A Crafter's Life, Special Events

A Presidential Artistic Journey (Re-post)

Today is a national day of mourning in the U.S. to honor the legacy of the recently deceased 41st President, George H.W. Bush, Sr.

No matter how you might feel politically about him, let’s agree that it takes a lot to live a life of public service, something few of us would take on. He was also a World War II Veteran. 

So in honor of George H.W. Bush, Sr.’s legacy, I thought I would repost this post from June 2018 about the opportunity I had in May 2018 to hear his son, former U.S. President George W. Bush, Jr. speak in person and talk about his artistic journey. 


A Presidential Artistic Journey

This is not a political post, but this post is about a former political figure, now a private citizen – former U.S. President George W. Bush, Jr.

Suspend for a moment any political leanings you hold and let me share a very special opportunity I had to see a former U.S. President speak in person in early May and to learn of his artistic journey.

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity

April 30 – May 4th, I attended a national conference for the industry that I am employed , in Orlando, Florida. One of the keynote presentations at the conference was a conversation with former President George W. Bush, Jr. and the president of a national organization hosting the conference.

No photos were allowed and there was strict security so unfortunately I have no photos from the experience to share (when I first discovered that President Bush would be speaking I had hopes of a “selfie” with a former U.S. President!). I’ve never seen a U.S. President in person so just the experience to see a historical figure in person was very exciting to me.

To be honest, I was not a huge fan of President Bush during his Presidency, but I put those thoughts aside and approached the presentation with an open mind.

He was absolutely amazing and spoke with much wonderful humor, insight, inspiration and Texas twang! He shared the experience of recently losing his mother, Barbara Bush (who I always greatly respected). He also spoke candidly about 9/11 (September 11, 2001/World Trade Center bombings) and other challenges and his Presidency; and about what’s going on in the world and in the U.S. today.

As I do not want this to be a political post I will not share all the specifics of what he said but let’s just say he might not fully support the current choices and political environment of the current U.S. Presidential Administration. He said that the U.S. cannot become isolationists, we have to stay connected to the world and shared specific reasons, in his opinion, why it is important that the U.S. stay engaged.

He did encourage those of us who might feel currently discouraged not to give up on democracy; and that the office of U.S. President is greater than the behavior of any one individual.

He also talked about what he has seen in the world and that those that live in the U.S. should remember just how blessed we are to live in this country (in regards to all the freedoms and opportunities we have available to us that are not available in all parts of the world).

Interestingly during his talk I learned that he is  close friends the Dalai Llama and Bono (lead singer of the band U2 who is heavily involved in humanitarian causes) – who would have known?

Overall his talk was very inspirational, spiritual (he is a man of strong faith) and hopeful – he brought many of us to tears several times during his talk.

A Former U.S. President’s Artistic Journey

For me the best part of his talk was when he shared how he became a painter and his evolution as an artist/his artistic journey. He talked about the fear he had to overcome to start painting and bouts with self doubt of his painting ability.

He also talked about the moment when he realized he was not too bad at painting. I wish I could have taken notes as there were many gems in his discussion of his artistic journey and I could relate to many of those experiences in my journey.

He eventually combined his love of painting with his post-presidency humanitarian efforts, which include working with Veterans especially those dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He painted Veterans for his book Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors (if you click on the link you will see an image of former President Bush painting a portrait) and proceeds from book sales, according to the website, “helps post-9/11 veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life and addresses issues of veteran wellness, including post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury”.

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image credit: bushcenter.org

He shared a couple of amazing stories about the friendships he developed with several Veterans dealing with PTSD while working on their portraits. He tried to capture in their portrait painting not only their physical features but what the individual was dealing with internally at the time, he made an effort to get to know each Veteran he was painting.

I’m so thankful to my employer for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they gave me in sending me to the conference in Orlando. I also appreciate the opportunity to share this experience with you all and ask for you to be moderate and thoughtful in your comments on this post as fellow readers have differing political views, thanks.

A Crafter's Life, Tula Time!, What's on the Design Wall

What’s On the Design Wall: Tula in a Box

First I’d like to apologize for any less than stellar photography. My design wall is in a narrow hallway in my home and I can only photograph it from an angle.

Now that you have that disclaimer and you have lowered your expectations on the quality of the photography on this post, I can continue my series of posts “What’s on the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either one of the small design walls in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.

Up on my large design wall are thirty-six (36) 12.5 inch x 12.5 inch blocks for my quilt I am calling Tula in a Box

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I have Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) to thank for arranging the blocks on the design wall. I had looked at them so many times I did not know where to start in laying out the quilt blocks on the design wall!

There is a bit of story behind this quilt if you are new to my blog. You can check out my series of posts Tula Time! if you want to check out the back story.

The quilt did begin as an impulse purchase of Tula Pink Allstar fabric fat quarter packs (feature fabrics, stripes, solids, and dots) after seeing my friend Dana’s collection at a quilt retreat:

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I’ve now made quite a dent in that stack above while piecing the 36 blocks.

My  next step is to create the lattice and cornerstones from this pile (fat quarter collection of the stripes, and scraps from the feature fabric);

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I am going to “fussy cut” the scraps of the feature fabric (the 6 different animal prints in 3 different color ways) for the cornerstone between the lattice.

More to come as it progresses, for now I am just so happy to have finished the 36 blocks!


Postscript

My friend Dana who started my Tula Pink fabric obsession, has made great progress on her quilt which is made of pieced stars with the same collection of fat quarters from the Tula Pink All Stars line.

Here quilt got too big for the design wall so she has it laid out on a bed in her studio (every maker/crafter needs a bed in their studio in case they suddenly need a nap while creating, right?).

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She is working on figuring out what to do for a border around the blocks.

Our friend Judy who is also making a Tula Pink quilt, is still working on piecing her 36 blocks.

As I mentioned earlier, if you are new to this blog and would like to know the story behind our quilts, check out the series of posts – Tula Time! (this link contains all the posts tagged as related to Tula Pink fabrics, you will have to scroll through the posts to see the other posts).

 

A Crafter's Life

The Thorn Bushes Have Roses (Gratitude)

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I would re-post my blog post from October 2015. For my U.S. readers – I hope you and the people in your life have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. For my readers around the world – I hope you and the people in your life have a wonderful day! 


Abraham Lincoln said:

We can complain because the rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses

roses-66527_1920The Gratitude Diaries

I have just finished a wonderful audiobook, The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan (2015).

In her book, Janice Kaplan shares plenty of meaningful quotes, like the one above, as well as wonderful stories (personal and of others) about living each day filled with gratitude.

The author also provides lots of social science/research (aka “Malcolm Gladwell” style) that supports why true happiness and peace comes from living an existence soaked in gratitude.

A very inspirational and very joyous audiobook listen.

 

Photo Credit: Amazon.com
Photo Credit: Amazon.com

One of my favorite quotes in the book is one by the Greek Philosopher Epicurus:

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

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A Crafter's Life, Life in B&W, Sunflowers!

End of the Season Musings

This is sort of a follow up to the 10/21/18 post Creative Inspiration: Sunflowers!. but it really about the end of the “warm” seasons in Central Oregon (late Spring, Summer and early to mid Autumn) and the heralding of the Winter (aka cold) season.

A couple days ago on my daily walk I snapped this photo of the Giant Sunflower that I posted about in the Creative Inspiration: Sunflowers! post.

Here is what is looked like in September:

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Here is what it looked like in Black & White in September:

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Here is what it looks like now in November:

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And here is what it looks like now, in Black & White:

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I seems like Black & White is the right palette for the now stark and shriveled previously gorgeous sunflower.

It appears that all the sunflower seeds are gone from the sunflower head and I am not sure why the homeowners are letting it sit there to decay.

The decay reminds that Winter is coming…

There are many good things about Winter and Winter is important to the Central Oregon ecosystem and to our economy (we have Mount Bachelor which brings in the skiers and other Winter sport enthusiasts). Winter is also a great time for reading, nesting, crafting, reflecting, and the Winter holiday.

But today I am sort of wistful for the beauty of the other seasons and grieving the end of the tremendous beauty of Autumn in Central Oregon (see post Creative Inspiration: Fall Colors).

Right now all the leaves have fallen and everything looks stark, bare and dried out. I think the landscape will get more appealing once the snow falls and a lovely blanket of white covers the stark ground.

A Crafter's Life

From Decapitation to “Recapitation”

If you have recently joined us on this blog, the title might be freaking you out right now. You might be thinking: “I thought this was a nice quilting/crafting related blog…is this some type of ghoulish or macabre journal?!?!?”

No, this is a follow up to the 10/10/18 post Mysterious Package, in which I received my 6 year old nephew’s favorite, alas decapitated, bear Marseille for repair:

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Well I am happy to report Marseille had his surgery yesterday and he is “recapitated” and all better!

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I used a doll needle for the first time, to repair Marseille. This is a very long needle (over 5 inches/2.5 cm). Here is a comparison between a doll needle and a regular needle:

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Here is Marseille posing with the needle and the thick thread that I used to put his head back on:

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Marseille also had a loose arm so I reinforced the stitches on his arm so he did not suffer any spontaneous amputation of his limb!

Today Marseille flies back to the Eastern Coast of the U.S. to be reunited with my nephew (via the U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail).

I already texted a photo of “recapitated” Marseille to my sister-in-law who shared this with my nephew who is very excited to get his beloved bear back (with a head)!

I must admit, repairing Marseille and working with a doll needle got me interested again in the idea of making “softies” someday. I will put that into my backlog of craft projects I want to work on someday.


Postscript

In addition to repairing Marseille the little teddy bear, I also had to repair Mike the Miniature Schnauzer’s favorite toy “Lamby”.

We do not usually let mike have stuffed/soft toys as he tends to tear them up (his main toys are usually chew-resistant balls). However when my sister-in-laws visited this summer for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (see post Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2018, Part II: Visiting Crafters) they brought his a toy that was allegedly rugged and could handle his chewing – a toy lamb.

We named the lamb “Lamby”. Well Lamby, despite losing two limbs, was holding up and Mike adored his lamb and would nap with it:

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Mike cuddling with Lamby (I think he feels bad he ripped off his arms)

But then we discovered Lamby had a terrible and unsightly injury: his crotch was ripped open!

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Oh the horror!

I immediately repaired Lamby’s crotch injury and said to Mike: “You must be gentler with Lamby or he has to go away”.  I think Mike understood me as here he is keeping post-operative Lamby company:

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A Crafter's Life

Impromptu Quilt Gifting

I am on Day 12 of daily posts as part of the challenge I set for myself for the month of October in celebration of my blog’s 5th anniversary to post everyday for the 31 days of October.

If you count the post I made on Sept. 30th then I am actually at 13 days straight of daily posts!

So far I haven’t had to pull from my 5 years of post archives as I thought I might have to by now. Today I originally planned a semi-follow-up to yesterday’s post Shinrin-Yoku: The Japanese Art and Science of Forest Bathing, but then something cool happened yesterday afternoon that I wanted to share: Impromptu Quilt Gifting.

When the Moment Feels Right…

6 or so years ago I made this quilt from scraps and leftover blocks from flannel quilts I made during my early years of quilting:

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2 years ago I took it out of “quilt rotation” at my house and put it away in the closet. You see after 18 years of quilting I have a lot of quilts in rotation at my house!

Earlier this year I took the quilt out of the closet to decide what to do with it – I did not want it to just live in the closet – it is a nice cozy quilt that someone could enjoy. It was not the style of any of my family members or close friends. So I put it back in the closet.

Well yesterday this quilt discovered its new forever home at the spur of the moment.

I am a full-time telecommuter for my pay-the-bills-job. Yesterday afternoon I had a virtual meeting with a new colleague (the unit I work on recently transferred into her department). She mentioned during our meeting that she heard I was a quilter and wondered if I she could commission me to make a quilt for her daughter.

Her 12 year old daughter has a complex illness and is continually in and out of the hospital or extensive ongoing outpatient visits and treatment. While in the hospital or in outpatient treatment rooms, she is cold and the blankets they provide never really keep her warm plus they are impersonal communal blankets.

What she wanted for her daughter is her own quilt to take with her to keep her warm and cozy while she endures extensive ongoing medical treatments and evaluations.

I wanted to help but I do not have the bandwidth or interest at this point to do a commission quilt and offered to refer her to one of my quilting friends who might be interested. Then I remembered that I had a quilt currently available. So I asked her did she need a custom quilt and she replied no – she just wanted a cozy quilt for daughter.

I texted her a photo of the quilt and offered it as a gift for her daughter to keep her cozy during her treatments. My colleague immediately said yes and was overwhelmed with my impromptu offer. The amazing thing was that the quilt is in her daughter’s favorite colors!

I sewed a special label on the back of the quilt with her daughter’s name to reinforce that this was her very own quilt and it is packaged up for shipping out today:

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The cool thing about this quilt is I think it has a lot of “love energy” contained in it because it is made from scraps and leftover blocks from quilts made for people I love in my life.

I hope that positive energy is felt by my colleague’s daughter as she is wrapped up in the quilt.

This make me think of the Artist Statement I wrote for my art quilt, The Recycled Love (see post The Recycled Love) that summarizes how I generally feel about quilts:

The first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a system cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. A quilt is made from changing the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart into a pieced textile; ultimately recycling that love energy into the quilt’s recipient heart

The moment felt right yesterday afternoon for some impromptu quilt gifting.

A Crafter's Life

Mysterious Package…

I had a different post planned for today but last night I picked up a package from the mail.

A mysterious package…

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The return address was from my brother who lives on the East Coast of the U.S.

He’s bought me fabric before, he’s a world traveler…maybe to celebrate my 5th year blogging he’s sent me some interesting fabric from his travels…

It’s a soft package…feels like fabric…(anticipation building…getting excited…)

So I open it.

It is not fabric..it is a HEAD! A bear’s head!

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Is my brother sending me a warning that he has ordered a mob hit on me?!?!?!?

Also inside the package is a body…

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Then I remember – this is my 6 year old nephew’s favorite teddy bear.

My brother has sent the decapitated bear to me for repair!

Now normally I do not like to be asked to do repairs (and please never ask me to hem/mend your clothes) as I think asking a quilter to repair fabric items, mend/hem clothing, etc. for you is like asking an artist who paints landscapes to paint your house. 2a76ea28325e65d0f8ae1304e9daebe2.png

I always flinch when someone asks me this BUT this is for my beloved 6 year old nephew. So I am going to do a complex head reattachment surgery.

If you are a quilter, how do you feel when someone asks you to hem or mend a fabric item just because you have a sewing machine/know how to use a needle?

A Crafter's Life

A Room of Her Own

My neighbor Carole, a retired nurse, recently created a room in her house just for herself. I got to tour the room on Monday afternoon when I popped over for tea and to share my homemade apple cake (yes I made apples cake with left over rescued apples, see post Apple Rescue and Pre-Fall Cooking).

She let me take photos so I could share with you images from her “nest“.

Creative Space: The “Sacred Nest”

In the April 2018 post “The Toe Saga, Library Stack Catch Up, and Your Sacred Nest“, I shared a quote from the book our Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor by Desha Peacock from the section “Your Sacred Nest: Everyone Needs a Creative Sweet Spot Space“:

A mother bird doesn’t complain that she doesn’t have time or space to create her nest, she just makes do with the resources available to her at the time…Her job is not finished when the nest is built. She still needs to protect it until her babies are strong enough to go out on their own…think of what would happen if the momma bird neglected to actually build the nest because she couldn’t find the perfect materials. Don’t let your creativity suffer or, worse, die because you can’t find the perfect lamp…don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Use the resources you have around you and allow them to blossom with age and use. 

Carole’s Nest

Carole’s home looks like it was ripped from the pages of the magazine Country LivingShe has a wonderful sense of style.

When you first arrive at her home, here is what greets you at her her front door. In addition to her front door,  her front porch always has seasonal decor:
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Carole has a three bedroom home and previously one bedroom was the master bedroom, one bedroom was her husband’s office (he is a consultant), and the third bedroom was the traditional guest bedroom.

Carole has adult children and adult grandchildren that live out of state and visit occasionally, however she realized that  a high quality blow up mattress (that can be kept out of sight when she did not have visitors) would work for their visits. So she was able to get rid of the bed in the guest room, open up the space and create her Sacred Nest!

Decorated with antiques and country charm, here is a photo tour of her room:

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The table in the middle of the room has leaves and opens up to a fairly large table that provides room for laying out a quilt or other projects needing additional space. When she has overnight visitors, she moves the table and sets up the air mattress in the middle of the room for the guests.

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She has many sweet items in the room, many tied to special memories. Next to her sewing machine she has a little metal drawer cabinet her husband made in high school shop class 60 years ago!

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Oh and I made this little pillow that hangs on her armoire a couple years ago for her as a Christmas present:

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Here husband also loves her room and is amazed with the warm cozy and inviting feel to the room. He even invited himself over to hang out in her room and watch a movie with her!

Do you have your own nest/sacred space in your home – a room of your own?


Postscript

I’ve featured Carole’s decorating talents in a previous post from December 2016 –Seriously Cute Holiday Decorations.  Here is one of her amazing holiday decorations from her endlessly creative mind:.2016-12-01_13-50-12_890

 

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”

Have you ever wondered why suddenly you are upset or struggling with something and you do not understand why? Well it could be the “Ghost Children“…

Throughout 2018, nearly non-stop, I’ve been listening to non-fiction audiobooks (with a couple science fiction audiobooks peppered in).

Here is a list of many of the non-fiction audiobooks (all borrowed from my public library) that occupied my ears the past 8+ months:

  • I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual – Luvvie Ajayi
  • Awakening Your Ikigai: How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose Every Day – Ken Mogi
  • Eat Fat, Get Thin – Mark Hyman
  • Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey – James Holli
  • Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life – Bill Burnett
  • You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want – Sarah Knight
  • The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain – Steven Gundry
  • The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact – Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations – Oprah Winfrey
  • Nudge: Improve Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness – Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
  • When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing – Daniel Pink
  • Faster Than Normal: Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success with the Secrets of the ADHD Brain – Peter Shankman
  • Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People – Vanessa Van Edwards
  • This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide – Geneen Roth
  • Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself – Mark Epstein
  • Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More – Courtney Carver
  • Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen – Donald Miller
  • You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth – Jen Sicero
  • Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice – Brene Brown
  • Yes Please – Amy Poehler
  • Fail Until You Don’t – Bobby Bones
  • The Art of Mingling: Fun and Proven Techniques for Mastering Any Room – Jeanne Martinet
  • The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

Between my daily walks (3 – 4+ miles a day), road trips, cross country plane rides, and sewing marathons, I’ve knocked off a lot of audiobooks so far in 2018.

Most of these audiobooks were highly engaging, filled with many useful ideas, tips, and inspirations; however one audiobook really stood out: Geneen Roth’s This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide.

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image credit: amazon.com

While listening to this audiobook, read by the author, I was introduced to the concept of “Ghost Children“. According to Geneen Roth, “Ghost Children” are the stories we repeatedly tell ourselves based on an unhealed/hurt part of us that believes things such as we’re not good enough, we are unlovable, we are not worthy – because at some point in our life, many times in childhood, we had unmet needs or a hurt which are still seeking to get comfort from.

Geneen Roth has done a lot of work with women who emotionally overeat (she holds workshops and has written books focused on this topic) and she ties the “Ghost Children” concept to why people emotionally overeat to comfort their hurting “Ghost Children” but I clearly saw a connection to other behaviors.

This connection helped me during a difficult time on a recent business trip attending a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”

I work in the healthcare industry and I attended a healthcare industry software related conference in late July/early August held at the Aria Hotel’s Conference Center in Las Vegas, NV.

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Las Vegas Boulevard

The healthcare software company sponsoring the conference was very generous to its attendees to include providing a private Train concert on one of the conference evenings, at the Brooklyn Bowl. I was very excited about this concert as I’ve like the band Train (Drops of Jupiter, Meet Virginia, Calling All Angels) since they first came out with their song Drops of Jupiter in 2001.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) accompanied me on the trip to Las Vegas and I confirmed with someone at the conference registration desk that he could also attend the conference. He is also a long time fan of the band Train, so I was excited to share this private concert with him which also included an open bar and food (as I said the sponsoring software conference company was very generous).

So the evening came for the concert and TTQH headed to the tour bus set up for conference attendees to be transported to the Brooklyn Bowl for the concert. While on line to load the bus, we discovered that only conference attendees with conference badges could get on the bus and attend the conference. TTQH was not able to attend with me.

We were in shock and incredibly disappointed as I had verified with the conference registration desk that he could attend, only to find out that the staff at the registration desk very misinformed. I was torn – on one hand I wanted to go to the concert on the other hand I did not want to just leave TTQH behind at the hotel with this sudden dispointment.

TTQH is a very enlightened and well-adjusted person (one of us has to be in the marriage – ha!) and he quickly recovered from the disappointment and strongly insisted that I just attend alone and have a great time.

So I got back in line and then got on the tour bus. The tour bus was filling up quickly and people were filling every available seat. Except in my row. No one sat with me. (This was likely because I had a very sad look on my face as I was so disappointed I could not share the concert experience with TTQH). The last person got on the bus and sat with the last seat available besides the one next to me.

So the entire bus was filled, except for the seat next to me.  Before I knew it I was quietly sobbing to myself on the bus ride to the Brooklyn Bowl and did not know why.

But – I remembered the audiobook I had recently finished, This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide , and realized one of my “Ghost Children” had popped up!

When I was around 10 years old my parents had a major disagreement with other parents in the neighborhood and, unknown to me at the time, the other neighborhood parents had told their children not to play with me. For a couple weeks, none of my regular friends in the neighborhood, who I played with everyday after school, would play with me. They all ignored me.

I did not understand why and as you could imagine this was fairly traumatic for a 10 year old who was used to playing with most of the kids on my block for many years. Finally one of the children was kind enough to pull me aside and tell me what happened. It was a very upsetting and frustrating experience as I was being punished for something I did not do and I was now an outsider/outcast from my long-time playmates. It is one of those feelings you never forget and I guess it eventually became one of my “Ghost Children”.

Realizing where my sudden painful feelings were coming from as I sat alone on the bus (no one wanting to sit with me), helped me pull myself together. I decided: “yes I am attending this concert alone, but I am going to have a fun time and find a group of people to hang out with during the concert”. There is so much power in awareness of where an emotion/reaction is coming from – it gives you options on how you react.

And this is exactly what I did. Upon arrival, I asked a group of women if I could hang with them for the evening and eventually ended up in another group and had a wonderful time – a “Ghost Children” free evening!

The Train concert was incredible (I sat close to the stage in an elevated area of the bar to the right of the stage) and got to connect with some wonderful people before the concert and during. I learned some new trivia about some of their songs from another concert attendee: the lead singer, Pat Monahan wrote Drops of Jupiter about the death of his mother (now some of the lyrics I never understood make sense).

Here is a little excerpt from the concert (which was only open to concert attendees) – Train performing Lost and Found (I finally learned how to upload videos to YouTube):

I love the lyrics in this song (excerpt from Google):

My dad said son, one
Day we’ll have a drink together
You’re young
You got to take your time
Just trust
Let me raise you right, and later
We can raise a glass to life, and say
Here’s to the time we have
Here’s to the lines we crossed
Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on
And the ones we lost
Here’s to the time we have
Thank God for what we got
Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost
And found, the ones who stick around
Lost and found, the ones who stick around

 

I feel like writing Geneen Roth, the author of This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide, and thanking her for introducing me to the “Ghost Children” concept. Thanks to what I learned from her book I was able to reset a moment and turn it around.

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Taking a break from the conference and relaxing at the Bellagio hotel, “Ghost Children” free

You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. It’s possible to treat yourself with outrageous kindness beginning today. Geneen Roth


Postscript

During the conference I got to attend my first TED Talks/TED Salon and that was a very cool experience.

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Dr. Andrew Bastawrous at TED Salon: Catalyst at the Aria Las Vegas

The TED Talks were focused on the future of health care. It was amazing after years of watching TED Talks online to see how formally TED Talks are filmed. There are hosts that coach the audience on etiquette for the Talk once filming starts.

The six speakers who talks about moving health care forward were amazing and here is a post on the TED Blog I found about the event:

Moving healthcare forward: The talks of TED Salon: Catalyst

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A slide from one of the speaker’s presentation

By the way – I’ve finally finished my intense work on the secret art quilt project for a future WCQN show that is not yet announced. I am taking a little break from “creating” and then in the near future I will return to sharing what is on my design wall as I used to do in my What’s on the Design Wall series of posts.

 

 

A Crafter's Life

Small World with Awesome Yarn

It is a HUGE world but it is also a SMALL world. As a blogger I get to connect with people all over the world, and it is kind of magical!

Early in July, my dear friend of many years, Michele, went to Ireland and Iceland for her honeymoon. She is a world traveler and these were two places on her list she had not visited yet – funny the names of both countries began with the letter “I” (and it would have been awesome if she had also visited India, Israel, Italy, the Ivory Coast and Indonesia too on the same trip if she was keeping with the letter “I” as her theme for travel)!

Since she was going to tour Ireland including a stop in Dublin, I connected her with my blogging buddy Helen@crawcraftsbeasties.com and they were able to connect and hang out together during Michele’s visit. How cool is that? 

Well a surprise came for me in the mail today – a box from Michele.

Inside the box was a lovely bag:

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Peeking inside the bag I spotted some yarn:

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Not just yarn,  but beautiful yarn – from Ireland and Iceland!!!!

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Now I get to knit something with yarn from Ireland and from Iceland (the yarns are different textures/weights so I will likely use them on separate projects)  – what an awesome surprise!

“(Knitting,) it is pure potential. Every ball or skein of yarn holds something inside it, and the great mystery of what that might be can be almost spiritual”
― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot Unravels the Mysteries of Swatching, Stashing, Ribbing & Rolling to Free Your Inner Knitter


Postscript

Of course now Helen@crawcraftsbeasties.com is expecting me to visit since I sent my friend to meet her first, ha! Plus someday I need to see where my tierneycreates Beastie was born (and Terry the Quilting Husband’s grandparents are all from Ireland so he might want to see his ancestral home someday…) and meet her maker!

But then I would be obligated to visit ALL the countries in which my blogging buddies live, just to be polite 🙂

A Crafter's Life, Stories My Father Told Me, The Library Stack

The Library Stack and a Little Craftivism

It’s time to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.

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“Craftivism”

I’ve finished most of the stack and enjoyed flipping through the books with a couple pots of tea. I’m still finishing up one book that I wanted to spend extra time on: How to be a Craftivist: The art of gentle protest by Sarah Corbett.

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Image credit: Amazon

As the author asks in the book: “If we want a world that is beautiful, kind and fair, shouldn’t our activism be beautiful, kind and fair?”

This book is by the founder of the Craftivist Collective and provides an alternative to responding to injustice with apathy or aggression – responding instead with gentle, effective protest.

The back cover summary provides as excellent overview of the book so I am going to just quote it: “Quiet action can sometimes speak as powerfully as the loudest voice. With thoughtful principles, practical examples and honest stories from her own experience as a once burnt-out activist, Corbett shows how activism through craft can produce long-lasting positive change.”

If you are interested in Craftivism (using craft as a form of activism according to the author), I highly recommend you borrow this book from your library or pick up a copy at a local bookstore (or online).

The author shares a Craftivist’s Manifesto and I’ve listed her ten (10) actions below but I refer you to the book for more details and explanations:

  1. Be the tortoise
  2. Craft is our tool
  3. Solidarity not sympathy
  4. Find comfort in contemplation
  5. Empathy never points fingers
  6. Small and beautiful
  7. Humility holds the key
  8. Provoke don’t preach
  9. Embrace positivity
  10. Make the change you wish to see

The book is peppered with powerful quotes by great thinkers and activists and below are  several examples, which are explored deeply in the book:

There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out-of-the-river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in. – Desmond Tutu

Our greatest strength lies in the gentleness and tenderness of our heart. – Rumi

An unexamined life is not worth living .- Socrates

We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove. A tough mind and tender heart. – Martin Luther King

If you want to go quickly go alone. If you want to go far, go together. – African Proverb

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world,. Today and I am wise so I am changing myself. – Rumi

Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up. – Mahatma Gandhi

Handle them carefully for words have more power than atom bombs. – Pearl Stracha Hurd

Evil flourishes when good people do nothing. – Edmund Burke

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.. – Winston Churchill

UPDATE 8/6/18

There are several TED Talks by the author, here is one of her awesome TED Talks:

My Dabble with Craftivism

In my June 27, 2017 post Seeds I share how I contributed a piece/banner from the Women’s March to the national traveling exhibit called Still They Persist: Protest Art of the 2017 Women’s Marches. It is featured in a book about the exhibit by the same title.

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NOTE: Being sensitive to the fact that my American blog readers may have differing political views in regards to the current U.S. President and protest events such as the Women’s March, please be thoughtful in any comments you make in the “Thoughts”  section of this post about these topics.

My Craftivist Future

A couple of weeks ago I had a wonderful conversation with my sister who challenged me on what direction I want to take my art.

I already plan to continue by series Stories My Father Told Me (see post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me ) which is focused on sharing positive stories through textile art of how my father overcame the challenges of discrimination, segregation, and racism.  However after talking to my sister, I am starting to explore other series that will have a “Craftivist” flavor.

Ultimately I would love to make art that inspires dialogue. I am still early in my artistic journey and finding my voice.

Of course I also want to make pretty/visually pleasing traditional and art quilts in the future too as well as many other types of textile crafts. Now to just plan to win the lottery so I can devote all my time to my art!  (Oh wait, do you have to play the lottery to win?)


Postscript

Speaking of “winning the lottery”, I had one of those awesome early morning walk experiences last Friday (or maybe it was Saturday) that felt like a mini-lottery win.

I’ve been trying start each morning with a 2 miles walk around 6:00 am before it gets hot.

The Balloons Over Bend Hot Air Ballon Festival was in progress (July 27 – 29) and much to my surprise during my morning walk I noticed hot air balloons floating over my neighborhood at a fairly low altitude. One of them dipped so low for a moment that I thought it was going to land in my neighborhood park!

It did not land however and took back off up into the sky.

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It was 60 degree Fahrenheit with a slight breeze and absolutely crystal clear blue skies. Seeing the hot air balloons float by was an exquisite experience and the moment made me pause and realize that life is filled with many wonderful little sweet surprising moments!

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

A Presidential Artistic Journey

This is not a political post, but this post is about a former political figure, now a private citizen – former U.S. President George W. Bush, Jr.

Suspend for a moment any political leanings you hold and let me share a very special opportunity I had to see a former U.S. President speak in person in early May and to learn of his artistic journey.

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity

April 30 – May 4th, I attended a national conference for the industry that I am employed , in Orlando, Florida. One of the keynote presentations at the conference was a conversation with former President George W. Bush, Jr. and the president of a national organization hosting the conference.

No photos were allowed and there was strict security so unfortunately I have no photos from the experience to share (when I first discovered that President Bush would be speaking I had hopes of a “selfie” with a former U.S. President!). I’ve never seen a U.S. President in person so just the experience to see a historical figure in person was very exciting to me.

To be honest, I was not a huge fan of President Bush during his Presidency, but I put those thoughts aside and approached the presentation with an open mind.

He was absolutely amazing and spoke with much wonderful humor, insight, inspiration and Texas twang! He shared the experience of recently losing his mother, Barbara Bush (who I always greatly respected). He also spoke candidly about 9/11 (September 11, 2001/World Trade Center bombings) and other challenges and his Presidency; and about what’s going on in the world and in the U.S. today.

As I do not want this to be a political post I will not share all the specifics of what he said but let’s just say he might not fully support the current choices and political environment of the current U.S. Presidential Administration. He said that the U.S. cannot become isolationists, we have to stay connected to the world and shared specific reasons, in his opinion, why it is important that the U.S. stay engaged.

He did encourage those of us who might feel currently discouraged not to give up on democracy; and that the office of U.S. President is greater than the behavior of any one individual.

He also talked about what he has seen in the world and that those that live in the U.S. should remember just how blessed we are to live in this country (in regards to all the freedoms and opportunities we have available to us that are not available in all parts of the world).

Interestingly during his talk I learned that he is  close friends the Dalai Llama and Bono (lead singer of the band U2 who is heavily involved in humanitarian causes) – who would have known?

Overall his talk was very inspirational, spiritual (he is a man of strong faith) and hopeful – he brought many of us to tears several times during his talk.

A Former President’s Artistic Journey

For me the best part of his talk was when he shared how he became a painter and his evolution as an artist/his artistic journey. He talked about the fear he had to overcome to start painting and bouts with self doubt of his painting ability.

He also talked about the moment when he realized he was not too bad at painting. I wish I could have taken notes as there were many gems in his discussion of his artistic journey and I could relate to many of those experiences in my journey.

He eventually combined his love of painting with his post-presidency humanitarian efforts, which include working with Veterans especially those dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He painted Veterans for his book Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors (if you click on the link you will see an image of former President Bush painting a portrait) and proceeds from book sales, according to the website, “helps post-9/11 veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life and addresses issues of veteran wellness, including post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury”.

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Image credit:  bushcenter.org

He shared a couple of amazing stories about the friendships he developed with several Veterans dealing with PTSD while working on their portraits. He tried to capture in their portrait painting not only their physical features but what the individual was dealing with internally at the time, he made an effort to get to know each Veteran he was painting.

I’m so thankful to my employer for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they gave me in sending me to the conference in Orlando. I also appreciate the opportunity to share this experience with you all and ask for you to be moderate and thoughtful in your comments on this post as fellow readers have differing political views, thanks.


Postscript

The weather was beautiful in Orlando during my visit and I enjoyed 70 to 90 degree F. weather (21 – 32 C. for my readers outside the U.S.). I brought my work laptop and had to keep up on my work when not attending conference session so I did not get much time for fun in Florida.

Here is the view from my hotel room balcony where I bought my laptop out to work between conference sessions:

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I went on a walk around the hotel/conference center property each morning (early before it got too warm and before the conference sessions started) and I wondered why the air seemed to smell so good. Then I realized there were Magnolia trees everywhere! What an incredible fragrance!

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The climate, geography and flora is very different than Central Oregon (which is known as a “high desert” area and at 3500+ feet above sea level elevation). It was amazing to see palm trees everywhere!

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Although I did not get time to play while I was in Orlando, it was still wonderful to enjoy the warm and tropical climate!


Feature image credit: bushcenter.org

A Crafter's Life

Antique Singer Fabric Surprise!

Sunday evening I returned from the annual May Quilt Retreat in Vancouver, WA with my Quilting Sisters from Oregon, Washington and California.

I am so behind in blog posts (posting and reading the blogs I follow) as I had a partial “social media break” for four (4) days. The WiFi at the retreat was out and we only had the option of using our cellular phone data. I am a spendthrift and have a small cellular data plan (2G a month) so I sparingly used it for those couple of blog posts during the retreat (Please Vote On The Color! and The Votes Are In!); as well as visiting with Terry the Quilting Husband via FaceTime during the retreat.

I am not sure whether to start at the beginning of the backlog of stories I want to share or just randomly share them. This post is a random sharing to get me started back with posting.

A Very Thoughtful Surprise

A couple weeks ago I decided to separately post the “Postscript” section of a post from May 2017 about a $10 antique Singer sewing machine I purchased at a flea market – Impulse Buy: Antique Singer Sewing Machine. Although I back dated the post it still showed up as a new post for those who follow me.

Well the wonderful Sarah @ thecookmanlife contacted me and said she wanted to send me a surprise. I was blown away when this awesome Robert Kaufman Fabrics panel of antique Singer sewing machines!

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Is this not awesome! Now I have an antique Singer sewing machine and fabric with the same machine on it!

Please check out Sarah’s lovely crafter blog @ thecookmanlifeI was blown away by her kind thoughtfulness!


Postscript

Couple other random follow ups.

Lost In Space

Luckily, as I ended up not having access to WiFi for four days, I downloaded the first couple episodes of the Netflix series Lost In Space. I am doing a “watch and stitch along” with Tracy @ itsatsweetsday.blog where we watch each others Netflix suggestions for hand stitching and binge-watching and compare notes!

I love how Netflix now lets you download some of their shows and movies for offline viewing on your smart phone or tablet (I watched on my iPad).

The series is awesome so far and is a different spin on the series I watched on TV as a kid   (‘Danger Will Robinson!”).

Oh and if you do not already follow Tracy’s blog (It’s a T-Sweets Day) I highly recommend it, she is a Renaissance Woman of Crafting (baking, quilting, crochet, etc., etc.).

Another Cool Block

Oh and this is an additional follow up to my previous posts: Please Vote On The Color! and The Votes Are In!

Well before I left the quilt retreat on Sunday to get my bus back to Central Oregon, my Quilting Sister Dana was working on another star block with the beautiful Tula Pink All Stars Fabric and the coordinating solids and dots fabrics. I thought you might like to see it:

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Looks pretty yummy to me!

I will be sure to bug Dana to send me a photo of the completed quilt to share with you on this blog!

More random posts to come, if I post everyday for a couple weeks I will catch up with all the posts in my head 🙂

 

 

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Return to Hiking with Luna and Laurie

This post is another entry in my series Outside Adventures!, and a follow up to my post The Toe Saga, Library Stack Catch Up, and Your Sacred Nest.

As I shared in “The Toe Saga” post, I had a quite careless mishap that led to a broken toe (my sofa and I are in “couples counseling” and working out our issues, ha!). A broken toe meant putting on hold my hiking adventures with my friend Laurie and my favorite Bernese Mountain Dog of all time – Luna.

Well this past Monday, I returned to hiking with “Laurie & Luna”! We did a reasonably easy hike – Farewell Bend Park along the Deschutes River. And as per our routine we had a delicious lunch afterwards in the Old Mill Shopping Center which is also along the Deschutes River.

Here are photos from our hike along the Deschutes River:

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I’ve also tagged this post with my category/series “Creative Inspiration” on sources of creative/future art quilt inspiration, as I took a couple photos of trees/vignettes that I thought would make interesting art quilt compositions:

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I did not take a photo of our lunch but here is Luna at lunch trying to convince Laurie and I that we really need to share our lunches with her:

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I would not win any hiking competitions but I was quite pleased with myself that according to my Health tracker app on my smartphone I had these statistics for Monday May 7:

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My toe is not fully healed and I was fairly sore the next day, but it was so wonderful to get outside and hike in my beautiful Central Oregon (with fun companions) again!

 

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Shop Tours, Special Events

Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop Day 2

Continuing my two-part series on participating in the Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop last weekend. If you are just joining us, check out Day One in this post: Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop Day 1.

Rather than worry about leaving Mike the Miniature Schnauzer at home all day while Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I drove around to the remaining four (4) Central Oregon Quilt Shops, we brought Mike with us:

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Mike started in the back seat but convinced me he needed to ride around in my lap

Mike started in the back seat but convinced me he needed to ride around in my lap.

We did the bulk of our driving (at least 130 miles) on Day Two of the Shop Hop and luckily my lap converted to a dog bed (with the addition of a fleece blanket in the backseat) when Mike grew tired of looking out the window!

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130 miles? Yes the remaining four (4) shops spanned from La Pine, Oregon (Homestead Quilts), lunch in Sunriver, Oregon (Sunriver Brewing) to Prineville, OR (The Quilt Shack), to Redmond, OR (Material Girl Fabrics), and finally to Sisters, OR (Stitchin’ Post) and then back home. Basically it was like a tour of Central Oregon!


Homestead Quilts (La Pine, Oregon)

Homestead Quilts is actually a lovely quilt shop with a wonderful collection of fabrics, however I only go there once a year (during shop hop) as it is about 35 – 40 miles from my house.

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They have some lines of fabrics that the other Central Oregon quilt shops do not have (or not as wide a selection of that line) such as Northcott’s Stonehenge fabric line:

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This is the same line I used for this quilt Cozy Cobblestones (which was quilted by one of my blogging buddies, Cindy @inastitchquilting.com):

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I had a little bit of a beautiful Stonehenge blue that I wanted to use in the piece but not enough to repeat the fabric in more than one block so I did not use it. If only I had thought to check out Homestead Quilts to pick up some more!


Sunriver Brewing (Sunriver, Oregon)

We needed to “fuel up” our shopping engines to make it to three more quilt shops so we stopped at Sunriver Brewing in Sunriver, Oregon on our way to our next quilt shop.

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I had a healthy delicious lunch of one of the best chef salads I’ve ever tasted:

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While TTQH had a delicious but very naughty lunch!

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Then it was onto The Quilt Shack in Prineville, Oregon.


The Quilt Shack (Prineville, OR)

The Quilt Shack is another Central Oregon quilt shop I rarely visit except during shop hop.

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As you can tell from several of the photos, it was a cloudy/overcast day for Day Two of Shop Hop. The end of April in Central Oregon can be hit or miss: we’ve done Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hops when it was 80 degrees and like a beautiful summer day; and we’ve done shop hop when it was cold and raining, etc.

The Quilt Shack specializes in novelty fabrics and if you are looking for special cowboy themed fabric, fishing themed fabric,  or the perfect fabric with farm animals, etc. – they have it:
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Next we took the 26+ mile drive from Prineville to Redmond, Oregon.


Material Girl Fabrics (Redmond, Oregon)

Material Girl Fabrics in Redmond is in an old house and the owner and her son who own the shop also live upstairs in the house. It is a very sweet shop and you feel like you are wandering around a house (because you ARE wandering downstairs in someone’s house!):

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TTQH searched for dog themed fabric at this quilt shop like he does at every quilt shop:

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Interestingly TTQH did not buy any fabric this year at shop hop, it was not like last year where he seemed to be “buying out” every shop we went to (see post Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop 2017).

Our Shop Hop passports were nearly filled as we headed to our last quilt shop of seven (7) – the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon:

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Stitchin’ Post (Sisters, Oregon)

We were flooded with relief when we arrived at the Stitchin’ Post as it had been a long day of driving and shop hopping and we were ready to be done.

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After turning in our Shop Hop passports we wandered around the quilt shop (which also has a lovely yarn shop) a bit before heading home.

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Mike outside the shop waiting to head home:

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The Haul

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, each quilt shop on the Shop Hop provided a block pattern for a mystery quilt. When you completed your Shop Hop passport after visiting all seven (7) shops then you got the final layout pattern and instructions:

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Each quilt shop also gave out a free fat 1/8th quarter of batik fabric. Below are my seven 1/8th quarters and TTQH’s (which he gave to me) – we made sure not to select the same colors:

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I usually try to support as many shops as possible by buying a little fabric at each shop during Shop Hop, but this year there was only two shops that I found fabric I had to have – Homestead Quilts and the Stitchin’ Post (and of course the scrap bag I found at QuiltWorks on Day One of the Shop Hop – see previous post for image):

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Thanks for joining us on Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop 2018!

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Shop Tours, Special Events, Terry the Quilting Husband

Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop Day 1

Last weekend over the course of two days, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH), Mike the Miniature Schnauzer and I attended the Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop.

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We made it to all seven (7) Central Oregon Quilt Shops over a two day period which involved driving around 150+ miles:

Thought I would share a sort of “photo essay” of the two-day shop hop in a series of two posts.

Day One of the Central Oregon Shop Hop was completed after work on Friday 04/27/18 and included the three Bend, Oregon shops: QuiltWorksSew Many Quilts and Bernina Center, and BJ’s Quilt Basket


Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center (Bend, Oregon)

Our Shop Hop began at Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center.

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Each shop gave out a free fat 1/8th quarter (18″ x 11″) of coordinating batik fabric and a free block pattern for the Central Oregon Shop Hop Mystery Quilt. You get your Shop Hop Passport card stamped at each shop and if you completely fill it out, visiting all seven (7) shops, you can enter to win several prizes including a new Bernina sewing machine!

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Later in this post I will share my Shop Hop Passport stamps and my haul of free fat 1/8th quarters from day one (see section “The Haul“).

Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center is where I bought my Bernina sewing machine many years ago and my breath always catches a bit when I walk into their shop and see all the dream Berninas:

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They appeared to be embracing as many holidays as possible, and here are a sampling of their displays which covered: Easter, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Halloween!

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All the shops offered a delicious smorgasbord of snacks and treats for the shoppers. Here is an example from Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center:

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In addition to the big prize drawing for those who completed their Shop Hop passports, each shop had their own individual drawing for shop gift certifications, etc:

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QuiltWorks (Bend, Oregon)

Next stop on Shop Hop was at QuiltWorks, where the lovely owner Marilyn Forestell greeted shop hoppers and stamped their cards.

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They also had delicious food including a huge chocolate birthday cake to celebrate the shop’s anniversary and the owner’s birthday (I forgot to take photos of the other shops’ snacks).

Here are photos from around the shop:

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They even have a Quilt Shop Dog (looks like a schnauzer mix to me!):

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I wonder if they intentionally coordinated the quilt shop’s carpet with the dog?

This is where my naughtiness started – they had a section I could not refuse (see the section “The Haul” for what I purchased…you know just to be polite to the shop, ha!):

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They also had a very timely display on the book Pillow Pop: 25 Quick-Sew Projects to Brighten Your Space Paperback by Heather Bostic. A couple weeks ago I decided to attack my pile of 2.5″ x 2.5″ scrap squares and enlist TTQH to help me make a huge pile of Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) to make several of the pillows in this book (future post). 

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Seeing several pillow patterns from the book displayed really inspired me to (eventually) continue working on the pillows (not sure though if TTQH is still speaking to me after trimming all those HSTs…)


BJ’s Quilt Basket (Bend, Oregon)

Our third and final stop for day one was BJ’s Quilt Basket. BJ’s hold a special place in my heart as it was the start of meeting many of my other Quilting Sisters besides Judy who got m into quilting (see post Quilting Sisters, Part I).

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Here are images from around BJ’s Quilt Basket:

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The Haul

First, here are the stamps on my Shop Hop passport for Day One:

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Only 4 more to go!

Here is my haul of free 1/8th fat quarters – six (6) fat 1/8th quarters (TTQH gave me his of course!) from Day One:

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Here is an example of the free block pattern given at each shop. You have to go to all seven (7) shops to get the final layout/instructions for the mystery quilt; but if you do not get to all the shops each pattern also has instructions on turning the block pattern into a table runner.

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And finally, here was the scrap bag I bought from QuiltWorks. It had several yards of large samples of fabrics!

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Thanks for joining me on Day One! Next post is Day Two of course 🙂

 

A Crafter's Life, Quilters Take Manhattan, Special Events, WCQN

Speaking Engagement

Last Thursday (April 19, 2018) I was the featured speaker at our monthly Central Oregon SAQA (art quilting) group meeting.

What I Presented

I did a presentation (complete with “death by PowerPoint”…I did try to keep the PowerPoint slides as engaging as possible with primarily photos) on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and the 2017 Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event I attended in NYC in September 2017.

I used these previous tierneycreates and Improvisational Textiles blog posts as the basis for my presentation:

I used some of the key text from these posts but also included more photos than were in the posts (I have a crazy amount of photos from QTM 2017!). For fun I also snuck in some family photos (I met up with my sister, brother and two awesome nephews) from the trip, especially some of my highly adorable 5 year old and now 14 year old nephews!

I also brought a copy of all the WCQN Exhibit books by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in my personal collection for the attendees to look through while I spoke (so they would not fall asleep during my presentation):

  • And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversation
  • Threads of Faith: Recent Works from the Women of Color Quilters Network
  • Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama
  • Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition
  • Quilting African American Women’s History

I also brought a copy of Sherri Lynn Woods’ book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously just in case there was any art quilter in our group that had not heard of this book.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) attended the presentation also and helped me haul all those books to the speaking engagement.

No one appeared to fall asleep during my presentation and they actually appeared quite engaged (or faked it very well!)

The Venue

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know my obsession with my public library. What was cool (at least to me) was that my presentation was done in the Conference room of the Sisters Branch of the Deschutes Public Library. So I got to speak at the library (huge smile)!

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Key to Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking: Be Delusional & Improvisational

One of my Central Oregon SAQA friends asked me before the presentation if I was nervous and I said “no”.

I am not sure if I should be nervous but I am never really nervous before a speaking engagement. I have this likely delusional belief, especially if I am speaking in front of a group that knows me, that they want me to succeed and are cheering me on (hopefully no one breaks my delusion!).

I used to do a lot of public speaking professionally when I was a trainer (before the days of telecommuting) at work and at professional conferences. If you’ve done corporate training, especially mandatory corporate training, you know about speaking to an audience that may not want to be there!

What broke me of any fear of public speaking (possibly creating my delusion that everyone is cheering for me) was an experience many, many years ago when I spoke at a conference that my employer put on for one our retail clients when I worked for a Workers’ Compensation Carrier.

It was a large group of managers for one of our retail clients (a national group) that looked like their souls had been sucked out of their bodies (please know I have nothing against who works in retail, this group of conference attendees were just very lifeless, they could have been in any industry). Also as you could imagine, managing work related injuries is not the most exciting all day conference topic!

During the conference, I watched one presenter after the other painfully struggle through their presentation with a highly “unengaged” and bored audience.

When it was my turn, I figured the crowd/audience could not dislike me anymore than they obviously already disliked the previous presenters, so what the heck – I was going to have fun.

So when I got up to the podium, I had an improvisational moment and I took the microphone off the podium stand and started walking through the crowd with it. I did my presentation as if I was performing a nite-club act: Walking through the crowd, speaking directly to audience members and being very animated.

Shockingly I got the first round of audible strong applause for the day! I even saw some actual smiles in the crowd (like their souls had briefly returned to their bodies!)

After that I had no fear of public speaking. Ultimately if the audience hates me, they hate me (but I always secretly know they are cheering for me – my insanity is so delicious!)


Postscript

A follow up to the post Additional Conversations – Completed , one of my blogging buddies asked me what was behind the nameAdditional Conversations”. This made me realize I better go write the Artist Statement.

I’ve posted about this piece on the Improvisational Textiles blog and if you are curious on the story behind the piece, here is the link: Additional Conversations.

(Note I do need to take the piece outside in the right light and take an even better photo – I am just being lazy as I already hung it up in the Living Room!)

A Crafter's Life

Love Ducks Wandering Around the Neighborhood

It’s April and time for the “Love Ducks” to wander our neighborhood!

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The Love Ducks are annual pair of a hen and drake ducks that wander around our neighborhood and seem to herald the start of Spring. I checked my previous posts on this duo (maybe the same duo, maybe not) and I see both posts were in April: The Love Ducks are Back (April 2017) and The Hen and the Drake (April 2016).

A week or so ago we saw them wandering around the neighborhood and even caught them roaming through our front yard!

Here they are wandering the neighborhood:

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And here they are in my front yard – I was sitting in the front window sipping tea and reading through my Library Stack when I saw them!

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It is difficult with my smartphone camera to get a quality zoom photo and I could not get too close to the ducks of course or they would fly away.

They make me smile when I see them wandering the neighborhood each Spring!

A Crafter's Life, My Minimalism Journey, Terry the Quilting Husband, The Library Stack

The Toe Saga, Library Stack Catch Up, and Your Sacred Nest

That’s a lot of topics for one post, well let’s get started!

The Toe Saga

I’ve been delinquent in blogging lately due to a very silly injury: a broken toe.

My sofa and I had an argument and I lost. I was rushing around, not paying attention and jammed my right foot/toes into the metal leg of my sofa at what felt like 80 miles an hour. It hurt, like really hurt but I thought it was just a sprain or an irritation to my toes and tried to care for itself (after all I am a RN).

A couple days later one of the toes was looking more purple and bruised so it was time to head over the Urgent Care, and yes, per the x-ray, the toe was fractured…in two places. They are hairline fractures and will take up to 6 weeks to heal; but my toe did not require surgery or fracture reduction/setting (so that is a good thing!).

(I know, I know, you all are so disappointed that I did not include a photo of my purplish bruised toe in this post, ha!)

I am mainly irritated with myself for such careless stupidity and that my daily walks are on hold for a week. The Physician Assistant I saw in Urgent Care said in a week my toe will be better to walk on, but I suspect I will have to take a hiatus from my hiking adventures.

I am trying to use this experience as a lesson that I need to slow down and be more mindful of my environment. I also rearranged my end tables to guard me against a future “sofa attack”.

Library Stack Catch Up

Before I decided to  share “The Toe Saga”, the original purpose of this post was to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.

Well I am two stacks behind! So let’s catch you up.

The Prior Stack

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A couple of the books were books I’ve borrowed before such as Quilt Inspirations from Africa and Red & White Quilting. I like to think of my public library as “my other bookcase” and many of the older quilting/crafting books are always on the shelves whenever I want to read them again.

Two books that I’ve never borrowed before and really enjoyed in this stack were Fairy Tale Sewing: Whimsical Toys, Dolls and Softies by Heidi Boyd and Stitch Draw by Rosie James.

Of course I’ve been heavily influenced by the work of Helen @Crawcraftbeasties and Shirley @Handmade Habit – there are doing awesome things with “Softies” and I want to be part of this scene somedays too (along with the 10,000 other crafts I want to make).

I have commissioned Helen to make the tierneycreates Beastie and Shirley is doing some amazing new things with new stuffed animal creations! Be sure to check out their wonderful blogs if you have not already (I’ve linked their blogs in the text above and you should also check out their awesome Instagram pages).

I’ve also been influenced by Chela @Chela’s Colchas y Mas who retired from teaching and it now trying to become the “Renaissance Women of All Things Crafting”.

She started posting her stitching doodles and drawings on her blog and now I want to try that out someday also (yeah, yeah, future craft projects/techniques, get in line behind all the others). I thought the book Stitch Draw by Rosie James had many great ideas to get started.

A Single Stack

In between the library stack above, and my current stack, I had one solitary book: Living the Airstream Life by Karen Flett.

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Lots of daydreaming went on while reading this book (but where would I put my sewing studio in the Airstream…and where would I store all my fabric scraps?!?!).

The physical book itself is pretty cool – the outside is framed in silver paper with simulated rivets like on an Airstream trailer!

Of course Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) had to tease me while I was reading the book. He kept asking: “So do we get a trailer to attach behind the Airstream for your fabric?”.

I’ve posted in the past about embracing Minimalism in my series of posts on My Minimalism Journey but my craft hobbies are interfering with a full “embracement”!

My Current Stack: Your Sacred Nest

My current stack of library books is, in my opinion, quite yummy! This stack is about quality over quantity.

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I am currently reading Your Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor by Desha Peacock, and so far this book is fantastic!

I’d like to share snippets from a passage from the book on “Your Sacred Nest: Everyone Needs a Creative Sweet Spot Space“:

A mother bird doesn’t complain that she doesn’t have time or space to create her nest, she just makes do with the resources available to her at the time…Her job is not finished when the nest is built. She still needs to protect it until her babies are strong enough to go out on their own…think of what would happen if the momma bird neglected to actually build the nest because she couldn’t find the perfect materials. Don’t let your creativity suffer or, worse, die because you can’t find the perfect lamp…don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Use the resources you have around you and allow them to blossom with age and use. 

Once you create your space, do not abandon it. Protect it fiercely with that momma bird love…  – Desha Peacock, Your Creative Work Space  (2017)

I love thinking of my creative endeavors as my “baby birds”!

(But wait a minute, I could continue with this analogy and realize that the reason I get into trouble sometimes is I am trying to feed too many “baby birds” at one time!)


Postscript

I love my neighborhood and I have some awesome neighbors who I just really like as people (they are good humans!). Here is a recent sweet public library story from one of my neighbors.

My neighbor and friend Jenny just returned from a three week trip to Australia to visit her in-laws. Her in-laws live suburb of Melbourne and after a week or so of just reading downloaded e-books, she and her young son were missing their regular trips to their our local public library (she is a Deschutes Public Library Cult-Member like I am, ha!). Jenny heard that the Melbourne area library system allows visitor passes and for visitors with ID to borrow up to two books.

So she and her son walked 10 minutes from where they were staying to the St. Kilda library. The librarian was so welcoming and after a chat she not only let them borrow more than 2 books (which is awesome as Jenny and her son did not have to go with one book each), she helped identify some great books (and loaded them up) in the children’s section and gave them a nice tote bag to get their huge stack of book back to where they were staying 10 minutes away!

So libraries are good places all over the world and librarians are some of the best people on earth (smile).

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Hiking the Highlands

No, alas, not the Scottish Highlands. This post is about a hike on the Cascade Highlands Trail in Central Oregon. Not as glorious as hiking in the Scottish Highlands but still quite lovely (and a significantly less expense trip – no airfare or accommodations required!)

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I do not work on Mondays and once a month I’ve been going on a hike (followed by a yummy lunch) with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog Luna. I thought about creating a category for these posts called “Adventures with Laurie & Luna” but I decided to create a new blog category called Outside Adventures! which includes my various solo Pilot Butte hikes and any other interesting outdoor adventures.

Laurie who is new-ish to Central Oregon (I think she has lived here between 1 – 2 years) thought it would be a great idea to explore Central Oregon together by going on hikes we have not been on before and trying out restaurants we have not dine at before (or at least one of us has not tried before). We plan one at least once a month.

Hiking the Cascade Highlands

Here are photos from the hike (which were more breathtaking in person than the photos capture):

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Good smells!

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I am also adding this post to my blog post category Creative Inspiration as there was much potential art quilt inspiration on this hike!

Bend, Oregon (not that I am encouraging any more people to move to Central, Oregon – ha!) has over 44 miles of urban trails, where you can go hiking without leaving town! Here is a 2005 (when I first moved here!) article from the Bend Bulletin (and I bet there are more than 44 miles of trails now): Get outdoors in town: Bend’s urban trails system allows for hiking without leaving town.

Lunch Time

Laurie and I both enjoy yummy food and finding new places to enjoy yummy food. After the hike we went to a place we’ve never tried before, Chow, and it was quite delicious.

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We decided to split a crab cake sandwich and each had our own special sides – I selected the most exquisite tasting sautéed (and finished with truffle oil) Brussels sprouts!

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A Crafter's Life, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Special Events

Two Quilters and a Bed Full of Fabric Scraps

I know you’ve been waiting…and here is the follow up to my 03/30/18 post  Scrap Party! , where I had a special birthday celebration play-date with my fabric-scrap-loving friend.

It started with this plastic bin of my fabric scraps:

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More fabric scraps crammed in here than I realized…

Dumped onto my bed (the bed has a plastic sheet from packaging material covering it):

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A king size bed filled with fabric scraps (awesome or terrifying?)

Before we dove into this delicious (or suspicious) pile of fabrics, first we took Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and our miniature schnauzers to Whole Foods for lunch (okay the dogs stayed in the car as it was a wee bit too cold to sit outside and eat with them).

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Mike and Sadie riding in style in the back of my vintage* 2001 car! (*hey someday it could be collectable…)

After lunch we headed back to my house to dive into the “bed-o-scraps”!

But first we needed to fortify ourselves:

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I might have a small studio but I can always make room for tea and cookies (made by TTQH!). Note we sipped our tea from schnauzer themed mugs!

After a few minutes of frolicking in the fabric scraps, my friend pulled her initial stack and got to work on making improvisational blocks.

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I set up my travel sewing machine for her to use at the desk in my studio
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Her miniature schnauzer Sadie kept an eye on her while she sewed

As a challenge, in addition to access to my crazy fabric scrap collection, I assigned my friend these pieced block discards/trimmings to try and incorporate into her improvisational blocks:

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Here are a couple of her blocks laid out on the design wall in my hallway:

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And here is her “to-go” bag of fabric scraps to finish up her piece at home:

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Note the expression on Sadie’s face like: “Are you really going to take ALL those home with us?!?!”

Sadie passed out on the pillow in my studio due to all the fabric scrap excitement:

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Fabric Scrap Parties are so exciting!

I did get a little blue seeing Sadie sleeping on the pillow in my studio as my beloved Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer used to sleep like that on the pillow before she passed in December 2018. But I did enjoy having a girl mini schnauzer in the house again and so did TTQH.

Here is TTQH hanging out in the living room with Sadie and Mike while watching the College Basketball semi-finals:

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We thought we’d let the ladies have their fabric scrap frolicking to themselves

So what did I work on? Well I thought I would take the opportunity to practice paper-piecing (Not the fun “English Paper Piecing” type but the “flip and stitch” type of paper-piecing that I suspect is what you have to do all day in the “Underworld” if you are bad in life and go there after you die…um, I would like to choose the “fire & brimstone” instead please…).

I signed up to participate in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show’s 2018 Wish Upon A Card Fundraiser & Fabric Challenge sponsored by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I needed to make a 4′” x 6″ fabric postcard to donate to the fundraiser, incorporating the two feature fabrics provided by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

In general I love Robert Kaufman fabrics, but I was completely underwhelmed by the fabric pieces they sent me to make the postcard:

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Um…what am I gonna make with these?!??!

Thank goodness my friend helped me pick out some coordinating fabric scraps for my postcard.

Here was my first (actually second, as the first was a legendary-paper-piecing-screw-up disaster) attempt at paper piecing a little house for the postcard:

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Hated it!

Here is my second (okay actually third) attempt and the final version with my embellishments:

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“Visitor Arrives” by tierneycreates 2018 (note the back of the postcard is fused blank muslin covering the stitching so that it can be used as a postcard)

I mailed it off yesterday to Wish Upon a Card and I will not be offended if they say they “never got it in the mail” or they accidentally let it slip into the trash can – ha!

Now I bet you are curious: Did we make a dent in the pile of fabric scraps? Not really. Here is the tub of fabric scraps cleaned up from the bed and put back into the closet after my friend left:

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It appears I have enough for another Fabric Scrap Party (or 200+ Scrap Parties)!

A Crafter's Life, Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Scrap Party!

It’s no secret, especially if you’ve followed my blog for a while, that I am obsessed with fabric scraps. I won’t try to link any of my numerous previous posts on fabric scraps. If you are new to my blog, you will have to just trust me 🙂

Well one of my quilting friends, actually the one who got me into appreciating the value and opportunity for unlimited creativity provided by using fabric scraps, is coming over tomorrow for a SCRAP PARTY!

She had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and we are going to do a belated celebration by going to out to lunch and then coming back to my house and spending the afternoon playing in my fabric scrap pile:

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I did not post about it (as those of you who’ve followed me for a while may have grown weary of my constantly talking about fabric scraps) but last weekend I thinned out my scrap pile. I pulled out any remaining old lower quality fabric and donated more to a local charity thrift shop.

During a previous donation, a volunteer at one of our local charity thrift shops (for our local Humane Society shelter), told me that fabric scraps sell very well at the thrift shop. They cannot keep fabric scrap bags in stock, they sell out immediately! (See there are more weird obsessed people like myself in Central Oregon).

So what are we going to do at a so called “Scrap Party”? Well I am going to dump the whole box onto a plastic tarp on the floor of my master bedroom (as not to take up precious space in my tiny studio space that we will be sharing) and let my friend go wild playing with my fabric scrap collection. She is really into improvisational piecing (she is the one who helped me move from traditional quilting to art/improvisational quilting) so fabric scraps are one of her favorite textile mediums!

I’ve set up my travel sewing machine for her in my studio so we can sew together. I have two design walls (a small one on the closet door in my studio and then the big one in the hall way) so we won’t have to battle for design wall space!

I’m not sure what she is going to work on, but I plan to work on some paper piecing. I’m trying to spend more time with my extensive (ridiculous) craft book collection and rediscovered in my craft book collection – 50 Little Paper-Pieced Blocks by Carol Doak. Playing with fabric scraps seems like a great time to work on my paper-piecing skills.

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My friend is bringing over her miniature schnauzer so Mike will have a furry friend visiting.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) made us chocolate chip cookies (to keep our sugar fueled energy level high for crafting!!!):

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Of course I will share the outcomes of our Scrap Party!

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Outside Adventures!

A Beautiful Monday and Audiobook Delights

As it is nearly Monday again, I thought I should share photos from the beautiful Pilot Butte hike I took on Monday. I have shared numerous photos of Pilot Butte, our miniature mountain with a wonderful 360 degree view of Central Oregon and its surrounding Cascade Mountains, in previous posts in my series Pilot Butte Adventures.

Our weather in Central Oregon is all over the place – somedays snowy and cold, other days beautiful Spring weather. Monday was the latter and I went on a solo hike on Pilot Butte and listened to a wonderful audiobook. More on the audiobook and my other recent audiobooks a little later.

Pilot Butte

I’ve shared like a zillion photos of Pilot Butte in previous posts on my hikes, so I will just share a couple more below to give you a little taste of my experience.

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Headed up the Butte
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Near the top, taking in the panoramic views
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Headed down the Butte and of course some really fit Central Oregon Senior Citizen passed me

When I got to the top of the Butte, I took a break at the summit and spent time cloud gazing. While cloud gazing I noticed something I’ve never seen before – a prism of color in the sky (like a little section of rainbow. I captured it as best I could with my smartphone camera:

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It was quite magical!

Audiobooks

I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks lately (I borrow them from my local library and download them directly to my smartphone using the Overdrive app).

On Monday’s Pilot Butte hike however I listened to an audiobook I found for free on iTunes podcasts: High Performance Habits with Brendon Burchard by Brendon Burchard.

Here are the 6 habits which the author discusses in depth:

  • Seek Clarity
  • Generate Energy
  • Raise Necessity
  • Increase Productivity
  • Develop Influence
  • Demonstrate Courage

You can Google “High Performance Habits” or “Brendon Burchard” and find lots of information as well as YouTube videos such as the one below:

There are many gems in this book, here is one of them:

“Often, the journey to greatness begins the moment our preferences for comfort and certainty are overruled by a greater purpose that requires challenge and contribution” – Brendon Burchard

Now here is a list of the other audiobooks I have recently listened or am currently listening to:
  • Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks – a collection of short stories written by the actor Tom Hanks. I have listened to two stories so far (narrated by the author!) and so far it is AMAZING! Who knew this awesome actor is also an awesome writer?
  • Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman. This intriguing book is by the Pulitzer Prize winning author who also wrote The World is Flat and Hot, Flat and Crowded which explore the rapid changes to the world in the 21st century. His current book explores the extremely rapid technological changes and how we can survive them. I am only in the first section of the book but the author shares an awesome analogy (paraphased): If a car from the 1960s had advanced in technological development like the computer chip did, then cars of today would get 200,000 miles to the gallon and cost 4 cents.
  • Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey by James Hollis.  This is a complex but beautiful book and reads like poetry. Here is a nice summary of the book on the Sound True website: Living an Examined Life.
  • Waking Gods, and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. These two books are part of a trilogy (I think it is a trilogy as I am currently anxiously awaiting the third book due to be released in May 2018). Unusual and exceptional science fiction presented in a very creative method: through a series of interviews. The audiobook performance is exceptional as it is done by a series of actors and they perform it in a way that you feel like you are listening to actual conversations. One of the best audiobook performances I’ve even listened to and a great engaging story!
  • Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen. This was a fun “chick-lit” romantic comedy – predictable but fairly well written. The story is exactly as the title implies but very engaging!

You can follow me on Goodreads (I am “Tierneycreates” on Goodreads) if you want to follow what I am reading.

A Crafter's Life, Special Events, Studio

Trends Show Part II: More Classes

Happy Saturday and here is part two of my two part posts on attending the EE Schenck’s Trends show last weekend in Portland, Oregon.

Alas, in this post there will be no “unexpected roommates” (see Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate ) like the previous post; but for the rest of the show I continued to take two more great “Take n’ Teach” classes – from Latifah Saafir and Kathy Cardiff.

Latifah Saafir: Fear Curves No More

Latifah Saafir is amazing – she is an engineer turned quilt pattern and quilt tool designer based out of Los Angelas, CA. She is a also a great teacher. Check out her website – Latifah Saafir Studios: One Stitch, One Seam, One quilt at a time.

She demonstrated her brilliant method for piecing curves using pieces cut from The Clammy, her giant clamshell maker template. Below are photos from the class (including some yummy fabric she used for her demo):

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Later that day I was fortunate enough to share a shuttle bus ride (EE Schencks provided a free shuttle to and from the hotel to the Trends show) with Latifah and hear more about her transition from scientist to quilting guru!

Kathy Cardiff: Wool Appliqué

Kathy Cardiff is a Washington state based designer, author and teacher who specializes in wool appliqué. Check out her website – The Cottage at Cardiff Farms.

She taught a hands on wool appliqué class in which she prepped our little wool appliqué pieces with fusible backed paper, we just needed to cut the little pieces out to make this (her sample):

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She also prepared templates for us to use to press the pieces together onto freezer paper before peeling them off to place the fabric for the little pillow:

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Her work is amazing, here are so additional photos from the class and her booth:

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She definitely took the fear out of wool appliqué for me like Latifah Saafir took the fear out of curved piecing for me!

Here is my wool appliqué piece currently in progress from the class:

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The funny thing is I’ve had a The Cottage at Cardiff Farms sunflower wool appliqué pillow pattern and supplies for many years but I was too intimidated to get started on it. It no longer seems scary – especially now that I have learned a quick way to put the appliqué pieces together and fuse them!

I told Kathy about the pattern I’ve had for years (purchased at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, OR); she knew which one I referenced and gave me tips after class on how to complete it!

There’s No Place Like Home

We had fun in Portland but I was also happy to return home again. My heart always soars when we drive from the Mount Hood pass area into Central Oregon. It is so interesting how the climate and the landscapes change from Portland to Mount Hood to Central Oregon.

The moment I saw my beloved “high desert” landscape, blue skies and Cascade Mountains everywhere – I knew I was home!

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View from inside the car window before Madras Oregon (still too cold to roll the window down!)

Postscript

Recently I read an article online (oops I do not remember the website) that strongly recommended you do not store your thread out in the open because of dust, etc. In a previous post, Aurifilia, I discussed my beloved collection of AURIfil thread (actually obsession).

Well I decided to take down my mounted thread racks and store my thread collection instead in bins to protect the thread.

So I went from this:

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To this:

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Note the AURIfil is neatly stored in the top 4 containers and the “non-AURIfil” thread is casually strew about in the bottom container – ha!

I also decided to put up more quilted art/gifts from my Quilting Sisters in my Studio.

Here is a quilt made for me a couple years ago by my Quilting Sister Kathy when our group did a quilt exchange:

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I look around my studio and I feel very loved.

A Crafter's Life, Special Events, Terry the Quilting Husband

Trends Show Part I: The Unexpected Roommate

They Invited Me So I Went

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I attended EE Schenck’s Trends show this past weekend. This post is part one of my two-part series on my experience at the Spring 2018 Trends show.

I signed up for an EE Schenck wholesale account when I had the tierneycreates Etsy shop and for a brief time thought I would supplement my handmade items sales with some fabric sales.

My ‘adventures in retail” were challenging (see my old post from June 2015,  Adventures in Retail) and I quickly discovered that I greatly disliked cutting yardage and making up fat quarter packs (I believe this is what you have to do all day  in the “Underworld”, if you are bad in life and go there after you die; to me that is a big enough incentive to be good in life!).

I did however meet my lovely quilting friend Martha through one of my Etsy shop fabric sales so I figured that was the good thing that came out of that experience!

Additionally, as I discussed in previous posts, I did not want to compete against “brick & mortar” quilt shops (though absolutely no quilt shop could have been threatened by my meager attempts to sell fabric) and become part of the “online fabric sales world” that threatens our beloved community quilt shops.

I did eventually temporarily close my Etsy shop (it’s been over a year so it has been an extended “temporary” closure) to rethink my strategy and handmade offerings.

My Etsy shop is temporarily closed but EE Schenck still has me listed as a wholesaler and they continue invite me each year to their Spring and Fall Trends show for now.

I attended my first show in September 2016 (see the post Ladies Friendship Circle) and got to hang out with my friend Joan H. as well as the lovely Marie Bostwick (a mutual friend of my friend Joan) and Mary Fons (a friend of Marie’s).

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Mary Fons and Marie Bostwick, Trends September 2016

So when I received the invite from EE Schenck to the Spring Trends show and saw what classes were offered, I asked TTQH if he would like to go to Portland, Oregon for the weekend (it is only a 4 hour drive from my house) and attend Trends.

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image credit: eeschenck.com

Beside the opportunity for a nice weekend getaway to Portland, one of the reasons I attended the Trends show was for a very reasonable price I could take “Take n’ Teach” classes from wonderful authors/teachers/designers such as Latifah SaafirKathy Cardiff, and Jody Houghton.

I was especially excited to take Jody Houghton’s class, Fabric Art Panels, because her work holds a special place in my heart. As a matter of fact I gaze at one of her panels nearly everyday: my very dear friend Judy (who got me into quilting and I consider my “Quilt Momma”) made me this wall hanging a couple years ago from a Jody Houghton panel:

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The Drive to Portland

There are generally two ways to get from Central Oregon to Portland: Santiam Pass or Mount Hood Pass. Until late April (or later) both are at mountain elevations, are ski areas, and both are usually covered in snow. Sometimes the snow is packed on the road and most times until late Spring, chains or traction tires can be required. You always see tractor trailers at the lowest part of the elevation pulled over and putting on their chains to make it through the pass in the late Fall, Winter and early-mid Spring.

We decided to take Santiam Pass to Portland and below are photos from our snowy drive (from inside the car with the windows rolled up). I was glad TTQH was driving! (Actually is wasn’t that bad, we only 30 minutes or so driving on pack snow, the rest of the drive was just wet/snow dusted highway).

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The Unexpected Roommate

Arriving in Portland we first stopped at Powell’s Books, the mega independent bookstore and a mandatory stop so TTQH could load up on more military history books (his other hobby besides quilting).

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Image credit: powells.com

After that we headed to our hotel and checked into our room.

It had been a long drive from Central Oregon to Portland and we had spent a long time in Powell’s books, and I was eager to get into comfy clothes and relax. TTQH was in the bathroom and I was getting undressed and suddenly the door opened to our hotel room and a woman was backing into our room with her suitcase!

I exclaimed: “Hello there!” and startled her as I quickly pulled my pants back up. She was a well dressed congenial woman who graciously stated: “Oops, the woman at the front desk was new and I think she assigned me the wrong room.” We briefly laughed about it (though I was in utter shock and yelled to TTQH not to come out of the bathroom unless he was fully dressed) and she said she would go downstairs and sort it out. She also said she was there for the Trends show so I knew she was likely a quilter/crafter and therefore a wonderful person (in general, crafters are wonderful people – smile)!

Shaken (and feeling rather vulnerable as they obviously we handing out card keys to our room to others!) I immediately called the front desk and told them what happened. I then went down to the front desk in person and requested to have a new card key made up. The front desk staff apologized profusely and got everything fixed. The nice woman who had backed into our room was also there getting things sorted out and we laughed about it again.

When I got back to the room, I had calmed down and TTQH were able to have a laugh about it. I said to TTQH, “Well she seemed nice and I guess she could have slept between us if the hotel is completely out of rooms, ha!”

I figured I would run into the “unexpected roommate” at some point at the Trends show on Saturday and we would have a more relaxed laugh about it.

The Unexpected Teacher

Saturday, September 17th, after the Trends keynote speaker’s, Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction, I headed to the “Take n’ Teach” series of classes, my first class being with Jody Houghton.

And guess who was Jody Houghton? My Unexpected Roommate!!!!

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We had quite the laugh about it when I first arrived at her booth for the class! Jody and I also shared the story with the other class participants who got a laugh out of it too!

Her class was wonderful and we learned how to make quick tote bags using her panels. Here are photos from the class and photos of some of the cool samples she had on display:

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Jody is an absolutely lovely woman and a very talented designer and teacher.

Check out her panels and notions on her Etsy Shop: Sisterhood of Quilters by Jody Houghton Designs. I hope you will support her shop (or convince your local quilt shop to carry her items) as in my opinion she really captures the heart of the friendships and bonds that come from quilting together. I hope I get to connect with her again the future (but perhaps not as an unexpected roommate…ha!).

Speaking of quilting friendships and bonds, you can read my previous series of posts on my Quilting Sisters (Quilting Sisters, Part I and Quilting Sisters, Part II ).

It is sort of like the Universe brought us together – how random that the woman who created the panel in the wallhanging that means so much to me, “broke” into my room!

Next post I will continue with more stories from the Trends show (though none involving potential roommates!)


Postscript

Our first time to Trends in September 2016 we took Mike and Sassy (who passed in December 2017).  TTQH only briefly attend Trends (leaving the dogs in the car outside for 1/2 hour) as he was in charge of the dogs (who did not like to be left in a hotel room alone).

We decided to leave Mike with some fellow schnauzer people and be “child-free” in Portland this time so we could enjoy the weekend together. TTQH was not interested in taking any classes but he had fun wandering around EE Schenck looking for dog themed fabrics and talking to other husbands (usually the husbands of quilt shop owners, etc.) at the show.

Here is a photo of Mike with his schnauzer buddies Chopper and Frieda, taken by their people and texted to us during the weekend so we knew Mike was having a good time. They labeled this photo “The Three Amigos”.

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Feature image credit: eeschencks.com