Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All in a days work

So, today has been a busy pajama day... meaning, I've not had to leave the house. My favorite kind of days! I have spent the day getting all my little rust dyed fabric bundled ready to sell. These have turned out to be a lot of work! The rusting process takes several days, in and of itself. I can only do a couple pieces of fabric at a time and even then, I have to daily rework the pieces, unwrap and rewrap rusty objects, add more solution to speed up the process, etc... But then, once I'm happy with the patterns created, there is the laundering, ironing, and cutting to size. Then, as I was ready to create little Fat Quarter bundles, I thought, "Hmmm, now each piece is completely unique. If I bundle them, how will a customer know what the piece looks like to encourage the sale?" So, I came up with a solution. As you can see in the following photos of some of my sample fabrics, each piece is numbered. After putting on the black board with a number, each piece was individually photographed before bundling. Each bundle was then tied and labeled with the coordinating number. Now that I have all the photos, I will be printing them in wallet size photos which will become the price tag for each bundle. Now the customer can see what the whole piece of fabric looks like before purchasing. Almost all of the pieces are fat quarters with the exception of a few that were odd sizes. Those will be appropriately labeled, of course. I also put together "remnant bundles" which have smaller, odd size pieces grouped together. All of the fabric is cotton and repurposed with the exception of a gauze fabric. I did purchase that new. It's more difficult to work with but is wonderful. It will be so awesome in a layering process. I only have 6 bundles of it for sale. If I have time, I may go purchase more for rusting. I still have fabric in the rust pot. I have also done some ribbons and vintage trims which I will sell by the yard.
here's a sample of the gauze fabric below:

I find it interesting how many variations of pattern and color I have gotten using the same exact objects but a variety of cottons.

Now, this last piece is really cool. Do you see the face in the pattern? I spotted it immediately! I have saved this piece hoping to create something with it myself... unless I get an offer I can't refuse! LOL!

Well, I'm glad to have this done. I've worked the last week on three samples for a class I want to propose for CREATE 2012. Finished those samples yesterday but still have to do all the brain work... a.k.a. the writing part. I still have many classes to write and samples to do over the next few weeks as well as prepare for Art Unraveled! Busy, busy summer!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thrifting score!

Ok, I know I haven't posted much lately. I've been busy working, hangin' with my boys, and really focusing on class proposals for retreats for 2012. There are deadlines a year in advance, ya' know.

After work, I usually rush to get my kids but since they are staying with their dad all weekend, yesterday, I came home leisurely and stopped by a thrift store for the first time in months! The fact that I haven't been to even a thrift store in months is just sinful. Well, I didn't score a lot of stuff or anything but.... Just look at this gorgeous sari I found! And check out the price!!!! There is no tag in it but I believe it is silk, as they are usually made of silk or cotton and this is definitely not cotton! It feels like pure, rich luxury! So anyway, last week, I took the doors off of my closet because it was totally not functional for me. I want to put curtains up instead. When I saw this sari, I knew I found my fabric! And, the best part will be that I only have to cut and sew ONE seam on the hanging end of each piece. I'm going to use curtain clips so I don't even need a pocket! There appears to be at least 5 yards of fabric so I will be creating some matching window treatments for my other windows as well. As you can see, it is beautiful with my velvet bedspread... which really needs the cat hair cleaned off of it. Bob sleeps with me every night at the foot of the bed. sigh.... Anyway, I'm so happy to have found this and at a smokin' deal. Can't wait to get them up. I need a spring rod to put up. I already have the curtain hook ring thingies.

The only other thing I got was a pair of Levis for Max. He'll grow into them probably by mid fall. He still only will wear black Levis and he's so stinkin' skinny. I just purchased a new pair for him a few days ago and those suckers are $38. per pair!!!!!!!!!! Thankfully, I had a $10. off coupon. But, I found a pair at the thrift store, next size up, for $4.99! Score! He's really hard to fit right now because if I get the length to be a good fit, even slims are too large in the waist! A sz. 10 is ringing that "line" of his ankle bordering too short but they fit perfect in the waist. Size 12 slim are great for length but too big in the waist... and not just a tiny bit. The new pair I got were 11 slim and they will work. A tiny bit big in the waist but wearable and a good length. I bought a 12 at the thrift store. I knew they were in our future and just couldn't pass up the price. It's soooo hard finding black Levis anywhere, much less a thrift store!

So, now I'm going to get ready for church and play with the 3 year-old's first hour and then go to the service. Three is the perfect kid age. They are so stinkin' funny!

A few days ago, I stopped in the middle of the road in a neighborhood and snapped these photos of this gorgeous blooming desert plant in someone's yard. Love the contrast of color against the sky.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I am offering a summer discount in my Etsy shop! Enter the code 'sizzle11' and receive 25% off your purchase!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pondering... thoughts anyone?

I've been pondering on something the past couple of days. Asking myself, and God, questions. What is it about our "stuff"... material stuff... that makes us want vast amounts of it which we hoard? We live in a world of overworked and worn out yet we want to collect more and more stuff, which we are then responsible for. What is this? See, I have someone that I know... and she has a lot of 'stuff'. I look and wonder, "Why are you keeping all of this? There would be so much less clutter if you would get rid of these piles. Would you feel like you could breathe if you weren't being suffocated by so much stuff?" But of course, I haven't said this to her. And she not only hoards "stuff" that makes me feel like I'm suffocating in her home, she hoards food. I'm not joking. She's a single, senior citizen and has food, food, food. Pantries are stuffed to the point that things fall out on you if you open the cabinet. If you go to put something back in the refrigerator, you waste 5 minutes of you life standing there wondering where it came from in the first place cuz you sure as heck can't figure out where to put it. And she's in to "preparedness for emergencies" so she has a storage room stocked full of food.. like 25 lb. bags of dry goods and such. Where is the line crossed in being prepared and this being a sickness? I've been trying to analyze the situation. What I'm pondering are the following questions:
1.) Is this fear? Maybe from experience of a time of not having enough, one stockpiles out of fear of ever being in that place again?
2.) Where does faith and trust come in? Does one, in this place, not trust God's provision for them?
3.) Is the hoarding of things partially about desire? In the gathering and collecting (or hoarding) of things, is it out of desire for an identity... one ties their identity and who they are to what they own?
4.) Is there a line that is crossed between identity being wrapped up in our possessions and having our home reflect who we are? I mean, when you die and someone that didn't know you, walks into your home, you want them to feel that they know you in some small way, by what you have in your home. It's an expression of you. But is there a line that is crossed over into something entirely different when staking your identity while you are living, on those things in your home? Do they define you?

I ponder these things because (1) I am concerned for this person. I care for her and with her increasing health issues, she has an inability to care for her things. So it would make sense to me to purge and get rid of things you don't need, don't use, and simplify so you don't feel overwhelmed with things that need attention. I mean, it's a health hazard to open a kitchen cupboard! You know, the commercial of a kid cleaning their room where they just stuff everything and then when the door is opened, it all falls out? Uh, yeah... that's every cabinet in the kitchen, every closet... everything. The disorganization feels like my brain short circuits every time I look behind a door or in a drawer. I so badly want to help this person but also realize that not everyone thinks like me. That maybe, for some people, being able to own and see all their things is a reminder to them, of life... that these things represent their life. However, I am concerned for her safety and well being with all her "stuff".

Another reason I ponder this that I don't ever want to be one of these people on any level. When I was younger, I saved everything. And I mean, everything. I think I wanted to have reminders that my life meant something. That it was important. That I was important. The more I understand God's view of me and experience His grace, the less important those "things" are. It's easier and easier to let things go. For the most part, my home is furnished very minimally. I no longer have collections of things everywhere. Yes, sometimes I miss those things because they were tied to a memory. But, for the most part, I am relieved not to have tons of stuff collecting dust in my house always needing attention. I am in a perpetual state of mind of "clean out and simplify"... because it frees me.

