Sunday, August 6, 2017

Organizing the studio space

They say that when you are stressed out or overwhelmed, organizing anything can restore calm.  Work has been a bit crazy, but it usually is, so not sure if that instigated the studio overhaul or the fact that Columbus now has an Ikea.  Ikea browsing inspires rooms that flow with organization, there is a solution for every problem or concern, you just have to go to the self serve area, find it and put it together.

Last Sunday, I dragged the hubby to our new Ikea and bought a small cabinet for fabric, this will prevent me from being buried alive in a fabric avalanche. /Hemnes Cabinet with two doors

Which I then added new pulls from Hobby Lobby, and promptly filled it up with fabric and projects. Amazing how that happened!    I do love the way it looks though, and placed my tapestry loom from Stephen Willette, on top as well as my small collection of handcrafted pottery yarn bowls.  I find those hard to resist, when I see one that I really like.  

I honestly don't use them when knitting that much, but love the display aspect as well as the organizational.  Each holds a small project with the needles that I'm currently working on.  I'm looking forward to getting that loomed warped shortly.

Next up, I have a magnetic bulletin board that I also bought from Ikea several years ago, basically a white metal box, with black and white round magnets.  Did not match the natural aesthetic of the room at all, but used quite often.  I bought some linen fabric at Ikea, covered the board, using spray adhesive and a hot glue gun.  So far so good, the magnets still stuck securely. I also then covered the magnets themselves with Krylon Hammered Copper Spray paint, which puddles a bit as you spray, giving a textural element to what ever you are painting.  I'm pleased.  The silver containers are also from Ikea and hold beads, wire etc. for beading and jewelry projects that I am working on.  The room will ever be ongoing, but as long as I can work in there and reasonable find things I'm looking for, I'm happy.

My daughter and I have been taking a four part series of classes offered at the Franklin Park Conservatory on herb gardening, and we are enjoying it immensely.  My garden has been producing wonderfully this year, vegetables as well as herbs, so i've been busy making various herbal concoctions and just drying herbs for winter use.   Shown are red wine vinegar, with thyme and white wine vinegar with chives and basil.  Both are tasty, I used the red wine one on a quinoa salad yesterday to take to the Ohio State Fair and it was great.  I and a good friend demonstrated spinning and knitting for the Central Ohio Weaving and Fiberarts Guild.  She is much better at demonstrating than I, but it was an enjoyable morning.  We both resisted buying any more fleece!  I think I have three bags full ( just like the nursery rhyme) to spin and we will be picking up a fourth from Zeilinger's Wool Company at the Michigan Fiber festival.   

Sunday, March 5, 2017

2017 Sewcial Event in Novi Michigan.

So it isn't May anymore, and I've decided I really need to either post on this blog or give it up.  I'm going to keep posting.  In February, I traveled to Novi, MI. about 3 1/2 hours north for the Sewcial event.  It was wonderful, and I went by myself, which was more relaxing than I thought it would be.

I won the early bird drawing for a Reliable iron, and at first thought, oh that is nice, I'll keep it around till my current iron goes.  After using Reliable irons at the event, I got it out right away when I got home. I love that you get absolutely no spitting of water when pressing, and if you shut off the steam, it is off, no spitting.  It's fantastic.

I arrived on Thursday so had some time to relax and with the shopping trip to Habermans leaving later in the morning on Friday, I didn't want to risk bad weather and arrive late.  I stopped at a yarn shop that looked interesting and then headed to the hotel.  At breakfast met a number of wonderful fellow attendee's, such a really interesting and friendly group of people!

Haberman's was wonderful and I enjoyed shopping around with another attendee from Boston, the kind of person you wished lived closer, because we would probably go to a lot of sewing events together. She was very creative and interesting and fortunately we were in the same group the whole weekend.  I had a blast at Haberman's and will make the trip up north at least once a year and especially when I need fabric for my daughter's wedding.  They had wine and lunch for us too, which was nice.

Friday night was an opening social event, and the exchange of the gifts.  They had sent us all yardage from Free Spirit Fabric with the idea that if you wished, you created a gift to exchange at the event.  I made a bag:

One of several i've made over the fall.  To my surprise, Linda Lee of the Sewing Workshop received mine, and she really liked it.  I've made a number, including this one, that I did for my daughter, and so now I am being encourage to open an etsy shop.  I'm leaning that way, because I really do like making bags. 

