FairyTales of Spring Clean Your Studios Year3–take 2

My spring clean story is funny.

like a fairytale, epic, funny and sad, and then happy.  
my space started like this--beautiful huh? well, it's orderly--but is it an effective working studio for me, and what is my art?
  Once upon a time. from my talk on sewing organization, aka manage your mess

E for Ergonomics, which is all about you.

So your space is for you. My space is for me. My home studio is not open to public, in fact my public mailing address is a UPS store. So this is a whole new world--but I still have a real physical place.

Best way to keep your space clean, don't use it much and hire an assistant to help you clean up before you have play date with an LA based designer.


more on that later!  
20170504 3PM -- really, this mess is the after, and I got rid of a lot of stuff!
        My art is my art--my dream is that sewing be awesome in the future (not just now) so, how I get there, my hair color -- and my too-much ness. Well, it's a record, that someday we can look back on. As in remember when she said sewing could save the world? I was kind of embarrassed that in my journey, I made what looks like a mess from the outside, but I truly believe is the right step in my FUNfromAtoZ. I leave my last post as is, being transparent is part of my story. But I am smart enough to rely on business powerhouse  Cheryl Sleboda and just repurpose her words below! "I am thrilled to announce this year’s blog hoppers!!  Every year, we show you the “before and after” of our studios, and we usually give you some cool studio inspirations along the way. I hope you visit each of the blogs on the hop starting tomorrow!  Enjoy and be sure to leave a comment and say something nice to our blog hoppers!" May 1 – Teri Lucas – www.terificreations.com May 2 – Tammy Silvers – www.tamarinis.typepad.com May 3 – Emily Breclaw – www.thecaffeinatedquilter.com May 4 – Amalia Morusiewicz – www.FUNfromAtoZ.com May 5 – John Kubiniec – www.bigrigquilting.com/blog/ May 6 – Debby Brown – www.higheredhands.blogspot.com May 7 – Melissa Marie Collins – www.melissamariecollins.blogspot.com May 8 – Delve MIY – www.fronddesignstudios.wordpress.com May 9 – Misty Cole – www.mistycole.com May 10 – Sam Hunter – www.huntersdesignstudio.com/blog May 11 – Dale Ashera-Davis – www.dalead.wordpress.com May 12 – Sara Mika – www.mockpiestudio.blogspot.com May 13 – Sarah Trumpp – www.Wonderstrumpet.com May 14 – Carma Halterman – www.beanstrings.blogspot.com May 15 – Jessica Darling – www.jessicakdarling.com May 16 – Lisa Chin – www.lisachinartist.com May 17 – Sally Johnson – www.sallysquiltingcorner.blogspot.com May 18 – Mandy Leins – www.mandalei.com/blog May 19 – Shruti Dandekar – www.13woodhouseroad.com May 20 – Jane Davila – www.janedavila.com May 21 – Ebony Love – www.lovebugstudios.com May 22 – Cheryl Sleboda – blog.muppin.com     Ehem, please disregard last post, if you want to think I am shiny perfect.   Peace out- AtoZ (or Tia Tere, you know who you are)    
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protect your tools from dust and damp


The one thing that stays the same is that nothing stays the same. As the spring clean blog hop is underway--on Day 2,  let's talk H2O--water. Perspective can trick us. Imagine water carving a river so Grand that it creates a canyon. Okay, lets get the silliness going. Cause Grand Canyon is inspiring, but who is the real villain to be on the look out for in your creative space?
Villains--Dusty and Dampness
Dust is the arch-villian of the modern sewing machine. Water can be a friend or a foe. In my subterranean sewing studio, my dehumidifier hums along all summer long--pulling moisture out of the air. Not just cause it's gross, please avoid mold/mildew. Humidity (water) can result in rusting.  Machines and tools working at their best like Goldilocks--not too moist, not too dry.  
  1. Store your fusible interacting, fusible web, wash away stablizer in a closed/air tight container.
  2. Items stored lowest part of a shelf/cabinet benefit from waterproof containers.
  3. Avoid using the floor and table tops for storage--it's not dust free. Additionally, sunlight can bleach fabrics, and it's not typically a cool design or interesting pattern.
  4. what's your favorite hint? I know others are battling with dust or damp in their sewing spot!
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starfish, innocence and hope

Dear Innocence, I wish you were a starfish. If you lost an arm, it would grow back. In fact, that lost arm might grow back a new body. I thought 420 was something about Earth Day. I love our Earth, it's a spinning rock that's mostly water--what's not to love. No one likes to feel stupid, so I'm glad I like to fact check or I might have said something stupid.   Life is hard. We will all die--we are just human beings, right? But don't make your time on Earth any shorter than it will be. Know why I'm saying this? cause I really  like  beings, especially those humans reading this in the future. This is nothing new. In my laugh-n-learn sessions (aka classes/lectures like Rules for Rulebreakers, Superhero Strategies for Unleashing Your Inner Awesome), I hear "that's how we sewed in the factory, or that's really a clever timesaver, or that's so fun."

Sometimes the basic and simple is just divine.

Back to 420. I fact check, I love to pop in links for you to learn more info. In this case, I will just tell you--someone thought that was the time of day to take drugs, as in smoke weed. Sorry, you don't like that I called it drugs, and lumped it in with worse felons of the hard drugs. Eek, I don't talk about drugs even alcohol very often. But for you I will. In college, my friends and I had a little song "this is what I have to do pretending to be drunk." What I'm saying is, being silly with friends is fun. Staying safe because you have a brain, what's awesome. Now, you don't need to admit to your friends that you are taking advice from TiaTere and staying sober. We had a little story about someone named Dan Garrus.

Dan Garrus?

Was he a code word (yes, for dangerous) or an imaginary person? Either way, he seemed to always pop up in situations that weren't safe. Now please don't think that I want you to lead a boring life. Nope, I want you to get to do amazing things, and live to tell about it, until you die, which we all will, cause we are human. But we really do have a lot to do on Earth, so stay safe, hunger for knowledge, create beautiful experiences and just be awesome. Remember laying in the grass, and I mean on the lawn as kids--watching clouds float by, or just listening to the rain while reading a book--yes, made out of paper--a real book. Unless the future has really changed a lot, you can still do that. If you need to borrow a kid so you don't look like an adult acting silly alone. Or take a furry baby along. There is rain and hail outside as I write this, maybe the big G is giving me applause for writing my truth. Maple, our sweet scared dog, is jumping on my lap, and tucking her petite 80 pounds into the crook of my arm. Maple the dog is scared of thunder and it helps that I'm with her. I don't coddle, sorry, it's not who I am, but I also don't say to her suck it up buttercup. She's a dog, not an adult human, she sees what I do and how I do it. It affects how she behaves and feels. Yes, don't you think that animals feel? Look at them for yourself using your powers of observation. Drink some water, eat good food, smell some flowers until your allergies go bonkers and do good stuff. You aren't alone, we all get that feeling of being human. Be smart, just cause you have a hat that says lion tamer, does not make you a lion tamer. We didn't all have the same experiences in the past, and we won't all have the same lives in the future. I'm tired of the days each being the national day of this or that.  When everything has so much meaning, does anything really have any meaning?

Know what I think is audacious?

Being present, being sober, being real. Yeah, I know that might not seem like your parent's version of cool. Guess what? You define your own cool. Seriously, Tia Tere tells it like it is.

PS--our planet needs to be cared for, and our choices make a difference.

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I’m not cynical, I’m an engineer


Life is better than a fairy tale.

Life is Engineering.

There is an ebb and flow in life. Way back in the my software engineering days, I posed a question to Tom DeMarco at the Eye-Triple-E Software Engineering Conference in Chi-town and got this response:

"You are too cynical for your years."

  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not pessimistic, I'm a pragmatic realist, and I'm hopeful. Someday, I'll share me question with you. Today, I texted my cousin, (and fashion expert) to announce that

my pants have shrunk in the waist and butt area.

  I know that sounds like whining but it's not. It's reality. So I followed up my text with

My plan is to wear skirts and work out. Being old is inevitable, being out of shape is not.

BTW, my version of work out is really to eat a good breakfast, move more and chew my calories.   I'm not cynical, I'm an engineer.   Copy That!  
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Blessing (collab with MsV)


Thanks to MsV--the world hungers for words like yours. How can we stitch together blessings and collaborations to mend our broken world?

Not my words, but yours "what you feed grows"

Everyday I strive, I pray I work and rest to be what I want existing in the world. My thoughts below... Be the blessing you want to see. Be the blessing you want to have. Be the blessing you want to hear. Be the blessing that solves the problem. Be the blessing that heals. Be the blessing that feeds a hungry soul. Be the blessing that cares for living things. Be the blessing you want in the world. Be the blessing that leads to joy. Be the blessings that needs not apologize. Be the blessing others emulate. Be the change that causes the blessing. Be the blessing. Just stand up and Be. Be the little you that 'is' larger, wiser, closer to the real truth, than the bigger you has become. Be That, that which your little self, knew to be true. Be the blessing and joy you were, are, before your first hurt, undaunted. Be that blessing to all, all of your life. (Let your light shine till it blinds.) You can be that blessing in my life. I can Be that blessing in your life. Choose, I choose to Be the blessing. By Ms. Valarie Poitier     MsV I'm honored to call you a friend. Keep being you and being awesome! Peace, AtoZ      
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what if

sunshine connect regroup mend share ask hope dare care love   These are my words as I write them, but as you read them, you have a choice. What will you do with a gift of opportunity? are these just words? are they more? are they less? what are you thinking? what will you do? what conversations shall we ignite?   My prayers for our world--yes I said prayers. Yes, prayers, renew, strengthen and empower--there is such power in the simple tasks, especially in sitting with someone when you have nothing but companionship to share. Yes, I'm repeating this list again, read it aloud if you dare.   sunshine connect regroup mend share ask hope dare care love
photo credit: S.Price January 15, 2017; waiting for the southbound train
  Hugs to those who are hurting. I have confidence in your spark. Be You and Be Awesome!   AtoZ, Amalia, Tia Tere, Ames (no matter what you call me, I'm just me!)   PS After posting these words with no image, since none felt right--this train image popped up in my social media feed--with permission from the photographer S.Price; I share it with you. Peace!
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Faith, Freedom and Farewell

These two words ring in my head


img_0159-2Especially this holiday season--twenty-sixteen, we said goodbye to so many nineteen-eighties icons. My wish for you all is to just breathe, and just be. Hold those close, close by and just be. A long life is grant to those brave daring souls who just keep breathing. Life isn't about doing, being, or owning the most--life is about breathing the most. Asthma, allergies and respiratory health has always been in or around my life. It's embarrassing to have an asthma attack when someone who smokes or has cute furry kitty cats sits near me. That's the extreme case, typically, I have about 15 minutes in a home with a feline, before I'm feeling the tickle in my throat and know that the coughing is right around the corner, and I will have to go-go. Maybe faith is a bit like breathing, sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's a deep pain, some people are more sensitive to slight changes, and it's something that we each must do for ourselves. Yet, like secondhand smoke, smog, pollution affects others--we can't just say, oh, I'm only hurting myself, we all live on this blue planet together. By the way, before this seems too preachy, I have loved people who smoke. Like my grandma, who mentored my love of fabric and fashion--she smoked her whole life and died at 88 years of age. The first quilt I ever made was for her, and bears a small burn mark. In her last years, she visited Maryland in November--yes, it was chilly and I can see her bundled up for a quick smoke out on deck in my condo.   JUST I've always been a fan of Justice. Or as my parents would say I had an early mantra of "it's NOT fair." I don't say that any longer, but I do say--what I can I do to make life more fair for others. I know, I think a lot. I think about the effect I have on the world, the future etc. I know, I blame my parents for that, I blame Girl Scouts and I blame Loyola University--I can't just think of myself or of just today. Take a deep breath--not just of air--take a breath of hope.

Cause, I gotta have faith.

  img_2937   Rest In Peace, George Michael (25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016) thanks for your words and rhymes Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go You take the grey skies out of my way You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day Turned a bright spark into a flame My beats per minute never been the same   Faith Before this river Becomes an ocean Before you throw my heart back on the floor Oh oh baby I reconsider My foolish notion  
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Superhero Tool, aka (GYST, Artist Software)

Check out the deal that our sponsor-- Karen Atkinson and the GYST Team are offering through January 2, 2017. Great job, Viv, I added my thoughts at the end in italic.  I'm proud of you for allowing us to share our interactions publicly on my blog. I left your original title in the parentheses, balancing specifics with a little punch of fun. If you decide to add more words, use bold font or some other way to show what you changed. Letting the world see inside the experience is part of my Seams and Dreams!  


and now Wise Words from Vivien Wise... __________________________________________________ I have started using GYST for my own work and also to help Amalia in her FUNfromAtoZ business. It's a great tool! There are two main functions; the database and resources.screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-11-15-50-am The database allows you to store an enormous amount of information -- everything you could imagine you might need for your art practice. You can enter your artist statement, artwork (with some seriously extensive information), bibliography, calendar, contacts, exhibitions, grants, resources, planning, sales invoices, supply inventory, and more! And with all the information in one place, applying to teach workshops or submit to shows is simple and easy. The resources provide information on business issues (how to write an artist statement, rules for commission, how to present yourself, etc etc etc), checklists (exhibition, lecture, event), contracts (SO USEFUL!! exhibition loans, lecture contracts, etc), and much more advice on legal issues, finances, and presentations. "Written expressly for visual artists, the dynamic GYST software is a highly efficient platform available for both Mac and PC  that houses all of the art business related paperwork and educational needs for artists. Written by and for any and every visual artist, GYSTBasic and GYSTPro are database programs to help artists keep track of their artwork, business aspects, proposals, mailing lists, etc. They also include tons of information on every aspect of an artists' career, including links and resources for additional perspectives on business aspects of the arts, and over 400 pages of vital information for artists." (from the GYST website) __________________________________________________   Thanks Viv, for writing up your thoughts as you start using GYST. I've used GYST for several years now, so your fresh perspective is awesome! You went to art school, what are your thoughts on using this tool as an art student and an art graduate? How many of your artworks have you entered in it? I like what you wrote, but I would connect to you more with this if you included some personal experiences. Does this make sense?  Here is some of my story...

I love not having to do it all myself.

Instead of creating a special tool or spreadsheet to do this myself, I found that Karen Atkinson and the GYST Team did the work for me! I am in awe that she provides free resources on her website, helping to build a community of artists. I love not having to do it all myself. With GYST, I track art pieces are on loan--like those featured in Deborah Boschert's new book, art pieces supporting great causes like Unconditional State of Awe, donated to Quilts of Valor, and my loved special art pieces like Empty Stoneware, that travelled, won awards and now are in private collections.  Yes, indeed--I have the audacity of asking--thanks for answering the call!

Be You and Be Awesome,


IMG_2939 check out the latest from GYST http://www.gyst-ink.com
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Old Jeans, Seams and Dreams

Sometimes opportunity knocks, in the form of old jeans in need of new life--and with just a few hours to do the hack. I thought, if you give a fish, vs teach to fish... I have time to make a tutorial video on #snapchat. I spent about an hour doing the first pair BECAUSE OF THE VIDEO!!!  That pair was left with raw edge, but had reinforcement stitches (low tech, aka hand sewing) on the side-seams so pants don't come apart at the seams.  The second pair took maybe 10 minute total, well maybe 5-7 minutes max, and I finished the seams on the sewing machine.  I will do a machine tutorial later, but now, with the technology I have, here is the first cut, you get the most important parts in this video. I have a dream to teach sewing to those who want to learn on their terms and on their time--so yes, video is perfect!  Someday, I have a dream to have a videographer, but for now--good enough is good enough. Many of my dreams have been achieved.  Some I mentioned during Permission, Perfection and Other Fairy Tales at Mid-Apalacian Mid-Appalachian Quilt retreat last Friday.  I'm so happy that sewing, engineering, humor and joy can all play well together. Yes, I know some of my dreams are not realistic--like living in a place with awesome sunrise AND sunset views.  That dream drives me to appreciate those sunsets and sunrises that I do see. I want to enjoy daily life as much as vacation life--please don't laugh, but I'm finding joy in the simple act of everyday cleaning up.  When over 200 pounds of Bernese Mountain Dogs are in your life, if you can laugh at and enjoy sweeping the dog hair tumbleweeds you will have a better experience. So in the last few years: I saw the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) I used Spanish and sign language in my day job (not much but some) My baseball team won the Championship and I clapped so hard that my hands hurt I made great friends and business associates who help others achieve their dreams I got a theme song--thanks Colin Kemper!  Someday that will be known as my first theme song, cause I know it was only several hours worth of composing.  It's perfect, and I'm privileged that I was able to find you while I can afford your time.  Best of luck as you head off to study Music Composition in Alabama next month. Okay friends, thanks for listening--I gotta run to bed, and then off to engineering work tomorrow.  Yes, I like many of you have a day job and am also a superhero doing the audacious act of finding good in the world and helping it grow--oh, and I sew. Can't wait to share more stories and also to reveal more dreams--what are your dreams?   So here's the stats 7min- alter jeans to shorts with sewing machine, they look store-bought--got trust me, I returned them before taking a photo. 1hour- alter jeans to shorts with raw edge, while making video on snapchat 3hours, 40 minutes- create with iMovie, laying music in and writing this blog post.  Oops, actually only 3 hours, I forgot to clock out while walking the pups around the block. Posting to YouTube now and off to sleep! Peace! AtoZ   Full Disclosure--certain words are hard to spell: Appalachian is one of those for me--that sneaky H and double P.  I found this mistake myself, before others commented.  It's a balance of accepting my imperfections and doing my best.  So I've updated my post correcting the error and I did a strikethrough on my  correction.  6:15PM 25-July.    
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Spring Clean–what comes first, and who

Undone by numbers! Just like in school those problems, you know... If 2 people start driving at 6am in a beautiful Green Mountain State and drive towards their home with is 9.5 hours away. What is the chance that they will experience long delays in traffic? Well, that depends!  If you decided to post a daily response to a blog hop, and think to yourself, well I have all evening--the traffic hears you say that, so stop right there!  Oh and if you draft posts, but don't set the timer to post them, well that too. I think you get my drift!
Hello Toni!
You are first, so my post is about "first" and order.  I hope others go read Quiltoni's post--I love the "use what you've got" vibe. I looking forward to meeting you in real life!
Bonaire Dutch Caribbean
Here's a few fluffy questions for all:
What's your favorite--a sunrise or a sunset?
Can you tell the difference?
Does it matter?
I wish you the best from A to Z!
Amalia Morusiewicz cropped-a-to-z_logo_5-e1424745158825.png
And now a verbal stroll on the theme "firsts"
I'm an oldest kid, oldest cousin, first US citizen in my family, yes--I've definitely gone first in the past.  Being first can be hard or easy. It's all perspective! My parents worked multiple jobs as I was a kid.  I think my fascination with donuts must have started when my mom would bundle me up and take me to the donut shop that my dad worked as his second job.  Yes, indeed, dad to this day does not like doughnuts or donuts--he might eat them sometimes, but those rings of dough do not captivate his attention like they do mine.  So, yep oldest kids get the unique pleasure that their birthday is also their parents true Mother's Day/Father's Day. IMG_6960 IMG_6968 There is no doubt that the sky and clouds are beautiful.  What about the sand that made up of crushed rocks, wood? Yes there is even some trash on the beach. FullSizeRender 278 Warning!  Read three deep thoughts below at your own risk!
  1. How does a first impression affect my perspective?
  2. How do I go about appreciating each individually without comparing the two?
  3. Let's say we aren't taking just about photos of nature.  How do I appreciate unique experiences/people/places/things in my life so that I embrace the diversity and see their awesome?
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Wesson Lessons and Friday Night Minutes in Between

In my family we talk about Wesson Oil as a coping mechanism.  As far as in real life, it's  just a fable or myth that has not actually been done.  The idea being that to protect your inner soul in life, when you feel like everything is flinging negativity at you - take a bottle of Wesson Oil, open it up and pour it over your head, allow what is flung at you to just slip off.  You don't want to lose sight of your humanity and become callous or bitter like wine turned to vinegar.
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Happy Space, Happy Face

After the new couch arrived I snapped this quick photo.  My initial thought was the need for  larger scale art over the couch/sectional. The 125 inches of lounging space left quite a lot of blank wall space. IMG_1615I pretended to be a stranger in my own home... and looked at the photo again, a little closer... Oh-my-good-ness! IMG_1615 Our Built In shelves had morphed into catchalls and not so functional spaces. Worse of all, to me this space had disappeared, poof!  In my everyday existence, I no longer saw the shelves, and during that time, I'm pretty sure that the clutter pixies had come in and flung about all kinds of stuff to this space. Like what occurred in my studio clean up activity; simply editing and sorting can be transformative.  So before adding new wall art, I did a little curating and art installation by revising the built in shelves and the treasures they hold. My studio was happy when I sorted the containers by colors - and edited the "not my" colors containers, sending them off to happy homes.  I'm pleased how my collection of pottery and baskets works here.   IMG_1665 Not perfection, but pretty great by most standards... I snapped this photo from my spot on the couch, the room seems to have more air in it, with the clutter gone.  I'm pretty sure there is a meteorological term for this phenomena.  Now, ideas seem to travel more freely through the air. There is something very comforting in how things come full circle.  Great conversations start out with, I have an idea for a collaboration...  A collaboration of ideas begins, I look forward to seeing where this circle will lead. IMG_1641   thanks for having fun with me! Temporary Resized Image for Blog Image
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