Special Events

5th Blog Anniversary Giveaway #4

We are at Day #4 of the 5 days of giveaways in celebration of the tierneycreates 5th blog anniversary. I am back home and have decent WiFi again! I am starting to catch up on reading all the wonderful comments on the posts over the past couple days.

I seriously appreciate DFLAMMIA3 @travelitch2 ‘s comment on yesterday’ post – “Chins up…we all understand and no need to respond to everyone’s comments.” Alas, being sort of compulsive I will continue to try to eventually reply to every comment (smile).

Starting to catch up on recent comments I discovered that a “Pat T.” has been following my blog for nearly 5 years, she (assuming she) left a wonderful comment on the post 5th Blog Anniversary Giveaway #1 that makes me never want to give up blogging. So I will be updating the post Guest Blogger: tierneycreates 5th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway, in which I list the bloggers and non bloggers that have followed my blog for nearly 4 or 5 years.

By the way, tierneycreates Beastie is back from attending her first quilt retreat and she or I (we have to discuss) will be posting about the retreat, but here is preview – we let her play with rotary cutter (danger, danger!):

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So What Is Today’s Giveaway?

Well before we get to today’s giveaway (see I am so wordy when I have access to decent WiFi) here is a listing of the posts related to the 5th anniversary giveaway to date:

Originally on these posts I mention that the drawing will close at October 30th at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time. I am moving that cut off date to October 31st at 11:59 pm.

Today’s giveaway takes us back to where the blog began: as a vehicle for my no longer open Etsy shop – tierneycreates: a fusion of textiles & smiles. The first thing I sold on my Etsy shop and my most successful offer was my handmade miniature kimonos.

Below is are example of the miniature kimonos I sold on my Etsy shop – the photos below are of one of my all time favorite miniature kimonos (which sold immediately when I listed it on my Etsy shop):

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The Miniature Kimono Story

I began making miniature kimonos to feature beautiful Asian fabrics many years ago. I came across a miniature kimono at a small quilt shop in British Columbia but there was no pattern.

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The original miniature kimono from a quilt shop in Victoria, BC

So I reverse engineered it as close as I could and started making them.

I use two coordinating fabrics are used: an intriguing Asian print and a solid cotton. I decorate them with buttons and occasionally tassels and hang them from a chopstick tied with a heavy embroidery thread.

These Miniature Kimono are approximately 6 x 7 inches and look great hung from a chopstick; or frame in a shadowbox individually or in a grouping.

Below are some examples:

Here is what I have left in my stash of miniature kimonos I did not sell through my Etsy shop:
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In addition to a miniature kimono in a color of your choosing (if available), you will also receive a little wallet in a color of your choosing:

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So How Do I Win It?

To enter the drawing for Giveaway #4 simply write in the “Thoughts/Comments” section of THIS CURRENT POST whether you have ever sold your crafts online and/or if you have every purchased handmade crafts online.

Feel free to elaborate on your experience if you like.

Good Luck 🙂

This drawing is open until 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on 10/31/18 and a winner will be selected by random drawing from those who commented on this post.

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Buttons

I just wanted to randomly post about one of my guilty pleasures in life – buttons!

I did not to intend to collect buttons, my button collection just sort of crept up on me…

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Trying to be organized with my button collection

I am not sure how it began but I remember as a little girl playing with my grandmother’s button jar and being fascinated.

Then, many years later, my love of buttons was rekindled when I started making miniature kimono wallhangings and wanted to embellish them with interesting buttons.

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Miniature Kimono with an antique button

I began picking up interesting buttons here and there – from craft shows, from shift shops, antique shops, and from a bookstore.

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Card of antique buttons picked up at a used bookstore

I was even lucky enough to have a friend who let me raid her old button collection in search of cool buttons for miniature kimonos.

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A couple of these buttons were raided from my friend’s antique button collection

This past May, my friend Dana, who was my “secret quilt sister” at our annual quilting retreat, surprised me with an “Vintage Button Jar” as part of my gift.

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The jar contained lots of fun buttons such as the ones below:

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Some cool large buttons courtesy of my friend Dana

Upon returning home from the retreat I attempted to cram my entire button collection into my new “Vintage Button Jar” but my collection was overflowing from the jar.

So now I keep the jar in my sewing studio to hold small packages and cards of special buttons.

img_2975Anyone else have an issue with buttons? Any secret (or not so secret) collectors?


Postscript

In an earlier post this week, Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part I, I shared I recently listened to The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Well I am working on incorporating first of the four agreements into my life:

  1. Be impeccable with your word

I am not challenged in general of keeping my word to other and keeping my commitments to other people; but I do struggle with being on time to appointments with other people. So in essence I am not being impeccable with my word (that I will arrive at a specific time).

I am easily distracted and I struggle with getting out of the house and to appointments on time. I was very pleased with myself when on Monday I was early to meeting my friend at the coffee shop. I am tired an embarrassed that I appear to be “chronically late”.

Another area I struggle in regards to being impeccable with my word is is in keeping my word to myself! Keep my “self” commitments.

So  I am starting small (like going to bed on time, being sure to get out each day and go on a walk, making healthy food choices) to work on becoming impeccable with my word to myself. I plan to build up to the bigger commitments to myself which I hope include to do some sewing each day!

A Crafter's Life, Thrift Shop Adventures

Mysterious Thrift Store Fabric Find

Earlier in the week I went to drop off a donation of no longer needed items to one of our local thrift stores.

There was a long line at the “drive thru” drop off donation area (good to see so many people in town making their lives lighter of stuff!),  so I decided to park at walk in my donation. After dropping off my donation, since I had already parked, I figured it would not hurt to go into the thrift shop and look around…

Naturally I went directly to the donated fabric section of the thrift shop and after a bit of rummaging discovered a yard of a lovely Asian print I thought would make great kimonos.

I am careful on thrift store fabrics of quilting weight material and always check the manufacturer name on the selvage (end/label area) of the fabric. This print had a name I had never heard of – Watex – but it the fabric felt like a high quality Hoffman Fabrics style Asian print, so I bought it (yes my huge $1.99 investment).

Returning home, I tried to google “Watex” and could not find anything of use other than it appears to be a Japanese fabric and several people were selling “Vintage Watex” on eBay and Etsy. The word “Watex” on the selvage was surrounded by Asian language characters, so I guessed the fabric was manufactured somewhere in Asia.

Below are photos of my fabric find, let me know if you have ever heard of Watex fabrics!

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If the fabric’s origins/manufacturer remains a mystery, it will still be great fabric for a future miniature kimono or other project.

Studio, tierneycreates

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)

A Crafter's Life, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

2016 Sisters Outdoor Show Part I

In the next series of blog posts I will share photos and experiences from attending the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.


Terry the Quilting Husband and I went to the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show today! We arrived in Sisters, Oregon before the show opened (as traffic gets crazier and crazier towards 9:00 am when the show starts). Once parked, we went to Angeline’s Bakery for a delicious vegan cinnamon roll, coffee and tea. The feature photo on this post is the sign in the backyard dining area of Angeline’s Bakery. Sisters has several awesome bakeries and we selected Angeline’s as it was further away from the entry and figured the tourists wouldn’t find it until later in the show.

Imagine a sweet small town (population around 2500), surrounded by beautiful Cascade Mountains, a downtown area in old Western town style architecture, and lots of friendly and happy people. Now imagine every inch of that downtown area covered with QUILTS! That is what the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is like.

If you are a quilter or love quilts, you should at least once in your life attend the  Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon. Photos you see online do not do justice to the experience of attending the show.

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BUTTON BLISS

While at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show today we stopped at the used bookstore on Cascade Avenue so Terry could look for a new military history book to add to his collection (at home, our two bookcases side by side are hysterical – one filled with crafting books and the other filled with military history and military strategy/wargaming books).

In addition to used books, the bookstore also sold – BUTTONS! Antique Buttons! I am always on the look out for cool buttons for the miniature kimonos I make for my tierneycreates Etsy shop. I found a rack of “Button Sample Cards” and picked up two cards of antique button samples (that were used by button salesmen to sale to garment makers).

Here it is – “button porn”:

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I have button bliss! 

More later on the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, I have to return to gazing at my buttons! I am in the mood to make more miniature kimonos now!

Studio, tierneycreates

“They’re Baaaack”

Do you remember that iconic line from the preview to that great film of the 1980s – Poltergeist II?

So, I posted a while back in the post The End of an Era: Goodbye to Making Miniature Kimonos that I was done with making miniature kimonos.

Let’s just say it is a person’s prerogative to be able to change their minds

If you never change your mind, why have one? – Edward de Bono

A couple weeks ago, one of my wonderful tierneycreates Etsy shop customers, who has been very supportive of my miniature kimonos, asked for some new kimono color and fabric options. She was so enthusiastic about my miniature kimonos, I got enthusiastic about them again and made a fresh new batch:

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They’re Baaaack!

23 new kimonos in total. Currently I am busy adding buttons and finishing details, eventually they will get posted to my tierneycreates Etsy shop.

I have been negligent with my Etsy shop for a couple months now due to work and other life  related things. I am working on new offerings and refreshing current offerings.

I do not expect my tierneycreates Etsy shop to ever become a “quit your day job” kind of thing (it is more of a fun hobby) but I really enjoy connecting with people across North America (I have Canadian customers too!) and adding a little “fusion of textiles & smiles” to peoples’ lives!

tierneycreates

The End of an Era: Goodbye to Making Miniature Kimonos

Check out Sassy the highly opinionated miniature schnauzer’s blog Schnauzer Snips for her latest thoughts and adventures.

RETIRING THE MINIATURE KIMONO LINE

I have been making miniature kimonos for friends and family for over 12+ years and for my Etsy shop for nearly 2 years. After talking to my sister who I like to bounce online sales ideas off, I decided to do one more batch of miniature kimonos for the tierneycreates Etsy shop and then be done with making miniature kimonos.

I have so enjoyed making them and seeing them hung in the homes of friends and family. I had a nice response to them on my Etsy shop with repeat customers on the miniature kimonos, which was quite an honor.

Now I am ready to move on and create other small handmade items I can offer on my Etsy shop at reasonable prices. I will still make a miniature kimono on special request.

For my last official batch of miniature kimonos, I made 24 and gave one to my sister for her birthday and listed the rest on the Etsy shop. I used new color combinations and embellished some with cool antique buttons a friend shared from her mother’s/grandmother’s collection.

I am pretty pleased with this batch and I was tempted to keep some for my personal collection of miniature kimonos (I have them displayed in shadow boxes or hanging from chopsticks in my house).

Miniature Kimonos we had a good run – I know you have brought smiles to many!

23 new miniature kimonos ready for the shop
23 new miniature kimonos ready for the shop
Studio, tierneycreates

Being Proactive: 24 New Miniature Kimonos in Progress

This week I started a new schedule for my health care job (the job that keeps the lights on) – I work Tuesdays to Fridays and have Mondays off from work. Mondays are now a day to focus on tierneycreates – making handmade items for my tierneycreates Etsy shop and working on art quilts for The Wardrobe Meets the Wall.

In my previous post, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Crafters, I discuss my crafting goals in the context of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey’s habit #1 is “Be Proactive”. On my first Monday off in my new work schedule, motivated by revisiting Covey’s 7 Habits, I was actually PROACTIVE!

As I stated in my previous post: “Those projects will not just start or finish themselves, Tierney!” Today I worked on 24 new miniature kimonos for my Etsy shop. Miniature kimonos were the first items (besides my vintage Barbie collection) that I offered on the tierneycreates Etsy shop when I first opened it in late 2013. They ended up being more popular than I anticipated and I am adding a new batch. I may stop making them after this batch as I would like to focus on other small items for the shop.

I experimented with some new colors and combinations I have not tried before. I will finish them up with their own unique decorative button and possibly a tassel (if the tassel works with the button and color combination.

A new batch of miniature kimonos in progress, July 2015
A new batch of miniature kimonos in progress, July 2015

It felt good to be proactive and get a new load of kimonos started, even if it was tedious and tiring at times. I am still working towards to achieving my 2015 goal of having 100 items on the tierneycreates Etsy shop and the only way to achieve that is to be proactive and make stuff!

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Wall

No there is not a word missing in the title -.this post is about what is on an actual wall (house wall) not the design wall in my studio (as I normally post on).

New Wall Art: Miniature Kimono Shadowbox

I have been making miniature kimonos for years – they involve an origami-like folding of fabric to create a kimono shape and measure about 6″ x 7″. Miniature kimonos make great little gifts and I have given them as gifts to friends and family for years. I have also framed a single kimono alone in a shadowbox or in coordinated set of 2-4 kimonos, as gifts.

They were the first items I made for my tierneycreates Etsy shop. Then one day, I abruptly burned out on making them. It has been many months since I thought about making a miniature kimono.

Until the other day: On a whim, I decided to make myself a shadowbox set of kimonos. I chose red, black, cream and gold Asian fabrics to coordinate with a fun schnauzer print I have on the wall where I wanted to hang the kimono wall art.

I made myself a set of 5 miniature kimonos
I made myself a set of 5 miniature kimonos
Another view
Another view
Auditioning buttons
Auditioning buttons
Finalized buttoms
Finalized buttoms
Preparing the inside of the shadow box
Preparing the inside of the shadow box
Mounting on the shadowbox background with small pins at top and bottom of each kimono
Mounting on the shadowbox background with small pins at top and bottom of each kimono
On the wall in the entry
On the wall in the entry
Above the whimsical schnauzer print
Above the whimsical schnauzer print

I love making gifts for family and friends as well as items for the Etsy shop, but sometimes you need to just make something for yourself!

A Crafter's Life, tierneycreates

Up, Down, and Up Again

First of my mini kimonos to sell.
First of my mini kimonos to sell.

Last Friday I got some thrilling news: a local shop enthusiastically agreed to carry my kimonos on commission in their shop. We even talked about them being displayed on a Christmas tree in the shop. I was overwhelmed with excitement and shared this wonderful news with family and friends. I spent the next week after work, some times late into the evening, getting my kimonos ready to deliver to the shop the following Friday (today). In my fervor of excitement, I made a couple new kimonos using beautiful holiday fabrics and a couple kimonos with new Asian fabric I just purchased, to add to those to be displayed at the shop. I was feeling very UP – I was flying with anticipation of my first opportunity to market to the public and sell my kimonos- they  would be on display and for sale during the holiday shopping season!

This morning I called the shop to set up a time to deliver them and the shop owner abruptly informed me that it would not work out, the shop would not be able to carry my kimonos. The shop owner’s reasons were not clear and I was not sure what went wrong. CRASH! I was now feeling very DOWN, so much that my eyes filled with tears. I also felt an overwhelming sense of embarrassment from sharing prematurely with friends and family my news of a local shop carrying my kimonos.

Now an hour later, after talking with my husband and then a close friend, I am feeling UP again. Not only did their support help, I realized that whenever you venture out there in life, whenever you take a risk – there is bound to be some disappointment and some “failure”. That is just the way life works. I realized that what I have done this past week is get the kimonos fully ready for sale…and this now means they are ready for listing on Etsy (and getting my Etsy shop up and running!).  I bear no ill will towards the shop owner and respect that it just did not work for them. I actually thank them for giving me an impetus to get the kimonos sale ready and tagged!

I love quotes, and here is a quote that keeps inspiring me:

“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt