Category Archives: Studio

Baling Twine

Imageoh, what am I up to now? Some way to put all that gorgeous twine to use? You bet. I can’t help myself.

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Like how I use grocery bags to make my calendar pages. It is a constant problem.

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Studio Time

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Until now, studio time has always been fit in around work. I have always wanted to make it my priority but have never actively created a schedule that made it so. Moving 2000 miles to satisfy a gut feeling, it only seems appropriate to finally be making what I love doing my priority.

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I have been writing up workshop proposals (and so far have had every submission approved), I have been arranging my weeks so that at least 2 days a week are 9-5 studio work days, and I have been actively engaging with other artists in a variety of ways.

My workshops are geared towards younger students – starting at age 7. I want to keep working with kiddos and be able to introduce them to whole new ways of thinking and creating. One workshop is a beginner’s knitting theme. We will be making our own knitting needles and learning basic knit and purl techniques to make a small summer satchel or bracelet. The other workshop is a 2 session beginner’s shibori class – we will be using natural vegetable dyes to create silk scarf samplers. I want to teach some weaving workshops and have been playing around with building inkle looms and card weaving.

ImageMy workspace is about as fancy as a chair set up by the edge of my mattress. I use this space to eat, type, sew, watch movies, sleep, and hang out. All-in-one-in-one. But it does the job for now, especially since I’ve been focusing mostly on quilting and embroidery. Once I have a series finished I’ll post some pictures.

ImageI have been, not entirely on purpose, surrounding myself with people who are also arranging their lives to accommodate their work. Being an artist, it seems, requires a good amount of selfishness, naivety, and bullheadedness when the naivety wears away. To be willing to live like a rat and bust your butt to make rent and enough extra money to buy lumber to make stretcher frames, to put your family through all kinds of stress because they know you are living like a rat with 2 bachelor degrees, a teaching certificate, and 2 semesters of grad school under your belt. To choose to work in the dirt and to ride a bike to make ends meet instead of a Mon-Fri 9-5 job that you sleep through and hate. I need to be friends with people who are choosing to do this too; extra validation in times of self doubt, extra motivation in times of self confidence.

ImageI feel incredibly lucky to be able to even have the option to live this kind of life. I am lucky to live somewhere that I have enough job options to choose from that I can turn down a 9-5 in favor of a whenever-to-whenever. I am lucky to have good doctors that can help me be able to work and be healthy despite being diabetic and having numerous food allergies and nutrition issues. I am lucky to have the opportunity to pursue what I love, to work with people that I love, to be happy and not feel like I am wasting the chances I have been given.

Cross Stitch Screen Door

I’m working on the screen door for our tiny home. I wanted it to be eye catching but not garish. I decided to go with cross stitch. 2 out of the three panel sections will have normal mosquito screen, but one panel will be cross stitched with one of my favorite quilt patterns.

I started by tracing the design onto some butcher paper using a diamond template. I taped the screen down over it and traced the pattern using a sharpie.

I made sure to mark which spaces would be a different color so I wouldn’t get confused – because I do get confused easily when it comes to unclear patterns.

I’ve only just begun to stitch but I think it is already pretty stunning. I’m working over a metal screen and really like how the design is coming through. I can’t decide if I want to fill in the negative spaces like I had originally planned or if leaving them open will be more interesting – I’d like to see the shadows it creates playing across the floor.

What do you think? Fill it in or leave it open?

WC Mercantile

Yes, there is such a thing as Fiber’s heaven. I wouldn’t have guessed it would be in Navasota Texas, but hey, it’s not my place to decide where fiber’s heaven belongs.

This is WC Mercantile, a fibers store that caters to .. all things fibers. They have silk, cotton, all kinds of wool in raw form for spinners, all different weights for knitters and crocheters, and by the lb for weavers. They have spinning wheels, knitting needles, mx dyes, wool and cotton cards, it was too much to take in all at once.This table of hand dyed silk was hard to pass up.
Scrappy fabric strips are popular now and were offered in an abundance of colors and prints.

They even offer kits – this one includes everything to weave a scarf. The yarn was dyed by the owner’s mom. I ended up purchasing 3 cones of a fine merino/silk blend for weaving.

They schedule classes – an upcoming event I wish I could attend is a weaving workshop taught by Laura Fry. The workshop will focus on how to work efficiently and with good posture. It is happening September 21-23. Their website (linked above) has more information about the event.

It is extremely encouraging to find places like WC Mercantile – seeing the craft that I love so much be promoted and have a space provided for its growth is heart warming.

All in all, the place was great. It has great atmosphere, a comfortable setting with couches and work tables for exploring a new stitch or project. The prices were very reasonable for the quality of the products offered. And the owner was very knowledgeable about everything in her store and was very patient with all of my questions.

Book: Fiber Gathering

Our school library is excellent. I have never enjoyed sitting between bookshelves as much as I do when I’m there and for me that is saying quite a lot. One of my favorite finds this last week was Fiber Gathering by Joanne Seiff. Along with some nice patterns and helpful hints for processing wool, there was this great ingenious description of how to rig a drop spindle.

I love things like this. I love the library. I love learning.

*I post about books on this blog purely out of appreciation for what the authors have done and not because I’m getting anything out of it.

View from my loom

This is the view I have of our house from my loom. At the other end of the room (also the other end of our house) is B’s lighting studio. All of the backdrops have been mounted on the wall and the lighting kit arranged accordingly; usually in a way that blocks our only exit.
In between our sides of the studio are the couches. They are the neutral ground between our work zones, but they mostly belong to the cats.

I have since woven this off the loom but I was just playing around with a canvas weave to make sure all of the parts of the loom were working properly. It works pretty smoothly and now there are so many projects that I am anxious to start.

Fall Seedlings

fall seedlings have been started! There is purple broccoli, veronica broccoli, wilhyte broccoli (I think I may have a thing for broccoli), amish paste tomatoes, bloomsdale longstanding spinach, spaghetti squash, purple basil, big leaf basil, romaine, loose leaf, a few kinds of carrots, beets, and onions.

they’re sprouting!

I really love the texture of these paper pots as they decay. Their colors and frayed edges are similar to what I’m going for in my painted warp weaving.