Let me ask you this... if you had a friend you were concerned about, living in such a way, would you offer to help her? Would you say anything at all? I mean, what if she doesn't even see it as an issue... yet, deep down, I know this isn't true because of things she says. I see her exhausted and depressed. And I know from experience, how my house looks, is how I feel... and vice versa. My house is often messy and cluttered to me... and I HATE it.. because I feel messy and cluttered inside too. It's a reflection. I am constantly trying to clean out and organize so my energy can be spent being creative and loving my kids.. not weighed down with piles. It is a process. But if I was never moving forward in this process, I'd be so severely depressed, I couldn't function. But maybe that's just me.

Any words of wisdom? Thoughts? Anyone?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Creative Quest

A while back, I did a photo tour of The Creative Quest, the store where I love working, but I forgot to post the pictures! So thought I would share our store with you! Oh, and by the way, one of my favorite things is reorganizing product displays! hehehe! So here's walking in the front door:

See the classroom are in the back? That's where I teach! :)
This is my personal favorite part of the store because I LOVE the papers! These racks are double sided and are on wheels so they move like turning pages of a book. And I'd die to have this cabinet in my studio! I just love it.
The ever changing class selection! Check out the website for upcoming classes:

Friday, June 3, 2011

my friend, Hannah

At The Creative Quest, I am privileged to work with Hannah. She's young, cute, funny, and into fashion. I LOVE working with Hannah! She recently started a fashion blog. Her sense of humor really comes out in her writing and she has a funky sense of style... and a major shoe obsession. Go visit her here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Upcoming class

I have a class coming up at The Creative Quest on June 11 and still have some openings. I'd love to have you join me and create your own Travel Bundle. This journal is the perfect size to hold travel brochures in the vinyl pockets. It is a double sided journal, as you can see. It feels so great in your hands for on-the-go journaling. We'll be designing on unstretched canvas for our covers and then binding all the pages together to create your own, unique journal! Hope to see you there!

Here is a picture of the kits I made for my classes at CREATE. I just found the photo and realized I never posted it! I made them from wallpaper!

Also, this was a commissioned project I did just before going to CREATE. This box was done for a friend's college graduation. The inside flowers were for others to write 5 affirmations, one per petal.... I think that was what was done with them. I wasn't at the party... just commissioned to make the box and flowers! I have a few more I need to make too. Studio is almost functional so I can get to work. I refuse to pull collage materials out to the dining room table again.

One thing I have to say about doing these boxes... working around the metal hardware is a pain in the you know what. But they do turn out so pretty!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

more dying results

Here are a couple of my rust pieces as well as a couple of other spice dyed pieces. So far, I've rinsed them and have them drying. I will then run them through the wash to see how the hold up. I have no doubts about the rust. That stuff doesn't go anywhere and oh, how I love it! The spice stuff... well, we'll see. I'm waiting for my neighbor to come home to get some Eucalyptus leaves off his tree. I'm too short to reach. I'm also going to the grocery store to see if they'll give me the onion skins out of the red onion bin! I've got some new fabrics in the rust bin now.. over-dying some pieces I wasn't thrilled about.


Well, sadly, the pink fabric with the coolest pattern ever, did not work. I have to find something that will set the beet dye. Vinegar did not work in this instance. However, at least I know how to create that particular pattern so I'll try it with something else.

Here is the shirt I did last night with soft scrub, stamped with broccoli stems! I think it will look better on. I really like it! :)

And this is another project I'm in the middle of:
These are Sam's new shoes. He has a very hard to fit foot and this is one brand we've had good luck with for him. They only had the white shoes in his size, which actually fit me now too... and he didn't like all the white. He wanted the black ones but no such luck. So, I am using alcohol inks and painting in the graffiti in fire colors, his favorites! I like how they are turning out! I need to hurry up with them so he can actually wear them!