From the Woodshop

From the Woodshop: Barrister Bookcase Liquor Cabinet

While I’ve been busy making endless drawstring/project bags, my partner John has been busy building his first barrister bookcase to replace the shelves in his bar in our downstairs entertainment area.

John has always been handy but he got into woodworking a couple years ago and really started focusing on it during the early days of the COVID pandemic. He also had a section of our basement framed out and removed the carpet to have walls and a door put up to create a workshop for himself (see post From the Woodshop to see how it looked when first built..he has since done a lot of upgrades and added in an air filtration system and sawdust collection system). Part of our basement was rarely used so it was a much better use of the space to make a “studio” for John!

A lot of good things have come out of John’s woodshop such as a remodel to my sewing studio:

Our bedroom dresser:

If you’d like to see posts I did on his projects, see my blog category – From the Woodshop for links to the related posts.

For a quite a while, John has been fascinated with barrister style bookcases. If you’ve never heard of them, here is a little background on them from Apartment Therapy:

This old staple, also referred to as a lawyer’s bookcase, comes in many shapes and sizes. However, all barrister bookcases feature glass panes to protect books and trinkets from dust. I think what I like about them most is that they offer both old-school charm and a sense of regality.

Apartment Therapy.com

Below is an image from the Apartment Therapy article: If You’re Not Using a Barrister Bookcase for Storage, You’re Missing Out

Apartment Therapy.com

John found plans online to create barrister bookcases and taught himself via YouTube videos and online resources how to make them!

Here are photos from his building of the bookcases:

And here are the completed bookcases mounted as his new liquor cabinet in our bar:

To add an extra feature to the bookcases, he installed lights into the first two rows of cabinets:

Here is what they look like with the doors open (the doors lift and glide into the top of their section:

John has curated a nice collection of Whiskeys, Bourbons, Ryes, and Scotches including those he purchased during a Bourbon Tour of Kentucky he went on with his friends a couple years ago. Now he has a nice place to display them!

I tease John that after a while he will run out of things to build and he will just have to build us a new house!

A Crafter's Life

Whiskey Tasting and Coloring?!?!

Back in April after we got our COVID vaccinations and the numbers were starting to significantly decrease, we thought during Autumn 2021 we’d be able to do another Whiskey Tasting party for our friends who enjoy fine spirits such as Scotches, Bourbons, Ryes and Whiskeys.

Perhaps unrealistically hopeful, we scheduled a party for early October.

But as October approached, and the Delta Variant raged, attendees started to cancel for the party; and we realized that a party was not the best idea with the variant raging.

Our friends Michele and Blair who are busy parents, went to great lengths to make attending the party work for their schedules. We wanted to still do something with them that evening. They live on the other side of the Denver Metro area and had planned to stay overnight at our house the night of the party.

So we decided to go ahead and have a small version of the Whiskey Tasting with just Blair and Michele (who we know they have been really excellent with following COVID safe protocols).

A week before this mini-version of the tasting party, my partner John and I had visited the Denver Art Museum (my first visit there, I will do a post on my visit at a later time) and I had picked up a couple mandala coloring pages the museum was offering visitors for free.

So I thought – why not combine Whiskey Tasting and Coloring while we had them captive for the evening!

Everyone was game (or very good sports), I brought out my stash of colored pencils and we each got our own mandala coloring page to work on while tasting various whiskeys. Here are some images from the evening (and we did feed them dinner first before the tasting began!)

The tastings started before we began coloring to get us warmed up:

The men seriously working on coloring their mandalas:

Our completed mandalasthe whiskey tastings did not impair our creativity!

Individual close ups of each of our mandalas:

It was an incredibly fun evening and everyone seemed to enjoy expressing their creativity while sipping on various tasty adult beverages! Plus Blair and Michele got to leave our house the next morning with the art they created (I am sure they ran home and framed them, ha!)

I used to sort of make fun of the “adult coloring/coloring book” trend a couple years ago but then on a whim I bought a collection of “color them yourself” greeting cards at Dudley’s Bookstore when I lived in Bend, Oregon; and some colored pencils and found it to be very soothing and very meditative. (I loved Dudley’s Bookstore in downtown Bend, Oregon and here is a blog post I did on it several years ago honoring independent bookstores – Independent Bookstores (wonderful & magical places))

image credit – zulily.com

Here is a link to an article I enjoyed reading about the benefits of coloring – The Benefits of Adult Coloring: 10 Reasons to Color Yourself to Calm.

We were impressed that we all “stayed within the lines” while coloring and whiskey tasting!


Postscript

Speaking of creativity, Blair and Michele encourage and honor the creativity of their children by the framed art wall/gallery wall they have in their house of their kids’ art. I did a post on this a while back and here is a link to it –An Awesome Way to Display Kid Art!

tierneycreates

Charm Square Wreath

If you are a quilter, and you are trying to figure out what to you with your ridiculous collection of charm squares then I have a project for you (except I have not tried it yet myself).

My friend Judy (the one who originally got me into quilting) came for a visit the other weekend and she brought me this amazing Autumn wreath that she made with 5 inch charm squares:

It looks very delicious in person, the photo does not quite capture it’s yumminess. I love how the stuffed little tubes feel. She made it all from fabric scraps from her scrap pile; and found the wreath frame at the “dollar store”.

I asked her for her instructions and here they are:

Cut 5” square with pinked rotary cutter.  Fold square in half wrong sides together.  See 2 sides.   Stuff.  Sew closed. Tie 12” piece of ribbon with knot to center.  Now tie this to the wired wreath with or without tying around the little “pillow” again   I found tying around the pillow a second time stabilizes it’s placement but it is not always necessary. 

Now I have not made it myself yet. When I do make one I will do a post showing step by step how I created it. I’d like to make one with Christmas fabric scraps.

And in case you’ve never heard of the term “charm squares”, here is a description of them from Robert Kaufman Fabrics:

A classic 5″ square cut, as a pack, perfect for charm quilts, including a variety of colors and/or prints with which to play!

photo credit – Robert Kaufman fabrics

You can buy charm packs of precut 5″ in squares (of which I have way too many in my stash) or you can just make them.

Bags Bags Bags

Three Part “Harmony” and Experimenting with “Mass Production”

I continue with making project/drawstring bags (little obsessed) for my imaginary reopening of my tierneycreates Etsy shop. While making the latest group, I thought I would try something: making them “mass production” style. Okay well small scale mass production style. I would cut all the pieces out, fuse the interfacing, and sew them production style one step at a time.

The first three bags to come out of this experiment was three bags in different sizes (small, medium, large) made from Figo Fabric’s Harmony line, with the word “Harmony” from the selvage stitched onto the bags.

I decided to name this series of three bags – “Three Part Harmony”. Get it? Or perhaps the name is silly but it made me smile. I will sell them as a set on my Etsy shop.

I didn’t have enough of the word “Harmony” in the rest of the fabric’s selvage to continue to stitch it onto the rest of the bags, but I finished them up also “production style”. Here are the rest of the bags in progress:

What I learned from my “mass production” experiment:

HATED IT!

And if you’ve ever seen the comedy TV show In Living Color you can hear the inflection in my voice in your mind, ha!

Something about the magic of completing a bag got taken away when I was doing each step production line style on 7 bags.

I guess I just enjoy making one bag at a time and being in the process of completing one bag. I would be very poor if I tried to live off the proceeds of selling on Etsy – ha!

But this is to be a hobby not the way I make a living. Unless I could sell each bag for $1000….ha!


Postscript

My friend Judy (the one who got me in to quilting in the late 1990s) and her husband came for a long weekend visit this past weekend. We did a little Denver area “quilt shop hopping” during her visit and stopped at Treelotta Fabrics which I discovered during the Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop. While at this shop we discovered a different take on the drawstring bag that we really liked:

Instead of ribbon or cord, they made the drawstring from the same fabric as the bottom of the bag. Also they added some rick-rack to the seam between the two coordinating fabrics – very creative!

This gives me future ideas for bags. Of course I do need to make other things for my Etsy shop besides bags! (I do actually have a stash of other things I’ve made that I will share in future posts).

Beastie Adventures

Guest Blogger: New Member in Our Beastie Family

Yes Mike the Miniature Schnauzer beat me to posting in his recent post Guest Blogger: What Happens at Dog Camp, Stays at Dog Camp, but that is because I have been busy supervising Tierney in her studio.

Oh in case you are new to this blog here is my standard blurb/background:

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.

First I would like to respond to Mike the Miniature Schnauzer’s comment in his post that my dog Mikelet is a “fake dog“! Just because Mikelet is made of felted wool does not mean he is not a real dog! He is the best real felted wool dog I can imagine and is very sweet and loyal!

Here is my partner and fiance John Beastie (see post Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom), taking Mikelet for his daily walk:

And I understand Mikelet is better behaved on his walks that Mike the (giant) Miniature Schnauzer is!

Oh but I think I got distracted from the topic of this guest blog post. I am happy to report that John Beastie and welcomed a new member to our Beastie family – Faith Beastie!

The very talented Helen @CrawCrafts Beasties in Dublin created a Beastie for human John’s granddaughter Faith, based on photos of her. Human John and Tierney got to surprise Faith a couple weeks ago with her Beastie.

Here we are all opening up her package when it arrived to our house:

We were blown away with all her “accessories” that Helen made! And in addition to the accessories, Faith Beastie has 3 pets – 2 cats and a dog Ajax, just like Human Faith!

You’ll see in the photo above, Mikelet is visiting with Faith Beastie’s pets.

Here are photos taken by Helen@CrawCrafts Beasties to better see her amazing work:

Human Faith was “over the moon” when the Humans took her out to lunch to surprise her.

John Beastie and I are pretty excited to have another Beastie in our family!

Bags Bags Bags

Returning to the bags…

I missed making drawstring bags like I did during the retreat I attended in August (A Drawstring-bagalicious Retreat, Part I), so over the past couple of days I’ve been making more bags.

I have a fantasy still that I am going to reopen my tierneycreates Etsy shop and I am making stuff for my shop (shhhh don’t mention I’ve said many times in the past I was going to reopen that shop…but this time I might really do it…maybe…)

Here are the bags I’ve made so far and I have 6 more cut out to sew.

Repurposing Words/Label from the Fabric Selvage

A Little Butterfly Bag

Black and White Bag with a Pop of Color Inside

Since finishing that art quilt for the exhibit I mentioned in the post Secret Quilt and Design Wall Struggle, I am enjoying just making drawstring bags. Thank goodness I have a large stash of interfacing as these bags use a lot of interfacing to make them stand up. I

I am sure I will tire of making them eventually and move on to other stuff but right now I am enjoying playing with fabric combinations.

Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: What Happens at Dog Camp, Stays at Dog Camp

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer that manages Tierney and her partner John (who I will refer too as “the humans”), guest blogging for this post.

I borrowed Tierney’s laptop to write my post

I heard the other guest blogger that lives in my house, the tierneycreates Beastie, was going to be posting soon and I wanted to get my post in before hers. She is the one with that fake schnauzer “Mikelet”. I cannot believe the humans named him after me.

Only one real schnauzer in this house!

But we don’t need to discuss our guest blogger rivalry, I do not want to interfere with your enjoyment of my excellent post.

So if you’ve been following my female human’s blog, you’ve noticed that she’s been up to a lot of traveling since late Spring. You might wonder what becomes of me when she and the male human go out of town (or into “storage”, see post “Human Storage” and Airport Lore).

Well I go to Dog Camp.

A couple years ago the humans found a family who only watches small dogs (the best kind in my opinion) at their home; and they live near us.

I really like Dog Camp because they throw the ball for me as much as I want, there are lots of fur people my size there, and they give me special treats with my meals such as mashed sweet potatoes and chicken.

But what I really like are all the cute little female dogs to hang out with there. I am a single (and yes neutered) guy and I like hanging out with the girl dogs, what can I say.

Now personally I believe that: “what happens at dog camp, stays at dog camp”, but the lady who runs Dog Camp, keeps taking photos of my exploits and sending them to the humans! Is there no privacy??!?!

Since the humans already know, I thought I would share some of the photos and video from previous dog camps. I sort of have a thing for cream-colored girl dogs and here are a couple of my girlfriends from previous dog camps:

But sometimes the girls go a little crazy over me (which is understandable) as in this incident below captured by the female human that manages Dog Camp:

Ladies – there is enough of me to go around – stay calm!

But that is enough, I have to keep some secrets from Dog Camp.

My male human is trying to help me fend off the girl dogs by going incognito with some shades for next time: