Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Toting things around...a giveaway

Isn't everyone's dining room used to store stuff???

Our house is not large but it should be large enough for two humans and a poodle.

One of us, I'm not saying who, is a "collector" 
A collector is different from a hoarder. I don't know how but it feels better to me. Yep, it's me, I'm the collector. I suspect crafters have the collector genes. 
One of the things I love is a tote bag. 
We are trying to pare down in anticipation of moving house soon. If we knew where to move we'd be gone already, so in lieu of knowing , we're getting ready. One day I decided to bring all the tote bags out in one staging area to see what I had. By "all" I mean the ones not in use and that I could see.

Hence the first photo.

In an effort to sort them, I created categories.
Self made totes of fabric
plastic such as Houston Quilt show edition bags
quilt show advert bags like Handiquilter of mesh
Embassy Hop collector bags from DC trips to embassies
Tote's given me by friends
Advertising totes given at trade shows
Totes won on shop hops for visiting each shop
book bags given to dh at symposiums

I made piles of each in the dining room, piling them on top of "goliath" the bookcase from IKEA. I thought I was buying one like the others in the studio, but after dh put it together I realized it's a foot taller and wouldn't fit. I had to relocate it into the family room to hold excess books. (have I mentioned I'm a collector??)

I admit to having more than one bag from the book fest which leads to a giveaway!! 
I will share. It's hard for me, being a collector and all, to let anything go. I already sent some to Eliza who loves to read and uses tote bags til they fall apart. I learned it's okay to let go if they go to someone you like! 
So I am willing to let a few more go to a couple people. Yep. I'm going to. Let. Go. (a little)
The book festival used to be marvelous. On the mall in front of the Smithsonian, there was a city of tents, each one hosting a steady stream of authors talking about their books. Heaven! I heard and met so many people I admire, and felt so energized after.

We got tote bags.

Any day when I receive a free tote bag is a good day.
When I visited Houston Quilt show, vendors gave out tote bags too. Since they gave me one each day, I am willing to share them with you. Of course I'm keeping some, heh heh.

They are handy to store projects in, to carry your projects in the car, to store quilts, to use on shopping sprees.

My collecting doesn't stop at mesh bags... I also love the plastic zip bags blankets come in for holding WIPS
and fabric collections...
and have a selection of plastic bins to use in an effort to stash supplies
One of my handiquilter bags is holding those, kind of.
Two memento totes from embassy hops... Keeping these!! Memories of touring the embassy are good.
My memory of Argentina was watching dancers doing the tango to a quartet of musicians so good we bought their cds. We ate smelly fish in Finland, drank beer and ate chocolate in Belgium, danced to music from the Bahamas.
some of my hand made totes. I use them. I pretty much use these totes instead of a purse now, so one's always in use. Storage is a problem however. They kind of defy storing.
So that's kind of my Confession  sharing of a system. It's not perfect but each bag holds a memory of an event I attended. It takes up more space than a digital image, but it's useful.

I'm willing to share. I want to share with you, the friends I've gotten to know as quilters and readers.
The people who seek to organize and need to carry or store their stuff too.
I know you can relate to me.

Please, tell my husband it could be worse!
now it's your turn... to win entertain me with a story of what you'd tote/store in the bags and I'll choose winners and send them out.
  Would you prefer book festival or quilting??

These need re-homing. 
I need to stop collecting them..... Bwaaaaahahahahahahahaha!
We'll be connected in a way. I'll know they went to a good home.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Flower of a different color

Let's talk about petals.... colorful petals....

Ah nature is grand isn't it?? The latest tulips my husband brought home to me are brilliant shades of purples and blues with accents of an orangey-gold.


They are magnificent aren't they?? Especially when you see them from different angles. This is how they look on the mantel

Graceful. Colorful. Pretty.  But they are dynamic when seen from the first angle, right? (so much to learn from life, isn't there? )

When Angela at Rainbow Scrap Challenge
chose multi color scraps for the month, I noted even multi scraps become one color in my bins so I went to my stash to see what I could use for my petals this month

I chose 8 and cut petal size pieces to use...


So glad to be using them.

yep, that'll work. Baste through the paper, leave the tips to fold back and forth.
I just love this fabric. I've used it a couple times but really it lives in the petting stash.

