Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Craft Closet Before

There are so many things about the new abode that I love but one of the things that tops my list may surprise you.  Two closets. 

If you've been reading here for longer than a minute, you already know that I looooooove organizing and being organizing.  It's a bit of an obsession, really.  To the point where I have organized many friends' and families' homes.  Not being organized is hard for me to handle on a very deep level.


In between our kitchen and my workroom, there is a small transitional hallway with a closet on each side.  They are both pretty good sized and have automatic lights when you open them.  It didn't take long to decide how they would each be used once we moved in - one as a pantry and the other as my craft closet.  The pantry side is pretty well organized but is always a work in progress.  The craft closet on the other hand is...
... a bit chaotic for my obsessively organized personality.   A clusterf*ck, if you will.  It makes my eye twitch.

Don't judge.  Don't judge.

I share this to show my very candid before of the closet.  I have grand plans on its organization, I just majorly lack the time to do so.  But I MUST get it done, for my sanity and for its functionality. 
Ugh.  Where to start?!

Below is the true, true before.  EVERYTHING in the pantries (and this area of the house) was very, very, very yellow.  One of my first projects before we even moved in was to paint the insides of these closets.  No small task, but a necessary one.  I even painted the insides of every single kitchen cabinet from yellow to cream.  Yeah, a lot of yellow.
So there you have it - my dirty, disorganized secret!  Fingers crossed I'll be sharing the after sooner than later!

I'm curious if organizational tricks and tips would be something you'd be interested in me sharing?  I'm full of them!  :)

And a little bonus footage: 
This guy loves the craft closet chaos and all of its hidey holes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Miles and Miles of Thread

Sometimes, I just make to make.  I have to.  I'm the type of person who always needs a project.  It's a blessing and a curse.  This quilt was one of those projects.  No destination, no parameters, no recipient, no rules.  Just something to do.  And I think it's one of my best technically and aesthetically.  I'm a proud peacock!
I would pick this project up from time to time between commissions and whatnot so it's been in progress for quite some time.  Sometimes, I find it so helpful to snap a photo of something, walk away, study the photo, and see how I feel about my design decisions.  Maybe it's just me but it's like seeing it through new eyes...through my phone.  ;)  Since this piece took a while, I accumulated many photos during the process. 

Randomly enough, the patterned fabrics came from one booth at the Flea Market a few months back.  They presented themselves to me together.  I thought they complimented each other quite well.  Pulled some coordinating solids and just started building.  One-inch strips galore.  That'll make you go a little cuckoo. 
I probably spend too much time just staring at my work, trying to figure out what to do next.  If I'm going to cut something up, I want to be sure that it's the right decision!  Over-thinker extraordinaire over here.
I tried a different method for basting this time around.  At the old house, I had a great space in the kitchen for taping and pinning quilts but I just don't have that same type of floor space here.  Since this is a small-ish quilt, I decided to just lay it over my work table and smooth it out as I pinned.  It had potential to be a catastrophe but it ended up being the most consistent basting I've ever done! 
Then there was the quilting.  I quilted the hell out of this thing.  All eyeballed.  Half-inch strips in V-formation over and over again.  I went through SO much thread.  I freaking love how the quilting shows up on the backside.  It was a labor of love.
After all of that, I opted for simple, pre-made, white bias tape that I added with my machine.  One of these days I'll hand stitch on my binding.  Once it was complete, I took a deep breath, tossed it in the washer, and hoped with all of my might that it would come out a success.  It washed up divinely.  That crinkling is perfection!
I foresee this being a great baby blanket, a toddler blanket (filled with colorful roads for the creative car-obsessed kid), a lap quilt, a couch blanket, a bed accent, or whatever one can dream up.  It's currently homeless and is dying to be used....just sayin'.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Belated Alliday Lovin'

This post is waaaaaay overdue but better late than never! 

Last December, I resurrected Alliday.  If you remember, I wrote a bajillion words as to why I was done with the show I dreamt up and why I was ok with that.  Turns out, I wasn't done with it.  Alliday hadn't died in me, it just needed a facelift, if you will.  So the Fifth Annual Alliday happened.  And it was glorious.  After the previous show, I cried afterwards because I just didn't feel fulfilled and happy about it.  After last year's show, I cried again.  I cried because I was so damn happy with how everything turned out.  Everything was fun.  Everything.  The planning was enjoyable, the changes were exciting to execute, our event hosts were simply wonderful, the artists were absolute delights, and again Tulsa was so supportive!  I am BEYOND glad that I made it happen, that I asked for partners, and that I didn't let my dream die. 

We moved the show to the fabulous RetroDen, shrunk the show from 80 artists to 12, extended the show from one day to two days, had live music, set up a bar, had a scrumptious food truck pull up, and filled both days with more goodness than I could have ever imagined.  It felt so much more personalized, much more me.  The changes we implemented had to happen for the show to continue and those changes are, without a doubt, what made the show shine and what made my heart burst with joy. 

To those who were a part of this special event, I can't even thank you enough.  For those who have supported this dream over the years and shop with us, your encouragement is gold.  Here are just a sampling of photos from the 5th Annual Alliday, in no particular order..  More smile-inducing pictures can be seen here and here

Happy Alliday!  Cheers to the future!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Skipping Town

I'm here!  I'm alive!  I'm just buried under toddler tears, tests to be graded, cat hair tumbleweeds, and wayward threads from therapeutic sewing sessions.  Tis the season.  I did manage to escape the city and allowed my soul to breathe a deep, much needed breath this past weekend.  Brent was all booked up with shows for the weekend, I amazingly had nothing on the calendar, and my folks were headed to the cabin so the beast, the kid, and I stuffed ourselves in my mom's car and hit the road.  It was good.  Really good.  I needed to hang with my folks outside of work and I think they also needed to hang with us in a different environment.  There was fishing, there was lounging, there were cigars, there were swimming dogs, there was sewing, there was rain, there were snakes, there were stunning sunsets, there were deep talks, there were laughs, and surely more notable things.  Rio now won't stop saying that she neeeeeds to go to the cabin.  I know kid, I know.
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