Arts Insight TV

August 19th, 2015

Arts Insight TV, a Thursday night PBS series, was in my studio filming yesterday. My friend Fujio is a videographer with the show and he pitched me to the producers. They arrived at 1 and I learned that I should not have worn a Game of Thrones shirt that said Mother of Dragons. It seemed perfect given the fact that one of my latest series is called Dragonworks. But a trademark is not good for filming…guess I knew that…. but didn’t connect the dots.  After the interview the producer Laura and I spent a lot of time talking about Game of Thrones ad Fujio filmed my studio, art and art car. It should air in Sept or October and it will go on You Tube after that.



Abundance: A Retrospective of Art Quilts by Kim Ritter

January 9th, 2014

I will have an opening on Jan 17th at 7pm at Capitol Street Gallery 6701 Capitol Street Houston TX 77011


The Art Cars

December 27th, 2013

I made my first art car, the Piecemobile in 2008. It was a tribute to my passion for quilting and sewing and was made from a 1999 Sebring convertible.

It was ruined in Hurricane Ike, along with most of the stuff in my studio, and  the stuff in my husband’s man cave.

The second car was a collaboration between my husband and I. He came up with the idea of the Peace Expedition, using our 1996 Ford Expedition as the base.

The Peace Expedition

peace-expedition_PSpeace Expedition



AlongCame  Spider was next..a Fiat Spider was the base…it never ran worth a cr@p


Along Came a Spider Art Car 2010

Along Came a Spider Art Car 2010




After that I made my Mustang into an art car




More on the Opening

November 29th, 2013


November 2nd, 2013












































The Open Studio was success in spite of the rain. We had a great turn out and I learned a lot about doing a pop-up gallery for a night.

Ginny Eckley and Susan Ennis made it out to see my studio and it was great to hook up with old quilting buddies. We had 2 groups of people come up from Galveston for the night. People came from Spring and Spring Branch and Katy and Friendswood. Mayoral candidate of many times, Ralph Ulrich, spent some time around the pool chatting with old friends.

The art cars that turned out were fabulous (who wouldn’t want to ride around in a giant 12 foot chicken like Smitty Regula’s Hen-a-Tron). Nicole Strine’s mirrored car twinkled, while Deb Elliot Pterodactyl car glittered. My art car Must Tangle is a painted peace vehicle while my husband John’s Peace Expediton lights up the night with rope light and a glowing dome and globes.

The inside gallery showed my newest dragon quilts, and two dragon quilts by Deb Elliott. Some of my glass work and jewelry was on display along with firecracker hats by Erik Kolflat, Terry Brooks, and Kenny Browning. Tisha Browning lent us three watercolors for the evening and installed her “Piece of Fly-Pa-Cat” giant glowing metal butterfly in the main gallery. Kelli Walker’s “Untitled” a mixed media painting, her beaded shawl and her Magpie Chandelier graced the main gallery as well.

The newest art installations for the yard we have commissioned glowed, literally. The Oil Barrel/Water Barrel change colors and give a nice ambience as they flank the residence steps. The giant Richard Cranium installation by Scrap Daddy with fire poi overlooks the pool, the 10 foot goat torch by Kenny Browning lights the back of the garden, while the new Time Ma-Shrine by Joseph Buttle stood by ready to beam prayers into other times and spaces.
Also installed in our yard, are the lighted Magic Mushrooms by Kim and John Ritter. The front gate, ramp and door are by
Dolan Smith. The 30thAnniversary Boat Fender was salvaged by Shay Fyre and Justin Khine, The Dancing Girl at the wooden gate is by Mark David Bradford. Inside the fence are the Horse and Dog on Side of Gallery by Mark David Bradford. Spot the Dog by the quilt studio door is also by him.
The Cement Women in back porch posts of the gallery are the creations of Dolan Smith. He also created the Dome, The Man of 10,000 Nails outside gallery back door and the Pillar by the dome . The Pet Cemetery Wallis is also by Dolan Smith. The Peace Fire Pit Cover was made by metal-smith Christopher Gorman
I appreciate all the artists who lent work for the night and look forward to having other open studio events. Thanks also to my volunteers Christopher Gorman and Shannon Abernathy.

Directions to Studio

August 24th, 2013


May 15th, 2013


3 lbs beef stew meat

Preheat oven to 325 with rack positioned on bottom third.

Spread meat on paper towels for 20 minutes to dry all excess juice.

Brown in very small batches on high heat in a 6qt Dutch oven, using a small amount of vegetable oil. Remove and drain.

Add vegetable oil as needed and add

1 chopped onion,

2 medium celery sticks

3 cloves garlic minced
1 medium carrot

and cook until softened 5-6 minutes stirring and scraping pot.

Add 1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried chilies

and cook for a minute or two more.

Add one cup red wine to deglaze the pan, raise heat and scrape pan, boil and reduce by half about 5 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 cup homemade vegetable stock and the meat. Cover and place in oven and stew for 1 to 2 hours

Add vegetables stew in oven, cover and simmer until everything is tender …about one hour.

Vegetables: parsnips turnips rutabaga, golden beet, carrot, celery, onions, potatoes.

