Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Little Scrappy People

Back around the beginning of November my blogging buddy in Pennsylvania, Claudia@claudiamcgillart posted this post about how she was making little people out of recycled eye medicine vials:

Tiny People Made from Eye Drops Vials

I loved how she was doing some very creative recycling with individual eye medicine vials that most people would have discarded into the trash.

Around the same time I was in the process of cleaning up my fabric scrap collection and pulling out the tiny pieces I was likely never to use. I started to discard the scraps into the trash bin (gasp) but then I realized they were the right size for Claudia’s eye medicine vial people (or other art projects she does with small fabric scraps).

So I sent her a package of small to tiny fabric scraps.

Then last week (or so…time is getting foggy at the end of the year) I received a wonderful surprise in the mail from Claudia – my own collection of little eye medicine vial people.

Here’s a close up of the little people in groupings of three:

For now I have them all hanging out on my white board ledge in the studio:

They definitely make the boring whiteboard more interesting!

Etsy shop

My Etsy Shop is Now Reopened – tierneycreates is now TextilesandSmiles

I did it. I finally got my Etsy shop reopened though it was a more emotional process than I anticipated.

First lets get to the shop information before I share the saga of the reopening. “tierneycreates” is no more as far as Etsy shops, it is now called…(drum roll):

Textiles and Smiles (TextilesandSmiles on Etsy)!

Here is the explanation I provide on my Etsy shop page:

For years on my tierneycreates.com/blog I’ve promised to re-open my tierneycreates Etsy shop that I first opened in 2013. Finally the shop is re-opened and has a new name: Textiles and Smiles! As my tagline is “tierneycreates: a fusion of textiles & smiles”, I want to focus on providing customers with fun products that make them smile! To celebrate the shop re-opening, I am including a little fabric wallet with each order until I run out.

Here is what actually happened that led to the permanent closing of my “tierneycreates” Etsy shop and the creation of the new name/opening of a brand new shop:

In order to update the bank account information in a shop you have to provide the previous bank account information that you had listed. It has been over 2 1/2 years since I banked with my credit union in Central Oregon where I lived for 14 years before moving to the Denver Metro area. I contacted them and they did not have the bank account information (the full bank account number like what you would use to set up direct deposit, etc.) for the last 4 digits that Etsy had listed.

It was very upsetting as without this information Etsy could not allow you to set up a new bank account on an existing shop. There was no way around this except to close my shop and start a new one. In the moment, I pretty much had a total meltdown. It was one more thing I’ve lost from my life since December 2018 when my husband died. I had to lose all the wonderful reviews I had on the tierneycreates shop and the history of being an Etsy seller since 2013. This is not the end of the world but given all the “losses” (real or perceived) I’ve had since late 2018, it crushed me.

What are those losses I reference? Well the all losses are connected to my “identity” or how I’ve identified myself (such as a wife/longtime partner, a resident of Central Oregon which I loved so much, the co-owner of my house that I loved so much in Oregon, etc.) I’ve had to reinvent myself and start a new life in Denver (because I could not bear to stay in Central Oregon without Terry). I also recently left my job of 16 years to take some time off and I did not realize until I left my job how much I also found identity in my job.

Yes, it was like I became quite unhinged with this one more “loss of identity” even though in the whole scheme of life it was not a big thing.

I also struggled with the reopening the shop because the late Terry the Quilting Husband was my partner in the shop and did a lot of the assistant work (like cutting and preliminary sewing) for me. The “tierneycreates Etsy shop” was more like the “Tierney and Terry” shop.

But…

As I seem to have to keep doing over and over again (and I accept most of the time this is my reality), I finally realized (with the help of patient partner John) that I must REINVENT myself and that it is okay that I start over on Etsy with no reviews, no history, and opened a shop with a new name. I am trying not to see it as another loss.

It has been nearly three years since I suddenly lost my husband and although I have good life with my partner John, I continue to feel “lost” in life. It’s difficult to put into words but there are still too many days that involve putting on a brave face and getting through the day (and yes I’ve done grief support and individual counseling) and few notice. I guess this is just my reality and I work around it!

I think I sound like a “hot mess” and I could have just told you I’ve reopened my Etsy shop with a new name but I felt a need to “overshare” (smile).

Okay the oversharing is over now, and I will share a little about my NEW Etsy Shop.

  • My new offerings include handmade drawstring/project bags and little pillows.
  • I’ve brought back miniature kimonos and one table runner.
  • My partner John has made sets of wooden spools from his woodshop for the shop.
  • I’ve put together “Creativity Kits” to provide the materials and patterns you need to make a jelly roll quilt.

I share in future posts more information about my offerings and my process making them.

Here are some additional screenshots from the Textiles and Smiles Etsy Shop:

How can you support my new shop (without doing all your holiday shopping from it – ha!)? Well if you already have an Etsy account, I would appreciate if you made it one of your favorite shops by clicking on the “Favorite Shop” icon:

(Unless you totally hate it and do not want to be associated with my new shop in any way – ha!)

So you all are the first to officially know and I going to make some announcements now via other channels such as Instagram, etc.

More to come!

Life in B&W

Exploring My Inner Ansel Adams (Lake Tahoe)

On the first day visiting our friends Kathy and Matt in Northern California, they took us to Lake Tahoe, an area I’ve never seen before. While in Lake Tahoe I took many Black and White photographs.

I’ve titled this post “Exploring My Inner Ansel Adams” as Ansel Adams is one of the most famous/renown B&W photographers. If you are not familiar with him I linked his bio here – Ansel Adams, Photographer.

As mentioned in the Wikipedia entry on Lake Tahoe that I linked above, “is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States”. Ansel Adams was renown for his amazing B&W photos in the Sierra Nevada.

So here is my photo essay in B&W of my first visit to Lake Tahoe (and there was a cool fog/mist above part of the lake).

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Let me know which # photo you like the best in the comments below! I numbered the photos in the comment field below each image.

A Crafter's Life, tierneytravels

Loved (or mugged) by a Lab

I mentioned in my previous post that I was in Northern California (small town outside of Sacramento) visiting friends Kathy and Matt this past weekend, and I would share some stories/photos from that visit.

This post is sort of inspired by my blogging friend Beth’s blog Lessons from a Lab, where she blends her spirtuality with life lessons from her labrador retriever.

Labrador Retrievers are smart, loving and amazing dogs and although I’ve never owned…no wait – “partnered” seems more appropriate…with one, they are one of my favorite dog breeds (but don’t tell Mike my Miniature Schnauzer).

Matt and Kathy have a chocolate lab named Riley that I’ve known since she was a puppy. I visited them in April 2019 (see series of posts California Quilting Sisters Adventures, Part I, California Quilting Sisters Adventures, Part II, and California Quilting Sisters Adventures, Part III) and Kathy and Matt had just adopted Riley, so I spent quite a bit of my visit snuggling with their new puppy (and we took the pup many places with us even breweries):

Kathy and Matt assigned me to be Riley’s “Dog Godmother” and she has always had a special place in my heart since then!

Okay so now the subject of this post: When I took my partner John with me to visit Matt and Kathy for the first time, Riley fell in love with him. I have this wonderful series of photos I wanted to share with you of John being loved/mugged by Riley which seemed to be a pure moment of JOY for the both of them!

When a lab wants to love on you, they go all in! John could barely control all that loving at one time – ha!

I’ll close this post with a sort of calmer photo of Riley from the trip – here I am attempting to do whiskey tasting while acknowledging Riley (and not both successfully)!

A Crafter's Life, Knit and Crochet Away!

The Itty-Bitty Hat and Fun Surprises in the Mail

I am covering two topics in this post:

  1. How the knitted hat I made from yarn I discovered in my stash turned out too small (follow up to blog post Hot Mess of Yummy Yarn); and
  2. The two awesome packages I discovered in my mail upon returning from vacation in Northern California.

THE ITTY-BITTY HAT

It been a while since I’ve knitted a hat and I appeared to have forgotten that I have to alter the pattern I use in order to accommodate my head (I have a lot of hair and perhaps a larger than average head).

Here’s the yarn I started with that I re-discovered while tidying up my yarn stash (two skeins intertwined):

Here is the hat in progress – I love getting to the double point needles section of knitting the hat:

And here is the itty-bitty hat (too small for my head):

The hat is cute and I guess will be enjoyed someday by someone with a smaller head!

I do have leftover yarn from the first skein and I’ve already began knitting another hat (this time with the pattern modified for my head) with the end of the first skein and then into the second skein. So I’ll see how that one comes out and if I can model it for you (or if it will also become a gift…).

FUN SURPRISES IN THE MAIL

Speaking of gifts, I recently returned from a long weekend visiting friends in Northern California (and while I was there I nearly finished knitting the first too small hat). When I picked up my mail on return to Denver, I discovered not one but TWO awesome surprises in the mail!

SURPRISE ONE was from my blogging buddy in the Netherlands Emmely @Infectious Stitches filled with delicious Dutch treats:

She also included a handmade artist roll for my colored pencils – I can do some coloring on the go!

Just starting to load my pencils on to the roll

Emmely recently released/published a new foundation paper piecing pincushion pattern and I got to be a pattern-tester on it. You can check out her blog post about it – New Directions: Pattern tester makes!. I did not post about it because I was not over excited about the boring version I made of the pincushion and I want to make a better version before I post about it. I do not like foundation paper piecing so we thought I would be a good tester. Turned out it was easy (and a very well written pattern) and I whipped through making a (boring color choice) pincushion. The other pattern tester and Emmely made beautiful pincushions (as you will see if you check out her post I have linked above).

Oh and in case you are curious, I’ve already opened some of the Dutch treats (yum).

SURPRISE TWO in the mail was a wonderful collection of fabric scraps from my blogging buddy Chela @Chela’s Colchas y Mas.

I know I will figure something fun to make with these fabric someday!

It was a nice way to return from “holiday”. I will share some of my adventures in Northern California in a future post or two.

Bags Bags Bags

Adventures in Bag Making: Range Backpack DONE!

Follow up to my post Did something awesome – took an in person crafting class!, in which I took an in-person class (the first in many years it seems) to learn how to make the Range Backpack by Noodlehead.

I took the class last Thursday but I was determined to have it finished by the time I returned to the quilt shop for my first Open Sew evening on Wednesday (yesterday).

Here it is in my studio in progress:

And here is it COMPLETED:

To say I am pleased to have completed it is an understatement (smile). The instructions were excellent but it was like a zillion little parts and I was surprised that they all went together so perfectly (well almost, I did not properly center. my zipper and had to add some tabs on either side of the zipper to hide my mistake),

It was awesome to be able to show it off at Open Sew yesterday. The teacher I had last week for the class was there and I was able to show her as well as ask some follow up questions so I could make it even better next time (yes I think I might attempt it again…someday…).

Shows and Exhibits, WCQN

Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West (upcoming exhibit)

In my post from late September 2021, Secret Quilt and Design Wall Struggle, I mentioned that I had completed an art quilt for a Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) show opening in 2022, but I could not yet share images of the quilt.

I was recently contacted by The James Museum who asked for me to sign an image copyright release for my quilt. They said it was to use images of the quilt for promotional purposes. I immediately signed the release but I was not sure what would happen next.

To my ecstatic surprise the museum contacted me a day or so later with the link to their listing of Special Exhibitions > Upcoming shows and my quilt was featured for the upcoming exhibit: Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West!

thejamesmuseum.org/special-exhibitions/

If you scroll down to “Upcoming”…

image credit: The James Museum

You will see the quilt I made plus and overview about the future show!

Image credit: The James Museum

I am sharing this with you as it is on a public facing website. I’ll wait until the show opens next year to share photos of the quilt and my creation of the quilt; as well as my Artist Statement. I don’t want to give anything away from the show’s opening in September 2022 (no longer April 2022, now September).

I can tell you that I was inspired by Langston Hughes’ amazing poem – Let America Be America Again. You can read the entire poem at this website:

poets.org/poem/let-america-be-america-again

This poem was written in the 1930s but to me feels relevant still today.

Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, the show’s curator and head of the WCQN, will likely publish a book about the exhibit like she has done on other amazing WCQN exhibits. Here is her amazon page – Carolyn Mazloomi.

I feel very fortunate to have an art quilt in one of those books – Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience (2019), and I look forward to having my quilt in the book about this new exhibit (if she publishes a book).


Featured image credit – The James Museum

Knit and Crochet Away!

Hot Mess of Yummy Yarn

Being an “ADHD” type of crafter, although I had lots of other projects to work on, I decided I needed to organize my semi-obscene collection of yarn (darn you thrift/charity shops – why do you have to have so many good yarn deals?!?!)

While rummaging through my yarn stash I came across this yummy “hot mess of yarn”, which appears to be two skeins of yarn:

Wouldn’t that make a delicious hat and matching scarf?

I do not have anything like that in my current collection of handmade hats:

They all look sort of “tired” compared to the colors in that yarn. Oh and speaking of “tired”, I keep using the same pattern over and over again because it is easy and comforting to knit.

Okay dusting off the knitting needles and adding a new project to my chair in the living room when watching television in the evening! I’ll update you on the progress…

(oh no, just realized I need to roll the skeins into balls before I start knitting – ick!)

tierneycreates

Another Recycled Fabric Art Quilt Sold

Some great news: I was able update the art quilt RECYCLED HOPE III: WINDOWS OF CONVERSATION on my Portfolio page as: “OWNED BY PRIVATE COLLECTOR”!

2020-09-30_20-18-34_802

A month ago I was contacted through my tierneycreates Inquires page by an art consultant in Seattle, Washington who was interested in purchasing this piece for her client.

We worked out the details, I created an invoice and they purchased the piece!

So with this sale, I’ve now sold 11 of my art quilts over the past 5 years (and yes I would be very hungry if I’d tried to live off the sale of art quilts as that averages to 2.2 quilts sold per year – ha!).

The City of Seattle owns four (4) of my art quilts which you can check out on my Portfolio page:

  1. COLOR STORY I: FLYING TRIANGLES
  2. COLOR STORY II: SILK LANDSCAPE
  3. COLOR STORY IV: COLOR CHANGE
  4. COLOR STORY V: ABANDONED WATER STRUCTURE

And the rest of the seven (7) that have sold were purchased by private collectors:

  1. WE WILL NOT BE DISCARDED (not in my Portfolio but you can see a post on it – We Will Not Be Discarded’s Debut; it sold at a show at Twig’s Gallery in Sisters Oregon in 2016)
  2. RECYCLED HOPE I: RECYCLED ROAD
  3. RECYCLED HOPE II: RECYCLED DOOR
  4. RECYCLED HOPE III: WINDOWS OF CONVERSATION
  5. COLOR STORY III: RANDOM NOT SO RANDOM (see post The Great Art Quilt Oops!)
  6. COLOR STORY VI: ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG – THE VESSEL
  7. COLOR STORY VIII: THE LOUD COLOR SHIFT

There is one more on my Portfolio page that states “owned by private collector” – COLOR STORY VII: IT’S GETTING WARM IN HERE – was actually a gift to my sister, I did not sell it.

Writing this post is serving two purposes for me:

  1. Providing me with an easy reference to see just how many I’ve sold; and
  2. Encouraging me to get back to making art quilts as my portfolio or available art quilts is dwindling!

Hope it did not put you to sleep (smile)!

A Crafter's Life

Did something awesome – took an in person crafting class!

It’s been years since I’ve taken an in person quilting or crafting class.

I moved from Oregon to Colorado in April 2019 and a month later I met my partner John at a widow/widowers grief support group. The rest of 2019 was spent settling into Colorado and into my first new relationship in over 30 years. Then in 2020 the pandemic hit and you know the rest about all those fun lockdown times.

Once lockdown lifted, my partner John suggested (as did my longtime quilting friend Judy, who got me into quilting) that I find a local quilting community and maybe take some classes, etc. For some reason I just did not feel ready but I did go with John to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop in August 2021 (see series of posts Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part I, Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part II, Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part III. and Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part IV) for the first time and discovered during the shop hop Treelotta quilt shop.

Treelotta just felt like it was “my place” and the staff is so awesome. It has incredibly positive and creative vibe. I found out about classes on my first visit but was not quite ready to purse it yet.

Then I returned in October when my friend Judy visited and found out about their Open Sew Nights and upcoming classes as well as talked to one of their class facilitators and I just knew it was time/the right place to find my quilting community.

The funny think is it is about a 30 min drive from my house (or more depending on traffic), and there is a much closer quilt shop to my house, but that closer shop does not have a good vibe (actually I call that quilt shop “The Grumpy Quilt Shop” because no matter how many times I’ve been in there they remain unfriendly).

So last night I took a bag making class at Treelotta – we worked on the Range Backpack by Noodlehead.

Image credit – Noodlehead.com

Here is the teacher’s sample, which looked more amazing in person as I do not think my photos do it justice:

The other students were working on some amazing backpacks such as this one:

I had not properly prepared for class (I am out of practice of attending in person classes) but here is the main fabric for my backpack and the straps I was working on:

The teacher and the support staff person (who found items for us we needed, handled any additional purchases, etc) were awesome.

But what made the class really awesome was the other students! I met so many fun, talented and wonderful crafters with an age range from 30s to 70s. I cannot put into words how wonderful it was to take the class and meet other creative people in the Denver metropolitan area.

I am going back – I am planning to attend Open Sew next week and take the next Noodlehead bag making class in December! Below is the class sample for that class:

But one bag at a time – first I have to finish the backpack (will of course share photos in a future post) before I think about starting my next bag.

Beastie Adventures

Guest Blogger: Another new member in our Beastie Family!

We have another new member to our Beastie Family thanks to the amazing work of Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties!

ZACH BEASTIE!

This is tierneycreates Beastie guest blogging and 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.

In my previous post I shared our excitement to add FAITH BEASTIE, human John’s granddaughter’s new Beastie (see post Guest Blogger: New Member in Our Beastie Family). Well for his birthday, human John got his son Zach his own ZACH BEASTIE!

Zach Beastie arrived from Dublin Ireland on Monday and John Beastie and I could not wait to open his package (hopefully his ride across the seas was not too bumpy):

Human Zach loves to go on long bike rides (like his human father does) and so Zach Beastie has his own bike helmet (in case human Zach wants to take him on a ride):

Human Zach loves to read and always has a tote bag in tow, so Zach Beastie has a customized tote bag and some hefty reading:

“Woollyses” – get it? A little James Joyce humor (Ulysses)!

And here is a close up of Zach Beastie, with facial hair just like the human one!

Oh and talk about details – human Zach loves his Doc Martens shoes and his Beastie has wool felted Doc Martens like shoes!


Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties is unnaturally brilliant (perhaps she is extraterrestrial, who knows..)

We are so happy to have a 4th Beastie in our Beastie family!

A Crafter's Life

The Great Art Quilt Oops!

I am running out of art quilts my portfolio. On one hand this is a good thing, as many have sold including 4 that the City of Seattle own as part of their Portable Works Collection. On the other hand – I am running out of available pieces in my portfolio for shows/calls for entry. I explained why I’ve not made many recent art quilts in my post Secret Quilt and Design Wall Struggle.

I am approaching 3 years in Colorado (in April 2022) and in early 2021 I realized I want to show my work in my new home Colorado and since I was not up to making any additional art quilts at that time, I needed to try and get some of my remaining pieces in a Colorado based show.

So back in April 2021, I responded to a call for entry for a Textile Arts show at the R Gallery in Boulder, Colorado and my art quilt Color Story III: Random Not So Random was accepted. 

Random Not So Random, photographed by Jeremy Koons

I was “over the moon” with excitement as I was going to be in my first Colorado show!

When it came time to deliver the quilt to the gallery for the show I carefully packaged it up and we set it in the back of the car (we have a hatchback). 

Unfortunately my partner John also (accidentally) set his large open beverage in the back of the car, and forgot it.

We stopped for lunch along the way and John went to check something in the back of the car and discovered his drink (which he had forgotten about and did not know he left it there) had spilled and soaked my recycled silk art quilt. 

We could not deliver the quilt to the gallery as it was a “hot mess” to say the least.

I am just now able to write about it, and laugh about it, as it was an upsetting moment for me to say the least. 

I contacted the gallery and told them what happened and that I would not be able to be in the show.

John felt absolutely terrible about it and ended up buying the quilt from me for what I was going to list it at in the gallery. The positive outcome was that I did not have to lose 30 – 50% of the sale to the gallery commission. Another positive outcome is that the quilt dried out and although to me it does not look exactly like it did originally, John loves it and has it displayed on the wall near his home office downstairs:

John’s home office and his coworker Mike the Miniature Schnauzer always ready to consult

John says he is proud to own one of my art quilts.


Feature Photo by Pawel Janiak on Unsplash