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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LIU – look it up

Look it up

Three wise words.

Listening to my own advice!

Starting to ask a question on Facebook, and caught myself--instead I googled the term I didn't understand. Voila, I learned something new.  So I jumped back to FB and shared the link I found. We have a wealth of information right at our fingertips, but us humans tend to rely on the people we know. Maybe it's because finding real info on the internet is like finding a needle in a pile of things that look like needles but are really just advertisements, spam and other fake stuff. My wish for the world is not that we know it all, it's that we have the ability to learn, to discern, and when it's time to reach and stretch. Part of knowing a lot is knowing that we don't know it all, but can look it up. How do we know our source should be trusted? Is there a symbol or badge of honor that the truth wears?
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please have a seat

FUNfromAtoZ Studio

My sewing studio has been run amuck by chairs.

I have two DrPepper office chairs--I mean snazzy adjustable armless swivel, rolling chairs with this cool burgundy fabric--just the color of my favorite soft drink. One more chair in DrPepper boomerang fabric--with arms and wheels. Back to chairs.  I have a white plastic chair, that is trying to kill me. Seriously--it's dangerous. It adjusts, swivels, rolls and that's all fine--but the plastic seat is slippery, and at least twice in trying to sit, I've slipped right out of it. One more chair on wheels that I bought for cheap at a big box store--it's small, the seat cushioning is good for an hour or so, wheels, swivels and yes there are some adjustments, but not fully adjustable. My DrPepper chairs are the real bargain--cause I paid less than the cheap chair and they are serious office chair--they just weren't brand new. Near me in College Park, Maryland is a sweet shop that sells surplus equipment from University of Maryland and some other state groups as well. It's not fancy, but the price is right--check out prices published right on their website. Terrapin Trader [surplus store]   Supportive seat (give it a good test sit) Swivel Adjustable height wheels (5 legs) NO arms When I sew, I tend to perch forward on my seat--so I don't lean back much. I think I could almost have a chair with no back. Danger warning--once I tried sitting to sew on an exercise ball, and it's good for your core--but it's too many things to keep track, running a sewing machine and not falling out of your chair. best of luck finding a good sewing seat!      
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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
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AtoZ and Viv [virtual tag up]

If you don't want to see the behind the scenes of how I work, don't read this blog post. Thanks, AtoZ    

Hey Viv, I think I'm going to call you Vee-Eye-Vee as your superhero name, it kinda goes well with AtoZ and V-I-V, yeah, you know me!

ok, that nickname was short lived, unless I spell it out VeeEyeVee, which defeats the purpose of nickname-ology. This is the last hurrah, next few days will be busy! Can we do a virtual meeting here on the Blog?  I popped in a different font for you.  Feel free to not answer questions you don't want to, or answer in your own way.  I gotta run now!
Vivien- Here we go!
  I had a great coffee in TimesSquare, barista recipe by Ammy at St.Arbucks capture You don't drink coffee, or do you?
Vivien-no coffee for me!
Just got back late last night from Lion King on Broadway, what a great adventure, such great choreography,costuming, music. When did you start contra dancing? what was the story?  Where you just a young lioness at the time?
Vivien-My parents are professional dancers and got into contra dancing through that route. When my sister and I were very young, they would bring us to the dances. When I was in high school in Chicago, I started going with my mom and fell in love with it. Now I'm on the board of the Baltimore dance and I dance at least once, if not multiple times a week
  Can't wait for you to meet MsV! Please link to MsV page and tell me something interesting you learned about Valarie Poitier from less than 15 minutes research.
Ms. V is a fiber artist living in Massachusetts. She teaches art quilt workshops and quilt business workshops, namely "Promote Your Work without Apologizing" which teaches people how to speak about their work and present themselves successfully.
[AtoZ6pm, yes that is true--but she is more--listen to me reciting her words] I'm a pretty positive person who protects my soul from negative thoughts and energy. Yesterday, I said to MsV as I started to say something negative and prefaced it with "well, I shouldn't say this..." OMG, I love her, she stopped me with a sweet joyful voice and said "then don't say it!" I love that I am surrounded by such positive and powerful women like MsV and that I can take that suggestion, that lesson and make it into a touchstone, a reminder to stay on my positive joyful path. I'm passing along lessons, but wow, I don't have all the answers, but I know that the right answers will be available to me if I am listening!  [AtoZ 6pm--Oh and most of all, passing along lessons is like the circle of life. It's not that I have the answers and am passing them, it's that we as humans can be part of the circle of life. The things we do, how we interact, those are the really big deal things. ] Okay, here is my question.  What do you think of that story and the last few months of working together?
Vivien-I think there's something to be said for actively listening and also reflecting -- that some things might not have the most obvious meaning to them but still impact your life. I think the we are both learning from each other and we should keep listening.
[AtoZ 6pm--active listening is good, as is reflecting, I was getting ready to let negative thoughts and words flow from my mouth, which is ironic because you can't fight negative with negative--I an humbled that I was reminded of that, and that we help each other out--we humans. I think that working together is like dancing--but these are enough deep thoughts for one post!]   I leave for International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston this week. What are your thoughts and questions about traveling to Houston?  It's going to be warm.  It's going to be exciting.  We should have morning tags ups this week.
Vivien-what are morning tags?
[AtoZ6pm--morning tag ups--the 5minute planning session--we can do it virtually too using our action item tracking software--today it was nice to use this post as fun way to let others see behind the curtain.] I think you have a copy of my RollerCoasters and QuiltShows article from International Quilt Scene 2015.  Give it a re-read before you pack for good tips tucked into my humor--see Laugh and Learn is definitely my style. I gave you edit write to my FB page, would you check that it works?
Vivien-it does!
  Would you create individual Facebook Events on my FFATOZ FB page for my 7 classes/lecture  that require signing up for at Houston?
10/31 Can You Cacti?
11/1 Superhero Strategies
11/1 Math of Art, Art of Math
11/2 Face Your Fears
11/3 Machine Quilting Forum
11/3 Playing with Plarn
11/4 Recipe for Teaching Great Classes
11/5 Words Are Not Enough
Also would you make a single page list by date of where you and I are going to be in Houston?
Vivien-running out of time today but will do tomorrow!
(don't share that publicly but since I'm making my interaction with you public, I figured I'd make the request here)
If I drop of a bag of extra swag to bring to Quilt Festival with you on Wednesday or Thursday morning, can you bring it?
Vivien- Sure!
Don't worry, I know you like cold weather, I'm working on booking us some teaching gigs in New England!   Viv, Please feel free to add some links, words, photos to this post and make it live today--I know I will show my name, but I'm outta here--it's 9:30am, and I'm getting in late to work and will check back late tonight! I'll check my messages at lunch incase you have questions! Viv, you rock! -AtoZ         13582126_10154220830864566_5130345895031516125_o cactus cover copy RootedintheHeart2 BU BAWESOME LARGE.001 - Version 5 a-to-z_logo_6.png  
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YAY! I won

I'm not even sure what I won, but winning is FUN isn't it?   Today on Facebook I saw that @sizzix was doing a live video with @kidgiddy, so I popped in. Did I answer the question right the first time?  Nope. I first answered, IceCream with Sprinkles.  Seemed like a good guess what is Kerry Goulder's favorite food. What do you do when you don't know something--like the words IRL, IQF or IQM?  You can do the same thing I did today.  Which is how I answered the winning question today.  I Googled. Seriously, it's not cheating--it's using resources, tools--and I'm being pretty open about it, cause well, I also won something from Sizzix and Generation Q Magazine (more on this later!) I think that honor and respect are hugely important. I may be FUN, I may seem silly, but respect and being a decent human being is a big deal to me.

I don't want any ill-gotten-booty.

How often on Talk Like a Pirate Day do you get to say ill-gotten-booty?     On my bucket list--meeting Kerry Goulder IRL, maybe at IQF or IQM this year? What will be her answer? How does she sew? Can KidGiddy Cacti? Does she dare? Will You? Is Class 106 still open 10/31? When will the questions end? Oh, and yes to Sizzix, thanks!  Feel free to send mail and treats to me at

FUNfromAtoZ Studios

9900 Greenbelt Road

Suite 314

Lanham, Maryland 20706

  img_5064     Yes, I'm proud that I don't know everything AND that I'm pretty good at finding answers. When I post blogs and info, I love to add in the links, so you can check it out too.  The more we know, the more we know! Please share, life is more FUN with friends!   01 MorusiewiczThanks for having FUN with me today!  
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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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fast fun with snapchat

IMG_7820At first I was afraid, I was petrified--snapchat is an odd tool. Sure you can sit with your back against the wall and watch others dance, cause when you first get out there, you might really feel like an alien being.  Honestly, I loved my first profile gif, at least I saved it, but now it's gone.  That's life, that what happens when you make a new one, the old goes away.  That's not bad--manages our mess of too many files. The filters seem totally frivolous and foolish, until yesterday I found this comic style filter.  Yes, indeed.  Find a use for this, I will. FullSizeRender 296All of the photos here and the video were quickly created yesterday.  I'll share more info later, but now--life is busy, I gotta fly! IMG_7814
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Hanging on with Thread

  A friend asked about my thread racks, and a photo seemed like a good answer.  I have the large 120 spool thread racks, and I added hooks to hang on the wall. Then I cut straws to lengthen posts and topped it all off with #ikea #pictureledge for large #spools #studio #sewing #quilting #manageyourmess #makeityourown thread rack hack. Then a surprise message from Joen Wolfrom, reminded me of my Permission Slip project, so I adjusted the photo collage.  Stay tuned for more news on Permission!
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Fibonacci Fun, it’s just math!

  fibonacci3.010   Just a little fun with numbers!  No lie, this is not a "fib", the Fibonacci sequence of numbers and the artistic spiral they create, it's just math. fibonacci4.001Repeat after me "It's just math."   Math is your friend, Math is your pal.  If you have bad feelings toward Math, stop - realize that you are on a first name basis, it's not Mathematics.  It's Just Math!      
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Triple Threat and the Reservation Equation

I am well versed in the delicate art of delegation.  I delegate to my humble crockpot, to the pizza parlIMG_2011 2or, to the timer on the coffeemaker, the delay on the dishwasher and washing machine, our wash&wear wrinkle-free dress shirts, my many checklists, a few at the ready "go-bags", the recording device on my phone, my gps, my fabulous nail tech, my streamlined makeup system, my Kindle, my iPhone in general... these are some of my many teammates that create more time and energy for me to create more fun. I don't need to do it all myself, I can be the boss and be sure it gets done. Yelp found this really awesome restaurant and I used that tool to make a dinner reservation on a Monday for Wednesday. So now starts the mathematical equation... If 3 people plan to eat at 7pm, and person 1 confirms the reservation at 6:05 pm via SMS, drives 10 minutes, picks up 1 more person, drives 40minutes north, while person number 3 drives 40 minutes south, so that they all meet at the restaurant for the reservation at 7pm, what is the chance that this really interesting restaurant closed it's doors less than 2 weeks ago? Originally we were heading to the Highland Inn.  But life throws twist and turns at us, as Misty and I pulled into the empty parking lot and saw the third member of our adventure... Cheryl, in a microscopic red rental car, parked all alone, way out in the middle of the large empty lot.  I laughed and said "you couldn't find a better parking spot?" IMG_2011 2 Serendipity was on our side. We drove just around the corner, to the Twist and Turn Tavern.  Spent a lovely evening sitting outside at a fancy picnic table with drinks served in mason jars that was not originally in the plan. Lesson 1 - Tell technology who is the boss - technology can be a good teammate, but sometimes it requires a little supervision! Lesson 2 - Look beyond... What was the real plan? to share a meal, share some laughter and relax?  In this unexpected way, we accomplished our real plan. 11695778_10153149079497663_4884333634751189714_nLesson 3 - We really do look a bit like Buttercup, Blossom and Bubbles.   thanks for having FUN with me!a-to-z_logo_6.png  
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Gear up – Studio Secrets

Let's go back to the past - to when the clean up started.  Shh, don't tell anyone, but these secrets can be used for any clean up project... Parents teach your kiddos that  chores can be seen as challenges and games for them... more fun, less mess, bonus for you less stress!   If you are the "Kid", here's my secret to cleaning up, make it fun, make it fast, make it a game. Secret Number 4 - Super Speed!  If you want motivation and fun - record yourself in super speed - the app from the Instagram people "Hyperlapse" is great fun - and you can adjust your speed from 2x-12x.  Why would you want to record it?  Well, seeing yourself move around fast is likely going to be funny, when you laugh, good energy flows in your brain, when your brain is working for you, things are easier.  There are lots of serious things in life you should do, taking yourself too seriously, just isn't one of them! Secret Number 5 - Suit Up! gear up, put on your uniform before the game starts - in clean up mode the uniform is good shoes.  Yes, I am recommending cleaning in shoes (not slippers, not flipflops, not your bare feet!  Clean up can be messy and sewing tools sharp, so it's important to protect your sole and your soul.  Wearing your work clothes and cowboy boots is good for the reveal, but not so good for the clean up work.  Go Mr.Rogers style - get those sneakers on! Mr.R - Not a bad role model... I resonated with his saying in this interview that "working as well as you can to bring to others what you feel can be nourishing in their lives, it's an offering of love what we do." So, that was sweet and loving, now back to sports and sci-fi... Secret Number 6 - ATTACK the Biggest BEAST!  iterminator and medentify the biggest beast, the area that will have the most impact, and attack it.  Yes, I did play a lot of sports!  In my studio, I have a hockey puck from one of my six shutouts.   I had a lot of containers - boxes, bags, jars - so I built "container city."  I used the table area of my longarm to stack the containers by type.  This helped as I attacked the lesser beasts, I was able to use a container, or return a container easily.  When I finished, I packed up "containing the containers," so that I can easily erect a new "container city" in a different part of the house, and store my spares so they don't go forth and multiply.  Now that I'm done "container city" got pared down (shared with friends, the containers that I don't want to keep).  Container city is now behind a closet door, and not far from it is "Lid-Landia".  I use many containers in their lid-less configuration, but those lids, I don't want to toss.  Once the biggest beast is slain, look at the next largest beast - be sure that your little beasts don't go replicator on you.  Biggest is not the size of the beast, but the size of the impact of dealing with that issue.  Keep vigilant, the beast... they will tell you "I'll be back".  Remember there is no clean, but what you make! Back to the blog hop... masterminded by fellow geek-chic  Cheryl Sleboda, my  studio benefited from "spring cleaning your studio" mode.  So in the light of transparency - my studio was not pre straightened for the before shots, I recorded live action super speedy hyper-lapsed video, plus and let's just say I'm learning about camera angles and "embracing emperfection!" Thanks for having fun with me - The audio was recorded using the  "minutes in between." My drive home from work is less than 15minutes, so it's too long, not too short, but just like Goldilocks, its "JUST RIGHT" to share a story.  I'll share more about the "minutes in between" and what they mean in another story.   Yes - a blog hop is a lot like a game, more fun with friends!  Check out my teammates i this game of fun! May 7 Kathy Matthews
May 8 Misty Cole Http://
May 9 Heather Kinion
May 10 Jessica Darling
May 11 Lisa Blevis Filion
May 12 Peta Minerof-Bartos
May 13 Mandy Leins
May 14 Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz   
May 15 Sam Hunter
May 16 Debby Ritenbaugh Brown
May 17 Debbie Kleve Berkebile
May 18 Michelle Mattingly
May 19 Cheryl Sleboda   Wishing you fun that nourishes your life! a-to-z_logo_7        
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