A Crafter's Life

Taking a Break

Hello dear blogging buddies and blog followers,

I so appreciate you reading my posts and following my blog.

For a while I’ve been struggling with intense sadness related to the passing of Terry the Quilting Husband on 12/13/18, things happening in my country (the U.S.) over the past year, all the deaths and horrors of the global pandemic; and most recently the icky icky icky stuff going on in Washington DC (and around my country) post the national election in November 2020.

I am mentally exhausted and need to reboot for a while and I am putting on hold any non essential activities to focus on caring for my psyche. I plan to just focus on making things in my studio.

I had slowed down on posting for a while and found that as much as I wanted to, I did not have the energy to keep up with reading all the blogs I follow (as awesome as they might be).

So I am going to be on hiatus from blogging for a while, not posting or reading posts.

In case you are curious, as far as my plans on the tierneycreates Etsy shop, I realize I do not have the energy right now to reopen it but I am going to keep making things for the day I do (which will likely coincide with when I return to blogging).

I decided to write this post as I did not want you to think I fell off the face of the earth, and to thank you for reading and commenting, I so appreciate you all. I will still be occasionally on Instagram (@tierneycreates) sharing my creations.

A friend recently sent me this wonderful card which helped me realize perhaps I need to take a break from anything providing additional burden during this time, giving myself some “grace”.

Take care of yourselves and I wish you all grace until we meet again in the blogosphere.

Best Regards and Virtual Hugs,

Tierney

tierneycreates

Redesigning my logo

I decided it was time to redesign my tierneycreates logo which I had created originally back in 2013 when I first began blogging:

This time I wanted to do something more “organic”.

I’ve been addicted to the game/app Words with Friends for years and I play online Scrabble daily with friends such as my friend Kathy and my partner John:

Yup I lost in the game above.

I loved Scrabble since I was a kid. I actually have a collection of Scrabble letter collected from old games I picked up from garage sales or just the letters themselves.

I’ve crafted with them in the past making refrigerator magnet gifts with friends’ names done in Scrabble letters.

Also recently my partner John made me a photo platform to use for photographing items for my tierneycreates Etsy shop (which I hope to re-open this year). Combined with my new Ring Light (which I am still learning to use) I hope I will have decent photos for my Etsy listings!

So I came up with the idea of spelling out my company name (tierneycreates) with my tagline (a fusion of textiles and smiles) in Scrabble letters, and adding some textiles!

For the “textiles” I dug into my basket of fabric scrap strings:

Here is the photo shoot:

Here are two version of the resulting new logo I am thinking of trying out (and if you can’t tell any difference don’t worry it is subtle – they are each cropped slightly differently):

It’s definitely “organic”!

So what do you think? Does it look like I was Drinking While Designing (a “DWD”) a logo?

Beastie Adventures, Studio

“From the Cutting Table”: Update to tierneycreates Studio (Guest Blogger)

It’s been a while since I guest blogged. Hi there – it’s tierneycreates Beastie and I wanted to share some changes to my home (Tierney’s studio).

I’ve titled my post “From the Cutting Table…” because my dog Mikelet and I now live on the cutting table in Tierney’s studio:

 In case you are new to this blog, here is a little background on me:

My name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. I was made by Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland. 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 the human Tierney falls off the blogging-wagon and I have to help) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

I like the cutting table, I have plenty of room and it is not too scary like it was when Tierney had me next to all those creepy giant schnauzers (see January 2020 post Guest Blogger: What the heck is going on here?)

Can you see the look of sheer terror in my eyes??!?!

Whew, glad those days are over! Oh you might wonder what became of my fiancé John Beastie (see post Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom), well he spends most of his time in John the Human’s office downstairs. Tierney and John Human feel it is best not to let a couple of Beasties spend too much time together as mischief is certain to happen! (Just wait until we get married, they’ll never keep us apart!!!)

Here we are in July 2020 celebrating our engagement

Oh I think I am getting off track on my post…

So yes my dog Mikelet and I spend most of our time on the cutting board in Tierney’s studio and we like it, though I have to keep an eye on Mikelet because sometimes he plays in the pincushion and I think that might be dangerous.

By the way my maker Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties made me my own sewing machine so I could help Tierney sew projects and once I figure out how to use it maybe I will have a guest post about my projects instead of Tierney’s!

Now what I was I originally planning to tell you? Beasties are easy distracted. Oh yes, I wanted to tell you about a recent change to my home the tierneycreates Studio.

John, Human John not Beastie John, Tierney’s partner, recently made an ironing board table for the studio. Before the new ironing board table, Tierney was using a traditional ironing board and iron.

What started this change was for Christmas John got Tierney a cordless iron:

Perhaps you wanted to see a full image of the iron but isn’t the iron much cuter with me in front of it?!!?!?

Okay here is the iron:

Image from Amazon.com

Now that Tierney had cordless iron she had more flexibility on where her iron could be located, so John (again I mean Human John as Beastie John could not have handled the tools involved which are bigger than him…) built her a 2 foot by 4 foot ironing table for her studio.

