Special Events, tierneycreates

Artists Teaching Students – Slide Deck Posted

This is a follow up to the post – Artists Teaching Students. As I shared in that post, Beaverton School District in Beaverton, Oregon invited me to participate in their Art Literacy Program – Artist Teaching Students, by working with their Art Literacy Program Coordinator, Cathy Lamb, to create a slide deck presentation for kindergarten to eighth grade students (ages 5 – 14).

The slide deck is now posted on the Beaverton School District’s Art Literacy website:

https://www.beaverton.k12.or.us/departments/student-programs/art-literacy

image credit – Beaverton School District

If you scroll down, past the smiling children image to the Artist Teaching Students Online Lessons and click on the arrow next to the text, it will open access to the artists’ lessons

image credit – Beaverton School District

If you scroll down to Tierney Davis Hogan, you will reach my slide deck:

image credit – Beaverton School District

Here is a sample of the presentation via a couple screenshots:

There are many more slides in the actual presentation/slide deck on the Beaverton School District Art Literacy Program website including a slide with my (terrible) 5th Grade school photo!

Here is the link again if you want to check out the full presentation:

https://www.beaverton.k12.or.us/departments/student-programs/art-literacy

You’ll have to see the full presentation if you want to check out awkward 11 year old Tierney (I was years from becoming the babe I became at 19 – 20 years old when I met my late husband Terry while I was in nursing school, ha!).

I have to give most of the credit for the awesome slide deck to the work of the wonderful Beaverton School District Art Literacy Program Coordinator, Cathy Lamb. Cathy and I used Google Sheets to collaborate over the phone to develop the slide deck and Cathy selected most of the quilts/images from my tierneycreates.com site that she thought would fit with the presentation.

I so enjoyed my collaboration with Cathy and how she helped me tailor concepts, such as my overall Artist Statement on my Artist Statement page on tierneycreates.com, and the artist statements for the quilts in the slide deck, into words and concepts that would be meaningful to kids. She had me just talk about how I felt about developing different quilts in plain language and she translated that into text for elementary and middle school students. It was a memorable and poignant conversation.

I hope you get the chance to check out the full presentation on the Beaverton School District Art Literacy website to see Cathy’s amazing work and the results of our collaboration!

I’ve added this to my Textile Adventures page which is a chronological summary of the highlights of my artistic journey to date.


Postscript

After the slide deck was posted, a teacher/advisor at one of the schools (Arts & Communication Magnet Academy, ACMA) in the Beaverton School District reached out to me and invited me to meet with a group of students in the National Art Honors Society (NAHS) via Zoom video call.

So sometime in the near future I will be meeting with students via video to talk about textile art.

The Universe keeps surprising me!

Studio

Peg, Peg, Pegboard

Yup. So much for my plans to do daily postings to my blog. I even asked Mike the Miniature Schnauzer, who guest blog posted on Sunday 2/21/21, to fill in like he did in the post Guest Blogger: Obsession with Making Crocheted Dishcloths, but he was busy napping and still seems irritated over some dishcloth-crocheting-while-riding-in-the-car incident… (I have a hashtag I use on Instagram sometimes for posted pictures of Mike: #miniatureschnauzerfirstworldproblems).

Rulers Gone Awry

This is probably not unusual but as a quilter I have a lot of different rulers and templates. I have the standard cutting rulers and then I have special rulers and templates I’ve collected over the years for various projects (or being lured by a demo at a quilt shop into buying a ruler/template I thought I might need someday!). 

My organization of these rulers and templates was sort of haphazard and irritating to me. I thought that adding pegboard to my crafting studio would help resolve this – so I consulted with my partner John, aka “Mr. Woodworker” and he figured out a solution.

First he installed a floating shelf he built above where the pegboard was to be placed:

Then he cut the pegboard to fit the area of wall; and painted the pegboard to match the wall:

And then he installed the pegboard. Here is my original set up with the pegboard hooks and pegboard baskets were bought:

At first I tried giving tierneycreates Beastie and her dog Mikelet (see series of post Beastie Adventures) their own little balcony on the pegboard wall but they did not like it.

So I moved her to another area on my studio (she will probably do a guest post in the future to show you her new home and other changes to my studio) and repurposed that “balcony”:

The pegboard has been wonderful to organize my commonly used and miscellaneous rulers. For now I still keep my very large rulers (like my 15″ x 15″ ruler) on my cutting table:

“Mr. Woodworker” is building me a new cutting table in the future which will have slots for my large rulers underneath the cutting surface!


Postscript

My friend Dana was inspired by my new pegboard and recently she had her husband install one in her studio!

At first she was going to have the pegboard painted a neutral color like the color of her studio walls, but then she decided she wanted a pop of color:

I think she did an amazing job organizing her pegboard! Thanks to Dana for sharing images of her new pegboard.

A Crafter's Life, From the Archives

From the Archives: “A Beautiful Monday”

I’ve been blogging for over 7 years and throughout 2021 I am going to sporadically share old posts from the 7+ years of blog posts archives.

I lived in Central Oregon for 14 years (and thought I would live the rest of my life until a big life change occurred in December 2018) and somedays I miss it terribly. Here is a post from February 2018 which honors the beauty of my former home – Bend, Oregon; and the wonderful walks/hikes I used to take with my friend Laurie.


A Beautiful Monday

Originally posted February 7, 2018

I do not work on Mondays and this past Monday I went for a lovely hike with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog, Luna along the Deschutes River Trail off of Farewell Bend Park.

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We are having “Sprinter” (Spring-like Winter, yes I totally made that up) in Central Oregon. Monday was in the late 50s to early 60s degrees F (14 – 15 degrees C for my blogging friends outside the US).  It was truly like a sunny blue sky Spring day (minus the Spring foliage).

We had a wonderful hike along the Deschutes River. Luna got to play in the river so she really happy and as a bonus for her and the humans, we ran in the puppy/”mini-me” version of Luna – an adorable Bernese Mountain Dog puppy named Willow.

Well, instead of me telling you about the hike, why don’t I just share photos and let the photos speak for themselves!

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The Deschutes River Trail and Farewell Bend Park connect you back into the Old Mill District, an outdoor shopping and dining area built around an old lumbar mill, hence the name (www.oldmilldistrict.com/about/history/).

Laurie and I got a kick out of the app-based rental bikes parked at the Old Mill. You sign up and pay for the rental using a smartphone app!

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We plan to rent them someday to explore the surrounding area by bike without having to haul our bikes down to the area!

Actually we are planning monthly hikes to explore our town. I have lived in Central Oregon 13 years and there is so much I have not yet explored, or I just want to explore again!

Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Obsession with Making Crocheted Dishcloths

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer who lives with the human Tierney.

I am overdue for a haircut so I currently have the constant “bed-head” look

I was reading Tierney’s posts (yes Miniature Schnauzers can read, duh) and I was wondering how she was going to keep up her current practice of daily posting to her blog (since February 11, 2021).

I guess she’s trying to make up for taking a several week break from blogging…

She was having difficulty getting motivated today and I don’t want to break the streak, so I offered to guest blog for today’s post.

You’ve probably read some of my other previous guest blog posts like The Inpatient Schnauzer: Update on the Granny Square Afghan (Guest Blogger), and Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On; and was highly impressed by how well I write without opposable thumbs, so I suggested to Tierney that I treat you to another sample of my writing.

Aren’t you lucky!

Miniature Schnauzers are very confident in their abilities even if they are sorely in need of a haircut

I thought I would combine discussing a crafting project and me (as it is important that I am one of the main features of this post) for this post.

Obsession with Crocheted Cotton Dishcloths

For years Tierney has a huge stash of cotton yarn that a friend gave her over 20 years ago:

A small sampling of the large stash

Well Tierney decided a couple of months ago that it was time to do something with this stash. She needed new dishcloths in the kitchen, so why not crochet them herself out of her old stash of cotton yarn? Additionally it was a great portable project when in the car or waiting around, etc.

She put together a little zippered bag of yarn, crochet needles and supplies:

She’s been taking this bag everywhere with her, especially on car rides, and I am not sure I like this.

Why? Because when she is the car her primary responsibility is to pet and cuddle me while the car is moving.

Instead, I’ve had to cuddle with the yarn:

Sigh, resorting to cuddling with yarn instead of getting the head rubs I need and deserve

Also she has mocked me with the yarn and placed it on my head while crocheting as if I were some live furry yarn holder!

Absolutely humiliating! (and unacceptable)

Finally, I’d had enough and resorted to just cuddling with the dishcloth she was working on to block her progress and make her re-evaluate her priorities!

Choose me – I am more adorable than a dishcloth!!!!

She did laugh and stop crocheting to love on me (how could she have refused?)

She even had me pose for some selfies in the car with her but as you can see I am still a little perturbed that I was ignored for part of the car ride:

I am sure in time I will emotionally heal.

Oh I should probably close this post with an image of what the washcloths look like completed and you will see on the left one actually in action (wet from being used to washed dishes!)

Wait. I think I hear you all saying that you wished another image of me would close this post. Your wish is granted – here I am finishing up the post. Hopefully my human will get her act together for tomorrow’s post.

And to schedule me for a desperately needed haircut!

Special Events, tierneycreates

Artists Teaching Students

The Universe never fails to surprise me. Last week I received an inquiry through my website/blog from the Program Coordinator for the Art Literacy Program, Beaverton School District, in Beaverton, Oregon.

image from beaverton.k12.or.us

She invited me to participate in the Beaverton School District’s Artists Teaching Students Program by working with her to develop a slide deck to teach students about my art and becoming an artist.

Here is an excerpt from her original inquiry to me:

I coordinate Art Literacy for the Beaverton School District. Art Literacy is a program that brings artists and art lessons to our students. A few of our artists – Faith Ringgold, Monet, Lois Mailou Jones, Romare Bearden, Picasso, Deborah Butterfield, Michelangelo, Grandma Moses, Vermeer, etc. When schools closed in March, I began writing a new curriculum called Artists Teaching Students. I feature local artists and their work, lives, studios, childhoods, etc. through a slide deck. The slide deck is sent out to all of our elementary and middle school students. I wanted to bring art to our kids during a really hard time.

– Program Coordinator Art Literacy, Beaverton School District

If you look at the Beaverton School District Art Literacy page – Art Literacy Beaverton Schools, and scroll down to the section “Artist Teaching Students Online Lessons” you will see examples of the presentations by other artists, geared towards elementary and middle school students, who have participated in this program.

Last evening I worked with the Program Coordinator to draft up a slide deck for the middle school students and she is adapting that for elementary school students. I will share the link to this slide deck in the future once it is complete if you’d like to see my online program for students.

The Program Coordinator does any amazing job developing these decks in collaboration with featured artists.

I am very honored to be invited to participate in this program.

I smile because although I no longer live in Oregon or Washington State, these states keep reaching out to me in some way, whether it is through the City of Seattle inviting me to have a solo show and purchasing my art for their Portable Works Collection; or an Oregon school district reaching out to participate in their Art Literacy program.

A Crafter's Life, From the Archives

From the Archives: “Cabo San Lucas in Black and White”

In my 8th year of blogging I have amassed quite the archive of old blog posts. I will occasionally share from my archives (instead of being productive and writing a new post, ha!)

Across the U.S. many have been hit (or are being hit/still being hit) with a terrible Winter Storm; and I know my friends on the “other side on the pond” are dealing with yucky Winter weather also. Well I thought I’d offer a distraction from the cold and pretend like we are all hanging out in warm Cabo San Lucas sipping out beverages of choice at an outdoor cafe on the beach!

So here is a post from March 2020 and if you like put your bathing suit on and get a “special beverage” from the kitchen to sip on while you read it (smile).


Cabo San Lucas in Black and White

In the middle of February, before the reality of global pandemic became something we would be discussing in our daily conversations, my partner and I went on vacation to Cabo San Lucas.

In my next post I will share stories from our “relaxation vacation experiment” but for this post I will just share some of the photos I took in black & white to continue my ongoing series Life in B&W, in which I pretend I am a photographer (smile).

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Postscript

If you are feeling like: “Why Tierney is this post over? I am still sipping my special beverage and want more virtual warm tropical vacation time!”, here is another post about my trip with more images to temporarily whisk you away from the cold:

The Relaxation Vacation Experiment

Note: I wish in retrospect I had appreciated every moment of “The Relaxation Vacation Experiment”!

Studio

Handmade Spools

My partner John (“Mr. Woodworker”) has been busy in his workshop. In the next several weeks I will have some new improvements to my studio to show you.

For now I thought I would show you that he has taught himself to make wooden spools, which I can use for my decorative ribbon.

He has a special drill-thingie (I guess I could ask him the official name but what would be the fun in that) which he used to create the top and bottom of each spool:

And he attaches the top and bottom discs to an oak dowel to create the spool.

The spools are around 5.5 to 6 inches in height and I think they add a decorative touch to my studio!

Thrift Shop Adventures, tierneycreates

Another Paper Pieced Pincushion & Amazing Thrift Shop Find

Before I begin on the topic of this post, I wanted to send WARM THOUGHTS out to my blogging buddies in Texas and other parts of the U.S. where a winter storm is hitting hard. A recent post by @Sleepy Beagle will give you some perspective – Day 4 Still Rolling.


Another Paper Pieced Pincushion

Well after making the paper pieced (foundation piecing) pincushion I discussed in the post Paper Pieced Pincushion, I decided to make another pincushion, this time for my friend Dana who had sent me the incredible quilt I shared in my previous post Mind Blowing Mail.

Dana loves fabric by the designer Tula Pink (you can see some of her Tula Pink fabric adventures in my series of posts – Tula Time!, and she even attended a retreat with Tula Pink herself!). I decided to make her a pincushion, as part of a “thank you” package, with some scraps of Tula Pink’s All Stars fabric line I had in my stash.

Instead of canvas for the background, I used recycled denim as I thought it would go nicely with the colors and designs in the Tula Pink fabric.

It was actually easier working with the denim for the paper piecing instead of the heavy weight canvas scraps I had used in the tote bags I made (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags ).

Amazing Thrift Shop Find

Oh and speaking of the fabric designer Tula Pink, do you see that fabric underneath the pincushion in the image above? Well it was part of an amazing thrift shop score from a couple weeks ago. I gave Dana a little bit of the huge stash of Tula Pink’s Homemade fabric line fabric I discovered at a thrift shop.

image credit: tulapink.com

All the fabric was in brand new condition!

There was about 12 – 14 yards of fabric in total spread out in three package bundles for $4.99 each and I bought them all.

I cannot believe this find! For now I have the fabric packaged up and put away for a future project:

So as I close this post I just wanted to mention that I know I’ve been posting a lot (well every day) since I returned to blogging, but I have a lot to catch you up on (smile).

A Crafter's Life

Mind Blowing Mail

A couple weeks ago an amazing surprise came in the mail from my friend Dana – a quilt!

Not just any quilt, but a quilt I’ve been watching her make via her Instagram posts (@chambersdalix) for a couple months – the Nova Star Quilt pattern by Then Came June, using amazing fabrics from Rifle Paper Co.’s Primera Citrus Collection.

Here are some screen shot images from her Instagram posts while she participated in an online quilt-a-long (QAL) for this pattern:

All the lovely photography above is by @chambersdalix.

So for many weeks I’d been following this amazing quilt progress on Instagram and little did I know it would be coming to my house someday.

