Ruby Slipper Project

ruby slipper project

#metoo, now I wear a ruby slipper pocket to remind me I am home safe, balanced, secure.

My heart's desire stands alongside fear, strong, beautiful, courageous.

If you are like me, you fear the thought of going back to the way women were before #metoo.

I invite you to join with me in creating a network of support world wide.

Interactive Healing Arts Exhibition

Ruby Slipper Jacket

Ruby Slipper Pockets

Our jackets represent who we are. We wrap ourselves in colors we love. And can support each other by stitching our fibers together.

Healing energy begins at the heart, and flows around fusing human and divine. Feminine balances masculine. We open to receive Creative gifts.

Art enables us to act through the heart chakra. Creating a simple Ruby Slipper Pocket to wear connects us together. Join our quilt of many colors.


Add a Ruby Slipper Pocket to Your Favorite Jacket

Fabric designed from the Angel of Joy Breaking Out of Her Box quilt is printed with ruby slippers. Available in six inch squares, it can be sewn inside or outside on any jacket, vest, or sweater.

Instructions for sewing and artsy NO-sew are included. Lovely watermarked prayer card has space to add your own prayer.

Wear a Ruby Slipper pocket. Put the Ruby Slipper Prayer in your pocket. Slip your hand in your pocket and be connected to the prayers and support of all women.

ruby slipper project
Ruby Slipper Pockets

Angel of Joy Breaking Out of Her Box

Angel of Joy began when I painted a small oil of Earth Mother Rising. I felt as though I'd unearthed a past life.

In the first painting, she dangled earth and vines from her gown. In the next, her heart came out of the center to light her green gown with flowers.

Some years later, I began a third larger painting. Though far larger than the first two canvases, her head bent sideways as her gown filled the painting with flowers.

Discouraged and depressed, I painted over her. In her stead, a painting called In the Flow covered the canvas.

As I was creating the Ruby Slipper Jacket, I discovered four squares of fabric in my stash. Her image in four sections was printed on them.

Stitching them together, I painted back into her once again. This time I used iridescent fabric paints, with a brush and bottle tip applicator, to paint the garden cascading from her golden hair.

Before stitching her into the quilt, I photographed the painted fabric. From this I created yardage of crepe de chine to make scarves. On it, I added ruby slippers from a painting I'd done in France.

It was not until after I'd made a scarf, that I saw her breaking out. At first one flower popped beyond the edge of the blue frame I'd stitched around her.

Then another. My blues have been so confining, I didn't even know my own desires ~ until a friend asked.

Making a list of my heart's desires felt strange. In the blues box, I didn't have them.

Now desire stands alongside fear.

Equally matched, I can choose. Fear no longer stops me, or keeps me in the blues box.


ruby slipper project
Angel of Joy Quilt, 72" x 20"

Breaking Out of the Blues Box

All at once I saw her feet. Her ruby slippers tossed below the quilt on the floor. Her hand holding the purse with her journal and poetry, reached out from the quilt in a vermilion suede glove.

The purse represents pursuits, peace, happiness, and joy.

What we carry in our purse, our identity, money, make up, baggage, hidden away to discover in another time. So many questions, answers,  possibilities.

Choices not available in the blues box, revealed.

Jardines del Ninos Purses

A painting inspired by a vision I had at 16, returned fifty years hence.

Visiting the cave paintings at Altamira in 1969, I was fascinated with the view from my window at Jardines del Ninos. The walled garden below provided a safe place for the children to play. From my vantage point on the second floor, only a glimpse beyond was visible.

Painting the imagery repeatedly over fifty years, this time the painting came off the canvas and onto a series of purses.

ruby slipper project
Jardines del Ninos Purses, Pursuits of Peace, Happiness, and Joy

Making Dreams Real

Each purse contains a sacred space to honor the Creator's voice within. Blank watermarked pages on each Joy's Garden Journal, invite women to fuse desires and fears in a sacred artful act.

Words and pictures from the heart create movement in the flow of healing energy. Word by word, sketch by sketch, each joins the warp and weft of a healing art quilt.

Day by day, life by life, we support each other. Never again alone.

Joy's Garden Journals

Fuse your desires and fears in a sacred place.

Joy's Garden poems on the opening page, and at the end, create a safe and fertile space.

Seven journals are available on Amazon, each with their own art and poem; Blooming, Wings, West Wind, Cascading Dreams, Something's Blooming, Radiant Beauty, and Holiday.

Joy's Garden Journals
Angel of Joy

History of the Ruby Slipper Project


1969  Altamira Cave Paintings, Spain
At 16 Dorothy visited the Paleolithic paintings with her high school Spanish class. She roomed in a nearby boarding school called, Jardines del Ninos. A snapshot of the view of the enclosed garden from her second floor window of the kindergarten ~ juxtaposed with her experience of standing in the footsteps of Paleolithic artists ~ began the incubation process.

1981  Prints & Drawings '81 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Jardines del Ninos, pastel painting inspired by memories of the vision was exhibited in Richmond, Virginia.

1983  Assaulted at knife point in her studio.

1994  Wrote Joy's Garden poem

1997  Meaning of Jardines del Ninos revealed
Journal entries uncovered symbolism of the walled garden, and the inaccessible world beyond it, in Jardines del Ninos pastel painting.

2013  Painted Jardines del Ninos II
Second version of Jardines del Ninos in acrylic on triptych panels.

2014  Jardines del Ninos Silk Quilt
Created Silk Art Quilt for Boston Children's Hospital Surgical Center based on the design of the triptych.

2017  Joy's Garden Journals published
Created eight blank journals with watermarked pages. Joy's Garden poem from 1994 appears on the last page of each journal.

2018  Jardines del Ninos Purses
Created purses of hand-painted linen, felt, and ruby slipper on a chain,  as an exploration of financial wellness, identity, hidden and unseen gifts.

2018  Ruby Slipper Jacket and Angel of Joy Breaking Out of Her Box created.

2019   Vision for Ruby Slipper Project
Fifty years from first vision at Altamira, a conversation with a friend about how momentum of #metoo might be sustained, connected all the art with a singular purpose.


Dorothy Fagan Biography

art decor design, dream interpretation, watershed project, ruby slipper project, journaling for women, Dorothy Fagan artist
Dorothy Fagan

I learned to paint and sew as a child. By the time I was in high school, I was designing my own fabric and clothes. I made sweaters for my children from cast-off adult sweaters, remaking bodies and arms into child sizes. I stopped sewing when my mother lost her battle with cancer.

Returning to fiber art liberates my approach to painting in oils and pastels. It has opened me to an abstract aesthetic that I abandoned after the assault. Reclaiming my confidence to trust my inner world has opened opportunities to engage with people about issues of great importance to me.

I began writing a blog about painting during my artist residency at Musee de La Grande Vigne, in Dinan, France. Previously my writing was confined to private journals. I published my first book, Joy's Garden Embrace the Mountain in 2017. My oil paintings, pastels, and fiber art are collected by the City University of New York, Musee de La Grande Vigne, Boston Childrens Hospital, Longwood University Museum.

I live in Virginia footsteps from the Chesapeake Bay with my husband Jim and our rescue pooch, Sneakers. I enjoy travelling and inspiring three sons and six grandchildren.


Joy's Garden

Joy's Garden

Joy's Garden