It was as if the gates of Heaven opened and I could hear the angels singing: Last week a neighboring library system (the one I’ve started getting books via curbside pick up from a couple weeks ago, see post The Library Stack Is Back!), OPENED ITS DOOR TO THE PUBLIC!!!
So the tierneycreates Beastie and I headed to the library to frolic among the stacks! (We did not bring tierneycreates Beastie’s dog Mikelet since only Service Dogs are allowed in libraries…even though he is very small and I likely could have hid him in my pocket…)
After chatting with the library front desk staff and introducing them to the tierneycreates Beastie and showing them her library card* (see post Beastie Outing to the Library), we headed upstairs to browse our favorite Dewey Decimal System section 700 (Arts & Recreation)!
Once again, like the other time I took my Beastie to the library, she insisted on trying to navigate the library stairs herself:
But she was not getting anywhere very fast so she agreed I could just carry her upstairs to the magical 700 section of the library.
Once we got upstairs, I let her do her own browsing and she eventually found her way to the knitting book section as she is always trying to learn more about how she was made in Dublin by her maker Helen@Crawcraftbeasties.
Beasties are sort of vain and she kept asking me to take her photo among various stacks of craft books. Here is a photo she did not want you to see but I told her I was going to share it anyway so you can see sometimes even Beasties take bad photos:
While I was browsing (note – this was the first time I’ve been inside this library as I joined this neighboring library system when they started curbside pick up a couple weeks ago since my local library is still completely closed) in section 700, I noticed this sign:
I was like “whaaaaaaaaaaaat?” I love Interior Decorating/Design books and this library has their own “Interior Design Nooks?!??! (insert sounds of more angels singing). So I wandered over there while the tierneycreates Beastie continued to browse through the knitting section.
The nook is both sides of this freestanding section and a built in bookshelf!
Unfortunately my arms were overloading with browsings from the other 700 sections and I could only select a couple books from this section to borrow (but I will be back!!!)
Here is the result Library Stack from our visit:
tierneycreates Beastie just mentioned to me that since I was “keeping it real” by showing a photo of her earlier in this post with disheveled hair, I need to show you all what the Library Stack really looks like when I first get it home before I put it in a nice order:
We are museum members so we got invited to a members’ only showing which was awesome as the crowd was small (and everyone was social distancing and had their masks on).
The pieces in the exhibit were amazing and many were HUGE! We imagined hours and hours of creating these pieces. Here is a video I found from when the exhibit visited Manchester, UK. (which unfortunately closed early due to the pandemic).
Well let’s dive into images from the Denver show we saw Sunday:
All life size or larger!
Also displayed were an amazing collection of reproductions of famous paintings and sculptures done in Legos:
The artist also created some very unique pieces with Legos, including a giant figure swimming in Lego water:
My favorite piece in the show was this one (yes a Legos dog made life size):
My partner John’s favorite piece was this twisted Lego block:
John loved Legos as a kid and participated in Legos building competitions. He got a kick posing with several of the Legos figures at the exhibit!
I’ll close out this post with one of the posters of quotes from the artist throughout the exhibit:
A couple weeks ago I finished a wonderful book by author Susan Orlean – The Library Book (2018).
I’ve loved public libraries since I was a kid and still do (just see my series of posts The Library Stack).
This non-fiction book uses the backdrop of the 1986 Los Angeles Central Public Library fire to share the history and glory (and challenges) of public libraries. She shares her historical research as well as interviews with many library staff throughout the country. This book also pays homage to public libraries and their importance in our communities. Just listening to a day in the library of various public library staff is pretty awesome and gives you perspective of how library staff serve our communities.
I borrowed this book as an audiobook from my public library, and I loved it so much I bought a hard copy of the book from a local independent bookseller.
Early in the book, this passage about the author’s trips to the library with her mother on page 7 really captured my heart:
…my mother and I walked in together but as soon as we passed through the door, we split up and each beaded for our favorite section. The library might have been the first place I was ever given autonomy…Our visits to the library were never long enough for me. I loved wandering around the bookshelves, scanning the spines until something happened to catch my eye. Those visits were dreamy, frictionless interludes that promised I would leave richer than I arrived.
There is a lot more to this passage and I highly recommend this book if you love libraries!
One of things I missed during the first couple months of the pandemic is being able to go to my local public library and browse for new books. The local library near my home is still closed but I do have access to a neighboring town’s library online and they do curbside pick up (see my post The Library Stack Is Back!)
If I’ve wanted to read anything, it seems like I’ve always borrowed it from my local library. Well this whole pandemic experience has made me think about having a book collection of my own (beside my crazy collection of crafting books) and building a home library.
To get this started, my partner John and I decided to designate the front room (sort of like a small formal living room) as “the library” and rearranged the furniture.
John, who loves Pinterest and is crafty, found an industrial pipe bookshelf image on Pinterest, figured out how to recreate it and built two bookcases near the window opposite each other.
Here is the first bookcase completed:
I am still working on arranging books on this bookcase. John has built the second one across from it and we plan to put a writing desk next to the two windows that are between the bookcases. I will share a photo in a future post once we get our library finished!
We’ve been building up our collection of fiction (primarily science fiction since we are both science fiction nerds) and non fiction books by finding them at thrift stores and independent bookstores (which have recently opened up again, see my post A Friday Frolicking Adventure) which we are trying to support.
Speaking of home libraries, I recently finished a book I borrowed from the library called For the Love of Books: Designing and Curating a Home Library by Thatcher Wine.
What is discovered is that there is a wonderful sounding bookstore in Boulder, Colorado called Juniper Books which sells beautiful book collections. Here is an example – their “Influential Women” collection:
The book, was essentially a beautiful advertisement for Juniper Books but it was a delightful advertisement! The custom book collections (with covers that form images, etc.) displayed in the book are amazing and dreamy.
No plans for an expensive custom book collection in my future but I plan to visit their shop in Boulder and have fun browsing!
“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” – Anne Lamott
And speaking of books and libraries, I hope you are listening to my blogging buddy Tammie Painter’s: The Book Owl Podcast. I’ve been catching up on episodes when I walk my dog and I appreciated she mentioned my blog on the third episode of her podcast.
Tammie shares wonderful stories related to books and libraries (well researched with lots of humor). Most recently I enjoyed the story of Barter Books in the U.K., the iconic poster it is responsible for rejuvenating and the train that runs through it!
A couple days ago my art quilt Giant Among the Sequoias (2018)arrived in the mail. It was touring in an exhibit: “Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young”, curated by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, head of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN).
It was bittersweet having this quilt returned to me.
This quilt was the last “art quilt” I created before my husband Terry (Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)) suddenly died in December 2018. I remember having the quilt up in the design wall in the hallway in my former home in Central Oregon and soliciting his feedback as the quilt organically evolved.
I’ve continued quilting and making little craft projects since he died, but for the past year and a half I’ve lost my art quilt muse. I can make improvisational quilts like Seattle Scrappy (see post Seattle Scrappy (What’s on the Design Wall)) but I’ve struggled with wanting to create storied/pictorial quilt like Giant Among the Sequoias. I even passed up an amazing invitational only opportunity in the spring of 2019 which would have led to my first quilt showing at the Houston International Quilt Show.
I am so happy I had all the quilts already made when I had my first solo show at the Seattle Municipal Center in April 2019 (see post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post)) as I could not have made new art quilt pieces for that show.
I did not attend the opening for the exhibit “Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young” which opened March 16, 2019 in Wilberforce, Ohio. I had planned to attend it before Terry died and my sweet brother wanted me to meet him in Ohio and attend the show with me.
I just was not up to it and in retrospect I regret not attending the show and also missing on an opportunity to spend time with my wonderful brother Raoul.
Alas grief is a strange beast and now a year and a half into widowhood I have learned to tame that beast a bit, or at least live somewhat peacefully with it.
