the boldness of the fabric.

In an earlier conversation Colleen mentioned a breed of zebra that had gone extinct in the late 1800's called "Quagga". We decided this piece should be titled "Quagga".

 Below is a bit of information on this exquisite creature:

 The quagga is a recently extinct mammal, closely related to horses and zebras. It was a yellowish-brown zebra with stripes only on its head, neck and foreboday. The quagga was native to desert areas of the African continent until it was exterminated in the wild in the 1870s. The last captive quaggas died in Europe in the 1880s.
A quagga was distinguished from other zebras by having the usual vivid marks on the front part of the body only. In the mid-section, the stripes faded and the dark, inter-stripe spaces became wider, and the rear parts were a plain brown.

Below is the finished piece, she is pretty special.
Colleen picked her up last week. She loved her. LOVED her!  I am happy about that.

A wooden horse, covered in fabric and overlaid with sewing pattern tissue. Embellished with bling and other fun objects. The tail is made of yarn, and the base is a teflon iron shoe, a flea market find. By the way, the base is on a swivel, allowing the horse to spin.


  1. Replies
    1. yes Elfi, it looks a lot like an OKAPI !

  2. spectacular! and a very special memento...

    1. thank you Amy. yes it turned out well, and i am delighted to say that Colleen loved it.

  3. Nicely done. beautiful piece to remember her sister.

    1. thanks for stopping by Val.
      ps: why did you sign in as Anonymous?

  4. Impressive. I think anyone would love this. I sure do. Of course, I have a thing for carousel and rocking horses, so this piece spoke to me from the beginning.

    1. THANKs E! i knew you would enjoy this carousel horse.

      happy easter!

  5. Oh wow Rebeca! You've outdone yourself. This is I must say, MAGNIFICENT! Just looking at all those little treasures on the beautiful zebra brings a quietness in me. It must indeed hold so many memories for Coleen. You did a great job and I sure wish your talent was in me. Love it! Congrats on the job and also thank you for stopping by my blog that I rarely use nowadays. I might just start using it again. Take care Rebeca.

  6. What a wonderful tribute to your friend's sister; I'm sure it's something she will always cherish and find great joy in looking at.