But back to the Sewcial.  Saturday and Sunday were all day classes, both were wonderful.  Linda Lee, The Sewing Workshop,  was Saturday with the Tremont Jacket.  I've got mine complete, save the button and buttonhole.  It is nice, but too plain, so will be adding some stenciling and sashiko stitching, channeling Diane Ericson.  I think i've worked out what I need to do.  The second class was taught by Janet Pray, Islander Sewing System, which at first I wasn't as excited about, but was so impressed with her techniques and the use of the semi industrial sewing machine by Babylock, the Jane.  (which somehow followed me home).  I haven't finished that yet, but will after this week.  I have a large meeting at work this week, as well as teaching a class on Sashiko on Sunday, so busy getting all that done first.  

I did finish up a new jacket to wear at the Sewcial: The Chateau coat, which was a pretty quick and easy sew.  I used a printed lightweight ponte, and work black leggings, and a denim 3/4 colored t-shirt under.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Me Made May:

Ok, I do not have enough clothing sewn or knit for an entire month of garments, especially in May when it is a lot warmer.  If it were Me Made November, I could regale everyone with handknit socks, sweaters, scarfs and shawls, with winter skirts and leggings.  I've never really found what I like to wear in the warmer months. I still work in an air-conditioned hell (the cold, not the job) where I feel like I should still be wearing winter clothing, only to go outside to the summer months. Stores all show sleeveless dresses and summer play wear that isn't suitable for work or the sub arctic office conditions.

However, I can easily do a Me Made May with jewelry, with some clothing thrown in during the event.  I'm not sure if that is ok, but I'm going for it!  To me, this is an event to challenge you, and so i'm game.
linen Empire-waist dress
Today I wore a J.Jill dress with a white sweater, and an enamelled necklace that I made.

The cord is hand painted fabric from the Design Outside the Lines retreat that I attended in September in Taos, and the medallion is from the enameling classes that I attend.  The strips of color on the medallion are very fine shards of colored glass that melt when you put the piece in the kiln.  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Two Classes:

With the holidays being over, one turns to organizing. I've always thought it is interesting that we have such an abundance of excess from Thanksgiving to the New Year and then suddenly, everywhere we turn it is either diet, exercise, resolutions and getting organized. What to do with a New Year? How do we shape up and accomplish all that we should?

Well for me, my thoughts turned to where in the heck did all this yarn-fabric-beads come from? Surely it must multiple while I'm not looking, so when at the quilt shop, I signed up for a monthly get organized "club", which consisted of sewing various organizing projects over the year as you buy more fabric etc. to make them :)   The first one was the first Friday in January, and I can say i'm pleased with the project and it is finished. Stash and Dash.  The first one is ok, I plan on making another soon, i'd love to have one for travel, one for sewing classes, one for embroidery classes and then one for knitting supplies, but that may be too much organizing for me. The next class is the pattern- Nesting Baskets.  The club is a Friday night, 5-10 so albeit after a work week, either very relaxing or tiring, with dinner included.

Folded with clear pocket holding my Eiffel tower scissors that my daughter in law bought for me. 

Open showing inside of bag.  We used the type of zipper that you can
take apart and then pair with a contrasting pull tab, as well as making the zipper
itself two toned.  I did black and white, and think that this would be neat in
garment construction, pockets perhaps?   Anyway, three mesh pockets on the inside.

Just a closer look at the insides and contrasting fabric

Rolled up and secured with buckle. The pattern calls for rounding out the
edges, but we left it squared.

The second class that I took Saturday is one that I have been intrigued with for a bit, and finally decided to just take it. It was creating a Sami Bracelet, which is basically a pewter braid couched onto a leather piece, and then finished off with a small button. This technique is a handcraft of the S├ími who are the indigenous people of the far north in Scandinavia and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. The leather traditionally used is reindeer, as well as the button being from reindeer antlers. In addition to fishing and farming, reindeer husbandry has been an important part of their livelihood. Right now, Sami bracelets are in style and examples can be see in the  a number of places on the net, such as:

Swed-art and Anita Gronstedt, which are far more complicated than the one I made.  For another source or if you live near this center:

The National Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center

I chose black as my first one, a good friend Lois made her's in red leather and it's beautiful:

 I plan on making more and want to experiment with creating centerpiece type beads for necklaces with the same technique.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

I took this week off, and though spent a good amount of it cooking and baking for Thursday's dinner, I also have had some time for shopping, decorating and creative fun, something I badly needed. I've been so busy at work, honestly, that when I get home, I am mentally wiped out.  First thing up for Christmas is part of my bottle brush collection, with a new addition on the far left.  I took my oldest grandson to the Franklin Park Conservatory , Friday to enjoy the displays, make a gingerbread house and ride the horse drawn sled ( though actually a wagon, since we don't have any snow yet). I bought that tree in their wonderful gift shop and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with him.

Today though, all the men are off watching the OSU v. Michigan game ( that is now over, and OSU won, so I can be assured that they are all happy, save my middle son, who likes that team up north) and I've spent it doing more sewing, knitting and crafting.  One of my favorite blogs is A Spoonful of Sugar and she created a neat Christmas season sign with her Silhouette machine. Copying her, I did too, but used a chalkboard easel instead.

The design is available on the Silhouette website, $.99 I believe and done in white vinyl.  Next on the list of finished little projects were the 10 snowflakes crochet for a Ravelry snowflake swap. I added a small snowflake crystal to the center, so those are ready to go in the mail now. 
I also recently bought a new serger at Quilt Beginnings. A babylock and I think that I will absolutely love it!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A set of buttons:  My daughter and I have been taking an enameling class at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, not only a wonderful place for classes, but our teacher is fantastic.  With that being said, among other things, I've made a set of buttons to hopefully use during the Design Outside the Lines retreat in Taos.  The buttons are a lot of fun to make, perfectly round as you start with copper pennies.  They have to be before 1982, or they are not pure copper and will not enamel in the kiln.

 I plan on making more, but these are at least for the retreat and fit in with my colorscheme planned for my fall wardrobe.  Colors such as the photo below, I took from Pinterest and do not know the source, but the colors are perfect.
I'm still in the process of preparing for the retreat, which is coming up quickly.  One project I did for the retreat are Bendy bags, hopefully one for each participant, so I've made 20.  Very cute, quick project, even if you are making that many. They would be a perfect holiday gift project, by the way.

Lastly, I finished this little quilt up last fall, but not in time to display much for Halloween. This year, I'm ready.  I bought a stand through Connecting Threads , so it's ready to go.

 I also embroidered some towels for Halloween. Easy but cute.
That is all then until the retreat!  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Time to get busy!

I'm going to the Design Outside the Lines retreat in Taos in September. I am very excited of course, but a bit creatively intimidated.  I need to start really stretching the creative wings, so that I can take full advantage of the entire week.  In other words, it's time to stop thinking and start doing. It can be so easy to get caught up in spending the creative time I have in reading wonderful blogs, looking at interesting pins on Pinterest and dreaming of various projects, only to be tired enough at the end of the day to pick up something to knit, weave or sew that only improves my technique or skill as I follow someone else's design idea.  This is all well and good, but you only improve your technical skill, or satiate your creative need for the day by reading or viewing it on the computer.

I've really been inspired and challenged by several sewing blogs not only for the wonderful projects but the insight. Myrna Giesbrecht, I love reading this one and really look forward to a new post.  Not only does she share a variety of projects and challenges, but the books she reads are wonderful.  She shares her creative journey as she pushes herself to grow creatively.

However, today I have the house to myself, and it's pouring rain.  First up, just finishing a tank top for summer.  While that in of itself, is more just a project to get down for a summer top, I did stretch a bit and add a cut piece to the neckline, cutting against the grain of the knit for a contrast.  It's a start. The pattern is Ann's Cardigan and Tank, by the The Sewing Workshop. It's a very good fit, easy enough, and a bit interesting with the side vents and shaped hem.  The neckline in the pattern is serged and turned under, I added a 1" strip of the striped area of the fabric, stitched and turned that under.

The second piece finished for the day.  There is a particular
 vendor that I look forward to her booth at various fiber 
shows that I attend Small and Beautiful Beads
 She carries these wonderful metal, patina pieces in verdigris,
 I don't think she has them on her website though.  
For this necklace, I wanted to use something with
 a different texture to contrast with the metal. 
 I dyed natural wool roving a turquoise color, with a
 bit of green dye swirled in.  To create the felted beads, I first needle felt the wool into a larger round shape, and then finish them with wet felting until they are compact and the size I want (they shrink a bit when dry).  This also has two polymer clay beads that I purchased somewhere, and had in my bead stash. The leather cord is knotted between each element as it was strung.

 Back to the studio, i've got a few more hours of quiet creativity to fill!