Blog

Knit and Crochet Away!

Scarf for a Friend

Last year I knitted a hat for my friend Michele with a variegated turquoise yarn (see 11/11/19 post The Ball of Yarn (which eventually became a hat)):

2019-11-06_11-35-43_749

I had another skein of the yarn remaining so I thought Michele might need a scarf to match her hat.

At first I knitted a partial scarf but I was not enjoying the process for some reason. I had it as WIP at the same time I began my first granny square blanket, rediscovering the joy of crocheting. I decided to rip out the knit stitches and start over and crochet the scarf instead.

Here I am working on the scarf with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer supervising:

Is he supervising or is he trying to get pet? I suspect he wants the project out of my hands so I can lay my hands on him!

And here is the scarf completed – I added fringe to the edges to jazz it up a bit:

2020-11-28_08-58-38_4752020-11-28_08-58-51_206

Michele loves to read and since this scarf was also her birthday gift I decided to wrap it in a stack of used books I gathered for her while thrifting and building my home library (see post Curating a Home Library):

2020-11-28_09-16-46_8472020-11-28_09-16-26_453

She’s already received her gift in the mail so I can now share this project in a post (smile).

A Crafter's Life, tierneycreates

Pillow for a Kitty

The title of this post might confuse you and lead you to wonder: “Is Tierney now focusing on making pillows for cats and how does Mike the Miniature Schnauzer feel about this?!?!?”

What is post is actually about it how as a crafter we make a lot of crafts and give a lot as gifts; and sometimes we forget what happens to those gifts over the years. It is a sweet and special blessing to hear how a gift is still being used years later.

Such in the case of an unexpected “kitty pillow“.

I have a post from February 2015, 2015 Goals, in which I shared that I had made Little Love Note Pillows for my then open Etsy Shop (aptly named tierneycreates). Around the same time as selling these pillows on my tierneycreates shop, I gave some as gifts to family and friends. Here are some images of these pillow sets I sold and gifted:

dscn3049littleheart

I sort of forgot about these pillows made 5 years ago, especially with all that has transpired in my life the past 5 years (and especially the past nearly 2 years…).

Well a couple days ago, I received a text and images from my brother-in-law Sean (my late husband Terry’s brother), sharing some photos of how his cat is enjoying the little pillows I sent him so many years ago. His kitty thought they were the perfect “cat sized pillows”!

He meant to tell me long time ago but kept forgetting.

2020-11-18_23-31-53_9452020-11-18_23-32-35_638

What a huge smile his text and photos put on my face! It was a nice pick me up as I’ve been feeling quite blue of late (see the Postscript section below).


Postscript

Today is December 1st and I think I’ve come to accept that December is a very rough month for me.

December used to be my favorite month with my late husband Terry’s birthday (Dec 2), Christmas (Dec 25) and my wedding anniversary (Dec 29).

Now December also holds the anniversary of Terry’s (known to this blog as “Terry the Quilting Husband”) sudden passing (12/13) who had been my partner since I was 20 years old.

December also holds the anniversaries of the passing of my beloved mother-in-law “Mimi” that I had in my life longer than my biological mother; and Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer the greatest canine love of my life. The passed within a week of each other in December 2017.

I was numb during Christmas 2018; I made it through Christmas 2019 but I am thinking that this year I probably won’t do a Christmas tree as it is makes me even sadder. Unfortunately, on 12/13/18, a couple days after decorating our tree together, I discovered the love of my life deceased next to the Christmas tree.

I will get through December; and appreciate all the love and support from friends and family and I am so thankful for my partner John and our dog Mike.

Also I am always trying to remember this wonderful quote I stumbled upon early in my grief journey:

Some days it seems like every moment of the day is a battle to keep the nests out of my hair at least during the month of December…

(okay Tierney you just won the “Most Depressing Blog Post” award…I promise future posts will not be as glum)

A Crafter's Life

Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving

This past Thursday was Thanksgiving in the U.S. and traditionally it’s a holiday where family and/or friends gather and share a large meal featuring TURKEY.

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

However in 2020, time of the global pandemic, ongoing traditions likely did not work, especially with all the current COVID restrictions in place around the U.S.

In our region for example we are on “Level Red” restrictions and we are not supposed to congregate with people outside our immediate household. So that means no having relatives over for Thanksgiving.

My partner John has a son, daughter in law, and darling granddaughter in the area, as well as much of his siblings and parents in the Denver Metro area where we live. We could not gather with them for Thanksgiving due to the current restrictions in place.

I was not really in the mood for two of us to make and share a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner so we came up with the idea of John asking his son what his wanted to eat on Thanksgiving and John making it (he loves to cook) and dropping it off at his house. We decided to do the same thing with John’s elderly father and his partner who have been fairly homebound during the pandemic.

And what did John’s son choose for Thanksgiving dinner? He chose – CHICKEN STRIPS and MACARONI AND CHEESE, one of his favorite meals that his dad makes! John’s dad was happy with the same menu also so we made up several batches of homemade “mac & cheese” and chicken strips.

2020-11-26_10-03-52_517

John set them up for delivery and then did a door drop off to each household for their “Thanksgiving dinners”!

2020-11-26_10-10-35_6222020-11-26_10-14-05_0482020-11-26_10-15-21_370

We also included some ranch dressing for dipping the chicken strips.

John and I had the same dinner ourselves when he returned from dropping off the meals (which got rave reviews).

In a strange pandemic-times-way we “shared” a meal with family outside our household for Thanksgiving.

Here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer asking for a sampling as the meals got boxed up for delivery.


Postscript

Speaking of Thanksgiving and cooking, if you like podcasts, head over to my blogging buddy, Portland based author Tammie Painter’s wonderful The Book Owl Podcast for the latest episode – Cooking Up Something Good – all about the history of cookbooks! It was another fun and informative podcast!

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 10.32.10 PM

 

A Crafter's Life

Morning Ride

Good Morning from my side of the pond. I thought I would share some recent images from my partner John’s early morning bike rides like I did in the post Good Morning and The Library Stack.

If in addition to making me look lazy with all his recent woodshop crafting projects, he has also been showing me up on physical fitness activities during the pandemic. Several times a week at 5:00 am in the morning he goes on a 20 – 26+ mile (32 – 42 km) bike ride (even in the chilly Autumn mornings).

He usually catches great sunrises on his ride, especially at the reservoir near our house.

PXL_20201031_133456050PXL_20201103_124649696PXL_20201103_131158919PXL_20201103_131459475

Here is John just returned from a morning ride (and I have just risen from bed to make my way to my 20 foot commute to my home office, ha!):


Postscript

Greetings from tierneycreates Beastie, she has not guest blogger posted in a while (Beastie Adventures). She might have a post in the future!

Well John is not early morning bike riding currently as it has snowed in the Denver Metro area.

Screen Shot 2020-11-24 at 6.10.19 PM

Here is tierneycreates Beastie in her Autumn/Winter outfit all ready for the cold and snow:

Thanks so much to Helen @crawcraftsbeasties for making her a scarf to go with her hat.

The scarf matches the scarf I knitted to match my hat I shared in this post – Scarf finally done.

A Crafter's Life, From the Woodshop

From the Woodshop

Crafting wise I do not have much to report as I am finished with the granny square blanket (see previous post Attack of the Giant Granny Square Blanket) and I am currently working on hand stitching Seattle Scrappy (see previous post and the post An Update on “Seattle Scrappy” – Haphazard Stitching… ).

So I am going to take this opportunity to share what the other crafty person in the house, my partner John has been working on.

A couple months ago we turned part of our basement into his woodshop (we had it professionally drywalled as well as electrical added, while John put in the floor and did all the finishing work), so he could have his own “craft room”.

2020-11-24_13-54-05_9032020-11-24_13-54-10_9902020-11-24_13-54-13_941

His workshop is a work in progress and evolving. For the first time in his life he has his dream of having his own dedicated woodshop beyond just tinkering in the garage.

John and I met in mid-2019 after suddenly each losing our long time spouses/life partners in 2018. We decided that since how long you have to live your life is unknown (when you become a widow/widower you think a lot about your own mortality in addition to grieving the loss of your spouse) we would not hold back from having our dreams (within reason and within financial possibilities of course!). One of his lifelong dreams was to have his own woodshop!

(One of our shared dreams is travel and pre-COVID pandemic we had many plans for travel in 2020, but you all know about “best laid plans” when it comes to 2020…)

Mike the miniature schnauzer did a guest blog post a couple weeks ago (yes, yes, stop your disbeliefs that my dog writes blog posts, ha, ha) on some of the projects John has been working on – Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On , but I thought I would share some of the projects since that post.

Wood Blocking Board

I saw on Instagram wood blocking boards for granny squares and asked John if he could make me one – and he did!

Here is an image of one I found online and texted him the image:

2020-11-04_07-41-36_891

He watched a couple YouTube videos and checked out some on Pinterest and figured it out how to make me one:

2020-11-07_18-06-33_0632020-11-08_09-42-55_690

It’s going to be great to use for making my next granny square blanket – I can stack my blocks pretty high with the long pegs.

Bike Holders/Storage

John loves Pinterest as a great source of ideas. He wanted to get our bikes off just sitting on the ground of the garage and found a cool design for a bike rack and made one for each of our bikes!

He made mine first so most of the images are of mine with some detailed images of the rack to include the little drawer he built for it also. 

2020-11-15_13-42-25_9482020-11-15_13-42-09_7482020-11-15_13-42-17_7322020-11-22_10-24-57_539

The little drawer is perfect to keep your biking gloves and other small items related to cycling. It is very easy to lift our bikes out of the holders.

Magnetic Board

I am obsessed with Scrabble letters. I have a collection of Scrabble letters from thrift stores and old Scrabble games. I’ve made gifts from them in the past like friend’s names spelled in Scrabble letters affixed to a magnetic strip. Recently while at a thrift shop I found a bag of Scrabble letters with individual thin magnetic strips attached. 

This led to the idea of creating a magnetic board for my home office where I could write inspirational messages for myself with Scrabble letters! I asked John and he made it happen!

2020-11-15_11-26-55_231

Currently up on the board I have the Maya Angelou quote:

Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.

Custom Tables for his Woodshop

The first table John made for his woodshop was a table/stand/storage for his Miter Saw:

2020-09-21_19-58-02_119

He used purchased plans he downloaded online to make this table and then made some adjustments for his needs.

Recently he made himself another table/stand/storage, this time without pre-purchased plans! He designed a table for his Planer with storage drawers with cool pulls he ordered online:

PXL_20201104_201533780PXL_20201104_201539146

Exercise Room for Water Rower

And the big project that John recently completed did not technically involve his woodshop as he did much for the work in the garage – he converted part of our unfinished storage room in the basement into an exercise room for our new Water Rower. This involved framing out and dry walling the room. A wonderful friend helped him with a lot of the initial labor related to framing,  installing the drywall, and pulling electrical for lighting and wall outlets.

PXL_20201025_1902241712020-11-15_16-51-20_3722020-11-15_16-51-11_222

The artwork in the room was my idea and I found it at a thrift shop. John created the frame around the world map. I figured we can daydream about travel while we row.  We found a television on sale and an inexpensive TV mount online so we can watch rowing instructional videos (or Netflix) while rowing.

We repurposed an old bookcase for our “gym” towels and water bottles like they would have at a real gym. John also put in a vent for the room for ventilation while we break a sweat.

Well I better go work on my hand stitching so I can have something to show you in the future – John makes me look pretty lazy!


Postscript

Do you remember how in the post The Inpatient Schnauzer: Update on the Granny Square Afghan (Guest Blogger), Mike the miniature schnauzer was getting impatient for me to finish the granny square blanket? So it is all finished but he seems to have moved on!

He is now in love with a new fleece blanket we recently picked up and has become inseparable from it!

2020-11-24_11-41-43_7402020-11-24_11-35-49_308

I guess schnauzers are fickle!

Let me close this post with a sign/piece of artwork I discovered while thrifting that I put up outside John’s woodshop door. I think it goes with the aesthetic of a woodshop and also embraces how we are hoping to live our lives:

2020-11-08_11-09-14_466


Feature Image Photo by Joel & Jasmin Førestbird on Unsplash

Knit and Crochet Away!

Attack of the Giant Granny Square Blanket

It’s done!

Well sort of – I still have to weave in the ends from joining the squares.

“Tierney, what are you talking about?”

Well I am following up on the guest blogger post from earlier this month by my impatient miniature schnauzer Mike: The Inpatient Schnauzer: Update on the Granny Square Afghan (Guest Blogger).

Mike looking impatient

Yes, of course my miniature schnauzer knows how to write blog posts, why are you asking?

Well Mike no longer has to be impatient as I’ve finished my first granny square blanket. I used the word “finished” loosely as I have many yarn strands hanging about it waiting to be woven in.

I wove in the ends as I finished each block but I got lazy when I was joining the 90 blocks into ten (10) rows of nine (9) blocks.

It measures approximately 70 inches by 74 inches (178 cm x 188 cm) and it is much bigger than I thought it would be.

Here is Mike stretched out on it as I tried to photograph it for this post:

Here it is once I removed the miniature schnauzer from it:

After joining the blocks with a dark grey yarn, I added a single border around the whole piece.

I am pretty pleased with myself now that I’ve taught myself via YouTube videos how to crochet granny square blocks and to join them into a blanket. Here are all the posts if you really need something to fill your day (smile, wink) of my first granny square blanket journey. Some of these posts include links to the YouTube videos I used to learn.

Making My Own Granny Square Afghan

Granny Square Madness 

Update on the “Granny Square Madness” 

The Inpatient Schnauzer: Update on the Granny Square Afghan (Guest Blogger) 

Now that I’ve finished the blanket (except for the weeks and weeks of weaving in ends..ha..ahead of me), it is time to finish up hand sewing my quilt Seattle Scrappy (see most recent post on this scrappy quilt – An Update on “Seattle Scrappy” – Haphazard Stitching… ).

Seattle Scrappy waiting to be finished…

I notice a pattern – I seem to be really into grey lately (or is it “gray” I can never decided which one to use).

I want to start my next granny square blanket (I’ve been watching more granny square YouTube videos) but I should not start a new project when there are old ones awaiting some love!


Postscript

How about that pandemic thing going around. Oh yes it still sucks and I have complete “pandemic fatigue” at this point (I know you are thinking: “join the club”).

A couple of my friends were recently diagnosed with COVID (I was not exposed) and have been on quarantine for a couple weeks. I did drop someone homemade chocolate chip cookies on their porch. They are doing okay and their worse symptom was not being able to smell.

Chocolate Chip cookies have special healing properties

But I will keep on crafting my way through and I might have some news in the next couple of weeks.

Oh and Mike the miniature schnauzer has been concerned that since he’s been a guest blogger on this blog a couple times (The Inpatient Schnauzer: Update on the Granny Square Afghan (Guest Blogger) and Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On) he might be recognized by his growing fan base, so he’s asked to start wearing sunglasses when he goes out to keep a low profile:

Trying to avoid paparazzi…
Guest Blogger

Fun and Educational Activities to Drive the Indoor Blues Away (Guest Blogger Post)

Something for the awesome parents taking care of kids during the pandemic.

A couple days ago Carrie@thespencersadventures.net reached out to me and stated:

For those days when it’s too hot or cold for my kids to play outside, I’ve amassed a pretty great library of activities that keep them entertained and educated. I’ve got arts and crafts (aka learning in disguise) and even physical activities that give that (seemingly endless) energy a place to go. I’ll be sure to include some activities for parents to do as well – after all, we all need a creative and physical activity break! I’d love to compile some of these indoor activities into an article for your readers.” 

I took her up on her offer (thanks Carrie!) and here is her guest post – enjoy!


picture1

Fun and Educational Activities to Drive the Indoor Blues Away

With the unfortunate spread of coronavirus, the kids are stuck inside and bored to death. Luckily, there are plenty of fun and engaging activities just a few keystrokes away thanks to the modern marvel of the internet. Look beyond the endless drone of news and cat memes, and you’ll find plenty for the young ones to do. Tierneycreates has got you covered with the following ideas:

Tech Time

If you own a tablet, you probably have access to a ton of educational apps that you can download for your kids, and the beauty is they can use them anywhere. Look for fun apps that cater to their interests or focus on areas that they need to work on. Tablets can power just about any app smoothly, so your kids can enjoy learning without issue whether they’re dabbling in art, geometry, languages, and so on. Consider investing in a new monitor so they can work on a larger high-resolution screen. Many models are suited for gaming, too, so your child can easily switch back and forth between learning and playing. Look for a monitor that features the latest tech for a smoother gaming experience.

A Cooking Session

Bring the tablet into the kitchen to learn how to cook — even children as young as three can participate. Not only will they learn how to slice, dice and mix up ingredients, the kids will absorb all sorts of information on the value of a healthy diet, which should be a big goal of your culinary lessons. A good way to start, especially if your children are really young, is to show them how to make healthy versions of their favorite snacks. Start with something easy, like popcorn. Rather than throwing a bagged brand into the microwave, add plain kernels into a microwave popper, and top your treat with healthy, homemade seasonings.

A Music Lesson

Playing a tune has been shown to help children’s cognitive development, so there’s no reason not to have a jam session right in your home. You’ll find plenty of songs you can download as well as lessons for a variety of musical instruments, from guitar to recorder.

A Science Project

Chemistry may not sound like fun to your kids, but that will all change once you see how the colors explode as food coloring, milk and dish soap all interact. Besides those ingredients, all you need are some cotton swabs and a shallow pan. What better way to get their little minds buzzing than with exciting new discoveries in front of their own eyes? Or, you can grab more items around the house to mix up some elephant toothpaste. Your little mad scientist will be thrilled with the results.

An Art Class

Art is often one of kids’ favorite parts of school, and it has many benefits including helping children reduce anxiety. So come up with some easy-to-do projects that will bring out their inner Rembrandt. Art for Kids Hub has a wide variety of tutorials that teach the little ones how to draw everything from gnomes to frogs to Garfield in a series of step-by-step videos that are as entertaining as they are easy to understand. Don’t forget to grab the supplies they need for their favorite artistic medium.

Storytelling

Now that you’ve got those creative juices flowing, keep it going by coming up with stories together. If you’re not sure how to start, the folks at Imagine Forest suggest writing some words on small pieces of paper, putting them in a jar to act as prompts, and having the first volunteer reach in and pick one out. Then, everyone else adds their own piece to the narrative to make an exciting group adventure.

A Trip Around the World

Learn about fascinating foreign cultures across the globe through a series of hands-on crafts, such as making an Indian wall hanging, a kokeshi doll or a mandala. You can find all the materials that you need around the house, then it’s off to an exotic land far away without ever leaving home.

A Foreign Language

Now that you’ve got their interest in life beyond the borders, it’s time to get the kids started learning Spanish, French, German or any of the other dozens of languages available for study. You’ll find a variety of activities involving reading, writing and speaking to get the kids ready for a life of travel and exploration.

After giving a few of these ideas a try, you may find that your days sheltering in place go by much quicker. Best of all, your kids will learn new things as well.

For more stories to brighten your day, head over to the Tierneycreates blog.


Image via Pixabay.

A Crafter Needs to Eat, The Library Stack, Thrift Shop Adventures

Curating a Home Library

I love public libraries and as my series of posts The Library Stack shows, I am always browsing them and borrowing books when I can. A couple of years of ago I studied and embraced Minimalism trying to live a simpler lifestyle and letting go of things that I thought cluttered my life. I decided to stop buying books and just borrow them from the library.

Then in December 2018 my husband suddenly died and things shifted in my life on a large scale. And in early 2020 the pandemic hit and more shifting occurred to include examining how I could redefine a “simpler lifestyle” and have the physical things I enjoy in my life.

Our local libraries closed for what seemed like endless months during the early days of the pandemic and when they reopened it was only for curbside pickup. Currently they have fully reopened but have many strict protocols (beyond mandatory masks) and there are not that many patrons in the library anymore. It feels like something is lost from whole public library experience (and it is strange to see the librarians behind glass).

Pre-pandemic I was really in to audiobooks. Something shifted in me during the pandemic and I began to crave reading physical books rather than listening to them. I also remembered my secret dream of having an extensive home library like the ones I see in the home decorating books I borrow from the public library.

Like this one below:

Image credit: insidehook.com

With all the above things in the background of my mind, a couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to proceed with curating my own home library. Nothing as extensive as the image above but a nice collection with books that I’ve read and loved (and want to read again) and books I want to read (and might read again).

So how to do this and not “break the bank”? Well I used the following sources to find books for my home library:

  • Thrift Stores
  • Garage Sales
  • Thriftbooks.com
  • Independent bookstores selling used books

I was able to buy books from 50 cents to $5.00 from these four sources. Most books I paid between $1.49 and $4.99. 

In addition to amassing a collection of second hand books over the past couple of months, my partner John also added an additional bookcase to the front room beyond the two he already built for me.

So here is the current version of my home library which used to be the front room/sitting room in my house:

2020-10-25_14-11-57_9982020-10-26_10-25-20_9242020-11-10_10-31-07_6452020-11-10_10-32-23_3362020-11-10_10-32-59_686

I had so much fun hunting for books at thrift shops (one local thrift shop has 1/2 priced Saturdays).

I’ve loved the books by the authors Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child and I’ve read at least 85% of their entire catalogue of books. So I put together a collection of their books of my very own (previously I had borrowed them from the library):

I do not have their latest books as those are not at thrift stores yet or reasonably priced on Thriftbooks.com but it was so fun finding each book one at a time while hunting at thrift shops.

At the beginning of my home library book curation process I thought about filling part of my home library with classic novels and books that might impress a book collector. But that thought lasted only a couple seconds. I have no need to impress anyone with my home library except myself. It is only filled with the kind of books I will read (and my partner too).

Like lots of Science Fiction and Fantasy (especially Young Adult Fantasy, I love it):

You might wonder what I did with my craft book collection. Well it is on the opposite wall organized by craft or topic (like art quilting):

All those books – got to have a cozy place to read, right? Here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer sitting in my favorite reading spot:

And here is Mike and I snuggled cozy under a warm blanket on a cold Saturday reading (it was quite a delicious morning with my pot of tea next to me). I rediscovered the joy of reading a while, napping, waking up and reading some more!

2020-10-10_16-40-20_8582020-10-11_12-03-29_897

Note these images were taken before my partner put up the third bookcase last week.

In case you are curious, I am still occasionally getting a “Library Stack” from my local public library, though not as big as the ones I was getting (the ridiculously large stacks like in the post The Library Stack Is Back!) when the library first reopened. Here is my current linrary stack:

Speaking of libraries, some of the second hand books I’ve purchased over the past several months are former library books! I’ve gotten pretty good at removing the library’s plastic dust cover with all their library specific stickers so the books sitting on my home library shelves does not look like I stole them from a library – ha!

As I mentioned earlier in this post I used to listen to a lot of audiobooks. Current I am only listening to podcasts now, taking a break from audiobooks. I am currently enjoying holding a book in my hand and reading it. Quite a different experience. I am taking a break from multitasking in life and just enjoying a solitary task of reading a book!


Postscript

Over the past several months of going to thrift stores to find books for my home library, I’ve come across many curious items for sale at thrift shops. 

Here are my top 5 favorite finds that gave me the chuckle (and I promise you I did not buy any of them):

Number 5: If you need a lamp and a place to store your leftover yarn, would this not be the perfect solution?

2020-08-25_14-42-31_774

Yes it’s – YARN LAMP!

Number 4: Patriotic pants – they defy any further comment (but my apologies to you if you happen own these…)

My partner John is modeling them

Number 3: Donated photo frames with family photos still in them.

I could not believe how many donated photo frames I came across with family pictures still in them at various thrift stores, like the example below. Wouldn’t you perhaps remove your family photos before donating?!?!?

Number 2: An outfit for a very adventurous and crafty person.

Though it was on display way before Halloween, I think this was supposed to be a suggested Halloween outfit (hopefully as you would get a lot of stares should you select it for a cocktail party…)

2020-10-03_12-24-38_6622020-10-03_12-24-40_710

And Number 1 is…

Something that you absolutely cannot imagine living without…

A cattle leg (yes real cattle leg) with hoof attached Barometer!

Yes, now you can remember the favorite steer you raised on your farm and know the current barometric pressure!

My regret is I did not buy it and put it away as the ultimate future “White Elephant” Christmas gift! (Could you imagine the look on someone’s face when they opened their gift!)

Guest Blogger, Knit and Crochet Away!

The Inpatient Schnauzer: Update on the Granny Square Afghan (Guest Blogger)

My Human is Too Slow!

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer who lives with Tierney of tierneycreates. I am guest blogging on this post as you may have noticed Tierney has not blogged in a while and someone has to keep you updated…at least on my frustration.

If you saw this post like 3 weeks ago (maybe less, Schnauzers are not great with their perception of time) Update on the “Granny Square Madness”, she has been working on (like forever…or “fur-ever” as we say in canine) on a granny square afghan after teaching herself to make one via videos on YouTube.

Well I’ve been waiting a long time for it to be finished and I am getting very impatient!