 Play around with the pretty little shapes...

I've been hard at work on a purple piece. Another abstract color story... it's so exciting I can hardly leave the studio. But I wanted to play along with so scrappy... be sure to see what the other people are making.  

I'll be linking to other parties on my links page, as well as these...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"I Like" thursdays #32 Azaleas, cows, magazines and more

Welcome to this weeks list of likes! As always I welcome you to also write a post of likes and join us here!
A neighbor's Azalea display!
*I Like the return of Azaleas and this color display! My azaleas are blooming too but not such a display. 
Look at this variety...
 delicate and dynamic. They are white with a hint of pink... just calling out to be painted or sketched. Maybe painted on fabric, then beaded!

Look at the sky behind this tall bird condo
a rare blue day in MD. I looked and watched for a few minutes before I realized this was a fake bird. Wonder why the people did that???

Speaking of blossoms, I like this IPAD cover my husband got me for Easter
it is a brilliant blue and reminds me of paintings I've seen at the National. Why use something plain when you can have a piece of art in your hands for the same price???

And why dress in a plain color when you can dress as if you're one of your quilts...

 Here I am looking like a peacock an artist on bee day

The day called out for color so On came the pink leopard leggings, the tie die tunic,
purple nail polish called "play-date" and my flower bracelet!!! Whee! (are those "what not to wear" people watching me??) * I Like COLORS

*I like Mari at the Academic Quilter  (the link is  academicquilter   )
She is starting a new series on how she organized her new sewing room and here is an excerpt of her post:

"   1. Cleaning out was the goal, not reorganizing things that I would never use again.  I wanted a sewing space that was useful and full of things that made my limited sewing time easier and more fun. Plus I wanted to be able to find things when I needed them.
2. Everything I kept had to be useful or pretty.  I wouldn't keep anything just because I had paid for it, no matter what it cost."

Please visit her when you leave! 
Here's to organization! Finding what we know we own! 

speaking of what I own, look what Micki ( her blog) sent me...
*I Like hand dyes and embellishments sent by a friend for no reason other than friendship

*I Liked going through old quilting magazines this week, sitting on the porch in a pool of pollen, and recycling all the pages I didn't like so I could keep the ones I do like
If there are a couple articles I want to keep, I tear out everything else and keep the cover and the articles. Takes up very little space in a magazine holder to "hold onto" inspiration!

*I Like coughing less... the cough held on for three weeks, but now I am left with pollen allergies. Glad to not be coughing so hard though.

*I Loved these two videos... and all the others I watched where cows ran toward humans playing musical instruments.

I had no idea cows love music. This video is jazz, since I love jazz too. There are many videos of people playing classical, guitars, flutes, whatever and cows running from fields afar to watch and listen.

In case you can't get enough and I know I could watch cows gathering to listen to music all day, here is one of a woman playing guitar. ( in case it doesn't play the link is: HERE)
The cows listen quietly.... til she stops. 
Then they start to murmur...  then yell "encore!" until she restarts. 
Then they become quiet again and listen.

We don't  give enough credit to animals for having feelings!
Just because they don't speak, humans act like they are beneath us. 

In my opinion, we all share the earth and should respect each other. 

Want more fun posts on the random items my pals liked this week? Did you write an "I Like" post of your own to share? Let me know and join a great community trying to keep it positive!
6, craftscaviescontras

linking up with  parties from my links page including:


Monday, April 17, 2017

Studio Tours Polly's Perfect Place

I was lucky enough to tour a really terrific studio where everything has it's place and is in it.
Meet my friend Polly in Maryland. She knits, quilts and does needlework.

 She loves the long table in the center which is her cutting table as well as gathering place for neighbors, bee mates and large family dinners!
Her studio was originally a patio which she enclosed to become her 12' X 24'( I suspect it's larger than that) creative space.

The ironing center was another find at a scratch and dent sale.

She has a closet for asst other crafts and large fabrics, wrapping paper and other items such as a big bin for scraps.
 She says it's for her old age projects!

 The ladder holds quilts made by her grandmother, and herself. She prefers making traditional quilts and using patterns.She still works full time and wants quiltmaking to just be relaxing. Her next project will be using her Kaffe Fasset fabrics.
note: Polly houses her friend's long-arm and is able to use it too! Win win!!
The room holds 12 IKEA sliding drawer units like mine, stacked to make 6 rows, with flat units on top.

The first two rows hold knitting and needlepoint supplies. Then fabrics, and the last two rows are for asst notions.

 The bottom two drawers hold supplies for her grand children to use in their own craft projects made at that grand center table.

She has one book case for knitting and needlework books, and another for quilting books. The magazine holders are labeled, and hold torn out pages she wants to keep together for future projects. Nearby is a comfy easy chair and good lamp.
She had small windows built along the ceiling line to let in light while not being too open to neighbor's eyes. It feels cozy and safe.
Look at the threads!!!

Polly said she was able to receive all of these for $35 because she took a Floriani thread class!

Again, win win.
Polly makes storage beautiful as well as organized.

The answers to my usual questions are here...

1. How long did it take to set up your studio?
 20 years in my head so basically no time at all - but 2 days
2. Did you change or tweak it to work better? How?
 Not really - have moved a piece of furniture around occasionally 
3. Music, TV or no noise? 
Note: the decorative threads are in a display waiting for use! Pretty way to store them
4. Do you crave any snacks when working or stuck on a project? 
5. Do you schedule work time or is it according to mood/inspiration more often? 
6. Is there a machine, or tool you would like to have? 
 A long arm with a computer - I currently have a loaned one from a friend w/o a computer
7. What kind of sewing machine do you have? Iron? Lights? Satisfied with them??
  2 Brothers and a Featherweight , Iron $9 from Kohls - plus a travel panasonic iron - Can lights in the ceiling and a flip light - yes
8. What do you like best about your studio? Least?
 Love everything about it - no minus’
 9. Messy or tidy?
 9/ Very Tidy : >
Editor's Note:
 And that's the truth. Very tidy and a place for everything. Her comment is if you have a designated place for everything it's easy to keep things put away. 
I say I do not have enough space to designate a place for my supplies. I collected it all, like it all, use it, and want to keep it, so that's my problem to deal with lol.
Not every person is tidy, I am definitely able to work in constant chaos. I hope someone will allow us to see their messy studio sometime!!  
Hope you enjoyed the tour, and can use some of her organizational methods. 
See other studio tours on the page at the top or click HERE
this post was featured on http://www.conniekresin.com
 thanks Connie!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I Like #31

Welcome to this week's "I Like"Thursday! 
*I Liked the flowering trees we saw on last weekend's walk around Annapolis. 

The town is so pretty anyway but with colorful trees it's magical. 

I sent a photo to my writing  partner Eliza, as a writing prompt and we both wrote a story to go with it. 
There is no limit to creative inspiration, right? 

Let's get started...
*I Liked also this little shop dog in one of my fave stores in Annapolis.

 She greeted us at the door, then rolled over for my husband. She's 11 months old, knows to stay inside an open door and is so happy it makes everyone who sees her smile.

*I Like reading these books right now.

Teashop mystery is for bedtime
 Reincarnation is for porch reading and
 beading with brick stitch is to inspire! And teach me something!

* I Like this post a lot. She shows a photo, split into colors and the quilt it inspired. Pretty exciting stuff!

*I Liked this dress made of tea bag papers recently seen at the Celestial Seasonings Tea Co.

* I Like these little travel containers from AAA.

They are just the right size and shape. I put the rest of my face cream in one for my recent trip and it's amazing how convenient they are! They hold more than you suspect, the lid pops off when you squeeze opposite sides so it's easy, and I'm still using the last of my face cream as it's easier to reach than in the original container!. They cost about 5$ for three.

*I Like the Creative Drive that takes over
causing me to forget my worries, my pains, and the desire to eat sugar. I'm in the throes of a purple circular frenzy right now. First thing I did after coming downstairs this morning, after turning on the coffee pot, was visit the design wall! Now that's a good obsession!

*I Like this Peep Quilt picture my friend Bonnie sent to me
yep, look closely... it's made of peeps. Yummmmmmm

*I Liked these barrel of monkeys seen on a recent trip to Frederick
*I Liked their people too

We chatted  about the challenges of old dogs and older people. I was struck by the love emanating from this couple... it was so large around them, I could almost see it, most definitely I felt the aura.

Also with them, was the woman's mother (who has Alzheimer's)

They related a story of the older pom on the bench, who recently had a major health scare. The gentleman said he was sobbing at the emergency vet's and luckily the doggie pulled out of it.

We discussed the challenges and exhaustion and constancy of caring for the infirm, whether human or dog.
 How it causes loving people to snap at each other.
How you love so greatly that your heart breaks some each day and how we must take care of ourselves as well as our loved one.

Do you ever wish it was socially acceptable to ask people you feel an affinity for, if they would like to be friends??? When we were children and met someone we liked, we just asked, "wanna be friends?" and then played together. Adults are not as easy to collect but I would love to be friends with these two very interesting kind people. We laughed at the same things, and got each other.

That's the human condition right? We can all relate.
You feel their pain don't you?

They are American, but were also immigrants
Remember we are all so alike.

Thanks for coming by!
For more good things this week please visit these people who wrote their own I Like posts!
As always, I welcome you all to write a list of random small things you liked this week, and I'll link to you too!
6. https://craftscaviescontras  

linking up with  parties from my links page including:

Monday, April 10, 2017

Studio Tours #3 Monika's paper palace

Editor's note: I was amazed at the organization!
I asked how she did something, say felting, and Monika (blog) was able to go right to the area of felting supplies and show me a book she likes on it. The room is sunny, has colorful plants, fit Monika perches on a balance ball to sit, and she makes many things here alongside her two poodle guards. They also have a basket of toys and a bed in here.

While you're at the first image Monika told me she absolutely loves the flat files cabinet from IKEA as everything is visible when the drawer opens.

Monika is currently making Balms and Bath bombs as well as doggie treats we might enjoy eating too.
the red spots are actual rose petals!

She has made me cards and felted this Cole poodle for me...
She painted a watercolor of Cole for me, but doesn't know how good it was. I have several really clever cards she has made as well. Those lucky poodles are the recipients of her special doggie treats that she could easily sell.

So grab a cup of tea and enjoy her answers to my questions!

1. How long did it take to set up your studio?
Years! That room was a storage room for excess furniture for the better part of 10+ years. I didn’t get serious about it until the past couple years and that has brought me such joy. My only regret is not doing it sooner!

2. Did you change or tweak it to work better? How?
The room has gone through multiple tweaks trying to make it more efficient and with each tweak, it seems to be an improvement. Now if only I could cull some of the extraneous excess. There way too much stuff in there.

3. Music, TV or no noise?
Music only or NPR

4. Do you crave any snacks when working or stuck on a project?
I often nosh when creating. I hate stopping for lunch and starting up again and need to keep the good juju flowing. ;) I pretty much always take some water or coffee in there and sometimes that is all I need.

5. Do you schedule work time or is it according to mood/inspiration more often?
My creative process can’t be forced.  The mood has to be spontaneous. It has to feel just right in order for any art magic to happen.

6. Is there a machine, or tool you would like to have?
I just purchased a laminating machine that will make intricately designed die cuts much easier to adhere to greeting cards though I’m still trying to figure out my die cutter machine I bought last year that I had to have! Thank goodness my daughter can provide me with various groovy die cuts from her die cutting machine that work for greeting cards. LOL

7. What kind of sewing machine do you have? Iron? Lights? Satisfied with them??
I have a simple early 1970’s vintage Brothers machine. Doesn’t do anything fancy, but that bugger can sew! I love it, even when I try to lug it out (they don’t make ‘em like that anymore!) My Rowenta is in this studio as is my circa 1967 ironing board which squeaks like a banshee. 😆

8. What do you like best about your studio? Least?
The room faces south so the light is the best quality. I have a number of houseplants in there (two Christmas cactus bloomed again recently and I love looking at the gorgeous coral ad hot pink blooms while I’m getting inspired. Plus the fact that it’s at the opposite end of the house, away from the TV, news broadcasts and people. The dogs curl up in the room and I go about my creating. It’s paradise. I lose track of all time when I’m in my groove.
this is Elsa, the blond bombshell proving blonds really do have more fun.
For more studios look here
1. Cindy's quilting and beading Studio tour interview-with-artist-studio-tour
2. Mary in Colorado  2017/04/studio-tours-marys-studio-in-colorado

next week, Polly's Perfect Quilting Studio!