One of the best thing about having the tierneycreates blog for the past 5 years is connecting with other crafters, makers, artists around the world.
One of those people is Pennsylvania based artist extraordinaire, Claudia McGill. She is one of those “Renaissance Women” whose dabbles successfully in many arts – writing, painting, drawing, illustrations, poetry, ceramics/pottery and collage.
She has two blogs (that I know of, maybe she has more, ha!) – one for her art and one for her poetry:
A couple days ago, I was surprised in the mail with a lovely holiday card and some some little pieces of her art!
I know there are new bloggers now following my blog that might be looking for other maker blogs to follow and blogging communities to connect with, so I plan in the future to share more about the blogs I follow to help connect anyone interested.
Over the years, I’ve met so many other bloggers through following and commenting on blogs that capture my interest.
I’ve always fantasized about writing poetry and had dabbled but never had the confidence to share any of my writings.
In addition to Claudia’s blogs, I also follow other “artist poets” such as South African based artist and poet, Mariss Stevens. She shares her beautiful art quilts with accompanying poems!
You can check out her amazing art quilts and poetry on her blog:
Hi there, this is tierneycreates Beastie and I am the guest blogger for today’s post. Below is a shocking photo of me, but I will explain in a moment:
First a little background if you are new to this blog: Yes, I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. You can read my story and see some of my adventures so far in the series of posts – Beastie Adventures. I was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved (well was shipped) to Central Oregon to join Tierney of tierneycreates in June 2018.
So normally I look like this:
Or like this in warmer weather:
And often I am accompanied by my dog Mikelet:
But the reason why I am currently in a plastic bag is that Tierney of tierneycreates is letting me go to my first Quilt Retreat today. She is headed to a 4 day retreat with her quilting friends from Oregon, California and Washington state – and I get to go with her!
We decided not to bring Mikelet, we are going to let him stay at home with Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and Big Mike the Miniature Schnauzer (well to Mikelet who is a couple inches tall, Mike is pretty big!).
I agreed that it would be safest to have me travel securely so that I do not lose my glasses or any of my other accessories (if you check out the post Beastie Adventures: Sisters, Oregon, you will see how once nearly lost my little boots when I was wandering around in a yarn paradise!) in route.
What I think is cool is I get to travel in Tierney’s messenger bag where she also keeps her laptop. Well I have a messenger bag too and a laptop (as well as a library card just like Tierney):
I am actually in this bag right now (and you might be wondering how I am managing to write this post. Well, you’ll just have to trust me that I am making it work…):
Okay, now what was this post originally about?
Oh yes, the tierneycreates Blog Fifth Anniversary Celebration!
The tierneycreates Blog Fifth Anniversary Celebration and Giveaway
Tierney’s first post was on October 27, 2013 and in two days the tierneycreates blog will be officially 5 years old!
Originally she started her blog as a vehicle for her now closed tierneycreates Etsy shop. Then she discovered she enjoyed blogging much more than she enjoyed running her Etsy shop and trying to sell handmade items online.
Tierney appreciates all her blog followers/readers and she asked me to recognize her longest, still active followers:
What does Tierney love most about blogging? Connecting with creative people all over the world! Tierney and I took a look at her WordPress stats and her blog has been visited by readers in everyone continent except Antartica.
Here is a screenshot from the tierneycreates blog stats page to show all the countries around the world from which people have visited her blog:
As you can see, besides Antarctica (which is not even tracked by WordPress) no one in Greenland cares for her blog!
For 2018, the top 10 countries for visitors to the tierneycreates blog are:
On behalf of Tierney, thank you so much to those creative people in these countries and to all people in all countries who spent the time to visit the tierneycreates blog during the past 5 years!
Tierney is very surprised that she made it to 25 days so far of daily blogging posts in honor of the 5th anniversary without pulling any posts from her archives. That is a lot of new ramblings! Over the next 5 days she will announce FIVE GIVEAWAYS in honor of her 5th Anniversary. Tomorrow’s post announced the first giveaway.
Here are the general guidelines and overall plan for the upcoming five days of giveaways:
Each day will feature a different giveaway and all items will relate to a tierneycreates blog post over the past 5 years.
One winner will be selected for each giveaway.
In addition to each of the giveaways a handmade little wallet will be included (see post Little Wallet Madness.) will be sent to the winner (so there will be two gifts).
Special instructions will be provided each day on how to enter the drawing (no worries, nothing complicated but there will be an activity related to commenting on the post).
Readers in any country are eligible, and like last year’s 4th anniversary celebration, Tierney will mail items to the winners at her cost in any country (note – you will have to use the Questions/Comments form to privately send Tierney your mailing address so she can get the item to you!).
There will be one special 6th giveaway announced at the end of the month.
Well I am off on the “road to retreat” and I am so excited about my first quilt retreat with Tierney and her quilting friends (and you know there will eventually be a blog post or two about it). Hopefully they won’t accidentally sew me into any of their projects.
And honestly, I cannot wait to get out of the plastic bag
– tierneycreates Beastie.
Thanks everyone for 5 years of reading these ramblings and musings – Tierney
First I want to clarify – this is not a political post but a post about a secret dream of mine being realized – to have a piece of my art shown in New York City.
The art piece, Seeds (2017), inspired by a Mexican proverb, could be considered political as it is a banner from the Women’s March. But let’s put all this aside and let me share this moment with my blogging community, no matter what your political views.
Seeds is showing as part of the exhibit Still They Persistfrom the FemFour at the LMAKgallery on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City from October 17, 2018 – November 3, 2018.
What I did not realize until today, when I discovered it on social media, is that the exhibit had opened in New York City!
I am originally from New York and for me as a native New Yorker (well semi-native, I was actually born in Pittsburgh, PA) it seems that one of the ultimate achievement as an artist would be to show a piece in a major city such as New York City (or Paris, or London, or Tokyo, or Melbourne, etc.).
Although my piece of art is a banner I made for a protest march, I am going to embrace this moment as a realization of a secret dream!
Below is my piece in the center in a promotional photo of the exhibit on the LMAKgallery’s facebook page.
Thanks for sharing this moment with me!
This is a quick follow-up to the 10/12/18 post Impromptu Quilt Gifting. My colleague’s daughter received the quilt earlier this week and she sent me a picture of her daughter snuggled under the quilt.
The best thing is my colleague stated “The quilt is amazing, she has been sleeping with it since it arrived!” I cannot put into words how happy I am that a quilt I made will keep a child warm and cozy during her ongoing hospitalizations.
The tierneycreates blog is 5 years old this month! I cannot believe other humans have been reading my musings for 5 years (and have maintained their sanity).
My very first post was October 27, 2013, introducing myself.
I used to have this post as a “sticky post” on at the top of my blog posts, so I’ve edited over the years and updated the photo in 2015, but here is that first blog post in it’s current state:
Welcome to tierneycreates!
Thank you for visiting and I look forward to your comments and thoughts on my posts.
My blog focuses on the many aspects of a “Crafter’s Life” and discusses topics such as sources of creative inspiration, my artistic journey, what’s on my design wall, quality of life, quilting retreats, artistic growth, outside adventures, books that inspire me and all things related to handmade textile crafts!
So I am celebrating my fifth blogging anniversary this month in two ways:
Daily Posts for the 31 days of October: I have challenged myself to post every day for the entire month (we are at day 4 so far). I will likely mix in some reposting of my favorite old posts from the tierneycreates archives on days in which I have no new material to share – I do have 5 years of posts to pull from!
A Blog Anniversary Giveaway: Sometime around the middle of the month I will make the giveaway announcement and details on how I would like to thank my readers for joining me on my blogging journey so far! I will do the drawing around the actual blog anniversary 10/27/18 and announce the winners by the end of the month.
Right now you might be thinking: “Daily posts, yikes!”
I know you all have lives and I do not expect anyone to read my posts daily. I just have such a backlog of stuff in my mind to post about I thought this would be a great time to challenge myself to get caught up (and hopefully not to bore you all to death)!
I made my first four (4) recycled silk art quilts in 2012 and in 2013 I had them professional photographed. For the past 5 years I had the high quality files of these photos and have only used them for images on my blog.
Have you ever found something you made/gave someone as a gift at a thrift shop?
A couple of weeks ago I had my first experience of finding one of my handmade items at a thrift shop for sale – one of the little wallets I used to make. This experience got me pondering about the handmade gifts you give people and what becomes of them (and how sometimes you have to just let go for the sake of your own sanity and peace).
Found at the Thrift Shop
I was obsessed with making little wallets for a while from fabric scraps and here is one of my posts about my obsession – Little Wallet Madness.
It was serendipitous that I found the little wallet at the thrift shop and it was sort of like the Universe wanted me to find it.
I had just finished having lunch with a friend and felt compelled to visit a local charity thrift shop after our lunch. I wandered around, not knowing why I was there and then felt drawn to the purse and wallet section.
Inside the used purse and wallet section, I found this adorable item for my sister who loves Lululemon – a little zippered wallet made from recycling a Lululemon bag:
My sister has a collection of Lululemon bags and this little wallet was the perfect treat for her. So I thought – “Wow, I guess I was supposed to come in here and find this for my sister!”. Just in case there might be another one, I kept rummaging through the used wallet section and came upon this:
It looked familiar and I thought: “Ah someone else must have made little wallets like I did”
But then after inspection I discovered something shocking: an old tierneycreates business card inside the wallet!
I stood there in the thrift shop, mouth open, feeling like I was having an out of body experience.
What bothered me was not that someone no longer wanted one of my handmade little wallets and donated it (that was better than them just throwing it out); but that they just left my business card inside (note this is one of my old business cards from when I used to have an Etsy shop, etc.)
I may have narrowed it down to who could have done this and at the moment I felt like it was obviously a person without any class – a person with class would have removed and recycled my business card before donating (I’ve since calmed down from my initial reaction…).
Of course I purchased it (it was only 50 cents) along with the Lululemon little wallet for my sister. I removed and recycled my old business card from it and put it away for now. At a later time I will decide whether to regift it to someone or to re-donate it to the charity thrift shop (but not with my business card inside).
What Becomes of the Handmade Gifts We Give?
Many times you know what becomes of the handmade gifts you give people – either they love, cherish and use them or they do not. They might regift them, they might donate them, they might even throw them away. Or they might just shove them in the closet to gather dust.
This is something I’ve struggled with as a crafter and quilter and had to work on letting go – once you give someone something, it is theirs to do with what they want – even if it might be heartbreaking to you.
People who are not crafters or artists may not understand the love that goes into something that is handmade and how essentially a piece of the maker goes into the piece (and not just if you stuck yourself with a needle while making the piece and bled a little on it like I’ve done a time or two – ha!)
Sometimes my heart breaks for the maker when I see a beautiful handmade item sold for cheap at thrift shop. I’ve rescued lovely granny square afghans from thrift shops (usually sold for $2 – $3) as I know how much work goes into this type of project and I love granny square afghans but have yet to make one myself.
On the overstuffed chairs in our front window where we read (and I work on blog posts) I have rescued granny square afghans from my collection as well as on the bench where Mike our miniature schnauzer hangs out to watch cats, birds and passing dogs out the window (to practice his barking).
Here is Mike napping on one of the rescued afghans:
I do not want to become a hoarder and I know I cannot rescue all the beautiful handmade items that have been donated to thrift stores. I only rescue granny square afghans if they are exceptionally appealing and under $5, that is my guideline, but still how many granny square afghans does one person need?
A friend of mine told me a story of how she discovered a neighbor’s husband using a quilt she made her neighbor to mop up an oil spill in a garage. To me this sounds much worse than finding something you made donated at a thrift shop.
What I’ve learned as I mature as a maker is that I need to be very selective of who receives my handmade items. Also I’ve learned to that sometimes you need to just let go of your attachment to the handmade item when you gift it.
Sometimes it hurts when someone does not fully appreciate the work and time that went into a handmade item but I have to remember unless they are a maker, a crafter, an artist, or any type of creative individual they may never understand.
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. – Rumi
This blog post is for those of you maintaining your blog on the WordPress platform, and are challenged with, or have overcome challenges with, having a WordPress plan with limited image/photo storage.
Several of my fellow WordPress bloggers have expressed frustration over the limited amount of photo storage allotment and having to either delete older posts or delete posted photos to manage their storage. So I thought I would share my experience and tips and ask for other experienced WordPress platform bloggers to comment with their tips for managing image storage limits on WordPress.
The Free Plan
When I started blogging in October 2013, I started with the free plan. This plan gave me 3 GB (gigabytes) of storage for photos I wanted to post and within a year I noticed I was quickly using up my allotted free storage.
Here is what no one told me when I started blogging (that I so wish someone had told me): you need to reduce the size of your images you post in a blog post.
I was able to stay on the free plan for another year or so by reducing the size of my photos. Eventually after 2 – 3 years on the free plan, I decided I wanted to double my available storage (especially since I now knew how to stretch it out) to 6 GB; I wanted to remove advertising by WordPress; and I wanted to move my domain name from “tierneycreates.wordpress.com” to “tierneycreates.com”.
Managing the size of every image I add to a blog post, here is what my Photo Storage looks like after nearly 5 years of blogging (and if you’ve followed my blog for a while you know I post a lot of photos!):
I think I can make this last another 5 years. If I had known how to do image management from the beginning I know I could have made it 5 years of blogging with my original 3GB storage allotment. Since I upgraded my plan, I’ve never had the incentive to go back to my early posts and resize their images – too much work!
How Do I Manage My Image File Size?
First a disclaimer: I figured out what worked for me and I am not even remotely an expert in photo editing and image management.
You may find my process cumbersome and I bet there are more efficient methods but here are my steps from taking a photo to posting it onto my blog:
I use an iPhone for my images and use the regular image settings (I do not use HDR or Live photo settings as I assume that would be a larger photo).
I have an Amazon Prime account which comes with unlimited photo storage. I have the Amazon Prime Photo app on my phone. I review images on my phone, delete the ones I do not keep and then open Prime Photo and it automatically uploads all photos not already uploaded to Prime Photo. I then delete the images from my camera to manage photo storage on my iPhone.
I blog from a MacBook, and go to the online Prime Photo website and download to my desktop or to a folder all the photos I want to use in a blog post. (Note once I am done with the blog post I delete all the photos I downloaded from my laptop as I do not want to take up a bunch of space with photos that are stored online).
Most photos taken on my iPhone are in the range of 3000 x 4000 pixels. There are a 1000 pixels in a MB so each photo is about 4.5 MB. 4.5 MB does not sound like a lot but there are 1024MB in one GB and you could see before you know it, especially if you put 5 – 10+ images in each post, you could quickly work your way through your 3GB allotment (if you are on the free plan). So I reduce each photo by 50% using the Preview feature on my Mac.
I select all the photos I’ve downloaded from Prime Photos and open them up at the same time using Preview. Within Preview I do any needed photocropping and then I go to the Tools menu and select “Adjust Size” and reduce the size from 100% to 50%:
As you can see in the above screenshot, the size of my image went from 4.5 MB to 1.4 MB (look at the “Resulting Size” section in the screenshot). So my reducing the image size by 50%, I have gained the ability to store 3 photos instead of 1.
Even if you do not have a Mac and use a Windows based PC or laptop, you can see the general concept: you need to reduce the size of your photos to manage your storage.
If I do not care as much about the resolution/quality of an image on a post, then I might resize the image to even smaller like 45% or even 40%.
Other Photo Management Tips
In addition to learning how to resize my photos before posting, the most important thing I figured out as a blogger was to be judicious in the amount of photos I share on a post.
At first I just shared any photo I wanted to share that I felt went with a blog post. Now I carefully think through how many photos and what specific photos I want to share to enhance the text of a blog post and tell a story. I am a visual person and I appreciate looking at photos myself when reading others blog posts. However I realized I do not need to try to do an extensive photo essay of an experience I want to share.
A few carefully selected photos can tell a story just as well as 10 photos can.
If you want more and likely more efficient ideas on WordPress photo management and storage (and ideas for those on blogging from Windows based devices), you can check out websites such as this one: The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Image Management
This website uses fancy phrases such as “image optimization”.
You can also Google (or whatever search engine you use) and find articles on plug ins for WordPress image management and “digital assessment management” (see – they are using more fancy phrases).
I am completely self-taught on WordPress (lots of online help and YouTube videos) and I have so much more to learn but I wanted to share what I do, which seems to be working…
Okay experienced WordPress Bloggers – please share your tips and ideas in the Comments/Thoughts Section 🙂
Tree of No Hurry (2017) will be part of the Trees Exhibit at QuiltWorks Gallery which opens on Friday July 6, 2018. The show will run through July.
QuiltWorks is a Central Oregon quilt shop that has a gallery upstairs and supports the Central Oregon traditional and art quilting community through its monthly shows featuring the works of local quilters, quilting groups and guilds.
Here is more about the QuiltWorks Gallery from their website:
If you are new to my blog, Tree of No Hurry began in an appliqué class with the wonderful teacher Janet Shorten at the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop in Sisters, Oregon in May 2016. Here are the related posts about the beginning of the piece, it’s evolution, wrangling embroidery floss, etc.:
Tree of No Hurry is part of my “Nature Stories” series of quilts. You can view my current four series of art quilts on my Art Quilt Stories page.
Here is the Artist Statement/story behind it:
TREE OF NO HURRY (2017)
25.5” W x 27” L, cotton fabric, embroidery floss
Designed, pieced and quilted by Tierney Davis Hogan
THE STORY OF THIS PIECE:
How often do we hurry about in our lives attempting “to do” everything we feel we must accomplish?
This quote by ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu reminds us that a force as powerful as Nature (with a “to-do list” greater than we could imagine) does not hurry and still gets the important stuff accomplished.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. – Lao Tzu
This is all part of my pretending that I am an art quilter!
I still need to move some of the blog posts that relate to my art quilts over to my tierneycreates blog; and I want to update my “Tierneycreates Studio Tour” page (located in the “About Me” menu) with current photos.
I am self taught on WordPress (thank you WordPress for awesome reference materials and for people publishing YouTube videos with WordPress tips and tricks) and I will keep tweaking my tierneycreates site as I keep learning new tips and tricks!
Last Thursday I took the day off from work to attend a SAQA “Play Date”. SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) is the art quilting group I’ve been part of since 2013.
One of our members, Helen, was generous enough to host the “play date” in her lovely studio. We got to play with fabric printing using fabric inks and here are a couple photos from the play date.
Helen encouraged us to bring drawings on freezer paper to transfer into our fabric printing designs. Below are some of the drawings other art quilters brought to the play date:
Our host has a lot of experience with fabric printing and had all sorts of fun tool like the shape below which made an interesting design on fabric:
Work in progress:
There were lots of wonderful pieces made during the play date and here are some examples from my fellow “play-daters” (only sharing photos of works that I got permission from the arts to share):
Here are some of my pieces (I am not going to show you my first pieces that I tried to hide in the trash, ha!):
I plan to turn this collection of tree like images into an art quilt.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I just returned from a weekend trip to Portland to attend the Trends show. The next post I will share photos and stories from my experience meeting and taking classes from Latifah Saafir, Jody Houghton, and Kathy Cardiff. Amy Barickman of Indigo Junction was the keynote speaker.
I will close this post with a photo from out the passenger window from our drive from Central Oregon to Portland, Oregon via Santiam Pass on Friday morning (TTQH was driving thank goodness):
Curiously, when looking through my blog posts of 2017, I see I started a lot of projects (like FarmGirl Vintage blocks), but did not complete that many projects in 2017! I better get my act together in 2018…
Seven (7) Favorite Posts/Series of Posts of 2017
I selected these seven (7) posts (or series of posts) because I really enjoyed writing them:
However Mike is much more mellow and not as highly opinionated (and prefers to spend most his time napping in the back of Terry the Quilting Husband’s knees) so it would not make sense for him to want to take over the blog.
Eventually I would like to turn the blog into a memory photo and story book for Terry and I once I figure out what platform to do this on. For now the blog will stay live on the web in the “blogosphere” for whomever stumbles upon it.
Meet the Pups in the Feature Photo
I thought I will end this post on a silly note and introduce you to the pups in the feature photo for this post:
They are known as The Puppy Powers and they live in my sewing studio along with other furry creatures to keep me smiling while I sew. I found them years ago (I do not remember where) and they all have magnetic paws and can be posed it adorable poses and stuck on anything metal.
Their names are Pup, Puppy, Puppa, and Pups:
And here they are having fun on their photo shoot:
It’s challenging to keep a Radio Flyer full of puppies still during a photo shoot!
I was juried into this roster by Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture panel and received notification on 11/1/17. The following information was provided by the City of Seattle about the Office of Arts & Culture panel’s decision:
Their decision was based on the following criteria: • strength and artistic vision of past artworks • creativity of approach • resume • experience with previous art exhibitions or projects
According to the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture the Ethnic Artist Roster “is a resource to anyone who is looking for artwork by artists of color or who wants to host a culturally relevant art exhibition. To contact an artist, please refer to their resume.”
For the first several years of my tierneycreates blog I shared reviews and excerpts from an endless stream of audiobooks in the genre “self-help” or “self-improvement” (I was obsessed with this genre). This genre could also be called “personal motivation” and “personal growth”. (If you would like to read my reviews/discussions of some of these books, check out my blog post Category “Audiobooks and Podcasts“)
Recently my incredibly awesome younger brother, Raoul Davis, Jr., along with two colleagues, has published a book in this genre called Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life (2018).
Yes – one of my family members has written a “self-help” book!
I was so excited when I received a copy last week (I ordered it from amazon to support the sales of this book rather than try to get a free copy from my brother) in the mail.
Yes, I wish it was an audiobook, but I plan to actually sit and read the hard copy version book! The book is currently available on amazon.com in Kindle and paperback version.
Oh and not meaning to violate any copyright laws, here is a little snapshot of my brother’s wonderful “Acknowledgements” section in the book:
If you want to read a little more about our father, Raoul Davis, Sr., here is a blog post I did about him – Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me. Our parents have both passed but I am very lucky to have two amazing siblings!
I plan to return to blogging about my crafting adventures in the near future.
In these two previous posts ArtistStatements and ArtistStatements, Part II, I shared my struggles with writing Artist Statements for a specific art quilt and the huge and intimidatingchallenge of writing an overall Artist Statement for my body of work as (a wannabe) an art quilter.
You can see above, underlined in red, my big concern: That I had not yet established what I felt was a solid and cohesive body of work. This is what I felt was keeping me from creating my overall/general Artist Statement.
A couple weeks ago I realized I now have a body of work in regards to art quilts (maybe it is imaginary but it seems like a body of work) – 16 “art quilts”. 15 of these art quilts are “improvisational” and one (1) is a combination of pictorial and improvisational. Now I had to determine what I am trying to “say” with my current body of work and where I want to go with it (i.e. make it COHESIVE).
Above the front entrance to my beloved public library are quotes by authors and my favorite quote, by author Barry Lopez, is shown in the image below:
It may be difficult to read from the photo, so here is the quote:
“The storyteller is the person who creates an atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself” – Barry Lopez
I smile every time I visit the library and see that quote.
Thinking about that quote and where I want to go with my art quilting, I realized I want to be a storyteller.
So I’ve spent the past couple of weeks, as time allows, revisiting the Artist Statements on 15 of my 16 existing art quilts (1 of the quilts is part of an upcoming exhibit and the Artist Statement is already solid and cohesive with the them of the exhibit).
Out of this work (revisiting the specific Artist Statements for each piece), came a reorganization of my work into Six (6) Series of Stories:
“The storyteller is the person who creates an atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself”, storyteller Barry Lopez noted.
My fiber/textile art is created with a single or ongoing story in mind. These stories originate from my life experiences, observations, struggles, dreams and hopes. The earth and its inhabitants are very precious to me and I want to do work that contributes to environmental conservation efforts. I primarily use recycled textiles in my art to include recycled clothing, textile manufacturing samples and scraps, and discards from others quilt-making. My focus on improvisational design: The fabric itself and creative inspiration guide me to allow the piece to evolve organically and become what it wants to become.
I am sure I will continue to refine this statement in the future, howeverI feel now like I have a map for the direction of where I want to go with my art quilting instead of just wandering aimlessly creating one new piece and wandering onto the next piece.
And Something Else
One more thing on Artist Statements – when you blog and post publicly, you never know who is reading. Well in the THOUGHTS (Comments) section of the Artist Statements,Part IIpost I was surprised and quite pleased to see a detailed comments/advice from someone who professionally works with and mentors artists.
In case you did not catch this comment from that post, I am sharing a screen shot of this helpful advice a professional posted:
I am currently working on a new piece for my “Recycled Denim Stories” series and here is a little peek at “What’s on the Ironing Board” (pulled from the Design Wall temporarily as I work out the layout):
Here is a little section of one of the blocks I shared on Instagram:
The recycled denim, recycled various clothing and recycled home decor fabric in this piece is the same fabric used in my other pieces The Recycled Door and The Recycled Road.
Trust me you will never guess where I am going with this piece, it is going to have quite a bit of whimsy! Watch for more on this piece in a future What’son the Design Wall series of posts…
Featured Image credit: Meredith B., free images.com
As part of the 4th year Blog Anniversary Celebration for tierneycreates, I am re-posting the blog posts over the past 4 years that either had the most views or the most comments throughout the month of October 2017.
Interestingly, this one – What’s on My Lap – from March 30, 2017 is the top viewed post for 2017, and yesterday I just posted an update on the related art quilt (The Recycled Road) in the Improvisational Textiles blog – Pathways Exhibit. This piece just finished a month long show at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty Gallery in Bend, Oregon and now moves onto another month long exhibit at Twig’s Gallery in Sisters, Oregon.
I sure miss the piece and I am thinking about making another one for the series in the near future that requires hand stitching on my lap again. I did go ahead and start another hat to work on in the evening while watching, but I would rather be slow stitching in front of the TV.
Oh – one more thing to share – I have decided to move the closing date of comments for a chance to win a Little Wallet (or a “Little Wallette” as a friend called it) from 10/15/17 to 10/22/17 and move the random drawing to 10/23/17. Not everyone reads blog posts right away and I want to give any of my regular readers time to enter if they want. I have updated the related blog post (BlogAnniversary Celebration & Giveaway) with the new date.
I titled this post “What’s on My Lap” for two reasons: 1) The obvious: I am hand stitching the quilt, so it is on my lap of course; and 2) As a follow up to the hilarious comment from Sandy (or Cindy?) of Gray Barn Designs, (one of my favorite quilting blogs to follow) on my 03/21/17 Slow Stitching post:
Oh yes, I might do a future post titled “What’s in My Head” if Gray Barn Designs does not beat me to it! Of course that would be a very long post. Way too many design ideas going on in my head.
Update on ‘Recycled Road’
I decided to name to piece Recycled Road, even though I have not written the Artist Statement for it yet. I am having so much fun slow stitching it! (Notice in the photo below I included my shoe so you could see it really is on my lap!)
I am not looking to win any “hand quilting technique competitions” but I have fallen in love with the whole experience of hand quilting. All the fabrics in this art quilt, for our local SAQA group annual themed show, are recycled (jeans, corduroy pants, corduroy shirt, tweed jumper, curtains, home decor fabric sample, and sweat pants!) and they have a wonderful texture.
I especially love stitching through the sweat pants material. It is so soft and supple and I like to brush my hands along the fabric after stitching a section (ok Tierney are you getting weird now with your hand quilting?!?!?). Was that “oversharing”?
Interestingly, Terry the Quilting Husband’s two sisters and mother are quilters and one of his sisters is really into hand quilting. My sister-in-law Sue is a serious quilter. Like a paper piecing and hand quilting quilter. She is an expert hand quilter. I remember years ago watching her hand quilt while she was visiting us and thinking “yikes, why would anyone want to do that?”
Now I get it. I was teasing Terry the other evening as we sat in front of the TV and I hand stitched: “Terry, I have become your sister!” (In reality, the only thing I have in common with Terry’s very talented quilter sister, is that we both hand quilt now. My skills are light years from hers!)
I feel like I am on this cool ongoing journey related to my quilting, even after 17+ years of being a quilter.
(I will unveil a photo of the entire piece once I have it completed. I have to keep up the suspense…or at least the imaginary suspense…)
I do plan to return to more Farm Girl Vintage blocks in the future. Hopefully!
October heralds the 4th anniversary of the tierneycreates blog. Although a 4th anniversary it not traditionally a milestone anniversary, I did not want to wait until the 5th anniversary to start my first annual Blog Anniversary Giveaway!
Whether you are a new reader/follower or have been with me since the beginning (like perhaps the friends and family that were browbeaten into signing up to follow my blog in the early days?!?!) I so appreciate you taking time from your day to read my tierneycreates musings.
So let’s first talk about the “celebration” and then I will give you the details on the “giveaway”. (and of course I will ramble on more afterwards…)
Throughout the month of October, along with new posts, I am going to feature “the best of tierneycreates” from the past 4 years – those posts which got the most views and/or the most comments.
We’ll kick it off tomorrow with a sort of October/Halloween-esque post from October 2015 Dark Cabinet of Mystery.
As I hinted in the Postscript section of the September post Limitless Library LoveI am going to giveaway FOUR (4) of the Little Wallets I was obsessed with making in September 2017. You can view the whole lot of them in this post – Little Wallet Madness.
So here is what you need to do to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
Write a comment in the Comments/Leave a Reply section of this post with a minimum of the following three pieces of information:
Question #1 – What is your favorite color? (or “favourite colour” if you live outside the US!)
Questions #2 – What is your second favorite color (in case you’re selected & your 1st choice is gone)
Question #3 – If you are a blogger, what is your favorite thing about blogging; or if you are not a blogger – what is your favorite thing about reading/following blogs?
Oh my goodness Tierney you are asking me to write a freaking essay to try and get one of your Little Wallets (yup I know what you are thinking).
But I think it will be fun to read people’s comments about why they blog or enjoy reading blogs. The last question is meant to celebrate blogging and our blogging community!
You have until Sunday, October 22nd to add your comment to enter the giveaway. I will have Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) randomly select 4 winners on Monday October 23, 2017. No, no, no don’t try and write cute comments to TTQH in your entry, I am going to just give him a blinded list of who responded on the post with assigned numbers! He won’t even see the names to be influenced by any cute blogger names (smile).
Do not worry if you live in other countries such as Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa, India, Texas, etc., I am going to mail the Little Wallet to you wherever you live (unless of course you are an extraterrestrial – unfortunately interspace postal services are not an option at this point).
I will privately contact the winners, within our solar system, for their mailing addresses.
Speaking of Community
What is my answer to Question #3? What I love about blogging and reading/following blogs is the sense of community. It makes me smile that there seems to be a little tribe of crafters who follow each other blogs. When I use the word “crafter” I mean all creative types – whether you have a cooking blog, a paper crafting blog, a needlepoint blog, sewing blog, creative writing or poetry blog, drawing/painting blog, quilting blog, etc., etc. I love being exposed to all this darn creativity floating around the ethernet!
I started blogging, heavily encouraged by my awesome sister, in October 2013 as a vehicle for my now closed tierneycreates Etsy shop. I discovered I like blogging way more than trying to sell handmade items online.
Much thanks for my longtime readers/followers and to my newer readers!
I hope to keep “fusing textiles and smiles” (my tierneycreates tagline) on this blog for many more years!
I had to take a little break from blogging as I dealt emotionally with sad stuff going on in the world. I could not bring myself to write for a couple of days.
I did come across something very awesome – the blogger Christa Quilts (christaquilts.com) lives in Las Vegas and her local guild, Las Vegas MQGis collecting quilts to pass out to those impacted by the shooting. You can check out her post link below for more information:
This is a quick follow up to my previous post CanWe Talk About TableRunners? – I have been working on table runners and have completed 5 tops so far! I am going to quilt them and will reveal the table runners and their sizes/dimensions in a future post.
Here is a little tease – stacks of strips of pieced brightly colored fabric scraps for the table runners:
Feature photo credit: “fire in the sky” by Lucretious, free images.com
I might ramble a bit in this post, bear with me. I am trying to figure out standard lengths for table runners. I know, I know, this is a shocking and controversial topic to take on in a blog post. If you can stay awake while reading this post, I will try not to bring up too many sensitive issues about table runners, ha!
Table Runners Running Around in My Mind
Why am I thinking about table runner lengths – have I simply run out of things to think about?
Let’s back up a moment…
Recently I sold the last of my tierneycreates table runners from when I had my tierneycreates Etsy shop, to a work colleague. She remembered the table runners I had offered in my shop and wanted one. I explained I only had one left and I had laundered it as I had used it on my table. She still wanted it.
So we worked out a deal, I mailed it to her, and here is a photo of it on her table:
The photo made me smile. I love the idea of something I made being useful in someone else’s home and making them smile. This is aligned with the tierneycreates tagline of “a fusion of textiles and smiles”.
Here is the original style of table runner (quilted) I made for my Etsy shop that I could not keep in stock:
Here is one in green ombre that is not quilted that sold out in my shop also:
The one in the photo above is does not look very exciting, so you will have to just trust me that it looks better in person (and the women who bought it gave it a 5-star review on Etsy).
So this leads us back to why I am thinking about table runners lengths – because I am thinking about making up a new batch of quilted table runners (and maybe selling them on Etsy); and I am not sure what length to make them!
Do I just make up a couple in different standard lengths?!?!?
What Length, Oh What Length?
I did a lot of “googling” to try and find a guide to standard table runner lengths. I found several pages which listed info on standard table runner sizes.
What I liked about this webpage was this statement:
“A table runner should be long enough to overhang the end of your table by approximately 6 to 10 inches on each end.”
Why did this statement appeal to me? Because it means there is no way to anticipate all the different table sizes potential customers will have and that I just need to decide one standard length I will offer as well as offer a custom table size option. I am going to aim around 42″ as my standard length.
I have spent the last couple of days working on creating the strata for my scrappy table runners from a bag of Kaffe Fassett-type of fabric scraps from my collection of Challenge Bags (see post Basket of Challenges ):
I welcome your thoughts on this oh so controversial topic – table runner lengths>
If you were going to make up table runners for unknown tables, what length would you make?
One of my miniature schnauzers, Mike, was trying to take a nap with the book I was reading and I thought it was a very sweet photo:
Continuing my ongoing series, The Library Stack, and sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
Before I left for my trip to NYC for Quilters Take Manhattan (see my recent posts), a HUGE stack of library books from my library holds all became available at once:
Okay, they didn’t all become available at once from my books on hold, there were a couple I happened to pick off the New Releases Non Fiction shelves while I was at the library…I can’t help it if they deliberately tempt me when I visit my local public library!
I am nearly done with this stack and several were a good “flip-the-pages-look-book” while working on a pot of tea. The interiors in The Kinfolk Home (which I borrowed a second time from the library) and Hidden Pariswere just dreamy!
There were so many cute quilts to make in the book Charm Schooland I have many sets of 5″ charm squares just begging to become a quilt, but I have so many projects on the burner I couldn’t be tempted to make any quilts from the book. But it will be waiting for me at the library when I am ready!
The Crafters Marketand How to Make It are great resource books for people trying to start or running a craft business. The Fussy Cut Samplerhad adorable ideas for fussy cut pieced blocks.
Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Irelandwas visual colorful candy; but I own a bunch of Kaffe Fassett books and I have yet to make a quilt from one of them. I did meet Kaffe Fassett a couple of years ago when he came to speak at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters Oregon. So I had him autograph one of my ‘Kaffe’ books, but I did not confess that I have never made a quilt from one of his books! His fabrics are so beautiful and I actually have a huge collection of Kaffe Fassett fabric scraps that quilting friends have given me.
I still have a couple books to finish looking through (those I have not mentioned) and then back to the library for everyone!
No work on my next art quilt yet, but I did have a colleague inquire about purchasing one of my tierneycreates table runners from when I had my tierneycreates Etsy shop. I had one more left and sold it to her.
This prompted me to play with the idea in my mind of re-opening my tierneycreates Etsy shop for the holiday season, but I have not decided yet. I did though decide to work on a couple new table runners, beginning with one I had started but never finished – now it is finished.
I have a stash of tierneycreates sew on labels from when I had my Etsy shop, so it was great to use them again:
My employer is having a holiday craft fair in Portland in November and I am also sort of toying with the idea of participating in that. It would be my first time to sell at a craft fair.
As mentioned in recent previous posts, I have been making little wallets from my fabric scraps.
Endless wallets. Cutting out fabric from templates in the evening while watching TV and then engaging in marathon assembling and sewing.
58+ wallets later, I am ready to share photos of the wallets.
First here are 55 of them (two I recently I gave away as gifts and one I kept for myself):
An attempt at closer up photos of the wallets:
I had so much fun rummaging through my boxes of fabric scraps and putting together various combinations. Here are photos of a couple of the insides of the little wallets to demonstrate some of the color and texture combinations I used for the inside pockets:
Here are some of my favorite little wallets from my little wallet assembly madness:
I plan to do a “Little Wallet” giveaway to celebrate the 4th anniversary of my blog in October so stay tuned. They are perfect for business cards, a place to keep punch cards (like frequent customer cards) or to use as a wallet.
Looking at the feature photo for this post you are likely thinking: “Wow Tierney, you have truly run out of things to talk about on your blog. You are now talking about backyard sheds?!?!?”
No, this is actually crafting/quilting related post. Quilt photography related as a matter of fact.
I would love your thoughts/ideas on the best way to make the rear of my new 8′ x 10′ backyard shed work for photographing textile art.
But first, let me share some background.
I am a recovering terrible photographer. My photography skills only approved over the past couple of years because they had to – if I ever wanted to have a sale on my tierneycreates Etsy shop I had to learn to take clear and alluring photos.
My Etsy shop is now closed but it was a great way to force me to become a better photographer.
In order to become a better…well okay, to become a less-terrible photographer, I had to learn some basic photography techniques. One of the first things I learned was the power of using natural light and the concept of “The Golden Hour”.
The Golden Hour and Soft Diffused Light
Here is a wonderful description of “The Golden Hour” from photographymad.com:
The golden hour, sometimes called the “magic hour”, is roughly the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset, although the exact duration varies between seasons. During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun that so many of us are used to shooting in.
This type of light produces less contrast, reducing the chances of losing parts of your subject in strong shadows or blown-out highlights. The warm glow adds a pleasing feel to the scene, and the long shadows help to pick out details, adding texture and depth to the image.
As an added benefit, there are generally fewer people around at dawn and dusk than there are at other times of the day, giving you a chance to capture your images in relative peace.
The Golden Hour was wonderful for photographing the handmade miniature kimonos I used to sell on my tierneycreates Etsy shop. I also discovered it was wonderful for photographing quilts. The mid-day sun occasionally works for some large quilts but for art quilts, they seem to photograph better in diffuse light.
If you are taking your quilts photo outside, keep in mind that stark daylight isn’t a great idea as it creates strong shadows and it is just too harsh. Filtered light, like dappled light through a tree’s leaves or even the light found during a cloudy day is softer. This type of light will help you capture your quilt’s beauty more easily.
Whether it is “The Golden Hour” or mid-day with dappled light, my handmade items always appear to photograph better in natural light instead of indoor artificial light.
So when our backyard Costco resin/Rubbermaid Shed’s roof caved in from all the intense Central Oregon snowfall this past Winter and was recently replaced with a real wood built-on-site shed, I knew this was an opportunity to have a standard place outdoor place to photograph quilts.
Whether photographing quilts and quilted wallhanging for my former tierneycreates Etsy shop or photographing art quilts for show entires, I have discovered that I get better images if the quilt is hung/mounted vertically and I can photograph it from a standing position. Although I have relentlessly tried, I just cannot get a good quality photograph of a quilt when it is on the ground and I am standing over it.
I just have to figure out how to set up the back of the shed as a quilt photography area that allows me the flexibility to hang/mount quilts of different dimension for their photo shoot.
I would appreciate your ideas!
Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest Schnauzer Snips blog post – Schnauzer Quilton a quilt I do not think I have shared before on my blog.
Oh, and in case you are curious, here is a photo of the front of the new backyard shed:
I love seeing where people to create and in case you would like to see where I create, I have added a page to my blog tierneycreates Studio Tour where I will post photos of the latest version of my tiny little tierneycreates studio. More on this later in this post.
As part of my ongoing journey to curate my life (see post category: My MinimalismJourney ), I am working on letting go of more of my crafting related magazines.
I have a stash of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine from 2008 – 2014 (magazine is no longer in publication). This publication featured “artist studio porn”: essays and articles about professional and hobby artists’ studios, tips on designing and organizing your studio, and endless photos of studio layouts. The tagline for the magazine was “inspiration & ideas for your art and craft space”.
There are so many online resources (aka Pinterest) on studio organization ideas, I do not need these magazines. I can let them go, donate them to my beloved local Humane Society Thrift Shop and let them go to someone else to enjoy.
But, I wanted to read through each one, one more time, before donating them.
When I got to the Winter 2010 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine I noticed it featured a collection of tips by various crafters/artists on small space tips.
Recently I re-organized by studio to try and make the best of the small space. I thought I would share some of my favorite tips from this issue from the various studio tours in case my readers find them useful.
Small Studio Tips
In Her Shoes by Catherine Thursby
Get a space of your own, even if it has to be small
Make it personal to encourage your creativity
Have a place “off-site” to keep bulky or seldom used materials
Snowman Season by Sue Pelletier
In a narrow space, set up tables end to end so you can have several projects going at once
A dartboard makes a graphic yet compact inspiration board
Remember that if you want studio space badly enough, you will find a way
The Glitter Fairy by Laurie Davis
Use shelves with cubbies to hold and display rubber stamps
Use under-the-counter space as much as possible
Use stackable containers to hold small items
In a Nutshell – A small space dedicated to creativity by Janice Avellana
Keep supplies out in the open so the work is ready when you are
Disguise a small, open studio behind a tall bookcase
For flexible organization, use painted pegboard
Room of Requirement by Liza Julien
Maximize small space by going vertical with ladder-style shelving
Store papers suspended from pant hangers on a wooden dowel
Install hooks on table legs, the sides of shelving – anywhere that’s handy and out of the way
Studio in the Sky by Victoria Grobels
Store supplies in baskets hung from the ceiling
Make your worktable an inspiration board, too, by slipping photos under a clear, plastic mat
Make a small space seem bigger by positioning it near a beautiful view
The Love Shack by Roberta Philbrick
Use “regular” furniture to hold art supplies
Color-coordinated caddies keep small items organized, portable, and attractive
A glass-topped table cleans up easily and looks polished in a small living/creating space
Strategic Design by Michelle Spaw
For an eclectic approach to organizing, try using non-conventional items such as stackable trays, bento boxes, and takeout-style containers
Removing the doors to your closet is as strong incentive to keep it tidy. Because the contents are always visible, you will be motivated to maintain order and curb the clutter
When purchasing storage boxes, think of color and pattern as a way to identify what you’re storing
Beaddazzled by Linda Dolack
Glue a sample of what’s in a drawer to the front so you can find and retrieve the object quickly
Use simple skirting to hide clutter stored below counters
Install shelving above windows to hold books and display art work out of the way
Where Whimsy Reigns by Elizabeth Holcombe Fedorko
Use collectibles as storage containers that can be displayed
Attach a folding table to the wall: pull it up to work, down to put it out of the way
No matter how small your space, make room for pets!
Today we are traveling home from Fort Worth, Texas. Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)’s nephew got married in a beautiful ceremony at the Hyder House in Fort Worth. I will have photos and stories to share in an upcoming post(s) about the Hyder House and a tour of a Fort Worth area quilt shop. I got to go fabric shopping with three of my awesome quilter sister-in-laws – 2 from NY and 1 from Texas!
TTQH and I are sitting in PDX (Portland airport) awaiting our plane to take us back to Central Oregon and I happened to check my e-mail. I discovered a recent e-mail from an Etsy customer that made my heart very warm and happy.
I made my tierneycreates Etsy shop inactive in late 2016, nearly 3 years after opening it in December 2013. I miss the interactions with customers but it was too much to keep up with as I work full time (and I would be very hungry if I tried to live off my Etsy shop). So I was very surprised when I had an e-mail on an Etsy Conversation (how Etsy customers communicate with Etsy sellers) from a sale in January 2015!
I used to collect special edition Barbies and the vintage ones I occasionally sold on Etsy. The sale that the customer was contacting me about occurred nearly a year and a half later ago and was for this Little Debbie Barbie:
Here is what the customer said in her Etsy Conversation:
This is a long overdue thank you – the doll was beautiful and the woman who received it loved it. Her husband, who had passed away drove for Little Debbie and so this was a wonderful keepsake. Thanks again!
What a fantastic surprise – I have a huge smile on my face knowing that something that no longer brought me joy was able to bring someone else some major joy!
This was a great lesson that: It is NEVER TOO LATE to say THANK YOU!
The Dewey Hop/Feisty Froggy has accused the tierneycreates blog of being “versatile, informative, fun, and original“!
In order accept this award, I must list the rules (slightly altered by Dewey Hop/Feisty Froggy per her confession, ha) :
You have to thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog!
Nominate bloggers of your choice.
Link the nominees and inform them about their nomination.
Share some facts about yourself.
I (like Dewey Hop/Feisty Froggy) will do my best to nominate people who really are versatile, informative, fun, and original. Bloggers, please don’t feel that you have to participate if you don’t want to, but you do deserve this honor whether you participate or not.
(NOTE: I would definitely have nominated Dewey Hop but then this would be a circular nomination, ha!)
I follow many wonderful blogs and for this nomination I tried to focus on those with a very wide ranges of topics and/or uniqueness.
SHARING SOME FACTS (QUITE RANDOM FACTS):
I constantly listen to audiobooks. I am never without an audiobook queued on my iPhone and usually I have two audiobooks going at once. Currently I am listening to Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William McRaven (U.S Navy Retired), which I will discuss in a future post.
I love dogs’ noses. When not kissing the noses of my two rescue miniature schnauzers, I am admiring other dogs’ noses. Cats noses are pretty cool too.
For most of my life (age 11 forward) I have loved horror films. Classic horror films (Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf-man…anything with Christopher Lee or Bella Lugosi); haunted house horror films; slasher-films, Japanese-style horror (The Grudge, The Ring), and silly horror films (like Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.). Then, suddenly about 6 months ago, I stopped enjoying most horror films and stopped watching the genre (except for the occasional classic horror film). It just seemed like there was too much horror already in the real world, I did not want to watch fictional horror on film anymore.
A couple years ago I had decided to become a runner without listening to my sister who said I needed to get orthotics and good sneakers. I ended up with Plantar Fasciitis and a Morton’s Neuromaon my feet and had to wear a walking boot for several months. After my rehabilitation, I now stick with walking. I never really appreciated my feet until they were not working very well. Now I treat them very well – custom orthotics, high quality sneakers and shoes, and daily foot exercises to avoid a return of Plantar Fasciitis (or have to get another one of those icky foot injections to treat the Morton’s Neuroma).
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I are craft brews/microbrews aficionados. I never liked beer until we lived in Seattle and we met people who introduced us to craft brewing. In 2004 we traveled to Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Denmark on a beer tasting and friend visiting vacation. During this trip, TTQH, who is also a Military History buff specializing in the Napoleonic Era, got to see Waterloo. This was definitely one of those “Bucket List” items for TTQH. To get to Waterloo battleground and museums, we traveled from Brussels via train and then bus; and I had to pull out my very rusty high school French to get the last leg of the journey to Waterloo (no one spoke English on the local bus)!
In my 08/25/16 post, Artist Statements, I shared my struggle with writing Artist Statements for art quilts. In my more recent (03/30/17) post, What’s on My Lap, I again mentioned my struggle with writing Artist Statements, and Mary ofZippy Quiltsshared the following:
I could not turn down a suggestion for a blog post!
In my first post in August 2016 on Artist Statements I only whined about having to write an Artist Statement and then shared my completed statement for a piece that was being shown at the 2016 Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF).
This time I thought I would do something more than whining!
So I spent time researching information about writing Artist Statements and used that information to write the Artist Statement for this piece below – The Recycled Road:
Here are the basic details on The Recycled Road, I will use these later in the post to write my Artist Statement for this piece:
It is made from recycled materials: denim jeans, corduroy pants, corduroy shirt, curtains, sweat pants, home decor fabric scraps, and a tweed jumper
The art quilt is the second in quilt in my series The Recyclings (yesterday I decided the name of my series)
I hand quilted this quilt to give it an organic feel
This quilt was inspired by the Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group annual exhibit theme “Pathways”.
The piece measures 18″ x 40″
I hand quilted the quilt to give it an organic feel
General Artist Statement vs. Artist Statement About A Work
A bit of research reinforced what I heard in the art quilting community – that there are basically two types of Artist Statements: 1) A general statement about you as an Artist; or 2) a statement about a specific piece of artwork.
General Artist Statement
A couple of years ago at one of our Central Oregon SAQA group meetings, we broke into small groups to do an exercise to work on our (General) Artist Statements, the about our art and ourselves as an artist.
I was overwhelmed by this exercise for several reasons: 1) Our Central Oregon SAQA group contains many real textile artists and art quilters – I mean nationally and internationally known artists – I was completely intimidated; 2) I was a new art quilter, recently transitioned from traditional quilting to dabbling in improvisational art; and 3) I was not sure if I could really consider myself an “Artist”.
Several experienced art quilters in the group shared with me examples of their professional artist Artist Statements, which I politely accepted and graciously thanked them for sharing, but it only intimidated me more (it was a “deer in headlights” experience).
A couple months later, I realized I was just not ready to write my General Artist Statement, and that was okay. I had not established what I feel is a solid and cohesive body of textile art. Currently I am working towards this and in the near future I hope to write my General Artist Statement.
I found some great resources online for writing General Artist Statements that I will use in the future, here are the links:
One of my favorite discoveries on advice on writing General Artist Statements was the article “The Artist Statement & Why They Mostly Suck” on the website bmoreart.com. I loved this quote:
“A good artist statement should enhance what a viewer sees in your work and provide a concise handle to approach a visual piece. It should be accurate, well-written, and correctly punctuated. It also should be specific to your work and offer unique insight into your process.”
Jean Wells Keenan, textile artist, has a wonderful example of a General Artist Statement on her website jeanwellsquilts.com:
Artist Statement About A Specific Work
It is my goal/dream someday to write a well-crafted General Statement about my body of work and how I approach my art, someday. For now I am just trying to write an Artist Statement about a specific art quilt.
So I searched online for inspiration on writing Artist Statements specific to a piece of work. At ArtsyShark.com I found these helpful tips in the article: “How to Write an Amazing Artist Statement” that could be applied to either General Artist Statements or an Artist Statement on a specific piece of art:
Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing your artist statement:
The ideal length is one to three paragraphs.
It should be in first-person.
You should not tell your audience how to feel or what to look at.
You want to inform your viewer but not overly explain things – leave room for the viewer to make his or her own connections.
Ask yourself: Is this writing specific to my work or can it be about anyone’s?
Don’t use phrases like: I hope, My work aspires to, My goal is, The Viewer will, These paintings (do something).
Remember: The key to an amazing statement is to write A LOT, then edit, edit, edit. You should go through at least 3 drafts. This is not something you can do in an evening – it’s going to take time, so find the best time of day that works for you to write, such as over morning coffee. Write in a way that feels comfortable – type or write long hand.
My favorite guideline I discovered online for writing an artist statement for a specific piece of art, was from the website hysterically named – Getting Your Sh*t Together: making life better for artists (gyst-ink.com). Here are highlights from this websites had the following Artist Statement Guidelines:
An Artist Statement is a general introduction to your work, a body of work, or a specific project.
It should open with the work’s basic ideas in an overview of two or three sentences or a short paragraph and then go into detail about how these issues or ideas are presented in the work.
You can include some of the following points:
Why you have created the work and its history.
Your overall vision.
What you expect from your audience and how they will react.
How your current work relates to your previous work.
Where your work fits in with current contemporary art.
How your work fits in with the history of art practice.
How your work fits into a group exhibition, or a series of projects you have done.
Sources and inspiration for your images.
Artists you have been influenced by or how your work relates to other artists’ work. Other influences.
How this work fits into a series or longer body of work.
How a certain technique is important to the work.
Your philosophy of art making or of the work’s origin.
The final paragraph should recapitulate the most important points in the statement.
Ask yourself “What are you trying to say in the work?” “What influences my work?” “How do my methods of working (techniques, style, formal decisions) support the content of my work?” “What are specific examples of this in my work” “Does this statement conjure up any images?”
Consider – Who is your audience? What level are you writing for? What will your statement be used for? What does your statement say about you as an artist and a professional?
Okay, Ready, Write (The Draft)
I could have spent all day online looking at examples of Artist Statements, but now it is time to write my draft statement for the piece The Recycled Road:
The Recycled Road (2017)
18″ W x 40″ L
Recycled denim, corduroy, cotton jersey, wool and rayon.
Designed, pieced and hand quilted by Tierney Davis Hogan
Artist Statement (draft)
The Recycled Road is the second piece in my series The Recyclings, small art quilts from recycled materials.
Inspired by the theme of “Pathways” for the 2017 Central Oregon SAQA group annual art quilt exhibit, this “pathway” begins at the orange corduroy boundary between the multicolor “road” and the plain gray “road”. This “road” continues beyond the top edge of the quilt; as it has no boundaries beyond the limits we set on our own imagination. The pathway in this quilt represents one of many roads traveled by our creative spirit.
Using improvisational piecing techniques, I created this piece from all recycled materials (denim jeans, corduroy shirt, corduroy pants, tweed jumper, sweat pants, curtains and home decor fabric scraps. Seeking a bit of adventure in working with recycled clothing, I used an old pair of faded and threadbare gray sweat pants to create the edges of the road. I hand quilted the piece to give it an organic feel. Hand quilting the recycled fabrics was an unique multilayered and meditative tactile experience.
Most of the fabrics were not reusable as clothing or home decor and were destined to end up in a landfill. Reimagining recycled clothing and other materials into art quilts satisfies my desire to honor the environment and make art that is eco-conscious. Ending up in an art quilt is a better outcome than ending up in a landfill.
Okay, so now that I have written my draft Artist Statement for The Recycled Road, I am going to let it simmer overnight and see how I feel about it in the morning.
(Thank goodness I have one favorite series that is quilting related, especially when this is allegedly a quilter’s blog…)
I remember a sense of joy and whimsy as I wrote the posts related to the “Fruits of My Neighborhood” and “Quilt Retreat Weekend 2016”. I remember much reflection on where I used to be and where I am now in my life journey, when I wrote the series of posts on “My Minimalism Journey”.
When writing a blog post occasionally I wonder just how much to reveal about myself, to put out there in a public forum. Perhaps the readers of the “Shameless Thrifting” post are still reeling from the discovery of my childhood obsession with Barry Manilow!
Onward to 2017!
To those who followed me in 2016 (or 2015, 2014, 2013), thanks for reading my musings! Hoping to keep it interesting in 2017 (or to continue to be something you can read before bed to make you pleasantly drowsy!)