I have been diligently working on a brand new collection of Found and Foraged Pincushions that will be hitting my shop in a couple of weeks. Many folks were sad to have missed out on the previous groups, so ceramic artist Kristen Ballou and I worked to make as many as possible available for this next collection. Keep reading if you want to know how to snag one of these beauties.READ MORE
Being the only one at the helm of this ship called Wise Craft Handmade ⎯ the only one to produce, make things happen, create new products, post online, write patterns ⎯ is both challenging and exciting. There is never a time that I don’t feel I could be doing more- more work, more reaching out, more social media, more product design. There is pressure to work more efficiently, quicker, smarter, and do all the necessary things to make more of a business to my creative world.
I thought it was time to get new photos of myself taken. The last ones were taken by SCB for my book back in 2015, three years ago! So, I asked my friend Marlo to bring her camera to the studio and help me out. Thank goodness she has patience, I’m not an easy subject to be photographed. I make it awkward, but we got through it!
Time in my studio and how I use it has always been important in one way or another. When the kids were younger, I felt pressured to use that time to its fullest while I had it. Inevitably, creative time was short and precious, usually last on the list of needs in our days. As the kids got older, I found myself spending more time in my studio, but those were days I spent a lot of time thinking about exactly what I wanted my creative time to be. Writing a book has given structure to my studio time, but in between those books my time in the studio has become more and more my own. With teenagers, and one away at college, my time in the studio is blissfully mine. No more trying to keep kids busy while getting creative things done, or trying to create a project for them so that we could craft side by side. These days, I have lots of time to make what I want, or to create a real body of creative work that I am very excited about. This usually involves quilts, and quilt-related things (like pattern writing). I love every minute of it, but being the sole proprietor in the studio has created a schedule of working on lots of long term things a little bit each day. In some ways I really love that, but in some ways I’d love to see results more often than I do.READ MORE
The right sewing tools can make your life so much easier. And there are tons of them out there. Some work great and your projects come out even better because of them. You wonder how you got along without them. But there are some that are truly a waste of money. I’ve bought a few that make no sense and feel just plain awkward to use.
Interestingly, most of my favorite sewing tools were not really made for sewing at all. I thought I’d share a list of what I use all the time in the studio.READ MORE
Scrap quilting is the most ingenious trick I play on myself. You see, sometimes I need to clean out and organize my fabric shelves. Well, actually, most of the time. Patchwork is messy, especially scrappy patchwork, because it uses lots of different fabrics. I have found I can trick myself into getting my shelves organized by incorporating some sort of scrap piecing project. The ones that require the most fabrics cause me to pull all my fabrics off the shelves, cut from them, refold them, and tidy everything up. And I do love scrappy quilts!
The folks at CreativeLive came over to film my workspace a few weeks ago. They asked me if I would like to film a tour of my studio, and I said yes immediately! Mainly because I don’t think there’s nearly enough basement studio spaces represented out there, and for a lot of us, a basement space offers the most amount of square footage we can dedicate to making creative messes. For me, it keeps my work (and play) away from the rest of the daily living that goes on in the house.