A Crafter's Life

The Positive People (Surprise Gift)

The other day I was surprised in the mail by a wonderful gift from a blogging buddy, Claudia McGill!

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The three clay figures measure approximately 3.5″ each and each had a positive message inside (be happy, be well, be safe):

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I have apt named this trio The Positive People.

I regularly follow Claudia’s blogs Claudia McGill and Her Art World and Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?. She’s one of those artists, that after reading her musings or seeing her prolific art of many mediums (clay, painting, inks, etc.), you begin to feel like you’ve been rather lazy! 

Seeing her work and her color palettes always inspires my creativity.

I’ve also started to follow her third blog (yes, like I said above, she can make you feel like you’ve been quite lazy – ha!) Sometimes You Get So Confused, which talks about her art drop offs in public places and her musings as she navigates life.

I’ve given the three clay figures, The Positive People, she generously gifted me, a special place in my tierneycreates studio!

Feeling pretty lucky to continue to meet so many awesome people in the “blogosphere”!


Postscript

I shared in the post Paved Trail Inspirations, that people (likely kids/families) were writing positive messages in sidewalk chalk in the paved trails near my house which I walk everyday. Well, I like to vary my walks to include walking in neighborhoods, and during these walks I am now finding inspirational painted stones, likely done by kids, tucked here and there in neighborhood sidewalks.

2020-04-27_10-54-47_711These are unusual and challenging times and I love that people (real life “Positive People”) are trying to reach out to each other with encouragement!

Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!

And on the 8th Day…Part III

This is my third and I think final installment of my series of posts celebrating my one year anniversary of living in Colorado by sharing some of its natural geologic beauty.

If you are just joining us, here are the previous two posts in this series:

And on the 8th Day…Part I

And on the 8th Day…Part II

Today’s post is about a recent hike (two weekends ago) at Castlewood Canyon State Park.

And let me kick off this post with a photo I took early in the hike that I think is quite lovely (I forgot which smartphone camera settings I used, perhaps “Sepia”):

2020-04-10_11-42-11_276 (1)Although we did not hike into this specific area (the site of the remains of Castlewood Canyon Dam), Wikipedia has some interesting history on Castlewood Canyon State Park:

The park retains a unique part of Colorado’s history, the remains of Castlewood Canyon Dam. Visitors can still see the remnants and damage from that dam which burst in 1933. The event sent a 15-foot (5 m) wave of water all the way to downtown Denver resulting in a flood.

My partner John and I brought Mike the miniature schnauzer with us, and once again, as in photos in other posts in this series of posts, Mike got to hike in the backpack:

2020-04-10_12-03-07_2942020-04-10_12-30-58_602IMG_20200410_132042Yes, Mike is one spoiled miniature schnauzer!

With social distancing in place, hiking was a bit tricky when we got to narrow areas as if there was another set of people walking by we had to get at least six (6) feet away from them. This got a wee bit cumbersome during the hike at times, especially if there was a large family group hiking.

During this time of social distancing, I always wonder if dogs think that humans just do not like each other any longer, as they are always avoiding one another as much as possible!

You cannot sit at any of the park benches or picnic areas (they are closed off during the COVID-times) but we did have a nice picnic on a large rock next to a stream during our hike.

2020-04-10_12-15-53_5262020-04-10_12-15-57_8972020-04-10_12-30-16_017As you can see in the first photo, Mike looked on as lunch was prepared and eaten, wondering why he was not invited to the feast (we did bring dog treats and water for him of course)!

I will close out this post with some of my favorite photos from the several hour afternoon hike at Castlewood Canyon State Park in both color and black & white. Thanks for virtually sharing this hike with me!

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A Crafter's Life, tierneycreates

Home Gallery

I am taking a break from posting about the natural geologic beauty of Colorado like I did in my previous two posts. Instead I have a sort of follow up to my 04/16/2020 post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post).

My first solo show at the Seattle Municipal Tower (sponsored by the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture) ended in July 2019, and I’d already moved to Colorado. The City of Seattle ended up purchasing 3 of the quilts from the show for their permanent collection; and private collectors purchased 2 more, so that left 7 quilts (or 6 I forget) to be returned to me.

Thanks to my friends Colleen, Donna and Judy, the quilts were held for me until I attended a quilt retreat in Washington state in November 2019.

I noticed when I picked up the quilts that had not sold, the City of Seattle had also included all the placards from the show! Below is an example of one of those placards created by the City of Seattle’s gallery curator and his team:

2019-04-18_11-44-27_227I was not sure as to what to do with these placards, but after moving back into our current house (after due to the COVID related financial crisis we decided not to buy a new house), I decided to create a gallery in my house with the remaining art quilts and their placards.

The gallery is scattered about the house upstairs and downstairs; and is found in hallways as well as bedrooms.

2020-04-01_08-38-32_8102020-04-01_08-46-20_1372020-04-01_10-55-14_9192020-04-01_13-06-26_5092020-04-03_09-51-35_9982020-04-03_09-52-19_664I also mounted on the wall of my studio the placards for the quilts that sold as well as the main poster for the show.

2020-04-01_17-39-38_3722020-04-01_10-55-14_919I am not sure how long I will leave the placards up along side the remaining art quilts, but for now I find it entertaining. I guess when you are stuck at home during the COVID times you have to discover new ways to entertain yourself!


Postscript

Speaking of entertaining oneself, I’ve been thinking about the instruction/suggestion below that I discovered on a morning walk as sidewalk/walking path art (see post Paved Trail Inspirations):

2020-04-07_13-45-54_805Social isolation is the standard now in the “time of COVID” (how I refer to these times), and my partner John and I have been trying to be creative with finding simple ways to entertain ourselves (besides exhaustive online television network watching).

One of the things we do a couple times of week is having “walking cocktail hour” when we take Mike our miniature schnauzer for a walk in the evening. We load our portable tumblers with our cocktails – a microbrew for me, an Old Fashioned for him, and head out on our dog walk!

2020-04-07_19-42-56_956And no one knows what is our tumblers…(smile)

I always wonder what pets are thinking about the COVID times and the humans always being around. I already telecommuted full-time and now my partner is also telecommuting, so we are always home together. Here is Mike trying to make the best of us both working on our laptops and fitting in a snuggle with the humans…

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Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!

And on the 8th Day…Part II

I am continuing my series of posts to celebrate my one year anniversary of living in Colorado by sharing some of the natural geologic beauty I’ve witnessed over the past year as I explore Colorado. Here is the link to the first post in this series if you missed it – And on the 8th Day…Part I. This post also explains the title of this series of posts.

I meant to continue this series yesterday, on April 19th the actual anniversary, but I got distracted by the endless trimming of half square triangles (No Scrap Left Behind (half square triangle craziness)), so I have a good excuse. No worries (in case you’ve been losing sleep wondering how I am progressing on my latest scrappy quilt) I will update you on this piece in a future post, but for now here is a photo of my growing piles of trimmed half square triangles:

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Eldorado Canyon State Park

Eldorado Canyon State Park is one of those hidden gems in Colorado that no one talks about except the native/locals. Luckily my partner John is a Colorado native and knows all the great places to hike. We spent the day there with Mike our miniature schnauzer in September 2019.

2019-09-14_10-15-30_843Here is the description of this spectacular park from the Colorado State Park’s website:

Eldorado Canyon is a hidden treasure right in Boulder’s backyard!  Whether it’s hiking amidst the towering sandstone cliffs, picnicking along scenic South Boulder Creek or climbing Eldo’s sheer golden walls, Eldorado Canyon State Park truly has something for everyone!  Discover this hidden jewel and take home memories that will last a lifetime.

Well, like the description above says, I did “take home memories that will last a lifetime” and I took WAY TOO MANY photos!

In preparing for this post, I poured over hundreds of photos from my visit to decide which ones to share. I am only going to share my absolute favorites (smile).

In the Rapids

One of my favorite memories of the day is climbing out to the rocks in the middle of river (or creek?) that runs through the park and being in the middle of the rapids (well it was not that turbulent) and having a little picnic.

00000IMG_00000_BURST20190914105921438_COVER00000IMG_00000_BURST20190914105223598_COVER2019-09-14_10-44-33_94700100lPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20190914104452147_COVERMy partner John, who took the photos, had to precariously hand me Mike once I got myself safely positions on the rocks in the middle of the water.

My favorite photo from this moment is selfie I took of Mike and I where it looks like Mike is saying: “My human is kind of crazy for bringing me out to this rock in the middle of rapidly moving water!”

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Wandering About the Canyon

I only had to select from 20+ photos to provide those photos above. I won’t tell you the obscene amount of photos I had to select from for these next set of photos. Everything was so beautiful and awe-inspiring as we hiked about the canyon.

Here are some of my favorite photos (because I do not want to blow out my blog page image storage allowance, ha!).

2019-09-14_10-29-20_4172019-09-14_11-15-25_296IMG_20190914_110723MVIMG_20190914_113405MVIMG_20190914_114416IMG_20190914_113116All I can say is that these images do not do the beauty of this place justice.

The sky was clear blue and although it was a Saturday in September there we not very many fellow hikers there. At times it felt like we had the whole amazing place to ourselves!

Traveling in Style

As some of the hike involved a bit of easy rock climbing to get around, we decided we would carry Mike in his backpack most of the hike for safety. Here he is traveling in style (we took turns carrying him vs. our day hike pack) and John carried him most of the time.

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The Black and Whites

Of course I took B&W photos during the hike? Would you expect any less of me?!?! (If you are new to this blog you can check out my series of posts – Life in B&W).

Here are some of my favorites as I channeled my inner Ansel Adams

2019-09-14_10-29-51_3122019-09-14_10-35-58_0672019-09-14_11-08-35_1902019-09-14_11-10-53_2052019-09-14_11-31-28_175And to close out this post, here is me, feeling quite happy and blessed to be a on a beautiful hike, on a beautiful day, in the beautiful state of Colorado!

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Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!

And on the 8th Day…Part I

As I mentioned in my previous post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post), April 19th (Sunday) is the one year anniversary of my move to the Denver, Colorado area.

To celebrate this anniversary, over the next several posts, I want to share with you some of the natural geologic beauty I’ve witness over the past year as I explore Colorado.

The title of this post “And on the 8th day” is a reference to the Judeo-Christian Creation Story in the Bible in which God worked 7 days to put heaven and earth together (actually 6 days as on the 7th day God rested per the story); and the saying I’ve heard from other Colorado residents in regards to the natural wondrous beauty of Colorado:

“And on the 8th day, God made Colorado” 

The first example of the natural geologic beauty of Colorado that I will share, is aptly named Garden of the GodsDuring a family visit in August 2019, we took our visitors for the day to Garden of the Gods State Park.

The photos I am about to share do not do the awe inspiring beauty of this place justice, but hopefully they will give you a little sample of why people in Colorado joke that this state had a day of Creation devoted to it!

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If you’ve ever visited Arches National Park in Utah, it’s a similar concept – amazing rock formations! It is not as elaborate as Arches but it is pretty spectacular in person (as I mentioned, photos do not do it justice…well at least not amateur photos!).

The sky was overcast on the day we visited and I look forward to visiting there again this year on a sunny day. We were a bit hurried during our visit because we will trying to fit in a lot of sightseeing for our visitors. Next time I visit, I want to bring a picnic and spend more time exploring and just sitting and admiring the breathtaking beauty of the place.


Postscript

And of course I took Black and White photos and here are a sample of some of those photos.

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Special Events, tierneycreates

Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post)

Today’s post is a re-post of my post from April 26, 2019 about my first solo show, which was a very big moment in my imaginary artistic career (smile).

April 19th is my one year anniversary of moving to the Denver area and I want to celebrate that anniversary this week by re-sharing this big moment as well as a couple new posts about the beauty of Colorado later this week.

I cannot believe the trajectory of my life over the past 16 months. 

As many of you know in December 2018 I suddenly lost my husband (Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)) and my whole life radically changed. I’d been with Terry since I was 20 years old and did not know adult life without him. He was definitely the protector type and now I had to learn to protect myself and function in the world without him.

I was blessed with an incredible support network and blessed with the strange decision I made to sell my home in Central Oregon and move to the Denver Colorado greater metropolitan area (see series of posts Colorado Bound). This move gave me something to focus on besides my all consuming and completely overwhelming grief (I do not recommend this widow thing as a hobby, it sucks).

In addition to planning the move to Colorado and visiting friends in the Pacific NW, a shining light during my early days of widowhood was a surprise invitation in January 2019 from the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, to have a solo show at their downtown Seattle Municipal Tower. 

I still cannot believe the timing on this amazing opportunity, that is happened when I really needed it and was at the lowest point in my entire life. Preparing for the show gave me something additional (and exciting) to focus on. The Universe is magical that way sometimes, eh?

I get blue some days during these COVID-times (and I really appreciate when my blogging buddies share their struggles on their blogs) but I remind myself: “Hey, you made it through losing your life partner that you were with for more than 1/2 your life; and you moved to Colorado and started a new life – you can do this, you can make it through these times.”

(And if you are having a particular blue day during the COVID-times, perhaps reminding yourself of hard times you’ve already made it through might help. You can do this!)


Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower, Part III

I am getting settled in my new Colorado apartment after relocating from Central Oregon to the Greater Denver Metro area.

Finally, here is the final post in my series of posts about my first solo show at the Seattle Municipal Tower’s Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery located at 700 5th Ave in downtown Seattle, Washington. The show is curated by the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture.

For more background on my invitation to my first solo show, please see the previous posts in the series – Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower, Part I and Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower, Part II.

Before the Show

I stayed with friends in West Seattle and as parking in downtown Seattle is crazy, even though they offered to loan me one of their cars, I took the bus to the event. I arrived early and had time to wander around the amazing downtown Seattle library (I will share photos from that wander in another post).

After wandering around the library with my tierneycreates Beastie (who loves libraries also – see posts Beastie Colorado Adventure Begins and Beastie Outing: Trip to the Library) it was time to head into the Seattle Municipal Tower for the show opening, but not without first taking some photos of the entry and this downtown Seattle skyscraper:

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As you can see in my above selfie, I was pretty darn excited.

Show Opening: The Wardrobe Meets the Wall

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The show (The Wardrobe Meets the Wall: Art Quilts Created from Recycled Clothing and Garment Manufacturing Samples) opened with a presentation by board members the the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery board on background and mission of the gallery, and then an introduction about me and my work.

Next, after providing an overview of my work, I did a presentation on the story behind the show and working with recycled materials. Then did a walk through tour and presentation on all 12 pieces I have in the show, sharing the story behind each piece.

Here are photos from the show which is on display until 07/15/2019. The gallery did a wonderful job of creating large placards for each piece that provided my full artist statement so that visitors could read the full story behind each piece.

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A nice crowd attended the opening which included board members of the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery board, downtown Seattle workers, my work colleagues in the Seattle office of my employer, and longtime friends who live in Seattle. I enjoyed walking the crowd through the 12 pieces and telling the story behind each piece (and no one appeared to fall asleep).

The Gallery also provided an area for flyers and my business cards if anyone was interested. I had generic business card created for the show as these cards are accessible by the public who has access to the gallery.

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Additionally here are some photos taken the day before the show opening right after the pieces were hung, by my friend Loren who works at the Seattle Municipal Tower:

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The whole experience was exciting but a little exhausting. I’ve been in several art shows in the past and have attended openings but it is a different experience when you are the only artist and it is your show!

When the show closes 07/15/2019, a Seattle based friend is going to collect the pieces from the gallery and deliver them to me when she visits me in the Denver area in late July. I do have two buyers interested in several of the pieces so I might have a couple art quilt sales in the near future.

After the Show

After the show I met up with a large group of Seattle friends at a lovely Dim Sum restaurant in the University Village area – Din Tai Fung.

We sat for hours visiting and having wonderful conversations while dining on delicious Taiwanese cuisine such as these wonderful vegetable dumplings below:

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Postscript

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am settling into my new Colorado apartment. It has been an interesting transition from living in a house most of my life to now living in an apartment but so far, so good.

I wrote this blog post from my kitchen table this morning while eating breakfast and sipping on tea.

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Mike my miniature schnauzer is getting used to all these people and dogs living in “his house” (he thinks the whole inside the apartment complex is his home but for some reason he and I only live in one section of it – ha!)

Audiobooks and Podcasts, Creative Inspiration

Creative Strength Training

Before we dive into the topic of this post, I just wanted to follow up from yesterday’s post No Scrap Left Behind (half square triangle craziness).

The design wall is now empty:

2020-04-15_16-19-27_925Don’t panic, I’ve did not give up on the project I blogged about yesterday. Instead I removed all the half square triangles (HSTs) made from scrap triangles so they could be trimmed:

2020-04-15_16-19-21_786And I got a whole lotta trimming to do! There are 5 different sizes of HSTs: 5.5″, 4.5″, 3.5″, 2.5″, and 2″that make up this quilt pattern. For example, I need 200 2″ squares.

I thought about making it sort of freeform/improvisational, but I really want to make the pattern as written, so I am going to do the tedious work of trimming (I mean what else am I doing with my time during my social distancing/isolation/pandemic times?) all the HSTs to their respective sizes.

Yesterday I actually started trimming and making piles…

2020-04-15_16-19-32_428So unless you want to see a slow record of my continuing growing piles of HSTs in various sizes, I am not going to update you on this project until I get all the HSTs (hundreds of them!) cut to size and start laying the quilt out.

So onto other things, like something yummy and inspirational to listen to while you are crafting/creating…


Creative Strength Training

Last year I bought this awesome book by Jane Dunnewold – Creative Strength Training: Prompts, Exercises and Personal Stories for Encouraging Artistic Genius.

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Image credit – https://www.artelements.net/book-review-creative-strength-training/

But I have yet to open the book and read it.

Then I discovered that the author has posted on YouTube the complete audiobook read by the author!

You can locate this free audiobook on her YouTube Channel –Jane Dunnewold.

Go to Playlists tab and look for “Creative Strength Training Audiobook”. There will be 22 videos each with different sections of the book.

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The audiobook is absolutely amazing and I’ve been listening to it on long walks. I can’t wait to actual work through the exercises (which I’ve done in my head while walking) in the actual book.

Yes it is slightly cumbersome to listen using YouTube as chapters are broken up into individual YouTube videos (which are audio only) but what a wonderful gift the author has shared.

I love the personal stories by the author as well as from other artists. It just makes me want to create (and makes me want to someday rewrite my Artist Statement).

If you need some artistic inspiration I highly recommend this free audiobook. If you love the audiobook, consider buying the paperback book to work through the exercises and support the author.


Feature Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash

 

Quarantine Quilts, What's on the Design Wall

No Scrap Left Behind (half square triangle craziness)

I closed out my previous post (Home Office Tips and Tour) with this image below to give you a tease about what I am working on next:

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Now that I’ve settled into my re-configured studio (see post Guest Blogger: tierneycreates’ “New” Studio Tour) I have no excuse but to start making things in the studio (besides masks).

I thought I would start with my fabric scrap collection for my first non-mask project in my “new” studio.

I have long history of fabric scrap addiction (yes I am that person at a quilt retreat who stops people from throwing out their larger scraps in the trash and offers to “adopt” them) and so I have quite the collection of fabric scraps.

I keep them organized in bins at the bottom of the IKEA bookcases in my studio:

2020-04-01_08-21-41_752These bins contains scraps organized by color.

I also have them organized by themed collections of scraps in bags stored under my cutting table:

2020-04-08_15-37-07_529One of these collections, is a collection of scrap triangles, most given to me by other quilters when they trimmed these triangle when piecing blocks for their quilts. The triangles are in various sizes.

By sewing two scrap triangles together, I can created a scrappy “half square triangle” (HST) which provides many design opportunities. This is what I did with a bunch of scrappy fabric squares which I turned into HSTs back in Spring 2018 (see post Pillow Popping with the Untethered Soul), and created a pillow top:

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I do have a basket of fabric scrap squares that I could have used to make HSTs for the project I am about to tell you about:

2020-04-13_19-01-44_210But I’ve decided I want to start using (and cleaning out) my ridiculous collection of themed bags of scraps (mainly given to me by other quilters) and my scrap triangle collection had gotten out of control.

So I dumped the entire collection of fabric scrap triangles onto my cutting table:

2020-04-09_19-03-43_244And pulled out this awesome book by Amanda Jean Nyberg, No Scrap Left Behind, for ideas.

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I found a pattern in the book called All Sizes which uses several different sizes of HSTs to create a scrap quilt with smaller HSTs progressing to larger HSTs.

I did not want to violate copyright laws by photographing the quilt pattern inside the book but I did find an image of the quilt on Pinterest:

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Image credit: Pinterest

The pattern instructs you to create HSTs the standard way from two contrasting squares (if you’ve never made HSTs or are not quilter, here is a link by Blossom Heart Quilts explaining how HSTs are commonly made – HST Tutorial).  However I decided to manually make HSTs by sewing two scrappy triangles together.

So to make this happen I had to sort my giant pile of scrap triangles into light and dark in order to manual create the HSTs (to get a nice contrast with a HST you use a light fabric and a darker fabric). The process was tedious but fun (I listened to great music while sorting, sewing, pressing/ironing. and trimming).

2020-04-13_07-46-58_5802020-04-13_18-49-57_5092020-04-11_19-57-59_7212020-04-13_14-27-35_0182020-04-13_18-49-14_566 Eventually my “hot mess” of scrap triangles, turned into this on my design wall:

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No it doesn’t look anything like the pattern of the Pinterest finished quilt image I shared above but it is in progress. Initially I placed the HSTs in size order on the design wall but my organization fell apart after a while of trying to just randomly get all the HSTs I’ve made onto the design wall (to get a sense of how many I’ve made so far).

Also, you might have noticed that the Pinterest finished quilt image has white as the light on the HSTs. I’ve was very loose in my interpretation of “light” to contrast with my darker triangles. I did not have many white/cream or other light colored scrap triangles. So I had to use medium fabrics often as “lights” and you will see some bold fabrics in the mix (like deep/strong yellows, etc.) as “lights”.

2020-04-13_07-47-06_160But hey – it’s going to be a very scrappy quilt!

When the quilt top is complete, I am going to toss any remaining scrappy triangles. They were originally headed to the trash bin before I rescued them. It is okay if some now make it to the trash.

I think there will be very few scrap triangles remaining when I am done; and I think this is a one time scrap quilt experiment with scrap triangles. (Next time I make HSTs it will be using contrasting squares)

And I plan to say “no thank you” when other quilters offer me their scrap triangles in the future!


Postscript

I am still hand quilting Seattle Scrappy (see post Seattle Scrappy (What’s on the Design Wall)) in case you wondered what became of that piece. I keep it on the stairs railing next to the recliner I sit in when watching television in the living room, so it is always handy to work on:

2020-04-12_09-25-53_726Someday it will be done…

A Crafter's Life

Home Office Tips and Tour

Some of you might now be working from home for the first time during the COVID times. I’ve been working from home (or telecommuting as my employer calls it) for over 14 years.

Instead of “telecommuting tips”, I thought I would share some home office tips and a little tour of my home office.

Home Office Tips

  1. Make it cozy and comfortable
  2. Try to make it feel like a separate space from the rest of your home
  3. Don’t stay in there all day! Stand up every 1/2 hour from your desk and at least every couple of hours leave the room to take a little break.
  4. Have a TV or music in the room or listen to podcasts or something – you can simulate having background noise like you would at work
  5. Let your pet (cat, dog, iguana, porcupine, etc.) hang in the room with you and have a cozy spot for them

Tierney’s Home Office Tour

My home office is shared with the upstairs guest room and I’ve decorated it with my favorite schnauzer/dog themed art, some quilts and some tchotchkes!

It makes me smile to work in the room (and during a really boring conference call, I can lie on the bed and listen to it…)

2020-04-01_08-20-40_1462020-04-01_08-20-34_7342020-04-01_08-21-10_3252020-03-30_11-44-08_1062020-03-30_11-43-50_2912020-04-01_08-20-49_3182020-04-01_08-23-03_032 Oh – if you’d like to see close up photos and read more about the flags about the guest bed, here is a post I did in May 2017 on these flags –The Flags Outside My Window

I’ve also turned the closet of the guest room/office into a multipurpose closet with 1/2 of the closet for off season clothes storage (and a place for guests to hang their clothes); and non-sewing craft storage.

2020-03-30_10-12-38_1532020-04-01_08-21-01_526I had a mismatched collection of baskets I’ve collected over the years and I used them in an old storage shelf/bookcase (that fit perfectly in 1/2 the closet) to store my paper crafting, jewelry making and miscellaneous craft supplies. I am pleased with the re-purposing.

It is a fun room to work in. It might seem a little busy and overstimulating to some people but it works for me. Create a space that works for you!

Who knows how long you will be working from home during these times, so my suggestion is to make it a fun and stimulating place to work!

One more thing to add – I am very grateful to my employer for really supporting their workforce as most of the company transitions to telecommuting. We have increased video conferencing meetings; wonderful updates from leadership team via video; as well as frequent webinars on taking care of yourself as a remote worker and managing stress during these uncertain times.


Postscript

So what is this craziness in the image below??!?!

2020-04-09_19-13-55_051Well you will find out in my next post…

Outside Adventures!

Paved Trail Inspirations

How are you all doing? I am thinking about you all and sending you all good and peaceful thoughts.

I’ve been going on a lot of walks in the green space behind my house (as there is not much to do outside but walk around, while keeping social distance). There are miles and miles of paved trails and I’ve enjoying seeing many families, couples and individuals out walking.

In a recent post Perspective I shared inspirational sidewalk/paved trail chalk art I came upon during a walk last week:

2020-03-30_12-07-30_476Well, 2 days ago, I discovered on my walk a whole path of inspirational messages in sidewalk chalk that I want to share with you.

I have captioned each message in case they are difficult to read.

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Don’t freak out
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Get outside
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You got this
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Don’t worry
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Have fun!
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You are my sunshine
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Be creative
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Don’t give up
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Don’t be sad be happy
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Have fun with the little things

I also came across in a drainage area with even more inspirational messages and kid art that made me smile.

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I suspect a family with their kids did this project together. I’d like to imagine there was a family cheering themselves up by trying to cheer up others by spreading a message of positivity and hope.

To all my blogging friends who  might be worrying and struggling:

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Postscript

A lot of people are out walking about, which is a good thing. However some days it feels like my favorite walking trails are getting a wee bit too crowded (even with people respecting social distancing).

I was quite pleased yesterday when I ventured in a new direction and discovered a lesser known/used path. I had an exquisitely peaceful walk on my own with no one else in sight for 30 minutes. All I could hear was birds chirping.

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Beastie Adventures, Guest Blogger, Studio

Guest Blogger: tierneycreates’ “New” Studio Tour

As Tierney promised in her previous post Perspective, I am going to be your guest blogger for this post and give you a tour of my “new” home, which is also Tierney’s “new” studio.

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Mikelet and I in our cozy basket where we hang out in the “new” studio

But first, in case you are new to this blog, my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (i.e. when Tierney fell off the blogging-wagon) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

Here is what my dog Mikelet and I look like outside our basket (before we were homebound…):

2018-09-14_14-22-38_328We were created by the very, very, very talented Helen of Crawcrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland.

Here I am working from my makeshift desk to bring you this guest blog post:

2018-11-18_05-59-08_264Well enough about me (even though I am very interesting) and let’s get to the tour of Tierney’s “new” studio.

Oh – first I should address why I keep putting the word “new” in quotes. It’s because, as she shared in her previous post, she did not move into the new house she and John were going to buy. Instead they decided to stay at their current house which was pretty much completely packed up except for basic items to stage the house for sale and to live day to day. Her studio had been painted and converted into a bedroom:

7459 S Biloxi Ct Aurora CO-large-025-035-Bedroom-1500x999-72dpiSo when they decided not to buy the new house/not to move, Tierney had to unpack her studio and in unpacking her studio, she decided to reimagine the layout.

So she has sort of created a “new” studio!


tierneycreates Studio Tour

Tierney decided to first bring in the IKEA bookcases she had previously in her home office (she has been a full-time telecommuter for the past 14 years, before I was even a ball of yarn…). From there she figured out with her partner John on the best way to layout the room.

2020-03-26_09-38-25_797Over the next several days she unpacked her boxes (which seemed like they would never end), hung up some art and quilts on the studio wall and found a place for the large design wall her partner John built her.

Here are photos of the completed studio from various angles:

2020-03-30_10-16-31_6072020-04-01_10-55-14_9192020-04-01_10-55-17_6212020-04-01_10-55-23_8762020-04-01_10-55-33_8012020-04-01_10-55-43_9772020-04-01_17-39-50_2062020-04-01_17-40-10_0222020-04-01_17-57-18_230So Tierney is ready to create (she can be tierneycreates again) in her new studio! She is so happy to have her sewing machine unpacked!

She did start making some masks with a filter pocket opening out of recycled oxford shirts yesterday (easy pattern is at www.madeeveryday.com/fabric-face-mask-free-pattern/) .

IMG_20200403_182601_01But she is hoping to start sewing a bit more fun things in the near future than masks…

Oh and I forgot to mention, Tierney did make sure that Mikelet and I have a very prominent and cozy spot in her “new” studio:

2020-04-01_10-55-58_623Which of course should have been her first priority from the beginning of setting up her studio!

A Crafter's Life

Perspective

The dictionary site merriam-webster.com has a fantastic definition of the word Perspective:

the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance

This is the perfect description of what I’ve attempted to do when my partner and I had to make the difficult decision last week to back out of our new house we were having built. So we cancelled the purchase just a couple weeks before closing.

The house was nearly complete and was quite lovely:

2020-03-12_17-22-06_538But due to the current financial crisis (and the hit we took in the stock market, etc.) and the global pandemic/its related uncertainty, it did not feel like the right time to buy the new house or to move, so we decided to stay where we are at for a couple more years.

So we’ve spent the past 5 days unpacking our boxes/containers and settling back into life at our house.

2020-03-27_11-18-11_723I was sad for a brief moment (just a couple tears, not an “ugly cry” or anything) of not getting the new house, but then here is where “perspective” really came in:

  • We already live in a nice neighborhood with neighbors we know and plenty of green spaces to walk about in (while keeping social distancing)
  • We are both employed and are doing great telecommuting together
  • We are both healthy and feel safe
  • Our current home is comfortable and we had fixed up/repaired anything needing repairing before we put it on the market (we took if off the market last week of course)
  • Mike the miniature schnauzer loves his current home

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Keeping “perspective” we realized that the bulleted items above are way more important than getting a brand new house.

In addition to unpacking over the past 5 days, we’ve been re-imaging how our home is decorated and reconfiguring layouts in various rooms. It has been a really fun way to spend our time (when not working at our jobs) when we have been housebound due to the statewide “stay at home” order.

One the big things I did was to unpack my sewing/crafting studio and reconfigure it!

Here is my studio in progress:

2020-03-27_11-17-41_4712020-03-27_11-17-49_0742020-03-27_11-17-59_0142020-03-27_11-18-33_293In my next post I will show you my unpacked and reconfigured studio (or perhaps I’ll have a guest blogger, the tierneycreates Beastie, give you a tour!). My partner built me a new design wall for it!


Postscript

In the suburban section of the Denver metro area in which I live, we are allowed to go outside for exercise during the “stay at home” order. Behind our home are walking trails and we can see families walking or bike riding through the day together. More than I’ve ever seen prior to the pandemic.

I think this pandemic is unbelievably horrible and I am sorry for all the lives and livelihoods lost. If there could be any silver linings in these dark days I think it would be how we seemed to have paused from our busy lives and perhaps shifted our perspectives to what really is important. It seems like many families are spending so much more time together and making the best of it.

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Today during a virtual/video conference call work meeting, our department leader asked what is the first thing we plan to do when the pandemic is over. Most people said go visit a family member or friend we had not seen in person and give them a big hug.

I’ll close this post with an image of the sidewalk art (by some of the kind hearted people of the Denver area) I discovered as I walked my dog the other day.

Remember this always:

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Feature Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash