Before I get into this post, which is a continuation of my ongoing series, The Library Stack (in which I share my stacks of borrowed books from my local public library), I would like to say thank you to the very talented Mariss @ Fabricationsfor also nominating me for an Outstanding Blogger Award. In the Postscript section of this post I will answer the questions she posed to her nominees.
It’s been a while (November 2020) since I shared my latest “Library Stack” and I thought I would just catch you up on several stacks over the past several months.
And here are the previous library stacks that I have not shared before:
As you can see there appears to be a limited number of general themes of the types books I borrow from the local library – home decor and crafting. These are my fabric subjects for a book browsing over a pot of tea!
You might have noticed that I have The Shopkeeper’s Home by Caroline Rowland in two different stacks – if I really enjoy a home decor or crafting book I just borrow it again and again!
I’ve been reading a lot (well “a lot” for me) of fiction books but those I am reading from my home library (see post Curating a Home Library) or library borrowed audiobooks; and I might share some reviews in a future post. You can follow me on Goodreads@tierneycreates if you’d like to see what I’ve been reading fiction wise and read my reviews.
I love public libraries and as my series of posts The Library Stack shows, I am always browsing them and borrowing books when I can. A couple of years of ago I studied and embraced Minimalism trying to live a simpler lifestyle and letting go of things that I thought cluttered my life. I decided to stop buying books and just borrow them from the library.
Then in December 2018 my husband suddenly died and things shifted in my life on a large scale. And in early 2020 the pandemic hit and more shifting occurred to include examining how I could redefine a “simpler lifestyle” and have the physical things I enjoy in my life.
Our local libraries closed for what seemed like endless months during the early days of the pandemic and when they reopened it was only for curbside pickup. Currently they have fully reopened but have many strict protocols (beyond mandatory masks) and there are not that many patrons in the library anymore. It feels like something is lost from whole public library experience (and it is strange to see the librarians behind glass).
Pre-pandemic I was really in to audiobooks. Something shifted in me during the pandemic and I began to crave reading physical books rather than listening to them. I also remembered my secret dream of having an extensive home library like the ones I see in the home decorating books I borrow from the public library.
Like this one below:
With all the above things in the background of my mind, a couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to proceed with curating my own home library. Nothing as extensive as the image above but a nice collection with books that I’ve read and loved (and want to read again) and books I want to read (and might read again).
So how to do this and not “break the bank”? Well I used the following sources to find books for my home library:
Independent bookstores selling used books
I was able to buy books from 50 cents to $5.00 from these four sources. Most books I paid between $1.49 and $4.99.
In addition to amassing a collection of second hand books over the past couple of months, my partner John also added an additional bookcase to the front room beyond the two he already built for me.
So here is the current version of my home library which used to be the front room/sitting room in my house:
I had so much fun hunting for books at thrift shops (one local thrift shop has 1/2 priced Saturdays).
I’ve loved the books by the authors Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child and I’ve read at least 85% of their entire catalogue of books. So I put together a collection of their books of my very own (previously I had borrowed them from the library):
I do not have their latest books as those are not at thrift stores yet or reasonably priced on Thriftbooks.com but it was so fun finding each book one at a time while hunting at thrift shops.
At the beginning of my home library book curation process I thought about filling part of my home library with classic novels and books that might impress a book collector. But that thought lasted only a couple seconds. I have no need to impress anyone with my home library except myself. It is only filled with the kind of books I will read (and my partner too).
Like lots of Science Fiction and Fantasy (especially Young Adult Fantasy, I love it):
You might wonder what I did with my craft book collection. Well it is on the opposite wall organized by craft or topic (like art quilting):
All those books – got to have a cozy place to read, right? Here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer sitting in my favorite reading spot:
And here is Mike and I snuggled cozy under a warm blanket on a cold Saturday reading (it was quite a delicious morning with my pot of tea next to me). I rediscovered the joy of reading a while, napping, waking up and reading some more!
Note these images were taken before my partner put up the third bookcase last week.
In case you are curious, I am still occasionally getting a “Library Stack” from my local public library, though not as big as the ones I was getting (the ridiculously large stacks like in the post The Library Stack Is Back!) when the library first reopened. Here is my current linrary stack:
Speaking of libraries, some of the second hand books I’ve purchased over the past several months are former library books! I’ve gotten pretty good at removing the library’s plastic dust cover with all their library specific stickers so the books sitting on my home library shelves does not look like I stole them from a library – ha!
As I mentioned earlier in this post I used to listen to a lot of audiobooks. Current I am only listening to podcasts now, taking a break from audiobooks. I am currently enjoying holding a book in my hand and reading it. Quite a different experience. I am taking a break from multitasking in life and just enjoying a solitary task of reading a book!
Over the past several months of going to thrift stores to find books for my home library, I’ve come across many curious items for sale at thrift shops.
Here are my top 5 favorite finds that gave me the chuckle (and I promise you I did not buy any of them):
Number 5: If you need a lamp and a place to store your leftover yarn, would this not be the perfect solution?
Yes it’s – YARN LAMP!
Number 4: Patriotic pants – they defy any further comment (but my apologies to you if you happen own these…)
Number 3: Donated photo frames with family photos still in them.
I could not believe how many donated photo frames I came across with family pictures still in them at various thrift stores, like the example below. Wouldn’t you perhaps remove your family photos before donating?!?!?
Number 2: An outfit for a very adventurous and crafty person.
Though it was on display way before Halloween, I think this was supposed to be a suggested Halloween outfit (hopefully as you would get a lot of stares should you select it for a cocktail party…)
And Number 1 is…
Something that you absolutely cannot imagine living without…
A cattle leg (yes real cattle leg) with hoof attached Barometer!
Yes, now you can remember the favorite steer you raised on your farm and know the current barometric pressure!
My regret is I did not buy it and put it away as the ultimate future “White Elephant” Christmas gift! (Could you imagine the look on someone’s face when they opened their gift!)
Seattle is where I originally learned to quilt and it continues to be connected to my quilting journey (and not just because the awesome person, Judy D., who got me into quilting still lives there). I lived in Seattle, Washington from 1997 to 2005 before moving to Bend, Oregon in 2005 and then to Colorado (Denver Metro area) in 2019.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might remember that the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture invited me to have my first solo show in 2019 (see post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post) ), and ended up purchasing 3 pieces of the 12 pieces in my solo show for their permanent collection (see section on City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection later in this post).
Surprisingly opportunities like the above keep happening for me tied to Seattle, WA. This year several amazing things have happened tied to Seattle and my (art) quilting journey and I am going to share them in the rest of this post.
Scream: 2020 CoCA Gala and Auction
A couple of months ago I was contacted by the Curator for the Center on Contemporary Art in downtown/Pioneer Square Seattle, and invited to submit work to be juried into an invitation participate in their annual Gala and Art Auction. I was juried into the show that opens Saturday September 19, 2020 and three of my pieces (Random Not So Random, Archaeological Dig – The Vessel, and The Loud Color Shift) are part of the event, which this year due to the pandemic, is being held virtually – SCREAM: COCA’S ANNUAL GALA & AUCTION).
Here are some images from the social media promotion of the show which is the annual fundraiser for the gallery (note the artist and gallery split the auction proceeds on the artist’s piece that sells in case you are curious):
So Saturday I will find out if my pieces get purchased in the auction and if so if they fetch a decent price (smile). If we were not in the midst of a pandemic, the event would have been live in person and I would have been invited to attend the Gala in person (and play dress up!) while visiting my friends in Seattle.
The crazy thing about this is that 1) I did not seek out this opportunity, it came to me; and 2) back when I lived in Seattle (and before I ever dreamed of “art quilting”) I used to visit this gallery during the First Thursday Gallery Walkin downtown/Pioneer Square. I never imagined I would make art that would be part of a show associated with this gallery!
If you’d like to see images of and read my Artist Statement on any of the art quilts mentioned above check out my page – Art Quilt Stories.
Request from Seattle Art Teacher
In December 2019 I received a request from Deborah Kapoor an artist and art teacher in Seattle, WA to use an image of my piece Random Not So Randomas inspiration for her art students.
Hi Tierney, I teach painting and drawing at South Seattle College, and wanted to share your beautiful work with students. If you are open to the idea, I would just need a high res image sent to me, and I plan to print on 11 x 17 inch paper and laminate, sort of like a mini-poster, for the art room. I think it would really inspire the students! The piece I am interested in is Color Story III: Random, Not so Random
I sent her a high resolution image which she printed into a poster and put on her “wall of fame” in her classroom.
Here is a partial image she sent me of that wall (other artists work edited out of image) in early 2020:
She said her students are inspired by my piece!
City of Seattle’s Ethnic Artist Roster
In November 2017 I was juried into the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Ethnic Artist Roster (see postEthnic Artist Roster). The Office of Arts & Culture updated their Ethnic Artist Roster website and now each artist has their own page.
I was contacted in July 2020 by artist @salmakingstuff (Sally Lavengod) who was asked to create a mural in Capitol Hill, Seattle supporting the Black Lives Matters (BLM) movement. She asked if she could list my @tierneycreates Instagram handle in the part of the mural listing inspirational Artists of Color. I was honored and said yes.
She created a 4 sided mural of Colin Kaepernick, Fred Hampton, Malcom X, and Afeni Shakur on the corner of 12th and Spring in Capitol Hill in response to the BLM movement. To the mural she added Instagram handles of Black Artists who inspired her to include mine – @tierneycreates:
City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection
According to the Seattle.gov, the City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection is a rotating collection of over 3,200 artworks in all media, representing hundreds of artists collected by the city since 1973. The collection includes sculpture, painting, mixed media, prints, photography and textiles.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, 4 of my pieces are now part of the City of Seattle’s Portable Works collection. Recently I discovered the updated listing of my pieces on the Portable Works website.
I am so honored that several of my art quilts circulate around City of Seattle offices (of course during the pandemic they might be hanging out alone in offices with no one to view them right now!)
Although I haven’t lived in Seattle for 15 years but I continue to be connected to this city through my art quilting. It’s mysterious and magical to me.
I am learning how to use the new WordPress Editor and it is not intuitive (it is actually downright painful…). I think I am going to have to find a tutorial.