September 30, 2013

Craft closet clean-out!

Last week I mentioned the dear friend who is gifting me with her fabric collection. Well, I had a grand total of three paper boxes to hold my fabric. I had labeled them "scraps," "small fabric," and "large fabric." Well, once the bags and boxes of fabric from this lovely woman started to trickle in it quickly became clear that I was outgrowing these three boxes!

So I cast a critical eye on my craft closet and decided it was time to shift my storage to match my current craft interests. If I needed more space for fabric, then I needed to remove something!

This led to a range of other projects: photographing and removing* old student work and portfolios, sorting through design samples (three boxes whittled down to one archival quality storage box), selling stuff on Craig's List, sorting out files, and finding new homes for various crafty things I no longer need. Needless to say, this project creep created a mess in rooms all over the place!

*removing as in: framing, gifting, and even recycling!

So, closet before:

And, closet after:

In the spirit of "use what you have" my system is built from paper boxes and sheets of colored paper as labels held on with clips. I did have to scrounge a bit to come up with the paper boxes but everything was free!

Then I took the organizational sweep through the rest of the room and re-did my shelves. I framed more photos and I displayed some childhood treasures.

I was especially happy to frame the photo of my great-grandmother and have it with me in my sewing space since I use her machine.

And in one last happy project, I hung a wide ribbon on a doorframe to display a collection of buttons and pins. I know I saw this idea somewhere else so I can't take credit for it myself.

September 26, 2013

ArtPrize 2013: glass as ocean

There are three other ArtPrize pieces from our recent visit to the Meijer Gardens I want to share with you. All are blue in tone and bring to mind, at least for me, bodies of water. So amazing and lovely to see a solid transformed into the liquidity and fluidity of water.

This piece, Ocean Blue Wave by Mary Shaffer of El Prado, New Mexico, captures the liquid movement of waves and appealed to me in its regal simplicity.

This piece, Iceberg & Paraphernalia by Peter Bremers of Born, Netherlands, was fittingly inspired by icebergs and reminds me not only of ice but also of trapped air bubbles and floating.

Which, at the moment of writing this, reminds me of a fiction novel I recently read about an early 20th century man frozen in an iceberg who was brought to life by modern-day scientists. Totally fascinating read. Check it out: The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan.

This piece, Sea-Forms by Michael Behrens of Dusseldorf, Germany, was also beautiful and lace-like. I would love to better understand how this piece was actually formed. Several nearby children described it as looking like a "shark's fin," which is quite fitting.

September 25, 2013

ArtPrize 2013: glass as lace

Last Saturday we went as a family to the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park to see their ArtPrize exhibit, which features glass. I love glass as a medium anyway so I was greatly anticipating  this show. It is amazing to see the wide range of work that artists are turning out using glass. Do not be expecting a row of vases!

This piece, Cascade by Kait Rhoads of Seattle, Washington, is made up of small rings of glass that are woven together using wire and then formed in such a way that it reminds me of a draping piece of lace… or perhaps an octopus! I just love the way a solid like glass can be formed to look like a liquid or even a sea creature.

This piece, Silva Rerum (Forest of Things) by Anna Skibska of Seattle, Washington, is one of my very favorites of ArtPrize thus far. I adore it when I see a piece that is so very different than anything I have every experienced before. Thin, delicate rods of glass are fused together and then grow upward, forming ghostly tree-like shapes. It reminds me of a spiderweb, clear, so thin but simultaneously strong.  The lighting itself is another important element of this piece, adding a magical and mystical fairytale presence to the piece.

September 24, 2013

…and small!

These were for my niece's 1-year-old birthday. Almost all of the fabric came free from a dear family friend in her 90s who has been gifting me with her stash. It has been a very fun thing for me!

And these were for a gift for a co-worker's baby. I knew the nursery was to be black, gray, and yellow and I was worried I didn't have enough of those colors. I shouldn't have feared! There was plenty to choose from among the fabrics I've been given.

Again, the pattern was from Sew What You Love: The Easiest, Prettiest Projects Ever.

September 23, 2013

stuffed balls big…

I've been on a kick with the stuffed balls lately (as found in Sew What You Love: The Easiest, Prettiest Projects Ever). They are fairly easy to sew – or at least I can say I get better and better sewing curves with each one I do! – and they make lovely gifts. And I really get a kick out of mixing and matching the fabrics.

This giant one uses the fabrics found in a friend's nursery. A lovely use of scraps if I do say so myself.

And of course I had to make another one for my own girlies. It is big enough to use as a footstool!

A note about stuffing these babies: I've read you need to stuff things like this until they are firm. And I've always thought "oh, that isn't soft or squishy enough." Well, I've come around to the camp of stuffing and stuffing and then stuffing a bit more. They keep their shape so much better when they are just bursting through.

September 19, 2013

Welcome back!

Welcome autumn!

And welcome back to my blog. If you're reading this, you must be a subscriber or someone who has faithfully been checking for a new post. Well, people here it finally is!

I will fess up to taking the summer off of the Internet, which, if you think about it, is not necessarily a bad thing. I sporadically checked my email but other than that I was hardly at the computer.

Then – bam! – the school year hit.

My oldest started kindergarten in a serious way, full days every day, and my teacher husband headed back to the classroom. And I found myself home with my 2-year-old. I like it a lot, being at home, but I am still adjusting. It is just a new and different way of life for me! I have grand intentions of having a weekly blog day where I write and post a bunch and then dole out my creative tidbits to you in the week following but I'll make no promises!

The posts that you'll be reading in the days to come will be recapping this summer's creative adventures. Hopefully I can sustain some project process in the meantime and keep this blog flowing. If nothing else, I am still taking photos like a crazy lady and I do enjoy popping my favorites up here.

So welcome back, friends. Glad to have you visiting with me.