First John cut a piece of plywood the same size as the table base being used (an old counter height folding table). Then John and Tierney wrapped and stapled four (4) layers onto the plywood base:

  • Batting
  • Insul-Brite heat resistant batting
  • Heat resistant fabric (like the type used for old ironing board covers)
  • Cotton fabric

Tierney is really pleased with her new ironing table and she used it while making all those tote bags she talked about in her recent post (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags).

So that is the big change to the studio.

Somedays I get tired of the studio and miss the days when I used to go on adventures with Tierney. The pandemic has slowed down my adventures. Tierney promises that soon we will resume our adventures, I just need to be patient.

For now Mikelet and I will wistfully stare out the studio window…


Postscript

I am going to close this guest post by sharing a secret: Tierney is sort of a slob in her studio.

Look at these mini Toblerone candy bar wrappers she left on the cutting table!

I caught Mikelet sniffing them, luckily there was no candy in them as chocolate is bad for dogs.

I hope she will be more respectful of my space and clean up her wrappers!

Studio, tierneycreates

Tote, Tote, Tote Bags

Yes there are a lot of very strange things going on in my country (U.S.) but I am only going to write about making tote bags.

Lots of tote bags…

It began with making a Christmas gift for one of my partner John’s son for Christmas who is very eco-conscious:

Next came a gift for our friends we golf with (in warmer weather) with some golf themed fabric I found in my stash:

Next came a craft beer themed tote bag for another friend for a New Years gift (more novelty fabric from my stash):

Most recently (couple days ago), I decided to experiment with more “artsy” fabric instead of novelty fabric and made this tote bag:

Here is one side of the tote bag:

And here is the other:

I’ve actually made a total of 6 tote bags since I began my tote bag making obsession in early December (2 of them are repeats of ones I shared above).

I am currently taking a break from tote bag making and moved on to other projects but I plan to make a fresh batch of tote bags in a couple weeks, this time for my (to be reopened sometime this winter I think) tierneycreates Etsy shop.

Each tote bag, except the first one I made, is lined with canvas drop cloth (yes the kind you use when painting to protect surfaces) from a home improvement store:

image credit: Home Depot

The canvas drop cloth (which I pre-wash before using), gives the tote bag a nice structure and is less expensive than buying canvas fabric from a fabric store.


Postscript

Here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer riding through another home improvement store to pick up supplies for our next home remodeling project and some canvas drop cloth for more tote bags!

Addendum: I just realized from one of the comments, that Mike technically IN A TOTE BAG himself in the images above (smile)! He’s “tote-able”!

A Crafter Needs to Eat

December, Christmas and “Bombs”

December was challenging for me but I stayed busy with crafting and reading. I will share those crafts in future posts.

I wanted to share some of the positive highlights of December now that this month is over and it is time to start a New Year!

Furniture Shopping with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer

Mid month we went to a furniture store to look for a new loveseat for the front room. The furniture store had a sign on the front “No Dogs Allowed”. But they did not say: “No Dogs in Backpacks Allowed”!

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We waited for one of the many furniture salespeople to approach us about our dog in a backpack but instead they asked if they could pet Mike. 

Mike might be the first “Furniture Shopping Support” dog!

We did not end up buying a loveseat for the front room (looking at the prices we decided we would just make work what we have for now) but we did buy the clock in the photo above!

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After furniture shopping (and clock purchasing), we stopped at Starbucks and Mike got his first Puppuccino

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Christmas and Bombs (Hot Chocolate Bombs)

We had fun celebrating Christmas with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer and my partner John’s immediate family that live in the Denver metro area. Unfortunately one of his son’s could not come visit from California because of the pandemic. (We were supposed to go to the East Coast and spend Christmas with my family but the pandemic made us make the difficult decision to cancel those plans).

Here is my partner’s darling wonderful granddaughter enjoying some of her stocking stuffers (I went crazy shopping for them and over did it I am sure) while watching a Christmas movie, over our house at Christmas:

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John and I wanted to do something special for Christmas and kept hearing about “Hot Chocolate Bombs“. We bought a couple silicon molds and followed the recipes and directions from this page – The BEST Hot Chocolate Bombs.

No one would buy Hot Chocolate Bombs from us (because they looked like a “hot mess”) but we had so much fun making them on Christmas morning:

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Our Christmas dinner guests (my partner’s son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter) had so much fun pouring steaming hot milk over their hot chocolate bombs and watching them “explode” into hot chocolate.

Here’s a video courtesy of YouTube that demonstrates what happens when hot milk meets a bomb!

We made basic Hot Chocolate Bombs and maybe next Christmas we will experiment with more complicated recipes such as Salted Caramel!

I’ll close this post with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer on Christmas looking cute in Christmas ribbon:

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Postscript

Hey – 2020 is OVER!

Wish you all a VERY HAPPY 2021!

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Photo by Moritz Knöringer on Unsplash