Studio talk, Tapestry Diary 2018

Tapestry diary progress

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The gray area was a rainy Thursday. On Friday, a stormfront moved through, bringing more intense cold on its winds. On Saturday and Sunday, I moved boxes, purged, and shelved in the home studio.

I feel good about the organizing I’ve done in this studio so far. Trying not to do so much that I hurt myself. Installed a clip-on shop light in a dark corner and it makes a huge difference.

When I thought hard about what bothered me the most about working/playing in this studio, the first three things were dim light, too many plastic bags and cardboard boxes, and disorganization. I have a lot of clear plastic shoeboxes that I’ve dumped a lot of the plastic bags into. I want to be able to find what I need without opening every box and drawer, so I need more labels for the boxes that aren’t transparent. I also want it to be less cluttered.

I need to remember that there is more that needs to be moved over here. Tomorrow I’ll move a little more, and play on the sewing machine at the other studio.

Studio talk

The Studio

Yesterday I had a stroke of luck. After going to PetSmart to buy Frontline for the cats ($110 for 6 doses, OW), I went to the studio on Wharton St. to fill up the Chevy with what I could get into it. Had to take advantage of my high energy level! Susanne had hired a guy to clean up the yard and I was able to pay him $20 to deliver my shelf units to my house afterwards. Less than it would have been to rent a truck, and much more convenient!

So instead of weaving on Cathedral, I spent the rest of the day shifting stuff around. We have a long room at the front of our Craftsman house. It’s a little too narrow to work with very well. At one time we tried to make it our living room, but eventually we moved the sofa, TV, etc. in what was supposed to be our dining room. We never sat at the table anyway – it was a junk collector like our countertops are now. I moved my studio from the back building to half of the front room, and of course it is a mess just like every other place in the house!

We decided to put one of the shelf units in the middle of the room like a room divider. Now that I have more storage in here, I am looking at what you see when you first walk into the space. I’m going to move the more attractive stuff like cones of yarn and books to those areas, and try to keep my bookbinding/painting supplies in one area, my weaving and sewing to another. We’ll see how it goes. This may just be a subconscious effort to avoid weaving on Cathedral today, but I’m excited. It’s almost like getting a new studio. What I’d really love to do one day is to get a carpenter to put in wall to ceiling shelves on most of the wall space. I also need much better lighting.

Here are some before shots. Keep in mind that some of the junk is boxes to be donated to Reconsidered Goods or recycled. I’m planning to sell the Schacht Baby Wolf loom, but I think I’ll keep the Dorothy loom up high on the shelves so I’ll have a portable one if I ever buy a camper.

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Here’s what it looks like when you look in the studio when you come in the front door. The basket was made by a dear former friend of mine.

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This is looking back at the “new” room divider, my Macomber loom and the other half of the room where the woodstove is.

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In case you wonder how I keep my tapestry from being destroyed by my cats (and they have damaged the ones I hung on the wall, so they are not on the wall any more), I have found that they hate foil. Anything I want them to stay away from, I cover with foil.

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This is the area I want to make prettier.

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And here is the view from where I am sitting.

I’ll post my tapestry updates later. I need to eat. I forget about that sometimes.

Blather, fiber art, Quilting, Slow cloth, Studio talk, Upcycling

Happy Kwanzaa and Boxing Day!

Well, I’m about holidayed out and I haven’t even celebrated much of anything! That’s typical for me, though. I started losing my holiday spirit when I worked in retail and then the many years of Christmas without my father and now my mother pretty much did it in. If I had chosen to have children, I’m sure it would have been different. I’m grateful that I’m in a place and time in my life where my friends and family understand and don’t judge or try to force me to be merry.

This Christmas we had my brother-in-law over for dinner on Christmas Eve and then watched westerns and A Christmas Story on Christmas Day by ourselves. We had a couple of good meals, one of which was collaborative between Sandy and me and it ended up much better than I would have ever guessed, but also may not ever be able to be replicated! It was linguine with shrimp and smoked beef kielbasa from the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, along with broccoli, red peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, and feta cheese. Then yesterday I slow cooked a small pastured pork picnic ham in my crock pot with sweet potatoes, red potatoes, apple juice, water, liquid smoke, and Worcestershire sauce. I cooked it just a tad too long but it was still tender and tasty. I foresee more barbecue in the future. (In North Carolina, barbecue is a noun and it refers only to pork. We do not barbecue. We cook or grill out.)

Right now I am at my studio on Wharton St. where I am working on ironing a light interfacing to the backs of old t-shirt logos and designs in preparation for a t-shirt quilt. I’m taking an online Craftsy class from Winnie Fleming called “The Ultimate T-Shirt Quilt.” (Today classes on Craftsy are less than $20, not affiliated, just sayin’.) So far it is perfect for me – I needed something to kick me into action that would be fun and not too taxing on my brain. Although I donated several of my better t-shirts to charity in my purges this past year, I saved some of my favorite for a project like this. Many of them are twenty years old and very worn out. I’m going to either draw, paint, or stitch over the designs that are worn out.

A little later Sandy and I are going to see Arrival at the movie theater. It’s hard to get me to go to a theater because I don’t like sitting in a crowd. But I like to see a sci-fi film on the big screen and Sandy loves loves loves going to the movies.

Then I’ll have the rest of the week all to myself when Sandy goes back to work. I’ll try to get over here in the morning and spend most of each day here, except for tomorrow when I need to get the painting around the front porch door finished so Sandy can hang the door back up.

It will feel a little like retirement!