“If you marry a creative person know that some days you’ll come home to a spotless house and some days dinner will be forgotten, the kids will be in pjs and it will look like you were robbed.  Find a way to appreciate both because the second will happen much more often than the first.”

Several times recently when waking up I had been dreaming of interior design. Being pulled unwillingly from my sleep way too early this morning, I realized that in my dreams I was doing furniture layout and wall decoration for a home that was not mine.  Do I not fill my days sufficiently enough with design, with creativity, through photography and fabric and thread?  Why the need to create interior spaces while dreaming? The family that I was decorating for, or more specifically the father of the family, was saying it did not feel like home and I was trying to decorate it into being a home.

“Home is the nicest word there is.”

~Laura Ingalls Wilder

All during my childhood we moved frequently and somehow that installed a love in me of moving to new places.  There was always the adventure of discovering a new world, new friends and a chance to start over, to re-invent yourself.  In adulthood I have stayed put but still love imagining the possibilities. Even when I vacation somewhere, the beach, the mountains, it doesn’t matter where, I like to get real estate magazines and pour over the listings, conjuring up a new future. Recently I have looked at places at the beach on two different coasts, both by driving through areas not that far from home as well as viewing online real estate listings on the opposite coast.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

~William Morris

What makes a place a home? Design is certainly part of it as it as it should add comfort and should make the space practical and attractive in everyday living. The familiarity of objects that you have gathered and treasured, whether practical or ornamental, also greatly enhance the sense of home. There is also a need to feel secure and that comes both from the neighborhood, the construction, and from the time it takes to make a new place feel familiar.  Most importantly though are the humans and the pets who you love and who love you.

 “A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”

~Dr. William A. Ward

 

© 2015

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Is it possible to have too much fun?!  When I started this blog the idea was that I had an opportunity to reinvent my life and I wanted to share those new adventures.  I wanted a chance to be able to focus on family and friends and to indulge my love of creativity.  During these last years my life has been filled with both joy and sadness.  I have had the opportunity to meet wonderful people and to take many fantastic classes and workshops on bookmaking, cyanotype, quilting, dyeing fabric, printing on fabric with dye or paint or with a printer and on making thermofax screens.  I have also taken classes on composition, monoprinting, encaustics, general photography and photoshop. Whew! So many wonderful experiences!

I have started a two and a half year program of study with Jane Dunnewold, the Art Cloth Mastery Program, and this has inspired me to re-prioritize all the things that I do.  I have said yes to many wonderful opportunities in recent years.  But sometimes this means that the things I most want to do, which are more challenging and perhaps ultimately among the most rewarding, are put aside.

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It is hard to do, but I am making changes.   I now rank my priorities as:

Health

Family and close friends

Creativity

I struggled with putting Health first as I really wanted Family to be first followed by Creativity.  But if you don’t have Health you don’t really have anything. Hey, I want to be around to meet my grandchild!  In creative endeavors I am putting the Art Cloth Mastery Program first, which means there are going to be many great classes, meetings, and events that I will have to bypass.  I will focus on the work we are doing within that Program and I will apply to get into one of two shows per year.  I think narrowing these activities will help me to learn and grow in a more focused, goal driven way.  We’ll see!

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I would have never imagined that I was the little kid in the candy shop saying yes to everything that tempted me, never allowing me to make my way to the back of the shop where my very favorite thing was waiting for me.  Are you in danger of having too much fun? : ) Are you in danger of not doing the things that mean the most to you because you say yes to all the other things that are fun, but don’t ultimately bring you to where you want to be?

In case you were wondering the photos in this post are random photos I have taken in the last 12 plus months.

© 2015

I wanted to challenge myself to make something on a larger scale than I usually work.  I selected one of my Florida nature photos, drew a grid over it and then outlined the main elements on a 3 foot by 4 foot piece of muslin also with a drawn grid.

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I had to figure out what sections of the design needed to be applied first and what was best to add latter.  I started with the water and then started working around the fabric section by section.

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I had a large selection of fabrics for my color palette, and I used several types of fusing material.  If only I had used only the lightest fuse for the entire project perhaps the quilt would have been softer to the touch and maybe I could have quilted it with the long arm instead of my home machine. Both before and after the project was quilted I added some shadows and highlights with acrylic paints thinned with water or fabric extender.

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My secret spice was the use of several watercolors by my oldest son which I printed on fabric with my new Epson (Stylus Pro 3880) and inserted into the design in several places becoming the hidden gems. I was elated with how well the new printer worked on fabric.

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And after what felt like forever, this is the resulting wall hanging.

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Of course when you are done with a big project, you see both the things that turned out better than you expected as well as where you might have done things differently.

What do you think?

© 2015

I took a few classes just before and after a really bad cold held me captive for two weeks.

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This is from the watercolor batik class.  I learned so much from both what I did and what I forgot to do when working on this class project using rice paper.

 

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These are from the fun class on using alcohol inks on yupo papers.  The colors are beautiful and the process is quite serendipitous.

 

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This infinity scarf was a quick project made with three different fabrics from the Handcrafted fabric line by Allison Glass.

Next I will update you on the project that felt like it was going to take for-e-ver to finish.

© 2015

 

Funny how sometimes a short drive away you find another world altogether.

 

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Even a cold day in Florida can be a beautiful experience.

 

© 2015

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