Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: What Happens at Dog Camp, Stays at Dog Camp

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer that manages Tierney and her partner John (who I will refer too as “the humans”), guest blogging for this post.

I borrowed Tierney’s laptop to write my post

I heard the other guest blogger that lives in my house, the tierneycreates Beastie, was going to be posting soon and I wanted to get my post in before hers. She is the one with that fake schnauzer “Mikelet”. I cannot believe the humans named him after me.

Only one real schnauzer in this house!

But we don’t need to discuss our guest blogger rivalry, I do not want to interfere with your enjoyment of my excellent post.

So if you’ve been following my female human’s blog, you’ve noticed that she’s been up to a lot of traveling since late Spring. You might wonder what becomes of me when she and the male human go out of town (or into “storage”, see post “Human Storage” and Airport Lore).

Well I go to Dog Camp.

A couple years ago the humans found a family who only watches small dogs (the best kind in my opinion) at their home; and they live near us.

I really like Dog Camp because they throw the ball for me as much as I want, there are lots of fur people my size there, and they give me special treats with my meals such as mashed sweet potatoes and chicken.

But what I really like are all the cute little female dogs to hang out with there. I am a single (and yes neutered) guy and I like hanging out with the girl dogs, what can I say.

Now personally I believe that: “what happens at dog camp, stays at dog camp”, but the lady who runs Dog Camp, keeps taking photos of my exploits and sending them to the humans! Is there no privacy??!?!

Since the humans already know, I thought I would share some of the photos and video from previous dog camps. I sort of have a thing for cream-colored girl dogs and here are a couple of my girlfriends from previous dog camps:

But sometimes the girls go a little crazy over me (which is understandable) as in this incident below captured by the female human that manages Dog Camp:

Ladies – there is enough of me to go around – stay calm!

But that is enough, I have to keep some secrets from Dog Camp.

My male human is trying to help me fend off the girl dogs by going incognito with some shades for next time:


A Crafter's Life

Awesome Surprise Treats in the Mail!

Usually my blog post stories are running a couple weeks behind (at least) in what is currently going on in my life. My @tierneycreates Instagram is more up to date. Well this blog post is actually current with my life like my Instagram.

I returned home from nearly a week in Wilmington, North Carolina with my partner John (who was on a business trip) and guess what I had in the mail?

A YUMMY surprise all the way from South Africa!

My longtime blogging buddy Mariss (@fabrications) back in June sent me the goodies pictured above which included two of her handmade pin cushions, and 2 months later they arrived!

In addition to the pin cushions, I was surprised with some amazing Nelson Mandela fabric!

Bet you do not see this everyday!

Of course it is too precious to use, so maybe I will just frame it. Okay, okay, maybe I will use it in a project some day…maybe…

I’ve been blogging for nearly 8 years and I’ve met some pretty incredible and talented people from all over the world. Several of those people have been so generous in sending me treats in mail over the years. I’ve sent out treats also of course. You all know who you are and I so appreciate you!

And I am going to be putting together some special treats for Mariss in the near future (for their 2 months+ journey to South Africa)!


Postscripts

One of my blogging buddies @quiteayarnblog has an ongoing series called “Agriculture Report” whose title always cracks me up because it is an update of what is going on in her garden.

In the same vein, I thought I would share my own “Agriculture Report” and share what to me is some exciting news: 

  1. I was able to grow enough basil to make Pesto
  2. I was able to grow enough tomatoes to make ONE dish

You might be wondering: “why is this exciting” or “why is this news”?!?!?

Well after living many years in places such as Seattle and Central Oregon where growing “crops” was not that challenging (especially not in Seattle where it seemed like you could just throw seeds on the ground in passing and you’d have a bumper crop of whatever), I’ve been living in Denver, Colorado where growing things is challenging. We have a short growing season. 

Last year I tried my first patio garden on the upper deck with meager results. This year, and perhaps it was because we had an unseasonably large amount of rain, I had good (well for Denver) results!

Here is my “bumper crop” of basil (enough for ONE batch of Pesto):

And here is my “bumper crop” of Roma and Cherry tomatoes (enough to make ONE dish):

Now it could just be me because when I first moved to the Denver area I took Mike the Miniature Schnauzer to a groomer near Boulder, Colorado and she had an amazing garden. I might just need to learn how to garden here!

Then I can provide better “Agriculture Reports” in the future (smile).

Quilt Shop Tours, tierneytravels

Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part II

Now it’s time for Part II on my 2021 Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop Adventures, which started with the post Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part I.

Our first Colorado Quilt Shop Hop adventure began in Fountain, CO and in this post we have made it to Pueblo, Colorado for the second leg of our adventure.

But first let’s talk about this:

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer working a quilt shop staff member at Stitcher’s Garden in Pueblo, CO for treats! Curiously they happen to have a bag of doggy treats in the back stockroom and Mike was fed many of them!

It was very warm during the shop hop and we wanted to bring Mike the Mini Schnauzer on the road trip but not leave him the car, so it was backpacking into the quilt shops for him!

All the shops were “dog-in-a-backpack-friendly” and I think he gained a couple pounds from treats during the shop hop!

Luckily there we some nice local town parks or scenic walks that my partner John could take him on if I needed some extended time in any quilt shop. Mike enjoyed riding around in the backseat of the car with this cozy blanket and the cooler filled with our sparkling waters, soda, and snacks for roadtripping. (He just wished he had opposable thumbs so he could open the cooler when he wanted and grab his own snack!)

The first quilt shop we visited in Pueblo was Stitcher’s Garden and here are some photos from that shop so you can have a virtual shop hop experience:

Did you see the Batik fabric cowboy boots in one of the above photos? Those made me laugh! They were not wearable but they would be a funny decorative/storage item for your quilting room! And did you notice the giant bag of treats the quilt shop staff member had in her hand while she was petting her new friend Mike?!?!?!

So far our quilt shop hop was going well until….

After our visit to that first quilt shop in Pueblo, CO, my understanding was that we had one more quilt shop in Pueblo on the 2021 Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop but when my partner John put the shop’s name “First Stitches” into his Google Maps the directions said the shop was in Canon City, CO. So we listened to Google Maps instead of our COMMON SENSE and headed out 41 miles to Canon City (do you see where this is headed…not in the right direction…).

The staff at the First Stitches quilt shop were warm and friendly and when I asked for them to punch my Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop ticket (which gives you credit for visiting each shop) they said: “Oh we are not participating in the shop hop, our ORIGINAL SHOP in PUEBLO is participating”.

Oh my.

So we drove back to Pueblo, tried Google Maps again and found the correct shop.

But, I had a lovely time at the wrong shop and here are photos from the First Stitches quilt shop in Canon City, CO:

I even bought some beautiful Ruby Star Society butterfly fabric at the unnecessary-stop-quilt-shop. John felt bad about the accidental side trip but it was just as much my fault as his for not using that thing called COMMON SENSE and double checking the Rocky Mountain Shop Hop quilt shop list!

After going to the correct shop which I quickly ran into, go my shop hop “passport” stamped and ran out because at this point we were so hungry, we went to the Riverwalk in Pueblo lunch, which was more beautiful than I anticipated.

I’ll save that and our next quilt shop adventure along the shop hop for my next post.

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Help Me Pick the Binding for Seattle Scrappy!

Okay time to take a break from “tierneytravels” and get back to “tierneycreates” (smile).

It only took like a year+ but I’ve finally finished hand quilting a lap sized free form log cabin quilt I started back in January 2020 at a quilting retreat which I named “Seattle Scrappy”. Now I need your help to decide which fabric to use for the quilt binding.

I know crafters are opinionated and like helping other crafters with their design, so I am looking for your opinions.

But first here is a little quick background on the piece and some additional photos.

  • In January 2020 (before the pandemic was a reality) I attended a mini quilt retreat with a couple quilting friends in Poulsbo, Washington. I brought a couple hand work projects and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects. But, my dear quilting friend Dana brought an extra sewing machine (one her her Berninas, and I love Berninas) and a BAG OF GRAY FABRIC SCRAPS for me to play with – oh no!
  • Out of that bag of scraps came a whole lots of free form pieces log cabin blocks and you can read about those in this post – What’s on the…Design Carpet.
  • Since February 2020 I’ve had a series of posts on the evolution of this quilt:
  • I’ve had an update or two on my @tierneycreates Instagram feed since these posts but basically I’ve just been plugging along (when I remember to work on it) hand stitching it with perle/pearl cotton thread.
  • Last night I finally finished stitching it; and this morning I trimmed off the extra batting on the edges!

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I didn’t have the best light when I quickly took these photos this morning, but they give you a general idea of the hand quilted quilt.

Now it’s time to choose the binding (this is where you come in) and here are the four options I am considering:

As you can see they are all some shade of gray. You might be thinking: “Well Tierney, what about the turquoise, aqua, or the burnt orange in the piece?” I did think about those for a moment but first of all I do not have enough of any of those fabrics to create a binding; and second I do not want to frame it in a strong color. I want to frame it in a gray.

So here are the four gray fabrics up close up against the quilt for you to select from when you share your thoughts:

A – fabric with faux stitching pattern

Fabric A

B – medium-dark gray fabric

Fabric B

C – medium gray fabric

Fabric C

D – variegated gray fabric (the tone/shade of gray will change along the binding

Fabric D

Here is a poll below for you to vote and I will report back on the result of the poll and my final decision (which will likely be heavily influenced by your votes):

****If you’d like to participate in voting/respond to the poll, you have to go to my actual website. It will not show in the WordPress Reader, sorry (thanks @tammiepainter for making me aware). If you are in the WP Reader, click on “Visit Site”.****

I’d appreciate any additional thoughts you have in addition to your vote in the Comments section of this post.

Please note however, I will only tally votes through the poll above just to make sure I do not duplicate votes, thanks!

Awaiting your votes…
A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part I

In early May 2021 I went on a road trip to see Glenwood Springs, CO for the first time (see post Weekend in Glenwood Springs). I love it so much that I decided it was the perfect trip to take my sister on when she visited in mid June. But this time instead of driving there, we took the Amtrak train!

Before the Train Ride

Before heading out on our 6 hour train ride from downtown Denver’s Amtrak station (Union Station) to Glenwood Springs, the day before our train trip I took my sister to the South Pearl District/South Pearl Street of Denver to wander about and then go thrift shopping. 

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Above is another terrible attempt at a selfie (I am the “World’s Worst Selfie Taker”) and I am not sure why I am staring off in the wrong direction, ha!

We wandered to various little shops boutiques and had lunch at a very delicious restaurant (where I took our selfie).

After the South Pearl Street wander about and lunch, we went to the huge Goodwill downtown (my sister loves thrift/charity shops also) and we had a wonderful browse there as well as several other thrift shops we stopped at on the way back to my house.

My sister toted about the new Wonder Woman tote bag I had made her (which I first shared in the post Okay so here is a tote bag (or two)…), during our shopping adventure:

In the next post I will continue with further stories of our adventures during our trip, starting with the train ride to Glenwood Springs, which was breathtaking in its scenery!

Trying to catch up on blog posts, I’ve realized that it might be easier for busy readers if my posts are a little shorter; and it is less work for me to get a post out there 🙂

Beastie Adventures, Special Events

Guest Blogger: Denver Quilt Craft and Sewing Festival

Tierneycreates Beastie here to report on my adventures at the Denver Quilt Craft and Sewing Festival. going on this weekend!

Here I am writing this post from my laptop on a make-shift desk

Oh in case you are new to this blog here is my standard blurb/background:

My name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. I was made by Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (i.e. when the human Tierney falls off the blogging-wagon and I have to help) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

A couple of weeks ago, Tierney (the human version of me) discovered that Denver is having it’s first Quilt/Craft/Sewing Festival since the pandemic. She immediately got us tickets:

$10 for 3 days and free parking!

It’s very warm here (we’ve been having a mini-heatwave past couple of days with temperatures up to 100F/38C) and I changed out of my standard T-shirt to my light summer dress for the festival:

I know, I know, I look extremely adorable. Can’t help it, I was made that way…

I did not wear my shoes as Tierney has a history of leaving one of my shoes behind somewhere when she helps me do my photo shoots.

I even took off my standard messenger bag where I keep my laptop (and library card) and put on my backpack in case Tierney needed help getting any fun finds at the festival home:

Ready to carry as much fabric as my backpack will hold!

The first thing we came across at the festival was a “make and take” table featuring a little felt coffee themed coaster you could make. We were tempted but we had so much to see.

After so many months of social distancing, it was strange to see all these crafters crammed into the festival (and they were all happy and very eager to wander around the booths!). The festival did require masks if you were unvaccinated and we did see some people with masks on (Tierney is fully vaccinated and I am…well I am made from yarn so I am immune in general…).

I could not help myself, there was so much fabric around, I had to play in it:

You think with all those fabric selections, Tierney could find some fabric to make me a new dress or two (I only have one dress, made by Helen @ CrawCrafts Beasties).

In addition to wandering around the many vendor booths at the festival, we also watched some cool demos:

Me watching a demo (I just noticed I have some lint in my hair, probably from laying in fabric)

We also chatted with a vendor that had a very unusual and cool woven shirt:

Very creative shirt!

We had fun watching demos of Bernina sewing machines (and a long-arm quilting machine) we could not afford:

Tierney told the Bernina representative about my Beastinia and he was impressed!

Here are more images from the festival including several of me just being very cute:

We were exhausted after a couple hours at the festival but had fun chatting with other crafters and vendors as well as seeing some amazing things (most of which luckily we did not try to bring home).

Tierney could not help herself on her way to the car and had to take a photo in Black & White of some industrial spools in the parking lot (but she forgot to put me in the photo to make it interesting):

Tierney likes to pretend she is a photographer…

When we got back home, Tierney’s tote bag she took to the festival (one of her handmade tote bags) was full of goodies:

My backpack however only contained my laptop. I am not sure why she did not use my backpack for overflow. Well at least I offered.

I had a great time at my first festival (I know you are shocked that she never took me to one before). I can’t wait until my next one!

Oh and if you live in the U.S. and you are itching to go to one of these festivals, this website had a listing of upcoming (in person!) Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festivals:

https://quiltcraftsew.com/denver.html

But be safe – there are still “cooties” out there and the pandemic is not over yet (especially in many parts of the world).

tierneycreates

Redesigning my logo

I decided it was time to redesign my tierneycreates logo which I had created originally back in 2013 when I first began blogging:

This time I wanted to do something more “organic”.

I’ve been addicted to the game/app Words with Friends for years and I play online Scrabble daily with friends such as my friend Kathy and my partner John:

Yup I lost in the game above.

I loved Scrabble since I was a kid. I actually have a collection of Scrabble letter collected from old games I picked up from garage sales or just the letters themselves.

I’ve crafted with them in the past making refrigerator magnet gifts with friends’ names done in Scrabble letters.

Also recently my partner John made me a photo platform to use for photographing items for my tierneycreates Etsy shop (which I hope to re-open this year). Combined with my new Ring Light (which I am still learning to use) I hope I will have decent photos for my Etsy listings!

So I came up with the idea of spelling out my company name (tierneycreates) with my tagline (a fusion of textiles and smiles) in Scrabble letters, and adding some textiles!

For the “textiles” I dug into my basket of fabric scrap strings:

Here is the photo shoot:

Here are two version of the resulting new logo I am thinking of trying out (and if you can’t tell any difference don’t worry it is subtle – they are each cropped slightly differently):

It’s definitely “organic”!

So what do you think? Does it look like I was Drinking While Designing (a “DWD”) a logo?

Beastie Adventures, Studio

“From the Cutting Table”: Update to tierneycreates Studio (Guest Blogger)

It’s been a while since I guest blogged. Hi there – it’s tierneycreates Beastie and I wanted to share some changes to my home (Tierney’s studio).

I’ve titled my post “From the Cutting Table…” because my dog Mikelet and I now live on the cutting table in Tierney’s studio:

 In case you are new to this blog, here is a little background on me:

My name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. I was made by Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (i.e. when the human Tierney falls off the blogging-wagon and I have to help) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.

I like the cutting table, I have plenty of room and it is not too scary like it was when Tierney had me next to all those creepy giant schnauzers (see January 2020 post Guest Blogger: What the heck is going on here?)

Can you see the look of sheer terror in my eyes??!?!

Whew, glad those days are over! Oh you might wonder what became of my fiancé John Beastie (see post Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom), well he spends most of his time in John the Human’s office downstairs. Tierney and John Human feel it is best not to let a couple of Beasties spend too much time together as mischief is certain to happen! (Just wait until we get married, they’ll never keep us apart!!!)

Here we are in July 2020 celebrating our engagement

Oh I think I am getting off track on my post…

So yes my dog Mikelet and I spend most of our time on the cutting board in Tierney’s studio and we like it, though I have to keep an eye on Mikelet because sometimes he plays in the pincushion and I think that might be dangerous.

By the way my maker Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties made me my own sewing machine so I could help Tierney sew projects and once I figure out how to use it maybe I will have a guest post about my projects instead of Tierney’s!

Now what I was I originally planning to tell you? Beasties are easy distracted. Oh yes, I wanted to tell you about a recent change to my home the tierneycreates Studio.

John, Human John not Beastie John, Tierney’s partner, recently made an ironing board table for the studio. Before the new ironing board table, Tierney was using a traditional ironing board and iron.

What started this change was for Christmas John got Tierney a cordless iron:

Perhaps you wanted to see a full image of the iron but isn’t the iron much cuter with me in front of it?!!?!?

Okay here is the iron:

Image from Amazon.com

Now that Tierney had cordless iron she had more flexibility on where her iron could be located, so John (again I mean Human John as Beastie John could not have handled the tools involved which are bigger than him…) built her a 2 foot by 4 foot ironing table for her studio.

First John cut a piece of plywood the same size as the table base being used (an old counter height folding table). Then John and Tierney wrapped and stapled four (4) layers onto the plywood base:

  • Batting
  • Insul-Brite heat resistant batting
  • Heat resistant fabric (like the type used for old ironing board covers)
  • Cotton fabric

Tierney is really pleased with her new ironing table and she used it while making all those tote bags she talked about in her recent post (see post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags).

So that is the big change to the studio.

Somedays I get tired of the studio and miss the days when I used to go on adventures with Tierney. The pandemic has slowed down my adventures. Tierney promises that soon we will resume our adventures, I just need to be patient.

For now Mikelet and I will wistfully stare out the studio window…


Postscript

I am going to close this guest post by sharing a secret: Tierney is sort of a slob in her studio.

Look at these mini Toblerone candy bar wrappers she left on the cutting table!

I caught Mikelet sniffing them, luckily there was no candy in them as chocolate is bad for dogs.

I hope she will be more respectful of my space and clean up her wrappers!

Thrift Shop Adventures

An Interesting Find…

I currently have “Corona-virus Blues”, what about you? I was scheduled to go next week to a very exciting conference in Nashville, Tennessee with many fun events, but my employer cancelled all business/corporate travel for the next several weeks because of the virus outbreak.

Even though I am bummed, in the big picture this is not such a big issue as there are many people impacted on a greater scale. My heart goes out to those who are currently infected and recovering as well as to the families of those who’ve loss loved ones due to this outbreak.

And now onto lighter topics such as the awesome find I recently made at a local thrift shop.


It’s been quite a while since I posted anything in my category/series of blog posts Thrift Shop Adventures. I have not done as much thrifting as I used to do in Central Oregon since moving to the Denver metro area in April 2019. I do miss the awesome Humane Society of Central Oregon Thrift Store, where I discovered many delights, such as this find such as the one I mention in this November 2018 post – Awesome $2 Thrift Shop Find.

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All these high end designer fabric samples for $2 from the Humane Society Thrift Shop!

Although it does not replace my beloved Humane Society Thrift Shop, I have discovered a fairly wonderful thrift shop in downtown Denver – Goodwill Denver– Broadway.

Last weekend, while browsing, I stumbled upon an amazing find – all this fabric marked at $12, which I got for 30% off $12 because of the tag color sale (Goodwill does a daily tag color discount that varies from day to day):

2020-03-02_17-53-59_481Inside this bag was a large collection of fabrics by a company called Boundless Fabrics which appears to be primarily sold by Bluprint (formerly known as Craftsy).

2020-03-02_17-47-32_363The package included yardage, precuts (charm squares and fat quarters), a panel (a Moda Fabrics panel) and some odd size fabric scraps.

2020-03-02_17-49-32_9772020-03-02_17-50-17_3572020-03-02_17-53-01_991The pictures above do not do the package as there is enough fabric for several quilts (there are at least 10+ yards of fabric among the yardage).

The fabrics could not be used in one quilt (unless you liked an eclectic mix of styles and patterns) but they could be used for several different quilts.

I looked up reviews on Boundless Fabrics and they higher than the quality of fabrics sold at JOANN Fabrics and Craft Store but slightly below the quality of those sold at quilt shops. But for 30% of $12 (oh please do not make me do the math, ha!) they were not a bad deal!

In case you are wondering I have absolutely no idea of what I am going to do with them, but I put them away for now (smile).


Postscript

Continuing with the theme of “interesting finds”…

For those of you who’ve been blogging for a while – do you remember when you were a new blogger? Remember trying to build your audience? I did it by following other blogs and commenting on posts.

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Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash

Over the years (I’ve been blogging nearly 7 years) I’ve met a bunch of cool blogging buddies and regularly follow their blogs.

I noticed that many of us, especially those of us who are crafters, follow the same blogs and it fun to see for example Mary @zippyquilts commenting on a post by Chela @chela’s colchas y mas who just commenting on a post by Mariss @fabrications who had a comment from Laura @laurabrunolilly.com who had commented also on  the blogs I just mentioned!

You get a real sense of community. (And there are many more bloggers in our community, like Claudia @claudiamcgillart, but I just listed a few as an example.)

Well I would like to occasionally introduce/suggest a new member to our crafter blogging community – an interesting blog find I discovered through this blogger commented on my posts:

Sleepy Beagle 

(thesleepybeagleword.wordpress.com/blog/)

Check out this interesting crafter blog if you get a chance and perhaps become a follower and make her part of our community. Her crafting and crafter’s life posts are well written, informative and engaging! This blog is an “Interesting Find”!

What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the…Design Carpet

It’s been a while since I’ve added anything to my series of posts:   “What’s on the Design Wall”, about my current project up on my design wall.

However as my tierneycreates Beastie shared in the post Guest Blogger: What the heck is going on here? , my studio is packed up and turned back into a bedroom for staging the house I currently live in for sale.

Not having a design wall up on the wall has not stopped me – I’ve discovered: The Design Carpet (patent pending, ha!).

2020-01-16_13-21-04_854But let’s back-up a moment, and tell you how this piece began and got to this point…

As I mentioned in my post From the Basket – English Paper Piecing, a couple weekends ago I attended a mini quilt retreat with a couple quilting friends in Poulsbo, Washington.

I brought a couple hand work projects from my basket of hand work (see post Inside the Basket ) and had EVERY INTENTION of only working on my hand work projects.

But…

My dear quilting friend Dana brought an extra sewing machine (one her her Berninas, and I love Berninas) and a BAG OF GRAY FABRIC SCRAPS for me to play with – oh no!

2020-01-10_18-11-38_9152020-01-11_15-35-55_903As you saw in the “From the Basket” post, I did work on my English Paper Piecing rosettes, but after a while I put them aside and STARTING PLAYING WITH THE GRAY SCRAPS! (I could not resist the temptation to play with fabric scraps)

Before you know it, as I shared on @tierneycreates on Instagram, I began creating freeform pieced/improvisationally pieced log cabin blocks (also known as “log jamming”):

2020-01-10_18-11-34_186And before I knew it, I had a pile of 138 blocks I made!

2020-01-12_08-01-18_2382020-01-12_08-00-38_602Once I got home, I could not wait to play with them and see what interesting pattern I could make with the dark gray and light gray framed blocks, So I decided to use the “Design Carpet”:

2020-01-16_13-07-40_412I began with creating a pattern with the dark gray framed blocks:

2020-01-16_13-07-51_784Then I worked on framing them with the light gray blocks:

2020-01-16_13-21-12_628I like the effect with the dark gray floating in the lighter gray blocks.

Since I took these photos, I’ve made additional progress and pulled out my sewing machine from the storage room (where you hide everything when staging a house for sale)!

Let me make a bit more progress on the piece and I will share in a future post!


Postscript

Let me know if you think I can patent the concept of the “Design Carpet” and make millions on my late-night infomercial selling “Design Carpets” and quit my day job and just sew all day!

“You can own your own Design Carpet for 5 easy payments of $99.99!

But wait, there’s more:

Buy one Design Carpet and get a second one for only $99.99 plus shipping and handling.”

– TIERNCO, DISTRIBUTOR OF THE DESIGN CARPET

A Crafter's Life, tierneycreates

From T-Shirt to Throw Pillow

The Christmas holidays are upon us and as one of my partner’s Christmas gifts, I decided to recycle several of his old T-shirts that no longer fit/were worn out into throw pillows for his “Man Cave” in our daylight basement.

Here is the first one I worked on – I used flannel to border the T-shirt (which I added fusible interfacing to first) and for the envelope back:

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Here is the next pillow I worked on (my partner is a Whiskey connoisseur) and I had trouble focusing while making the pillow because it was so outrageously funny and so unlike his personality:

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He was pleasantly surprised by the pillows (I gave them to him early so he could enjoy them for the holiday season). Here they are set up in the “Man Cave” (where we also like to sit and watch movies):

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Postscript

We also have our Schnauzer-themed Christmas tree up. I am lucky to have another Schnauzer-aficionado in my life. Yes we did include his ornaments too but the tree is “strongly Schnauzer” 🙂

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Every tree needs a “Schnauzer Angel” topper, right?

Thursday evening we had a quiet evening by the tree wrapping presents, drinking hot cocoa and eating grilled cheese sandwiches before the holiday madness begins.

Now it is holiday parties, out of town family members arriving for a visit; and then hosting 25+ people at the house for Christmas eve (my partner is the oldest of 7 children and hosts Christmas eve dinner for his family and extended family).

Quite the different Christmas holiday than I had in 2018…and I am feeling very blessed and cozy.

Quilt Shop Tours

Hawaiian Quilt Exhibit: Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

According to Wikipedia:

A Hawaiian quilt is a distinctive quilting style of the Hawaiian Islands that uses large radially symmetric applique patterns. Motifs often work stylized botanical designs in bold colors on a white background.

Hawaiian quilt applique is made from a single cut on folded fabric.Quilting stitches normally follow the contours of the applique design

The other day I paid a visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado for the first time, and saw an incredible exhibit of Hawaiian Quilts.

Most of the quilts were from the 1930s and 1940s but there were several from the late 1800s.

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Here are photos of many of the quilts in the exhibit. Most of them were Queen-bed sized, though a several appeared to be King-sized bed quilts and there were several wallhanging sized pieces.

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The quilts were absolutely amazing!

After wandering around the exhibit, I stopped in the gift shop which was also a miniature quilt shop.

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While browsing the gift shop, I discovered this book – an exhibition catalog for the show Rooted in Tradition: Art Quilts from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.

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I ended up buying the book as not only did it contain amazing art quilts and profiles of quilters, but there were also at least three renown quilters in it that I’ve met and admired for a while:

  • Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi
  • Ed Johnetta Miller
  • Wendy Hill

I am so lucky in my art quilting journey so far I’ve had such fortunate brushes with greatness and inspirational talent in the quilting medium!

If you are a quilter, or someone who loves quilts, if you happen to be in the Denver area, I highly recommend a visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum!

 

Studio, tierneycreates

From “Orphan Blocks” to Pillows

If you make quilts, then you’ve probably dealt with “orphan blocks” – the extra blocks you either made accidentally while making your quilt or intentionally to give you options when you laid out your quilt and made final decisions on what blocks you want to use in the quilt.

For years I’ve had these two “orphan blocks” from a Connecting Threads Minnesota Stars Kit I made at least 8 years ago.

Here is what the quilt looks like (it is currently serving as a tablecloth on my table in the sunroom):

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And here are the two “orphan blocks” that did not fit into the quilt (I think I accidentally made too many):

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You may notice in the images above it looks like the blocks were hand-stitched. Well they were – I attempted to do something with the blocks years ago and added batting, backing and hand-stitched them.

And then they went to the place where all unfinished projects go – to the back of the closet.

Last night I decided rather than move them as unfinished blocks to my next residence, why not just FINISH them and make them into coordinating pillows?

So I did:

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And now they are on the chairs in the sunroom with the tablecloth quilt that they are connected:

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Ah, it feels so good to finish an old project!

A Crafter's Life

Getting Started with Quilting: What You Need to Know (Guest Post)

Today I have a guest post from Diana S. Clark of the Sewing Machine Club for anyone who is thinking about becoming a quilter but is not sure when to start.

Diana contacted me a week ago with the idea of a guest post and I love the information in her article and thought it would be fun to share with you!


What You Need to Know Before You Start Quilting

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Sewing Machine Club

There’s nothing more heartwarming than receiving a novelty quilt handmade with love and care which is why quilts make such great gifts!

Although quilting seems tedious and takes a lot of time and effort, they’re actually pretty simple. As a matter of fact, anyone can start quilting in the comfort of their own home.

If you’re on the fence on how to begin quilting, we got you covered. We have some tips to help you start your quilting project to ensure you’re fully prepared.

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Sewing Machine Club

Patterns, patterns, patterns!

Patterns are a crucial part of your quilt. It’s important to think about what patterns you want so you can prepare fabrics and equipment before quilting. Patterns come in different varieties and some may be a bit more complex than others hence, taking more time to create. So, keep in mind to choose a pattern that suits your taste and skill.

Preparation is Key

Before quilting, remember to gather all the equipment you need according to the instructions of the pattern since different patterns have different instructions. When searching for fabrics, opt for colorfast fabrics that don’t run when washed. Also, make sure to measure each block to figure out how much fabric will be needed.

Quilt Away

Find a comfortable space and set up your equipment such as your fabrics, sewing machine, and tools. Start by carefully cutting your patchwork pieces with a rotary cutter before sewing them. Once you’ve got all the patchwork pieces prepared, start quilting the top as it takes a lot of time and precision. Finally, make sure to iron the patchwork to set it.

Final Touches

Next, baste the quilt by combining the top and bottom layer and placing batting in between like a sandwich. Use pins or temporary adhesive to hold the layers while you sew them so the layers stay in place. When you’re done with sewing the layers, add some final touches with some decorative binding to the edges of your quilt to seal the layers.

For more details and images, check out this infographic about quilting!


Feature Photo by Jeff Wade on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life, Adventures in Paper Piecing

Back to Making Things and Lovely Surprises in the Mail

Hello My Blogging Community, thanks for all your support during the most challenging time in my life.

I wanted to share that I have finally returned to “making” after quite the hiatus after the loss of my husband.

But first, let me share the two wonderful surprises I got in the mail today.

Surprise #1

My blogging buddy in Dublin Ireland, Helen @crawcraftsbeasties.com sent me a hand painted card featuring a Beastie comforting another Beastie:

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To learn more about the amazing Beasties that Helen makes, check out her website – crawcraftsbeasties.com.

Surprise #2

My blogging buddy in the Netherlands, Emmely @infectiousstitches gave me an amazing stitched card:

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It was like a large fabric postcard with a wonderful handwritten note on back.

I so appreciate all the support from my blogging community including so many people who have never met me in person and only know me from my blog. I wish we could all get together for some tea and pastries at a nice cafe.

No Longer Dreading the Mail

I feel I turned a corner as I am no longer dreading sympathy/condolence cards in the mail. So many thoughtful people have sent their condolences over the loss of my husband but each card was like a gut wrenching stab reminding me of my profound loss. I dreaded getting the mail and making myself open the cards and their words of sympathy blurring before my tearing eyes. Perhaps in retrospect I should have put them aside and read them later. I felt compelled and obligated to open each card.

On Tuesday I began an 8 week Spousal Loss Grief Support Group. The first meeting was incredibly difficult especially at first but by the end of the meeting as we all started to share and connect it got so much better. The Grief Counselor facilitating the meeting is amazing. This support group is through our local hospice and is a free community service.

There is an educational component to each meeting and I learned a lot about grief and why I have struggled with some severe irritability. I am so happy to have a safe place to talk about complex feelings with others who have also experienced the profound loss of a life partner.

I now get the whole “support group” concept where people going through similar experiences can support each other and relate to each other struggles, especially with the help of an amazing group facilitator.

Back to Making

I knew I needed to return to sewing and the tactile experience of working with fabric as part of my healing. I was either struggling with low energy or lack of interest, but I kept trying to dive back in.

First I tried to return to the Tula in a Box quilt I was working on before Terry died (and Terry helped me lay out the blocks) – see post .Tula in a Box. I managed to get the quilt back up on the large design wall in the hallway (I had half of it sewn together) as I had removed it from the design wall after he died as it was upsetting me:

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But I have not done any work on it.

Then I tried to work on taking out the stitching of a quilt I made into a tablecloth. I decided to turn it into a quilt. I did get the stitching out but got stalled on getting it ironed out so I could sent it out for long-arm quilting:

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Finally I thought I would try some hand work – something I could sit in front of the TV (I’ve been watching endless Netflix in the evening) and work on – English Paper Piecing (EPP):

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That worked. I’ve been working on making EPP hexies in the evening. Occasionally making the hexies feels bittersweet at Terry punched out the paper piecing templates for me. But I like to think that we are making them together.

A Crafter's Life

Stories from the Road, Part III

Hello to my blogging community.

I am continuing my series of posts about my new journey as a widow after losing my partner for more than half my life, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH).

My first two posts in this series Stories from the Road, Part I, and Stories from the Road, Part II were literally about a journey – a road trip with my sister across 4 states to see family on the East Coast and to celebrate TTQH’s life. This post is focused on my figurative journey navigating the grieving process and moving forward with my new life after the loss of the love of my life.

Before I dive into that, I wanted to say thank you to those of you who left thoughtful comments on my previous posts with your condolences and support. I’ve read all of them. I also appreciate those who have reached out via e-mail and/or also sent cards.

I miss regularly blogging and interacting with my regular blogging community (to include reading and commenting on your blog posts, etc.) but the profound grief that comes with such a loss consumes mental and physical energy on a level I cannot put into words.

I will likely at moments ramble in this post, but hopefully I will stay fairly coherent (smile).

The Widow’s Walk

I’ve loss both my parents but I’ve never experienced grief on this level. I do take one day at a time and each day does get a little better and the walk to get through each day seems a little less long and painful.

I’ve been focusing on planning for my next journey in life, which I discuss in a moment, and this has made me hopeful.

I would say my current state of mind is “sad but hopeful“.

I’ve decided to sell my house and move out of Central Oregon this Spring. I am not ready to share yet on my blog where I have decided to move, but will in the future.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been cleaning and clearing out many items from TTQH’s life and my life. I think all the thrift shops and shelters in town are tired of my endless carloads of donations.

In addition to local charity thrift shops, I am pleased with the groups I’ve been able to help out by donating TTQH’s stuff. For example I was able to donate all of his historical gaming miniatures/figures to the Hobby University of the Historical Miniature Gaming Society.  I was able to donate some cool stuff to a local Veterans Association. I know TTQH would have approved.

In preparation to sell the house and to move to a smaller space temporarily, I’ve been significantly downsizing my possessions. I’ve dabbled with Minimalism in the past (see my series of posts tagged with the category My Minimalism Journey) but I still had a lot of stuff.

It seems like now I am able to be “brutal” with downsizing my stuff and now able to let go more easily. When you experience such a significant loss, things just do not seem as important/precious as they did before.

For example, here is a growing pile of recycled fabric acquired over the years, that is headed to the local thrift shop:

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Mike the Miniature Schnauzer and I will be on a road trip this Spring to our new home. I will of course bring my tierneycreates Beastie (see series of posts in the category Beastie Adventures) on the road with us and she might be guest blogging to share stories of our journey from Central Oregon to our new location in the U.S. (staying in the States).

I do plan to return to quilting and blogging about lighter topics. I plan to finish the Tula Pink All Star quilt I last wrote about in the post Tula in a Box; and to continue the story on Secret Quilt Revealed, Part I.


Feature Photo by delfi de la Rua on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life

Stories from the Road, Part I

I’ve titled this post “Stories from the Road” because it is about my recent road trip across 4 states in the Eastern Coast of the United States as well as the new journey/road I am on as a widow after the recent loss of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) my partner of many years.

First I want to thank everyone who left thoughtful comments on my previous post when I shared I would be taking a break from blogging. Please know I read and appreciate all the comments, I am not up to responding to them. I really appreciate my blogging community and I was feeling the love, thank you.  Originally I planned to take an extended break from blogging (or perhaps stop blogging complete) but I really enjoy writing and the amazement that people actually read my musings!

No matter how terrible my grief is, I continually work on remembering two things: 1) how lucky I was to be married to my best friend for over half my life; and 2) that TTQH would want me to go forward in life and be happy.

Every day I also work on smiling through my tears such as in this recent photo taken from my brother-in-law’s kitchen in Upstate NY during the get together we had honoring Terry:

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I am blessed to have a large supportive network of family, friends, and colleagues. My sister has been exceptionally supportive and I will talk more about that in the next section. My friends Marla Jo, Jason, Laurie, Michele, Judy, Kelly, Diane, Kathy, Dana and Lisa have also been exceptionally supportive.

Marla Jo and Jason were there on the worst day of my life, finding Terry after an aneurysm took his life. They took my dog Mike the Miniature Schnauzer and kept him for a week.

My friend Laurie was there on the second worse day of my life – going to the funeral home to make arrangements. I’ve mentioned outings with Laurie and her dog Luna in previous blog posts and on the second worse day of my life, Laurie took me to visit a horse property with horses she works with to give me a little equestrian therapy (see post Horsing Around).

My friends Michele, Judy, Kelly, and Lisa have continually checked on me as well as many other friends and coworkers who have reached out.

Terry’s family has been awesome and very supportive, especially his two amazing sisters, to include helping me with his end of life expenses. Friends have also reached out with financial support to help with travel and end of life expenses and I greatly appreciate that support. I learned how to set up a PayPal Me account so people could send money if they chose to support me in that way.

I received two creative ways of support that made me smile – a Whole Foods gift certificate from my boss (I love Whole Foods but it is usually too expensive to shop there regularly); and a huge gift card to my favorite restaurant in Central Oregon from some colleagues. I’ve already used them both as I have not been up to cooking.

Stories from the Road

My sister insisted that I immediately come to the East Coast of the U.S. to be with family when she learned of Terry’s passing. I was initially concerned about the huge cost of last minutes cross country flights; and that it was basically deep Winter in Upstate NY.

My wonderful brother bought me a roundtrip plane ticket to Baltimore after my sister found the best flight option. My incredible sister, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, picked me up from Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) and drove me across four states.

We stopped in Delaware to see my brother, his wife and their son (my adorable 6 year old nephew) and then headed to Tarrytown, NY to stay the night before going on to Upstate NY in the morning. My brother also covered our hotel reservation at a very nice Courtyard by Marriott using his frequent stay points (he travels a lot for business).

I am not sure how many miles my sister drove but I am pretty sure it was at least 800 – 900 miles roundtrip including her trip back home to Richmond. We crossed the following states: Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Part of our trip we had semi-scary inclement weather but my sister was an amazing driver. She insisted on doing all the driving.

We drove to the home of Terry’s sisters, Sue and Diane. You might remember their names from my blog posts about their visits this summer to attend the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (see post Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2018, Part II: Visiting Crafters).

They are both quilters and while we visited I got to see and play with their new long-arm quilting machine:

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That is a practice panel on the machine as they want to do a lot of practice before they work on an actual important quilt.

Speaking of important quilts, they have a beautiful quilt in progress on their design wall as a belated wedding gift for a family member:

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The live in the original family home and I got a kick out of seeing Terry’s old room turned into their quilt studio (still a work in progress):

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He would most definitely approve!

Terry’s sisters have rescued a couple Shih Tzu dogs from a puppy mill and have a golden doodle, Tucker. My sister and I were treated one evening to a “floor show” put on by one of the Shih Tzus and Tucker as they played tug-a-war while he dragged her across the floor as she held fast on the edge of her dog bed:

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All I could think during the show was how much Terry would have enjoyed this as he was a huge dog person (he actually liked dogs more than people).

More to Come

I will end this post here and continue the story in the next post. My energy is low as would be expected with profound grief. Please know I appreciate and read your comments but I may not be up to responding.

I am keeping the words of this old Chinese proverb in my mind:

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair. – Old Chinese proverb


Feature Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

A Crafter's Life, tierneycreates

Artistic Delights in the Mail

One of the best thing about having the tierneycreates blog for the past 5 years is connecting with other crafters, makers, artists around the world.

One of those people is Pennsylvania based artist extraordinaire, Claudia McGill. She is one of those “Renaissance Women” whose dabbles successfully in many arts – writing, painting, drawing, illustrations, poetry, ceramics/pottery and collage.

She has two blogs (that I know of, maybe she has more, ha!) – one for her art and one for her poetry:

Claudia McGill and Her Art World

Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?

A couple days ago, I was surprised in the mail with a lovely holiday card and some some little pieces of her art!

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Lucky me!

I know there are new bloggers now following my blog that might be looking for other maker blogs to follow and blogging communities to connect with, so I plan in the future to share more about the blogs I follow to help connect anyone interested.

Over the years, I’ve met so many other bloggers through following and commenting on blogs that capture my interest.

 


Postscript

I’ve always fantasized about writing poetry and had dabbled but never had the confidence to share any of my writings.

In addition to Claudia’s blogs, I also follow other “artist poets” such as South African based artist and poet, Mariss Stevens. She shares her beautiful art quilts with accompanying poems!

You can check out her amazing art quilts and poetry on her blog:

FABRICATIONS

 

 

Audiobooks and Podcasts, My Minimalism Journey, Quality of Life

Soulful Simplicity and the Mexican Fisherman

What does the phrase “Soulful Simplicity” mean to you?

The last several months I’ve listening to some awesome audiobooks from my public library while I go on daily walks, sew, or do errands. I plan to share highlights from the audiobooks in upcoming posts and I thought I would begin with my current listen: Soulful Simplicity: How Living With Less Can Lead to So Much More by Courtney Carver.

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image credit: Amazon

Here is the summary of the book on on the Deschutes Public Library website:

Courtney Carver shows us the power of simplicity to improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives. We are often on a quest for more, giving in to pressure every day to work more, own more, and do more. For Courtney Carver, this constant striving had to come to a stop when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Stress was like gasoline on the fire of her symptoms, and it became clear that she needed to root out the physical and psychological clutter that were the source of her debt and discontent.

In this book, Carver shows us how to pursue practical minimalism so we can create more with less-more space, more time, and even more love. She invites us to look at the big picture, discover what’s most important to us, and reclaim lightness and ease by getting rid of all the excess things.

The audiobook is read by the author (which always adds a high degree of authenticity to the listening for me) and focuses on “being more with less“.

I am 2/3rds through the audiobook and wanted share one of my favorite stories (that the author shares in her book) about what really matters in life. As the author states, there are many versions of this story. Here is the version from her website: Be More With Less.


The Mexican Fisherman

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one Mexican fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, “only a little while”. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” asked the fisherman.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”


In the version I heard many years ago, the Mexican fisherman states at the end of the story: “Why would I go through all that to get what I already have?

The first time I heard this story it deeply resonated with me. As I have discussed in my series of posts on My Minimalism Journey, I’ve been working on appreciating and enjoying the life I have; taking care of my physical, emotional and spiritual health; and curating my possessions to only those things I truly love (but darn it, I love all my crafting books and magazines!)

In my pay-the-bills health care job, I’ve been offered the opportunity to attend my employer’s leadership track nine-month program to move into a leadership position. I declined the opportunity as although it would be more money, it would be much less time doing the things I love such as blogging, crafting, spending time with my husband and dog, enjoying nature, etc., etc., etc.

I am already happy with my job, salary and work schedule. I do not need to climb the “corporate ladder” to become happier.

Actually I think climbing the corporate ladder at this point in my life would be the path to less happiness as I remember a lot of stress in my life when I was previously in leadership for 8 – 9 years.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) fully supports this decision as he remembers his very stressed wife during her years in a leadership role.

I am quite content in my life’s version of a “little fishing village”.

Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours! – Swedish Proverb


Feature photo credit: Johanna Ljungblom

Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Bark

Are you inspired by nature? If you are an artist, is your art inspired by nature?

As part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration,  I am sharing my latest nature-based inspiration: TREE BARK.

Wait. When you saw the post title, did you suspect I meant “dog bark” or the barking of dogs? I do love dogs, however their barking provides little source of creative inspiration (smile).

Studying Tree Bark

For the latest project I am working on (a secret project for a future exhibit not yet announced by the curator) I needed to study the texture of tree bark. A trip to a local park provided plenty of study subjects!

I was particularly taken by this tree:

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And I took a couple B&W photos so I could study the lines of the bark texture for my piece in progress:

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Although I did not take more photos, I studied the lines of several more trees in the park and on my daily walks I’ve paid closer attention to trees in my neighborhood.

Speaking of trees, next post I will share images from the Tree Quilt Show I attended last evening.


For the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. – Martin Luther

tierneycreates

tierneycreates has a new look

Every so often I enjoying changing out my WordPress blog template and trying something new.

Previously I had two blogs I managed: 1) my personal blog, tierneycreates; and 2) a collaborative blog, Improvisational Textiles where I kept my art quilt portfolio.

Improvisational Textiles is now inactive and I’ve transitioned my art quilting portfolio over to my tierneycreates blog.

I also added a “landing page”/Welcome Page (“Home“) when you first arrive at tierneycreates.com to make it more like a “artists website” and not only a blog.

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I added a new menu “Tierney Creates” which contains the pages for my Artist Statement, my art quilt portfolio (Art Quilt Stories), and a listing of Exhibits/Shows I’ve participated in.

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This is all part of my pretending that I am an art quilter!

I still need to move some of the blog posts that relate to my art quilts over to my tierneycreates blog; and I want to update my “Tierneycreates Studio Tour” page (located in the “About Me” menu) with current photos.

I am self taught on WordPress (thank you WordPress for awesome reference materials and for people publishing YouTube videos with WordPress tips and tricks) and I will keep tweaking my tierneycreates site as I keep learning new tips and tricks!

Quilt Retreats, Quilt Shop Tours

The Road to Retreat (Via Cannon Beach)

Continuing my series of posts about the annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20. To read my previous posts about quilting retreats I’ve attended, see my post category – Retreats.

A Different Way to Quilt Retreat

Each year when posting about the annual May quilting retreat I attend, I include a “road to retreat” post on my journey to the retreat at Sew N Go in Vancouver, WA.

Examples of such posts include The Road to the Retreat  on my solo car road trip and The Road to Retreat (Via Bus!) about my first time taking the Central Oregon Breeze bus to the retreat.

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A couple weeks before the retreat I was trying to decide whether to drive to the May quilt retreat or to take the bus again. Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) offered to drive me this time to the retreat with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer joining us for the road trip.

Instead of having him drive 4 hours to the retreat and then back, we came up with the idea of driving to Cannon Beach, Oregon the day before the retreat. We would spend a day in Cannon Beach, stay overnight and the TTQH would drive me to the retreat and head back home.

I Love Cannon Beach

We’ve been visiting Cannon Beach for many years – I think we visited the first time in the early 2000s. In my post A Case for Buying Tings You Have No Plans For At The Time, I share my love for Cannon Beach and a special Cannon Beach themed wallhanging I made for my friend at work Nancy.

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Wandering Around Cannon Beach

Let’s begin with images of the beach, the sea, and the iconic Haystack rock at Cannon Beach. We enjoyed talking the coastline with Mike and here are images from Day which was fairly sunny.

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The next day, before heading to retreat, it was overcast but the beach was still wonderful:

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I love Central Oregon but it is far away from the sea. Every so often it is nice to be at the sea, smell the sea, and listen to the sea.

Cannon Beach has a wonderful quilt shop, Center Diamond Fabrics. If you check out my post A Case for Buying Tings You Have No Plans For At The Time, you will see a link to a YouTube video by the Quilt Roadies with a tour of Center Diamond Fabrics.

We’ve had a doggy backpacks for years that we carry our miniature schnauzers around in when traveling (most shops unless they are restaurants will allow a dog in a backpack in the shop) so we do not have to leave them in the car when sightseeing.

TTQH had Mike in his backpack as we wandered around Center Diamond Fabrics and Mike appears to be advising TTQH on fabric selections:

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Mike: “TTQH look at the fabrics over there!”

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Mike: “I am not too sure about those fabrics”

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Mike: “Hold on, slow down, I want to check this rack”

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Mike: “Okay let’s get all of these…”

After the quilt shop, it was off to the yarn shop at Cannon Beach, Coastal Yarns, where Mike also advised from his backpack:

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I was naughty at this shop and bought a skein of this ridiculously expensive variegated silk yarn that I fell hopelessly in love with it:

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We stayed at the inviting and dog-friendly McBee Cottages where they had a welcome basket for Mike and a wonderful collection of handmade bird houses.

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Wished I Lived in Cannon Beach, But Wait…

Every time we visit Cannon Beach, I daydream about moving there.

There are beautiful beach houses everywhere in the wonderful neighborhoods around the coastal area:

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There are beautiful coastal gardens:

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And of course there is this – the beach and the Pacific Ocean:

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But then there is this:

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(If there is a Tsunami, do not stop – RUN this way!!!!!)

We do not worry about Tsunamis in Central Oregon. So I will stick with just visiting Cannon Beach (hopefully never during a Tsunami) for now!

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Yes, this is the Tsunami Evacuation Route WALKING PATH (you better be walking very fast)

Quilt Retreats, Tula Time!

The Votes Are In!

Thanks so much to everyone who voted on the setting triangle color for the fussy cut Tula Pink All Stars block my Quilting Sister Dana has been working on at our annual May Quilt Retreat!

Here were the options to vote on:

We cut off the voting at 10am so Dana could get the block assembled before I leave to take a bus back to Central Oregon.

Votes were tallied from the previous blog post comments, from people at the retreat and from my personal Facebook page.

It was very close but Teal won by two (2) votes!

So Dana made up the block with the winning color:

And here is the whole group of. blocks so far:

Dana plans to make 18 blocks from the 6 different animals in 3 colorways.

The six (6) animals that she will fussy cut are: bees, squirrels, owls, frogs, raccoons, and a fancy birds. According to Dana the fabric line is called Tula Pink All Stars because Tula Pink brought back her most popular retired lines and updates the colors.

Several of you suggested yellow and Dana said that would been a great idea but she did not have that as a fabric option in the Tula Pink solid fabric line.

Thanks for playing along 😀

Oh and I am super behind in blogging – I have a backlog of stories to share, stay tuned 😀

A Crafter's Life, My Minimalism Journey, The Library Stack

The Toe Saga, Library Stack Catch Up, and Your Sacred Nest

That’s a lot of topics for one post, well let’s get started!

The Toe Saga

I’ve been delinquent in blogging lately due to a very silly injury: a broken toe.

My sofa and I had an argument and I lost. I was rushing around, not paying attention and jammed my right foot/toes into the metal leg of my sofa at what felt like 80 miles an hour. It hurt, like really hurt but I thought it was just a sprain or an irritation to my toes and tried to care for itself (after all I am a RN).

A couple days later one of the toes was looking more purple and bruised so it was time to head over the Urgent Care, and yes, per the x-ray, the toe was fractured…in two places. They are hairline fractures and will take up to 6 weeks to heal; but my toe did not require surgery or fracture reduction/setting (so that is a good thing!).

(I know, I know, you all are so disappointed that I did not include a photo of my purplish bruised toe in this post, ha!)

I am mainly irritated with myself for such careless stupidity and that my daily walks are on hold for a week. The Physician Assistant I saw in Urgent Care said in a week my toe will be better to walk on, but I suspect I will have to take a hiatus from my hiking adventures.

I am trying to use this experience as a lesson that I need to slow down and be more mindful of my environment. I also rearranged my end tables to guard me against a future “sofa attack”.

Library Stack Catch Up

Before I decided to  share “The Toe Saga”, the original purpose of this post was to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my latest stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.

Well I am two stacks behind! So let’s catch you up.

The Prior Stack

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A couple of the books were books I’ve borrowed before such as Quilt Inspirations from Africa and Red & White Quilting. I like to think of my public library as “my other bookcase” and many of the older quilting/crafting books are always on the shelves whenever I want to read them again.

Two books that I’ve never borrowed before and really enjoyed in this stack were Fairy Tale Sewing: Whimsical Toys, Dolls and Softies by Heidi Boyd and Stitch Draw by Rosie James.

Of course I’ve been heavily influenced by the work of Helen @Crawcraftbeasties and Shirley @Handmade Habit – there are doing awesome things with “Softies” and I want to be part of this scene somedays too (along with the 10,000 other crafts I want to make).

I have commissioned Helen to make the tierneycreates Beastie and Shirley is doing some amazing new things with new stuffed animal creations! Be sure to check out their wonderful blogs if you have not already (I’ve linked their blogs in the text above and you should also check out their awesome Instagram pages).

I’ve also been influenced by Chela @Chela’s Colchas y Mas who retired from teaching and it now trying to become the “Renaissance Women of All Things Crafting”.

She started posting her stitching doodles and drawings on her blog and now I want to try that out someday also (yeah, yeah, future craft projects/techniques, get in line behind all the others). I thought the book Stitch Draw by Rosie James had many great ideas to get started.

A Single Stack

In between the library stack above, and my current stack, I had one solitary book: Living the Airstream Life by Karen Flett.

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Lots of daydreaming went on while reading this book (but where would I put my sewing studio in the Airstream…and where would I store all my fabric scraps?!?!).

The physical book itself is pretty cool – the outside is framed in silver paper with simulated rivets like on an Airstream trailer!

Of course Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) had to tease me while I was reading the book. He kept asking: “So do we get a trailer to attach behind the Airstream for your fabric?”.

I’ve posted in the past about embracing Minimalism in my series of posts on My Minimalism Journey but my craft hobbies are interfering with a full “embracement”!

My Current Stack: Your Sacred Nest

My current stack of library books is, in my opinion, quite yummy! This stack is about quality over quantity.

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I am currently reading Your Creative Work Space: The Sweet Spot Style Guide to Home Office + Studio Decor by Desha Peacock, and so far this book is fantastic!

I’d like to share snippets from a passage from the book on “Your Sacred Nest: Everyone Needs a Creative Sweet Spot Space“:

A mother bird doesn’t complain that she doesn’t have time or space to create her nest, she just makes do with the resources available to her at the time…Her job is not finished when the nest is built. She still needs to protect it until her babies are strong enough to go out on their own…think of what would happen if the momma bird neglected to actually build the nest because she couldn’t find the perfect materials. Don’t let your creativity suffer or, worse, die because you can’t find the perfect lamp…don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Use the resources you have around you and allow them to blossom with age and use. 

Once you create your space, do not abandon it. Protect it fiercely with that momma bird love…  – Desha Peacock, Your Creative Work Space  (2017)

I love thinking of my creative endeavors as my “baby birds”!

(But wait a minute, I could continue with this analogy and realize that the reason I get into trouble sometimes is I am trying to feed too many “baby birds” at one time!)


Postscript

I love my neighborhood and I have some awesome neighbors who I just really like as people (they are good humans!). Here is a recent sweet public library story from one of my neighbors.

My neighbor and friend Jenny just returned from a three week trip to Australia to visit her in-laws. Her in-laws live suburb of Melbourne and after a week or so of just reading downloaded e-books, she and her young son were missing their regular trips to their our local public library (she is a Deschutes Public Library Cult-Member like I am, ha!). Jenny heard that the Melbourne area library system allows visitor passes and for visitors with ID to borrow up to two books.

So she and her son walked 10 minutes from where they were staying to the St. Kilda library. The librarian was so welcoming and after a chat she not only let them borrow more than 2 books (which is awesome as Jenny and her son did not have to go with one book each), she helped identify some great books (and loaded them up) in the children’s section and gave them a nice tote bag to get their huge stack of book back to where they were staying 10 minutes away!

So libraries are good places all over the world and librarians are some of the best people on earth (smile).

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Hiking the Highlands

No, alas, not the Scottish Highlands. This post is about a hike on the Cascade Highlands Trail in Central Oregon. Not as glorious as hiking in the Scottish Highlands but still quite lovely (and a significantly less expense trip – no airfare or accommodations required!)

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I do not work on Mondays and once a month I’ve been going on a hike (followed by a yummy lunch) with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog Luna. I thought about creating a category for these posts called “Adventures with Laurie & Luna” but I decided to create a new blog category called Outside Adventures! which includes my various solo Pilot Butte hikes and any other interesting outdoor adventures.

Laurie who is new-ish to Central Oregon (I think she has lived here between 1 – 2 years) thought it would be a great idea to explore Central Oregon together by going on hikes we have not been on before and trying out restaurants we have not dine at before (or at least one of us has not tried before). We plan one at least once a month.

Hiking the Cascade Highlands

Here are photos from the hike (which were more breathtaking in person than the photos capture):

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Good smells!

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I am also adding this post to my blog post category Creative Inspiration as there was much potential art quilt inspiration on this hike!

Bend, Oregon (not that I am encouraging any more people to move to Central, Oregon – ha!) has over 44 miles of urban trails, where you can go hiking without leaving town! Here is a 2005 (when I first moved here!) article from the Bend Bulletin (and I bet there are more than 44 miles of trails now): Get outdoors in town: Bend’s urban trails system allows for hiking without leaving town.

Lunch Time

Laurie and I both enjoy yummy food and finding new places to enjoy yummy food. After the hike we went to a place we’ve never tried before, Chow, and it was quite delicious.

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We decided to split a crab cake sandwich and each had our own special sides – I selected the most exquisite tasting sautéed (and finished with truffle oil) Brussels sprouts!

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