Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

French Knots, oui oui

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.  Zen saying

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Daisies and Scallops

Just a quick little post.  We're actually on vacation this week, but I didn't want to abandon you completely.  :)  So, I've scheduled a few little random snippets throughout the week.  A little eye candy and a few of my favorite quotes.  Have a great week, all!

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”   Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Monday, March 25, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

A New Home Online

I'm so excited to share this with you!  I have a big girl website!  I'm doing all of the work myself, so this is really just the beginning, but I couldn't wait to share itI hope you'll pop over for a little preview, and check back often to see what's new.  Click here to visit Tammy Gilley Studios online.  Let me know what you think

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Bloomers

Happy first day of Spring everyone! 

Don't you just love springtime?  I love springing forward the clocks, and the first warm-ish days are my favorite.  I go through the house and throw open all of the windows.  It feels so good to get some fresh air into the house after the long, grey winter.  Here are some of my other favorite springtime things:

Farmers Market opening day

Pulling weeds - yes, really!  It gives me such a sense of accomplishment.  Plus, it means long afternoons in the garden are just around the corner.

Lighting soft floral candles on spring evenings

Making big pots of spring vegetable soups
Walking to my neighborhood coffee house or brewpub for a little somethingsomething
Field trips to the nursery, planning the garden
Buying new flipflops
Stitching lazy daisies onto white linen.  And speaking of stitching, this image is my finished Spring Bloomers stitchery kit.  You can stitch it, too, if you like.  Get yours here.

Welcome Spring.  I am so ready for you!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Sweet Teacup to Stitch

Looking around my house for something to stitch, I remembered my teacups.  They were my grandmother's.  I have a fantasy about a glorious tea party happening in my garden, everyone with a lovely and delicate teacup filled with jasmine tea, little finger sandwiches of cucumber and basil, and sweet petits fours.  Must get that on the calendar. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd sketch a teacup as a stitchery motif.  I have other fantasies involving hand stitched tea towels and tea cozies.  Hahaha.

 With my drawing finished, it seemed sort of lonely in my art journal... I added a few little doodads, vintage wallpaper, washi tape, a watercolor seemed happier when that was finished.  I traced my drawing onto paper, so that I could tape it to the window and trace it again onto my linen.  (I don't always start in my art journal when I'm sketching stitchery designs.  I most often go straight to paper and pencil.  But this was Sunday, and the day seemed to long for a slower, more thoughtful process.)

The advantage to sketching in my art journal was that I was able to audition colors for my teacup, which was truly my motivation.  I was tickled pink with my palette and duplicated it onto the linen with embroidery floss.  Even if you don't sketch in your art journal first, you can audition colors on your paper sketch prior to stitching.  I find this results in less stitches pulled out later.   I hate that.

And here's my finished stitchery.  I thought you might like to stitch it, too, so I've created a free downloadable stitchery pdf for you.  Just click on the image in my right sidebar, and you'll be directed to my website (which hasn't officially launched yet, but you'll get a sneak peak!) where you can download A Sweet Teacup to Stitch.  Happy stitching, everyone!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Journal Keeping

I keep a journal.  I'm dedicated to it in fits and starts.  I'll go through very prolific periods when I writewritewrite, and at other times will not crack the spine for weeks.  It all depends on my mood, my schedule, lots of things.  I'd like to be more consistent with it, but I'm not.  And it's okay.  My journal is always there, ready for me when I feel ready.

But I do like to have one ready when inspiration does call.  I buy 5x7 or 6x9 spiral bound sketch books, then embellish them with photos and quotes and gobbledygook and doodads.

I tuck little pep talks in between the pages so that I will find them later.

I add doodles when I can't think of anything to write.

I doodle more than I write sometimes.  Haha.

I love opening up to pages that are really pretty, and have lots going on before I even write down the first word.  When I'm not sure where to start, often there's something already there that will spark a conversation.

The more layers, the more quotes, the more inspiration, the better.

This is a postcard that I attached at the top with washi tape.  When I flip it up, I can write something top secret underneath. 

I'm in journal mode right now, which I credit to my studio finally being tidy and organized.  It's actually fun to be in there, AND I know where everything is.  I don't know how it gets so out of control sometimes, but man, it sure does.  The photo above is a journal page that features a photo from a trip to Seattle, which I printed out from my computer onto canvas paper (get it at Michaels, Joann, etc).  Then I attached it on three sides with fabric tape, making a little pocket (for more top secret notes).

Sometimes I just add stuff in that makes me laugh.  Every time I open to this page, I also throw my head back and laugh.  I do!

What I find is this: when I just wrote in a blank book, that was it.  I never went back and read anything I wrote.  Now that my journals have this yummy, lovely, pretty visual aspect, I love going back to look at the pages and read what I was doing three weeks, six months, a year and a half ago.  I think it helps me get back on track if I've lost my way, and helps me appreciate how much I've accomplished, regardless of my inner arguments about getting nothing done.

But these are my favorites.  The sweet little notes of love that I write to myself, and tuck into tiny envelopes and pockets, pressed between the pages.  Those I often go back to read.  They remind me to be gentle with myself, and to laugh at myself.  Really good reminders.  Hope your week is off to a creative and fun start, friends.  Thanks for popping in.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Write Stuff

Doing a little journaling on this sunny Friday.  Feels good to get the writing muscles working.  Looking forward to the weekend.  What's going on in your world?

I never travel without my diary.  One should always have something sensational to read on the train.  Oscar Wilde

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Studio Vignettes

There is a lot going on in my studio.  What I mean is, I've got a lot of treasures, little vignettes of sweet little goodies that I've collected, made, or been gifted.  I love to have these things around me in my creative space.  Makes me happy.

I love looking up from the journal page I'm painting or the bit of fabric I'm stitching and see a post card that my great Auntie Jeanne sent me from Paris when I was a little girl.  Or the bit of embroidered fabric brought to me from Africa by a friend.

 Les bonbons, et la Tour Eiffel.  Oh, the places you'll go.  I hope I don't run out of baker's twine!

Oh.  Yours truly.  Circa 1964.  My grandparents' pool.  Wish I still had that bathing cap!

 Orbs.  Fun little fabric balls topped with a yoyo.  I have a huge basket of them that I made for an event.  I sold about half of them.  This is the other half.  I keep thinking I'll list them on Etsy, but I love having them in my studio.  They tickle me.

Just a shot of a little shelf.  My grandfather owned three Coca Cola bottling plants when I was little.  This is one of the promotional glasses from his time there.  I filled it with "happy tubes" - little test tubes I filled with glittery goodness and topped with ribbons and millinery flowers.  Each one has a little message on it: dreams, magic, wishes...

 Uh huh.  That's me.  I just love a shadow box for holding tiny treasures, don't you?

 Studio Assistant, Kip.  Taking a break.  Come to think of it, he's always taking a break.  Oh, and you can see the orbs in their natural habitat just to the side.  It's a five-tiered basket, each holding several layers of orbs.  So fun.

In case I forget my name, it's right on my bulletin board.  Thank heavens.

This is an assortment of silk threads and a pin cushion from my grandmother's sewing room.  Love love love.

Oh joy!  A pile of my favorite vintage buttons.  Couldn't you just eat them?

A glittery little wish ball I made a hundred years ago.  

Some of my vintage fabric stash.  I found this old kitchen drawer at The Rebuilding Center, where I go when I need big treasures, like doors and drawers.  It was already this lovely eggshell creamy color.  I added the glass drawer knob (which I broke in the process and it is now carefully held together by superglue and a prayer) and lined it with vintage book pages and modpodge.  Now it sits on a table for easy access (and cuteness).  I love it when my studio is tidy and clean.  It's not this way very often, which is why I share it now.  In another 30 minutes, it could go to hell in a handbasket.  Happy weekend!