Quilt Retreats, Tula Time!, What's on the Design Wall

Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part I)

If you are a maker, you’ve likely heard of a “Design Wall”, but have you ever heard of a “Design Sofa“?

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This is what happens when a couple quilters get together for a quilt retreat weekend at a rented vacation townhome that was not designed for quilt retreats: you improvise

But let me back up and explain what the title of this post means and how a Tula Pink All Stars Quilt Retreat happened.


It’s All Dana’s Fault

I’ve seen Tula Pink fabrics in the past and I’ve appreciated the designer’s creativity, use of color and quirky sense of humor. However, except for a couple fabric scraps given to me by other quilters, I’ve never had an interest in purchasing any of her fabric.

Until our May 2018 annual Quilting Sisters retreat and one of my quilting sisters, Dana, brought collections of Tula Pink All Stars fat quarters (coordinated collections of 18″ x 22″ cuts of fabric) to the retreat and began piecing a sampler quilt:

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I had a couple posts about the fabric and her blocks during the retreat, including one in which Dana and I asked my readers to vote on which color combination to use when we were stuck:

Please Vote On The Color!

The Votes Are In!

When I returned home from retreat I could not get out of my mind the utterly delicious Tula Pink All Star fat quarter collections of main prints, dots, stripes and solids.

The next thing I knew (and I think it was a fabric-induced-out-of-my-mind-experience) I was ordering 4 sets of fat quarters from the DawnNeedhamQuilts Etsy shop that Dana recommended:

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Honestly, I am not sure what happened, it was if I could not control myself. I’ve never bought 4 fat quarter sets of fabric at once, and I’ve never purchased Tula Pink fabric before!

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Still cannot believe I bought all this at once!

I was not alone, Dana had infected another quilt sister with the Tula Pink All Stars bug, Judy (my original “Quilt Sister” who got me into quilting!) and before she knew it, she had also purchased all 4 sets of fat quarters in the Tula Pink All Stars collection!


So What Do We Do With All This Tula?

Dana has never visited Central Oregon and Judy came up with the idea of a road trip to Central Oregon to visit me. A group of quilters….coming together for a weekend…

Hmm…sounds like an excuse for a quilt retreat!

I have a small house which would not comfortably accommodate a quilt retreat, so I came up with the idea of renting my friend Laurie’s vacation townhouse in Sunriver, Oregon.

Dana, Judy or I (do not remember who) came up with the idea that since now we all had these Tula Pink All Star fat quarter sets why don’t we all work on piecing Tula Pink All Star sampler quilts?

Armed with my Stack-o-Tula I headed to the retreat!

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Vacation Rental Townhome into Quilt Retreat

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) helped bring all the stuff over to the rental townhome to transform it to a quilt retreat including a folding table, iron board, etc.

With a little temporary furniture rearrangement, we had our quilt retreat center:

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We even turned part of the kitchen into an ergonomic cutting table area and ironing station:

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Luckily we still had some left over kitchen counter for preparing meals!

In the next post, I will show you details of what we made (more on the blocks on the “design sofa”), non-sewing adventures we had during the retreat, and the special guest that stopped by our retreat.

Creative Inspiration, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Life in B&W, What's on the Design Wall

Random Blog Posts Follow-ups

Originally I had another post in mind but got distracted and decided to instead share some random follow-ups on previous blog posts (the links to the original posts are linked in the headers).

Scraps from Scotland (09/23/18)

My friend Kathy brought me wool scraps from the Isle of Harris during her trip to Scotland. Today she texted me a photo of what she did with her scraps:

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She cut them into hearts using some type of fabric die-cutter and plans to use them in a picture frame. I am inspired by this idea as I have not decided what to do with my Scottish wool scraps yet!

Apple Rescue and Pre-Fall Cooking (09/16/18)

Today was another glorious Autumn day in Central Oregon and during my morning walk I came upon another neglected apple tree, this time at an empty home for sale in the neighborhood.

Hanging and falling from the tree were Nature’s Neglected Bounty of delicious looking red apples.

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I grabbed one to eat on the rest of my walk and one to take home and join the rest of left over rescued apples that did not make it into the apple pie I discussed in the post.

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It will join its new friends in becoming an apple cake (I plan to try out this Fresh Apple Cake Recipe from allrecipes.com)

What’s on the Design Wall: Tango Stripe (09/13/18)

I continue to work on the Tango Stripe quilt and recently decided to make a change to my studio to give me more design wall space. I added another design wall next to my sewing machine.

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The design wall was made by wrapping a large piece of poster board (from an office supply story) with Warm and Natural batting. I duct tapped it to the back and then screwed the whole thing into the wall.

I now have three design walls: a large one in the hallway; one on my closet door; and one close to my sewing machine.

This third design wall will make it easier to lay out piecing while sewing.

Creative Inspiration: Bark (07/07/2018)

Although my secret project is done related to trees (an art quilt for a future Women of Color Quilting Network exhibit), I am still fascinated with trees and tree bark and continue to take photographs sources of creative inspiration.

They look wonderful in color:

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But they are really intriguing in Black & White:

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Wouldn’t those all make amazing art quilt inspirations!

Taking Chances: The Mike Hogan Chronicles (11/27/15)

September marks the 4th anniversary of our adopting our miniature schnauzer Mike from a rescue organization in September 2014.

Funny he was the dog I said “no way I am adopting him” when I met him due to severe behavioral issues, and now he is one of the great loves of my life.

Here is a recent photo of him, now at 8.5 years old, with his beloved ball!

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Well that is enough random following up for one post, talk to you all later, T


Feature Photo by Terri Bleeker on Unsplash

Stories My Father Told Me, WCQN

International Exposure for The Lesson and The Equation

While attending a quilt retreat this weekend, I got the most fabulous news from Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, the curator of Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience – My piece, The Lesson and The Equation is featured on the website of the Brussels, Belgium based organization Human Rights 70.

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Image credit: humanright70.eu

(If you are just joining us on my blog, you can read background on my piece and the exhibit in these series of posts: WCQN )

This organization’s mission, according to their website:

is to contribute to promote the knowledge and application from individual up to supranational level, of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and in doing so contribute to the better living of all beings in the world

This Brussels based organization also has offices in Madrid, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Bogota, and Mexico DF.

Here is a screen shot of the overview of the exhibit on the Human Rights 70 website:

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To say I am excited and overwhelmed is an understatement (smile)!

Perhaps The Lesson and The Equation, inspired by Article 1 of United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, will get to tour internationally someday…

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The Lesson and The Equation at the show opening at Fitton Center for Creative Arts 08/17/18

For a high resolution image of the piece and to read the Artist Statement, see my page Art Quilt Stories.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. – Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Feature Photo by Calvin Hanson on Unsplash

Fabric Scraps Obsession

Scraps from Scotland

Just a quick post today as I am currently on a quilt retreat with some Quilting Sisters who came down to Central Oregon for a mini retreat to work on our Tula Pink All Stars fabric inspired samplers (yes future blog post to come on that). 

I wanted to say how much I appreciate all the supportive, inspirational and thoughtful comments on my previous post Found! At the Thrift Shop!  – I feel like I am totally over it now! Who knew blogging could be such therapy to work out your issues – ha!


Treat from the Isle of Harris

My Quilting Sister Kathy visited Scotland this summer and while in Scotland they explored the Isle of Harris (Harris, Scotland) and she brought me back some Scottish wool samples from a wool mill they visited!

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If you are unfamiliar with the Isle of Harris here is a link to a Wikipedia article for more information – Harris, Scotland. Visiting Scotland is on my list of things to do someday!

When this delightful surprise arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago and I immediately began day dreaming of the cool piece I could make with the scraps! (But for now they have to wait in my backlog of other interesting projects).


Postscript

The other day I received another surprise package of delightful fabric scraps in the mail, this time from one of my longtime blogging buddies. That will be a future post, but here is a tease:

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Thrift Shop Adventures, tierneycreates

Found! At the Thrift Shop!

Have you ever found something you made/gave someone as a gift at a thrift shop?

A couple of weeks ago I had my first experience of finding one of my handmade items at a thrift shop for sale – one of the little wallets I used to make. This experience got me pondering about the handmade gifts you give people and what becomes of them (and how sometimes you have to just let go for the sake of your own sanity and peace).

Found at the Thrift Shop

I was obsessed with making little wallets for a while from fabric scraps and here is one of my posts about my obsession – Little Wallet Madness.

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I would give them as gifts with my tierneycreates business card inside as an example of how you can use the little wallet. I also gave away five little wallets during the tierneycreates Blog 4th Anniversary Celebration (Announcing the Winners of the tierneycreates Blog’s 4th Anniversary Giveaway).

It was serendipitous that I found the little wallet at the thrift shop and it was sort of like the Universe wanted me to find it.

I had just finished having lunch with a friend and felt compelled to visit a local charity thrift shop after our lunch. I wandered around, not knowing why I was there and then felt drawn to the purse and wallet section.

Inside the used purse and wallet section, I found this adorable item for my sister who loves Lululemon – a little zippered wallet made from recycling a Lululemon bag:

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My sister has a collection of Lululemon bags and this little wallet was the perfect treat for her. So I thought – “Wow, I guess I was supposed to come in here and find this for my sister!”. Just in case there might be another one, I kept rummaging through the used wallet section and came upon this:

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It looked familiar and I thought: “Ah someone else must have made little wallets like I did”

But then after inspection I discovered something shocking: an old tierneycreates business card inside the wallet!

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I stood there in the thrift shop, mouth open, feeling like I was having an out of body experience.

What bothered me was not that someone no longer wanted one of my handmade little wallets and donated it (that was better than them just throwing it out); but that they just left my business card inside (note this is one of my old business cards from when I used to have an Etsy shop, etc.)

I may have narrowed it down to who could have done this and at the moment I felt like it was obviously a person without any class – a person with class would have removed and recycled my business card before donating (I’ve since calmed down from my initial reaction…).

Of course I purchased it (it was only 50 cents) along with the Lululemon little wallet for my sister. I removed and recycled my old business card from it and put it away for now. At a later time I will decide whether to regift it to someone or to re-donate it to the charity thrift shop (but not with my business card inside).

What Becomes of the Handmade Gifts We Give?

Many times you know what becomes of the handmade gifts you give people – either they love, cherish and use them or they do not. They might regift them, they might donate them, they might even throw them away. Or they might just shove them in the closet to gather dust.

This is something I’ve struggled with as a crafter and quilter and had to work on letting go – once you give someone something, it is theirs to do with what they want – even if it might be heartbreaking to you.

People who are not crafters or artists may not understand the love that goes into something that is handmade and how essentially a piece of the maker goes into the piece (and not just if you stuck yourself with a needle while making the piece and bled a little on it like I’ve done a time or two – ha!)

Sometimes my heart breaks for the maker when I see a beautiful handmade item sold for cheap at thrift shop. I’ve rescued lovely granny square afghans from thrift shops (usually sold for $2 – $3) as I know how much work goes into this type of project and I love granny square afghans but have yet to make one myself.

On the overstuffed chairs in our front window where we read (and I work on blog posts) I have rescued granny square afghans from my collection as well as on the bench where Mike our miniature schnauzer hangs out to watch cats, birds and passing dogs out the window (to practice his barking).

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Here is Mike napping on one of the rescued afghans:

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I do not want to become a hoarder and I know I cannot rescue all the beautiful handmade items that have been donated to thrift stores. I only rescue granny square afghans if they are exceptionally appealing and under $5, that is my guideline, but still how many granny square afghans does one person need?

A friend of mine told me a story of how she discovered a neighbor’s husband using a quilt she made her neighbor to mop up an oil spill in a garage. To me this sounds much worse than finding something you made donated at a thrift shop.

What I’ve learned as I mature as a maker is that I need to be very selective of who receives my handmade items. Also I’ve learned to that sometimes you need to just let go of your attachment to the handmade item when you gift it.

Sometimes it hurts when someone does not fully appreciate the work and time that went into a handmade item but I have to remember unless they are a maker, a crafter, an artist, or any type of creative individual they may never understand.

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. – Rumi

A Crafter Needs to Eat

Apple Rescue and Pre-Fall Cooking

Apple Rescue

In 2016 I did a series of posts about “rescuing” neglected fruit from fruit trees in my neighborhood in these posts:

The Fruits of My Neighborhood

The Fruits of My Neighborhood, Part II

The Fruits of My Neighborhood, Part III

Several readers expressed concerns that even though the trees were neglected, technically I did not have permission from the home owners (even if some of the houses were empty) to pick the fruit from their trees. Although the fruit was falling to the ground and rotting and no one was picking it, I put these comments in the back of my mind and skipped “fruit rescuing” in 2017.

But recently I’ve noticed several apple trees in front of a business at the edge of my neighborhood where the apples are ripe and are just being allowed to fall to the ground and rot. I couldn’t take it anymore and decided it was time for APPLE RESCUE!

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) felt like an intervention was needed also and helped me pick apples from the trees:

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TTQH helping with Apple Rescue

Until we had a bag full of apples:

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Saved from just being left to rot on the ground

We took the home and washed them and ended up with a nice haul of apples:

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Getting a bath
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Freshly rescued apples all safe and cozy in a bowl

What to do with out apple haul? Make an apple pie of course!

I used this online recipe from Taste of Home: tasteofhome.com/recipes/apple-pie/

And TTQH helped peel the apples while watching Sunday football games:

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Sunday football and apple peeling!

His hard work peeling 6 cups worth of sliced apples and my pie assembly skills resulted in this yummy pie:

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The house smells really really good

We used so many apples for the pie, we only have a little left (maybe it is time to return to those trees for more “apple rescuing”!):

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These apples might need more of their friends rescued

Pre-Fall Cooking

In Fall I start making soups and stews and I have a couple favorites which include (recipes are linked):

Bean and Chicken Sausage Stew 

Winter Vegetable Soup

Beer Stew with Beer and Paprika

But as the tierneycreates Beastie mentioned in yesterday’s guest blogger post,Guest Blogger: A Monster Needs Her Sweater, the weather has dipped from late summer weather to early Fall weather.

The cool weather makes me want to start making stews now!

So using the last of the kale and tomato harvest from my garden, I made Bean and Chicken Sausage Stew !

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Ready to become stew

Oh just a note on the linked recipe I provided – the original recipe calls for cannellini beans but I used black beans instead. Also I like to sauté the kale first in the already sautéed sausage and garlic; and if I am using fresh tomatoes as I did this time – I sauté the tomatoes also, before adding the beans (and their liquid) and the broth.

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Remains of the tasty stew!

Postscript

Disclaimer: I am not a cooking blog and cannot even pretend to be one.

If you want to read actually cooking blogs I recommend these two that I enjoy:

In Diane’s Kitchen (indianeskitchen.com) – I am waiting for her to write her cookbook someday!

Momoe’s Cupboard (trkingmomoe.wordpress.com) – focuses on tasty low budget meals

 

Beastie Adventures

Guest Blogger: A Monster Needs Her Sweater

Hello, my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster.

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Tierney of tierneycreates.com has invited me to return as a guest blogger for another post.

If you are new to this blog (welcome new readers, glad to have you join us!) you can read my story and see some of my adventures in the series of posts – Beastie Adventures. I was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved (well was shipped) to Central Oregon to join Tierney of tierneycreates in June 2018.

A Monster Needs Her Sweater

Since arriving in Central Oregon from Dublin Ireland in June, I’ve worn my T-shirt as my regular outfit, but recently the weather has dipped in Central Oregon and it is now in the 30s F (-1 C) in the morning and evening and only reaching a high of the 50s – 60s F (10 – 16 C) during the day.

Brrrrrr!

I finally told Tierney that I needed to change to my sweater that Helen of Crawcrafts Beasties (crawcraftsbeasties.com) made me. Tierney was using it as decoration in her sewing room and I said ENOUGH with it being used as decoration – I need it on MY BODY!

Frustrated, I took my T-shirt off and insisted I get my sweater put on (I need help getting dressed due to my unusual physique).

As you can see, Tierney said Beastie nudity was not appropriate on her blog and edited the photo to cover any special bits.

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Not wanting to put up with a nearly naked Beastie running about her house, Tierney agreed to help me put on my sweater:

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Then she helped me put on my satchel (which contains my laptop and library card – two very important items!) and my knitted hat (just in case the sweater was not enough to keep me warm…):

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I asked if we could go outside so I could see if I would actually be warmer with my sweater on when walking my dog Mikelet:

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Success! I am much warmer!

Now I am ready to take my dog Mikelet on a walk in the Central Oregon pre-Fall nippy weather (but it turned out I do not need my hat yet):

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We had to retake the photo as Mikelet was checking out something in the distance, maybe a beetle or something.

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Postscript

If you would like to check out the adventures of other Beasties, check out these two blogs:

By the way, Autumn is Tierney’s favorite season and she does not mind the chill in the air and the rapidly approaching end of summer.

“To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.” – Ann Patchett

What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall: Tango Stripe

What?

A tierneycreates post about Tierney actually creating?

Yes it has been a long time since I’ve shared my current textile project and posted in my series , What’s on the Design Wall where I featured my latest work in progress. For the past couple of months I’ve been working on an art quilt for a future WCQN exhibit and could not share images of the work in progress (or completed work) as the curator has not announced the show yet.

But I’ve finished the piece and now I can start working on my backlog of projects.

The first project in queue is one I’ve had around for a while. You can read it’s story in this June 2018 post – .The Tale of Tango Stripe.

Here is where I left off – I worked on it during a May 2018 quilt retreat:

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Up on a design wall at the quilt retreat

I am working in bring this tale to a conclusion!

It felt so good to pull it back out of its box and put it up on the large design wall in my hallway (yes if you are new to this blog, I use my whole house for crafting):

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Up on the design wall at my house (hallway design wall)

I’ve been using the smaller design wall on the closet door in my studio to make additional blocks:

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On the smaller design wall on my closet door in my studio

Making the blocks is very fun, even though a template is involved (normally I hate templates). The designer, Jean Wells Keenan of the Stitchin Post did a wonderful job with the pattern.

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At first I could not understand why she did not give instructions to just make up all the blocks at once. After playing with making a couple blocks during the quilt retreat I attended in May, I totally got why you design your blocks as you go.

The quilt is make with Kaffe Fassett stripes and those are fun to work with and create various pairing combination with solid colors:
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I am using recycled denim (from a denim coverlet liner I picked up very cheap at a Thrift store) as the setting fabric. However, earlier this year I saw another amazing setting fabric option – olive green fabric:

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Tango Stripe made by Kristan our Central Oregon SAQA group leader

If I ever make a second Tango Stripe quilt I think I am going with the olive or khaki green or even a tan setting fabric.

I will post an update as I progress – I have a lot of blocks to make!


Postscript

I’ve updated my tierneycreates Studio Tour page in case you want to take a peek at where I am currently creating!

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Important reminder I keep in my studio!
tierneycreates

WordPress Image (Photo) Management

This blog post is for those of you maintaining your blog on the WordPress platform, and are challenged with, or have overcome challenges with, having a WordPress plan with limited image/photo storage.

Several of my fellow WordPress bloggers have expressed frustration over the limited amount of photo storage allotment and having to either delete older posts or delete posted photos to manage their storage. So I thought I would share my experience and tips and ask for other experienced WordPress platform bloggers to comment with their tips for managing image storage limits on WordPress.

The Free Plan

When I started blogging in October 2013, I started with the free plan. This plan gave me 3 GB (gigabytes) of storage for photos I wanted to post and within a year I noticed I was quickly using up my allotted free storage.

Here is what no one told me when I started blogging (that I so wish someone had told me): you need to reduce the size of your images you post in a blog post.

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WordPress.com/pricing

I was able to stay on the free plan for another year or so by reducing the size of my photos. Eventually after 2 – 3 years on the free plan, I decided I wanted to double my available storage (especially since I now knew how to stretch it out) to 6 GB;  I wanted to remove advertising by WordPress; and I wanted to move my domain name from “tierneycreates.wordpress.com” to “tierneycreates.com”.

Managing the size of every image I add to a blog post, here is what my Photo Storage looks like after nearly 5 years of blogging (and if you’ve followed my blog for a while you know I post a lot of photos!):

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I think I can make this last another 5 years. If I had known how to do image management from the beginning I know I could have made it 5 years of blogging with my original 3GB storage allotment. Since I upgraded my plan, I’ve never had the incentive to go back to my early posts and resize their images – too much work!

How Do I Manage My Image File Size?

First a disclaimer: I figured out what worked for me and I am not even remotely an expert in photo editing and image management.

You may find my process cumbersome and I bet there are more efficient methods but here are my steps from taking a photo to posting it onto my blog:

  1. I use an iPhone for my images and use the regular image settings (I do not use HDR or Live photo settings as I assume that would be a larger photo).
  2. I have an Amazon Prime account which comes with unlimited photo storage. I have the Amazon Prime Photo app on my phone. I review images on my phone, delete the ones I do not keep and then open Prime Photo and it automatically uploads all photos not already uploaded to Prime Photo. I then delete the images from my camera to manage photo storage on my iPhone.
  3. I blog from a MacBook, and go to the online Prime Photo website and download to my desktop or to a folder all the photos I want to use in a blog post. (Note once I am done with the blog post I delete all the photos I downloaded from my laptop as I do not want to take up a bunch of space with photos that are stored online).
  4. Most photos taken on my iPhone are in the range of 3000 x 4000 pixels. There are a 1000 pixels in a MB so each photo is about 4.5 MB. 4.5 MB does not sound like a lot but there are 1024MB in one GB and you could see before you know it, especially if you put 5 – 10+ images in each post, you could quickly work your way through your 3GB allotment (if you are on the free plan). So I reduce each photo by 50% using the Preview feature on my Mac.
  5. I select all the photos I’ve downloaded from Prime Photos and open them up at the same time using Preview. Within Preview I do any needed photocropping and then I go to the Tools menu and select “Adjust Size” and reduce the size from 100% to 50%:

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As you can see in the above screenshot, the size of my image went from 4.5 MB to 1.4 MB (look at the “Resulting Size” section in the screenshot). So my reducing the image size by 50%, I have gained the ability to store 3 photos instead of 1.

Even if you do not have a Mac and use a Windows based PC or laptop, you can see the general concept: you need to reduce the size of your photos to manage your storage. 

If I do not care as much about the resolution/quality of an image on a post, then I might resize the image to even smaller like 45% or even 40%.

 Other Photo Management Tips

In addition to learning how to resize my photos before posting, the most important thing I figured out as a blogger was to be judicious in the amount of photos I share on a post.

At first I just shared any photo I wanted to share that I felt went with a blog post. Now I carefully think through how many photos and what specific photos I want to share to enhance the text of a blog post and tell a story. I am a visual person and I appreciate looking at photos myself when reading others blog posts. However I realized I do not need to try to do an extensive photo essay of an experience I want to share.

A few carefully selected photos can tell a story just as well as 10 photos can.

If you want more and likely more efficient ideas on WordPress photo management and storage (and ideas for those on blogging from Windows based devices), you can check out websites such as this one: The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Image Management

This website uses fancy phrases such as “image optimization”.

You can also Google (or whatever search engine you use) and find articles on plug ins for WordPress image management and “digital assessment management” (see – they are using more fancy phrases).

I am completely self-taught on WordPress (lots of online help and YouTube videos) and I have so much more to learn but I wanted to share what I do, which seems to be working…

Okay experienced WordPress Bloggers – please share your tips and ideas in the Comments/Thoughts Section 🙂


Feature image credit: Shelia Rosamond, free images.com

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”

Have you ever wondered why suddenly you are upset or struggling with something and you do not understand why? Well it could be the “Ghost Children“…

Throughout 2018, nearly non-stop, I’ve been listening to non-fiction audiobooks (with a couple science fiction audiobooks peppered in).

Here is a list of many of the non-fiction audiobooks (all borrowed from my public library) that occupied my ears the past 8+ months:

  • I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual – Luvvie Ajayi
  • Awakening Your Ikigai: How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose Every Day – Ken Mogi
  • Eat Fat, Get Thin – Mark Hyman
  • Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey – James Holli
  • Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life – Bill Burnett
  • You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want – Sarah Knight
  • The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain – Steven Gundry
  • The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact – Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations – Oprah Winfrey
  • Nudge: Improve Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness – Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
  • When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing – Daniel Pink
  • Faster Than Normal: Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success with the Secrets of the ADHD Brain – Peter Shankman
  • Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People – Vanessa Van Edwards
  • This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide – Geneen Roth
  • Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself – Mark Epstein
  • Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More – Courtney Carver
  • Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen – Donald Miller
  • You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth – Jen Sicero
  • Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice – Brene Brown
  • Yes Please – Amy Poehler
  • Fail Until You Don’t – Bobby Bones
  • The Art of Mingling: Fun and Proven Techniques for Mastering Any Room – Jeanne Martinet
  • The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

Between my daily walks (3 – 4+ miles a day), road trips, cross country plane rides, and sewing marathons, I’ve knocked off a lot of audiobooks so far in 2018.

Most of these audiobooks were highly engaging, filled with many useful ideas, tips, and inspirations; however one audiobook really stood out: Geneen Roth’s This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide.

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image credit: amazon.com

While listening to this audiobook, read by the author, I was introduced to the concept of “Ghost Children“. According to Geneen Roth, “Ghost Children” are the stories we repeatedly tell ourselves based on an unhealed/hurt part of us that believes things such as we’re not good enough, we are unlovable, we are not worthy – because at some point in our life, many times in childhood, we had unmet needs or a hurt which are still seeking to get comfort from.

Geneen Roth has done a lot of work with women who emotionally overeat (she holds workshops and has written books focused on this topic) and she ties the “Ghost Children” concept to why people emotionally overeat to comfort their hurting “Ghost Children” but I clearly saw a connection to other behaviors.

This connection helped me during a difficult time on a recent business trip attending a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”

I work in the healthcare industry and I attended a healthcare industry software related conference in late July/early August held at the Aria Hotel’s Conference Center in Las Vegas, NV.

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Las Vegas Boulevard

The healthcare software company sponsoring the conference was very generous to its attendees to include providing a private Train concert on one of the conference evenings, at the Brooklyn Bowl. I was very excited about this concert as I’ve like the band Train (Drops of Jupiter, Meet Virginia, Calling All Angels) since they first came out with their song Drops of Jupiter in 2001.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) accompanied me on the trip to Las Vegas and I confirmed with someone at the conference registration desk that he could also attend the conference. He is also a long time fan of the band Train, so I was excited to share this private concert with him which also included an open bar and food (as I said the sponsoring software conference company was very generous).

So the evening came for the concert and TTQH headed to the tour bus set up for conference attendees to be transported to the Brooklyn Bowl for the concert. While on line to load the bus, we discovered that only conference attendees with conference badges could get on the bus and attend the conference. TTQH was not able to attend with me.

We were in shock and incredibly disappointed as I had verified with the conference registration desk that he could attend, only to find out that the staff at the registration desk very misinformed. I was torn – on one hand I wanted to go to the concert on the other hand I did not want to just leave TTQH behind at the hotel with this sudden dispointment.

TTQH is a very enlightened and well-adjusted person (one of us has to be in the marriage – ha!) and he quickly recovered from the disappointment and strongly insisted that I just attend alone and have a great time.

So I got back in line and then got on the tour bus. The tour bus was filling up quickly and people were filling every available seat. Except in my row. No one sat with me. (This was likely because I had a very sad look on my face as I was so disappointed I could not share the concert experience with TTQH). The last person got on the bus and sat with the last seat available besides the one next to me.

So the entire bus was filled, except for the seat next to me.  Before I knew it I was quietly sobbing to myself on the bus ride to the Brooklyn Bowl and did not know why.

But – I remembered the audiobook I had recently finished, This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide , and realized one of my “Ghost Children” had popped up!

When I was around 10 years old my parents had a major disagreement with other parents in the neighborhood and, unknown to me at the time, the other neighborhood parents had told their children not to play with me. For a couple weeks, none of my regular friends in the neighborhood, who I played with everyday after school, would play with me. They all ignored me.

I did not understand why and as you could imagine this was fairly traumatic for a 10 year old who was used to playing with most of the kids on my block for many years. Finally one of the children was kind enough to pull me aside and tell me what happened. It was a very upsetting and frustrating experience as I was being punished for something I did not do and I was now an outsider/outcast from my long-time playmates. It is one of those feelings you never forget and I guess it eventually became one of my “Ghost Children”.

Realizing where my sudden painful feelings were coming from as I sat alone on the bus (no one wanting to sit with me), helped me pull myself together. I decided: “yes I am attending this concert alone, but I am going to have a fun time and find a group of people to hang out with during the concert”. There is so much power in awareness of where an emotion/reaction is coming from – it gives you options on how you react.

And this is exactly what I did. Upon arrival, I asked a group of women if I could hang with them for the evening and eventually ended up in another group and had a wonderful time – a “Ghost Children” free evening!

The Train concert was incredible (I sat close to the stage in an elevated area of the bar to the right of the stage) and got to connect with some wonderful people before the concert and during. I learned some new trivia about some of their songs from another concert attendee: the lead singer, Pat Monahan wrote Drops of Jupiter about the death of his mother (now some of the lyrics I never understood make sense).

Here is a little excerpt from the concert (which was only open to concert attendees) – Train performing Lost and Found (I finally learned how to upload videos to YouTube):

I love the lyrics in this song (excerpt from Google):

My dad said son, one
Day we’ll have a drink together
You’re young
You got to take your time
Just trust
Let me raise you right, and later
We can raise a glass to life, and say
Here’s to the time we have
Here’s to the lines we crossed
Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on
And the ones we lost
Here’s to the time we have
Thank God for what we got
Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost
And found, the ones who stick around
Lost and found, the ones who stick around

 

I feel like writing Geneen Roth, the author of This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide, and thanking her for introducing me to the “Ghost Children” concept. Thanks to what I learned from her book I was able to reset a moment and turn it around.

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Taking a break from the conference and relaxing at the Bellagio hotel, “Ghost Children” free

You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. It’s possible to treat yourself with outrageous kindness beginning today. Geneen Roth


Postscript

During the conference I got to attend my first TED Talks/TED Salon and that was a very cool experience.

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Dr. Andrew Bastawrous at TED Salon: Catalyst at the Aria Las Vegas

The TED Talks were focused on the future of health care. It was amazing after years of watching TED Talks online to see how formally TED Talks are filmed. There are hosts that coach the audience on etiquette for the Talk once filming starts.

The six speakers who talks about moving health care forward were amazing and here is a post on the TED Blog I found about the event:

Moving healthcare forward: The talks of TED Salon: Catalyst

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A slide from one of the speaker’s presentation

By the way – I’ve finally finished my intense work on the secret art quilt project for a future WCQN show that is not yet announced. I am taking a little break from “creating” and then in the near future I will return to sharing what is on my design wall as I used to do in my What’s on the Design Wall series of posts.

 

 

Special Events, WCQN

Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part IV

This is the final post in the series of four posts on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and Friends Show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience, curated By Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, and inspired by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As I mentioned in the first post, Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I show opening at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, OH, was only the “soft opening”, featuring half of the quilts. At a future date the full show will debut and in Spring 2019 the book will be published featuring all the quilts in the exhibit as well as the story behind the exhibit.

This post features one more installment of a sample selection of powerful quilts from the show. (If you are just joining us you can click on this link – WCQN – to view the three previous posts – Part I, Part II, and Part III.)


Carolyn Crump – Waiting to Have My Say

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Gloria Kellon – Freedom of Expression over the Water

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Gwendolyn Brooks – On This Special Day

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Julius Bremer – Let’s Gather Peacefully

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Deanna Tyson – Black Lives Matter

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Ifa Felix – The Green Book

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James Mardis – Cruelty Comes for Us All

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The photo does not capture how amazing and powerful this quilt is! The artist is one of the long-time male quilters in the WCQN. I had a chance to chat with him during the show and listen to him talk about this multi-textured piece made from a multitude of materials besides cotton fabric.

I wish I had taken some close up photos of the piece. I think I was so overwhelmed by the whole show and trying to meet and chat with the amazing artists that I got distracted from my photography!  When Dr. Mazloomi’s book on the show comes out in Spring 2019 it will have professionally photographed detailed images of these quilts.


L’Merchie Frazier – Going Beyond the Self: Lale and the Omo Children

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Helen Murrell – Capital Punishment

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Lauren Austin – Parole Denied

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Ed Johnetta Miller – So What Skeltons Are in Your Closet?

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Sandra Noble – Detainment

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It was an honor to be part of this show and an honor to be able to share some of the amazing quilts from this show with you all.

I have to say of course, the most exciting moment of attending the show was walking into the exhibit area and seeing my quilt on the wall:

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The second most exciting moment, was seeing an image of my quilt projected up on the screen in the auditorium before the panel discussion began:

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Before the panel discussion, Dr. Mazloomi gave a powerful talk on the power of art. Here is a quote from her talk (which I have on video but could not figure out how to upload onto YouTube to share, perhaps at a later time):

For me as an artist I strongly believe that art has the capacity to touch the spirit, engage people, educate and heal in ways that words cannot.

Dr. Mazloomi stated that the show was inspired by the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and that she is long-time admirer of Eleanor Roosevelt who was instrumental in getting this declaration done.


Postscript

I had a bit of adventure getting to Hamilton, OH for the show. Central Oregon is a long way from Hamilton, OH! 

Since I was going to be in the Eastern part of the country (well Ohio could be considered Midwest) I thought I should also visit with my family and I met up with my family in Washington, DC for a couple of days before flying onto Cincinnati, OH.

While in DC I went with my brother, sister, sister-in-law and 5 and 14 year old nephews to the National Geographic Museum and saw two amazing exhibits on the Tomb of Christ and the Titanic. 

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I may share additional photos from those exhibits in a future post.

From Cincinnati I rented a car and drove 45 minutes or so to Hamilton (which is not within a reasonable distance to a major airport).

While in Hamilton I stayed in sweet Victorian Airbnb rental (only $56 for the night) 6 blocks from the Fitton Center where the opening show was held. Here are some photos of where I stayed which was built in the late 1800s and had cool architecture and period related decor (and handmade antique quilts on the bed!):

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I will not share my airline travel saga but it did involve spending two nights sleeping in an airport (on the way there and on the way back) because of severe thunderstorms that grounded planes. But I did make the most of my time stuck in airports and will have a future posts on the cool exhibits and sights at the various airports along my journey!