A Crafter's Life, Special Events

Oh Orlando

Thank goodness the tierneycreates Beastie did a post on April 13th (Guest Blogger: Updated Tour of Beastie’s Home), otherwise I’d be many weeks without a post to my blog!

We been “on holiday” and have had several sets of visitors (as well as more to come over the next several months). You give people vaccines and they just go crazy – ha! (Speaking of vaccine, we did get our one dose Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine at the beginning on April – yay!!!!)

So now it’s back to some blogging for me and I was torn between first catching up on reading my blogging buddies posts from the past several weeks versus writing a post myself. But if I don’t go ahead and start writing posts it well it might be a couple more weeks before you hear from me (smile).

OH ORLANDO (FLORIDA)

Not sure why I added the “oh” in front of “Orlando” but I do love alliteration in blog post titles (one of the small pleasures in life).

On April 9th my partner John and I headed to Orlando, Florida for a 4 day vacation which included a visit to Universal Studios Florida.

Here we are in the obligatory photo in front of the Universal Studios Theme Park globe:

I am a notoriously bad group selfie photo taker but at least 75% or so of John’s head got in the photo!

Why Orlando? Well in my March 14th post Outstanding Blogger Award (and snow) I wrote:

Tierney here, writing to you from the “Snowpocalypse” in Colorado, buried under quite a bit of snow. Any of my blogging friends live in Florida or anywhere warm? May I move in with you? 

Well none of you invited me to come live with you in Florida (ha); somehow I got Florida stuck in my mind (warm, sun, no snow); and I read an article somewhere that that Orlando theme parks had excellent COVID protocols.

In retrospect I think I would have enjoyed visiting a Florida coastal town and enjoying the beach but I’ll save that for my next trip to Florida.

When we first arrived at the Universal Studios Resort area which a shopping and eatery area before you get to the theme park entrance, we were very naughty and began our day with a Voodoo Donuts treat:

I had a crazy sugar rush after my exceptionally delicious jelly donut but I worked it off (and hopefully the 10,000 calories) from walking 13,000+ steps per my phone around Universal Studios theme park.

We went on a Monday and were surprised how many people were there. The lines were long to get on each attraction because they had COVID protocols and could not fill each line. We also discovered we were there during a “Spring Break” time (we thought we had bypassed “Spring Break”).

We did not go on as many rides as we planned but here were our favorites:

The Bourne Stuntacular

I could not take any photos but it was based on the Jason Bourne movies and was a mind blowing mix of live action and 3D effects. Definitely worth seeing.

Transformers 3D

I screamed the entire ride as the 3D was super realistic and I thought I was actually plummeting down a skyscraper!

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

This ride was so fun as it was a virtual race through NYC and being a native New Yorker (grew up in Long Island and Update NY), I’ve spent a lot of time in NYC (pre-COVID my sister and I would go a “girls trip” at least once a year there).

Note: none of the rides allowed you to take photos in the actual ride, so any photos I am sharing are from the attraction’s wait queue line or the front of the attraction.

The Fast & Furious Ride

I’ve see all the Fast and Furious franchise movies and the ride itself was an amazing 3D experience but what was really amazing was the extremely detailed recreation of the garage from the movies where the built and services their racing high performance cars. We really enjoyed waiting on/moving through the line on this attraction and seeing the recreation of the garage.

In addition to going on rides, we also went to Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was pretty amazing and if I’d been a kid currently reading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling it would have blown my mind.

You can look at the images on the link I provided above and I am just going to share some of my favorite things from Diagon Alley:

Books that can eat you from the bookshop:

And Self-Knitting Needles (wouldn’t that save a lot of time!):

In addition to Universal Studios we stayed in Orlando near a collection of shops, restaurants and attractions called Icon Park. We ate several meals at restaurants at this park and had an especially memorial and delicious meal of paella at Tapa del Toro which also featured flamingo dancers while you ate.

It was a lot of paella and luckily our hotel room had a refrigerator and microwave so we could enjoy our leftovers the next day. John did go golfing with his colleague who lives in the Orlando area one morning while I binged watched a Netflix show (you got to have some downtime/chill out time on vacation).

So that was our Orlando trip, more stories of recent adventures (and even some about crafting) to come!

Beastie Adventures, From the Woodshop, Studio

Guest Blogger: Updated Tour of Beastie’s Home

Tierney is on vacation and she’ll tell you about her trip when she gets back. So I am going to step in and be the guest blogger so she does not go too long without having a new post on her blog (I know, I know, I am so awesome for helping her!).

Oh in case you are new to this blog: 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.

A photo from last year of me writing a guest blog post

When I am not guest blogger posting, then Mike the Miniature Schnauzer has to guest blog post:

Someone else Tierney uses to do her work: Mike reviewing the draft of his guest post before posting…

Oh and now the subject of this post (which is not to just show how Tierney falls of the blogging wagon and we have to rescue her…) – I wanted to show you the recent updates to my home, which is also Tierney’s crafting studio.

Tierney’s partner John (human John, not to be confused with my Beastie fiancé “John Beastie”, see post Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom) has been busy in his Woodshop making things for her studio.

MY NEW “HIGH RISE

Human John built Tierney a storage unit for her fat quarter collection and fabric scraps which she keeps in wine crates:

“Beastie Towers”

My dog Mikelet and I live on the “second floor”:

IRONING (AND CUTTING) TABLE

Human John also built Tierney a table with shelves for her new large iron board he made her (see post “From the Cutting Table”: Update to tierneycreates Studio (Guest Blogger)) a couple months ago. She stores her rulers in there as well as miscellaneous sewing supplies:

She’s also been known to store a Miniature Schnauzer in there:

THE TABLE

Last year from her local community board for free stuff, Tierney picked up a large black table to use for crafting. It was scuffed up but it worked:

Tierney was “making-do” with the table and covered up the scuffs with an old table cloth but John wanted her to have a decent looking table in her studio so he created a new tabletop for it! John created a pattern with wood like a “nine-patch” quilting block.

A month ago Tierney bought herself a used Juki sewing machine which is in the image above.

Alas, she did not buy ME another sewing machine, I have to just be happy with my Beastnina:

So those are the changes to my home, the tierneycreates studio!

Tierney will be back on the next post telling you about her trip and she might even catch up with reading her blogging buddies posts and responding to comments.

Until then, here is a sign she saw a couple months ago to give you some inspiration:

From the Archives, Special Events

From the Archives: TRENDS Show Part I & II

I am in my 8th year of blogging and I thought throughout this year I would occasionally and randomly share posts from my 7 years archives. Here are two posts combined into one for this post about attending the EE Schenck’s Trends show in Portland, Oregon in March 2018.

It is quite bittersweet to share this post (and any posts pre-December 2018) as my partner in life and crafting, Terry the Quilting Husband passed on December 2018. But we did not know that was going to happen and we were fully enjoying life together before his unexpected passing.


Trends Show Part I and II

Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate (originally posted March 21, 2018)

They Invited Me So I Went

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I attended EE Schenck’s Trends show this past weekend. This post is part one of my two-part series on my experience at the Spring 2018 Trends show.

I signed up for an EE Schenck wholesale account when I had the tierneycreates Etsy shop and for a brief time thought I would supplement my handmade items sales with some fabric sales.

My ‘adventures in retail” were challenging (see my old post from June 2015,  Adventures in Retail) and I quickly discovered that I greatly disliked cutting yardage and making up fat quarter packs (I believe this is what you have to do all day  in the “Underworld”, if you are bad in life and go there after you die; to me that is a big enough incentive to be good in life!).

I did however meet my lovely quilting friend Martha through one of my Etsy shop fabric sales so I figured that was the good thing that came out of that experience!

Additionally, as I discussed in previous posts, I did not want to compete against “brick & mortar” quilt shops (though absolutely no quilt shop could have been threatened by my meager attempts to sell fabric) and become part of the “online fabric sales world” that threatens our beloved community quilt shops.

I did eventually temporarily close my Etsy shop (it’s been over a year so it has been an extended “temporary” closure) to rethink my strategy and handmade offerings.

My Etsy shop is temporarily closed but EE Schenck still has me listed as a wholesaler and they continue invite me each year to their Spring and Fall Trends show for now.

I attended my first show in September 2016 (see the post Ladies Friendship Circle) and got to hang out with my friend Joan H. as well as the lovely Marie Bostwick (a mutual friend of my friend Joan) and Mary Fons (a friend of Marie’s).

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Mary Fons and Marie Bostwick, Trends September 2016

So when I received the invite from EE Schenck to the Spring Trends show and saw what classes were offered, I asked TTQH if he would like to go to Portland, Oregon for the weekend (it is only a 4 hour drive from my house) and attend Trends.

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image credit: eeschenck.com

Beside the opportunity for a nice weekend getaway to Portland, one of the reasons I attended the Trends show was for a very reasonable price I could take “Take n’ Teach” classes from wonderful authors/teachers/designers such as Latifah SaafirKathy Cardiff, and Jody Houghton.

I was especially excited to take Jody Houghton’s class, Fabric Art Panels, because her work holds a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact I gaze at one of her panels nearly everyday: my very dear friend Judy (who got me into quilting and I consider my “Quilt Momma”) made me this wall hanging a couple years ago from a Jody Houghton panel:

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The Drive to Portland

There are generally two ways to get from Central Oregon to Portland: Santiam Pass or Mount Hood Pass. Until late April (or later) both are at mountain elevations, are ski areas, and both are usually covered in snow. Sometimes the snow is packed on the road and most times until late Spring, chains or traction tires can be required. You always see tractor trailers at the lowest part of the elevation pulled over and putting on their chains to make it through the pass in the late Fall, Winter and early-mid Spring.

We decided to take Santiam Pass to Portland and below are photos from our snowy drive (from inside the car with the windows rolled up). I was glad TTQH was driving! (Actually is wasn’t that bad, we only 30 minutes or so driving on pack snow, the rest of the drive was just wet/snow dusted highway).

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The Unexpected Roommate

Arriving in Portland we first stopped at Powell’s Books, the mega independent bookstore and a mandatory stop so TTQH could load up on more military history books (his other hobby besides quilting).

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Image credit: powells.com

After that we headed to our hotel and checked into our room.

It had been a long drive from Central Oregon to Portland and we had spent a long time in Powell’s books, and I was eager to get into comfy clothes and relax. TTQH was in the bathroom and I was getting undressed and suddenly the door opened to our hotel room and a woman was backing into our room with her suitcase!

I exclaimed: “Hello there!” and startled her as I quickly pulled my pants back up. She was a well dressed congenial woman who graciously stated: “Oops, the woman at the front desk was new and I think she assigned me the wrong room.” We briefly laughed about it (though I was in utter shock and yelled to TTQH not to come out of the bathroom unless he was fully dressed) and she said she would go downstairs and sort it out. She also said she was there for the Trends show so I knew she was likely a quilter/crafter and therefore a wonderful person (in general, crafters are wonderful people – smile)!

Shaken (and feeling rather vulnerable as they obviously we handing out card keys to our room to others!) I immediately called the front desk and told them what happened. I then went down to the front desk in person and requested to have a new card key made up. The front desk staff apologized profusely and got everything fixed. The nice woman who had backed into our room was also there getting things sorted out and we laughed about it again.

When I got back to the room, I had calmed down and TTQH were able to have a laugh about it. I said to TTQH, “Well she seemed nice and I guess she could have slept between us if the hotel is completely out of rooms, ha!”

I figured I would run into the “unexpected roommate” at some point at the Trends show on Saturday and we would have a more relaxed laugh about it.

The Unexpected Teacher

Saturday, September 17th, after the Trends keynote speaker’s, Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction, I headed to the “Take n’ Teach” series of classes, my first class being with Jody Houghton.

And guess who was Jody Houghton? My Unexpected Roommate!!!!

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We had quite the laugh about it when I first arrived at her booth for the class! Jody and I also shared the story with the other class participants who got a laugh out of it too!

Her class was wonderful and we learned how to make quick tote bags using her panels. Here are photos from the class and photos of some of the cool samples she had on display:

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Jody is an absolutely lovely woman and a very talented designer and teacher.

Check out her panels and notions on her Etsy Shop: Sisterhood of Quilters by Jody Houghton Designs. I hope you will support her shop (or convince your local quilt shop to carry her items) as in my opinion she really captures the heart of the friendships and bonds that come from quilting together. I hope I get to connect with her again the future (but perhaps not as an unexpected roommate…ha!).

Speaking of quilting friendships and bonds, you can read my previous series of posts on my Quilting Sisters (Quilting Sisters, Part I and Quilting Sisters, Part II ).

It is sort of like the Universe brought us together – how random that the woman who created the panel in the wallhanging that means so much to me, “broke” into my room!

Next post I will continue with more stories from the Trends show (though none involving potential roommates!)


Postscript

Our first time to Trends in September 2016 we took Mike and Sassy (who passed in December 2017).  TTQH only briefly attend Trends (leaving the dogs in the car outside for 1/2 hour) as he was in charge of the dogs (who did not like to be left in a hotel room alone).

We decided to leave Mike with some fellow schnauzer people and be “child-free” in Portland this time so we could enjoy the weekend together. TTQH was not interested in taking any classes but he had fun wandering around EE Schenck looking for dog themed fabrics and talking to other husbands (usually the husbands of quilt shop owners, etc.) at the show.

Here is a photo of Mike with his schnauzer buddies Chopper and Frieda, taken by their people and texted to us during the weekend so we knew Mike was having a good time. They labeled this photo “The Three Amigos”.

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Trends Show Part II: More Class (originally posted March 24, 2018)

Happy Saturday and here is part two of my two part posts on attending the EE Schenck’s Trends show last weekend in Portland, Oregon.

Alas, in this post there will be no “unexpected roommates” (see Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate ) like the previous post; but for the rest of the show I continued to take two more great “Take n’ Teach” classes – from Latifah Saafir and Kathy Cardiff.

Latifah Saafir: Fear Curves No More

Latifah Saafir is amazing – she is an engineer turned quilt pattern and quilt tool designer based out of Los Angelas, CA. She is a also a great teacher. Check out her website – Latifah Saafir Studios: One Stitch, One Seam, One quilt at a time.

She demonstrated her brilliant method for piecing curves using pieces cut from The Clammy, her giant clamshell maker template. Below are photos from the class (including some yummy fabric she used for her demo):

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Later that day I was fortunate enough to share a shuttle bus ride (EE Schencks provided a free shuttle to and from the hotel to the Trends show) with Latifah and hear more about her transition from scientist to quilting guru!

Kathy Cardiff: Wool Appliqué

Kathy Cardiff is a Washington state based designer, author and teacher who specializes in wool appliqué. Check out her website – The Cottage at Cardiff Farms.

She taught a hands on wool appliqué class in which she prepped our little wool appliqué pieces with fusible backed paper, we just needed to cut the little pieces out to make this (her sample):

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She also prepared templates for us to use to press the pieces together onto freezer paper before peeling them off to place the fabric for the little pillow:

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Her work is amazing, here are so additional photos from the class and her booth:

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She definitely took the fear out of wool appliqué for me like Latifah Saafir took the fear out of curved piecing for me!

Here is my wool appliqué piece currently in progress from the class:

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The funny thing is I’ve had a The Cottage at Cardiff Farms sunflower wool appliqué pillow pattern and supplies for many years but I was too intimidated to get started on it. It no longer seems scary – especially now that I have learned a quick way to put the appliqué pieces together and fuse them!

I told Kathy about the pattern I’ve had for years (purchased at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, OR); she knew which one I referenced and gave me tips after class on how to complete it!

There’s No Place Like Home

We had fun in Portland but I was also happy to return home again. My heart always soars when we drive from the Mount Hood pass area into Central Oregon. It is so interesting how the climate and the landscapes change from Portland to Mount Hood to Central Oregon.

The moment I saw my beloved “high desert” landscape, blue skies and Cascade Mountains everywhere – I knew I was home!

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View from inside the car window before Madras Oregon (still too cold to roll the window down!)

Postscript

Recently I read an article online (oops I do not remember the website) that strongly recommended you do not store your thread out in the open because of dust, etc. In a previous post, Aurifilia, I discussed my beloved collection of AURIfil thread (actually obsession).

Well I decided to take down my mounted thread racks and store my thread collection instead in bins to protect the thread.

So I went from this:

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To this:

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Note the AURIfil is neatly stored in the top 4 containers and the “non-AURIfil” thread is casually strew about in the bottom container – ha!

I also decided to put up more quilted art/gifts from my Quilting Sisters in my Studio.

Here is a quilt made for me a couple years ago by my Quilting Sister Kathy when our group did a quilt exchange:

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I look around my studio and I feel very loved.


Featured image credit – eeschenck.com

Bags Bags Bags, Beastie Adventures

More Adventures in Bag Making

If you read Monday’s post Zip Zip Zippers!, you saw that I now have a lot of zippers for bag making thanks to my generous friend Wendy.

Well I used one of those zippers to make another bag from a pattern by The Netherlands based designer s.o.t.a.k. handmadeBoxy Tool Pouch.

The pattern comes in three sizes and I made the medium sized one:

The fabric is a printed in Japan canvas which I bought years ago because it had a schnauzer in the print:

However I accidentally cut out the schnauzer while making the bag! (Don’t tell Mike my Miniature Schnauzer, ha!)

Here are my supplies to make the bag (minus the ribbon tape I discovered I needed for the side tabs later while working through the pattern):

Here is her YouTube video on making the pouch:

Here are some photos from my bag making process:

In the first of the images above you will see that I am pressing on a sleeve board, which I recently bought online after seeing the pattern designer Svetlana Sotak use it in several of her YouTube videos she has on bag making. It’s one of those things I never knew I needed until I got it!

Here are images of my completed boxy tool pouch:

It did not come out perfect but I was pretty pleased. At least it was not a “Misadventure in Bag Making” (see post Misadventures in Bag Making).

So what to do with the completed pouch?

Well tierneycreates Beastie changed from her Winter wear of her sweater, hat and scarf:

To her Spring wear of her t-shirt:

So I needed a place to store her clothes as well as her accessories:

And now her accoutrements are easily accessible on my bookshelf in my studio!

Next post the tierneycreates Beastie will guest blogger post and tell you about her latest accommodations in my studio as well as some other changes (“Mr. Woodworker” has been busy!)

An awesome find I discovered during a recent thrift shopping adventure and immediately put up on my studio wall!
Bags Bags Bags, Guest Blogger

Zip Zip Zippers!

After reading my posts (Misadventures in Bag Making and If at first you don’t succeed…) my wonderful friend Wendy Hill (IG – @wendyquilter) offered to send me some of her HUGE collection of zippers to support my future adventures (or misadventures, ha!) in bag making. I of course took her up on her offer!

So a couple of weeks some “GOOD MAIL” arrived – a bag of zippers in various sizes from Wendy!

So how did Wendy come to have all these zippers in her stash and what had she done with all these zippers in the past? Well she was kind enough send photos and a summary of the story so I could share with you in this post.


“Zipper Mania” by Wendy Hill (edited by tierneycreates)

Around 2007 I wanted to make things with zipper but they too expensive to even buy used at a thrift store considering how many I needed.

So I put out a request for zippers in the Ruralite Magazine (Western USA, Midstate Electric Co-op) and many zippers arrived to my home!

The smallest package I received: 1 zipper

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And I received many zippers in the mail which I sorted by color into bags – it looked like a spice bazaar!

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I thought of all these zippers as a “material” for my art projects. Here is what I made below.

String piecing using flat zippers

“Autumn Textures” is my favorite. It has been in exhibits.

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I did make several quilts with flat zippers between 2008 and 2011)

Coiled Bowls using half zippers

In the photos below are two different bowls- left zip pulls in as decorative elements)

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3D Art – Zipper Cones –  Sea Anemones

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I have more zipper ideas— but I have not followed up on them in a long time.


Postscript

Thanks to Wendy for sharing her story and art related to her donated zipper collection. And thanks to Wendy for sharing some of her collection with me. I am pretty sure there will be some “GOOD MAIL” in her future when I send her a little something I’ve made with one or two of the zippers she sent me.

Next post I will show you the project I just finished using one of the zippers she sent me – another bag – this time a different pattern by s.o.t.a.k. handmade.

Audiobooks and Podcasts

“Stitch Please” (podcast guest)

You might remember from previous posts such as “Paper Pieced Pincushion” that I am not a huge fan of Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP).

Recently Lisa Woolfork the curator of Black Women Stitch, invited me to comment on my feelings about FPP on her podcast – The Stitch Please Podcast.

If you would like to hear my thoughts on FPP you can listen to them on the latest episode: Paper Piecing: Perfection OR Persecution?

You can find the podcast episode on wherever you get your podcasts (like Apple podcasts) or listen to it on Google podcasts – https://stitchpleasepodcast.com/episodes/paper-piecing-perfection-or-persecution

image credit: the Stitch Please podcast

If you do not want to listen to the entire podcast, you can catch a snippet of what I had to say on a blurb from the podcast episode on my Instagram feed – @tierneycreates.

image credit: screen capture from IG, from Lisa Woolfork

Thanks to Shirley @handmade habit for introducing me to Lisa!