(First I need to tell you that afghans and other cozy blankets are the “natural habitat” of Miniature Schnauzers)

I first fell in love with the afghan when it was just a couple of square she had made:

2020-09-04_12-50-53_047

Then she made more squares and my love of this afghan kept growing and I would sneak in to lay on them whenever I could:

2020-10-12_14-08-10_919

A Partial Afghan Will Do…I Guess…

Now that she finished 90 granny square blocks, she is SLOWLY (at least in the Schnauzer-Time-Space-Continuum perception) putting the afghan together.

And I cannot wait.

I’ve begun nesting in it, while it is in assembly, any time she steps away from it:

2020-10-29_21-24-52_2502020-11-01_16-59-22_192

I’ve even begun nesting in it while she is working on attaching the blocks together (note the crochet hook on the lower left):

2020-10-29_23-08-30_131

She’s tried to appease me by wrapping me in it, but I am not fooled:

2020-11-02_11-56-55_620

Do I look “appeased”?!?!? Nope. I want a finished afghan.

Unfortunately she only has 3 rows together and has 7 more rows to add:

2020-11-02_11-57-42_123

Unacceptable.

She has a system on the guest room bed where she has stacked the individual blocks for each granny square row (so I won’t topple over the rows and mess up her order like I was doing when they were laid out on the living room floor):

2020-11-02_09-45-17_480

She says she is working on it as fast as she can but has this full-time job thing going on and other life activities (poor excuses).

Absolutely Not Appeased

I know I mentioned somewhere in this post that a partial afghan might do but on further thought it does not. I want to nap in the full completed thing!

Here are some photos of me “not appeased” to close out this post: 

2020-11-02_11-56-32_0322020-11-02_11-56-35_0162020-11-02_11-56-36_875

Now get to work Human!

Special Events, tierneycreates

Recycled Hope and Acclaimed Artist Series

ACCLAIMED ARTIST SERIES

I have some cool news! My piece Recycled Hope III: Windows of Conversation was selected by New Mexico Arts for their Art in Public Places: Acclaimed Artist Series pool.

Here is what the representative from New Mexico Arts informed me in the acceptance letter:

Photos/videos that you submitted of your artwork will be placed in a slideshow presentation. This presentation will be shown to potential buyers across the state of New Mexico over the next two years. These sites can include: amphitheaters, animal shelters, community centers, courthouses, educational institutions, fire stations, healthcare facilities, recreation complexes, rest areas, senior centers, etc. Participating sites will have a total budget equal to 1% of recent capital outlay funds appropriated for new construction or major renovation projects. If your artwork is selected by a site I will contact you to begin the purchasing process.

So I am hoping one of the New Mexico public institutions feel that my piece is a match for them. If selected I have to go to New Mexico and oversee the installation of the art quilt under plexiglass (I am responsible for all costs related to installation it is included in the fee they will give me if selected).

RECYCLED HOPE

Windows of Conversation used to be part of my Recycled Denim Series (all my art quilt series are listed with images and Artist Statements on my page Art Quilt Stories). Recently I reimagined by Recycled Denim series into the Recycled Hope series. It seemed to me that “hope” was something many people needed with all that is going on in the world.

I added in newer non-denim quilts into this series I’ve made such as All the Trimmings (see post “All the Trimmings” is all done) which is made from recycled materials. If you scroll on my Art Quilt Stories page to Recycled Hope VII: All the Trimmings you will see it listed.

Here is what I put on the Art Quilt Stories page as an overview about the Recycled Hope series:

The Recycled Hope an ongoing series of improvisational art quilts using recycled materials to include denim as the primary fabric on many of the pieces, combined with other recycled materials. “Hope” and the interpretation of the word “hope” is the primary theme of infused into these pieces.

Most of the fabrics were not reusable as clothing or home decor and were destined to end up in a landfill. Reimagining recycled clothing and other materials into art quilts satisfies my hopeful desire to honor the environment and make art that is eco-conscious. Ending up in an art quilt is a better outcome than ending up in a landfill.

Below is the updated Artist Statement for Recycled Hope III: Windows of Conversation

2020-09-30_20-18-34_802

Photographed by Tierney Davis Hogan

55” W x 59” L, recycled jeans, various recycled clothing, and recycled home decor fabric

THE STORY OF THIS PIECE:

This textile creation in the Recycled Hope series, was inspired my hope that in order to move forward as country we need to foster open windows of conversation and respectful dialogue  between peoples of different cultures, socioeconomic statuses, ages, identities and life experiences. 

A Crafter Needs to Eat, A Crafter's Life

Hello Autumn!

I’ve shared many of the photos below already on Instagram but I thought I would pull them together and share a quick post about Autumn, my favorite season.

Fall Scenery

Who doesn’t love the colors of Autumn and the changing leaves?

Not only the color of the leaves but the sounds of the leaves? Usually when I’m on a walk I have my earphones in and I am listening to an audiobook, a podcast or music. Yesterday I went on a little afternoon walk and actually just listened to the trees – their dry autumn leaves rustling in the wind. It was sort of glorious.

In addition to the trees/leaves, we’ve seen some beautiful skies at sunset – my partner John captured these photos.

Fall Cooking

The other day it dropped to 48 degrees F outside so was it’s cold enough for homemade chicken noodle soup with handmade noodles!

On Instagram I shared these two images below, implying I made the soup…

But I was only adding extra noodles to the soup – actually my partner John made the soup and the noodles.

But I did make an apple pie – a perfect Autumn desert!

I was super tasty and we had it for desert after our soup and garlic bread for supper.

Now it’s time to pull out the stew recipes as well as the soups I like to make recipes. Cooler weather means lots of cooking (and maybe some more baking).


Postscript

Oh I will close this post with what Mike the Miniature Schnauzer is up to – providing emotional support for more home remodeling projects (see his guest post Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On) by going on trips to home improvement stores.

Here is his photo from the other day when he went to pick up more supplies and it looks like he’s trying to give the humans some directions…

What's on the Design Wall

An Update on “Seattle Scrappy” – Haphazard Stitching…

I thought I would give you all an update on the improvisationally free-form log cabin block style pieced quilt I’ve been working on since January 2020 – Seattle Scrappy. I last updated you on this piece in my March post – Update on Seattle Scrappy (though I think here and there in the Postscript section of later posts I provided a brief update…maybe).

A Little Background

To save you time from reading the previous posts about this quilt Update on Seattle Scrappy, Seattle Scrappy (What’s on the Design Wall) , and What’s on the…Design Carpet (and also have you wondering: “she’s posted about this quilt three times over 9+ month, why is it not done yet?!?!?) here is a little summary.

The quilt began as a pile of scraps that my friend Dana let me play with when I attended a quilt retreat in Poulsbo, Washington in January 2020 (see posts Mini Quilt Retreat, January 2020 and A Jaunt About Poulsbo, WA). I pieced these scraps into free form log cabin blocks (no measuring, just “eye-balling” and trimming to make fit):

2020-01-11_15-35-55_9032020-01-10_18-11-34_186

I made a lot of blocks and when I returned home I arranged them into this quilt top:

I decided to name the piece: Seattle Scrappy.

For the past 7 or so months, I’ve been hand stitching the quilt.

Update on “Seattle Scrappy”

In my mind I am doing something like Kantha hand stitching but actually what I am doing should be called “Drunken Kantha” (no I am not drinking while stitching – that could be disastrous since I am a “light-weight” when it comes to alcohol consumption, I would impale my finger…constantly…with the needle) as, well…it sort of looks…sloppy…

Let’s get this over with – let me show you the photos – I am nearly 1/3rd done on stitching this quilt which measures approximately 60 inches by 60 inches:

2020-10-14_08-57-47_4812020-10-14_08-58-08_2442020-10-14_08-58-16_383

If you are gasping or just shaking your head at this point as you look at the nonuniform stitching, I have an artistic design “excuse” for the stitching. It is a weak excuse but here goes: As it frequently rains in Seattle, Washington, I wanted the stitching to capture the feeling of a rainstorm (with the wind blowing the rain sideways…).

There. That sounds quite reasonable – it was just my artistic design, not that I am a terrible Kantha-stitcherist! (smile).

But seriously, I am hopeful it will look acceptable once I get the whole thing stitched, and then trim off the excess batting and backing, do a whole lot of ironing, and bind the edges in some manner (either a traditional quilt binding or the art quilt technique of putting a “facing” on the back edges of the quilt).

I cannot believe how long it takes to hand quilt a lap sized quilt. I’ve hand quilted smaller pieces before (see post What’s on My Lap) and I found it very meditative. I think in the future I will reserve hand quilting only for smaller pieces, it was a bit too ambitious an undertaking (for a slopping hand quilter) to hand quilt Seattle Scrappy!

Till the next update, Seattle Scrappy will continue to sit on the edge of my chair in the living room, waiting for the next set of haphazard stitches!


Postscript

Hopefully I did not visually traumatize you with images of my hand stitching.

If I have, I would like to undo the damage by referring you to look at the website of one of my extremely talented blogging buddies – Mariss the Quilter: Fabrications – who is a masterful Kantha stitcher. Check out her post On Hand Stitching to see some amazing Kantha stitching!

Someday…maybe…I can get my stitching to a “less scary point”. I am not aiming for her level of talent, just not to scare myself or others – ha!  I did recently actually invest in a book on Kantha stitching. So perhaps there is hope…

2020-10-15_10-26-43_402

Knit and Crochet Away!

Update on the “Granny Square Madness”

I thought I would share an update to this post from a couple weeks ago Granny Square Madness, and let you where I am on making my first granny square afghan.

At the previous update I was here in my progress – 46 blocks completed:

And here is where I am as of today – 63 blocks done:

Since I am making the afghan 9 x 10 (90 blocks), I have 27 more to go!

After laying out the completed blocks, I checked my remaining blocks in various stages of progress to make sure I had 27:

And yay – I have 27 in progress! This was important to check as I am getting low on yarn. I’ve already exhausted the magenta and most recently the oatmeal colored yarn; and now I only have 1 skein each of the dark gray and of the light gray.

So I really need to conserve my remaining yarn to complete the rest of the blocks. That was once a full basket of yarn! It does feel good to use up 15 – 20 year old yarn I’ve had in my stash.

I did find a YouTube tutorial that I think I am going to use to attached my blocks:

Courtesy of YouTube

I like the join in this one. I have not made my final decision yet and plan to check out some more videos before deciding.

But as I mentioned earlier in this post I am running low on yarn, so what yarn will I use to join the blocks? Well – a couple weeks ago I found a giant skein of dark gray yarn (darker than the gray I am already using) at a thrift shop that I think I will use to join the blocks. Today I auditioned it with a couple blocks:

I plan to try joining a couple blocks as a test with the dark. dark gray yarn and see how I like it. I did take a look around the yarn department of Joann’s Fabrics, the same national chain where I bought the original Lions Brand yarn in Seattle, Washington in the early 2000s, and they did not carry any of the exact yarns I am using. Too bad I think it would have been cool to join the blocks with the magenta color!

Once again Mike the Mini Schnauzer tried out the afghan after I laid it out on the carpet:

He continues to grow impatient with me as he wants to snuggle in and fall asleep in the finished afghan.

When he got up from lying on the blocks one of the block got stuck on his foot and he “rearranged” the blocks a little…

Well that is an update for now, back to working on finishing the last 27 blocks!


Postscript

I am already thinking about my next granny square afghan (not sure when my first one is complete that I can stop the “madness”) and I realized a couple weeks ago I do not have much acrylic or wool-acrylic blend yarn in my stash. I mainly have wool yarns for knitting. 

So on my visits to thrift stores to build my home library (future blog post), I’ve also been on the look out for yarn that will work for granny square afghans (acrylic and blends) and slowly building my stash (quite inexpensively):

2020-10-12_09-05-43_062

A Crafter's Life

The Earth’s Wisdom

I found a profound piece of “wisdom” taped to the inside cover of an old journal and wanted to share it with you, in case you also find it inspiring.

I do not know who to credit for this as I had no additional information on where I clipped this from; and when I tried to google it no result came up. So my apologies to whomever wrote these wonderful words I’ve copied below…

We should study the earth’s wisdom

– Unknown

Tree

Photo by niko photos on Unsplash

Have strong foundation. It will nourish you and stabilize you when life storms come.

Reach high and keep growing. Shelter and nurture others.

Share your fruit freely.

Volcano

Photo by USGS on Unsplash

Let it go! Don’t hold your fiery spirit in.

Your passion will create paradise in time.

River

Photo by kermit nicou on Unsplash

Keep moving or you will stagnate. You are more powerful than you know.

As you move through life, simply being yourself, you will nourish, refresh, and create incredible beauty.

Mountain

Photo by Mads Schmidt Rasmussen on Unsplash

Lift your consciousness to a higher level. Everything is different from that higher perspective.

Your path upward may seem rocky but it will be worthwhile.

Ocean

Photo by Giga Khurtsilava on Unsplash

Even if storms come, know that they are just on the surface.

Sync your awareness into your own depths where there is always calm. Even if your depths seem dark, they are rich with life. you hold, so much more than you imagine.

You are part of so much more than you realize. You may think you are a small wave but you are an intrinsic part of a large ocean.

Rock

Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash

Be still. Conserve your energy.

You have existed for a long time and have soaked in wisdom like sunshine.

Your power is your being, not your doing.

Garden

Photo by Marta Bibi on Unsplash

Beauty comes from diversity.

Don’t be afraid of the fertilizer in your life. You can use it to grow.

There are friends buzzing all around to help you grow. You are not alone.

You are a gift, beautiful nourishing and soulful.

Moss

Photo by Aldo Hernandez on Unsplash

It’s OK to be soft and gentle.

Be yourself, soak in the waters of life, and you will be able to grow even in unlikely conditions.

Your essence is comfort.


Feature image credit: Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life

Why Worry Now

I was thinking about a different post to write this post on my morning walk with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer.

The trees have turned and the weather has cooled down and there was a delicious Autumn cool quiet to my walk this morning.

I enjoy listening to either podcasts, audiobooks or music while I walk Mike. This morning I was listening to music and one of my all time favorite songs queued up on my playlist – Why Worry by Dire Straits from of one of my favorite albums of all time – Brothers in Arms.

In the back of mind lately, always swirling around, are thoughts of the craziness going on in the world. Listening to this song gave me pause.

So I decided to save the post I was going to write today for tomorrow and instead share this song with you and maybe it can give you a little pause too if you have a lot of “thought swirling” going on in your head…

Courtesy of YouTube

Baby, I see this world has made you sad
Some people can be bad
The things they do, the things they say

But baby, I’ll wipe away those bitter tears
I’ll chase away those restless fears
And turn your blue skies into gray

Why worry

There should be laughter after pain
There should be sunshine after rain
These things have always been the same
So why worry now
Why worry now

And if you’d like to see a lovely live version of the song in a Mark Knopfler duet with the exquisite Emmylou Harris, here you go…

Courtesy of YouTube

I thought my soul would float away from peacefulness listening to this…

By the way if you enjoyed this duet they have a brilliant album together that I highly recommend (it’s in my music collection) – All the Road Running.

What's on the Design Wall

What’s On the Design Wall: “Pride”

The colorful quarter circle quilt “Pride” (which I first shared in the July 2020 post What’s on the Design Wall: Pride) is back up on the design wall (I took it down a couple months ago to work on other pieces):

“Pride” in it’s tentative layout on the design wall

Each block is 7.5 inches x 7.5 inches and there are 64 blocks. Using some rough math the finished piece is estimated to be a little under 5 ft. x 5 ft.

Right now I am still playing with the color combinations to make sure I have the most pleasing layout. I still have more blocks to make with additional color combinations.

More quarter circle blocks to piece

So once I get those done I can finalize the layout and begin sewing the blocks together.

More to come…


Postscript

I am still working on my granny square madness (see post Granny Square Madness) and plan to share an update once I finish up the remaining blocks of the 100 I am making.

The madness continues

I continue to take my “to go” kit of granny squares in progress everywhere I go!

Special Events

Card Making Playdate

I am off work on Fridays and last Friday I had my friend Michele over for a card making playdate!

Michele got me into card making back in the late 1990s when we worked together at a company in Seattle, Washington (in the Queen Anne area if you are familiar with Seattle). Along with our friend Sandy we would make cards in the conference room during our lunch break.

I’ve not make cards for a couple years, not since I made them for my tierneycreates Etsy shop (which I still daydream about reopening someday). Here are the sets of cards I sold on my Etsy shop years ago:

I lined the inside of the cards with a white folded sheet of paper to make it easier to write inside the card (instead of trying to write a greeting on deep colored card stock.

So Michele and I thought it would be fun after all these years, and since I now also live in the Denver Metro area where she lives, to get together for making cards (and we could relatively socially distance while crafting).

I converted my studio/sewing room into a “paper crafting emporium” for the day, putting away my sewing machine and current project in progress (which I will share in a future post) and dusted off my old paper crafting supplies and set them up around the room.

Here is my studio table all set for card making (with snacks of course!):

And the paper crafting supplies spread around the room:

Here is Michele’s work in progress and the cards she made:

I tried to recreate the style of the cards I made previously for my Etsy shop that I featured earlier in the post but I was struggling with my paper cutter (old dull blade, etc.) in order to make larger cards from card stock, so I settled on using pre-made and folded smaller card stock I found in my paper crafting stash (likely 15+ year old!).

I also made these cards (some of the cards have 2 images – one with the ribbon in place and one with it moved so you can read the text):

Most of cards Michele and I added an inner liner of folded white paper glued into the crease to make it easy to write a note inside the card.

Michele and I had a very fun day while Mike the Miniature Schnauzer hung out in the room with us while we crafted.

At one point Mike keep seeking attention from Michele, and she took out a sheet of pre-printed adhesive letters and began teaching Mike the alphabet/to read (while we giggled). During the pandemic she’s been helping her son in his remote home schooling (like so many awesome Moms out there) so she used her Mom-Teacher skills on Mike!

Mike did listen attentively but he was not very good at learning the alphabet!

We had a wonderful lunch prepared by my partner John (who full time telecommutes during the pandemic) of scalloped potatoes, honey ham, and sautéed broccoli.

We also went on a walk around the green space/park behind my house.

It was a lovely way to spend a Friday and we plan to paper craft again in the near future. This time Michele is going to pull out her dusty paper crafting supplies and we will craft at her house.


Postscript

Speaking of crafting, my partner John, who has since the pandemic started and we became homebound, has been studying woodworking and continuing working on projects. I shared the tables he made in the Postscript section of the post – Making My Own Granny Square Afghan.

2020-08-16_12-32-30_540

Well recently he completely a bench/table with drawers for his Miter Saw which in my opinion is pretty impressive for a new woodworker! He bought plans online for the bench/table and improved upon those plans to better reinforce the table.

IMG_20200920_193457

He’s been having a lot of fun in his studio since we converted part of the daylight basement to his woodworking shop!

Outside Adventures!, What's on the Design Wall

The Mountains on the Wall

I spend a lot of time in my home office. I work four 10 hour days Monday to Thursday each week. I try to keep the walls of my home office visually appealing since occasionally during boring conference calls I might need to stare at them (smile).

Have you ever played “Conference Call Bingo”? My friend Cody turned me on to it.

I love mountains, that is one of the reasons I chose the part of Colorado (the Front Range Urban Corridor of the Rocky Mountains) I moved to in 2019 (see series of posts Colorado Bound) – it has lots of visible mountains!

image credit: KGA Studio Architects

I’ve enjoyed some amazing hikes in Colorado (see series of posts Outside Adventures! – the posts on my mountain hikes) and being near any sort of geologic rock formation is one of my favorite things in the world.

I love Mountains. One of my favorite memories while living in the Seattle area was a visit on my birthday to Mount Rainer/Mount Rainer National Park (which I beloved nicknamed “baby mountain” because it was my most dearly beloved mountain of the Cascade Mountain range).

image credit: Mt. Rainer Guest Services

So last year while visiting my Washington state based quilting friends Judy and Dana, I picked up a mountain scene themed panel to make a future wall hanging.

Finally, over a year later, I finished this wall hanging. See photos below.

The panel is by one of my favorite fabric lines – Stonehenge by Northcott Fabrics. In a perfect (and frivolous) world I would own the entire fabric line!

I made a simple quilted wallhanging by adding in a thin and then larger border with some coordinating fabrics from the Stonehenge line, and used the outside border fabric to bind it.

Then I hung it on my home office wall (which is also the upstairs guest room):

Someday I need to make a queen-sized bed quilt for the upstairs guest room bed!

In case you’ve been following my blog for a while and you have a very detailed memory (filled with lots of random things you remember), you will notice my home office wall color has changed. It used to be green, as shown in this post from April 2020 – Home Office Tips and Tour.

We decided to paint it the same color as the rest of the house instead of the random green color it had on its walls. It was one of those projects we did during my guest blogger’s (Mike the Miniature Schnauzer) discussion of endless pandemic home remodeling projects in his post Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On.

In addition to the mountain quilt wallhanging, I also have B&W photos from hikes around Colorado as well as some other B&W photos I love.

The B&W photograph on the right in the second image is by Kirk Fry Photography (a local Colorado artist) and gifted to me by my friend Michele.

And here is the desk where I endure conference calls from all day – ha!

It helped to have quilts to look at when the conference calls get mind numbing…

I also now have a built in shelved closet in my home office but I will talk more about that in a future post about another remodel of my studio (if you are on Instagram, there are some images on my IG page @tierneycreates).

The Library Stack, Thrift Shop Adventures

Good Morning and The Library Stack

First let me wish you all a “Good Morning”, even if your time zone is greatly different from mine (perhaps you are reading this post before you go to bed!).

Just like in the August 6, 2020 post Good Morning, I would like to give you a “Good Morning” greeting by sharing some photos from my partner John’s morning bike ride, this time from a couple days ago along a reservoir near our house.

Now for the second part of this post, I am going to continue my series of posts about the latest stack of my local library books I’ve borrowed (The Library Stack), and show you the sort of crazy huge stack of books I just got from the library:

I actually took a break from “library stacks” for a while as I was trying to catch up on my backlog of crafting magazines I have to read in my home library. But then my blogging buddy, author and podcaster* (and fellow Beastie owner) Tammie Painter shared her latest “library stack” in her post It’s Time for An Action-Packed Library Stack and it made me want to go to my library and get my “stacking” on! (I am easily influenced).

(*If you enjoying listening to podcasts check out Tammie’s wonderful The Book Owl Podcast available on the podcast platforms).

In addition to my standard home decorating books (so enjoyable to browse with a pot of tea), I have a couple books in the stack related to my latest obsession – making granny squares (see post Granny Square Madness).

Speaking of granny squares, the other day we stopped at a thrift store when wandering about and I found another cool granny square afghan that needed “rescuing”. Yes – it looked at me with big eyes that said “bring me home Tierney…please…”. (It is okay if you are now rolling your eyes…)

Here is Mike (my rescue dog) with my latest “rescued” afghan:

It’s quite cozy and I had a nice nap under it this weekend.

I can relate to all the work that goes into making granny squares (I’ve made 15 more this weekend of the 43 left to make to complete my first granny square afghan) and I sort of wince to think this ended up in a thrift shop but I guess it was time for me to be its guardian!

Oh and since this post seems filled with rather random things (sunrise photos from a morning bike ride, a library stack, “rescued” granny square afghan, etc.) I will add to the randomness by closing out this post with my new tablecloth and placemats I also picked up from a thrift shop.

The napkins are from World Market and my beloved sunflower center piece is from my friend Michele, but the table cloth and placemats were a couple of dollars investment for a nice new look to our kitchen table!

Okay that’s the end of this random item post, hope you all have a great day!

tierneycreates

Project Adoption Challenge!

My friend Wendy Hill (yes Wendy of the Quarantine Quilts series of posts where she made a quilt with the 4 rambunctious boys next door ages 4 – 8 as a diversion for them during the height of the pandemic) has been “KonMari-ing” her house. Using Marie Kondo’s methods she’s been going through her home organizing and letting go of that which does not give her joy.

I’ve recently benefited from her “KonMari-fication” (totally made up word, not endorsed by Marie Kondo, ha) when I received in the mail a project challenge.

goodies in the mail!

She sent me the pattern she wrote and all the material (pre-cut including bias tape) to make a quilt called Friendship Ring from her book Easy Bias-Covered Curves (Wendy Hill, 2006).

When I mean all the fabrics, I mean ALL THE FABRICS, to include pre-sewn blocks and examples of how to attached the bias tape…and the already created bias tape!

I was overwhelmed by her generosity. She decided she was not interested in making another one of these quilts (one had been made as a sample for the book), so it was just taking up space in her home (and not bringing her joy).

Here is what, in a perfect world (of me perfectly putting it together as instructed), the quilt will look like when done (thanks Wendy Hill for the photo):

photo credit: Wendy Hill

I already have a copy of her book Easy Bias-Covered Curves to help me with the technical aspects of assembling this quilt and finishing up the bias covered curves with all the pre-made bias tape she sent me:

The fabrics are lovely, they are a collection of 1930s type of prints collected by Wendy and donated by her friends who collected these types of fabrics.

So I’ve excitedly added this project to my project queue! I will of course blog about its progress when I start working on it. Thanks so much to Wendy for her generosity and for trusting me with carrying this project forward!

Let me close this post with my favorite Marie Kondo quote which I’ve referenced in previous posts in my old life (before my husband passed) such as The Space in Which We Live; and now in current life in which I had to let go of a lot from my wonderful old life to make space for this new reality and existence.

The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.

– Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Special Events

Leonardo…

And now for something completely different…(and if you get the Monty Python reference then you are my people!)


Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first understood.

– Leonardo da Vinci

I’ve always been fascinated by Leonardo da Vinci. I first learned about this Renaissance genius Italian polymath in my high school European History class; and I’ve remained fascinated by his works all my life.

The first Leonardo da Vinci exhibit I attended was when I lived in Houston, Texas at the Museum of Fine Arts. The second exhibit I attended was in British Columbia at the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, Canada when I lived in Seattle, Washington (British Columbia is fairly close to the Pacific Northwestern part of the US and we took the Victoria Clipper ferry from Washington state to Victoria).

Here is one of my favorite posters of all time that I put up on the wall wherever I live since I purchased it in 1999 at the exhibit:

Last August I visited the exhibit Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and I thought I would share some highlights of this exhibit with you (I meant to blog about it last year after I attended, and I forgot…)

Here is an excerpt of the description of the exhibit from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Although Leonardo da Vinci died in 1519, his influence has endured. His extraordinary legacy comes to life…through a variety of experiences that illustrate why the ultimate Renaissance man remains an inspiration for the ages. 

    • See nearly 70 of Leonardo’s machine inventions, built using detailed concepts from his famous codices (notebooks), including a helicopter, airplane, automobile, submarine and military tank.
    • Explore the exclusive “The Secrets of Mona Lisa,” an analysis of the iconic painting conducted at the Louvre by scientific engineer and photographer Pascal Cotte.
    • Be immersed in Leonardo’s works through a multisensory cinematic experience using Grande Exhibitions’ SENSORY4 technology.
    • Test a Leonardo-inspired catapult, and encounter the Museum’s historical enactors, presenting characters who bring a personal perspective to the story of Leonardo.

What was most amazing about this exhibit (besides the whole room dedicated to the science and the mystery behind the Mona Lisa) was seeing life size models of da Vinci’s creations from his drawings in his famous notebooks.

By the way – throughout the exhibit they had enlarged reproductions of da Vinci’s famous backward writing on the walls of the exhibit:

Leonardo Machine Inventions Brought to Life From His Notebooks

Here are some of the machine models created from da Vinci’s drawings for this exhibit and reproductions of the original drawings.

Anatomic Drawings and  Vitruvian Man 

The exhibit also had a section on da Vinci’s anatomic drawings and his famous Virtuvian Man . Here are a couple images from that section:

The Mona Lisa

The exhibit also had an amazing section on the mysteries of the Mona Lisa. It was the most crowded section of the exhibit.

As I mentioned unfortunately it was very crowded in this part of the exhibit and I did not get to spend as much time as I’d like to.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is pretty awesome and we’ve attend several other awesome exhibits there in the past (see post The Art of the Brick).


Postscript

Around the time I first learned about Leonardo da Vinci (in high school), I also discovered Monty Python.

There is no relation to the two, but I opened this post with a Monty Python reference and now I am going to close it with a clip of one of my favorite Monty Python skits:

Ministry of Silly Walks

I dare you not to laugh, John Cleese is so brilliant in it. I’ve seen this clip many times and it always brings a smile to my face (and most times a belly laugh!)

Knit and Crochet Away!

Granny Square Madness

This is a follow up to my blog post Making My Own Granny Square Afghan, in which I discuss how I taught myself via YouTube videos to crochet granny square blocks.

Recently I’ve took a little hiatus from blogging and social media as I was struggling with an intense bout of grief related to widowhood and things going on in the world (grief sucks as a hobby, I do not recommend it).

One thing I did to distract myself from spiraling into the pit of despair was to keep crafting, specifically working on making granny square blocks for an eventual granny square blanket.

I became a little obsessed with crocheting these blocks and my living room became “Granny Square Central”:

Note – the granny square blankets you see on my sofa above were “rescued” from thrift shops and are part of my “Rescued Granny Square Afghan” collection I mentioned in the previous post (see the Postscript section of this post for my exciting latest acquisition in my “rescue” activities…)

I also began taking a little kit with me when I left the home so I could work on granny squares while riding in the car (while someone else was driving), when waiting at an appointment, when traveling, etc. I did not want to be away from my yarn and crochet hook!

Working on granny squares has been a wonderful distraction and feels very peaceful and grounding. Thank goodness for handwork!

I used a stash of old Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn I’ve had for 20 years in grays, magenta and oatmeal, which is blended wool and acrylic yarns:

And with all this granny square crocheting my collection of completed squares began to build. In the image below I have my completed blocks in a large plastic bag:

At first I designed a block with 4 rows but then added a 5th row to make it bigger, which looked like this:

Then I decided to experiment with a variety of other combinations and below is a slide show of many of the different type of blocks I’ve made (47 to date):

I’ve completed 47 blocks and after laying them out I’ve decided to make the blanket 9 blocks by 10 blocks (90 blocks), so I have another 43 blocks to make.

Here is my latest version of laying out my completed blocks (I had 46 done at the time I took this image):

And here is an image from the first time I laid out the blocks to see what they looked like (I had 15 blocks completed). Mike my Miniature Schnauzer thought the blanket was ready for him to use!

I am currently making 43 centers for the next round of blocks and I decided to have less color changes (a lot of color changes means a lot of weaving in ends) so I am only doing three colors for the rest of the blocks.

Limiting the rest of the blocks to three color combinations works well as I am nearly out of the magenta and the oatmeal but I have lots of the light and dark gray (which will also be the lattice and border when I join the blocks together). So most of the remaining blocks will have a magenta or oatmeal center and then the light gray and dark gray for the remaining color combinations.

I think the centers are so cute, it always pleases me when I finish a center and get the ends weaved in:

I’ve begun working on other projects besides obsessively making granny squares but that is for another post. Now I have to find some YouTube videos on options for joining together my granny squares.


Postscript

As I mentioned earlier in my post, recently I “rescued” another granny square afghan from the thrift store – a very lovely one. I cannot believe the amount of work that went into this blanket – it must have taken many months to finish. I know the cost of the yarn/materials and then time and effort were more than the $7 that it cost me to buy it from the thrift shop!

This new afghan has given me a lot of comfort. When I was feeling particularly sad I would wrap myself up in it as I knew a lot of love went into making it. I felt I could feel that love when I was snuggled in it and it comforted and calmed me.

I nicknamed it the “full of love afghan”. I do not know how it ended up in a thrift shop but I send a thank you out into the Universe to whoever made it whether they are still living or have passed.

Special Events, tierneycreates

Seattle, CoCA Scream Gala Auction, and More

Seattle, Washington

Traveling Workshop 2020: Seattle, Washington - Transom

Seattle is where I originally learned to quilt and it continues to be connected to my quilting journey (and not just because the awesome person, Judy D., who got me into quilting still lives there). I lived in Seattle, Washington from 1997 to 2005 before moving to Bend, Oregon in 2005 and then to Colorado (Denver Metro area) in 2019.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might remember that the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture invited me to have my first solo show in 2019 (see post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post) ), and ended up purchasing 3 pieces of the 12 pieces in my solo show for their permanent collection (see section on City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection later in this post).

Depending on how long you’ve followed my blog, you might also remember that the City of Seattle first purchased one of my works, Abandoned Water Structure, in 2016 and exhibited it in 2017, for their Portable Works Collection (see post “Your Body of Water” Exhibit, Seattle Municipal Tower Gallery).

Abandoned Water Structure (2015), photo by Deborah Paine, Curator of show at the City of Seattle’s Municipal Tower Gallery

Surprisingly opportunities like the above keep happening for me tied to Seattle, WA. This year several amazing things have happened tied to Seattle and my (art) quilting journey and I am going to share them in the rest of this post.

Scream: 2020 CoCA Gala and Auction

A couple of months ago I was contacted by the Curator for the Center on Contemporary Art in downtown/Pioneer Square Seattle, and invited to submit work to be juried into an invitation participate in their annual Gala and Art Auction. I was juried into the show that opens Saturday September 19, 2020 and three of my pieces (Random Not So Random, Archaeological Dig – The Vessel, and The Loud Color Shift) are part of the event, which this year due to the pandemic, is being held virtually – SCREAM: COCA’S ANNUAL GALA & AUCTION).

Here are some images from the social media promotion of the show which is the annual fundraiser for the gallery (note the artist and gallery split the auction proceeds on the artist’s piece that sells in case you are curious):

So Saturday I will find out if my pieces get purchased in the auction and if so if they fetch a decent price (smile). If we were not in the midst of a pandemic, the event would have been live in person and I would have been invited to attend the Gala in person (and play dress up!) while visiting my friends in Seattle.

The crazy thing about this is that 1) I did not seek out this opportunity, it came to me; and 2) back when I lived in Seattle (and before I ever dreamed of “art quilting”) I used to visit this gallery during the First Thursday Gallery Walk in downtown/Pioneer Square. I never imagined I would make art that would be part of a show associated with this gallery!

If you’d like to see images of and read my Artist Statement on any of the art quilts mentioned above check out my page – Art Quilt Stories.

Request from Seattle Art Teacher

In December 2019 I received a request from Deborah Kapoor an artist and art teacher in Seattle, WA to use an image of my piece Random Not So Random as inspiration for her art students.

She wrote:

Hi Tierney, I teach painting and drawing at South Seattle College, and wanted to share your beautiful work with students. If you are open to the idea, I would just need a high res image sent to me, and I plan to print on 11 x 17 inch paper and laminate, sort of like a mini-poster, for the art room. I think it would really inspire the students! The piece I am interested in is Color Story III: Random, Not so Random

I sent her a high resolution image which she printed into a poster and put on her “wall of fame” in her classroom.

Color Study 3: Random not so Random (2012)
Random Not So Random

Here is a partial image she sent me of that wall (other artists work edited out of image) in early 2020:

She said her students are inspired by my piece!

City of Seattle’s Ethnic Artist Roster

In November 2017 I was juried into the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Ethnic Artist Roster (see post Ethnic Artist Roster). The Office of Arts & Culture updated their Ethnic Artist Roster website and now each artist has their own page.

Tierney Davis Hogan

Capitol Hill Mural, Seattle, WA

I was contacted in July 2020 by artist @salmakingstuff (Sally Lavengod) who was asked to create a mural in Capitol Hill, Seattle supporting the Black Lives Matters (BLM) movement. She asked if she could list my @tierneycreates Instagram handle in the part of the mural listing inspirational Artists of Color. I was honored and said yes.

She created a 4 sided mural of Colin Kaepernick, Fred Hampton, Malcom X, and Afeni Shakur on the corner of 12th and Spring in Capitol Hill in response to the BLM movement. To the mural she added Instagram handles of Black Artists who inspired her to include mine –  @tierneycreates:

City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection

According to the Seattle.gov, the City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection is a rotating collection of over 3,200 artworks in all media, representing hundreds of artists collected by the city since 1973. The collection includes sculpture, painting, mixed media, prints, photography and textiles.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, 4 of my pieces are now part of the City of Seattle’s Portable Works collection. Recently I discovered the updated listing of my pieces on the Portable Works website.

I am so honored that several of my art quilts circulate around City of Seattle offices (of course during the pandemic they might be hanging out alone in offices with no one to view them right now!)

Although I haven’t lived in Seattle for 15 years but I continue to be connected to this city through my art quilting. It’s mysterious and magical to me.


Postscript

I am learning how to use the new WordPress Editor and it is not intuitive (it is actually downright painful…). I think I am going to have to find a tutorial.

Next post I will update you on my Granny Square crochet block obsession that I first mentioned in the post Making My Own Granny Square Afghan.

I’ve crocheted 46 blocks so far after using YouTube videos to learn how to crochet again.

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

The Patriotic Quilt

Recently I made a patriotic themed quilt for my partner John to go next to his framed U.S. flag from a mission in Iraq his adopted son Kyle, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, dedicated in his honor.

When I purchased the panel a month or so ago from Missouri Star Quilt Company I was feeling strangely patriotic. Now I have mixed feelings but I like the way the quilt came out and how it looks next to the mission flag, which I will show you later in this post.

Here is the panel with the piecing in progress:

2020-08-25_18-35-37_061I made a lot of “flying geese” using the quick method for flying geese and had a lot of little trimmings to throw out but it was better then the slower way to may flying geese!

2020-08-24_11-09-42_2842020-08-24_11-10-25_9322020-08-24_11-10-01_225Here is the finished quilt next to the framed mission flag:

IMG_20200826_1600492020-08-26_16-15-39_6822020-08-26_16-15-29_378As you can tell, I machine quilted it myself (smile).

I mentioned earlier in this post, when I purchased this panel (thanks to a lovely birthday Missouri Star Quilt Company gift certificate from my friend Michele) I was feeling strangely patriotic.

I think I am still feeling patriotic but I am also feeling fairly discouraged and a little sad about the state of  my country. However, I am trying to focus on all the good people here and not the “less good” (and I am not talking politics as I am fairly disillusioned by both sides of the U.S. political parties).

My parents raised us to be patriotic, my father was even born on the 4th of July (Independence Day) and served his country is the U.S. Army.

Even though as people of African decent our ancestors were brought to the country against their will, I came from a family who tried to make the best they could of a not so good situation (Stories My Father Told Me). We focused on education (I come from a long line of teachers) and did not let racial discrimination hold us down. I was taught to keep moving forward and to focus on raising others up (for example my father worked as a social worker with gangs in New York City after finishing his Masters Degree in the early 1960s and then was the head of the Urban League in several major cities; and my mother worked as a Director of  a Head Start Program).

The 4th of July used to be an important holiday for me, always celebrated (plus it was my father’s birthday!). I loved wearing red, white and blue in honor of the U.S. flag. As a kid I loved standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance each morning at school; and I loved to sing the National Anthem at the top of my lungs.

But I’ve been struggling over the past 4 years and I’ve been embarrassed by this country’s leadership (both sides of the political spectrum) who seem to be overall very “self-serving”, intentionally polarizing this country, and spending most of their time “pointing fingers”.  I feel like my heart is broken…at times actually shattered.

However, this is the only country I have, and to hate it just makes me even sadder and more heart broken. So I’ve decided despite all the strife and unhappy stuff going on in the U.S. to remain patriotic and still believe in my country.

I am just sharing my feelings and I am not making any particular political point. I respect that others may feel quite different and thanks for reading my musings.

We should really love each other in peace and harmony, instead we're  fussin' n ... | PureLoveQuotes

A Crafter's Life

The Calendar That Wasn’t

Toward the end of last year (2019), we bought a large erasable calendar for the laundry room to keep track of all the things we had planned.

2020-07-06_09-28-45_457

We had so many thing planned from March 2020 through Summer 2020 that we needed a central and visible place to keep track of everything and to make plans.

On this calendar were the basketball games we had tickets to attend, special events for my partner’s work, two conference to attend – one in Nashville and one in Orlando, a trip to Scotland and Ireland with friends in July (and a possible side trip to Paris to meet up with my sister who would be in Europe at the same time), parties/special celebrations to attend, and so much more.

Then COVID happened, and the calendar just stopped. 

Almost Half of Americans Have Canceled Summer 2020 Travel Plans ...

All those things got erased from the erasable calendar. It somedays it feels like an entire lifestyle got erased overnight.

I think why I struggled with this is that I was so looking forward to late Winter, Spring and Summer 2020.

Late 2019 was very difficult dealing with the first anniversary of my husband’s passing and early 2020 was difficult with my “snow anxiety” (see the Postscript section of the post The Hat from the Yarn from the Journey). I had made it through some “dark days” and I was so looking forward to all the fun ahead documented on our calendar…

I might be sounding whiny at this point.

We are starting to add a little to our calendar now but I do not see it returning to its pre-pandemic state any time soon.

FUNNY MEMES!!! The 150 Funniest Memes Of All-Time! - Yellow Octopus

I am okay with this, I appreciate any fun outside the home we get to have these days!


Postscript

Mike the Miniature Schnauzer has been pretty happy the past 5 months with both of us working from home and not going on any trips until recently (like our long weekend to Rocky Mountain National Park).

Dogs celebrate Memes - ImgflipSpeaking of Mike, here is an image that either he forgot to share in his recent post – Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On; or the tierneycreates Beastie forgot to share in her recent post – Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom.

2020-07-23_15-10-37_835Yes it’s a photo of Mikelet (tierneycreates Beastie’s dog) and Mike, ready to go on their walks. I put a red arrow in the lower left hand corner of the photo above so you would not miss Mikelet who is a considerably smaller miniature Miniature Schnauzer!

(Yes these are the silly things we do to entertain ourselves these days…)