A Crafter's Life, Bags Bags Bags

That darn grief, the Etsy shop saga, and a little grace

Over the past couple of months on Instagram, I’ve been posting images of the project bags/drawstring bags I’ve been making in preparation for holiday season sales on my Textiles & Smiles (textilesandsmiles) Etsy shop.

Here are some of the cuties I’ve made:

And I had a lot more planned…

The bags are super cute in person and they have interfacing throughout the bag so they have a good heft and stand up on their own, I love them so much and I was excited to offer them on my shop (I sold out of the batch I made last year for the shop).

But, alas, that darn grief has taken ahold of me this holiday season/pending Winter again and as I approach the 4th anniversary of the passing of my life partner for 30+ years, Terry the Quilting Husband.

And I am not up to fulfilling orders this holiday season so I am putting my Etsy shop on hold for now.

This widow thing is a curious journey, you never know when you will suddenly be gutted with grief…

Thanks to everyone who has supported my Textiles & Smiles Etsy shop since I reopened it last November. Also thanks to those who were enthusiastic about the Project Bags (the photo below = a bedroom closet with some of the completed bags I was going to sell) I’ve been posting on IG that I was getting ready to offer on my Etsy shop this holiday season.

I was taking forever, and it did not make sense, to get the photos of the items and the listings up on Etsy. I finally figured out was was paralyzed with grief and could not bear fulfilling orders, etc. I had a recent sale on Etsy of the spools that John had made (see post Handmade Spools) and it was pretty excruciating to get that order completed.

Who knows why last year during the holiday season I could offer stuff on my shop and fulfill orders but this year I cannot. Grief is a mysterious weird thing.

I think of a wonderful card my friend Wendy sent me awhile back with with a reminder to “give yourself grace”:

I keep this card along with a matching candle I found while thrifting right before the card arrived (!) on my bookshelf to always remind me that sometimes I need to just take a breather…

So giving myself some grace, I’ve put my Etsy shop on hold for now and I am going to work on what is calling my heart – working with recycled materials and creating a new body of work of my art quilts.

And what will become of the existing project bags? I will put the completed ones away for now and then decide whether to just finish up the ones in progress or put them away also…

Knit and Crochet Away!, tierneytravels

Another knitted hat complete

Knitter blogging friends: Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Non-knitter blogging friends: Oh wow look I knitted another hat đŸ˜‰

I follow several amazing knitters who are busy making complex colorwork knitted hats, socks in their sleep, shawls with fancy lace designs, and tiny Aran cabled sweaters. And I have made ANOTHER simple knitted hat with the same pattern I’ve been using since the early 2010s.

But it’s another hat (option to wear) and its DONE!

Before my trip to Ireland I wanted to have a knitted hat to work on during the trip (a very portable travel project). Here is the hat early in its creation during my train ride from Dublin to Galway:

Since returning from Ireland in October, on subsequent my recent travels (to Omaha, Nebraska, to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and to Atlanta, Georgia) I’ve been working on the hat, especially when on planes:

And last night I finally finished that hat!

Here I am wearing my new hat (which is the same as all my other hats, ha!):

Oh and here is a follow up from my post earlier in the week Cute and Curious Kitty Quilt Trunk Show – I got the quilt that my friend J gave me while I will in Fayetteville, AR, on the wall yesterday.

I am so honored to have one of her mother’s quilts hanging in my home, I put it in the downstairs guest room:

It goes with the beach-y/nautical theme in the rest of the guest room as when you think of Colorado (hint: landlocked state), you definitely think of the ocean – ha!

Her mother hand quilted the quilt and I am amazed at all the work that went into that quilt!

tierneytravels

Cute and Curious Kitty Quilt Trunk Show

Hey there, now it’s Tierney of tierneycreates writing a post, instead of the Beastie in the previous three posts about our recent trip to Fayetteville, AR to help a friend unpack and organize her studio – Guest Blog Post: The Fayetteville Friend’s Studio Project, Part I, Guest Blog Post: The Fayetteville Friend’s Studio Project, Part II, and Guest Blog Post: The Fayetteville Friend’s Studio Project, Part III.

The tierneycreates Beastie has already, in those posts, introduced you to J’s cat Oscar, quite the adorable kitty. Oscar wanted to be part of everything we were doing with unpacking and organizing J’s studio. He also wanted to be part of when J was trying to do a “quilt trunk show” for MJ and I.

J is a quilter but also does many other creative crafts. She is also a former architect and professional photographer. She is infused with creativity and I am fairly sure she got some of her creativity from her Mom who was a prolific quilter.

Here is J’s favorite quilt of her Mom’s which hangs in one of her guest bedrooms:

One evening J treated us to a trunk show of a collection of her late mother’s quilts and Oscar was all about being part of the show!

The quilts were wonderful but I was definitely distracted by Oscar’s mischievous cuteness!

J gifted me one of her mother’s quilts and I plan to hang it in my basement guest bedroom which has a nautical/beach theme (don’t laugh at me – I know I live in Colorado a “land locked” state, ha!):

What an amazing gift!

Beastie Adventures, Guest Blogger, tierneytravels

Guest Blog Post: The Fayetteville Friend’s Studio Project, Part III

tierneycreates Beastie back again continuing my series of posts of our trip to Fayetteville, AR to help our friend J unpack and organize her studio and hang out with our friend MJ who joined us.

If you are just joining us here are links to the previous 2 posts:

Guest Blog Post: The Fayetteville Friend’s Studio Project, Part I

Guest Blog Post: The Fayetteville Friend’s Studio Project, Part II

In the previous post I mentioned my run in with the cat Oscar while I was taking my dog Mikelet for a walk in the backyard. Tierney moved Mikelet and I to a safe location, the porch swing, just in case Oscar decided we were cat toys.

Mikelet got pretty cozy on the porch swing and was ready for belly rubs:

Mikelet was a very good dog during our trip and mainly laid about and slept while we worked on the studio unpacking and organization project.

Here is what J’s studio looked like by day 3 of the project. Tierney had made it her mission to get J’s sewing machine area cleaned up so J could sit and it and sew!

I even found a clean spot on the cutting/worktable in the center of the room:

On Day, Tierney, Mikelet and I had to head back to Denver but our friend MJ sent us this photo of a completely cleaned off worktable!!!

Amazing!

By the time we left every box was unpacked and nearly all the boxes were broken down and moved to the garage for future recycling.

Early in our project, Tierney came across this plaque in one of J’s boxes and hung it on the wall of the studio for motivation:

I guess it worked! But what really worked was the untiring and persistent efforts of J, MJ, and Tierney (and me cheering them on) “kicking #ss and taking names” on those boxes! They were quite the RELENTLESS team!

They didn’t just unpack boxes and organize the studio, they also did some fun stuff, but Tierney forgot to bring me along so I’ll let her tell you about it in another post.

J’s new home was really beautiful. So I will just close my series of posts with some photos of her lovely home and her amazing collection of art from J’s world travels (for example the ancient Egyptian themed framed quilt is from her trip to Egypt) . Also Tierney made J a little hostess gift, one of her drawstring bags, and that is in the photos below:

Beastie Adventures, Guest Blogger, tierneytravels

Guest Blog Post: The Fayetteville Friend’s Studio Project, Part II

tierneycreates Beastie here with Part II of the saga of our friend’s studio project (Part I on post Guest Blog Post: The Fayetteville Friend’s Studio Project, Part I).

Here I am in my observation tissue box taking notes for this blog post:

So after a day of unpacking boxes, J’s studio looked like this:

It might not look like it, but we were making great progress! Especially when we got the closet organized and set up for J’s WIPs (works in progress) to be stored out of the way (plus she could see all the projects she has to get done by the end of the year – ha, ha!):

Unpacking all those boxes we made a bit of mess between the boxes themselves (which we broke down) and the wrapping papers.

But we had a curious kitty Oscar who was fascinated with all our unpacking activities, especially the wrapping paper:

Oscar even tried to help us break down some of the boxes:

I’ll admit Oscar was cute, but I am not too sure of my comfort level around Oscar. When I tried to take my dog Mikelet for a walk around J’s backyard, Oscar came a little to close for comfort:

Tierney had to intervene and move Mikelet and me to another area as we weren’t sure if Oscar would think I was a cat toy!

After a long day of unpacking, J who is an accomplished pianist, treated us to an impromptu concert on her beautiful Estonia piano (which Tierney thought also looked beautiful in B&W):

Wow all those symbols on the page look complicated, not sure how J understood them all!

Well more progress to come in Part III of this series of posts…

Beastie Adventures, Guest Blogger, Studio, tierneytravels

Guest Blog Post: The Fayetteville Friend’s Studio Project, Part I

Hello this is tierneycreates Beastie, filling in for Tierney who has just returned from a couple days in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Mikelet my miniature Miniature Schnauzer and I went with her, and we consulted/helped with the unpacking and organization of her friend J’s studio in Fayetteville.

(if you are new to this blog, my story is on this post –  I’m A Monster!!! and you can see all my posts at this link: Beastie Adventures).

Tierney and J’s Central Oregon based friend MJ also met up with us there (and Tierney and I got to fly on the same flight from Denver to Bentonville, AR as MJ had a connecting flight from Central Oregon).

J had moved from Central Oregon (where Tierney and I used to live) to Fayetteville, AR and then had a major life changes and did not have the time and chance to unpack and organize her quilting/art studio. She invited MJ and Tierney to visit her and MJ came up with the idea that we could also work on getting J’s studio to the point where she could do her art again.

Here I am on my way to Arkansas – Mikelet and I traveled in Tierney’s backpack:

After visiting with J and MJ a while when we first arrived in Arkansas, we headed upstairs to J’s studio to see what we were getting ourselves into

Oh dear.

Looking around, I realized we’ve got a bit of work to do.

Well I went ahead and set up a temporary desk in the tissue box so I could blog about our project!

Next guest post I will show our progress, but for now I will close out this post with a funny sign J had in her studio:

image credit; amazon.com
tierneycreates

Making a “Mark”

Last Friday I went over my friend Michele’s house for an afternoon of crafting. She got me and herself a kit of “Diamond Painting” bookmarks and we worked on making our first diamond painting bookmark.

The kit has 4 bookmarks, one representing each season (Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn):

At first it was confusing to us on how to do the diamond painting and how it worked (no directions) but we figured it out. We decided since it was currently Autumn to work on the Autumn (the purple/pink one) bookmark.

Here are some photos:

Because of the tiny little beads you work with, we put plastic wrap on our work area to try and capture stray beads.

At time is was tedious to do diamond painting but it was fun to see the progress and of course fun to hang out with a friend.

Michele actually finished her bookmark and here is the lovely finished Autumn bookmark: