Friday, July 29, 2011

Family reunion

Our travels have taken us all over Iowa and the most recent lag of the journey included a family reunion for my husband. We've been able to spend wonderful time with his sister who we met back in March. We're also getting to spend quality time with our new brother-in-law and one of our new nephews. The Quad City Times was so interested in the story that they were front page news today and are getting their 15 minutes of fame here in the QC. You can see the whole story here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

in an Instagram

Lots of pics in the pipeline as we're getting in lots of friend time. Both friends traveling to see us and us on the road to visit old friends. Also getting to meet friends who've only existed out in cyberspace until now. Here's a peek into some of the fun and food we've been having with the promise of more food and fun in the coming days!

Row 1: Almond Chocolate Croissant at Croissant du Jour, tall ship in the Port of Duluth, Beaded Serving Utensil Case made by me using some of my fabric designs
Row 2: tall ship masts, Abby with her eclair at Croissant du Jour, US Flag on the tall ship
Row 3: Beaded Serving Utensil Case made by me using some of my fabric designs, tall ship in the Port of Duluth, fresh and beautiful eggs from Mary Alice's chickens

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Palette Pinterest

It's time for another installment of color and the cool via ColorSnap and Pinterest! The inspiration for this week's palette was inspired by a pic I took of my little container herb garden out in our back yard. It's overflowing with parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, chives, and lavender. These fragrant herbs are making their way into almost everything I cook these days (when I can bear to turn on the oven or the stove in this sweltering summer heat!).

Lots of photos of nature appear as I'm pinning away on Pinterest, particularly when the color green is involved. But then a shot of spools of green thread popped up while I was catching up on some of my favorite blogs and that had to be included as an avid stitchtress!

Here are the color formulas for this week:

Center Stage   SW6920   Interior/Exterior
hex code:  a7cc00
RGB:        167/204/0
CMYK:      40/1/100/0

Mindful Gray    SW7016   Interior/Exterior
hex code:  bcb8ad
RGB:        188/184/173
CMYK:      27/23/30/0

Peppercorn     SW7674   Interior/Exterior
hex code:  636363
RGB:         99/99/99
CMYK:       61/52/52/22

I've even completed a couple of projects based on this and the previous palette. I was lucky enough to get to be a part of the wonderful online workshop Soul Restoration. As I was working on finishing up one of the journal assignments I decided to use the blue palette as the basis for the background of one of the pages.

The green palette inspired this linen case to hold sets of the beaded serving utensils I've just learned how to make. I'm giving a couple sets of these as gifts in the very near future and didn't want to just toss them in a gift bag. So I devised my own pattern for a case to hold them when they're not in use. I used a bit of one of my own fabric designs called Set the Table and some vintage linen. I stitched the phrase, "may I serve you," alongside the border for a bit more interest. Now the set can be rolled up and presented a bit more beautifully.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Spy My Studio

I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage at The Creative Connection Event last year. I'm pretty sure she was actually the very first person I met and was so lovely and friendly and gracious as I was a bit scared and intimidated being at the event all by myself. This year she's hosting the 3rd annual Where Bloggers Create event and I am so excited to participate! So here goes a little sneaky peek into my creative space.

The first thing you see as you enter my space is my name spelled out using my Bunting O' Greetings fabric. I jazzed 'em up with a little bit of bling, too! It's not a large space as my husband and I live in an old rowhouse, but I love the space and I have made the best use of the space that I could to suit all of my varied artistic pursuits and interests.

One of the most used elements of my studio is my sewing machine. I love my Bernina!!! I've been a sewer since I was about 10 and took up quilting when I was in grad school (which is a very strange time to take up a new hobby as you are so busy, but I did). A couple years ago, I discovered Spoonflower and finally started to turn all the the ideas and imaginings I've had for my own fabric designs into reality. Now there are piles of swatches of my over 100 designs in my space of which you can see a couple here. The color charts I spent many hours putting together are the first things I refer to when I'm designing my fabrics. You'll also notice some more of my Bunting O' Greetings and the Spoonflower swatches that come along with every order. I haven't quite decided what I'm going to do with them all!

