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Saturday, January 30, 2010


I've been doing lot's of thinking this past month because I was having trouble with getting the creative thoughts flowing. My space wasn't working for me in several ways so I decided to work on cleaning up and paring down. I still have more to do but the biggest part is done and already my thoughts are clicking. It works for me to have my 'studio' space(if I call it a studio it makes me feel and think of myself as a professional, it's really my living room and dining room, but don't tell) in order. I know other people who work best in what looks like total chaos to me, even though they know where everything is at any given time. I may think my space is organized while someone else might come in and say it was a wreck. What I'm trying to say is, we each need to find what works for us, in how we arrange things, how we do things, how we interact with people. This works for me, at least for now it does. So, when I mention something in my blog, I'm just journaling about what works the best for me, it may or may not work for you. I also am paring down on my computer time, so I reluctantly pulled myself out of several online groups. In the long run this will be better for me, now I have more time to get my exercise in my day too.

I mentioned a while back that I entered a small piece in the Common Thread exhibit at the Textile Center in St Paul. It is hanging there now and will be until February 20. So if you are in and around St Paul, Minnesota this next month go and see the exhibit. There are close to 100 artists exhibiting some spectacular work. I was there last Monday evening to go to Minnesota Contemporary Quilters meeting and also to see the show. There are some amazing works of art. Here is a photo of my small piece, and bonus for me, it sold!

Yesterday a wonderful couple came to help me make some adjustments to my longarm, I was having trouble, not because of the machine, just user errors. They gave me a number of tips to help with other little things. Now it is running so smoothly, I'm really excited to do some quilting this weekend. Hopefully I'll have some finished quilts to post before long.

I got up early to use my project-a-scope while it is still dark, so I'd better go get that done. It won't be long before the sun comes up and I want to get a pattern made from one of my photos. Have a creative day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Making Space!

I decided I needed to do something about my sewing space. When I unfold my cutting table to it's full size there is barely room to walk around it. Maybe it's because it's winter and I'm not getting outside as often but I am starting to feel claustrophobic. So, I am doing a little rearranging and removing some things from my space. Trying to trick my mind into believing the space is actually larger. Think it will work?

Truthfully I am very blessed with the space I have. I get interested in too many things. They all look fun! So, I have more than I need in my space. I have been throwing my scraps in some bins thinking I would always use the small pieces in my postcards. For some reason I never seem to look there for the pieces I need. Maybe it's because they are inconviently placed in the corner behind my cutting table. I remembered a website, that somone had told me about quite a while ago, that teaches a scrap user's system. A system! That's what I need. I know when I originally saw this site, I thought, "I'll never have enough scraps to need this!" HA!! Fooled myself. Here is the site link but beware you can get sucked into this site for quite some time. She has a lot of good information.

Her name is Bonnie Hunter and she has a site called Quiltville, the part of her site I am sending you to is her Scrap User System. Don't stop with that page she has multiple layers to her site that can send you clicking here and there and ultimately ordering one of her books. The Leaders and Enders book is on it's way to my house.

I also used those coupons at JoAnn Fabrics and bought some thread holders to hang on the wall. I had all of my thread in this pretty basket with a lid to keep the dust off etc. It seemed like a good idea at the time but I kept ending up with snarls of thread tying one spool to another. So here is what I did about that. I'm just starting to untangle my threads and put them up here. There might be a little more organization to it when I'm done.

I'd better get back to cutting up my scraps so I can put them in a more convienent spot.
Have a creative day

Friday, January 15, 2010


I am rediscovering podcasts. I used to listen to them when I went for walks. I liked Bonnie McCaffrey and Alex Anderson, NPR, A Prairie Home Companion, and there were several others. I gave my old ipod to my son when his was stolen. He listened to his a lot more than I ever did, so that was very hard for him when he didn't have one.

My family gave me the mama bear size ipod for Christmas, you know it's not so tiny it looks like it would break if I picked it up, and not so big that I'll never be able to use a tenth of the capability, it's just right. So, I'm re-discovering podcasts. I just listened to one by Quilt Artist Annie Smith called Quilting Stash. I liked it and will be listening to more that she has to offer. Have to put in a plug for 3M here(My husband works for 3M). She recommended the blue tape to help hold your clear rulers tight so they don't slide when you use your rotary cutter. I do have trouble with my longer rulers sliding just a smidge by the time I get to the other end of the ruler. She recommended putting a little tape on the ruler and slight ridges in the tape help hold the ruler tight against your fabric. I'll have to give that a try. Lot's of podcasts to listen to on itunes
and the ones I mentioned are all free. Can't beat that.

My family also gave me a Nike+ sensor for my shoe. There is an attachment for the ipod and one that goes on my shoe and they talk to each other. It's pretty amazing to me and I haven't learned all that it can do yet. It keeps track of how far I walk etc. and I have music that helps me keep a rhythm going. Not sure how rhythmic I can be walking on chunks of ice and snow. I haven't used this too much yet as it has been super cold. I'm looking forward to using this more in the spring and summer and fall. Right now I am using the Wii fit plus. Are we sensing a theme here yet. This is the year of Me or should I say Mii (as in my Wii person). I'm rediscovering the joy of hula hoops, and bowling and new skills like boxing. My knee is feeling better after having the synvisc injections so I want to take advantage of this time and take off a few pounds. OK more than a few. The concentration is on eating non processed foods and exercising. So if I find any really good recipes I may share them with you from time to time.

I finished my quilt for the rust dye collection held by Lois Jarvis. Now I wait to see if it gets accepted. I might have to look for alternatives in the meantime, just in case. I would like to enter this quilt somewhere. Now I am working on a quilt for Minnesota Contemporary Quilters and the first quilt for the series I want to make. I decided to make my series quilts be about National Parks. As a family we have been to many National Parks/Monuments. I've taken lots
of photos while we were there. I'm pulling all of those out and sketching out how I would like to recreate different shots that I have taken. I'm looking forward to this, I think it will be fun.

I signed up for Postmark'd Art again but I was more cautious this time. I love making postcards but jumped in a little too far that last round. I will be in two groups, one is making fire and the other is anything goes. The fire group will have 6 cards and I already have ideas for that, look for those soon. The other group will have 10 at the most. I can do 16 cards.

The mail just came and my new book arrived. I can't wait to look at it. It's called Journal Spilling by Diana Trout. All the experts say that journaling is the best way to lose weight. I have to say I have tried and re-tried the journaling thing but it is so boring for me. I decided that maybe if I mix my journaling with some art it might make it a little more enjoyable and than I might be able to stick to it. I'll let you know how it goes. It looks like a great book.

Time to go exercise and than I can relax and read my new book.
Have a creative day

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year!

I've been on vacation and came back with lot's of exciting new projects rumbling around in my head. Not sure how many will actually make it into fabric but it's fun having all of these ideas. Hope everyone had a wonderful New Year and you are all refreshed and ready to begin again.

I'm finding that travel really can stimulate the creative thoughts. Even if I don't actually go somewhere. I can look online at a place I have never been before or check out a book at the library on a different country. I always see something that I find fascinating about a new place and can't wait to put my ideas into fabric.

Here is a toast to a creative new year for all of us!
Have a creative day