sketching every day

Sketchbook10:3:12

Two months ago, before challenging myself to sketch every day for a year for The Sketchbook Project,

– I fully believed I could not draw.

– I would have never started any drawing I managed to force from my brain with a permanent marker (only a pencil I could erase).

– I did not believe that doodling amounted to anything other than doodling.

– I would stop drawing as soon as I felt I had fully developed my idea in my head and would never look back at what I drew with any reflection.

– If something looked terrible, I immediately stopped.

– Sketching was not relaxing to me. It felt forced and akward, even when the occasional inspiration to draw actually came over me.

– I felt I did not have time to develop the skill of drawing or sketching.

 

I have already learned so much about myself since I started this personal challenge.

Sketchbook Doodling from Blair Stocker on Vimeo.

Music is Mike Mills by Air.

Tiny Stones

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Whenever we go to the beach (lucky us, its minutes away in several directions), I always look out for smooth stones, pebbles, and beach glass. For fun I thought I would try crocheting a few small stones. They turned out kind of cute, what do you think? Thinking of trying a few more, with a smaller crochet hook, if my eyes can stand it.

granny along update

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I am working on the master plan and pattern for our granny along. Will have more details soon, so get your hooks ready!

Thanks to all who signed up to get my newsletter yesterday! (You can still sign up here.)

may inspiration and a crochet granny square sampler-along (how do I say that)?

Happy May Day!

Thank you all so much for the comments and tweets about yesterday's painting. I feel a bit sheepish about showing something I am so new at, but you guys are so great and so enthusiastic, you make me feel the same way about it.

Now, how about a little May inspiration wallpaper for your computer??

Maywallpaper

Download the May inspiration image here.( I only know how these images look on our Macs, so if there is ever an issue with how they look, and choosing "resize to fit screen" in your settings doesn't seem to work, please shoot me an email.)

I have had such good thrifting luck lately. I found those embroidery woolen skeins in the image (they're so teensy and cute!) and some beautifully colorful sheets. In fact, I am working out a quilt design in my head every night when I'm going to sleep that involves those pretty floral sheets.

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And let's talk for a minute about granny squares. I have been working a bit here and there on the crocheted granny square sampler that I discovered a few weeks ago. A commenter had cautioned me that it is full of errors and she was right. Some of the directions just really don't make sense, and I was getting frustrated the other day when I thought, let's just come up with our own sampler! We (you and I) could do our own crochet granny square sampler. I started writing up a pattern that would include the granny with a circle center, as well as the traditional granny, and some other variations.

Will you do it with me??

I could create a loose timetable here on the blog each week, to follow as strictly or loosely as you want, this would be a go at your own pace kind of thing. I could also include links to videos (and possibly my own videos, if I am that together) that explain any new techniques, or how to do each new square, etc. I'm not totally clear on all the details yet, but I will figure them out. We follow along, all doing our own thing at our own pace, what do you say?? The beauty of a sampler project is that its a great take-along project for summer trips, there's little more you need other than a hook and a couple colors of yarn.

If you're interested, let me know in the comment section.

quilts

Fantasy four patch on chairsm

I love making quilts. Over the years, I have learned new techniques, taught myself traditional methods, and made many mistakes. These days I design original quilt patterns and play with improvisational quilting methods.

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Here’s how to make the quilt display ladder I have in my studio (pictured above)

I wrote a post on quilting books and links for the new quilter here.

A post here about my favorite vintage and unique quilting books.

I explain how I baste my quilt layers together here.

The original quilt patterns I have designed can be found both in my online shop and at Pink Chalk Fabrics.

 

Day of The Dead quilt 1sm

Day of the Dead quilt, completed September 2013.

 

Spoolsewingmachinecoverfrt

Spool mini-quilt turned into a sewing machine dust cover, completed August 2013.

 

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Cocktails on the Beach Quilt, completed August 2013.

Fantasy four patch sm
Fantasy Four Patch Toile, completed July 2013.