I can't get enough ribbon and you'll find some nearly anywhere you turn you'll see some. There's the racks of ribbons on the display I created out of the old frame rescued from a vintage shop. There are my handmade ribbons - dyed strips of wide selvage from my fabric orders and then lettered in calligraphy (something else I've been doing since I was 10 years old). Piled in mason jars are my easter egg dyed seam binding ribbons wrapped around vintage wooden spools. And even more ribbon is draped over the wooden rack on the wall under my mini folded hexi and button quilt.

Some of the pieces that hold my plethora of supplies are also fashioned by me. I'd had these two plain wooden trunks that needed a bit of sprucing up so I padded and covered the lids with pieces of an old and tattered quilt that had seen its better days and then painted the harlequin pattern and inspirational words on the bases. Now they hold bunches of my fabrics. My beads and other teeny tiny ephemera are stored in the drawers I created out of foam core and then embellished to sit inside an old CD organizer that was no longer used for CDs. The little flower piece is my CalEndure project created for my boss at Artella as she prepares to publish a book.

There are lots of other little things I love to use and just gaze upon as I'm creating my art of all kinds. My soul journals from my wonderful and amazing Soul Restoration experience are always on my big table so I can go back and remind myself of the lessons learned and those I'm still learning. All sorts of vintage ephemera can be found here such as these paper bobbins filled with pink and yellow thread that I got for a steal at a local antique store. The jar filled with red buttons is another local antique shop find. The beautiful boxes from gifts received and cute little polka dotted egg cups hold more supplies and just make me happy to look at.

I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into my creative corner of the world up by Lake Superior. Now I'm off to enjoy summer while it lasts around here!

Monday, July 11, 2011

in an Instagram

Not as many pics this week as we've been a little busy with some other life events and busily cleaning and straightening around the house in preparation for friends coming up to visit - yay!!!!! Nevertheless, here's a little glimpse into our life via the Instagram pics of the week.

Row 1: Sweet and sour pork dinner, fused plastic bag art experiment, beaded serving utensils
Row 2: beaded serving utensils, my toes in our backyard, Paella dinner

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Palette Pinterest

I keep discovering more fun ways to use my new iPhone and the latest discovery comes from Sherwin Williams in the form of their ColorSnap app. It allows you to take a pic and convert it into a palette of paint colors inspired by the photo. Here's the very first one I tried out inspired by a pic I snapped of one of the lighthouses near our home. 

You select an area of the photo for your main color and then the app chooses a couple of complementary colors to complete your palette. It also allows you to make some adjustments if you're not happy with the initial suggestions.

While this is a wonderful app for home decorating purposes, I saw its great potential for inspiring creativity while honing down my color choices. I also decided to combine these mini palettes with one of my other passions - Pinterest! If you haven't discovered Pinterest yet, you really need to check it out - it's an amazing way to create a digital inspiration file for nearly anything you can imagine. It's beyond simple to use for yourself and it's remarkable to look at what others out there are pinning. 

You can see my first board combining the two here. So each week I'm going to create a digital inspiration board combining these palettes and some of what catches my eye and have pinned to my Pinterest boards and create something based on this little exercise. I'm going to try not to limit myself to only art; perhaps some weeks I'll feel inspired to prepare a meal based on the colors or choose my dress for the day in the same manner. I feel inspired already just thinking about all the possibilities!

Sometimes the projects I create will be digital in nature as I see great potential for this in designing my fabrics and with that in mind, I give you the digital color profiles in addition to the paint colors.

Georgian Bay   SW6509   Interior
hex code: 306182 
RGB:         48/97/130     
CMYK:      86/58/31/10

Camelback       SW6122  Interior/Exterior
hex code:  c2af85  
RGB:          194/175/133  
CMYK:        25/27/52/1

Navajo White   SW6126  Interior/Exterior
hex code:  eadfc9  
RGB:          234/223/201 
CMYK:       8/9/21/0

Monday, July 4, 2011

in an Instagram

Here's a summary of my week in pics from my iPhone. There are many things that I am absolutely enamored with about my new iPhone but I think the ability to take a quick shot with my phone when I see something that inspires me or just catches my eye is my absolute favorite!!!! So here are some of the simple but meaningful highlights of the last week...

Row 1: My toes in the grass in our backyard | Waves rolling in on Park Point Beach | Jesus statue along Maryglade Path
Row 2: My little herb garden | Flowers in Chester Creeek Park | Lupines behind CSS
Row 3: Aerial Lift Bridge | Bucket of fresh strawberries | My feet in the sand at Park Point Beach