Vegetable Stock

Use the peelings and ends of parsnips, turnips rutabagas, golden beets, carrots, celery, onions, and add some lettuce if you have it.

Add all to a big pot and cover with water. You can add a ham hock if you are not a vegetarian.

Add cracked pepper and a small amount of salt. You can add thyme and lemons cut in half if you wish or any herb. 1/2 bunch of cilantro is optional but good.

Bring to a simmer slowly and put on lowest setting and cover and cook for a few hours or all day.
Strain out the vegetable stuff and use as a base for vegetable soup or beef stew or it makes beans tasty with some cilantro in the broth.

Painting an Art Car

April 25th, 2013

I am repainting my art car and am writing this so I won’t forget what works for the next time!


This is my current paint job. The yellow and pink are One Shot, the blue is the color of the car. I used painters tape to mask off the areas. I wish I had masked off all the rubber, too. Most of the details were created using Sharpie Paint Pens. They worked great for a few months but eventually faded to white chalk. I Mod Podged them to make them more permanent but that didn’t work. The chalky residue washed off completely with Goof Off. Which is a nice feature if you want to make a new incarnation of your art car often. I used stick on labels to mask off the peace signs and the hearts before painting the car the first, so they are permanent.

Goof Off also works well for cleaning your hands and brushes and any mistakes while wet. I  mixed the One Shot 9 parts paint and one part hardener. The paint thickens slightly with the hardener and a skin will form overnight even in a small sealed container like the tiny mason jar I used. Mix the paint with hardener  in small quantities that you can use up within a few hours. Wrap your paint brush in plastic wrap if you are taking a short break.
I will post picture when I am finished!

How to Make Your Hair Bright Blue! Or Hot Pink!

March 8th, 2013

headshotOne of the questions I get asked all the time as I go around in my colorful car and wearing my brightly dyed hair is ” How do I do that?”

Jill Johnson from originally from Venus Salon in Houston, and now at her own shop on White Oak gave me the skinny back in 2008 when I made my first art car.

The first thing you have to do is bleach your hair platinum! Not blonde, not ash, but white as snow is best.

For me with my very dark brown hair with lots of grey, that means 5 one hour sessions of whitening over a week or more.

My hair is stubborn and goes orange, yellow, straw and finally white. The trick here is not to damage your hair. I do it at home but if you don’t have the know how, this part is best handled by a pro.

I usually spend a week as a platinum blonde as it is interesting to see how people treat me as a blonde as opposed to a brunette.

Next comes the color. I have tried many brands of color and love Rage N Color. It is very bright and lasts a long time. Manic Panic is also good but fades faster. But if you want color that really lasts try the new Ion Color Brilliance Brights Semi-Permanent Hair Color in all the bright colors. Warning! This stuff lasts!!!

Pink in all brands fades fastest of all the colors. After that in least fade resistance is purple.  Blue lasts fairly well and teal lasts longest.

After years of living in the suburbs, driving a normal grey car and living in a grey house, I love having colorful hair, driving a colorful car and living in a colorful house!

It makes me happy!




The Five Questions that Art Car Artists Get Asked All the Time!

July 22nd, 2012

1. Can you still DRIVE that thing?
2. How are you going to get that OFF your car?
3. What does that DO to the resale value of your car?
4. Can you get this THING inspected and insured?
5. Why did you do THAT to your car

These five questions are music to my ears when I am out and about in my art car. The answers always lead to fun conversations. To me, it seems the answers are fairly obvious, but given how often I am asked them, they must not be.
“Can you still drive that thing?” Well, of course I can. That’s what makes it an art car, not a sculpture. It can be driven. There are many variations on art cars, but the goal is always the same: to have a vehicle that drives. Some are Mutant Vehicles and are driven in the dessert at Burning Man. Some are parade vehicles driven in parades. Some are daily drivers and are driven every day.
“How will you get that off your car?” is a question that always baffles me and makes me laugh. I have just spent 4 months gluing this stuff on and you think I WANT it to come off? Just the opposite is true! I have researched how to make this stuff stay on as long as possible!
“What does that do to the resale value of the car?” Well, I used to wonder about that as well. When my car was flooded during Hurricane Ike, I got a settlement worth MORE than the blue book value!
“Can you get this thing insured and inspected?” As a daily driver I must be insured and inspected, so I researched the laws in my state and made sure I didn’t cover up my license plate, head or tail lights or exceed the height or width limits for driving on the roads. Getting the car inspected is usually another fun outing, with the inspectors taking pictures of themselves and the car. I make sure that my vehicle is maintained just like any other car and understand that safety is always important.
I keep insurance on the car. Those with parade vehicles who do not routinely drive their cars can even qualify for inexpensive parade insurance. Susan Wingfield was driving her Miata that is a painted art car when someone rear-ended her. The insurance company of the other driver paid her to repaint the damaged portions.
The last question is my favorite. “Why did you do that to your car?” I made my first art car as a rolling advertisement of my artwork. But it in the end I found it was that and so much more. The art car is a smile generator of the most amazing kind. People wave at me as I go by. Teenagers stop to take a pic with their smart phone. Crowds gather around me wherever I go. It’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood when I am driving my art car.