 

Flowerstar1sm

Flower Star, completed June 2013

 

Slicedswoonquiltsm

Sliced Swoon, completed May 2013

 

Jewelboxes1
Jewel Boxes, completed March 2013

Friendshipbraceletjellyroll1sm

Friendship Bracelet quilt version 2, completed March 2013, pattern available here.

 

Echostarsm

Echo Star original quilt design, a modern play on traditional star quilt blocks. I wrote about the making of this quilt here.

PDF pattern available here.

 

 

Jellyrollquilt1sm

Jelly Roll Race quilt, an easy to make quilt out of pre-cut fabric jelly rolls, completed Winter 2013.You can watch a video of me free motion quilting on this quilt here.

 

Emeraldblocks

Emerald Blocks original quilted pillow, completely Winter 2013, available for purchase here.

 

Plaidwindows1

Plaid Windows original quilted pillow, completed Winter 2013, available for purchase here.

 

Echostar1SMALL

Echo Star original quilted pillow, completed Winter 2013, available for purchase here. Will also be available as a pattern soon.

 

Neonblah1

Neon Blah pillow, completed Winter 2013, available for purchase here.

 

Crazystarquilt1

Crazy Star Quilt, completed in Fall of 2012.

 

Fracturedcircles1

“Fractured Circles” quilt made as a gift for Lisa Solomon, completed in early Fall 2012.

 

 

FriendshipQuiltcoverimg

Friendship Bracelet original quilt pattern, August 2011, available for sale as a downloadable PDF here.

 

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“Waves” framed piece for Assemble‘s “This Will Be Our Year” exhibition, January 2011. Tiny patchwork squares pieced together,with beading and embroidery added as a final layer.

 

 

SunshineMedallions

Sunshine Medallions original quilt pattern, available for sale as a downloadable pdf here.

 

Facetsquiltpattern

Facets original quilt pattern, in the Fall 2010 issue of Stitch Magazine.

 

Littleforest

Little Forest wall hanging

 

Hillsnhollersquilt

Hills ‘n Hollers quilt

 

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Marquee (or as we now call it, the Lego quilt) for Ian

 

Valuestashquilt

Value Stash Quilt

 

Singlegirlquilt

Single Girl quilt

 

Sunshinestripsquilt

Sunshine strips quilt

 

Emmasimplequilt

The Simple quilt for a girl who is anything but

 

Goodnightmoonquilt

Goonight Moon quilt

 

Studyquiltforemma

Emma’s study quilt

 

Iansstudyquilt

Ian’s study quilt

 

Momsquilt

A lap quilt for Mom

 

Whatabunchofsquares

May 2006 What A Bunch of Squares quilt (king size)

 

Storyquilt

2005’s Once Upon a Time Quilt

(my first blog project)

Babyclothesquilt
A patchwork quilt made of Emma’s baby clothes

before I started the blog, 2000

Apartment Therapy Tour



I am very honored (and, quite frankly, a little nervous) to have our home toured on Apartment Therapy today, please take a look. When I was asked by Andie if I wanted to do this, Peter and I had to think hard about it. We are not decorators, we don’t have expensive, iconic pieces that make others drool. But I decided to do the tour because I think what we do have is a home filled with us. Our home is filled with love, lots of handmade things, and we’ve made it a very comfortable, livable space. My hope is that our home shows that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a comfortable, lively space that you can feel proud of.
Enjoy!

Crochet Hearts

 
crochet hearts
If you are looking for a fun, quick, addictive project (because I’m sure you, like me, are always finding yourself with nothing to do, right?), these small crocheted hearts are so sweet! I sat yesterday while the kids were at their after school activities and did a bunch of them. I think I’ll make them into a Valentine’s garland of some sort. I am mixing them with larger crocheted hearts (pattern found here) and maybe some miniature granny squares.READ MORE

tour the dining room, or, a redo for the cost of a can of paint, so stay with me here

I haven't forgotten the dining room. I really haven't! Do you remember how it looked before? Let's have a quick refresher…

Before…

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dark, black, hard to photograph, not awful, but hardly used, too formal.

And then I shared some tear sheets I'd been collecting.

And here's what happened with all that, once it got into my brain and stewed a while.

After…

Diningroom1

Diningroom2

Diningroom3

I have once again proven to myself that the Swedish really get it right in my book (all that white and bright on Camilla and Elizabeth's homepage there really illustrate it well).

Like Sweden, the pacific northwest is notoriously dark throughout the winter months, and it can really save the psyche to keep that in mind when decorating. As much as Peter and I are fans of color, lightness makes all the difference in this room. Its gets weird Eastern light blasting through those french doors until about noon, then it just goes dark. But now it feels much airier, truly like a deep breath.

The biggest change in creating that feeling in here is the paint color. About a year ago, my friend Neicy called my attention to what has since become my favorite wall color, Ben Moore's Vanilla Milkshake (not to be confused with Vanilla Ice Cream, also a color they carry) . It is a white with a lot of interest, depth, and a cast that really changes with the light, and it contrasts nicely with the chestnut colored box beams on the ceiling of this room (which you can't see well in these photos). It transformed the walls of our family room, and now in here. (Perhaps in the new year it will transform our hallway, I'm really done with the beige.)

Once again, before,

After…

Diningroom4

The chairs and table are IKEA. Going into this project, I didn't want heirloom anything for this room. I really hoped that this room would be used, it has always felt quite forgotten. I wanted it to feel happy. So I went for furniture that felt light, useable, and let's face it, IKEA fit within our budget. The table is long and extendable (I went for a long size, but in fact, I should have gone for an even longer one, I keep it fully extended). The chairs have an interesting shape, and a white seat. I love them. They feel modern and simple, and I realize this is where our tastes are heading. They also go nicely with the end chairs, which are upholstered ones Peter bought in St. Louis (and why I married him). In the top photo, we had already changed our overhead light fixture to a softer light, more interesting shape. The one before cast really unflattering, clinical light that would not dim (another reason we never ate in here).

Diningroom5

The tiny original painting of Montemartre was one I bought from a street artist in Paris. The bottom piece is of the Wet Mountains in Colorado. The beautiful glowbowls were made by Diana Fayt. The soft twig was made by Stephanie.

The Liberty of London curtains I'd made years ago (which were extremely faded) were switched out for a simple white coarse weave cotton with a textured black stripe going through it (again, thank you IKEA), also helping to lighten the space visually. The artwork in the room all has significant meaning to us. And those porcelain glowbowls look amazing and etherial at night.

Diningroom6

We dug through the stacks and stacks of artwork we had in the basement and pulled out all new pieces for the walls. These two watercolors were done by Peter's grandmother Marjorie. I had them rematted in acid free materials (sadly, the edges of them of are crumbling) and we're both so happy we can now look at them every day.

Diningroom7

My embroidery hoop "installation" remained, we all like it. The lampshades were switched from red ones to white ones, huge difference in the amount of light we get from them now.

Diningroom8

I made new cushions for the bench (the before here) from those amazing old curtains I found secondhand a few months ago.

Diningroom9

I had plans to repaint the sideboard a bright color, but to be honest we all liked it much better as it is after we lightened the room up, so I've decided to live with it for now (with new knobs from Anthropologie). That stool, above on the left, is the same one from the holiday photo shoot and a large plant will live on it soon, once I decide on one.

Now. The big clincher, that I hadn't realized until the redo was complete? All of this costs me the price of-

1 can of paint- $50

1 roll of painter's tape- $5.00

Thrifted fabric for cushions- $5.00

That's it.

I'm not kidding.

You see, we sold the original table on craiglist for a decent price, which in turn created my IKEA budget. Granted, we didn't change many things that are in here, but I accomplished my goal of a family-friendly, airy space. We now eat dinner in here every night. Emma and I craft in here, it doesn't feel like wasted space any more.

Little changes that made a big impact. I keep saying it, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune to design and create your home with intention.

A few of the many books that inspired me:

Simply Scandanavian

Contemporary Country

Lotta Jansdotter Handmade Living

Crafting a Meaningful Home

Now there's some goodness to add to your holiday wishlist.

Oh, and the tablerunner, more on that soon.

Thanks for reading this far!

 

 

 

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