A Crafter's Life

The Relaxation Vacation Experiment

I began this post a couple of days ago and then got really blue about what is going on in Italy and other parts of the world, not to mention my own country. But I think we need to carry on with “regular life” as much as we can (while we socially isolate and for some while we “shelter-in-place”), so I pulled myself out of my blueness and I am finishing up this post that might seem a little frivolous at this point but…


Remember mid-February? Remember when you had access to all the toilet paper you needed (or could possibly dream of) and terms such as “social distancing” were not part of your vocabulary/life?

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Well let’s take a brief break from our global pandemic in this post and let me share my semi-failed experiment in my first planned “complete relaxation vacation” (but if I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I would not have failed at the relaxation vacation experiment!)

Cabo San Lucas, February 2020

As mentioned in my previous post, Cabo San Lucas in Black and White, my partner John and I took a (nearly) week’s vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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You might look at these photos and think: “Wow, what a vacation/holiday in paradise”. This is what normal people would think. However for John and I it was a “Relaxation Vacation Experiment”.

And we may have failed at this experiment…

John is a widower and as many of you know I am a widow. Our former spouses were both the type who liked to do “Always Busy/Scheduled Activities/See As Much As You Can” vacations.

I was with Terry the Quilting Husband since I was 20 years old (nearly my entire adult life) and every vacation we went on was filled with endless sightseeing and other busy activities. I am not complaining we had some wonderful vacations and I got to visit some major historical sights and battlegrounds in the U.S. and Europe (Terry was a Military History buff) on our trips as well as fun and playful vacations like Disneyland, etc.

John’s previous life was the same – his vacations were filled with trying to do as much sightseeing as possible during the vacation time allotted.

So he and I came up with the idea that for the first time in our lives, we should go on a vacation in which we do something crazy…RELAX!

In our minds, we would enjoy our first completely relaxing, have nothing scheduled, lie around on the beach and read books, vacation.

John’s sister has a lovely condo in Cabo San Lucas and so we thought that would be a perfect (and not too expensive) way to have a mid-Winter relaxing vacation in a warm and tropical place!

Things started out promising – we managed to goof off a couple hours wandering and sitting around the beach and reading books on our first afternoon in town.

2020-02-14_14-39-14_8772020-02-14_14-43-30_5792020-02-15_14-42-03_342We even invented the “Shoe Coaster” (patent pending) for our special beverages on the beach!

2020-02-15_14-43-24_358Unfortunately we grew a little bored of just hanging out on the beach after  a while.

There were lots of wonderful restaurants on the beach so we tried just hanging out for long stretches “relaxing” at restaurants on the beach. Here I am on the way to the beach or a restaurant on the beach, preparing for some more “relaxation”:

IMG_20200215_101434The truth is, after just a couple days of this “relaxation” stuff, we were bored out of our minds.

Yes we did do some sightseeing in the main area of Cabo San Lucas but everywhere you walked someone was trying to sell you something and after a while I just felt like a “dollar” walking around for vendors trying to get.

We did one afternoon however have a lovely lunch at the marina area of Cabo and we did have brief sweet moments of “total relaxation”.

2020-02-17_13-00-21_4012020-02-17_12-33-16_143IMG_20200217_122256But like the creature in the image above, after a couple of days we decided all this relaxation vacation stuff was “for the birds” and not for us!

After an awkward discussion where we finally both admitted (previous we were each secretly thinking it without telling the other) we were absolutely bored out of our minds with all this relaxation (we had even tried just staying the condo and binge watching a Netflix show when we’d had enough of the beach, etc.) – we decided to change our flight and come home early from vacation.

Are you shaking your heads in disbelief at this point?

(To be honest, now, with what is going on in the world, I too am shaking my head – I wish I had stayed longer in Cabo and embraced relaxation…)

We both accepted we had “failed” at the “Relaxation Vacation Experiment”.

Actually we did not fail, we learned.

We learned that we like to more active vacations in places where there are lots of museums and historic sights to see. We are not the “lie on the beach and relax” kind of vacation people.

And that is okay (smile).


Postscript

The day before we were scheduled to return home early our enthusiasm returned and we decided to fill our last full day in Cabo having a less traditional experience: we decided to go “Farm-to-Table” restaurant hopping. I guess there is a big farm-to-table movement in Cabo and we thought it would be fun to explore.

Luckily we had a car during our trip so we drove to a remote area for our first Mexican farm-to-table experience. The road to this farm, Los Tamarindos, was a quite bumpy (unpaved) and a little scary (in the middle of nowhere) but it was so worth the drive. We had an amazing meal and experience and here are a couple photos:

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The food was not just fresh and amazing, it was sort of a spiritual experience!

After our first farm-to-table experience in Mexico, we were hooked and headed to the next farm, Flora Farms, where we did not sit for a formal meal but wandered around and amazing cocktails and the most delicious ice cream cone in my life!

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This trip and these photos seems like another lifetime, like another world.

Hoping you all stay safe in the reality of our current world. Hang in there.

Love,

Tierney and John

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Life in B&W

Cabo San Lucas in Black and White

In the middle of February, before the reality of global pandemic became something we would be discussing in our daily conversations, my partner and I went on vacation to Cabo San Lucas.

In my next post I will share stories from our “relaxation vacation experiment” but for this post I will just share some of the photos I took in black & white to continue my ongoing series Life in B&W, in which I pretend I am a photographer (smile).

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Thrift Shop Adventures

An Interesting Find…

I currently have “Corona-virus Blues”, what about you? I was scheduled to go next week to a very exciting conference in Nashville, Tennessee with many fun events, but my employer cancelled all business/corporate travel for the next several weeks because of the virus outbreak.

Even though I am bummed, in the big picture this is not such a big issue as there are many people impacted on a greater scale. My heart goes out to those who are currently infected and recovering as well as to the families of those who’ve loss loved ones due to this outbreak.

And now onto lighter topics such as the awesome find I recently made at a local thrift shop.


It’s been quite a while since I posted anything in my category/series of blog posts Thrift Shop Adventures. I have not done as much thrifting as I used to do in Central Oregon since moving to the Denver metro area in April 2019. I do miss the awesome Humane Society of Central Oregon Thrift Store, where I discovered many delights, such as this find such as the one I mention in this November 2018 post – Awesome $2 Thrift Shop Find.

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All these high end designer fabric samples for $2 from the Humane Society Thrift Shop!

Although it does not replace my beloved Humane Society Thrift Shop, I have discovered a fairly wonderful thrift shop in downtown Denver – Goodwill Denver– Broadway.

Last weekend, while browsing, I stumbled upon an amazing find – all this fabric marked at $12, which I got for 30% off $12 because of the tag color sale (Goodwill does a daily tag color discount that varies from day to day):

2020-03-02_17-53-59_481Inside this bag was a large collection of fabrics by a company called Boundless Fabrics which appears to be primarily sold by Bluprint (formerly known as Craftsy).

2020-03-02_17-47-32_363The package included yardage, precuts (charm squares and fat quarters), a panel (a Moda Fabrics panel) and some odd size fabric scraps.

2020-03-02_17-49-32_9772020-03-02_17-50-17_3572020-03-02_17-53-01_991The pictures above do not do the package as there is enough fabric for several quilts (there are at least 10+ yards of fabric among the yardage).

The fabrics could not be used in one quilt (unless you liked an eclectic mix of styles and patterns) but they could be used for several different quilts.

I looked up reviews on Boundless Fabrics and they higher than the quality of fabrics sold at JOANN Fabrics and Craft Store but slightly below the quality of those sold at quilt shops. But for 30% of $12 (oh please do not make me do the math, ha!) they were not a bad deal!

In case you are wondering I have absolutely no idea of what I am going to do with them, but I put them away for now (smile).


Postscript

Continuing with the theme of “interesting finds”…

For those of you who’ve been blogging for a while – do you remember when you were a new blogger? Remember trying to build your audience? I did it by following other blogs and commenting on posts.

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Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash

Over the years (I’ve been blogging nearly 7 years) I’ve met a bunch of cool blogging buddies and regularly follow their blogs.

I noticed that many of us, especially those of us who are crafters, follow the same blogs and it fun to see for example Mary @zippyquilts commenting on a post by Chela @chela’s colchas y mas who just commenting on a post by Mariss @fabrications who had a comment from Laura @laurabrunolilly.com who had commented also on  the blogs I just mentioned!

You get a real sense of community. (And there are many more bloggers in our community, like Claudia @claudiamcgillart, but I just listed a few as an example.)

Well I would like to occasionally introduce/suggest a new member to our crafter blogging community – an interesting blog find I discovered through this blogger commented on my posts:

Sleepy Beagle 

(thesleepybeagleword.wordpress.com/blog/)

Check out this interesting crafter blog if you get a chance and perhaps become a follower and make her part of our community. Her crafting and crafter’s life posts are well written, informative and engaging! This blog is an “Interesting Find”!

What's on the Design Wall

Update on Seattle Scrappy

Hello there, thought I would give you an update on my freeform log cabin scrap quilt “Seattle Scrappy”.

First here is a quick recap.

I began piecing this quilt in early January 2020 while attending a quilt retreat, from a bag of gray fabric scraps my friend Dana shared during the retreat; and initial made around 140 blocks:

2020-01-11_15-35-55_9032020-01-10_18-11-34_1862020-01-12_08-00-38_602When I returned home, I trimmed these blocks to 5′ x 5″ (12.7 cm x 12.7 cm) blocks and began piecing them together and musing over how to finish the quilt including whether to machine or hand quilt it, etc.:

2020-02-06_08-23-26_627That’s where I left off in my previous post about this quilt – Seattle Scrappy (What’s on the Design Wall).

Last weekend I finished the quilt top and decided to hand quilt it! So I laid it out on the floor of my bedroom (also known as the “design carpet” – see post What’s on the…Design Carpet) and pinned it:

2020-02-25_11-07-27_7872020-02-25_11-07-41_296Here it is ready for hand stitching:

2020-02-25_11-12-18_4892020-02-25_11-15-09_232I bought a couple spools of gray Perle Cotton for hand stitching (I am not sure how much I need yet and did not want to over-buy):

2020-02-24_16-12-50_832And I’ve started stitching:

2020-02-26_07-22-59_569The quilt measures around 60″ x 60″ (152.4 x 152.4 cm) and it is going to take a while to hand quilt it, even with using large Kantha-like stitches.

I had so much fun piecing this quilt from scraps, I am itching to start a new scrap quilt. Although most of my fabric (yardage and pre-cuts) is packed up in anticipation of my move to a new house in the next couple of months I still have access to most of my scraps.

This book in my craft book library (which I have not completed packed) caught my eye…

2020-02-25_08-07-59_262And I am tempted to start something from this book…

Also I have a couple incomplete (less than 5″) freeform log cabin blocks and scraps left over from making “Seattle Scrappy” and I am trying to decide what to make with them – perhaps a pillow cover or a pot holder or something…

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A Crafter's Life

The Hat from the Yarn from the Journey

I recently finished another knitted hat with the kind of story behind it like the one I shared in my 11/11/19 post The Ball of Yarn (which eventually became a hat).

This hat is for my sister Rianna, who helped me more than I can ever put into words or thank her for during the most difficult time of my life in December 2018, after my husband suddenly died.

As I shared in the 12/23/18 post Stories from the Road, Part I, after my husband died I flew to the Eastern Coast of the U.S. (on a plane ticket my brother Raoul brought me) and my sister drove me across 4 Eastern states to see family and to attend a celebration of life for my husband with his family in Upstate New York. (My husband and I are originally from the East Coast of the U.S., both growing up in New York)

I was in a shocked daze but hanging out with my sister was a beautiful and bonding distraction. She drove me over 800 miles round-trip and on our way back from Upstate New York we stopped in a quaint town called Tarrytown, New York.

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wildkidswander.com

I knew at the time I needed to leave Central Oregon where I lived the past 14 years with my husband and start a new life somewhere, when I was ready, but moving to Colorado was not a fully formed idea yet. I was considering moving to New York to be closer to my siblings.

So we stopped in Tarrytown and wandered around for several hours as a break from being on the road.

While in Tarrytown we discovered the Flying Fingers Yarn Shop, and while browsing my sister brought a skein of yarn over to me and said: “Would you knit me a hat with this?”.

A little over 14 months later, I’ve finished the hat for my sister with the yarn she selected on the road trip:

2020-02-21_12-27-11_0362020-02-21_12-32-13_8482020-02-21_12-32-52_956I love variegated yarn and I think the pattern created by the variegations in the yarn is yummy!

My sister has curly hair (lots of it), so I made the hat a little bit wider and longer than I normally do. Here are some photos of me modeling the hat for my sister when I texted her images of the finished hat (I wanted to show her I added in extra length to the hat).

2020-02-21_12-29-42_8522020-02-21_12-25-08_665A handmade knitted hat is not enough to thank my sister for how much she was there for me during the most difficult time in my life but it is a little token of my appreciation.

When I write posts like this, though I try not to my make blog too “grief-y” these days, it reminds me how much love I have in my life from family and friends.


Postscript

“Snow Anxiety”

I’ve been struggling with anxiety this winter, especially when we have heavy snows in the Denver metropolitan area where I now live.

F7LeNnXLikely this is related to the worse winter of my life in early 2019 (after the worse Christmas season in my life when my husband died 12 days before Christmas).

There were constant major snowstorms in Central Oregon in January and February 2019 and I was constantly shoving feet of snow just to get out of my driveway.

Previously, my awesome husband always handled snow shoveling (occasionally I would help and we would “team shovel”) and suddenly after his death, I now had to constantly do it on my own (while sobbing uncontrollably in my grief).

This continued until I finally admitted to close friends my struggles and my wonderful friend Jason once he found out what I was doing, brought his snowblower over and told me no matter what, I was not to shovel snow anymore! He drove across town daily if needed to my house to take care of the snow removal (we had an endless dump of snow daily for a while in Central Oregon in winter 2019)!

I think when heavy snow hit the Denver area in January and February 2020 it brought back those awful grief memories and it manifested itself in “Snow Anxiety”.

No worries, I am working with my healthcare provider on this anxiety issue. Living at 5280+ feet above sea level, in the Rocky Mountains, there is going to be snow. So unless I am planning to move somewhere tropical I need to resolve my “Snow Anxiety” issue.

One thing that is helping with my anxiety is knitting and quilting projects!

This morning over breakfast I was reading an article in a crafting magazine discussing the mental health benefits of handwork and came across the most wonderful quote from Anne Lamott that I will close this post with:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. – Anne Lamott

 

Quilt Shop Tours

California Quilting Sisters Adventures, Part III

If you are just joining us, you can check out these two previous posts:

This is the third post closing out the series on stories and photos about a visit with my Northern California based “Quilting Sisters”, Kathy and Lisa in April 2019.

This post is all about our Northern California QUILT SHOP HOPPING 🙂

The quilt/fabric shops we visited included one in Auburn, California:

And three in the San Francisco “Bay Area”:

bay area quilting
Image: Google maps

As you can see by the map image above there were move quilt shops in the Bay Area but we could only fit in so much in one day (smile) and still have a proper Quilting Sister visit (to include lunch, ice cream and wandering about window shopping at non-quilting shops!).

Leal’s Coop

The first quilt shop in our Northern California quilt shop hop adventure was Leal’s Coop in Auburn, CA which was both quilting fabric shop and home decor shop. Lisa had another commitment so Kathy and I began the shop hop adventure on our own.

2019-04-04_11-39-00_2952019-04-04_11-23-12_3822019-04-04_11-22-31_0262019-04-04_11-22-23_8792019-04-04_11-21-50_428The shop owner was delightful and she was working on gift boxes for customers with her monthly gift box subscription:

2019-04-04_11-22-04_8162019-04-04_11-25-22_007After a wonderful wander about this shop and delightful chat with the shop owner, we wandered around the other surrounding shops:

2019-04-04_10-18-34_5352019-04-04_11-03-30_4982019-04-04_11-04-19_964We stopped for a delicious lunch at a vegan restaurant:

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And I snuck in some Black & White photography time.

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New Pieces Quilt Store & Gallery

The next day, Lisa joined us and we drove to Berkeley to continue the quilt shop hop adventure beginning with New Pieces Quilt Store & Gallery.

This shop had an amazing and eclectic collection of fabrics and a wonderful and friendly staff. We spent a very long time in this shop!

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They also had an amazing collection of Japanese fabrics.

2019-04-05_13-17-05_402And here are some unusual patterned fat quarters I bought at the shop (who knows what I will make with them but I just loved them and I do not know why!)

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After an extensive amount of time we were ready for lunch and had a delicious lunch as well as dessert at The Public Market.

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Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics

Another amazing fabric shop we visited in Berkeley was Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics.

This shop immediately made me smile with this Rumi quote on the glass window in front as you enter the shop:

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This shop was not a quilt shop but a fabric and sewing notions shop. It was crammed full of fabrics for all types of sewing – home decor, apparel, quilting, etc.

