Artists Statements, Part III (Telling Stories)

The Struggle to Make a “Statement”

In these two previous posts Artist Statements and Artist Statements, Part II, I shared my struggles with writing Artist Statements for a specific art quilt and the huge and intimidating challenge of writing an overall Artist Statement for my body of work as (a wannabe) an art quilter.

Here is an excerpt from the post Artist Statements, Part II, about my struggle:

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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).

Telling Stories

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:

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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:

  1. Color Stories
  2. Recycled Denim Stories
  3. Stories My Father Told Me
  4. Reinvented Stories
  5. Library Stories
  6. Other Stories

On the Tierney Davis Hogan page of the Improvisational Textiles website (the art quilting website I share with my friend Betty Anne Guadalupe) I’ve organized my art quilts into these six series and I provide an introductory paragraph/overview on each series.

Now that I organized my work into these series and decided where I want to go with my art quilting, I was able to finally write a general/overall Artist Statement.

My overall Artist Statement (which is also found on the Tierney Davis Hogan page) is:

“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, however I 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 II post 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:

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Postscript

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):

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Here is a little section of one of the blocks I shared on Instagram:

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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’s on the Design Wall series of posts…


Featured Image credit: Meredith B., free images.com

What’s on My Lap (March 2017)

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. 

Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer is also celebrating her 4th year Blog Anniversary and she has a post It’s My Blog Anniversary Too in honor of this occasion.

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 (Blog Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway) with the new date.


Re-Post: What’s on My Lap (March 30, 2017)

This is a follow up to my post Slow Stitching and a part of my continuing series: What’s on the Design Wall, featuring my latest projects in progress. 

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:

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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!)

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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…)

Postscript

I do plan to return to more Farm Girl Vintage blocks in the future. Hopefully!

 

Blog Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway

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…)

The Celebration

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.

The Giveaway

As I hinted in the Postscript section of the September post Limitless Library Love I 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).

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Hope this photo gets you excited about essay writing – ha!

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).

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Image credit: BSK, free images.com

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!


Postscript

Las Vegas

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 MQG is collecting quilts to pass out to those impacted by the shooting. You can check out her post link below for more information:

CATCHING MY BREATH AND CALL FOR #QUILTSFORVEGAS

Table Runners

This is a quick follow up to my previous post Can We Talk About Table Runners? – 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:

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Feature photo credit: “fire in the sky” by Lucretious, free images.com

Can We Talk About Table Runners?

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:

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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:

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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.

Then I came across this webpage – Table Runner Dimensions

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.

Table Runner-ing

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 ):

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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? 


Postscript

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:

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The Library Stack

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:

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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 Paris were just dreamy!

There were so many cute quilts to make in the book Charm School and 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 Market and How to Make It are  great resource books for people trying to start or running a craft business. The Fussy Cut Sampler had adorable ideas for fussy cut pieced blocks.

Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Ireland was 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!


Postscript

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.

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I have a stash of tierneycreates sew on labels from when I had my Etsy shop, so it was great to use them again:

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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.

Till next time,

Fusing Textiles & Smiles

 

Little Wallet Madness

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):

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An attempt at closer up photos of the wallets:

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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:

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Here are some of my favorite little wallets from my little wallet assembly madness:

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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.

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The Photoshoot Shed: Please Give Me Your Ideas

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.

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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.

APQS, long-arm quilt machine manufacturer, has an article on their website, apqs.com, on How to Photograph Your Quilt which states:

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!


Postscript

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest Schnauzer Snips blog post – Schnauzer Quilt on 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:

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Tiny Studio Tips

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 Minimalism Journey ), I am working on letting go of more of my crafting related magazines.

Studios Magazine

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.

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Working though re-reading the pile with my tea each morning

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

  1. Get a space of your own, even if it has to be small
  2. Make it personal to encourage your creativity
  3. Have a place “off-site” to keep bulky or seldom used materials

Snowman Season by Sue Pelletier

  1. In a narrow space, set up tables end to end so you can have several projects going at once
  2. A dartboard makes a graphic yet compact inspiration board
  3. Remember that if you want studio space badly enough, you will find a way

The Glitter Fairy by Laurie Davis

  1. Use shelves with cubbies to hold and display rubber stamps
  2. Use under-the-counter space as much as possible
  3. Use stackable containers to hold small items

In a Nutshell – A small space dedicated to creativity by Janice Avellana

  1. Keep supplies out in the open so the work is ready when you are
  2. Disguise a small, open studio behind a tall bookcase
  3. For flexible organization, use painted pegboard

Room of Requirement by Liza Julien

  1. Maximize small space by going vertical with ladder-style shelving
  2. Store papers suspended from pant hangers on a wooden dowel
  3. 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

  1. Store supplies in baskets hung from the ceiling
  2. Make your worktable an inspiration board, too, by slipping photos under a clear, plastic mat
  3. Make a small space seem bigger by positioning it near a beautiful view

The Love Shack by Roberta Philbrick

  1. Use “regular” furniture to hold art supplies
  2. Color-coordinated caddies keep small items organized, portable, and attractive
  3. A glass-topped table cleans up easily and looks polished in a small living/creating space

Strategic Design by Michelle Spaw

  1. For an eclectic approach to organizing, try using non-conventional items such as stackable trays, bento boxes, and takeout-style containers
  2. 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
  3. When purchasing storage boxes, think of color and pattern as a way to identify what you’re storing

Beaddazzled by Linda Dolack

  1. Glue a sample of what’s in a drawer to the front so you can find and retrieve the object quickly
  2. Use simple skirting to hide clutter stored below counters
  3. Install shelving above windows to hold books and display art work out of the way

Where Whimsy Reigns by Elizabeth Holcombe Fedorko

  1. Use collectibles as storage containers that can be displayed
  2. Attach a folding table to the wall: pull it up to work, down to put it out of the way
  3. No matter how small your space, make room for pets!

As you will see on my page tierneycreates Studio Tour I followed Ms. Fedorko’s tip #3 and made room for pets (well actually my manager Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer):

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Sassy hanging out in “cave”

If you have a small studio like I do (or a dream larger studio) I hope you find some of these tips useful!

 

It’s Never Too Late to Say “Thank You”

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:

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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!


Feature photo credit: LittleDebbie.com

Versatile Blogger Award

The tierneycreates blog has been honored with another blogging award (see post Thank You for the Blogging Awards). Thanks so much to Dewey Hop: Feisty Froggy Reads Through the Library for the nomination!

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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) :

THE RULES:

  • 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.

NOMINEES:

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):

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Neuroma on 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).
  5. 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)!
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Lion’s Mound, Waterloo (Photo Credit: European Traveler)

Thanks again to Dewey Hop/Feisty Froggy at Dewey Hop: Feisty Froggy Reads Through the Library for nominating tierneycreates: a fusion of textiles & smiles.

Artist Statements, Part II

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 of Zippy Quilts shared the following:

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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:

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The Recycled Road (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan

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:

ArtStudy.org Sample Artist Statement

Creativity in Action Art League Blog – 8 Artist Statement We Love

ArtBusiness.com – Your Artist Statement: Explaining the Unexplainable

Agora Gallery – How to Write An Artist Statement: Tips From The Art Experts

“How To Write An Artist’s Statement”, Contemporary Quilt Art Association

10 tips for writing your artist statement, TextileArtist.org

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:

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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:

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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.


Feature image credit: BSK, free images.com 

Favorite tierneycreates posts of 2016

I am inspired by several year end summaries on other blogs I follow, to share a list of the of the posts I most enjoyed writing in 2016 on my tierneycreates blog.

It turns out the top three, are really three series of posts on different topics:

  • My Minimalism Journey
  • Fruits of My Neighborhood
  • Quilt Retreat Weekend May 2016

Here are those series of posts.

My Minimalism Journey

  1. My Minimalism Journey: Part I
  2. My Minimalism Journey: Part II
  3. My Minimalism Journey: Part III

Fruits of My Neighborhood

  1. The Fruits of My Neighborhood
  2. The Fruits of My Neighborhood, Part II
  3. The Fruits of My Neighborhood, Part III

Quilt Retreat Weekend May 2016

  1. The Road to the Retreat
  2. Sew N Go Quilt Retreat, in Pictures
  3. Quilt Retreat Weekend: The Projects
  4. Quilt Retreat May 2016: The Tools & The Stories

(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”.

Honorable Mention

Shameless “Thrifting”

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!)

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And the winner is…

As promised, today I will reveal my decision on which of three new business card finalists I was considering; and asked for your votes on in the post New Business Card Options (please vote for your favorite).


The Options

To recap, there were the three options:

Option #1

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Option #2

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Option #3

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The Poll Results

Here are the results from the poll:

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As you can see above, with 16 votes of the 28 total votes, Option #1 was the winner of the poll.


The Decision

Option #1 won the poll, but alas, it was not the winner of my heart. As much as I loved the graphics on card #1 it kept feeling like that business card for a tailor or seamstress.

I so appreciated all the comments and votes, but I really connected with several comments in regards to Option #3 and decided to go with the vertical business card.

I am only ordering the smallest order (100 cards) as I love the idea from several comments to eventually go with a business card that features my art.

2017 I am going to focus on creating more of my textile art so I have a large selection of works to choose from someday – ha!


Postscript

I am currently listening to the audiobook Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck (2006).

Although some of the material seems dated (the book was published in 2006), I am really enjoying the audiobook. A lot of it reminds me of the audiobook, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016) that I discussed in several posts, most recently in the 7/22/2016 post A “Gritty Bad#ss”?

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

The book focuses on a discussion of the “Fixed Mindset” vs. the “Growth Mindset”.

I am about a 1/3rd way through listening to the audiobook and I came across a great quote by the author on how some people need to feel praised, “worshipped”, and admired by others:

If you feel a need to be surrounded by worshippers, go to church. – Carol S. Dweck

I must admit at times in my life I sought praise from others, a lot. I cannot change how I behaved in the past but it is giving me a lot to think about for the future!


Feature photo credit: dchappel, free images.com

New Business Card Options (please vote for your favorite)

Let’s take a break from my series of posts on holiday decorations and my recent visit to Seattle. I would love your vote on three new business card options I am considering from Vistaprint (yup, the well marketed/advertised inexpensive business card option).

Since we have transitioned from The Wardrobe Meets the Wall to Inspirational Textiles (see post Improvisational Textiles) I need an updated business card. After playing with endless templates, I have narrowed it my options down to three finalists.

Take a look at the three options below and please cast your vote in the poll below. You don’t need to post a comment to vote but you are welcome of course to also comment.

Please note: 1) The final fonts I am going to use, and how the text is spaced, are not finalized; 2) Since there could always be spammers out there in “blogging-land” I have left off my phone number and e-mail address but they will be in place in the final version; and 3) Ignore the dashed lines at the edge of each card, these are from the Vistaprint template editing and will not appear on the final card.)

I will review the final numbers on Sunday and let you know the top vote and my final decision – thank you!


Option 1

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Option 2

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Option 3

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Please select one of the options below – thanks!

What’s on the Design…Bed

As sort of a follow up to yesterday’s post Terry the Quilting Husband – Update – as I mentioned – Terry the Quilting Husband is hogging the design wall in the hallway.

I like one of my blogging buddies, Claire of knitNkwilt, I had to use the “Design Bed”, and lay out my latest quilt on our bed.

I admit, I am spoiled. I am friends with an incredible inspirational textile artist and generous person, Betty Anne. When we got together for a sew day (see post Pinwheel Piecing Party), she was cleaning out her UFOs (if you are not a quilter, please see the post Lexicon of Quilters’ Acronyms) and she gave me 12 – 12.5 x 12.5 inch blocks she pieced with beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics. They were from a “Block-of-the-Month” club she belonged to and she was not interested in making them into a quilt.

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example of one of the 12 blocks I was gifted, on the background fabric they were to be set in

At first I put these block in my “UFO” pile but yesterday I felt suddenly motivated to just make them into a quilt.

I used one of the sampler quilt layouts in the book The Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson (yep, this was one of the books from my posting The Library (Mega) Stack, I returned the book to the library but borrowed it again…when I can justify another book purchase, I am probably going to buy it…)

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Photo credit: amazon.com

Here are the 12 blocks on the “Design Bed” waiting for me to sew the rows together. Then I will bring the quilt to Betty Anne on our next Sew Day for her to do the long-arm quilting on the quilt (hope she does not get any ideas and suddenly want her blocks back, ha!).

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all bad photography/bad lighting disclaimers apply

I set the fabric in a gold Peppered Cotton (a shot cotton type fabric). Peppered Cottons by Pepper Cory, Studio E Fabrics are a lovely line of fabrics.

I used to sell 8 beautiful fabric selections from this line in my tierneycreates Etsy shop. However, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to stop selling fabric and pulled the yardage, fat quarter sets and jelly rolls from my Etsy shop.

My decision was based on that I did not enjoy cutting yardage for people (I will never own a quilt shop) and I do not want to compete with quilt shops. (You can read from the tierneycreates archives, my first attempt to cut “fat quarter sets” – Adventures in Retail).

So, no judgement on people who sell fabric online, it was just not something I wanted to do any longer.

My plan is to focus my Etsy shop on handmade items. It is called “tierneycreates” after all. Recently, however, Tierney has not been doing any creating for the Etsy shop but has some ideas for 2017 and beyond.

For now Tierney will keep working through her personal UFO backlog (and obviously accept donations from other quilters’ UFO backlogs, ha!).

From the Archives: “Getting Ready to Etsy”

Currently I am working on a traditionally-pieced quilt (a sampler) for a wedding gift, in a less traditional palette. I will share my “adventures in traditional quilt making” on my next post. 

Today, I am doing some clean up on my Textile Adventures page of my blog and wanted to remove this series of updates from 2013 on starting my tierneycreates Etsy shop (GETTING READ TO ETSY PART I AND PART II) and move then instead into a blog post.

I am considering making my tierneycreates Etsy shop inactive as I have not put a lot of energy into it and not sure if I want to keep renewing my listings (I have stopped renewing any currently expiring listings). I will share more about this in a future post, I am finding my heart is not completely into retail (especially since I work a busy and intense full-time job in the healthcare industry). 


Getting Ready to Etsy: Part I – October 2013

My journey on my “Textile Adventure” takes me closer to my dream – a tierneycreates store on Etsy, the online handmade marketplace.  This part of my journey feels scary as I have never sold my creations before. I have done a couple commission quilts but I have never sold to strangers. Of course those I sell to will no longer be “strangers”, the will be people who have a little bit of Tierney in their life or their friends life through owning one of my creations.  This is very exciting. I have made quilts and other textile gifts for close friends and family over the years, and the thought of the opportunity to share what I love with an extended group is exciting. Of course I have to charge them to support the cost of materials and continued creations!

As a road map to my journey’s destination, I am reading a wonderful book: How to Sell Your Crafts Online by Derrick Sutton, St.. Martin’s Press, 2011.

I am going to start with offering two category of items: 1) my handmade mini kimonos; and 2) my international Barbie collection (which I can sell under the Vintage category of Etsy). Below are some photos of the kimonos which measure approximately 6 inches x 7 inches, are made from my cotton Asian fabric collection, and will come with a chopsticks and string for hanging.


Getting Ready to Etsy: Part II – November 2013

Here an update on my tierneycreates Etsy shop adventure:

My sister encouraged me to have my Etsy store up by Thanksgiving weekend. I was very excited about the original logo I designed until I tried to make it work as my Etsy store – “tierneycreates” logo. It did not work, like not at all! I have redesigned my logo in a “late-night-logo-session” (see below) and I have uploaded it to Etsy for my store banner – yah!

Now if I could just get my items posted onto the shop. What has been holding me back is PHOTOGRAPHY. I am coming to grips with the fact I suspect I am the world’s worse photographer. Even with the assistance of a guide on digital photography, I am still struggling. I want potential buyers to have a clear, true to life image of my store items. I have already re-photographed the kimonos twice. If I were to try to make my living off photography, I would starve to death.

The tierneycreates logo has been created

I needed a logo for my upcoming Etsy Store and for my tierneycreates business cards. It looks a while but I finally came up with a logo that I like.

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 Recovering from a “business card disaster”

A couple of months ago I tried to design tierneycreates business cards. I thought they looked awesome online as I ordered them from Vistaprint. I anxiously awaited my shipment in the mail. When they arrived, my excitement was quickly deflated – I had made a bad decision in regards to text color and backgound and except for the “tierneycreates” part, they were unreadable.  So I was stuck with a box of 250 useless cards. I did give some to friends as a joke, asking them “now what’s wrong with this business card?”  (Answer: you cannot read my name or any of the contact information!)

I am an avid recycler and I recently found a way to reuse my disaster – turn them into tags for products I sell at my Etsy store! They have been cropped, holes added, and turned into tags!

from business card disaster to handy tag!
From business card disaster to handy tags!

 

Knitting!

And now for something completely different…  – Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Let’s take a break from quilting and sewing and talk about KNITTING!

I have always wanted to learn to knit, I thought it was magical. My grandmother taught me how to crochet and crocheting is cool but there was something more austere and glamorous about knitting, not quite sure how to put it into words. Maybe it was because I did not know how to do it and it seemed so difficult that made it so ethereal…

15 years ago a I learned how to knit but I only learned how to make knitted scarves, I was scared to try anything beyond a scarf. After learning how to knit I became completely enamored with wool yarns. As a crocheter I had made numerous afghans with inexpensive acrylic blend yarns. I could not imagine buying expensive yarn for crocheting.

One of my first exposures to “high-end” yarns was at a yarn shop in British Columbia on a trip to Victoria. When we lived in Seattle, WA, Canada was not that far away and we would frequently go to Vancouver, BC. Every couple of years we would take the ferry from Northern Washington State to Victoria, BC for the weekend.

One trip to Victoria, we stopped at the Beehive Wool Shop. My first time to a yarn speciality shop, I was overwhelmed – so many colors and textures, and yarn options, and patterns, and, and, and (I nearly get short of breath and dizzy just thinking of that first experience).

They were so friendly and welcoming at the Beehive Wool Shop, especially when I told them I was a new knitter. It was as if I had joined a new family – The Knitting Family.

Displayed at the shop I saw the most beautiful scarf – a ribbed knit scarf made with this beautiful burnt orange yarn (I seem to have always had a thing for orange, see my posts Embracing Orange and Orange). I figured this scarf was way too advanced for me – I had only mastered straight knitting and straight purling, no combinations!

The kind and very encouraging shopkeeper at the Beehive Wool Shop told me that I could do it, found me the yarn, then gave me an impromptu lesson on how to create ribbing. She also wrote down the simple pattern for me.

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Here is the completed scarf – it is my most favorite scarf of all time (and I made it – yay)!

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Having conquered a semi difficult scarf, I set my dreams on someday knitting my own cap/hat.

Then 9 years later, while living in Central Oregon, my friend who is a very experienced knitter, knitted me my first handmade cap! Oh my goodness – I was so in love with this hat that his hat became my “security blanket” (remember when you were young and you had a “bankie” that you took everywhere with you?) and once the weather got slightly cold enough it was time to wear my hat!

Dec 2014 me

Me in my “security blanket”

My love for my hat grew to the point that I had to learn how to make such a hat, even if this sounded scary and beyond my reach. My friend Pam agreed to teach me how to knit a hat and she was very patient (very patient) as I made it through my first hat.

There are no photos to share of my first hat. It was wonderful to make a hat but it was rather small for my head, not sure what I was thinking.

I did not give up, the best thing after learning to do something is to try again, especially on your own, to cement your learning. I have made two more knitted hats since that time (same pattern) and I am currently working on a third. Eventually I would like one in every color of my wardrobe!

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My knitted hat collection (from the top): I made the olive green hat, my friend Pam made the purple variegated one, I made the blue one, the maroon one is in progress.

I may not work on it all the time but my knitting is very special to me. I like to take it on trips or to events where I will just be sitting around. I carry my knitting in a special bag – one that I picked up when I went on a trip with my father (who is no longer with us) to Williamsburg, VA. This bag reminds of the fun day I had, about 18 years ago, wandering around Colonial Williamsburg with my Dad.

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Every time I go to knit it reconnects me with that special trip.

Happy Crafting!

 

Adventures in English Paper Piecing (Part I)

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest musings in her Schnauzer Snips page.


In my 09/23/16 post The Library Stack (and a little EPP) I mentioned that I was learning English Paper Piecing (EPP) using the book All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland.

So here is an update:

After purchasing a hexagon paper punch, I punched our a huge stack of hexagons using old cardstock from my handmade card making days.

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This past Spring, Terry the Quilting Husband and I went to the Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop. During the Shop Hop we each received a “fat 1/8th quarter” of coordinated fabric. I stuck this fabric away for a future project and it seems perfect for my EPP experimentation!

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I put together a plastic tote for my EPP supplies:

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And here is my beginning stack of EPP hexagons:

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So why EPP?

Well I had become addicted to playing games on my iPad in the evening as we watch evening TV shows (like NCIS on Tuesdays).

Playing these games were actually making me kind of frustrated and anxious as I moved into higher and higher levels. I had lost the sense of initial enjoyment that I experience when I first played. It became as if I had to keep playing and get to higher and higher levels  (but why, for what purpose?).

Although the games were a complete meaningless waste of time and no longer fun, I did not seem to be able to stop. I even tried deleting them from my iPad but in a moment of weakness the following evening, I would reinstall the app for evening TV watching.

I do not seem to be able to just sit and watch TV, I have to be doing something else. It was clear that I needed a productive alternative to playing these games and EPP seemed like the perfect solution.

So now I can do something productive with my hands in the evening while watching TV instead of playing iPad game apps! I am starting to find EPP kind of addicting – I like to keep cranking out EPP completed hexagons and it is becoming a game of how many hexagons I can rack up in an evening! (Oh no soon I will be strung out on hexagons!)

Next time I update you on my Adventures in EPP, hopefully I will have enough hexagons to start planning a small piece. Perhaps I will have even started assembling the hexagons into a piece!


POSTSCRIPT

If you are not familiar with English Paper Piecing (EPP), the online craft class site Craftsy has a nice little overview called Exploring English Paper Piecing.

Oh (random info) I recent reorganized my Gallery page into Art Quilts, Quilts, and Small Projects. I have a lot of old photos on this page and there are many old quilts I do not have digital photos on. Going forward I hope to only have high quality images of my work (but then I am taking the photos, so I am not promising – ha!)

The Library Stack (and a little EPP)

The “tierney” in tierneycreates, has not done a lot of creating lately. I wonder if I am stuck. I have been reading about creating and I have been preparing to create (does that count?) but more about that later in this post.


The (Sort of) Current Library Stack

I am continuing my series of posts on the latest stack of books borrowed from my local library. At the time of writing this post, my stack has dwindled and I only have a couple books left – primarily the Vegan cookbooks and the book Why Write by Mark Edmundson.

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I have enjoyed all the book except for the interior decorating book, Dreaming Small: Intimate Interiors by Douglas Woods. The book has a five-star rating on Amazon.com but I thought it was a snoozer (and yes I literally fell into a sweet little nap in my chair while reading/browsing through it).

The problem may not be the book, the problem may be that I am just completely burned out on home decorating books. They used to be a wonderful source of daydream but now many of them irritate me (except for the home decorating book The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith, which I discussed in my previous Library Stack post).

Terry the Quilting Husband, does not usually comment on my Library Stack sitting on the table next to my reading chair in the front window. He just accepts that his wife goes kind of wild on borrowing books from the library (there are worse habits to have in life). He did however tease me endlessly about a book called Mason Jar Nation (by JoAnn Moser).

Terry picked up the book and said: “Wow! A WHOLE BOOK about Mason Jars – WOW! Can I read it after you are done – it sounds SO exciting!” Through my laughter I heard him say something like: “No, no don’t tell me how it ends, I don’t want you to ruin it for me. I can’t wait to find out what the Mason Jars have been up to!”

I guess he does not fully appreciate all the options for craft related books and that yes, there are many people who enjoy making crafts with Mason Jars. The book was moderately interesting and did provide a nice history of Mason Jars. It did not inspire me to run out and buy some Mason jars and start crafting with them but it was fun to read while sipping my tea.

You might ask – why all the Vegan cookbooks? Are you Vegan or are you going Vegan? No to both questions. I love the idea of being Vegan, but there is one thing that keeps me from being Vegan, a little thing called B-A-C-O-N. Why live if you can never have bacon again? (Apologies to any Vegetarian or Vegan readers).

I work from home as a telecommuter for my pay-the-bills-job and so I eat lunch at home most days. Although I might be having meat and dairy with my dinner, I want to explore eating Vegan for lunch. I like the idea of “eating clean” for my mid-day meal. Terry the Quilting Husband has no interest in Vegan but you never know what I can slip into his diet (I have been very successful with slipping things years ago he said he would never eat like broccoli, spinach and kale! Oh wait, he reads my blog, now he will know what I am up to…)


Getting Ready to Create

Speaking of “library stacks”, I really enjoyed a book from my previous library stack (my August 23rd Library Stack posting) titled All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland. I enjoyed this book so much that I bought it. 

This book covers the fundamentals of English Paper Piecing (EPP) as well as options for creating cool pieces using EPP. I have been getting ready to EPP and will have a future post on my Adventures in EPP.

There is a reason why I wanted to pick up EPP and I will discuss that later when I do my post on EPP (it has to do with trying to break an evening addiction to playing iPad games).

In addition to the book from the library, I was also influenced/inspired by one of the blogs I follow – Alice Samuel Quilt Company and a post the blogger did on recycling her old wedding invitations into EPP templates – A Box Full of Junk. I love the idea of using unwanted paper for something creative!

So here is what I have put together so far – a whole lot of hexagon templates using my new punch:

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But more in a future post, first i need to make sure I do not completely embarrass myself trying to do EPP (if you never hear me mention those three words/three letters again you’ll know it did not work out…or I could post about “Misadventures in English Paper Piecing”!)


POSTSCRIPT

Someday I will follow up on all the other projects I have discussed and shared my start on. Right now I seem to just be building up my stash of “UFOs” (if you are not a quilter, refer to my post Lexicon of Quilters’ Acronyms).


Feature Photo Credit: Gary Tamin, free images.com

Flannel “Yum-Yum” Quilts! (re-post)

Bear with me. I am doing a little clean up on my blog and posting a couple old stories that I had in my Textiles Adventures page that I would prefer to have as blog posts. When I first began blogging in October 2013 I was not sure what to write about in my blog or how to organize it. Three years later I am not sure how much expertise I have gained, but I know that I appreciate my blog as a journal/record of my journey. So I want to make this story a blog post instead of sitting at the bottom of my Textiles Adventures page (keep in mind this story is from January 2014 and I had only been blogging a couple of months…)


FLANNEL YUM-YUM QUILTS!  January 2014

Although I am making table runner size quilts for the tierneycreates Etsy shop  I kept feeling that I should make some traditional quilts for the shop – something that someone could snuggle under. I noticed in my stash I have a lot of flannel. A lot of flannel. I sometimes suspect the flannel has been secretly breeding and making more flannel when I am not watching. I do not even know when I bought some of the flannel in my stash.

A couple years ago I donated a bunch of early-in-my-quilting-career-flannel that was not purchased at a quilt shop but was purchased at a chain store (side note: when I first started quilting, despite the excellent advice from my original quilting mentor Judy, I insisted on buying as inexpensive fabric as possible from chain stores; later I learned that if you are going to spend all that time to make a quilt, you want to use good quality fabric…).

However even after the donation, I still had plenty of 1, 2, and 3 yard pieces of flannel. In addition I had quite a stash of flannel fat quarters (from my “fat quarter addiction” period in the early-mid 2000’s). In a plastic tub next to the “tub-o-flannel-fat-quarters” I also had large stash of flannel scraps from various flannel quilts.

That’s a lot of flannel! An idea came to me – why not (okay here is a radical idea) – USE IT? Why not use it to make a series of cozy and cuddly quilts for my Etsy shop? So the Flannel Yum-Yum Quilt line was born!

What are Flannel Yum-Yum Quilts? Have you ever snuggled under a flannel quilt made with a flannel pieced top and flannel backing? Have you ever snuggled under such a quilt after it has been washed a couple times and has gotten softer and cozier? Only two words describe that feeling: YUM YUM!

The first Flannel Yum-Yum quilt I made for the etsy shop is made from a stack of flannel triangles I had in my stash and several fat quarters. I was able to use up some smaller flannel yardage for the back. I washed and dried the quilt after it was quilted and the binding sewn down to make it even softer. The second Flannel Yum-Yum quilt I will post on the shop will be one made from the flannel scraps a friend gave to me.

The next series of YUM-YUM quilts will be made from a stash of 2.5 inch strips I have cut up from ALL my flannel fat quarters and tub of flannel scraps and will be in the log cabin pattern style. I figure whenever I get time for crafting I can kick out a couple log cabin blocks here and there since the strips a already cut.

Box full of pre-cut 2 1/2 inch flannel strips ready for a log cabin quilt pattern!
Box full of pre-cut 2 1/2 inch flannel strips ready for a log cabin quilt pattern!

In case you wondered, I already have my own Flannel Yum-Yum quilts around the house – here is one that is my favorite that I nap under all the time:

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Make Do Quilt Challenge

Yes, this blog is called “tierneycreates” and Tierney should probably discuss…well…doing some creating…instead of her random rambles about her Minimalism Journey (Part II of her ramble will continue in the next post).

I am participating in Sherri Lynn Wood’s (author of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters) recycled quilt challenge: Make Do Quilt Challenge – #makedoquilt.  You can read about this challenge on Sherri Lynn’s blog – dainty time.net; or you can read a wonderful post by Kris R. about this challenge and “the skinny on trashing textiles” on one of the wonderful blogs I follow, Coloring Outside the Lines:

Make Do Quilt Challenge

The Made Do Quilt Challenge asks you make a quilt out of recycled textiles using one of the “Scores” that Sherri Lynn Wood discusses in her book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters (for more about this book, see my post Creative Inspiration: Books I Own).

In her book, she helps guide the quilter, new to improvisational piecing, by providing “scores” to suggest the creation of an improv quilt. Ms. Wood likens these score to “musical scores” and shares the following:

In creating a musical score, a composer is making a record of how the music is to be performed. Yet each performance of the score will be unique. – Sherri Lynn Wood

For my challenge quilt, I am using the “Score” called Floating Squares. The score suggests to limit yourself to three fabrics (two used in small amounts and one used to “float” the improv squares). I am using 5 fabrics but treating four of the fabrics as pairs as they are loosely (very loosely) in the sort of same color way.

My fabrics are:

  1. A recycled table runner from a thrift shop that is in stripped orange, greens, reds and purples.
  2. Recycled orange corduroy pants (I only have a tiny bit left and it is the companion fabric to the #1 fabric above)
  3. A recycled tweed jumper
  4. Gold-ish recycled home decor fabric scraps (this is the companion fabric paired with the tweed in #3 – yes of course brown tweed and deep gold lame-ish fabric are in the same color way – ha!)

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I began with cutting up squares with scissors (Sherri Lynn Wood is all about ruler free design) and ended up with these squares on my design wall:

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Here is my “pile-o-denim” scraps on the floor to float my squares in:

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And here is where I am with the piece so far:

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I am very interested to see how it comes out. I am just making sections and when I feel I am ready, I will figure out the layout (the initial layout you see above may have nothing to do with the final piece).

So that is my current Tierney-creating!


POSTSCRIPT

Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer has taken a short hiatus from her SchnauzerSnips blog page but she will return soon with her story of “The Herd” (recently we babysat two other schnauzers for 5 days).

In my post, Seattle Public Utilities’ Portable Works Collection, I shared my elation of the piece Abandoned Water Structure (designed and pieced by myself and quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe) being purchased by the City of Seattle for its Seattle Public Utilities Portable Art Collection. Yesterday I mailed it off the framer in Seattle and I wanted to share the custom label I made for the back of the piece – I included the photo of the structure that inspired my creation of the piece and Betty Anne’s quilting:

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I of course have more random rambles, but I am trying not to make my posts too long (so you do not fall asleep while reading!). More next time!


Feature image photo credit: Charles Novaes, free images.com

First Friday Art Walk 09/02/16

The first Friday of each month, Downtown Bend, Oregon hosts a “First Friday Art Walk”. The downtown galleries and shops stay open late and host special art exhibits or show their ongoing exhibits. The local shops and galleries serve snacks and beverages including complimentary microbrews (Bend, OR is known for its numerous and excellent microbreweries) and wine.

Our Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group showed our Doors exhibit at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty. This show first opened at the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show as a special exhibit (see the post 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Part II for more of the story on this exhibit and for better photos of the art quilts).

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My piece, Recycled Door (quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe) was in the show. I was very honored to be in a show with these talented art quilters, several of whom are locally, nationally or internationally renown for their fiber art. Our Oregon SAQA reps, Jan Tetzlaff and Marion Shimoda did an impressive job hanging the art quilts in the gallery!

Here are more photos from the show (it was very crowded at the show and I had to take photos quickly as there were breaks between people viewing the show):

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The show runs through September and is located at: Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, 821 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR (Downtown)


POSTSCRIPT (follow up to the post Waiting for the Sunflowers)

The giant sunflowers did finally bloom in my yard – I have 4 total and they are all over 8 feet tall!

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More Creating – More Art Pillows

This post is a quick follow up to the post Creating… on 07/27/16 where I discussed pulling out from my project pile and completing a set of “art pillow experimentations”.

I spent part of this weekend finishing up the rest of the little art pillows (they range from around 6 x 6 inches to 8 x8 inches for the large one).

Here is the full set of the finished pillows (notice my new tierneycreates labels on each pillow):

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Here are the backs of the smaller pillows (made with hand dyed fabric found at a thrift store (it was quite the score!)

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I was going list these three pillows on my tierneycreates Etsy shop as a set but I decided to just list them separately (they do look cute together though): 

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Here are close ups of some of the pillows:

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I am posting this on Sunday night but you will likely read this on Monday, so I wish you all a wonderful week, and talk to you later!


Postscript

My blogging buddy, Laura of Create Art Every Day, posted a lovely painting of a quilt block, inspired by my blog on her post GEOMETRIC ABSTRACT CALL TO AUTUMN IN WATERCOLOR AND ACRYLIC (WORLD WATERCOLOR MONTH, 29/31)

I am inspired by her paintings! I might do a little quilt piece inspired by her work.

In Central Oregon we actually have a famous quilter and a well-known painter collaborating on art projects – Jean Wells Keenan (quilter) and Judy Hoiness (painter).

Here is a link to examples of their wonderful collaborations: Twist from Tradition Series.

Creating…

I realized it’s time for “Tierney” to return to “creating”…

This blog is not called:

  • tierneywritesaudiobookreviews;
  • tierneyshowsterrythequiltinghusband’sprogress;
  • tierneysharesherrandomthoughts; or
  • tierneyobsessesaboutsunflowers

The blog is called tierneycreates, so Tierney better get to creating! (I like the imaginary sense of accountability blogging gives me – like you all will be very disappointed if my blog does not live up to its name!)

So last evening, I returned to “creating” and pulled out the “art pillow experimentations” tops I started last year and discussed in the 12/24/15 post   What’s On the Design Wall: Playing with Solids.

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I was excited to pull these items out of the “set aside to work on later” basket (set aside for 7+ months so far!) and turn them into pillows.

So far, I started with this one:

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And turned it into this little pillow which I have named Textured Desert Canyon:

 

I was excited to use my new “tierneycreates – smiles & textiles” tags (see post Embracing Orange) for the first time on this pillow (can you see the little tag in the photo?). I had to experiment to figure out exactly how to make the tag work but I think I like the outcome.

I experimented with quilting with a solid color thread and then a variegated thread to try and give a lot of depth to the quilting.

What surprised me was the dense quilting gave the hand dyed solid scraps pieced into this pillow a suede like texture and appearance. I am eager to experiment more with dense quilting.

Now onto to working on the next four (4) pillows!


Postscript

I follow many wonderful blogs and recently one of the blogs I follow, Catbird Quilt Studio has begun an interesting series on The Future of Quilting.

Here are links below to the two enjoyable posts in this series so far:

The Future of Quilting, Part 1

The Future of Quilting, Part 2

Melanie, the talented blogger, invites engaging discussion in these posts! Enjoy!

Embracing Orange

MORE KIMONOS (Loaded with Orange!)

I have accepted the color Orange is part of my creative life, as I discussed in my July 3rd post, Orange. As a matter of fact, I have done more than accepted Orange, I am embracing Orange!

This weekend I worked on restocking my tierneycreates Etsy shop. It is still far from the days when I had 90 items in my shop. My miniature kimonos continue to be popular and I recently sold 4 to a lovely person in Canada as well as 4 to various friends (I continue to fleece my friends in person, making them purchase my handmade items, ha! See the end of the post Quilt Retreat Weekend: The Projects)

Many of the miniature kimonos in the new batch I made feature the color Orange:

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I have been building a nice button collection and I enjoyed selecting a button for each kimono.

My friend Dana gave me some wonderful buttons in May at our annual Jelly Rollers Quilting Retreat (she was my Secret Quilting Sister), I still have wonderful buttons from my friend Betty Anne’s mother’s antique button collection she shared. Additionally I used a couple of the buttons from my recent antique button acquisition during the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (see post 2016 Sisters Outdoor Show Part I).

Now it is time to get each miniature kimono with its hanging chopstick and coordinating embroidery floss for hanging (though some people have put them in shadowboxes instead of hanging). Then it is time for their individual “photo shoots” for their Etsy shop listings.

Figuring in the cost of materials, time to make them, and Etsy seller fees, I figure I make like $3 – $4 per kimono. But my Etsy shop is a fun hobby and I enjoy knowing that my handmade creations are in peoples’ homes around the country (and Canada!).

If I tried to live off my Etsy shop I really would be foraging for free neighborhood fruit (like in prior post) for sustenance – ha!


MORE ORANGE (Orange Labels!)

Recently I decided I wanted my Etsy shop items to look a little more polished by adding a professional label to some items. I will not add the label to the miniature kimonos but I will to future art pillow and table runner creations.

I purchased the labels from another Etsy shop (Wunderlabel) and guess what color they are in?  ORANGE!

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POSTSCRIPT

Speaking of color, I have been following a wonderful blog by a painter, Laura’s Create art every day. A couple years ago while taking a Jean Wells class on art quilting, she suggested that we also seek inspiration from the work of other artists outside of fiber/textile arts – like painters. I have started following the blogs of several painters and I am so inspired by their use of color and their creatively (oh no I see a future “Creative Inspiration” series blog post coming…)

Here is a post from createarteveryday.com with some seriously inspirational use of my new color best friend, Orange:

MY FIRST 8 X 10″ ! (FOR D)