At Last, My Studio Has Come Along

November 9, 2018

Apologies to Etta James for hijacking her title, but it seems fitting. After a long & exhausting search, I have finally found an off-site studio space. It isn’t perfect, in that I wanted to be around other artists, but it will work as it’s in the centre of town and about 5 miles from home. Berlin is state designated as an arts area so it will be exciting to have that atmosphere just steps out the door.

Move in date is in a week so I’ve been re-arranging & consolidating the boxes currently housed in the garage. In so doing, I found the kitchen mixer & the last box of cookbooks-those things I wake up at 3 AM wondering where they might be! Of course I found a lot of other things I’d forgotten, like finished pieces from 10 years ago as well as WIPs that will probably never move on from that status. Oh well, they can be cut up & re-purposed. Maybe…

These are the photos I took while looking at the space. It’s a guarantee that it will not look like this in a week! And the new studio will be revealed in all it’s messy glory-very soon!


Spring Studio Cleaning!

May 11, 2017

Welcome to my studio! Below, you can see why I jumped on Cheryl Sleboda’s Spring Blog Hop. I had plenty of excuses for the mess: a week long quilt retreat followed by business travel followed by the annual Oriole’s Spring Training trip followed by more business travel. I wanted to avoid the studio area just because there was no room to use the space to create.

I have about 1/3 of our lower level for the studio. It’s not large but I make it work.

After taking these pictures I realized that I had deadlines to meet & avoiding the mess wasn’t going to help me meet the deadlines. So I gathered my “helpers” & cleaned up. It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would. I even managed to work on a piece afterwards!

I’ve been art quilting for about 25 years. I’ve had several different studios in that time. At one point I even had an off site studio: a guest cottage on a small working farm where guinea hens chattered a welcome & the barn cats would come visit for a bit. The place was spacious for one person. The drawback of being off site (which limited my studio time to the weekends) was offset by the need to plan my time well & be very focused while there. Good lessons…

Below is the cleaned studio, along with a “Helper” and who believes any chair in which I sit he must sit in too. Time for hand work or to walk the dog!

Thanks for stopping by-please visit my fellow Clean Studio bloggers!

Studio Time

May 7, 2017

Someone once asked me about my “studio practice”. I finally figured out she meant about the discipline I practiced about working in my studio. And thwaiting n, the excuses to myself began: “I travel for work”, ” I have no time”, My studio is such a mess that I have to clean it up to work & then the studio time is gone.

You know, the rationalization, right? Well, I ‘d have time if I were ‘t sucked in by doing other things like cleaning  it cat litter boxes, walking the dog, playing games on my phone, making dinner, etc. Excuses, excuses.

So today I went to my studio & cleaned it up! It’s not perfect, & could be neater, but I actually got it done enough to do some work. And the work was something I’d never thought of-I took a piece of painted silk organza, laid it over an ice dyed table runner then did some bobbin work with my favourite glitzy thread.

My machine does not tolerate glitzy thread in her top, she can only be to with it in the bobbin. So I taught myself to do bobbin work because one of my Art Mantras is “Glitter Is Good”! The piece isn’t finished because my Number One Helper came down & sat on it. Said Helper then decided he wanted my chair…so I decided it was time to stop. Pretty good for an hour or so in the studio.


Hurricane Hits The Studio

April 26, 2017

The studio has never loooked worse. Combine a week long retreat, a vacation, a crazy job & a 4 day retreat & it looks like a Big Mess. This weekend is promised as a Home Weekend so I’ll take 2 hours to clean it up & put things away, get it back in working order. I promise. Really.

And Then We Hit It With the Heat Gun!

April 26, 2017

My friend Linda wanted to express splinters in a recent piece. She tried a lot of different things but wasn’t satisfied with the results. We had a semi-annual Art Quilt Retreat coming up & as I was packing I impulsively grabbed my tool box with the heat gun.

We decided to use the heat gun outside due to a concern about possible fumes. We set up with some aluminum foil & the material with the rest of the group watching us. And waiting…And waiting for…And waiting for the heat gun… And waiting for the heat gun to do something to the material. And nothing happened.