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I ended up buying these amazing pieces of canvas fabric (yes, impulse buy!):

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Bay Quilts

The third fabric/quilt shop we visited in the Bay Area was Bay Quilts. This quilt shop also had an art galley inside with rotating exhibits by local fiber artists.

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Are you exhausted from all the virtual quilt/fabric shop hopping in this post (smile).

I had a wonderful day of quilt/fabric shop hopping with my California Quilting Sisters!

By the way my Quilting Sister Lisa was able to take her fabric purchases from the day back home to be sewn on with her newly custom painted Singer Featherweight:

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Postscript

While staying at Kathy’s house during my Northern CA trip, it was fun to revisit several of my fiber art pieces she owns which includes as batik rope basket I made her as a gift; and a table runner she bought from my tierneycreates Etsy shop* years ago.

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(*believe or not this blog began in 2013 as vehicle for my Etsy shop – the blog kept going but the Etsy shop did not!)

Oh and let’s close out this series of posts about my trip in April 2019 to Northern California, with one more image of the sweet (and insane) Chocolate Labrador puppy Riley that was one of the special treats during my visit.

Here she is taking a break from her very active puppy-ness!

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A Crafter's Life, Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!

California Quilting Sisters Adventures, Part II

This post is a continuation of my previous post California Quilting Sisters Adventures, Part I.

Northern California is a beautiful part of the U.S. While visiting my Quilting Sisters Kathy and Lisa in the Sacramento area in April 2019 I got to appreciate some of the beauty of Northern CA.

I stayed with my friend Kathy, her husband Matt and her awesome new Chocolate Labrador puppy, Riley. They have incredible wooded areas on their property and just hanging out at their home I got a taste of the beauty of Northern CA.

One morning, I watched three wild male turkeys trying to court a female turkey right off their back patio:

2019-04-04_19-16-17_9542019-04-04_19-17-27_3022019-04-04_19-18-18_696I put an arrow where the female turkey was and she did not seem very interested in any of them (she kept wandering away) while they took turns (or simultaneously) displaying their plumages!

Kathy took me on a day trip to South Yuma River State Park and it was amazing! I will let the rest of this post serve as a photo essay as I show you some of the images from our visit to this stunning state park.

2019-04-04_14-42-02_0312019-04-04_14-34-10_7662019-04-04_14-30-50_7392019-04-04_14-41-57_8272019-04-04_15-16-26_904 (2019-04-05T06_59_02.814)2019-04-04_14-42-05_1002019-04-04_14-51-52_6912019-04-04_14-53-36_9222019-04-04_14-58-40_825Next post (which is the final one in this series of posts) I will share photos and stories from our Quilt Shop Hopping in Northern California!


Postscript

I am also sneaking into this post a continuation on my series of posts Life in B&W, in which I pretend I am a photographer showing you the stark beauty of Black and White photography.

Here are a couple of the images I took during the day trip in B&W for your enjoyment (or you can roll your eyes, ha!).

2019-04-04_14-42-20_2142019-04-04_14-53-43_4282019-04-04_15-03-11_1232019-04-04_15-07-15_021Oh yes there we a lot more, but I figure four images is enough to expose you to 🙂

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

California Quilting Sisters Adventures, Part I

Currently I am on “holiday”, as my friends on the other side of the pond would call it. I am taking a lovely break from the snowstorms and biting cold of the Denver Metro area and relaxing in paradise. I’ll share a future post about my current adventures, however, as promised in a previous post, I want to catch up on some of my 2019 adventures I did not blog about.

For those of you just joining us, in December 2018 I suddenly and unexpectedly loss my best friend and husband of many years, Terry the Quilting Husband, and became a widow. So the 2018 holiday season and winter 2019 were a very dark and sad time in my life.

Thank goodness for my wonderful family and friends, who were an amazing support system during very dark days.

Also thank goodness for my (surprising to many) plans to leave Central Oregon and move to the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area (see series of posts Colorado Bound) as it gave me something else to focus on besides my all encompassing grief over the loss of my life parter.

One of the wonderful things my friends did to distract me from my loneliness and grief was to invite me to visit them and I shared the first fun trip I went on in 2019 in the post Fabric Fangirl Frenzy with my Quilting Sisters Judy and Dana (for the backstory on my Quilting Sisters see the posts Quilting Sisters I, and II).

The next trip I took was in March 2019 to visit my friend Michele and to tour apartment in the Denver metro area (see post An Awesome Way to Display Kid Art!).

In April I visited with my my Quilting Sisters Kathy and Lisa who live in the Sacramento, California area and this next several posts are about that wonderful visit!

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Snuggling with the Quilting Sisters Kathy and Lisa

It’s All About the Puppy

I stayed with my Quilting Sister Kathy and her husband Matt. They had just adopted a Chocolate Labrador puppy named Riley.

I love dogs, and I absolutely LOVE PUPPIES, and I fell in love quickly with Riley (so much so that by the end of trip the officially made me Riley’s “dog godmother”).

2019-04-04_18-37-59_1312019-04-04_21-33-14_990I spent a lot of the weekend cuddling with Riley (good therapy). She was a puppy of course and very active and crazy by nature but I set up a system of “Swaddling” her in a towel the evening to relax her and give us a break from her crazy puppy energy.

Kathy, Matt, Riley and I went to a local brewery and had a wonderful time with the pup! Here are some photos from our brewery time (and the brewery staff was very patient and accommodating when the pup had an “accident”).

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 More Pups and even a Cat

My Quilting Sister Lisa is a brilliant Veterinarian as well as the owner of Supreme Point Kennels – she shows and breeds Wirehaired Pointing Griffons.

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Kathy took me over to Lisa’s home for a visit (and before we headed out on a Quilt Shop Hop Adventure which I will share in another post in this series) and I got to visit with the herd at her house which includes several gorgeous Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, a Giant Schnauzer, several rescued dogs and a cat.

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I was in furry creature heaven at Lisa’s home! There was a lot of petting and snuggling going on! I really got a kick out of the cat who just thought he was another one of the dogs and was very comfortable with the large dogs and being part of “the herd”.

Lisa was working on an awesome Griffon themed quilt from a class she took on portrait quilts:

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Human Snuggling

As I mentioned earlier in this post, during the most difficult time in my life, I was so supported (and still supported) by a wonderful network for family and friends.

During my visit to the Sacramento, CA area I got some time to be “loved on” and snuggled by my California Quilting Sisters which was very nurturing and healing.

Here we are snuggling on the sofa at Kathy’s house (I took a break from snuggling with Riley the pup to do human snuggling instead – ha!):

2019-04-03_20-55-24_350And here I am feeling all warm and cozy, sipping a Jameson Irish Whiskey that Kathy’s husband Matt poured for me, while knitting (working on the hat I discussed in this post The Ball of Yarn (which eventually became a hat)), sitting under one of Kathy’s handmade quilts, and watching baseball with my Quilting Sisters.

2019-04-03_21-13-16_033And for a beautiful moment in the midst of my grief, I felt at peace and quite loved.

What's on the Design Wall

Seattle Scrappy (What’s on the Design Wall)

This is a follow up to my recent post What’s On the Design Wall.

I’ve decided to name the freeform log cabin scrappy quilt I’ve created from my friend Dana’s scraps (see post What’s on the…Design Carpet) – “Seattle Scrappy”.

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The name was inspired by the scraps coming from the Seattle area and that it is gray and in Winter it is fairly gray in the Seattle area.

Above you can see my current progress on the piece. I am nearly done with the top, I just need to frame the whole thing in rows of dark framed blocks.

This was my original concept – a center dark shape, created by freeform log cabin blocks with dark gray outside borders:

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Then I would add lighter gray bordered freeform log cabin blocks around these blocks to float the center shape. However, as the black and white image I took of the quilt, the concept got a little muddled:

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But you can still sort of see the concept and make out a darker shape floating in the lights blocks (I hope!)

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I am hoping adding in a border all around of dark gray framed blocks will help my center pop a little more. A quilting friend said the piece looks like an aerial view of a city – I hadn’t thought of that!

More to come on “Seattle Scrappy” and I am currently trying to decide when I finish it, whether to:

  • Have it professionally quilted (a.k.a. “quilting by check”)
  • Machine quilt it myself
  • Hand quilt it (how about some kantha stitching like @ marissthequilter/fabrications)
  • Tie the quilt (yes, “old school” quilting tying)

If I cannot figure it out, I might ask you all to vote on it (smile)!


Postscript

Additional follow up from the post What’s On the Design Wall.

Do you remember the free large table I got from a community for sale board? Well I put risers (to make it “counter height”) on it and turned it into a large cutting and project table in my temporary studio (until I move to the new house in progress of being built some time in April):

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I then snugged my sewing machine against the table to create a yummy temporary “Creation-Station” (patent pending? can I market that!??!):

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Now I can comfortably watch the telly (well Netflix, ha!) while I sew.

I also added some quilts about the house. As I mentioned in a previous post, the house became sort of minimalist (and kind of sterile) when we staged it for the real estate sale photos that a professional photography came and took for the future real estate listing.

Since have delayed putting the house on the market until mid/late March, I was getting weary of living in basically a “model home”.

So I pulled out some of the quilts I had stored away and put them up on the wall with Command Strips!

And I placed an old quilt at the end of the bed where Mike my dog hangs out in my temporary studio while I sew:

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A Crafter's Life

Musings on Self-Improvement

I have a whole category on my blog called Audiobooks and Podcasts. Many of these posts have to do with the latest “self-improvement” genre audiobook I’ve read. Most of these audiobooks I’ve borrowed from local libraries via their Overdrive or Hoopla apps.

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If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ve likely endured many reviews on various non-fiction “self-improvement” books I’ve listened to and occasionally read hardcover.

Recently another reserved “self-improvement” audiobook became available for download, The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning, Elevate Your Life by Robin Sharma, and in the midst of listening to the book, I turned it off and exclaimed: “Enough of this #$%&, I am tired of ‘self-improving’!”

As I was sharing in a recent conversation with my friends Michele H. and Anne T., I am completed burned out on listening/reading anything that has to do with “self-improvement”.

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I’ve read a jillion (this number is way bigger than the imaginary number a zillion, ha!) self-improvement books, gained plenty of insight and attempted to live the best life possible but that did not stop awful things happening like my spouse suddenly passing away in December 2018 (yes, yes I know that you cannot read self-improvement books to protect yourself from bad things happening, but I guess in the back of my delusional mind I thought I was safe from major disaster as I was always trying to be the best person possible..).

I admit that some of the “self-improvement” type genre books such as Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (see post New Library Stack and Option B) helped me tremendously on my grief journey.  And I am sure there are some other books out there that could help me, but I am just too burned out on the genre to read anymore right now (or anytime in the near future).

I am so done with “self improving” for now. 

Now it’s time to find some good yummy fiction to listen to or read!


Postscript

The irony of this recent decision is the moment I said “enough with the self-improvement” genre, every audiobook I had on reserve at my local library became available. So I actually have in my current online library account the following “self-improvement” books I can now borrow/download for 21 days:

  • The Self-Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser
  • Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson (okay he did write a really awesome self help book I listened to a while ago: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, and it helped me “chill” on a lot of things)
  • Meta Human by Deepak Chopra
  • Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood
  • The Third Door by Alex Banayan

It is sort of the like the “self-improvement” genre was having a major go at me as I was trying to give it up by sending me everything I had reserved at once.

Nope, returned them all!

(I wonder if now I will become a terrible and grouchy person since I’ve stopped “self-improving”…)

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What's on the Design Wall

What’s On the Design Wall

Yes I said “DESIGN WALL”, not design carpet (see post What’s on the…Design Carpet).

Since my post What’s on the…Design Carpet, there’s been some changes…

In case you are just joining us, let me recap:

  1. My partner and I were working on buying a house together and he is selling his house. So my quilting studio got packed up and my former studio became a staged bedroom for the realtor house listing photo shoot.
  2. Then I went to a mini quilt retreat a couple weeks ago and created freeform log cabin blocks from a friend’s scraps. Upon returning home I laid them out on the “design carpet” in my bedroom since I no longer had a design wall, much less a studio:

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So nearly two weeks ago, my partner and I decided to buy a new house, that is in the process of being built, and will not be ready until the end of April. So we cannot put his house on the market for a couple months – until we get closer to when our new house will close, otherwise we could end up between homes!

Since the house I currently live in was not going on the market for a couple of months, I negotiated that I set up a modified version of a studio that can be easily returned to a staged bedroom for house showing.

Around the same time of this decision, I discovered listed on our community website a free large table being offered.

With new large (free) table in hand, I have a makeshift studio:

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And to go with my makeshift  studio, I made a makeshift design wall:

2020-02-02_16-04-59_0142020-02-02_16-49-09_122On Superbowl Sunday (last Sunday), I had a “Stitching Bowl” and worked on getting the center of the piece sewn together:

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I am pretty happy with my makeshift studio and will share more photos of the piece as it evolves.

By the way, Mike my Miniature Schnauzer is enjoying hanging out on the bed (from the staging) in my makeshift studio while I sew!

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Outside Adventures!, Quilt Retreats

A Jaunt About Poulsbo, WA

This is a follow up to my previous post Mini Quilt Retreat, January 2020, on the the mini quilt retreat (just 4 quilters) I attended several weeks ago in Poulsbo, Washington.

As promised, here are some stories and photos from my adventures outside of the quilt retreat, in Poulsbo.

Ferry to Poulsbo

Wikipedia has a nice little write up about Poulsbo, Washington (Washington State in the Pacific Northwestern coast of the U.S. for my international blogging friends, not Washington D.C. which is on the Eastern coast of the the U.S.): Poulsbo, Washington.

As explained in the link above, Poulsbo is located in northern Kitsap County at at the north end of Liberty Bay, a sheltered arm of Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and one of the common ways to get there is by ferry.

Washington State has an extensive ferry system. I lived in Seattle, Washington for 8 years (1997 – 2005) and rode many ferries to the peninsulas and islands that are part of the Pacific Northwest.

It really is an exceptionally beautiful part of the U.S. with the Olympic Mountains in the background, except it rains all the time and can be very gray in the Winter (for example one winter a friend reported they went 60+ days without sunshine, this friend eventually moved to Denver, Colorado to get more sun in her life; I moved to Bend, Oregon in 2005 to get sun in my life).  

Living in Denver, Colorado, I am now “land locked” and I do miss the Pacific ocean. So it was very exciting to take a ferry ride to Poulsbo on my way to the retreat. Although it was chilly, I spent most of the ferry ride on the upstairs outer deck at the bow (or maybe it was the stern as the ferry just moves back and forth on its route) watching the water and the approaching land.

2020-01-09_10-21-32_3572020-01-09_10-21-51_3312020-01-09_10-24-04_3302020-01-09_10-21-16_043I spent a brief time inside the ferry passenger cabin, which is HUGE! There are plenty of commuters that take the ferry every day. It was outside commuting hours, so the inside the ferry was fairly empty (or most people were sitting in their cars, as it is also a car ferry).

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Inside the ferry they had wonderful topographical maps of the area and the ferry routes:

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Port Gamble

After a day of sewing at the mini quilt retreat, it was time to go out and explore the area so we spent an afternoon in Port Gamble, Washington on the northwestern shore of the Kitsap Peninsula.

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We had lunch at a lovely restaurant – Scratch Kitchen, a farmhouse restaurant which appeared to formerly be historic building as it had a Puget Mill Co. vault inside.

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Quilted Strait

After a delicious lunch, we wandered around historic Port Gamble:

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And ended up at the quilt shop right by the water, Quilted Strait.

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We had a wonderful wander about the quilt shop with its friendly staff and inviting atmosphere. During my wander I was tempted by the line of fabric (whose name I have now forgotten) that one of my fellow retreaters, Karen, used in her wonderful piece I shared in the previous post.

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A mysterious but wonderful fabric line…actually I think it is Northcott who also makes my beloved Stonehenge line
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Karen’s piece she worked on during the retreat

But I did not buy any as I am getting ready in the next couple of months to move (an update on that in a future post) and I need to control my fabric purchases! Perhaps as a housewarming (or new studio warming) gift to myself I will contact Karen and asking her what that awesome fabric line was…


Postscript

We did have several delightful indulgences during our mini quilt retreat time, and they came from a stop at Deliberate Chocolate.

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The chocolate was so good it was a mystical experience to eat it!

As we wandered about shops in Port Gamble, I came across this sign that made me smile:

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Quilt Retreats

Mini Quilt Retreat, January 2020

Well enough about me.

In my recent posts From the Basket – English Paper Piecing, and What’s on the…Design Carpet, I shared what I worked on during a a mini quilt retreat with a couple quilting friends in Poulsbo, Washington.

Well it’s time to share what the other quilters worked on at the retreat!

But first let me share a little about the venue.

Quilter’s Cottage

We stayed at Quilter’s Cottage in Poulsbo, Washington. It is a house turned into a quilt retreat venue. You provide your own food and supplies (but some basics are provided like an ironing area, cutting tables and work spaces). It is a three bedroom home and you can fit up to 6 quilters.

There are images on the website (linked above) but here are some of my photos of the venue:
2020-01-09_11-02-52_2422020-01-09_11-03-24_8702020-01-09_11-05-53_5792020-01-09_11-05-55_5802020-01-09_11-40-01_2062020-01-09_12-07-25_191I got myself settled right in (sorry I am talking about me just a little in this post) and unpacked my most important quilt retreat accessory: my comfy fleecy ROBE!

2020-01-09_11-41-34_935I happily wore my robe most of the retreat...except when we went outside and to visit quaint little historic downtown Poulsbo!

Getting to Quilting!

There were only 4 of us at the retreat, but the retreat center looked like there were 20 of us with our projects and supplies strewn everywhere!

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And here is what the other quilters worked on…

Judy and Dana

You might remember my quilting friends Judy (who got me into quilting) and Dana (another one of Judy’s quilting recruits!). Well they were each working on a Moda Fabrics C.O.L.O.R. Cuts Dessert Sampler, using different palettes

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Here is Judy’s in progress:

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And here is Dana’s

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Looking through the Dessert Sampler book and their fabrics, made me want to make this sampler also, but I do not need another backlogged project in queue – ha!

Karen

The fourth quilter at the retreat, Karen, is a newer quilting friend. I met her through Dana and Judy. She is very creative and likes to start with a pattern and then put her own spin on it.

During the retreat she worked on an amazing quilt, originally from a pattern, that she improvised the design on.

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Pretty cool, huh? It looks quite different (and more vibrant) than the original pattern (which I forgot to take a photo of, oops!)

Next post I will share a little about my travel to Poulsbo (ferry ride!) and the sweet afternoon we had wandering around old town/historic Poulsbo when we needed a break from stitching (which included a visit to a quilt shop of course)!


Postscript

There was some very interesting art hung at the quilt retreat, my favorite were the pet portraits.

My understanding is the mother of the woman who now owns the quilt retreat (it was formerly her parents home before they passed), painted the paintings about the retreat.

Here is a sampling of my favorites for your enjoyment:

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What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the…Design Carpet

It’s been a while since I’ve added anything to my series of posts:   “What’s on the Design Wall”, about my current project up on my design wall.

However as my tierneycreates Beastie shared in the post Guest Blogger: What the heck is going on here? , my studio is packed up and turned back into a bedroom for staging the house I currently live in for sale.

Not having a design wall up on the wall has not stopped me – I’ve discovered: The Design Carpet (patent pending, ha!).

2020-01-16_13-21-04_854But let’s back-up a moment, and tell you how this piece began and got to this point…

As I mentioned in my post From the Basket – English Paper Piecing, a couple weekends ago I attended a mini quilt retreat with a couple quilting friends in Poulsbo, Washington.

I brought a couple hand work projects from my basket of hand work (see post Inside the Basket ) and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects.

But…

My dear quilting friend Dana brought an extra sewing machine (one her her Berninas, and I love Berninas) and a BAG OF GRAY FABRIC SCRAPS for me to play with – oh no!

2020-01-10_18-11-38_9152020-01-11_15-35-55_903As you saw in the “From the Basket” post, I did work on my English Paper Piecing rosettes, but after a while I put them aside and STARTING PLAYING WITH THE GRAY SCRAPS! (I could not resist the temptation to play with fabric scraps)

Before you know it, as I shared on @tierneycreates on Instagram, I began creating freeform pieced/improvisationally pieced log cabin blocks (also known as “log jamming”):

2020-01-10_18-11-34_186And before I knew it, I had a pile of 138 blocks I made!

2020-01-12_08-01-18_2382020-01-12_08-00-38_602Once I got home, I could not wait to play with them and see what interesting pattern I could make with the dark gray and light gray framed blocks, So I decided to use the “Design Carpet”:

2020-01-16_13-07-40_412I began with creating a pattern with the dark gray framed blocks:

2020-01-16_13-07-51_784Then I worked on framing them with the light gray blocks:

2020-01-16_13-21-12_628I like the effect with the dark gray floating in the lighter gray blocks.

Since I took these photos, I’ve made additional progress and pulled out my sewing machine from the storage room (where you hide everything when staging a house for sale)!

Let me make a bit more progress on the piece and I will share in a future post!


Postscript

Let me know if you think I can patent the concept of the “Design Carpet” and make millions on my late-night infomercial selling “Design Carpets” and quit my day job and just sew all day!

“You can own your own Design Carpet for 5 easy payments of $99.99!

But wait, there’s more:

Buy one Design Carpet and get a second one for only $99.99 plus shipping and handling.”

– TIERNCO, DISTRIBUTOR OF THE DESIGN CARPET

Creative Inspiration, Stories My Father Told Me

Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me (re-post)

Today in the U.S. it is a National Holiday – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

This holiday is also known as the MLK Day of Service:

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 20, 2020, marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. The Corporation for National and Community service has been charged to lead this effort for the last quarter century. (nationalservice.gov)

I am re-posting a blog post from April 2016 from my ongoing series on on my sources of Creative Inspiration, in honor of MLK Day, about a person I knew personally, my father Raoul A. Davis, Sr., who lived a life of service.

My father’s stories, words and lessons keep me centered and focused, and they inspire daily just like those of Martin Luther King, Jr. 


Friday Night at Barnes & Noble Bookstore: A Discovery (April 2016)

Life is filled with serendipitous events. Several Fridays ago such an event occurred.

wild Friday night in Central Oregon involves hanging out at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. I love browsing in bookstores. I love bookstores, period. They are nearly as magical as libraries (except the discoveries at bookstores are not free to take home!)

While browsing the magazine section of Barnes & Noble, I came across a magazine I had not seen before – American Craft Magazine (and I thought I knew all the magazines in the “crafting” magazine section). This magazine is published by the American Craft Council.

Flipping through this magazine I found an article on an exhibit by the WCQN (Women of Color Quilting Network). I did not know, as a woman of color, that there was a Women of Color Quilting Network! I made a mental note of the acronym and immediately upon returning home I googled the WCQN.

The WCQN , according to their website “is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 by Carolyn L. Mazloomi, a nationally-acclaimed quilt artist and lecturer, to foster and preserve the art of quilt making among women of color.”

Wow. What a discovery for me!

I contacted the Director of WCQN, Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, to find out how I could join.


WCQN Inspiration

After several wonderful exchanges with Dr. Mazloomi, I am now a member of the WCQN. I had the opportunity to view her website, www.carolynlmazloomi.com and view her amazing art. I also spent a considerable amount of time looking at the the WCQN website, www.wcqn.org, and viewing their past exhibitions (www.wcqn.org/exhibit.html).

I was overwhelmed with inspiration to explore an additional direction in my art quilting – telling stories with my art quilt.

The WCQN art quilts poignantly share stories from a people of color’s perspective and shared experience.

Wanting to explore this theme in the future, I am inspired to create a future series of art quilts called Stories My Father Told Me.


Stories My Father Told Me

My father, Raoul A. Davis, Sr. was an amazing man. He passed in 2008, and left behind a legacy of stories and inspiration.

Born of the 4th of July, he was the son of two teachers and grew up the segregated South (Charleston, West Virginia) in the 1930s. He faced many hardships and challenges but always forged ahead to achieve his goals and dreams. He was the first black to attend Kiski School in Pennsylvania, received a bachelor’s degree from Central State University, and obtained his master’s degree from Columbia University. He also served his country in the US Army.

He served as a leader in the nonprofit sector for over 40 years. His service included working with gangs and underprivileged youth as a Social Worker in NYC; founding the Urban League of Long Island, NY; and creating the first Empire State Black Arts and Cultural Festival (today known as the African American Family Day Art Festival).

He retired as the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of General Services for the State of NY. In his retirement he volunteered and consulted for local nonprofits and community agencies.

His resume was impressive, but what I remember most about him is his stories.

Starting from my earliest memories as a child, I remember him telling me stories of his challenges growing up in the segregated South, stories of his athletic pursuits (he was an accomplished multi-sport athlete), stories about the intense hazing he received as the first black to attend Kiski Prep School, stories of overcoming shocking physical and psychological abuse in the US Army in the 1950 by his drill sergeant, and many other inspirational stories from his life.

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A couple of years before he passed he decided to write his autobiography and I offered to help him by transcribing his handwritten notes and pulling them into a rough draft. It was so wonderful to read the stories I knew well from hearing in my youth; and I was honored to help him with this project.

Unfortunately my father passed before finishing his autobiography. I did take what I had and make it into a book for my sister and brother (two incredible individuals who continue my father’s legacy and inspire me daily); and for his grandchildren (one of which he did not get to meet before he passed).

I am still left with all his stories in my head and in my heart, and I think I want to share them in another medium beyond the verbal and written word: in my art quilts.


His Stories into My Quilts

I am in the early stages of thinking of how I want to translate some of my favorite stories into a textile story – will I do something abstract, or will I do a pictorial quilt (time to brush up my appliqué skills!).

An ongoing theme in all his stories is: Here is a challenge, it may seem impossible, but you can overcome it!

One of my favorite stories that my father told me, is a story from his growing up in the segregated South and a bus ride experience that embodied his outlook on dealing with racial prejudices:

As a teenage in the 1940s, I was riding on the bus and a white guy was forced to sit next to me because no other seats were available. He turned to me and growled – “I hate you, you  #%%$%%!”  

I calmly replied to him “Well, you would like me if you got to know me”. 

We ended up having a great conversation and when we got to his bus stop, he exclaimed as he exited the bus: “Raoul, you are alright”.

My father likely did not change this man’s racist outlook on people of color, but he may have left an imprint in this man’s mind and heart to evaluate people based on their character not their color.

My father, who was also active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and fortunate to have met Martin Luther King, Jr., believed in focusing on getting to know each other as individuals and not judging an entire group or population.

He believed change came through dialogue not violence. He taught his three children to be brave, no matter what adversity life threw at them; and to as Mahatma Gandhi said “…be the change you wish to see in the world”.

He also taught us to be proud of who we are as individuals, as a people and of our heritage, and not to listen to those who tell you otherwise.

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Gandhi

I would be honored to share his stories through my quilts.


Postscript (11/16/16)

In Spring 2016, I  begin the Stories My Father Told Me series with quilt #1 – The Lesson & The Equation, discussed in the post Stories My Father Told Me: Quilt #1 .

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The Lesson & The Equation (2016) by Tierney Davis Hogan

I’ve been sketching out the next quilt in the series.

(This quilt was part of the nationally traveling exhibit “Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience“, see post Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium – Book is Released! )

MLK-Day
virtualvocations.com

 

Adventures in Paper Piecing, Quilt Retreats

From the Basket – English Paper Piecing

This is a follow up to my previous post Inside the Basket. I realized I should try and catch my blog up to what I have been posting on @tierneycreates on Instagram!

One of the projects inside my basket of hand work is an ongoing English Paper Piecing (EPP) rosette quilt project.

My plan is to make this quilt from the cover of Quiltfolk Magazine, Issue 1:

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Image credit: Quiltfolk.com

As you can see from the image above, this quilt is comprised of 99 EPP hexie rosettes appliquéd onto 99 squares for a 9 x 11 quilt.

Last weekend I joined 3 quilting friends for a mini quilting retreat in Poulsbo, Washington.

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Image credit: vacation ideas.com

While at the retreat, I worked on my EEP project and completed stitching together 38 rosettes of the 99 I need to make:

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If you do the math, I have 61 more rosettes to make, and my sweet friend Dana, organized my remaining EPP hexies into groups of 6 for the outside hexies on the left side of my “box of hexies” and the solid color center options on the right side:

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“True friends will organize your EPP hexies for you at a quilt retreat” – Tierney

I have enough matching hexies to make about 30 more rosettes, so it is going to be time soon to create more EPP hexies.

The hexies I currently on hand have a lot of sentimental meaning/value, as they were all created by my late husband Terry (aka “Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)“) who used to be my assistant on crafting projects. So I am also finishing this project in his honor.

My partner John and I are moving along in getting his house ready for sale and have been actively house hunting. So it might not be too long until my studio gets unpacked and I am no longer limited to only hand projects.

Over the next several posts I will share more projects and stories from the mini quilt retreat I attended in Poulsbo!


Postscript

I had to relocate my “Basket of Hand Work” that I discussed in my previous post.

Our real estate agent wanted us to move my comfy leather chair in the living room up to the master bedroom, so I also relocated my basket of hand work. Additionally I tried to tastefully arrange some craft related reading I want to do and several projects into a bookcase in the bedroom.

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Studio, tierneycreates

Inside the Basket

Here is a follow up to the Guest Blogger’s post 01/08/2020 from Guest Blogger: What the heck is going on here? .

The tierneycreates Beastie stated: “…she has set up this basket of hand craft projects in the living room and allegedly she will show you what is inside of this basket in her next post”. So I am now obligated to do just that, otherwise my Beastie will give me grief about  it!


A Peek Inside the Basket of Hand Crafting

So we are staging the house for sale and had to pack up my studio and my sewing machine.

I am not sure how long it will take to sell the house, and find another house, and then to move into that new house. It could be several months and I cannot go that long without crafting, so I set up a basket in the living room of crafts I can do by hand.

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I am also in the process of setting up a sewing basket, found at a thrift shop, with my commonly used tools for hand crafting.

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Here’s what is inside the basket – a lot of old hand work projects, and some new ones, that I would like to finish.

English Paper Piecing (EPP)

Ssee my series of post Adventures in Paper Piecing for some background on this project. I made the zipped bag I am storing the project in.

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In addition to the EPP project above, I also have this EPP project which I have not started (and do not know what I am doing with these hexies which I made from a friend’s scraps during a quilt retreat several years ago:

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The Yo-Yo Project 

Someday I might blog about this old mysterious project…

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Sashiko

Another project(s) I should blog about someday…if I get any further on my dabble with Sashiko stitching.

It was an impulse buy (twice) at at a quilt shop…

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Knitting

A hat in progress and a ribbed (or seed stitch scarf) to go with the hat I made a friend that I discussed in this post – The Ball of Yarn (which eventually became a hat).

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The hat in progress has a story behind it that I will share in a future post.

Miscellaneous Projects

If I ever get working on them, I will explain what they are in a future post (smile).

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So that’s what is in the basket! I think I have enough projects to keep my busy a couple months.


Postscript

I am writing this post from the airport as I am returning from a small informal quilt retreat with 3 quilting friends. At this retreat I brought my EPP and made some progress! And I did some freeform log cabin block piecing with a borrowed sewing machine and a bag of a friend’s scraps. More of my next post.

Beastie Adventures

Guest Blogger: What the heck is going on here?

It is time for a Guest Blogger entry by a brilliant, adorable and talented guest blogger (me, me, me!).

2018-11-18_05-59-08_264In 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.

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My dog Mikelet might be made of felted wool but he is very affectionate

In my previous brilliant Guest Blogger post (by the way, Beasties are brilliant and you can check out more of my kind at the website of our maker in Ireland – CrawCrafts Beasties/Beastie HQ) Beastie Guest Blogger: Checking in on her progress, I shared that Mikelet and I had a cozy new area of Tierney’s new studio:

2019-10-22_08-11-13_5712019-10-22_08-11-05_364Well it is all GONE! The studio is gone and our cozy spot is gone!!!!

Tierney and her partner are getting ready to sell his house and buy their own house, and they have to do something stupid called “staging the house for sale”.

That means that her whole studio got packed up and put away, and they are painting over the beautiful turquoise color in the room to make it a boring neutral color like the rest of the house (humans are so silly!).

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2020-01-04_12-22-47_030.jpegMikelet and I are kind of disturbed by the giant schnauzer head we are pushed up against as well as the super creepy schnauzer hanging over the basket next to us!

2020-01-04_12-25-31_061.jpegHe is just a little too close for comfort, I can feel him breathing down my neck!

Once you recover from the shocking images above of Mikelet and I thrust into a “schnauzer slum”, you might start to wonder: “well what is Tierney going to do for crafting with all her stuff put away?”

Well she has set up this basket of hand craft projects in the living room and allegedly she will show you what is inside of this basket in her next post.

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tierneycreates

Scarf finally done

This is a quick follow up to a post I wrote in February 2018 – A Case Against Procrastination

Experienced knitting blogging buddies: please see the Postscript section for a question/request for advice, thanks!

The title of this post is Interesting as it is obvious that I ended up seriously procrastinated because I finally finished the scarf for this hat I made in December 2017 (Library Stack Catch Up):

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(I think I had a couple less wrinkles in 2017)

Well over 2 years later, the matching scarf is now done:

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I could not wait to try them on together the moment I finished the scarf:

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However ever as soon as I put it on, I took it off as I could not wear it outside today (without looking very strange) as it is was 52 degrees F (11 degrees C) and that is a little warm for scarf wearing.

It felt wonderful to have this scarf done and I am sure our snow and cold will return this winter in the Denver metropolitan area!


Postscript (Question on Blocking Knits)

Experienced knitters reading this post – tell me about your experiences with blocking scarfs or other knitting pieces.

I used a garter stitch to make this scarf. I used a blend wool-acrylic yarn, and the edges on the scarf curled. So I blocked it after I was done knitting it, just like in this video below:

But after all that work, the edge of my scarf still slightly curl under.

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Any thoughts?

Is it because I used a wool-acrylic blend?

A Crafter's Life

An Awesome Way to Display Kid Art!

As I mentioned in a recent post, I did a lot of traveling in 2019. I’m going to spend time in January 2020 catching up on the stories I did not get a chance to share in 2019.

I’ve always appreciated how parents traditionally encourage their children’s creativity and artistic endeavors by displaying their art on the refrigerator. However in March 2019 I witnessed a very awesome way in display “kid art”.

In March 2019 I visited Denver, Colorado to tour potential apartments as part of my move from Central Oregon to the greater Denver metro area (see series of posts Colorado Bound). I stayed with my friend Michele who drove me around to tour apartments.

She and her husband Blair have a lovely home and at the top of their upstairs landing, they have an amazing display of the art of their three children!

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All the pieces are nicely (and maybe professionally framed) and the entire wall is dedicated to celebrating the artistic talents of their children at various ages.

Here is some of the wonderful art up close:

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This is lightyears beyond the traditional “art on the fridge” that I’ve seen at other families homes. I love that this couple turned their children’s art into an art gallery!


Postscript

Originally I had planned to begin a series of posts about my “New Year’s Crafting Resolutions“. I was going to provide a catalog of my unfinished projects and a plan to start working on them (sort of like the recent cool series of posts by Melanie @ Catbird Studios in which she shares the contents of her cabinet of unfinished projects), however suddenly I have begun packing up my studio.

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Why? Because my partner and I have decided to go forward with selling his house and buying a house together.

The first step in this process is getting his house ready for sale and it is time to paint over the bold turquoise of my studio (see post New Studio) and make that room the same neutral color as the rest of the house.

Since he will be listing the house in the near future, and it needs to get “staged” for sale, I will keep my studio packed up. But that is okay, I have a plan for creative endeavors for the next couple months while my studio is packed up: It’s time to pull out the handwork!

I will post about that plan in the future.

The funny thing is I was recently preparing to return to working on my Farm Girl Vintage blocks and finish up a 20 block quilt (see series of posts Farm Girl Vintage Blocks) as I shared a couple days ago on Instagram:

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I’ve completed 19 blocks and only needed to make one more 12.5″ x 12.5″ block to make one of the sampler quilts in the book which uses 20 blocks.

But since my sewing machine is getting packed away, that will have to be on hold for now.

What’s that famous saying that comes to mind…oh yes:

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”  – John Lennon

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Good Listens in 2019

Happy New Year!

It’s been a long time since I had a post in my series of posts Audiobooks and Podcasts. So I thought my first post of 2020 would be a recap of some of my favorite audiobook listens in 2019.

I constantly listen to audiobooks, especially on my twice a day dog walks and while crafting. Occasionally I listen to fiction but my favorite genre is non fiction, especially books related to personal growth.

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Below I share my favorite listens in 2019 along with a link to the Publishers Weekly or or Amazon.com book review; and a quote from the book that resonated with me.

Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe by Laura Lynne Jackson

“Souls have deep connections and unique contracts that span centuries, exist back and forth in time, and bind us in ways we can’t really understand…. These connections are ancient and everlasting, and they already exist in our hearts, even if we’re not always aware of them.”

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss

“Psychotherapy research shows that when individuals feel listened to, they tend to listen to themselves more carefully and to openly evaluate and clarify their own thoughts and feelings.”

Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop

“Love the life you have, not the one you expected to have.”

Everything is Figureoutable: How One Simple Belief Can Help Us Overcome Any Obstacle and Create Unstoppable Success by Marie Forleo

“I win or I learn, but I never lose.”

Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology by Cal Newport

“Digital Minimalism A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.”

The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

“Unless one is unconcerned by other people’s judgments, has no fear of being disliked by other people, and pays the cost that one might never be recognized, one will never be able to follow through in one’s own way of living. That is to say, one will not be able to be free.”

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

“What did it matter if something scared you, when it simply had to be done?”

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg

I discussed this book in my 5/13/19 post New Library Stack and Option B

“Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. It comes from gratitude for what’s good in our lives and from leaning in to the suck. It comes from analyzing how we process grief and from simply accepting that grief. Sometimes we have less control than we think. Other times we have more. I learned that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again.”

Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens

I discussed this book in my 2/16/19 post Soup’s On

“When real transformation does occur in someone’s life, it usually happens through evolution, not revolution. Every time we make a choice to confront our fear, our character evolves and we become more courageous. Every time we make a choice to move through pain to pursue a purpose larger than ourselves, our character evolves and we become wiser. Every time we make a choice to move through suffering, our character evolves and we become stronger.”

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

“We’re more than the sum total of our choices, that all the paths we might have taken factor somehow into the math of our identity.”

I listened to more audiobooks that those listed above in 2019, but these were my favorites!

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Feature Photo by Tomasz Gawłowski on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life

“Human Storage” and Airport Lore

A little humor and lore to close out 2019…

Human Storage

For four years (2013 – 2017) until her passing in December 2017, I helped manage the blog for my miniature schnauzer Sassy, the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer – SCHNAUZER SNIPS: MUSINGS FROM A HIGHLY OPINIONATED MINIATURE SCHNAUZER.

In February 2017 Sassy posted about Human Storage– how humans are always getting dropped off at this place called “the airport” where they appear to be stored for a period of time and then get picked up.

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Photo by T.H. Chia on Unsplash

Keep in mind she viewed life from a dog’s perspective!

I’ve traveled a lot in 2019, likely the most I’ve ever traveled in my life.

For my trips to the airport in 2019 while I lived in Central Oregon (January to April) and then after I moved to the greater Denver metro area (April), I’ve tried to have Mike my miniature schnauzer be in the car taking me to the airport and picking me up.

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Mike wonders why humans do not just stay at home and relax instead of going into storage

Mike seems to understand when I am going into “human storage” and when I am being retrieved! It appears to lessen his anxiety when I am missing from his home for a couple days to a week – he knows I am just in storage!

Airport Lore

Speaking of airports, I did not know about this until I moved to Denver, but the Denver International Airport (DIA) has quite a bit of lore about it.

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Photo credit: flydenver.com

This lore includes conspiracy theories such as that it contains secret underground bunkers.

You can read a summary of some of the common theories on this page – “5 Conspiracy Theories Surrounding the Denver Airport” on mental floss.com.

Some of the biggest DIA lore surrounds the airport “mascot” and the strange murals around the airport. Here is an excerpt from mental floss.com:

Conspiracy theories aside, it’s hard to deny the weirdness of DIA’s unofficial mascot—a massive horse statue called “Blue Mustang” that has already killed at least one man. At 32 feet tall and 9000 pounds (it’s made out of fiberglass), “Blue Mustang” is huge and imposing, and its glowing red eyes don’t help matters. This thing is giant and really scary—and it killed the man who made it. Really. Artist Luis Jimenez died in 2006 when a piece of the sculpture’s head broke off and severed an artery in his leg. 

Leo Tanguma’s two murals, which take up wide swathes of wallspace in DIA’s baggage claim, might have some nice names—they are called “Children of the World Dream of Peace” and “In Peace and Harmony with Nature,” respectively—but their actual content is terrifying. Death-masked soldiers stalk children with guns, animals are dead and kept under glass, and the entire world looks to have been destroyed. As if being at the airport isn’t bad enough. 

I’ve spent a lot of time at DIA since moving to the Denver area in April 2019 and so far it just seems like a large airport, nothing creepy. I’ve seen a couple of the controversial murals in person and they just seem odd and like they were created by someone on a LSD trip!

DIA has been under going a remodel and the airport leadership appears to have a sense of humor about the conspiracy theories familiar to locals.

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You can’t say people in Denver do not have a sense of humor!


Postscript

For some of my readers it is already 2020! For me in Colorado, 2020 is about to shortly begin.

I’ve already begun formulating my 2020 resolutions and look forward to reading some of yours. I have a lot of sewing (and more traveling/human storage at the airport) planned and looking forward to sharing my adventures with you.

Happy New Year!

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Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Feature image: Photo by Ruchindra Gunasekara on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

Bucket List Delight!

2019 was a year filled with some major lows but also some MAJOR HIGHS (the Universe tried to keep itself in balance?).

These highs included being invited by the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture for my first solo art show (see posts Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower, Part I, Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower, Part II, and Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower, Part III); moving to Colorado (see series of posts Colorado Bound); and meeting my partner John (see post Morning Walk in Black and White).

However one of the “awesome-nest” highs of 2019 involved achieving one of my “bucket list” items – seeing President Barack Obama speak in person.

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I’ll share the story of how it happened in a moment, but this was the second opportunity I was lucky enough to experience seeing a U.S. President in person. The first U.S. President I saw speak in person was in May 2018 – 43rd President George Bush, Jr (see post A Presidential Artistic Journey (Re-post)) and that was very awesome.

However seeing President Obama (44th U.S. President) speak in person was something very high on my “bucket list”.

Greenbuild Conference 2019

I have two very awesome siblings, they are two of my best friends on this planet – a brother Raoul and a sister Rianna (by the way, I am writing this post from the Denver International Airport as I get ready to fly to Las Vegas for the weekend to meet up with my brother and his family).

My sister Rianna, earlier in 2019, finished her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on Project Management (the same MBA I have from the same university) and got her dream job as a Construction Project Manager for a University she was already working, but this time with their contractor Project Management company. (I was so impressed she finished her MBA in record time while working full time and being a busy Mom!).

She is working on her LEED green building certification and her new employer approved for her to attend the Greenbuild International Conference in Atlanta, Georgia November 19 – 22, 2019.  She was very excited to be approved for this opportunity but she was in shock when she discovered that the keynote speaker was President Barack Obama!!!

For an extra fee, you could bring a guest with you to the keynote as well as some limited events at the conference. So for my early Christmas present, my sister got me a ticket to the keynote which was actually titled “A Conversation with President Barack Obama“.

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There was a crazy extremely long line to get seated for the keynote, luckily we showed up early. Here we are waiting on line in major anticipation of seeing/hearing in person one of the people we most admire:

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The keynote was actually an interview of President Obama by U.S. Green Building Council’s president and CEO, Mahesh Ramanujam. The focus on the discussion/interview was on sustainability and affordability.

Here is a link to an online article with a wonderful summary of the highlights of the event – Highlights from former President Obama’s Greenbuild keynote.

I also found several excerpts from the keynote on YouTube:

It was very exciting to (sort of) be breathing the same air that President Obama was breathing and my sister and I tried to restrain our inner fan girls and just focus on his talk/interview/conversation.

We sat in the middle of the very large auditorium and luckily they had large monitors so we could get a close up view of the interview. Here are several of my photos of him speaking on the large monitors:

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He was as we expected, an incredibly eloquent and engaging speaker!

My sister and I were in sort of  daze after the keynote was done and we were giggling/laughing with other conference attendees as we walked out of the auditorium, squealing “that really happened, we really saw President Obama speak!!!”

I got the feeling that this moment was part of many attendees’ “bucket lists”!

After the Keynote/Conference

I telecommuted for work from our Atlanta, Georgia hotel while my sister attended the rest of the Greenbuild Conference and then we wandered around downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

We stopped at Centennial Olympic Park from when 1996 Summer Olympics were held in Atlanta, Georgia.

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It was very cool to see the iconic Olympic Rings in person:

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In the park area they had a sweet little German-style Holiday Market going on and we wandered about that market and enjoyed some Bavarian hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies.

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My sister used to live in Heidelberg, Germany for several years while she was in the military and she had fun chatting with a market vendor who was from Heidelberg.

Autumn colors were in full force in Atlanta and we also enjoyed wandering around enjoying the beautiful foliage!

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On the final day of the conference, in the evening, they had a major end of conference party/event – a party on the field of Mercedes Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons (U.S. Football team for my blogging friends abroad)!

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It was amazing to actually be on the playing field of a U.S. Football team. I cannot share photos, as it might be embarrassing (smile), but they actually let party/conference attendees try kicking a field goal from the goal line! My sister was very brave and tried it herself, without much success, and she accepts she does not have a future as a professional football player (smile).

Here we are at the party on the stadium field:

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They also had a concert on the field for conference attendees by the band Collective Soul!


Postscript

I’ve traveled a lot in 2019, the most I’ve ever traveled in one year. I am quite behind in sharing my adventures and hopefully I can catch up on the backlog of stories I would like to share. Not to mention the backlog of reading my favorite blogs I follow!

The New Year is nearly upon us! Hope you and your loved ones are having a wonderful holiday season! Hopefully I will post more before the end of 2019 (smile).

A Crafter's Life, tierneycreates

From T-Shirt to Throw Pillow

The Christmas holidays are upon us and as one of my partner’s Christmas gifts, I decided to recycle several of his old T-shirts that no longer fit/were worn out into throw pillows for his “Man Cave” in our daylight basement.

Here is the first one I worked on – I used flannel to border the T-shirt (which I added fusible interfacing to first) and for the envelope back:

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Here is the next pillow I worked on (my partner is a Whiskey connoisseur) and I had trouble focusing while making the pillow because it was so outrageously funny and so unlike his personality:

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He was pleasantly surprised by the pillows (I gave them to him early so he could enjoy them for the holiday season). Here they are set up in the “Man Cave” (where we also like to sit and watch movies):

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Postscript

We also have our Schnauzer-themed Christmas tree up. I am lucky to have another Schnauzer-aficionado in my life. Yes we did include his ornaments too but the tree is “strongly Schnauzer” 🙂

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Every tree needs a “Schnauzer Angel” topper, right?

Thursday evening we had a quiet evening by the tree wrapping presents, drinking hot cocoa and eating grilled cheese sandwiches before the holiday madness begins.

Now it is holiday parties, out of town family members arriving for a visit; and then hosting 25+ people at the house for Christmas eve (my partner is the oldest of 7 children and hosts Christmas eve dinner for his family and extended family).

Quite the different Christmas holiday than I had in 2018…and I am feeling very blessed and cozy.

A Crafter's Life

Scraps for Sandy!

One of my dear blogging buddies, Sandy, of the crafting sister duo Gray Barns Designs (Cindy and Sandy), is making an insane quilt – a postage stamp quilt made with 3,420 1.5″ x 1.5″ RED squares (that’s 3,420 3.81 cm x 3.18 cm squares for my blogging friends on the metric system)!

Here is one of her posts about it:

Seeing Red

In this post she mentions she only has 1250 squares completed so far. Her sister Cindy is helping out with reds from her stash but I got the feeling Sandy would like more help, so I offered to send her red scraps from my stash (and she took me up on my offer).

I have my scraps organized by color groups at the bottom on my IKEA bookcase of fabric (see post A New Way to Organize My Fabric):

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I grouped them into four (4) boxes as follows:

  • Green and blue (and turquoise and aqua)
  • Red, pink and purple
  • Brown, yellow, and orange
  • Black, white, gray and cream

So during my lunch break today (I am a telecommuter), I pulled out my stash of red scraps and started pulling scraps for her postage stamp quilt of scrappy madness:

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That is just the beginning of the pile. I crammed as much as I could in a padded priority mailer (because it is near Christmas and no way was I returning to the post office again to mail anything – I just pre-printed my label at usps.com and gave it to my mail carrier):

2019-12-16_08-22-46_671.jpegI cannot show you what is inside because it is a surprise for Sandy to open!

I see from some of her other posts and comments that other blogging buddies are sending scraps too.

If you have red scraps to spare you can contact her at Gray Barns Designs by commenting on her post I linked above. And if you do not already follow their blog, I highly recommend you add it to your reading list – Gray Barns Designs: Real. Modern. Quilting and see what the talented crafting sister Sandy and Cindy are up to!

Perhaps Sandy will share what is in the package I sent on her blog when she receives it in a couple days :-).


Postscript

Sandy and Cindy of Gray Barns Designs are the first long-time blogging buddies I met in person. They attended the opening of the show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience in Hamilton, OH in August 2018 (see post Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I).

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Sandy, Tierney and Cindy

Now I have met the quilts in person of several of my other long-time quilting buddies. I met Mary of Zippy Quilts’s amazing quilt in person when I attended Quilters Take Manhattan in September 2017 (see post Wrap Up of QTM 2017 Weekend).

I also met one of Claire of knitNkwilts amazing modern quilts at the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (see post Return to Sisters (Oregon)); and the quilt of Becca of Pretty Piney‘s quilt at the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (see post Sisters Outdoor Show Part III: The Show).   I was living in Central Oregon at the time of these shows and took photos of their quilts for them since they could not attend.

I do have plans to meet in person more long-time blogging buddies in 2020 which hopefully includes meeting Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties (my tierneycreates Beastie has to meet her maker in person!) when I go with friends to Ireland this summer; and meeting Martha of Martha’s Blog in Mississippi sometime this year. Fingers crossed!

Perhaps I should just do “tierneycreates on Tour” series someday – my world tour – ha! (But there would be no visiting Greenland or Antartica as according to my WordPress stats no one follows my blog there – see post Guest Blogger: tierneycreates 5th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway).