Big Clean Sigh

As you may know because I have already posted to Facebook, my sweet Arrow passed away. This animal wrapped his double paws right around my heart, he taught me to love him, to communicate with and listen to him, he loved me deep into my bones. I felt as though no day were complete without lap time. For the last two days of his life, I watched him pass, poured love and care into him, told him all the things he taught me, told him all the ways I loved him.

I made an appointment to have the vet come and help him pass. I told him the plan, told him what time David would return home. I encouraged him to stay if he wanted to, or pass if he needed to. Arrow waited.

Arrow was a gift, a true gentle cat. He is sorely missed. I grieve deeply for him. I am glad he no longer suffers and I feel proud to have been his companion.

Farewell, little man.

Because I turn to large cleaning projects when I am at a loss for true direction, I have decided to clean, deeply clean, my studio space. Creative organization is conducive to productivity and we tend to forget this. Over the next few posts, I will discuss overall organizational ideas as well as specific tips and ideas to get you and your space hopping.

I have had terrific studio space and passable space, but I don’t think the space is as important as how you maintain it and intend to use it. The space I am working in now is passable, workable, but not ideal. My husband and I live in a classic New York City apartment. We have three main rooms plus what might serve as a walk-in closet or child’s room. My art supplies, sewing machines, cloth and workbench take up about 1/3 the total living space that we take up. So my supplies need to be organized, at the ready and easily available, so that there are no impediments to engaging with the creative process.

I inserted the above photo of my mother in laws sewing kit because it contains everything she needed to repair and label her families clothing. Thread in every color, pins and needles, a piece of wax, and woven labels (my father in law was in the service and all clothing needed labels sewn into them). So, as far as her sewing kit was concerned she had everything at the ready to help her Man out.

So, are you ready to go on an organizational journey with me? I hope so. Lets get obsessive compulsive together!

First things first:
Make a list of the creative things you do
Make a list of things you would like to do

I:
Use dye
Machine sew
Acrylic paint
Hand sew

Right now I am not acrylic painting because I use my workbench too often to dye and hand sew, I would like to remedy this.

In my next post, I will discuss assessing your space and ideas that will help you see through the mess. If you want to go on this journey with me and are interested in sharing photos of your workspace, exploring ideas to change things up together, comment on this post. I would love to feature your photos (use Flickr) and/or blog, here. Lets link up.

A Project Bag in the Making.

I have been making Gather your Sew-plies purses left and right. The entire plan in making these bags is to be able to sew wherever I go, the subway, the coffee shop, the Promenade, you get the idea. As I have been doing this, I have been thinking, what about a project bag?

I love a good backpack, having my hands free is important to me. I have been designing this backpack for quite a long while. I wanted it to be soft, meaning, I want to experience the cloth I use as part of the design. I wanted the straps to cinch it shut and keep it shut by way of using the weight of what the bag holds to keep it closed; the entire top edge of the purse is a drawstring compartment and the arm straps are the ‘cinch’ that keeps the bag closed. 

I had one yard of this fabulous cloth. I think of it as a ‘market print’ There are flowers, cherries, strawberries, garlic, peaches, the print is crisp and clean and pretty. To give the cloth some body, I doubled the cloth and sewed straight lines along the grain using Aurifil Lana#12. The buckle you see is just for show, it does not function to shorten the straps.

And, well, of course you need another bag to hold all the little things, thread, the project itself. This draw string bag came with a long sleeved t shirt which is also printed with the word ‘frock’. I embroidered over the printed ‘frock’ on this bag and use it almost like a stuff sack.

And here is a peek into the bag itself.

I have bought a snap setter and I intend to set some snaps into the pockets (check out the first photo to see one of the two pockets, there is one on the outside and one on the inside) but, that is scary. I will need to punch a hole into the pocket and the purse itself, and I don’t want to mess up.

I need to practice my snap setting skills first.

Here is the man cat, tuning into a few good z’s. He looks happy, doesn’t he?

Whirlwinds

This should be Flash Card Friday, but it is not. I called a fun day. I went to my monthly appointment, my Man accompanied, very helpful-the lad. 

A memory of the day, not fully explained:

X-ray box, perforated paper, square head man face, front top quadrant of the page-drawn by David. Me: Flipped, vertebrae, ribs, hips, femurs; his pen, mine pencil. RN comes in to find, then….Very fast walk uptown, stopped at Merrimeko…dreamy…. Then to Mood to paw through and daydream effectively. Rich!

I am fixated on getting this Gather your Sew-plies (chatelaine pattern)  right. I felt buoyed by a comment to this post and started to think about this purse as Sewing Jewelry, personal adornment, how would an artist with my skill dress herself?  I began designing this small purse because I want to sew -on –the —-go, embroider wherever I am. Although I merely keep the essentials (Thread, Thread Heaven, Thimble, Scissors, needles), the bag is heavy and it moves around with momentum as I walk. Form isn’t meeting intended function.


A need arose.

 So it needs an anchor. But I want it to be removable, because, well, who doesn’t like a convertible thing? A toy, a puzzle, deeply stitched object. It’s satisfying. 

I think I am just addicted to cataloging, collecting, collating, and jotting. This is an image of an idea book. I think it is different than an art journal, it supports and documents. They help me remember.

A need, and response.

So I am creating a belt and loop scenario. I keep wondering about changing the texture of cloth by stitching it. I would like to explore this some.

I think the hand stencil needs to be embroidered on the purse, somewhere. That stencil has been asking to be used all week.

 

Anyone in the Dallas area going to the Great American Scrapbook Conference, I will be teaching surface design techniques for paper. Come join me?

Meese Bowl MMXII

The Wonders

This weekend my Mom came to town and we hung out and, come on! Neither of us brought our cameras! I can tell you we went to see Porgy and Bess, I have been humming the tunes all weekend- we loved it. We had a glass of wine at Morrell, went to Nintendo World (where I want to go with my Man). When I was first diagnosed we bought a Wii, thinking it would help keep me active, even when I was at my worst and needing to stay home. I must say, we were right and Oh! Is it fun, we both really love it. Mom has one too. Then we ate at Gaby. When I brought my Mom to Grand Central Terminal, we did this goofy thing. It was great.

You may have caught on that I will be teaching online workshops soon! I hope you are interested in working with me in this way! I know that I want to get your creative juices flowing to to get inspired by you! That is the great thing about teaching, it goes both ways. As I reorganize my virtual life, I am shutting down the Inspired to Quilt Facebook page and centralizing my social media efforts in my main facebook account, please friend me there! I am sure you understand the challenge of keeping up with social media, I for one would like to simplify and concentrate my efforts.

 I few weeks back I met up with Victoria Findlay Wolfe who has two blogs and a web site. Blog 1 <—-Click it, and Blog 2 <—-Click that! Victoria is a genuinely nice person. Artistically I like what she is doing and I feel inspired by her. Afterward she sent me a  few linens and hankies through the mail. This odd piece of lace was part of a sachet that I have since taken apart and plan to use in a dress I am making.

 I have begun to paint on pine board, and love it! The two photos in this post are the same painting, or the start of the same painting. It doesn’t look like it, does it? I will show an overall photo when the painting is a more established visual.

And look at this little king. So happy.