Dana mentioned she was sending me a surprise (I thought it might be fabric scraps from this quilt as I’d been drooling over it) so I knew I was getting a package, but I nearly fainted when it arrived.

Actually I teasingly accused Dana of “attempted murder” since I nearly fainted dead when I opened the box!

Dana also sent me a beautiful handmade card with the quilt!

I hung it in my home office/upstairs guest bedroom so I can look at it every day. Feeling very loved!

We stitch together quilts of meaning to keep us warm and safe, with whatever patches of beauty and utility we have on hand.
― Anne Lamott

Knit and Crochet Away!

My First Knitted Hat

I was looking through my old Google photos this morning looking for some photos for a project I’ve been invited to participate on with a school district (I will share more in a later post).

While browsing my old photos on Google (I no longer use Google, I use Amazon Photos for photo storage) I came across photos from December 2011 of the first hat I knitted!

It was a very big deal for me to learn how to knit a hat. My friend Pam in Central Oregon taught me how to knit a hat. I felt like I was a “knitting bad *ss” because I could now make my own hat!

Here are the images I found from 9+ years ago; and you will see I had braces at the time and I had just started growing my locs.

I was so proud of that hat and myself for actually knitting a hat. Eventually I learned to make hats a bit longer for the shape of my head.

Unfortunately the hat got washed and dried in the dryer (long story but it involved not taking the hat out of my pocket when I put a sweatshirt in the wash…) and it FELTED (frown). So that was the end of this hat which had become a tightly felted child hat in the dryer!

But I’ve made 11+ more hats (actually I’ve lost count) since my first hat, for myself and for family and friends. Yes the same pattern – a rolled brim hat.

In case you are interested in this very basic pattern, I did find a similar pattern online on Ravelry: Basic Roll Brim Beanie.

But warning: DO NOT LAUNDER AND PUT IN THE DRYER your completed creation!

A Crafter's Life, From the Archives

Valentines (re-post)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I thought in honor of this day, and how far my life has come in a couple of years, I would re-post this Valentine’s Day post from February 14, 2019. This post was also featured, at the end of February 2019, on author Marie Bostwick’s blog: Coping With Grief by Helping Others.

I am in my 8th year of blogging and I have a large catalogue of archived posts and going forward I am going to occasionally share from the archives.


Valentines

A little less than a week ago I began having quite a bit of anxiety over how I was going to face my first Valentine’s Day without my Valentine. In December 2018 my husband Terry suddenly passed away. I’ve been with Terry more than 1/2 my life and we’ve never been apart on Valentine’s Day.

I was anticipating a painful day on February 14th, completely stricken my grief, perhaps not even able to get out of bed.

In the middle of my anticipatory grieving anxiety, I suddenly realized that doing something for others might be the solution to dealing with Valentine’s Day.

For the past 5 weeks I’ve been in a difficult but awesome Spousal Loss Grief Support Group that meets weekly. It suddenly hit me that all the widows and widowers in the grief support group with me were facing the same dilemma of their first Valentine’s Day without their Valentines.

So why don’t I invite them all the be my Valentines?

And that is just what I did.

For My Valentines

For the men in my grief support group:

Terry’s favorite cookies were the Molasses Crinkle Cookies that I loved to make. I’ve done little cooking and no baking since he passed so it was a pretty big thing to open my cookbook and actually bake something.

I made a huge batch of these cookies and it felt good to bake again, so good that I actually experienced a sweet moment of joy as I assembled the ingredients.

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I put the cookies in a basket and included little sandwich bags for them to take as many as they wanted home.

For the women in my grief support group:

I gave them each little wallets. If you are new to my blog here is a post about the little wallets I made a zillion of since I first became obsessed with them – “Little Wallet Madness” . If you are not new to my blog then you know all about little wallets and some of you own some of my little wallets you won in my blog anniversary drawings!

For the group facilitator:

I gave her a set of my little heart pillows, as she has been helping us heal our hearts.

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I then made “Oregon Healing Hearts” valentines using my circle punch and heart punch from my card marking supplies with Oregon/outdoor themed colored papers:

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People had the option of an “Oregon Healing Heart” with a dog in the middle of the heart (as I consider dogs healing) or a plain heart:

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Here is the whole set up I surprised them with earlier this week at our weekly Spousal Loss Grief Support Group:

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I think it went over pretty well. The facilitator let me present them at the start of our support group meeting.

The men were willing to share their cookies and both the men and women got to take home some cookies if they wanted. There was laughter, smiles and hugs despite the difficult topics we discussed at that support group session.

Feeling at Peace

Today is Valentine’s Day and I feel at peace. I think it is because I stepped outside of myself and my grief and thought of others for a moment.

Day and night wallowing in my grief was not working for me, even if everyone expected and supported it. I had to try something else. That’s where my grief group came in, my unexpected valentines.

Grieving is hard work, maybe the hardest work I’ve ever done. It’s definitely a hobby I don’t recommend for anybody.  But, if you’re suddenly find yourself a member of the club that no one ever wants to join, find a grief group. Part of what I have learned from this experience is, don’t try to go it alone.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Feature Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash

tierneycreates

Paper Pieced Pincushion

Now how’s that for alliteration for a post title?

I mentioned in my post What I Did During My Blogging Vacation, that recently I’d been reading lots of crafting books to include Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi.

Patchwork Please!: Colorful Zakka Projects to Stitch and Give - Takahashi, Ayumi

I am OBSESSED with the adorable pincushions on the front cover of this book. The pincushions are made from fabric scraps (a plus!) but they are (foundation) PAPER PIECED (a minus).

Here is how I feel about FOUNDATION paper piecing (not English Paper Piecing like fun type with hexies, but the other paper piecing):

If you are bad in life and go to the “Underworld” when you die, as your punishment you will be made to do foundation paper piecing all day (so live a good life as that is way too terrible an eternal torture)…

Did I mention I do not like foundation paper piecing?

But I really want to make the pin cushion, so I put my “big girl panties on” and proceeded with the pattern.

I had fun rifling through my modern prints fabric scraps to find some coordinated scraps as well as some interesting selvage pieces for the sides of the pin cushion:

After watching a tutorial on foundation paper piecing, and rewinding like 100 times (okay maybe a little less) to learn every nuance of the torturous technique, I successfully paper pieced the top of the pincushion:

And voila – a pincushion was born!

I used leftover bits of canvas from making tote bags (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags) as the background fabric for the top of the pincushion. I loved making the fabric covered button for the pincushion – I think it is adorable!

As much as I wanted to keep it, I decided to send it as a surprise to my friend Wendy (the one who wrote the series of posts last year as a guest blogger on the Quarantine Quilt she made with her neighbors 4 boys ages 2 – 8 – Quarantine Quilts).

She sent me a photo of the pincushion in it’s new home in her sewing room:

A Crafter's Life

Another Card Making Playdate

I mentioned in yesterday’s post (What I Did During My Blogging Vacation) that my friend Michele and I got together last Friday to discuss the book City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty and to make greeting cards like we did a couple of months ago (see post Card Making Playdate).

Since the City of Brass takes place in the 18th century Middle East, I made a Middle Eastern themed lunch for us of tabouli, hummus, fruits, pistachios, dates and goat cheese drizzled with honey, and pita bread:

It was a nice lunch break during a day of paper-crafting together.

We made around 10 cards each. Here are some of the cards Michele made:

Here are the cards I made:

Many of the card stock was in darker colors which would be challenging to write in with regular pens so we added glued at the edge white copy paper into the middle of each card for ease of correspondence:

At the end of our card making day we headed out to meet up with Michele’s husband for dinner at a favorite Italian restaurant but not before my partner John made us some pre-dinner cocktails to celebrate all our productive day of card making!

And by the way, we only had one cocktail each in case you were curious – I photographed our individual cocktails together – ha!

I forgot to mention – when we discussed the we read in our private book group (see post Virtual Book Clubs) during our card making playdate, Michele gave the book City of Brass 3-stars and I gave it 4-stars. Just in case you are curious.

Next card making playdate, which will be at Michele’s house, we will discuss The Guest List by Lucy Foley.


Postscript

I’ve been catching up slowly on some of the blogs I follow and I was reminded how awesome the blog is of one of my blogging buddy Georgiana – Readers’ High TeaShe does a wonderful job of sharing her reviews of books, primarily contemporary fiction, and I now have a long list of what I want to read! 

If you are looking for ideas of what to read next, check out her blog.

A Crafter Needs to Eat, A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

What I Did During My Blogging Vacation

I’ve been on hiatus from blogging for a couple weeks to temporarily remove any “artificial” obligations in my life in order to have some time to “reset”.

Now feeling “reset”, I thought I would jump back into blogging with a little essay “primary/elementary” school style like the infamous “What I Did on My Summer Vacation“.

By the way I was not hanging out with the fabulous looking women at the beach during my hiatus, like those in the feature photo of this post (photo by Vitae London on Unsplash), I just thought it was a fun beach photo to use in the middle of semi-freezing winter in Denver!

Okay so now it is time to imagine me standing in front of our 4th grade class presenting this essay below (and perhaps my parents helped me make a slide deck for my images/photos)…

READING

Listening to audiobooks and turning the pages of actual physical books, I’ve done a lot of reading during the past several weeks.

I’ve finished the book City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, that I read for my virtual book club with my friend Michele (see post Virtual Book Clubs):

city-of-brass
image credit – Kirkus Review

Last Friday Michele and I had another card-making playdate like the one I shared in the post Card Making Playdate from last October and discussed City of Brass. In tomorrow’s post (why yes, I am going to now post frequently…hope you don’t grow tired of me) I will share what we made.

I recently finished the next book in our “Virtual Book Group” (but wait is it “virtual” if we are meeting in person, socially distancing of course, to discuss the book?) and it was quite the awesome page turnerThe Guest List by Lucy Foley:

The Guest List
image credit – Publishers Weekly

It’s been a long time since I’ve read (actually I listened to the audiobook) the kind of book I absolutely could not put down. If you’d like to read a synopsis of the book – here is the link to the one on Publishers Weekly (no worries, there are no spoilers) – The Guest List.

Currently I am listening to an excellent (so far) Science Fiction/space novel – To Sleep Under a Sea of Stars by Christoper Paolini. I love it so much I’ve already bought the hard copy of the book as my library loan of the audiobook is about to expire and there are a zillion other library patrons waiting in line to listen to it next.

Image result for to sleep in a sea of stars
image credit – Paolini.net

It not just fiction books I’ve been inhaling, I’ve also read several new crafting books I picked up over the past couple of months.

I’ve been obsessed lately with making non-quilt items such as tote bags (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags) and pincushions (a future post); and love my new book by Ayumi Takahashi – Patchwork Please which features lots of fun things to make:

Patchwork Please!: Colorful Zakka Projects to Stitch and Give - Takahashi, Ayumi
image credit – amazon.com

I am sort of obsessed with “zakka” and Japanese author craft patterns. I love the aesthetics of their designs as well as the function. Here are many of the books in my home library collection of Japanese author craft patterns:

COOKING

For a while in the Denver metro area, our restaurants closed down again to inside dining during the pandemic. Finally they opened to 25% capacity and now I think they are starting to reopen to even 50% capacity (or perhaps I am hallucinating at this point as I have complete pandemic fatigue at this point).

While they were closed again, like in the early days of the pandemic, we tried to make fun meals at home and not get home cooking fatigue. Here are a couple photos of the delicious meals my partner John (a very good cook who used to actually cook professionally) and I made.

Delicious Irish Stew and Homemade Biscuits

Salmon Fried Rice

Nachos!