We decided that the issue was that the material was a natural fiber & reluctantly gave up. But then..someone had brought a bag of mini rice cakes that was certainly not a natural material. So I hit it with the heat gun! It shriveled up delightfully. I have no idea what I’ll do with it but it sure was fun!

When I got home I found a coffee bag & was still on a heat gun kick. That didn’t work out as well unfortunately but I took pictures anyway. I love my heat gun👍👍👍

June 5, 2016

QSDS Day 1: Rosalie Dace’s Dizzy Circles class


Large class but Rosalie is amazing at ensuring everyone gets individual encouragement. Initially we were to just pin up some potential colour combinations & ideas. Then the fun stuff started: what would happen if I added a sheer/cut out this section & showcased the fabric underneath/if I drew interest away from the centre & out toward the far left or right edge? What if I changed the colour of this piece/added something completely unexpected?😎 I’m all about the unexpected!

I left my machine in the car because I didn’t really think I would use it in this class. That simple decision opened up the way to handwork & a slower pace of work. Normally, I work quickly & intuitively but this time I’ve slowed down & begun to examine the process a bit more.

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t want my machine. My plan is to get it sometime later on Sunday so I can maybe finish the one piece that I’ve come to really like. For now, here are some pictures of the initial auditions. We’ll see what happens!

QSDS (aka Quilt Surface Design Symposium)

June 3, 2016

In Columbus for the next 10 days, I’m so happy to be here again this year! Taking 2 classes: the first begins tomorrow & runs through Sunday- “Dizzy Circles” with Rosalie Dace. I do love me some circles<vbg>

The second class is a five day class with Sue Cavenaugh “Stitch Resist Shibori”. I cannot wait to do this!!

Am all moved in to my little dorm room…it’s nice & nest now but it won’t stay like that for very long!

Fantasy Is Not Reality…

February 13, 2016

HoHoHo Let the Baking Begin

February 13, 2016

My father-in-law had a sweet tooth. In fact, he has more than 1 sweet tooth-more like a whole mouthful! I’ve nicknamed him the Cookie Monster…

So the Christmas baking is done. I found the secret to successful holiday baking, for me at least. Last night I made all of the doughs & put them in the fridge.

Tonight after work I cut out the sugar cookies & noted that this particular recipe worked very well when cold. Baking parchment paper is a life saver-the cut outs went onto the parchment as they were cut, the parchment then went onto the baking sheet. When the cookies were baked, they sat on the parchment paper on the cooling racks which kept some from breaking while hot from the oven.

The mince meat pie looked like it came from a bakery thanks to a quick egg & creme wash on the top.

Now, the frosting just has to set so the frosted cookies can be packed up. The peanut butter & plain sugar cookies are in their tins. On to wrapping…

The Blue Apron Experiment Starts

February 13, 2016

I love to cook, Mrs.loves to eat. I can cook almost anything but don’t eat meat. Mrs. has a hard time describing tastes or what would make something taste better, so we lack a common language around food.

Up until now, I’ve either made two meals or we’ve each fended for ourselves. Finally, she decided to try Blue Apron. Last week a big box arrived with everything needed to make the three meals she chose from the offerings available that week. “Everything”was just that, down to the little packets of fresh herbs, the required produce, a teeny bottle of maple syrup and small plastic tubs of butter. I can’t decide if it’s cute or wasteful since most of this stuff is what we generally have on hand anyway. But I agreed to try it.

First impressions? The directions are pretty elementary but I’ve been cooking for a really long time so for someone just learning to cook, they are pretty helpful.

The food was good, prep was pretty easy and I liked the fact that we ate at the same time. I especially like the fact that Mrs. was quite happy with the food. The best linguine with chard & goat cheese was my favorite while I think Mrs. enjoyed the seared chicken, mashed potatoes and maple glazed carrots.

The next box will come in two weeks and we’ll see how the experiment works with three new recipes. As you’ve no doubt gathered, participants choose three meals from the available offerings during the meal period and the meals are shipped, ready to cook, to your home. Again, I’m of two minds. Why are we paying for something we can do ourselves? But, if it makes life easier, why not try it?