Friday, April 20, 2018

Let's Get Organized - Off the Wall Friday

Continuing with last week's spring revival theme.....I thought it was a good idea to revisit ways to organize your creative space.  Now I know there are some that thrive in a cluttered studio.  They seem to thrive on the chaos that surrounds them.  I, however, do not.  It stifles me and seems to close in on me.  With that in mind I try to keep just the bare essentials in my works space and those I like to keep organized.  Don't get me wrong, I can be the biggest clutter bug.  So I'm constantly fighting against that tendency with new organizing ideas.

Here are some I'd like to share.....

Shelve It
 Use containers and shelving in creative new ways.  First think of what you want to organize and then think of containers that will fit those objects.  For example, I tend to store my hand dyeds in big long shallow plastic containers since the pieces are all usually under a half yard and come in a ton of colors and values. These mostly were meant for under the bed storage but it works great for the many color and values of fabric I have. 

Use drawer dividers and small containers in your drawers. That way you can pull out what you need and replace it easily.  Place shelves in unused wall space, like above doors.  Then get baskets or containers that fit nicely on the shelves.


Get the Hang of It
For me horizontal surfaces are evil.  I tend to fill them up easily and then pile some more on top of that!  Its a never ending struggle.  That's when I discovered hanging things instead.  With a little bit of paint and electrical tape I turned an inexpensive pegboard into a hanging haven.  The board has changed as my needs have changed but it makes finding my things I use the most simple.  Love it!

Label It
This is a tip from my mother who loves to label.  There are such great label gadgets out there its a shame not to take advantage of them.  My mother's idea is that if the container is labeled or the shelf is labeled than it will be easier to put things back where they belong when its time to clean up. (I do want to say that I've never got the hang of using labels properly, but I'm quite sure that's a personal fault and not the labels themselves - grin)

Closet It
 Take advantage of any closet space you have in your studio or nearby rooms.  I personally use mobile storage carts to organize my dyes and paints.  Since I only use these a few times a year though, I roll the carts into a nearby closet  which also houses all my other dyeing paraphernalia.  I've also seen where closets have been converted into   pressing stations or other work spaces.

Just to let you know I practice what I preach.  This spring I've added much needed shelving to my studio and am looking for just the right containers to fit properly on it!




Friday, April 13, 2018

Rejoice in Spring - Off the Wall Friday

Its been a long winter.  . . .A very long winter here on the banks of Lake Erie.  Not only have we had nearly 200 inches of snow (yes you read that right - 200 inches) but its been cold and gray since November.  Cold and gray can eat at once soul and I'm afraid it has mine!  Even the first day of spring was welcomed in with inches of snow and below freezing temps.

Finally though spring is fighting back and we've had our first real break in the weather.  Its got me thinking of  how to mend my creative soul.  Spring has long been a time of rebirth, renewal and rejuvenation. Those are all concepts that girl could use after such a gray winter!  But how to do it???


When I say winter,  I mean all things cold and gray that hold you down.  Let go of the fear that you're not enough.  Let  go of the comparisons that weigh  down your creative soul.  Let go of the self-doubt of that next great idea.  Let go of harmful habits that only hurt instead of help


This one is literal and figurative.  Spring clean all the clutter that has accumulated over the winter.
Organize what is left.  You'll feel better with a tidy work space.  Also, spring clean all the things that you have been putting off in your life.  Been procrastinating about making a decision?  Decide and commit  and you'll feel better with that too!


This is a time to recommit yourself to those new year's resolutions that have been forgotten.  Its a perfect time to take stock of what is working in your life and give it new energy.  Look at forgotten projects and commit to finishing them.


All around you nature has come back to life.  This is a perfect time for you to give birth to new and interesting ideas.  Unplug for a while, take a quiet walk, soak in the sunshine and think.  Let it all soak in where once winter had only resided.  Take in new inspiration.  Use all your senses to awaken new ideas, new habits, new routines.

I plan to take my own advice and really work on these ideas.  I've been stuck in this cold dark cycle for too long!

Do you have any ideas that will help me jump start my spring?

Friday, April 6, 2018

Off the Wall Friday

Friday, March 30, 2018

Market Inspiration - Off the Wall Friday

You never know where you'll find inspiration!  This week I took a short road trip to the West Side Market in Cleveland, Ohio where I found over 100 booths of inspiration!  I mean, yes, its the greatest place if you a diehard foodie, but also all the sights and smells were perfect to get one's creative juice
going.  I thought I would share some off what I saw!

The market has a rich 100 year history and is opened 5 days a week year round.  Everything can be
found under its roof - meats, seafood, fruits and vegetables, ethnic food from all over the world, bake goods, candies, etc etc.  Although the market is still very popular  for shopping with the locals, it also does a healthy tourist trade. The place was pretty busy when we were there.

I came home with cannoli's, pierogies,  and Greek domas. We ate a lunch of Steve's Gyro's which were amazing!!   I was very good and left the candy there! If you're ever in Cleveland I definiately can recommend a trip!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Women Artists - Off the Wall Friday

Window Sill, Lugano, Winifred Nicholson

Dressing Dolls, Cecelia Beaux
I love women artists!   Generally, I seem to relate better with their subject matter and usually am more moved on an emotional level.  Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with male artists.  Some of my best friends are male artists. (grin)  But I still find female artists more fascinating
since, for most of history, they were tasked with creating in  their art in a male dominated world.

So in honor of Women's History Month, I thought I would give you a  list of artists you might not have heard of  to start your own exploration of  the feminine side of the art world.

W- Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981): British Post-Impressionist painter  specializing in landscapes
E - Elizabeth Shippen Green (1871-1954):  American illustrator whose work was featured in children’s books, The Saturday Evening Post, and Harper’s Magazine. 

C - Cecelia Beaux (1855-1942): American painter, and acclaimed portrait artist
Urban Landscape, Olga Rozanova
A - Adelaide Labille Guiard (1749-1803)  French portrait painter and early feminist who to became an honored member of the French Royal Academy.
N - Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990): Indian modern artist who pioneered the abstract movement in her country

D - Dora Carrington (1893-1932): British painter  associated with the famed Bloomsbury Group
O - Olga  Rozanova (1886-1918): Innovator of the Russian avant-garde including Suprematism, Neo-Primitivism, and Cubo-Futurism.

I - Ilka Gedo (1921-1985): Holocaust-survivor and one of the most talented, but least known, Hungarian artists of the 20th century.
T - Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980): Polish-born painter, known as “the Grande Dame of Deco,”

Need More????

Louise √Člisabeth Vig√©e Le Brun, Mary Cassett, Harriet Powers, Geogia O'Keefe, Frida Kahlo, Caterina van Hemessen, Marianne North, Beatrix Potter, Sonia Delauney  .....

 So if they can do it ......So Can We!!  

So Who are Your Favorites????

Friday, March 16, 2018

Off the Wall Friday

Friday, March 9, 2018

Progress - Off the Wall Friday

For the last month I've been spending at least one long day in my studio working on my Craftsy Block of the Month Quilt.  Ya know, there is a running debate about what is more work an art quilt or a traditional quilt.  To tell you the truth, I had absolutely convinced myself that an original art quilt was more work.  I mean, ya gotta come up with the design yourself right?  You have to decide how you're going to make it right?  And THEN you have to actually make it so it looks half way decent.  Obviously, an art quilt takes more time.

Well that's before I dived back into the world of traditional quilting.  I mean gosh this kit came with ALL the fabric, the WHOLE pattern and even an online class with a clear speaking TEACHER.  How hard could it be?


But after spending a month of paper piecing and matching points, I'm much better at it.  Plus the method of paper piecing the class taught left nice neat backs.  Truly paper piecing is a great way to get small precise pieces together!

With the center medallion done ....I only made one piecing mistake from the original pattern ....and once I noticed it I decided I liked it better this way anyways.....I'm onto the next month's lesson...curve piecing.  

More than once I've studied curved piecing but its good for a refresher.  Plus this uses paper piecing AND curve piecing  ....ohhhhh goody.... she says sarcastically.

Still with all the whining, I'm really loving the refresher and feel accomplished when I get a section done.  Another good by-product is that I'm noticing that several of my tools that I've had over 25 years need replacing so I get to do a bit of shopping!!

So onto Curve piecing!

What Have You Been Up to Creatively?