Pizza (with dough made from “scratch”)

Orzo Pasta Salad

Are you hungry yet?

One of my favorites that I could not locate easily locate a photo for was the handmade gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce and scallops that John made one night. I thought I was at a high-end restaurant!

Yes, I will not lie, I had packed on a couple “pandemic pounds” from all this good eating, but we do not eat like this every night. We do try and have salads for dinner a couple nights a week.

WALKING

To combat the effects of all those delicious home cooked meals, I’ve been going on a lot of very long walks. It is always a great way to listening to my audiobooks. Most of the times I take Mike my Miniature Schnauzer with me but many times I just go walking alone (then I do not have to stop for the “frequent signing in on bushes” that Mike loves to do on his walk).

Here are a couple Black & White images I took on a wintry walk, in which someone had left a found glove on a branch for its owner to hopefully someday find. I got a kick out of the “composition” in the stark landscape created by the glove.

If you enjoy B&W images, I do have a series of posts where I feature B&W images – Life in B&W.

In case you are wondering – either the glove blew away or was reunited with its partner by the owner as the next day it was gone.

REFLECTING

During my break from blogging, I spent a lot of time reflecting and trying to figure out my life. As many of you know, I am in my second year of widowhood caused by the very sudden and very expected death of my life partner, Terry the Quilting Husband (see post Remembering Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)).

I’d been with Terry since I was in my early 20s and I am now on a journey to “reinvent” myself in my middle years of life as “Tierney minus Terry”, after what seems like a lifetime of “Tierney +Terry”.

In previous posts, I’ve discussed re-opening my tierneycreates Etsy shop and my original plan when I took a hiatus from blogging was to start blogging again in about a month when I was ready to re-open my Etsy shop.

Over the past several months, I’ve made a lot of items in preparation to re-open the shop but still could not move forward with re-opening the shop. I was struggling to figure out what the big block was for me.

Then while looking at some old photos on my Google Photos account which I rarely use, I found an old image of the joint tierneycreates business card Terry and I had together when he was helping me with my Etsy shop. He was listed as a “Maker” on my Etsy shop as he helped me with many of the items I produced by cutting out patterns and doing preliminary sewing, especially on items like Miniature Kimonos, which were very popular on my shop.

I realized that my tierneycreates Etsy shop is just too closely tied to memories of crafting with Terry and I am just not ready.

Part of my “widowhood journey” is trying to figure out what to do with what is basically a lifetime’s worth of memories with someone who is now gone.

After losing your spouse you are expected to go on with your life but what do you do with all those memories (and mementos) of a life previously lived? I think that is the $64,000 Question which I have yet to answer for myself (I’ve done a lot of reading on grief and the answers of other people’s journey but I still have to find my own answer).

But I have figured out that unless it is something critical, not push myself to do anything I am not ready to do, even if it seems like a good thing to do (like re-opening my Etsy shop).

(The above images are of Terry, Sassy, who passed in Dec 2017 a year before Terry, and I vacationing in Cannon Beach, Oregon; and of Terry modeling a quilt he helped me make)

CRAFTING

There’s been a whole lot of crafting over the past couple of weeks. I’ve found a lot of peace in making things. I feel very lucky to be a “Maker”.

Many of the items I’ve shared on my tierneycreates Instagram account but many I have not. I am going to save a discussion of what I’ve been working on for future blogs posts but I will share that I’ve been making more tote bags like I discussed in the post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags.

Here are some of my latest tote bags:

I look forward to diving into more about what I’ve been making in my future posts!

WAKE UP, THE ESSAY IS FINALLY OVER!

So that concludes my essay and I can safely assume the whole class is asleep now at their desks!

Oh wait, I see the teacher is also asleep at their desk! Maybe I won’t get a “A” on this presentation…

Photo by Matheus Farias on Unsplash

Postscript

Just a quick follow up to my post Redesigning my logo. I decided not to change my logo at this time and just figure it out at a later date.