Our go-to doorstop for any door that drifts open or closed mysteriously is a rock. A plain ol' rock. I have one at my studio door and for the longest time I was planning to make it less rock-like. I had an idea of painting it with black chalkboard paint so I could write on it (but I soon realized it wasn't practical for me to write on my studio doorstop- but still a cute idea). I thought I would cover it with crochet, but I haven't gotten around to sitting and doing that. This weekend I spent some time organizing my studio and decided to just jump in and make the doorstop pretty, no more procrastinating (at least about doorstops...). Posting it here will serve as a reminder that it's not necessary to overthink things and leave them unfinished for a year.
Use what you have
Do what you can
I came across this thought on Pinterest and immediately thought "yes!". It describes so well how I live my life. And I'm not talking about just the creative side, although it has always been part of how I sew and quilt, but in every aspect of living. The act of running a small business with my husband, trying to teach my kids how to handle stress or problems they need to solve, even just staring at a huge pile of laundry. Don't go crazy and get overwhelmed. (Another favorite phrase has always been "Don't borrow trouble." The world is complicated enough without trying to solve every problem right this minute.
I stitched up this banner for my studio door using what I already had so I could remind myself that absolutely everything is doable in its own way. I could have gone out and bought beautiful new fabric and made a big production out of this project, but why overthink it?
Do you have small sayings like this in your head, that you repeat to yourself when you need them? Or maybe even a word that centers you back into reality when you're feeling overwhelmed?
Gosh, you guys are so great, thank you for the comments on Monday's post. I'm still at it, here on Day 8. I'm still starting stories to my friends with "When I used to eat food....", but even that is getting better, although you gotta keep your sense of humor (and honestly I'm not that hungry).
I am cleaning and clearing the studio today and decided to change up the wall above the fireplace. Even though I do love the print that was up there, I tend to change up the walls pretty regularly around the house. This is a simple project I did last year, but never talked much. Taking thrift store, mismatched wooden frames of various sizes and unifying them with color and a metallic stripe. Once the base coat of paint is completely dry (I spray painted these with a few coats of white and let them dry overnite), I taped off a 2" wide space on each of them using painter's blue tape, then sprayed metallic inside the stripe (two coats). I intentionally didn't put the stripe going exactly through the middle of the frames. The idea being, hang them by lining up the stripe, not the frame. These three frames are all different sizes, and I love the way it creates a unified look.
Another way to do these is to hang them tighter together, which I might actually do. I've got two smaller frames with the same stripe on them, but I'll need to figure out what to put in them.
Thank you all for the suggestions on the owl needlepoint about starting closer to the owl, rather than trying to fill the background one long row by one long row. I tried this last night and maybe its all smoke and mirrors, but I felt so much more productive!
Ok, back to cleaning the studio!
The weekend (actually the past week) was cold here in Seattle. We got a dusting of snow on Saturday, just enough to make it feel safer to stay at home. It continued ever so slightly on Sunday, and my mothering instincts kicked right into full gear when I felt drafts coming in through a few windows. Extra quilts were thrown onto beds (you can imagine that we have plenty) and I set about trying to cover things to ward off the chill.
Cause that's what I do when it gets cold.
I cover things.
I recovered the upholstered seats to our kitchen chairs. (Truthfully, I had planned to do these over the weekend before it snowed, but still...) These sit at the island of our kitchen counter, the four of them across one side. We've had these chairs for about 10 years and the main reason I never get tired of them is because I can reupholster the seats, which I usually do every 6 months or so. Its a great project because 1 yard of home decor weight fabric will usually cover all four with careful cutting. This time I used the Orla Kiely for Target tablecloth I'd purchase a few years ago for our old dining room table. Sadly, it doesn't fit the new table, but using it this way allows me to see the pattern every day, so that's good! I used iron-on clear vinyl on the fabric before I applied it to the seat. Feels like coated cotton fabric, and it really makes my fabric choices limitless, and spills don't matter.
Then I made a tea cozy.
It was just about a year ago this month that I moved my sewing studio into our basement, and let me tell you, it gets chilly down there this time of year. A space heater works great when I am cold, but my tea cup doesn't really stand a chance. For what I think may be the very first time in my life I needed a tea cozy! I usually have something warm in my hands when I'm down there, and although it is good exercise, I get a little weary of running up and down the stairs to warm my tea or hot water.
And because I grow bored without options, it's a reversible tea cozy (that's not 2 different ones pictured, its the same one reversed). This project took me less that an hour, using only what I already had in my stash.
Tomorrow I will show you how in case your tea gets cold too.
The weather has been so nice here. Ian and I are walking to school every morning and then I'm walking to pick him up in the afternoon. (And I will tell any stranger I meet that I do this cause I need the encouragement, I would like to keep it up.) When I get back home each morning, I've been retreating to my studio in the basement to work on projects galore. When I caught myself dancing to disco tunes yet again, it felt suddenly like I'd slipped into a special type of crazy, and that it would probably be good for me to go above ground for lunch and mingle with the outside world for a bit, just to check myself. Whew! I immediately felt better. Amazing what a little window shopping and color inspiration can do for the soul.
I spotted this lovely and calming display made with books in J Crew's wedding window. My original fabric flower tutorial (wow, I made that tutorial in 2006!) can easily be made with pages from a book as well. Maybe I'll try some soon.
I loved the use of sticks and twigs in Free People. Interestingly I don't really care for their clothes, but their displays have drawn me in more than once.
Thank you all for the great comments and questions about blogging over on this post. Lots of things to think about. I will take all of this with me for Friday's panel. I'm really looking forward to the discussion!
say that fast 3 times.
I spent the whole day Tuesday down in the salt craft mines. I had such a nice day of much-needed solitude and relaxed brain activity... cut, press, sew, repeat... I had to stop a few times to remember where I'd put this or that, but to not knock something else over while doing it is pretty amazing. I am so grateful to my little family for giving this space to me.
And just as good... I am now completely caught up on my Mid Mod bee blocks. It was kind of fun to devote most of a day, and go from planning and sewing one to the next, focusing on each one. I had Herb and Dorothy playing on Netflix and couldn't get over how cute the two of them are together.
I am ready to post about my own Mid Mod Quilt bee inspiration. For I am (drum roll please) Miss April! (For the non-bee'ers, that means that April is my month to send fabric, inspiration, and instructions out to all the other participants.) I am so excited about this quilt! I'll save details for tomorrow.
For now, I thank you all so much for your kind and enthusiastic comments about the new studio yesterday. You are all so nice, you know that? (And mom, you wouldn't want to move in down there, actually I wouldn't put you down there, it's a little chilly at night.)