My Essential Creative Tools – #1 – Cheapola Notebooks

Want to know the absolute, hands down most used creative tool in my studio? The cheapola notebook. Oh sure, they don’t call them that in the store, but you know the kind. College ruled. 70 pages. 1 subject. Spiral bound. And generally much less than two dollars. If you stock up during back to school time, they’re often well under a dollar. It’s insanity. I use them constantly, for jotting down ideas, lists, and quick sketches. I write first drafts {Read More}

Peeks from the week-ish.

It’s been a few weeks of accidental rainbows, hanging out in laundry basket boats, and working on a new pattern. 1. Chicken fabric by Alexander Henry 2. Almost too hot to wear rain boots, finally 3. That laundry basket hasn’t been used for laundry in a long time 4. Accidental rainbow heart 5. Editing the BMO pattern 6. At the Northwest Quilt show 7. BMO the pattern! 8. Stomp all the pinecones 9. This salsa is happiness in a jar. {Read More}

18 tips for getting your creative work done with small kids who refuse to take naps

I’ve head of babies who take two hour naps, play happily in pack and plays, and entertain themselves. However, I have yet to actually meet one. Let’s just say that my kid did not fall into that category. As an obsessive manic creative person, I had to come up with strategies to keep getting creative work done. Not creating stuff is simply not an option for me. I am a much more unpleasant person (and worse mother) if I don’t {Read More}

Less obsessing. More making. (Or, how listing things on Etsy is like cleaning the bathroom.)

After I had a baby, I had to change the way I did things. I started using this pretty helpful technique that I learned in a SARK book- micromovements. Basically, you break whatever it is down into a bunch of teeny tiny steps. Very practical if you only get teeny tiny bits of time to do stuff in. It worked great for awhile, but after awhile, I found myself actually doing less. Things started to feel just too big. The {Read More}

3 Lessons Learned from Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens by Isaiah Zagar

When I was visiting family in Pennsylvania, I had the opportunity to see Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, which is now pretty much my favorite art installation, ever. (And the award for most commas in a run-on sentence goes to…) For a while, I just wandered around with my mouth hanging open, snapping photo after photo after photo. Finally, after several laps, I was able to slow down and notice details. I’ve been thinking about what I saw ever since. Here are {Read More}

A peek at the process of making fabric art

I keep cheapola notebooks always at the ready, to capture ideas. And usually, there is coffee involved. To make a fabric art piece, I start with an idea, usually a phrase or an image. For letters, I bust out a giant quilting ruler, and make some guidelines on the fabric. Then I draw the letters, and begin to cut them out. And cut and cut and cut and cut. Once the layout looks right, I iron down the fusible webbed {Read More}

5 Lessons learned from an embroidery floss stash

While at a thrift shop this weekend, I found the score of a lifetime. Well, if you’re into embroidery floss, that is. And I am. (Are you?) Two large bags, full to the brim with hundreds of colors of embroidery floss. I immediately grabbed them and hugged them to my chest. Smiles for hours afterwards. Happy dance. All that. Turning two giant bags of embroidery floss into part of my collection was a herculean task. And while I sat at {Read More}

Celebrating Getting Things Done – with a downloadable zine!

I am one of those people that constantly has a to-do list the length of my arm. I frantically rush through the day, trying to get things done. At the end of the day, I look back at the to-do list, with so many things still left to do, and sigh. It’s not a good feeling. And then it starts up again the next day- yesterday’s unfinished tasks competing with the things that urgently need to get done today. I’m {Read More}

The raddest thing I’ve ever made

Recently, I made this: Which you clip into your hair like this: (Forgive these pics. Any one else got a toddler who refuses to wear clothes and stay still?) Because of this: When my cousin and I were two and a half years and a year and a half, respectively, our mothers dressed us up in matching outfits for the above photo, which is one of my favorites of ALL TIME. It was the 80’s, which explains a lot. The {Read More}

Ode to tiresome projects

I hate unfinished projects. Don’t get me wrong: I love making stuff, and I (mostly) love the process of the making. However. Those projects that drag on…and on…and on…the ones you have to just chip away at…FOREVER. Those projects. I hate them. I try to avoid them. I believe that they take up valuable energy and space, and mostly they just need to be chucked. But sometimes, they cannot be chucked. You simply must keep chipping away. It becomes a {Read More}