Sorry for the extended absence!

Life has been hectic and incredibly stressful.  We’re still awaiting news about our fire claim from out insurance.  Currently we’re very broke because of this.  My sewing room isn’t finished being put together because some of my furniture was damaged and is currently being repaired.

I’m hoping to get a little help with this by way of a sale at my Etsy shop.  I have a button on the right side of my page that will take you to my shop, but you can also click this link as well.  From August 31st to September 4th I’m having a big sale.  It’s 40% off a purchase of $20 or more, and the discount will be applied directly to your purchase when you hit the $20 mark.  No coupon code necessary.

Please consider making a purchase.  Every dollar will help us.  We need money for groceries, bills, replacing items that were lost, etc.  We lost more than we initially thought.  All our food, nearly all our kitchen appliances, our fans and air purifier, and several other things.  We don’t know how much we’re getting from our insurance, nor when because the cleaners/movers and housing agency having sent their invoices to our fire claims agent yet.  It’s been nearly a month.

August 6th I had my worst seizure in 10+ years.  My mind and body had gone into survival mode, and as soon as we moved into our new home I had a seizure.  According to my husband I stopped breathing, turned blue then purple, and he had to hit my back a few times to get me breathing again.  Now, nearly four weeks later, I’m still recovering.  Just hours before the seizure I had seen my neurologist and increased the dosage of my seizure medication.  Right before I was going to take the medication I had the seizure.

No sewing or painting or pretty much any other creating has been done because of everything that has been going on.  I’m sorry for my extending absence.  I’m hopeful that everything will be straightened out by the end of next week because we are truly desperate.

Please consider making a purchase at my Etsy shop.  Every dollar helps.  My husband doesn’t get paid until tomorrow, but we’ll need help even then because of our bills.

Thank you for reading this.

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Summarized Life Update

When I say summary I mean it.  A lot has happened.

July 11th our home caught on fire.  We didn’t lose anything, thank the Gods, but we did lose our home.  We’re renters with renters insurance, and that saved us a lot of trouble.  They took excellent care of us.  For the next three weeks we lived in a hotel 50 miles from my husband’s workplace (that was a nightmare and a half) with our two cats (now officially registered emotional support animals).  We spent that time home hunting.  Originally we wanted to buy a home, but nothing was within our price range, and what we could afford no mortgage company would help us.  We then turned to renting again, and that was just as difficult to find.  After hundreds of hours of hunting we found a home perfect for us.  It’s a three bedroom, two bath, double-wide manufactured modular house ten miles from my husband’s workplace.  It’s in a quiet area just outside city limits, the property sits on nearly a full acre of land, had two apricot trees, and a lot of space for gardening.  The fence needs repairing and replacing because of all the deer, and there are a lot of birdhouses and bird feeders to keep the cats entertained from the sun room.

We moved in on August 3rd.  On August 9th the cleaning and moving company delivered our now smoke-free belongings.  We’re about 50% finished with the unpacking.

August 8th I had the worst seizure I’ve had in years (I have epilepsy) and scared my poor husband half to death.  We knew the seizure was going to occur anytime, seeing as the worst of the stress was now done.  My brain decided it was safe to let go.  I pulled a few things, I’m covered in scrapes, scratches, and bruises, and need to take it easy for a few more days.  My tongue is a mess, and I bit my lip as well.  That very afternoon I had gone to see my neurologist, and we decided to raise the dosage of my medicine by 50 mg.  The raise in dosage has helped; I’m not longer having smaller seizures throughout the day.  It’s too early to tell how effective the dosage will be, but it’s looking promising.

In a week the unpacking will be finished.  I’ll then take new photographs of my quilts and other projects.  I’ll also work on finishing the coaster sets I had been making before the fire.

We need to get a dining room set (secondhand is just fine), a sofa or loveseat, washer and dryer, and a few other things.  We’ll get the washer and dryer during Labor Day weekend, which is just a month away.  That’s when the best sales are; otherwise we’ll be waiting until Thanksgiving, and I hate combat shopping.  We’re likely going to get a futon sofa and cover it with pillows.  We have plenty of pillows for that.  A futon sofa will be far less expensive, and there are a lot of places that sell them.  Plus it’ll fit the room better.  We would like to get two of them, but it all depends on the price.

I’ll take photographs of our home when we’re done unpacking.  My Etsy shop will be opened after I take new photographs of my work.

Now I’m off to work on unpacking my sewing room.  I’m working one room at a time.  After the sewing room I’ll work on our bedroom, and then the living room.  I’m hoping to have this all done within a week.

How have the rest of you been doing?

Workspace

Not everyone has enough room to do the work they want to do.  Some quilters don’t even have a room designated for sewing/quilting.  You gotta make do with what you have, right?

I dream of a larger room.  In fact, the sewing room of my dreams is about four times larger than this, with lots of windows, space for a long-arm quilting machine, space for my recliner so I can hand-quilt with ease, lots of shelves and built-ins to store things, and even a walk-in closet.  Oh, and a section set aside just for painting.  I want to have my sewing desk in the middle of the room or at least a good distance from any wall to make sewing easier.

Alas, it’s only a dream…

My husband and I have come to an agreement that when we buy a house the largest bedroom will be my sewing room.  Unless the master bedroom has a walk-in shower; in which case the next largest bedroom will be mine to play in.

What’s your sewing room like?  Do you have one?  How do you have your space set up?

A little something

One thing I make sure I’m very aware of when I’m making something is my mood.  If I’m in a bad mood, be it grumpy or angry, I won’t create anything other than paintings, drawings, and writing.  Those are a safer way of getting rid of the negative energy without passing it on to someone else.

When I make a quilt or jewelry I want the person wearing them to be at ease, calm, confident, happy, and relaxed.  I want them to feel better.  If I’m not feeling well when I make these things it gets built into the creation.  That’s not okay at all ever.  I’ve received a few comments from those who have purchased my wares that they feel better when they wear them or the items nearby.  Their anxiety drops, they feel more relaxed, etc.  That’s what I want them to feel.

My paintings are meant to show a feeling, and make the viewer feel it as well.  Not like a curse, but more like a connection between people, an understanding.  That’s important.  I don’t want my work to simply be pleasing to the eye, but I want the viewer to feel something.

The stories I write I choose carefully.  Poetry flows easily for me, but is rarely shared.  Often it’s very dark, broken, fractured.  That tends to be how I feel when I write poetry.

Today I was in a sour mood for awhile because I had failed at something I was trying.  I became frustrated, angry, and disappointed.  So I left my sewing room, not wanting that feeling to be in there.  I got on my computer and played a game.

I contacted a quilter on FreeCycle because she’s looking for fabric of any kind so she can have something to do.  She and her daughter picked up the fabric within an hour of my contacting her.  The way she reacted to my frustration and how grateful she was for receiving pre-cut fabric completely changed my mood.

Immediately after she left I started on the next quilt because I was happy.  My failure wasn’t failure at all.  It was a learning experience, and it resulted in my meeting another quilter.  She mentioned she had only a few patterns and was always looking for more.  I told her about using Google, but she’s nearly 80 years old and rather terrified of the Internet.  Her daughter asked that I email her instead with a list of websites with free patterns.

Now the new quilt I’m working on is being created with joy, ease, and happiness.  I want the person who buys this to feel these things.  I want them to wrap themselves up in the quilt when they need to feel better, and immediately after doing so they smile.  It may be a small smile, but it’s a better moment than what they had before.  That’s important to me.

So, fellow creators, keep in mind how you’re feeling when you make things.  It gets put into your creations, and you don’t want the negative feeling to be there.  Believe me when I say it can be felt, and it lingers for a long time after the wearer removes it (be it jewelry, a scarf, garments, a blanket, etc).

Extensive absence

I’ve been doing a lot of painting.  By a lot I mean almost daily.

I have several goals, plans, and ideas in mind, and one of them is having panels of my paintings made for a few quilts I would like to make.  Spoonflower offers the option of having fabric created with your own designs on them, and that’s what I’m working on.  I don’t really have the money to purchase the fabric as of yet, but when I do there will definitely be some really awesome quilts made.

Currently I’m doing a lot of practice paintings, learning new techniques, and sharpening my skills.  The ones I feel worthy of showing are available for purchase from Fine Art America (they ship internationally) and RedBubble (they don’t pay the artist as much as FAA).  You can purchase prints as well as items with my work on them.  FAA offers the option of matting and framing the print(s) for you.

Besides painting I’m also working on drawings.  Mostly portraits, but I’ll be adding in a few other things as well.  Progress has been rough because I’m my own worst critic.  Thankfully I’m not a perfectionist.

I’m not making new quilts yet because my “sewing room” is currently serving as my art studio.  It’s a very small room with little space for doing more than one project at a time.  Space Lanterns is slowly coming along with the hand-quilting.  I still have pain in my wrist and require frequent breaks.  Thankfully painting isn’t nearly so taxing.

I’ll keep you updated on new things as they come along.  Go check out the print shops.  Maybe you’ll see something you like?

Getting some painting done

It’s been months since I last painted.  Nearly a year, in fact.  Today I decided to start a painting and so far it’s looking great.

I’ve finished the third layer tonight, but the paint is too wet for photographs.  Tomorrow I’ll more colors, likely several layers.  When it’s all dry I’ll add the details using colored pencils.  They’ll also give it a nice texture.

When the painting is finished I’ll post it on Red Bubble and Fine Art America, making it available for purchase.

I’m still working on Space Lanterns, but it’s slow-going.  Painting is significantly easier since my wrist surgery, and I’m absolutely taking advantage of that.  I miss the joy of painting, the flow of the watercolors, the freedom and focus necessary to create.

More photographs will be posted as I make progress.