The narrative quilts are a history lesson captured in fabric.
“Giant Among the Sequoias,” a quilt created by Oregon artist Tierney Davis Hogan, is a re-creation of a forest scene made from recycled batik fabric scraps. In the center, an image of Young is stitched into the largest tree, keeping watch over the park.
“I love that because it’s quite a twist,” Mazloomi said. “It’s not necessarily a narrative quilt but it is a modern quilt in geometric form and it goes on to tell a story about his work in Sequoia Park.”
I am so honored!
My muse has slowly returned and I am going to create a storied/pictorial art quilt for an important show, which I hope to get juried into. Even if my piece is not accepted, it will be my next piece (I only have one so far) in my series Stories My Father Told Me (see series of posts Stories My Father Told Me).
I did hang up the quilt in the hallway headed downstairs to the daylight basement as there is other wall art related to national parks and the outdoors in that area.
I finished machine quilting my quilt created from a zillion half square triangles (HSTs), most of which were from scrap triangles collected over 15 years, most of which were triangles from the trimming of blocks by other quilters. Hence the name: All the Trimmings.
The quilt measures 57.5 inches by 72.5 inches (146 cm x 184 cm).
Here’s another photo with my partner John holding up All the Trimmings:
I was limited to 50 words, but here is the Artist Statement for the quilt I submitted:
Missing my Quilting Community during Quarantine and inspired by Amanda Jean Nyberg’s pattern “All Sizes”, I created a quilt from 15 years of scrap triangles collected from my quilting friends at quilt retreats and “sew dates”. Most of the scraps in this quilt are from the trimmings of blocks by many quilters as they made their quilts. Instead of going into the trash, scrap triangles compose this cozy quilt.
I am fairly sure some pretty spectacular quilts (and art quilts) have been submitted for this international call for entry and some of the quilts will go to the Houston International Quilt Show, one of the biggest quilt shows in the world.
I have doubts my little HST quilt will be selected but as they say: “You got to be in it to win it” – ha! (and it was free to enter).
The rules say the makers of the quilts selected will be notified no later than July 10th. I will let you know the outcome.
For now, the quilt is keeping me company on my favorite chair in the living room.
You might notice that the quilt Seattle Scrappy (see post Update on Seattle Scrappy) is sitting in the chair also – I am still working on hand quilting it (and wow hand quilting a lap size quilt takes MUCH LONGER than machine quilting it!).
Speaking of “Quarantine Quilts”, a friend of mine has been working on an incredible quilting collaboration project with some children in her neighborhood and I hope she will share with us this project in a future guest post. Every time I look at images of this quilt in progress I get a huge smile!
I changed the layout of the table I have on risers that serves as my cutting table. This is the table I got for free from my community’s for sale/for free online boards.
After (gave the Eurolounger next to the window to the pre-teen next door for her room remodel):
I had a feeling when I first re-did my studio after moving back into it after we decided in the early COVID days not to sell the house and to stay put (see post Perspective), that I would make tweaks to the layout as I used the studio and got a sense of what worked and what could be better.
I shifted the iron board and re-did the area on top of the bookcases in the room. I also added in additional storage drawers in the cubby bookcases.
One of the biggest changes is that my partner John removed the original wire shelf and built me nice shelves in the closet. Previously I had the original wire shelf where clothes would have hung with hanging wire shelves added.
I love my new closet and had so much fun organizing it!
Tierneycreates Beastie’s New Home
I relocated the Tierneycreates Beastie from a basket to the top of a bookcase next to a delicious basket of fabric string scraps (well delicious to me):
Project That is Sort of In Progress
I am will share more on this project in a future post in my series What’s on the Design Wall, but one of my quilting friends gave me a project she decided to give up on after taking a class. Right now I am sorting out the pieces she has sewn together, the pieces she has cut out, the leftover fabric, the pattern and the templates.
I am also still working on machine quilting my piece All the Trimmings which I last discussed in the post Update on “All the Trimmings”. I had to take it off my sewing machine to roll the section I completed quilting to make room in the machine:
I am really enjoying my Tierney’s Woman Cave, it is my “happy place”!
A quick follow up to the post Proud of My Maker (Guest Blogger Post) in which the guest blogger, Tierneycreates Beastie mentions that I lost her t-shirt during packing for my move that did not happen.
Well her t-shirt has been found!
Turns out I had shoved it into this antique box when I was packing up:
I originally put the box in my cubby bookcase without even checking the contents, but took a closer look the other day.
So now she has her t-shirt for the warmer weather instead of having to wear her sweater all the time!
A couple weeks ago I did a photoshoot of a quilt I made with African textile inspired fabrics for a project I have been invited to participate in (more details in the future) and I thought I would share a couple images of this quilt, African Windows, I made in 2014.
Back in 2014, I was gifted a collection of African textiles (not sure if they were originals or reproductions) from someone’s Aunt who had passed who was an avid world traveler and collector of textiles on her travels. (I was also gifted a collection of Japanese and Dutch textiles, which I used to make the quilt I will share in a future blog post).
Here is the Artist Statement I recently wrote on this quilt for the project I was invited to participate:
African Windows (2014)
I was gifted a collection of African textiles and created a piece to display the beautiful patterns of these spectacular fabrics. The design of this piece was inspired by an old Patchwork Studio pattern called “Aussie”. I adapted this pattern to work with the African textiles.
The quilt measures 56 inches wide by 64.5 inches long.
Here are a couple close up photos of the fabrics used in this quilt:
Recently my partner and I remodeled our garage and painted it white. We discovered that an empty section of wall in the garage is a great place to photograph a quilt. So we set up a shop light on a ladder for better lighting.
Of course it took a while to figure out the best way to mount the quilt so it did not keep sliding down (we used Command Strips) right before we snapped the photo – ha!
A couple more Command Strips and finally it worked!
Around the same time as a photoshoot, I decided I needed a new journal to write thoughts and plans. I came across this lovely journal which I felt had a very inspiring cover and added it to my life:
I completed all five sections of the quilt top made from fabric scrap triangles and scrap squares to create nearly 600 half square triangles (HSTs) in the following sizes:
2 inch x 2 inch
2.5 inch x 2.5 inch
3.5 inch x 3.5 inch
4.5 inch x 4.5 inch
5.5 inch x 5.5 inch
It was inspired by the pattern All Sizes by Amanda Jean Nyberg from her book, No Scrap Left Behind.
Here it is on the ironing board after I pinned it for quilting:
And here is it currently being machine quilted on my sewing machine:
I decided to machine quilt it myself rather than send it out to be professional long-arm machine quilted. Slowly I am making progress, I try to work on a section each day.
(You might notice some curious brightly colored half-circle blocks on my design wall behind my sewing area. I’ll talk about those in a future post. They are blocks a quilting friend gave me when she decided not to finish a piece. More to come.)
And of course when I finish machine quilting All the Trimmings I will share another update.
I am going to do an Artist Statement for this piece since there is a story behind it. Here is a very rough draft of that statement:
It’s more than just a half square triangle quilt. I miss going to Quilting Retreats and hanging out with Quilting friends so I made this quilt, based on Amanda Jean Nyberg’s pattern “All Sizes”, from scraps collected from my quilting friends during 15 years of quilting retreats and “Sew Dates”. Most of the scraps are triangle trimmings from their block piecing. Hundreds of scrap triangles went into this quilt top!
A friend of mine recently said that she was looking forward to hearing my thoughts on the tragic events and strife currently going on in the United States in a blog post.
For me it is just too deeply personal and sad issue to discuss in this forum, so I am going to just focus my blog posts on my creative projects and other lighter topics.
I will however share with you that I am currently taking a break from watching or reading the news as this was wearing down my soul.
Recently came across this quote by Fred (Mister) Rogers that made me feel some peace and I will close out this post with this quote:
Tierney is busy catching up on the backlog of posts she wants to read by her blogging buddies around the world, so I am guest posting so she does not continue to fall so behind in blogging!
Once again I am sitting at my makeshift desk, typing on my laptop:
Oh I should introduce myself in case you are new to this blog, my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. 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 Tierney fell off the blogging-wagon) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.
The link above is for the platform Spotify but you can also listen to this podcast wherever you get your podcasts, like on Apple Podcasts on your iPhone.
Here I am listening to the podcast on Tierney’s iPhone with her and my dog Mikelet:
The podcast was amazing and I got to hear my Maker’s voice! It was a brilliant interview and I enjoyed learning how Helen got into making Beasties like me. All I can say is I am so glad she did not become a “management consultant” after she finished university.
Oh now you might be wondering why at the end of May I am wearing the lovely Aran sweater that Helen knitted me and not my much cooler T-shirt she made me like in this photo from the April 2019 post Beastie Adventures – Seattle Public Library:
Well Tierney lost my T-shirt a couple months ago when she had packed to move but then did not move (see post Perspective). She hopes my T-shirt shows up but she might have to make me a new one herself (because I am going to get very hot in this sweater when we are at full summer in Colorado!) and perhaps as Helen if she can make me another.
I know some of you might follow’s Helen’s blog – BeastieBlog, and I wanted to suggest you check out this podcast episode if you’d like to hear her lovely Irish accent and her being interviewed about her creative journey and process!
I am so proud of my Maker!
Speaking of podcasts, now Tierney and I need to head over to Tammie Painter’s: The Book Owl Podcast and listen to the latest episode. She is another one of Tierney’s blogging buddies and she has her own Beastie that was made by Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties – Finn McSpool.
Tammie got to bring Finn back to Ireland and be reunited with his Maker Helen (and Tammie got to meet her).Tammie has a series of posts about her visit with Finn to Ireland in her blog tammiepainter.com/blog.
Tierney and I had planned to go to Scotland with friends this July pre-COVID pandemic (plans got cancelled with her traveling buddies due to the pandemic) and while she was in the UK, she was going to also visit Dublin and meet up with Helen. I am bummed this did not happen, but I know someday I will get to return to where I was born!
I am very much looking forward to touring Dublin someday as all I’ve seen of it is the inside of Helen’s studio where I was created.
One of the things I’ve greatly missed during the “COVID-times” is visiting my local public library to browse the shelves and/or pick up my latest stack of holds.
My local public library, which is within walking distance of where I live, is still closed BUT last week I discovered the public library in the neighboring country opened for “curbside pick up”. Library patrons could reserve books online and when notified that the library that they are available, could park in designated spots at the library and HAVE THEIR LIBRARY HOLDS DELIVERED DIRECTLY INTO THE TRUNK OF THEIR CAR!
Giddy with the excitement of this news, I contacted the neighboring county’s library to see if they would allow me to sign up for a library card/account with them. I discovered from the friendly library staff that any Colorado resident could sign up!
I could not get online fast enough to sign up for a library patron account with this neighboring county’s library!!!
I went a little crazy putting books on hold online. Like super crazy. Like completely and utterly insane.
So now I am ready to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my local public library. Because, the LIBRARY STACK IS BACK
Initially I received an e-mail that several of the books I reserved were available and immediately drove to the library to pick them up. !
And a couple days later I received a notice that like 15+ more books were available for me to pick up.
Here is the resulting MEGA STACK of library books:
And I am in library book heaven!
This morning (the first day of my “staycation”, see Postscript), I had a simple breakfast in the front room with a pile of library books. It was a lovely way to spend a morning!
Oh and yes, a couple more books have come in and I returned to the library a third time to have them load more books into my trunk! I did return a couple books using their drive through book return so my stack is still the same size (sort of…but I am not showing you any more of my pathological addiction to library books in this post – ha!)
Today I began my first day of a 10 day “staycation” (a holiday at home). I plan to spend it reading my giant library stack, catching up on reading the blogs I follow, and even writing some more blog posts. My partner John and I are also planning some day trip adventures and working on some home remodeling projects.
Oh in addition to the library stack, I am also reading a book on Kindle – Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace; and listening to a fantastic audiobook book – The Library Book by Susan Orleans which is a love letter to public libraries. I will of course be discussing this book a bit in a future post when I finish it.
I don’t know about you but I keep fighting getting blue during these COVID-times. I know some of the stay at home orders/restrictions are loosening but if your part of the world is like mine you are still dealing with “social distancing”, limited access to things and needing to wear masks when you venture out.
I am so grateful for my health and the health of those I love and I hate to sound whiny at all but I miss what life used to be pre-COVID so much.
Somedays I sort of want to just run around and hug everyone I come across! It hurts my heart to always have to intentionally and constantly stay away from people. When walking my dog and passing another person, we each move an extra bit to the opposite side. I guess dogs just figure that people all hate strangers now or something!
To try and perk myself up at bit/motivate myself/shake the pervasive ennui, I bought this journal the other day:
I also came across this quote the other day and it was a good reminder for me to “snap out of it” and send out positive vibes to my fellow humans struggling with this new reality:
Before I dive into this post I’d like to ask you to revisit my previous post if you’d like to: Liebster Award Nomination. I decided not to make it a two part post (because originally I was falling asleep towards the end of writing it) and to just go back and edit the post and finish it up. You will see towards the bottom of the post a header: “Update 05/12/2020”; and under that header you will find “Eleven (11) Facts About Myself”, my nominations of 7 blogs and the corresponding questions I’ve posed for the nominees to answer. I did go ahead and notify the 7 nominees in the comment section of their blogs. So if you’d like to read the rest of my ramblings related to Anna at Homeschool Guru nominating me for a blogging award head on over there (smile).
And now onto the previous Friday’s frolicking adventure…
Indie Bookstore and Antique Shop Browsing!
I am off work on Fridays (I work Monday – Thursday) and my partner John and I decided to have a little adventure. We heard last week that the town of Castle Rock, Colorado was relaxing their business closure rules during the pandemic and would allow some businesses to open.
Masked and gloved we headed out to Castle Rock as we checked and their independent bookstore Sudden Fiction Bookswas open! It feels like its been eons since I’ve been able to wander through a bookstore or a public library so I was so excited to browse.
We had an exquisite browse at Sudden Fiction in downtown Castle Rock, which sells both new and used books and we left with quite the stack of new and used books (mainly science fiction). Here are photos from that visit.
Here is my partner John all masked and gloved while browsing.
I had a lovely chat with the shopkeeper while maintaining social distancing and trying to talk through our masks. We occasionally we did have to repeat ourselves as some words do not enunciate very clearly through a mask!
On our way out of the bookstore we noticed there we other shops open in downtown Castle Rock to include an antique shop!
The only shopping I’ve done in the past couple of months was at grocery stores or “box stores” (Costco, Target, Home Depot) and what a pleasure it was to actually wander/browse through an independent retail shop.
Here are photos from our inside and outside wander (they have an outdoor garden kitsch section) at The Barnin downtown Castle Rock. We bought some new yard art there to support the business.
In the garden section out back I was particularly fascinated by their huge collection of large rusted letters. We photographed them in both color and black & white.
But alas, I could not figure out why I needed them so we did not leave the shop with any large letters!
We also ate lunch in Castle Rock at a new place called Cuba Cuba. We were allowed to walk in and order at the bar (maintaining social distance of course) and then we had to wait outside on the patio for our food. Inside the restaurant was lovely and we look forward to the day we can go inside and dine (or even sit outside on their nice patio and dine). But we happily ate our Cuban sandwiches in the car.
All the things I used to kind of take for granted pre-pandemic. What a treat it was to be able to browse in downtown Castle Rock on Friday!
Speaking of Castle Rock, we were excited that Castle Rock had loosened some restrictions but unfortunately not all Castle Rock business behaved as the Colorado governor had mandated when the restrictions were loosened as you will see in this online news article:
The word “Liebster” sounded vaguely familiar and quite German. I studied German for a year when I was in college and I remembered the German word “lieb” which means dear as in beloved.
I checked an English to German dictionary online (interglot.com) and discovered the definition for “Liebster” is: “friend, dear, sweetheart.
Sounds like a nice name for a blogging award (smile).
It’s been a long time since I’ve received a nomination for a blogging award as I’ve been blogging for nearly 7 years and it seems like these awards are primarily to give exposure to new blogs. So it was quite a pleasant and appreciated surprise.
I appreciated her comments on her post regarding my nomination:
Tierney at Tierney Creates. Queen of quilts, this is a creative and artistic blog, plus Mike-the-dog-who-thinks-he’s-a-human.
(You might be wondering why I follow a blog/website called homeschoolguru when I do not have any children that I home school. Well this blogger found me and commented on my blog a couple months ago and I took a peek at her blog and discovered it was absolutely delightful! Yes she writes many posts helpful to parents who home school but she also covers many other topics of interests and her posts are witty and engaging!)
Okay so here are the rules of being nominated:
LIEBSTER AWARD RULES
• Thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
• Answer the 11 questions given to you.
• Share 11 facts about yourself.
• Nominate 5-11 other bloggers.
• Ask your nominees 11 questions of your choice.
• Notify your nominees once you have uploaded your post.
By the way, it’s late in the evening, the wind is howling like crazy outside and I am sitting in bed writing while sleep is attempting to creep upon me. I might ramble during the rest of this post, please forgive me. I did not want to let too much time pass between the time I was nominated (May 5th) and when I answered the questions that come along with being nominated.
I think these questions are designed for you all to get to know me a little better, but some of you have followed my blog for years and might feel like you know enough already (or more than you want to know!)
Question #1:Do you have a book out or in the pipeline?
Yes, in the pipeline! I have an idea for a children’s’ book or a young adult book (or both), but not ready to share yet.
Question #2: How long have you been blogging and what is your favorite subject to write about?
I’ve been blogging for nearly 7 years – my blog began in October 2013 as a vehicle originally for my now closed tierneycreates Etsy shop. I do not have a favorite subject to blog about, I just enjoy sharing stories from a “Crafter’s Life”.
Question #3: If you could move to a different town, state or country… where would you be?
New Zealand – not sure what town – I’d just have to first visit all my blogging buddies that live there and see which town was the friendliest for me to build my small off grid cottage! (But I would need some serious solar power for running my sewing machine all the time).
Question #4:What is your favorite quality about yourself?
I grow wiser as I grow older and have learned to put things in “perspective”.
Question #5: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert or even both?
I am both. I spent many years presenting as an Extrovert, but now I am enjoying embracing my Introverted side while functioned as needed as an Extrovert (smile).
Question #6: What is THE JOB of your dreams?
If someone could pay me a nice salary to blog full time and make things in my craft room, that would be it. Or perhaps I get my book (or books) published someday and use the royalties to just craft and blog all day!
Question #7:Other than blogging/writing what is the one favorite thing you LOVE to do?
Go on walks alone listening to audiobooks/podcasts, or with my dog, or with my partner (but I talk to him instead of listening to books!). If my legs and feet could handle it I would walk for miles and miles each day!
Question #8:Where is one of the first places you plan on going after quarantine is over?
Can anyone guess? Yup, it the PUBLIC LIBRARY! I cannot wait until I can run free (no worry I will be clothed) through the stacks and stacks books in the library. All those lonely books, waiting for me to check them out…
Question #9:Speaking of COVID-19, is there anything that you learned about yourself or will be changing about yourself when ‘life moves on?’
Several years ago I discovered “Minimalism” and I was trying to move towards a quality life with less stuff in my life. Then I kind of slip off that path for a while. Now I’ve been using COVID-times to refocus on what really matters in life and to be careful how I spend my money and my time.
Question #10:Is there anything as far as food that you will absolutely NOT eat?
Oh yes – Liver and Onions! I gagged it down as a child, and never again. Also I will never eat Oreo cookies or Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream – yuck! Their flavors nauseate me.
Question #11:Do you own a website for your writing?
No, not yet…
Well I am super sleepy now, as I am sure you are too trying to read all this boring information about me – hopefully you have not done a face-plant into your computer keyboard – ha!
I will continue my rambling…um, I mean completing the requested Liebster Award nomination information in my next post.
I’ve decided not to do a “Part II” to this post and just finish up on this post.
Eleven (11) Facts About Myself
I used to be obsessed with Barbies (Mattel toys Barbie dolls) from my late 20s to late 30s. It was something related to some challenging childhood memories and Barbies provided me with a lot of comfort. When I got into my late 30s to early 40s I was finally able to let my Barbie collection go. I sold some on Etsy, some on eBay and gave away/donated a lot of Barbies.
I love public libraries. Walking into a library immediately calms, relaxes and excites me. This is related to many wonderful childhood memories at the library. I think it was the summer when I was 10 years old that I spent every day at the library. I would ride my bike to the library and browse books for hours – both children and adult books. The librarians knew me well. When I lived in Central Oregon from 2005 – 2019 I got to know the Deschutes Public Library quite well and had some librarian buddies at the downtown branch. I even had several art quilts in library art shows (see post A Novel Panel Idea). When I travel I try to visit a local library whenever possible.
I’ve likely read way too many self-help books but I am still strangely drawn to them. I tried to swear off of them (see post Musings on Self-Improvement) but I might be secretly listening to one right now and just not telling all about it (smile).
Fabric scraps make me happy. Very happy. I love the idea of saving something meant for a landfill and making something (eventually, hopefully, possibly…) out of it. I’ve become more selective over the years what scraps I get from other quilters and I’ve donated many fabric scraps in thrift shops (they sell well at thrift shops) as I shared in the post A “Humane” Way to Eliminate Fabric Scraps.
My husband (who suddenly passed in December 2019) and I adopted rescued dogs, specifically rescued miniature schnauzers, for nearly 25 years. I currently have a rescued miniature schnauzer, Mike, who is 9.5 year old. His story is in the post – Taking Chances: The Mike Hogan Chronicles (re-post). I have been thinking about the future and wondering should I continue with miniature schnauzers or explore adopting those teddy bear looking labradoodles?
I absolutely love pretzels. I’ve loved them since I was little. I enjoy quilt retreating with my friend Judy because she loves pretzels too and always has a nice stash of yummy pretzels (sometimes with a special garlic seasoning on them) to the retreat for us to snack on! (Of course quilt retreats are all about snacking, right?) My sister and I have a funny memory related to a pretzel:We like to meet up in New York City for a sisters weekend occasionally (she lives on the East Coast) and I was having the most delicious street vendor large hot pretzel I’ve ever had in my life. I gave her a bite of it. Well then I asked her to hold the pretzel while I rearranged something in my tote bag and BAM she finished off the pretzel while I was not looking, She claims to have had an “out of body experience” and does not remember finishing off the pretzel! We tried to find the vendor again for her to replace my pretzel but we never found another NYC street vendor pretzel as delicious…
My favorite genre is science fiction and for a while I was really into post apocalyptic fiction, especially if there were some type of strange mutation to humans post apocalypse! Of course with the pandemic in place I am avoiding anything in this genre as it is too close for comfort.
I am a recovering perfectionist. I still love organizing things and an organized environment but I have definitely “chilled out” over the years and don’t try to make all things perfect in my life!
I got addicted for a while to those smartphone games like Candy Crush (but I did not give them any money, only played for free) and they were distracting me from working on my creative projects. Finally one day I convinced myself to delete them from my phone!
I know what it is like to be hungry and not know where your next decent meal is coming from. I am grateful that I overcame that time in my life.
Seeing someone snuggled in a quilt I made brings me a sense of joy that I cannot even put into words!
The last part of the Liebster Blogging Award nomination is that I need to nominate between 5 – 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 questions of my choice. I think 11 question is a bit much, so since I am getting close to my blog’s 7th anniversary, I am going to nominate 7 bloggers and ask them to respond to 7 questions; as well as share 7 facts about themselves. I will notify them in a comment on their blog and participation of course is completely optional!
I selected blogs/blogger that I have recently followed who are posting intriguing content to give them some exposure (please know I adore you my long time blogging buddies and you deserve blogging awards everyday!).
You might of noticed if you read my post from Saturday, What’s on the Design Wall: “All the Trimmings”, I’ve been tediously working with a lot of small fabric scraps and half square triangles. For example I had to sew 200 2″ x 2″ half square triangles together to create the first section of the quilt All the Trimmings.
Watching a movie would be a great way to distract myself from the tedium but since I had to make sure the seams all lined up, I’ve been listening to music instead.
For years I’ve been listening to music on shuffle. I use iTunes and have a collection of favorite tunes loaded on my iPhone, or I listen to Pandora or Amazon, Prime Music or the awesome Colorado Public Radio Jazz station KUVO (which is available to stream online also) smartphone apps.
Lately, however, I’ve been trying something different – instead of listening to shuffled music, I’ve been listening to entire albums.
For those of you who listened to music before the music download era, do you remember buying an album (whether vinyl, cassette, 8-track, or compact disc/CD) and LISTENING TO THE ENTIRE ALBUM straight through?
Many albums are concept albums and/or the recording artists had a reason for the order in which they arranged the tracks.
For example – have you ever tried to listen to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moonshuffled into other songs? It doesn’t work as many of the songs on this classic album were designed to connect and flow into each other.
So for the past several weeks, whenever I am in my sewing studio working on a project, I’ve been listening to entire albums (songs in consecutive order as many of the artists intended) and it has been an AMAZING experience!
Listening to albums in their entirety have brought back a lot of memories and I thought I would share a little bit (and perhaps too much on some) of those memories about three (3) of the albums I’ve recently listened to while sewing.
I was a huge fan of the band The Police during their heyday and thought the lead singer Sting was like one of the hottest men walking the earth (you are quite impressionable as a pre-teen, ha!). But I did not really grow to appreciate the breadth of his talent until he went out on his own.
Sting spent time in South America and one of the most powerful songs on the album, They Dance Alone(Cueca Solo) is a powerful metaphor referring to mourning Chilean women who dance the Cueca, the national dance of Chile, alone with photographs of their disappeared loved ones in their hands as a symbolic gesture of protest against the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet whose regime killed thousands of people between 1973 and 1990 (Wikipedia).
They Dance Alone(Cueca Solo) is a chilling and powerful song, hut the for me one of the most powerful and beautiful song on this album is the song Fragile. It always bring a couple tears to my eyes when I listen.
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime’s argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are
I love to attend live concerts, especially when I was in my 20s and 30s (yup I am older now!) and one of the most memorable concerts I attended was when I saw Sting and his band (including Bradford Marsalis) play at the RPI Fieldhouse when I lived in Upstate New York. He was touring for the Nothing Like the Sun album and played many songs from the album as well as classic songs from when he was with The Police.
I remember nearly falling over a railing I was holding on when he came out shirtless with just an acoustic guitar to sing Message in a Bottle as one of the encores with the audience joining him in harmony midway through the song.
It would have been quite a fall and I would not be blogging to you right now so it was good I paid attention at the last minute!
I found this obscure video on YouTube which was likely from that tour, to give you a sample of my experience except Sting is fully clothed in this video (smile):
I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder as I primarily listened to whatever my parents were playing on their turnable which was usually R&B, Jazz or Blues. I remember watching the Grammys as a small child and it seemed like he was always awarded Grammys.
He did receive a Grammy in the mid 1970s for the incredible album, but I did not really appreciate the depth of Stevie Wonder’s greatness and talent until I was an adult.
I think sometime in my 30s I bought the CD Innervisions just to add it to a library I was building of classic albums and ended up falling completely in love with the album and realizing his genius.
The album is an incredible masterpiece and I think it is best appreciated listening from start to finish. I do not have a favorite song on this album as each song is a work of musical art.
Here is a sample courtesy of YouTube:
Wait a minute. I do have a favorite song from this incredible album – the sad but beautiful All in Love is Fair. I always have it on my iPhone playlist.
I first heard of ZZ Top in the 1980s during their “Pop Music” MTV phase with songs like Sharp Dressed Man and Gimme All Your Lovin. But in the early 1990s, while living in Houston, Texas, some friends at a dinner party one night introduced me to their earlier work to include the completely bad*ss album – Deguello!
When I first heard the songs La Grange, I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide, Cheap Sunglasses, etc. I was blown away!
Here’s a little sample courtesy of YouTube:
And yes, I had to stand up from my sewing machine on some of the songs and dance about the room. But during the song La Grange I was able to just sing “Hmm, hmm, hmm” in a gravely voice while still sewing!
If you like rock, like real yummy Texas Bluesy Rock, here’s another sample for you (but don’t try to craft/knit/sew to it or you might mess up your piece – ha!):
There is currently a pretty cool documentary about ZZ Top currently on Netflix called The Little Ol’ Band From Texas
I lived in Texas for 8 years and it is like living in another country outside the United States – it really is a unique place with a distinct culture! Everyone needs to visit Texas at least once in their life!
And More Music…
I was originally going to discuss 5 or more albums on this post but I knew I might lose a couple of peoples’ attention if I kept running on about albums (hey Tierney isn’t this supposed to be a blog about crafting?!?!).
But here is a list of some of the other albums I enjoyed listening to in their entirety while I worked on my endless half square triangle quilt:
Brothers in Arms – Dire Straits
The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
Zebop – Santana
What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
Too Long in Exile – Van Morrison
Ten – Pearl Jam
Legend – Bob Marley & The Wailers
Tapestry – Carole King
Court & Spark – Joni Mitchell
A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
Talking Book – Stevie Wonder
At Folsom Prison – Johnny Cash
Listening to great music gives me a lot of comfort during these challenging times and inspires me to keep sewing!
Now if you prefer listening spoken word over music for your crafting and you enjoy podcasts, I’d like to recommend a new podcast by one of my blogging buddies, author Tammie Painter: The Book Owl Podcast.
I’ve been following Tammie’s blog for a while and it was fun to actually hear her voice!
Currently there are only two episodes (well three if you count the introduction episode) and I’ve highly enjoyed them both. She takes a topic related to books/literature and presents her research in a humorous and engaging way.
You can find the podcast wherever you get your podcasts. I used Apple podcasts and I was able to pull up the podcast through the Podcast app on my iPhone.
Of course I hope this puts pressure on Tammie to give us another episode soon (smile)!
Okay my blogging buddies that are quilters – I want you to enter this Call for Entries with me and see if you can get your quilt into a book (see my Postscript section at the end of this post) and possibly to be shown/displayed at the Houston International Quilt Festival in 2021.
Dr. Sandra Sider, Curator of the Texas Quilt Museum is selecting quilts for a book and show called: Quarantine Quilts: Creativity in the Midst of Chaos.
The deadline for entry is June 30, 2020.
I know many of you have been busy making quilts during the COVID-times – well maybe you can share them with the larger worldwide quilting community!
Half of the royalties from the future book Quarantine Quilts: Creativity in the Midst of Chaos will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.
Do it – enter! Even if you’ve never entered something like this before! Either your piece does not get accepted…or it does (you have to PLAY TO WIN)!
If selected you would have a quilt published in a book (and maybe your piece makes it to the Houston International Quilt Festival!)
You can read my original post from June 2014 Look Look I am in a Book for more of the story, but back in the middle of the night sometime in 2014, on a spur of the moment whim, I entered a call for entry for Sandra Sider’s book 1000 Quilt Inspirations: Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern, and Art Quilts.
I sent in images from 5 different quilts. I was notified in June 2015 that several of my quilts would be in the book, little did I know at the time the FIVE of my quilts would be in this book!
The book was published by Quarry Books in 2015 and I nearly fainted when I received my copy and saw I had all five of the quilts I entered in this book!
This was extremely early in my days of trying to be an “art quilter” and you can imagine the joy I felt knowing my art was in a national publication.
Hope this Postscript inspires you to enter a quilt into the call for entries of her new book. I plan to enter my piece currently in progress!
I found this images on Pinterest, which I shared in that post, of what the quilt looks like finished:
I decided to name my version of this quilt “All the Trimmings”since most of the scrap triangles were donated by other quilters from their block trimmings. Most of the triangles I am using in my version of this quilt were once headed to the landfill (and now they get to be in a quilt!).
The quilt consist of sections of 2 inch x 2 inch half square triangles (HSTs); 2.5″ x 2.4″ HSTs, 3.5″ x 3.5″ HSTs, 4.5″ x 4’5″ HSTs, and finally 5.5″ x 5.5″ HSTs.
HSTs are usually made by some quick method such as placing two squares of fabric together, making a line down the middle, sewing a 1/4 on each side of the line and then cutting apart two completed HSTs.
However I made most of the HSTs the manual hard way by sewing two scrap triangles together and then trimming the block to the required size. But I used up hundreds and hundreds (nearly all of them) of my scrap triangle collection.
I’ve completed three sections of the quilt: 2″x2″, 2.5″x2.5″ and 3.5″x3.5″ and they are up on my design wall.
Seeing her work and her color palettes always inspires my creativity.
I’ve also started to follow her third blog (yes, like I said above, she can make you feel like you’ve been quite lazy – ha!) Sometimes You Get So Confused, which talks about her art drop offs in public places and her musings as she navigates life.
I’ve given the three clay figures, The Positive People, she generously gifted me, a special place in my tierneycreates studio!
Feeling pretty lucky to continue to meet so many awesome people in the “blogosphere”!
I shared in the post Paved Trail Inspirations, that people (likely kids/families) were writing positive messages in sidewalk chalk in the paved trails near my house which I walk everyday. Well, I like to vary my walks to include walking in neighborhoods, and during these walks I am now finding inspirational painted stones, likely done by kids, tucked here and there in neighborhood sidewalks.
These are unusual and challenging times and I love that people (real life “Positive People”) are trying to reach out to each other with encouragement!
The park retains a unique part of Colorado’s history, the remains of Castlewood Canyon Dam. Visitors can still see the remnants and damage from that dam which burst in 1933. The event sent a 15-foot (5 m) wave of water all the way to downtown Denver resulting in a flood.
My partner John and I brought Mike the miniature schnauzer with us, and once again, as in photos in other posts in this series of posts, Mike got to hike in the backpack:
Yes, Mike is one spoiled miniature schnauzer!
With social distancing in place, hiking was a bit tricky when we got to narrow areas as if there was another set of people walking by we had to get at least six (6) feet away from them. This got a wee bit cumbersome during the hike at times, especially if there was a large family group hiking.
During this time of social distancing, I always wonder if dogs think that humans just do not like each other any longer, as they are always avoiding one another as much as possible!
You cannot sit at any of the park benches or picnic areas (they are closed off during the COVID-times) but we did have a nice picnic on a large rock next to a stream during our hike.
As you can see in the first photo, Mike looked on as lunch was prepared and eaten, wondering why he was not invited to the feast (we did bring dog treats and water for him of course)!
I will close out this post with some of my favorite photos from the several hour afternoon hike at Castlewood Canyon State Park in both color and black & white. Thanks for virtually sharing this hike with me!
I am taking a break from posting about the natural geologic beauty of Colorado like I did in my previous two posts. Instead I have a sort of follow up to my 04/16/2020 post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post).
My first solo show at the Seattle Municipal Tower (sponsored by the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture) ended in July 2019, and I’d already moved to Colorado. The City of Seattle ended up purchasing 3 of the quilts from the show for their permanent collection; and private collectors purchased 2 more, so that left 7 quilts (or 6 I forget) to be returned to me.
Thanks to my friends Colleen, Donna and Judy, the quilts were held for me until I attended a quilt retreat in Washington state in November 2019.
I noticed when I picked up the quilts that had not sold, the City of Seattle had also included all the placards from the show! Below is an example of one of those placards created by the City of Seattle’s gallery curator and his team:
I was not sure as to what to do with these placards, but after moving back into our current house (after due to the COVID related financial crisis we decided not to buy a new house), I decided to create a gallery in my house with the remaining art quilts and their placards.
The gallery is scattered about the house upstairs and downstairs; and is found in hallways as well as bedrooms.
I also mounted on the wall of my studio the placards for the quilts that sold as well as the main poster for the show.
I am not sure how long I will leave the placards up along side the remaining art quilts, but for now I find it entertaining. I guess when you are stuck at home during the COVID times you have to discover new ways to entertain yourself!
Speaking of entertaining oneself, I’ve been thinking about the instruction/suggestion below that I discovered on a morning walk as sidewalk/walking path art (see post Paved Trail Inspirations):
Social isolation is the standard now in the “time of COVID” (how I refer to these times), and my partner John and I have been trying to be creative with finding simple ways to entertain ourselves (besides exhaustive online television network watching).
One of the things we do a couple times of week is having “walking cocktail hour” when we take Mike our miniature schnauzer for a walk in the evening. We load our portable tumblers with our cocktails – a microbrew for me, an Old Fashioned for him, and head out on our dog walk!
And no one knows what is our tumblers…(smile)
I always wonder what pets are thinking about the COVID times and the humans always being around. I already telecommuted full-time and now my partner is also telecommuting, so we are always home together. Here is Mike trying to make the best of us both working on our laptops and fitting in a snuggle with the humans…
I am continuing my series of posts to celebrate my one year anniversary of living in Colorado by sharing some of the natural geologic beauty I’ve witnessed over the past year as I explore Colorado. Here is the link to the first post in this series if you missed it – And on the 8th Day…Part I. This post also explains the title of this series of posts.
I meant to continue this series yesterday, on April 19th the actual anniversary, but I got distracted by the endless trimming of half square triangles (No Scrap Left Behind (half square triangle craziness)), so I have a good excuse. No worries (in case you’ve been losing sleep wondering how I am progressing on my latest scrappy quilt) I will update you on this piece in a future post, but for now here is a photo of my growing piles of trimmed half square triangles:
Eldorado Canyon State Park
Eldorado Canyon State Park is one of those hidden gems in Colorado that no one talks about except the native/locals. Luckily my partner John is a Colorado native and knows all the great places to hike. We spent the day there with Mike our miniature schnauzer in September 2019.
Eldorado Canyon is a hidden treasure right in Boulder’s backyard! Whether it’s hiking amidst the towering sandstone cliffs, picnicking along scenic South Boulder Creek or climbing Eldo’s sheer golden walls, Eldorado Canyon State Park truly has something for everyone! Discover this hidden jewel and take home memories that will last a lifetime.
Well, like the description above says, I did “take home memories that will last a lifetime” and I took WAY TOO MANY photos!
In preparing for this post, I poured over hundreds of photos from my visit to decide which ones to share. I am only going to share my absolute favorites (smile).
In the Rapids
One of my favorite memories of the day is climbing out to the rocks in the middle of river (or creek?) that runs through the park and being in the middle of the rapids (well it was not that turbulent) and having a little picnic.
My partner John, who took the photos, had to precariously hand me Mike once I got myself safely positions on the rocks in the middle of the water.
My favorite photo from this moment is selfie I took of Mike and I where it looks like Mike is saying: “My human is kind of crazy for bringing me out to this rock in the middle of rapidly moving water!”
Wandering About the Canyon
I only had to select from 20+ photos to provide those photos above. I won’t tell you the obscene amount of photos I had to select from for these next set of photos. Everything was so beautiful and awe-inspiring as we hiked about the canyon.
Here are some of my favorite photos (because I do not want to blow out my blog page image storage allowance, ha!).
All I can say is that these images do not do the beauty of this place justice.
The sky was clear blue and although it was a Saturday in September there we not very many fellow hikers there. At times it felt like we had the whole amazing place to ourselves!
Traveling in Style
As some of the hike involved a bit of easy rock climbing to get around, we decided we would carry Mike in his backpack most of the hike for safety. Here he is traveling in style (we took turns carrying him vs. our day hike pack) and John carried him most of the time.
The Black and Whites
Of course I took B&W photos during the hike? Would you expect any less of me?!?! (If you are new to this blog you can check out my series of posts – Life in B&W).
Here are some of my favorites as I channeled my inner Ansel Adams…
And to close out this post, here is me, feeling quite happy and blessed to be a on a beautiful hike, on a beautiful day, in the beautiful state of Colorado!
To celebrate this anniversary, over the next several posts, I want to share with you some of the natural geologic beauty I’ve witness over the past year as I explore Colorado.
The title of this post “And on the 8th day” is a reference to the Judeo-Christian Creation Story in the Bible in which God worked 7 days to put heaven and earth together (actually 6 days as on the 7th day God rested per the story); and the saying I’ve heard from other Colorado residents in regards to the natural wondrous beauty of Colorado:
The photos I am about to share do not do the awe inspiring beauty of this place justice, but hopefully they will give you a little sample of why people in Colorado joke that this state had a day of Creation devoted to it!
If you’ve ever visited Arches National Park in Utah, it’s a similar concept – amazing rock formations! It is not as elaborate as Arches but it is pretty spectacular in person (as I mentioned, photos do not do it justice…well at least not amateur photos!).
The sky was overcast on the day we visited and I look forward to visiting there again this year on a sunny day. We were a bit hurried during our visit because we will trying to fit in a lot of sightseeing for our visitors. Next time I visit, I want to bring a picnic and spend more time exploring and just sitting and admiring the breathtaking beauty of the place.
And of course I took Black and White photos and here are a sample of some of those photos.
Today’s post is a re-post of my post from April 26, 2019 about my first solo show, which was a very big moment in my imaginary artistic career (smile).
April 19th is my one year anniversary of moving to the Denver area and I want to celebrate that anniversary this week by re-sharing this big moment as well as a couple new posts about the beauty of Colorado later this week.
I cannot believe the trajectory of my life over the past 16 months.
As many of you know in December 2018 I suddenly lost my husband (Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)) and my whole life radically changed. I’d been with Terry since I was 20 years old and did not know adult life without him. He was definitely the protector type and now I had to learn to protect myself and function in the world without him.
I was blessed with an incredible support network and blessed with the strange decision I made to sell my home in Central Oregon and move to the Denver Colorado greater metropolitan area (see series of posts Colorado Bound). This move gave me something to focus on besides my all consuming and completely overwhelming grief (I do not recommend this widow thing as a hobby, it sucks).
In addition to planning the move to Colorado and visiting friends in the Pacific NW, a shining light during my early days of widowhood was a surprise invitation in January 2019 from the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, to have a solo show at their downtown Seattle Municipal Tower.
I still cannot believe the timing on this amazing opportunity, that is happened when I really needed it and was at the lowest point in my entire life. Preparing for the show gave me something additional (and exciting) to focus on. The Universe is magical that way sometimes, eh?
I get blue some days during these COVID-times (and I really appreciate when my blogging buddies share their struggles on their blogs) but I remind myself: “Hey, you made it through losing your life partner that you were with for more than 1/2 your life; and you moved to Colorado and started a new life – you can do this, you can make it through these times.”
(And if you are having a particular blue day during the COVID-times, perhaps reminding yourself of hard times you’ve already made it through might help. You can do this!)
Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower, Part III
I am getting settled in my new Colorado apartment after relocating from Central Oregon to the Greater Denver Metro area.
Finally, here is the final post in my series of posts about my first solo show at the Seattle Municipal Tower’s Ethnic Heritage Art Gallerylocated at 700 5th Ave in downtown Seattle, Washington. The show is curated by the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture.
I stayed with friends in West Seattle and as parking in downtown Seattle is crazy, even though they offered to loan me one of their cars, I took the bus to the event. I arrived early and had time to wander around the amazing downtown Seattle library (I will share photos from that wander in another post).
After wandering around the library with my tierneycreates Beastie (who loves libraries also – see posts Beastie Colorado Adventure Begins and Beastie Outing: Trip to the Library) it was time to head into the Seattle Municipal Tower for the show opening, but not without first taking some photos of the entry and this downtown Seattle skyscraper:
As you can see in my above selfie, I was pretty darn excited.
Show Opening: The Wardrobe Meets the Wall
The show (The Wardrobe Meets the Wall: Art Quilts Created from Recycled Clothing and Garment Manufacturing Samples) opened with a presentation by board members the the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery board on background and mission of the gallery, and then an introduction about me and my work.
Next, after providing an overview of my work, I did a presentation on the story behind the show and working with recycled materials. Then did a walk through tour and presentation on all 12 pieces I have in the show, sharing the story behind each piece.
Here are photos from the show which is on display until 07/15/2019. The gallery did a wonderful job of creating large placards for each piece that provided my full artist statement so that visitors could read the full story behind each piece.
A nice crowd attended the opening which included board members of the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery board, downtown Seattle workers, my work colleagues in the Seattle office of my employer, and longtime friends who live in Seattle. I enjoyed walking the crowd through the 12 pieces and telling the story behind each piece (and no one appeared to fall asleep).
The Gallery also provided an area for flyers and my business cards if anyone was interested. I had generic business card created for the show as these cards are accessible by the public who has access to the gallery.
Additionally here are some photos taken the day before the show opening right after the pieces were hung, by my friend Loren who works at the Seattle Municipal Tower:
The whole experience was exciting but a little exhausting. I’ve been in several art shows in the past and have attended openings but it is a different experience when you are the only artist and it is your show!
When the show closes 07/15/2019, a Seattle based friend is going to collect the pieces from the gallery and deliver them to me when she visits me in the Denver area in late July. I do have two buyers interested in several of the pieces so I might have a couple art quilt sales in the near future.
After the Show
After the show I met up with a large group of Seattle friends at a lovely Dim Sum restaurant in the University Village area – Din Tai Fung.
We sat for hours visiting and having wonderful conversations while dining on delicious Taiwanese cuisine such as these wonderful vegetable dumplings below:
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am settling into my new Colorado apartment. It has been an interesting transition from living in a house most of my life to now living in an apartment but so far, so good.
I wrote this blog post from my kitchen table this morning while eating breakfast and sipping on tea.
Mike my miniature schnauzer is getting used to all these people and dogs living in “his house” (he thinks the whole inside the apartment complex is his home but for some reason he and I only live in one section of it – ha!)
Don’t panic, I’ve did not give up on the project I blogged about yesterday. Instead I removed all the half square triangles (HSTs) made from scrap triangles so they could be trimmed:
And I got a whole lotta trimming to do! There are 5 different sizes of HSTs: 5.5″, 4.5″, 3.5″, 2.5″, and 2″that make up this quilt pattern. For example, I need 200 2″ squares.
I thought about making it sort of freeform/improvisational, but I really want to make the pattern as written, so I am going to do the tedious work of trimming (I mean what else am I doing with my time during my social distancing/isolation/pandemic times?) all the HSTs to their respective sizes.
Yesterday I actually started trimming and making piles…
So unless you want to see a slow record of my continuing growing piles of HSTs in various sizes, I am not going to update you on this project until I get all the HSTs (hundreds of them!) cut to size and start laying the quilt out.
So onto other things, like something yummy and inspirational to listen to while you are crafting/creating…
Creative Strength Training
Last year I bought this awesome book by Jane Dunnewold – Creative Strength Training: Prompts, Exercises and Personal Stories for Encouraging Artistic Genius.
But I have yet to open the book and read it.
Then I discovered that the author has posted on YouTube the complete audiobook read by the author!
You can locate this free audiobook on her YouTube Channel –Jane Dunnewold.
Go to Playlists tab and look for “Creative Strength Training Audiobook”. There will be 22 videos each with different sections of the book.
The audiobook is absolutely amazing and I’ve been listening to it on long walks. I can’t wait to actual work through the exercises (which I’ve done in my head while walking) in the actual book.
Yes it is slightly cumbersome to listen using YouTube as chapters are broken up into individual YouTube videos (which are audio only) but what a wonderful gift the author has shared.
I love the personal stories by the author as well as from other artists. It just makes me want to create (and makes me want to someday rewrite my Artist Statement).
If you need some artistic inspiration I highly recommend this free audiobook. If you love the audiobook, consider buying the paperback book to work through the exercises and support the author.
I thought I would start with my fabric scrap collection for my first non-mask project in my “new” studio.
I have long history of fabric scrap addiction (yes I am that person at a quilt retreat who stops people from throwing out their larger scraps in the trash and offers to “adopt” them) and so I have quite the collection of fabric scraps.
I keep them organized in bins at the bottom of the IKEA bookcases in my studio:
These bins contains scraps organized by color.
I also have them organized by themed collections of scraps in bags stored under my cutting table:
One of these collections, is a collection of scrap triangles, most given to me by other quilters when they trimmed these triangle when piecing blocks for their quilts. The triangles are in various sizes.
By sewing two scrap triangles together, I can created a scrappy “half square triangle” (HST) which provides many design opportunities. This is what I did with a bunch of scrappy fabric squares which I turned into HSTs back in Spring 2018 (see post Pillow Popping with the Untethered Soul), and created a pillow top:
I do have a basket of fabric scrap squares that I could have used to make HSTs for the project I am about to tell you about:
But I’ve decided I want to start using (and cleaning out) my ridiculous collection of themed bags of scraps (mainly given to me by other quilters) and my scrap triangle collection had gotten out of control.
So I dumped the entire collection of fabric scrap triangles onto my cutting table:
And pulled out this awesome book by Amanda Jean Nyberg, No Scrap Left Behind, for ideas.
I found a pattern in the book called All Sizes which uses several different sizes of HSTs to create a scrap quilt with smaller HSTs progressing to larger HSTs.
I did not want to violate copyright laws by photographing the quilt pattern inside the book but I did find an image of the quilt on Pinterest:
The pattern instructs you to create HSTs the standard way from two contrasting squares (if you’ve never made HSTs or are not quilter, here is a link by Blossom Heart Quilts explaining how HSTs are commonly made – HST Tutorial). However I decided to manually make HSTs by sewing two scrappy triangles together.
So to make this happen I had to sort my giant pile of scrap triangles into light and dark in order to manual create the HSTs (to get a nice contrast with a HST you use a light fabric and a darker fabric). The process was tedious but fun (I listened to great music while sorting, sewing, pressing/ironing. and trimming).
Eventually my “hot mess” of scrap triangles, turned into this on my design wall:
No it doesn’t look anything like the pattern of the Pinterest finished quilt image I shared above but it is in progress. Initially I placed the HSTs in size order on the design wall but my organization fell apart after a while of trying to just randomly get all the HSTs I’ve made onto the design wall (to get a sense of how many I’ve made so far).
Also, you might have noticed that the Pinterest finished quilt image has white as the light on the HSTs. I’ve was very loose in my interpretation of “light” to contrast with my darker triangles. I did not have many white/cream or other light colored scrap triangles. So I had to use medium fabrics often as “lights” and you will see some bold fabrics in the mix (like deep/strong yellows, etc.) as “lights”.
But hey – it’s going to be a very scrappy quilt!
When the quilt top is complete, I am going to toss any remaining scrappy triangles. They were originally headed to the trash bin before I rescued them. It is okay if some now make it to the trash.
I think there will be very few scrap triangles remaining when I am done; and I think this is a one time scrap quilt experiment with scrap triangles. (Next time I make HSTs it will be using contrasting squares)
And I plan to say “no thank you” when other quilters offer me their scrap triangles in the future!
I am still hand quilting Seattle Scrappy (see post Seattle Scrappy (What’s on the Design Wall)) in case you wondered what became of that piece. I keep it on the stairs railing next to the recliner I sit in when watching television in the living room, so it is always handy to work on:
Some of you might now be working from home for the first time during the COVID times. I’ve been working from home (or telecommuting as my employer calls it) for over 14 years.
Instead of “telecommuting tips”, I thought I would share some home office tips and a little tour of my home office.
Home Office Tips
Make it cozy and comfortable
Try to make it feel like a separate space from the rest of your home
Don’t stay in there all day! Stand up every 1/2 hour from your desk and at least every couple of hours leave the room to take a little break.
Have a TV or music in the room or listen to podcasts or something – you can simulate having background noise like you would at work
Let your pet (cat, dog, iguana, porcupine, etc.) hang in the room with you and have a cozy spot for them
Tierney’s Home Office Tour
My home office is shared with the upstairs guest room and I’ve decorated it with my favorite schnauzer/dog themed art, some quilts and some tchotchkes!
It makes me smile to work in the room (and during a really boring conference call, I can lie on the bed and listen to it…)
Oh – if you’d like to see close up photos and read more about the flags about the guest bed, here is a post I did in May 2017 on these flags –The Flags Outside My Window
I’ve also turned the closet of the guest room/office into a multipurpose closet with 1/2 of the closet for off season clothes storage (and a place for guests to hang their clothes); and non-sewing craft storage.
I had a mismatched collection of baskets I’ve collected over the years and I used them in an old storage shelf/bookcase (that fit perfectly in 1/2 the closet) to store my paper crafting, jewelry making and miscellaneous craft supplies. I am pleased with the re-purposing.
It is a fun room to work in. It might seem a little busy and overstimulating to some people but it works for me. Create a space that works for you!
Who knows how long you will be working from home during these times, so my suggestion is to make it a fun and stimulating place to work!
One more thing to add – I am very grateful to my employer for really supporting their workforce as most of the company transitions to telecommuting. We have increased video conferencing meetings; wonderful updates from leadership team via video; as well as frequent webinars on taking care of yourself as a remote worker and managing stress during these uncertain times.
How are you all doing? I am thinking about you all and sending you all good and peaceful thoughts.
I’ve been going on a lot of walks in the green space behind my house (as there is not much to do outside but walk around, while keeping social distance). There are miles and miles of paved trails and I’ve enjoying seeing many families, couples and individuals out walking.
In a recent post Perspective I shared inspirational sidewalk/paved trail chalk art I came upon during a walk last week:
Well, 2 days ago, I discovered on my walk a whole path of inspirational messages in sidewalk chalk that I want to share with you.
I have captioned each message in case they are difficult to read.
I also came across in a drainage area with even more inspirational messages and kid art that made me smile.
I suspect a family with their kids did this project together. I’d like to imagine there was a family cheering themselves up by trying to cheer up others by spreading a message of positivity and hope.
To all my blogging friends who might be worrying and struggling:
A lot of people are out walking about, which is a good thing. However some days it feels like my favorite walking trails are getting a wee bit too crowded (even with people respecting social distancing).
I was quite pleased yesterday when I ventured in a new direction and discovered a lesser known/used path. I had an exquisitely peaceful walk on my own with no one else in sight for 30 minutes. All I could hear was birds chirping.