Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Feeding My Soul

It's finished. 

I love it. 

It will be the perfect talisman for 2012 to hang in my studio.

I'm going to quilt and bind it, give it a little sleeve for hanging.

 What are you stitching these days?

Monday, January 23, 2012

C'est Fini

So.  It took a bit longer than anticipated, and was all-consuming for about two weeks, but IT IS FINISHED!  My new and much improved studio feels so tidy, and organized, and like I can actually  Huge!  All last fall, it just sort of became a dump-off zone, until literally, I could not get more than a foot beyond the doorway.  (Hanging my head in shame here.)

Just to remind you, here are the horrifying "before" photos.

But now?!  It's a veritable paradise.  I have a little corner to sit and stitch.

My space is creativity-inducing.  Everything now has a place.  Yahoo!

 I've got my worktable for painting and journal-making.

 I arranged my desk so that I can look out the window while I work.  Bliss.

 My cutting table for quilting and applique and other stitch-y goodness.

And I have all of my goodies hanging about - lots of inspiration and eye candy.  Lots more photos over here.

Speaking of fabric, I purged my stash.  I've sort of been heading in a new direction with my art, so my fabric needs have changed.  I have completely de-stashed and am selling cram-packed medium-sized  USPS Priority Mail boxes full of fabric.  Each box is $30, which includes shipping.  You can get a box of fabric goodness delivered right to your door.  And this is the.good.stuff.  Fabric that was too special to give away when I last de-stashed my stacks.  Sizes are usually 1/4 yard or less, perfect for small quilts, collage, mixed media, and the right touch of fabric texture or color to make your work sing.  Mostly cottons, but vintage barkcloth, brocades, and more included.  At this point, I'm not sure how many boxes there are, so if you're interested, please email me at good2btlg(at)comcast(dot)net and I'll put you on a first come-first-served list.  Let me know if you want a specific color mix, or if want me to put together a lovely assortment for you.

One note:  this is for US shipping only.  But.  I'd be tickled pink to ship a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope to Canada and beyond for the same $30, though.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Joggle Me This

Oh, I've got some fun classes coming up over on!  Barb does such a great job over there.  If you've never taken a Joggles class, come on over and join in the fun.

On schedule for me this winter are three classes.  Two are back by popular demand, and one all-new class.

Starting January 26th is Treasure Nests.

I call it nesting; that urge to surround myself with all of my little treasures and all the things I love.

These sweet little nests are made from scraps of your favorite fabrics, bits of yarn, and then embellished with your wonderful tiny treasures. After that, use them to store your crafty doo-dads, hold your jewelry, or sit on your coffee table with a stack of love notes and colorful postcards. Treasure Nests are the perfect little happy place to showcase your bits and baubles and to stash your goodies.

Each student will leave class with one completed Treasure Nest, brightly colored and embellished with lots of your fun little treasures.

 On February 16th, In Stitches will begin.

There is something so meditative and zen about sitting down with a bit of hand-stitchery. I love the rhythm of the needle going in and out through the fabric. In this class, we’ll create a wonderful stitchery sampler that you’ll be able to refer back to for future embroidery projects. So much better than referring to a book or website, don’t you think? Plus, you’ll leave class with a beautiful piece of handwork that you can display in your home or studio.

Tammy will demonstrate simple stitches, and share techniques about how to layer stitching with other embellishments to create interest in future projects. This is a great class to learn basic embroidery and embellishment techniques, or to limber up your stitching fingers if they’ve been out of commission for awhile.

Lesson One: Stitch-by-Stitch
Basic embroidery stitches, techniques, and a bit of color theory.

Lesson Two: Adding Layers
Why stop at stitchery, when there are bits and baubles and other lovely things to add to our stitchery samplers.

And then my new class, An Artful Journal, will begin March 1st.

This class is scheduled to begin on March 1, 2012.

Whether you're a novice, have some journal experience, or are even a seasoned keeper of a journal, this three lesson class will give you some brand new jumpstarts to begin your journalling experience, or to enhance the skills you already have.

I will share a personal art journal page or two at each lesson. Additionally, I'll share tips and tricks for creating your own unique art journal that is sure to inspire you.

My own journalling practice began with cutting pretty pictures out of magazines or picking up little treasures from my everyday adventures and pasting them into a book to document all of those easily forgotten details that make up my life. My art journals have become a quiet refuge and a safe place to test new ideas, reflect, create my dream lists, and be oh, so very philosophic about the meaning of life.

I hope you'll join me for a lot of creativity, a dose of sage advice, and some pretty things to look at.

For more information or to register, click here.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Razzle Zazzle

Okay,!!  I just got an iPhone 4S for Christmas, and wanted to get a cover for it.  I didn't like anything I saw.  And then I found Zazzle.  Oh, Zazzle, how I love you!  Now, I can carry my art in my pocket.  Love that.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Yam What I Yam

Be daring, be different, be impractical,

be anything that will assert integrity of purpose

and imaginative vision

against the play-it-safers,

the creatures of commonplace,

the slaves of the ordinary.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Purging and Stitching

I may have bitten off more than I can chew.  This is my studio.  In it's before state.  It's much better after the purgefest this past weekend, but still isn't done.  *sigh*  It is shaping up quite nicely, however, and I can see what it's going to look like when I'm finished purging.  But the clearing out and letting go part of the project is taking longer than I anticipated.  A few more hours here and there, and I should have it wrapped up with a big bow, and can show you.

In the meantime, I'm stitching.  Still downstairs, otherwise my project will get lost in the sea of chaos that is my studio.

But I'm working on a sweet little sampler for the new year.  My "feeding my soul" sampler I posted about a few days ago.

I have just a few little details left to stitch, and then I'll be on to quilting.  I love the way it's going.

I started with a sketch, but once I added the main element, the design sort of stitched itself.  I love when that happens.

Oh how I love a French knot.  They are so much fun to do, once I got the hang of them.  And not all of mine are perfect, as you can see here, but that's what gives the piece its wabi-sabi-ness.  I love the imperfections of hand-stitching.

So.  Just a little stitchery break from the studio purge.  Keeps a girl sane. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Keep It Simple, Sweetie

Some very simple stitchery I did last fall.  One of several needlebooks I'll be listing on my Etsy shop soon.  Just unearthed (otherwise, I would have listed them for the holidays...really the perfect gift for a stitcher...quelle domage) in the disaster area that I call my studio.  Egads. 

Definitely.Not.Feeding.My.Soul.  The studio mess, that is.  To escape it, I close the door and take my goodies downstairs to the living room.  De-Nile ain't just a river in Egypt, lady.

So, the time has come.  I've cleared the calendar and have two full days this weekend to pull every last bit of ***t out of that room, purge, sort, organize, purge, and then, hopefully (please dear God, let it be so) finish up late Sunday with a beautiful and tidy and inspiring space to create.

Do you think that's too optimistic a goal?  To a mere mortal, perhaps.  But whoever this motivated, energized, and clear-the-crap-and-get-organized crazy lady is who has taken over my body...SHE can get it done!

I took photos of said disaster area this morning to share with you.  Hanging my head in shame.  Fortunately (for me) they are super blurry and you can't really see what's going on in there.  Come to think of it, maybe those are exactly the photos I should share.  You know, like vaseline-covered lens close-ups?  Mais, non.  I think not.  I want you, my bloggy friends, to see me for what I am:  an unorganized, messy, creative soul.  So, tomorrow.  Before photos.  Sunday.  After photos.  And maybe some wip photos, too (assuming I'll be able to find the camera).

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cooking up the Good Life

Oh, I just love new beginnings.  I'm not much of a resolution-maker, but I do embrace the idea of a clean slate.  The first part of the new year always finds me looking back on the previous year, and dreaming dreams for the new year.  This year is no different.  (And, frankly, I'm glad to get 2010 behind me.  A few bumps in the road there, better left behind.  Way, way behind.)  But this new year feels full of promise.  I am simply bursting at the seams with new ideas.  And they are all stemming from a mantra I've had in my little pea brain for several months: feed my soul.  The phrase just kept reverberating in my mind.  I found I was making decisions first by asking, "does this feed my soul?"

I remember last January, Rebecca chose a word for the year that would sustain her and keep her steadfast in her goals.  I also remember loving the idea at the time.  The memory of her post came back to me while we were at the beach last week, and inspired me to come up with all of the ways I could incorporate the "feeding my soul" mantra that I've been chanting for a few months.

And, oh! so.many.ideas.  I filled and filled journal pages with ideas.  And then I started stitching.  It was so dreamy with my chair facing the big bay window overlooking the ocean, all curled up with my needle and threads, stitching up a small art quilt to hang in my studio that would remind me how I want to feed my soul, and to bring doses of artsy goodness to other creative souls, all year long.  It's all percolating right now, getting all happy in it's little hot pot.  What have you got cooking in your creative life for 2012?  Do tell.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I made no resolutions for the New Year. 
The habit of making plans, of criticizing, 
sanctioning and molding my life, 
is too much of a daily event for me.
Anais Nin 
(although it certainly could have been written by Tammy Gilley)