The Library Stack

The Library Stack

Continuing my new ongoing series with a snapshot of what crafting, quilting, cooking, gardening, decorating, self-improvement, etc. books I currently have on loan from my local library.

Here is the stack (soon to be returned though, I have finished with them and it’s time to get a new stack!):

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I took this photo a week ago and there is one book that was in the stack, but not in the photo, that I have just finished and I highly enjoyed: Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed (2015).

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (2013), a wonderful book and a wonderful film (even Terry the Quilting Husband enjoyed the film and he dislikes films about “finding yourself”.)  

Her latest book Brave Enough is a collection of quotes from her other writings.A couple quotes really stayed with me after reading them and I wanted to share:

“You can’t ride to the fair unless you get on the pony”

“Hello, fear. Thank you for being here. You’re my indication that I’m doing that I need to do.”

“Forgiveness doesn’t just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill.”

Audiobooks and Podcasts, The Library Stack

The Library Stack

If you have read my blog in the past, you know I am in love with the public library. I thought it would be fun to start a new occasional series on the tierneycreates blog called “The Library Stack”, where I would share a photo of the stack of books, of my latest borrowings from my local library.

I love to browse the crafting, quilting, cooking, gardening and home decor sections. I will also take a run through the entire non-fiction section just for fun and to see if anything catches my eye.

I recently started following a blog, Dewey Hop, in which the blogger is documenting their journey of reading through their entire local library! I secretly dreamed of doing this someday; and even tried to do it as a kid, attempting to make it through the entire Children’s section! However, I am going to stick my my favorite dewey decimal section of 700 – “Arts & Recreation”!

Every time I think I have borrowed all the books that are worth borrowing – POW – there is a fresh new group of books to borrow! Additionally my local library has a Non-Fiction New Release section, which I love to browse every time I visit it (it is the first place to head when I enter the library!).

So here is my current stack:

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One of my great pleasures in life is to sit with a pot of tea and my library stack! 

Postscript

More library related stuff – this is a follow up to the post Good Listens (and other stuff). In this post I shared I was currently listening to an audiobook I borrowed from the library – SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal.

This audiobook is fantastic and I had to renew it to finish it up (it is rather long, but packed with great information and inspiration). This audiobook is about using gaming concepts to improve things that challenge you in life, and to achieve goals. The author has a TED talk and it is fantastic – Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life. (Thanks to my friend Torben suggesting the TED Talk!).

Also here is the author’s website: www.superbetter.com

Here book goes WAY beyond the TED Talk. One of my favorite concepts in the book is “Cognitive Reframing”, which is defined in Wikipedia as “…a psychological technique that consists of identifying and then disputing irrational or maladaptive thoughts. Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives…”.  I have already started applying the concepts I picked up from this audiobook and I am very pleased!

I am enjoying this book so much I might go buy the hardcover version to keep as a reference!

A Crafter's Life, Studio

Ultimate Studio Fabric Organization

Welcome to the “Quilt Shop” in My House

This past weekend I witnessed the ultimate in “home studio fabric organization”!

I visited the home of a quilter friend of mine for the first time and she showed me her quilting studio. As I turned the corner to enter her studio, my jaw dropped when I saw her extremely well organized fabric stash: It looked like I had stepped into a quilt shop!

How She Did It

My friend collected empty cardboard fabric bolts from quilt shops and cut them in half. She wrapped her fabric stash fabrics around the half bolts and then organized the fabrics by theme/category in a large wide bookcase.

If she had more than a certain yardage of fabric (I forgot her threshold), she would organize the fabric on a full size cardboard bolt (bottom left of the bookcase).

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Advantages 

I think the advantages of this type of fabric stash organization are as follows:

  • Her fabric organization and display feels like she is shopping directly from a quilt shop every time she goes to select a fabric in her stash – AMAZING!
  • She can clearly see what is in her stash.
  • This may reduce her need to actually go to a quilt shop, and spend money on fabric that she does not actually need.

(I know, I know, right now all quilters reading this are rolling their eyes. Buying fabric is not about needing it – it is about wanting it!)

Creative Inspiration, Fabric Scraps Obsession

Creative Inspiration: Organization?!?!?

Continuing my series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration…

HOW ORGANIZING MY SCRAPS GOT ME INSPIRED

Sounds like a testimonial, right?

“At first my life was empty of direction and meaning and then I organized my fabric scraps and suddenly everything was much much much better!” – Anonymous Scrap Hoarder

Not exactly. However organizing my fabric scraps last evening did inspire my creativity!

I love fabric scraps and I have quite a collection. I have several blog posts about my love of scraps. My fabric scraps were getting out of control and were in two fairly large boxes. I enjoy the “hunt” for the right fabric scraps when creating a scrappy quilt, but found I grew irritated with not being able to easily find the colors I want.

So I decided to organize my fabric scraps in two ways, to give me flexibility of how I create with fabric scraps:

  1. By color
  2. All thrown in a box (random)

This new system allows me to create fabric scrap pieces (quilts, pillows, wallhanging, table runners, etc.) based on my “creative mood”. I might want to work on a piece that it focused on oranges, yellows and reds; or I might want to work on a piece that is very scrappy and more random. Now I have two options!

I am interested in working on some pieces in the future that are more monochromatic but with fabric of different patterns and textures in the same general color. Having fabric scraps organized by color will make this design process easier.

As I was organizing my fabric scraps I got very excited as ideas for new pieces ran wildly through my head!

So…

Sometimes I want to create from these containers…

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And sometimes I want to create from this box…

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Happy Crafting!

A Crafter's Life

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Crafters

Do you have a favorite inspirational book of all time? A book whose message you have woven into the core of who you are as a person?

I do – Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If you have not read this book, I highly recommend that you do.

Recently revisiting this book got me thinking: “how would the habits discussed in this book apply to creativity,  making handmade crafts, and creating a collection of art quilts?” Can I apply Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to the work I do on my tierneycreates business: striving to make a catalogue of handmade items infused with smiles to offer to my Etsy shop customers; and to working towards my dream of becoming a professional artist?

I came up with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Crafters, based on Covey’s 7 Habits. If you have read Covey’s spectacular book then you know the background on each habit listed. If you have not read the book, read it, it is a life changer! 

THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE CRAFTERS

  1. Be Proactive: Those projects will not just start or finish themselves, Tierney! This habit reminds me that if I want to move forward with my goals, I have to get off the couch (and stay away from those highly addictive iPad games) and start working on projects and actions to achieve my goals.
  2. Being with the End in Mind: This habit helps me when working on an art quilt. When I get to the point when my intuitive and free-form design appears to have gone awry, I step back and think: “What do I want this piece to be? What do I want it to truly express and represent?” Taking a step back and thinking about what I want the end (the completed piece) to accomplish helps me refocus.
  3. Put First Things First: I use this habit when deciding on what priorities of projects to work on. It is very attractive and fun to work on another set of log jam blocks (read about my addiction to “log jam” blocks on my post “Log Jamming”: The Sequel) but it does not move me towards my goal of becoming a professional artist. What I need to put first is working on a new art quilt to build my catalogue of art quilts. This habit is also important when there are times I need to step away from the sewing machine and focus my attending on spend time hanging out with my husband and dogs.
  4. Think Win-Win: This has been a helpful habit on rare Etsy shop issues. Recently a customer mistakingly ordered the wrong fabric for a quilt project she was trying to complete. I did not carry in my Etsy shop the hard to find exact color she needed, only a similar color. I offered to accept a return on the fabric and I spent a bit of time researching for her where she could find the hard to find color in rare fabric line. She decided to keep the fabric she ordered by mistake and she used the links I sent her to work on locating the rare fabric for her quilt.
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: The meaning of this habit is actually much deeper then how I am about to apply it to crafting: Sometimes you have to step back, slow down and try to understand why something is not working on a piece in progress. I get so focused on trying to complete something it is as if I am trying to force a square peg into a round hole. If I take a step back and try to understand what is really going on with the piece then I can come to solution. This habit is also an invaluable habit when working with other quilters on projects and working with my Etsy customers.
  6. Synergize: This habit comes into play when I am consulting on designing and piecing a new quilt with my quilting friends. Their external ideas help fuel and enhance my internal ideas.
  7. Sharpen the Saw: I am an experienced quilter but I need to continue to take quilting classes and workshops to learn new techniques and refine existing ones. I also need to continue to network with other quilters and crafters, both those doing traditional quilts and those doing art quilts and experimental art quilting techniques. Inspiration does not come to me in a vacuum.
photo credit: Wikipedia
photo credit: Wikipedia