Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Busy Town

2013 has finished up with busyness!

Our oldest daughter, Laura, arrived and we made excellent use of our time. (She reads my blog so her reward is a guest appearance!  ahem!

 Meal Prep


Pyjama Party



More Eating

DD#1  &  DD#2
 And she was the one that bought the six foot long game based on Richard Scarry's books, Busy Town.

And the winner is!!!!
All of us!  It took land and air to get us together.  It took two dwellings in two towns to keep us all occupied.  And it took all of us, making the most of time and space, to have a wonderfully busy and satisfying time.

A great finish for 2012 and I'm looking forward to making more memories in 2014!  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Making Memories

DD#1 arrived late at the airport but the Grand kiddies had lots to keep them busy.  They made a bee line right for the polar bears, penguins, and seals and became one with the whole display before I could get their scarves and  mitts stowed in my bag!  lol
Carollers sang at the next post over and then new cars needed finger prints to cut down some of their glare!  Josh wanted to know why the Porsche's doors were locked.  Then he wanted to know why the stairs on the escalator went flat!  Eliana wanted to know who flushed the toilet!  ;)  They learned about onion rings and poutine! Yum!

 And when the new was tasted and explored there was always the old and familiar!

A new set of Tinker Toys kept them busy all day yesterday while their Tia made the run to their house for more prep for the big day. It also kept DDS#3 busy as well.  We will hit the play room for a few gift making items today.

Then we'll have a discussion about what one wears to a Christmas Eve service!  And who knows, this year's memory just might involve an Easter Bonnet!  I hope all your memories are the best ever as this year draws to a close.  Be blessed!

Friday, December 20, 2013

The REAL Studio Tour- mid project

  Welcome to The Coop and Saucer Playroom and the mid project reveal for the Real Studio Tour

It seems like I am always mid-project and I am always mixing wet and dry projects!  I do try to keep my fabric stash, my sewing and my beading on the right hand side of this room.  My large craft table divides my space nicely.  The window faces west which isn't the best for light so I keep sheer curtains to diffuse the strong rays.  The wall on the left is designated for my mixed media projects.  It probably gets the most cluttered.  The cubby with the green baskets used to store fabric scraps sorted by colours but now holds paper, also sorted by colour.

Much as I try not to get stuff on my fabric, my impatience leads to just one little quick technique on the table.  I suspect that even when I get a workshop for all the messy stuff I will still try for that quick little thing in the corner of my designated sewing space! lol

My fabric is stored in two Ikea bookcases which fit nicely in the chimney corner.  I made covers to hide everything with white feather ticking which is very cheap at the large discount store.  It also my design wall.

I have two sewing machines.  Nina is an 820 Bernina and has the throat space for my machine quilting and the design stitches for my fibre art.  Nina is sandwiched between bookcases and I am deciding if this will work.  She once was permanently alongside the cutting table.  But she was in danger from paint spray and spilled stuff!  :(   I am not planning to make very many more big quilts but if the need arises I would drag Nina alongside my cutting table so I can spread the quilt out more

Mini is an old  Bernina and she is up for quick mending and  quick stitching on paper.  I had coveted a Feather weight but Mini is pretty light and a lot of the feet I had before I got Nina fit Mini.  She is a lot more portable than Nina who is a big girl.  The sewing machines do tend to stay clutter free.  Thank goodness! 
The bookcase to the right of my sewing area holds backing, buttons, beads and thread. When I found this over the door ironing board I was ecstatic.  Then I decided last week to remove the door from the closet and moved the ironing station inside my main door.   I thought it might not work.  But when I am 'in the zone' I don't leave the room and it retracts pretty easy.

My cutting table has gone from being half used to always fully extended.  I luv the height and it is always cluttered and always in use.  I purposely put it in the middle of the room so I can access three sides.  I proceeded to completely fill underneath it with storage.  The two Ikea drawers are repurposed from my girls' bedroom and are shallow for 12 " blocks and pattern pieces.  The  plastic carts hold all kinds of supplies and I wish they were almost all shallow.  Beats digging!  ;)   My Rooster did put two legs to support the corners better as that tends to be where I cut.

The mixed media wall gathers many of the supplies for altering cloth and paper for my art.  The wall is short due to the roof slope but I'm pretty short so I can't reach much higher.  The near left is for my scrap booking.  The centre counter is all about wet.  The last section is an old wooden office cabinet and will probably collect my idea folders and my latest technique book.

I am just thrilled with the results of removing this closet door.  It has really opened up this whole corner.  The door is stashed behind the cupboard and brings it forward which means I'll not be able to pile things on the floor.  ;)  I've added more shelves to the cupboard and it holds scrap book supplies. Tucked out of sight and under the roof slope is a bookcase for more of my book stash.  A light in here would be a help!  lol

My big cutter moved from the old office cabinet to between these doors and  it hasn't collected too much stuff during this week.  My grand son (5) has already tried out the new set up and approves!  lol

One good thing is that my centre table doesn't get horribly cluttered because I am forced to clear it off regularly for the next project.  I have made many changes over the years and once again I can't imagine improving my work space again but I've learned to never say never when it comes to the creative process which seems to have me always in mid- project. 
Thanks for visiting.    I hope you visit more 'real' studios over at the Field Trips in Fiber blog who are also in mid-project.   May you be blessed in all your projects wherever you are in the creative process. :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

She runs with...

not scissors but I am still measuring-

Paint for my old running shoes.  I wonder how many more miles these feet have left in them?

Trim for the kitchen walls.   I make sure that the Rooster does the measuring! ;)

Paint for the various surfaces.  It is embarrassing how old some of this paint is.  The girl at the paint counter was leery about having the machine reshake it for me.  I will be so happy to eliminate these cans from the basement stash! :)

Creative ideas. I've got a look in mind and I'm considering the options.

And time as it disappears.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

If the Rooster were a quilter...

 The Rooster does stick his beak into the Coop and Saucer Playroom and offers suggestions.  He is even very helpful at finding quilt shops when we are away on holidays.  But he hasn't shown any inclination to try patchwork.

If he did I am sure he'd be a paper piecer!  We (he) are making a box for the kitchen hutch.  I am very much about 'good enough' but apparently 1/16th of an inch is not 'good enough'. Then he measures twice, starts the cut then remeasures to check how much he is losing with the bite.  ???  I said he should have been an engineer.  He told me he wanted to be one as a kid but that university was not an option.  I didn't know that.  He did go to university with only grade 10 but as a mature student.  He got his agricultural diploma.  I was so proud of  him!  Dean's Honour roll and he barely cracked a book as we had a farrow to finish hog barn that took any extra time and four kids to raise as well.  Definitely a paper piecer.  lol He does like to ask for my rulers when he works in the house.  That's okay.  I have my eye on his big T square!  ;)

Speaking of paper...
I am working away on my  canvases for the playroom wall.   This is third layer.  First paper, then tame it down with some gesso and then I added some texture by scraping light modeling paste through various stencils.  
The figures have been covered with mac tac, both sides.   I'm deciding just how to use them.  If I'd been more careful I could have used the cut away as a stencil.  :O  These will be masks to spray over and then remove so the image remains.  I need to decide on colours as well. 

 I decided to work on my Trip around the World blocks.  I do not want to rush my leaves wall hanging and just making scrappy blocks  will be kinda restful!  lol  I am wondering if these strong pinks and purples will mess up my trips!  ;)  I shall make more and if it doesn't work I guess I have two grand daughters who might console me if the original flight plan is cancelled.  lol

Please take a trip around Canada and see what my fellow Needle and Thread friends are piecing.  I imagine there will be a bit of a break for the holidays.  Blessings to all and to all a good holiday!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hold that tape!

I forgot to measure!

I forgot a number of things.  :( 

I forgot that we are approaching the longest day of the year and early morning light for photos doesn't happen till late in the morning.

I forgot to read the directions for changing the sole plate on my walking foot and the Rooster doesn't think this is something he can fix for me.

The curtain material for the sitting room window is lovely. And very slippery!  :(  I decided to practice on the extra fabric I'd bought which turned out to be the wrong colour.  I thought I could make new curtains for the Coop and Saucer Playroom.  Not full enough and if I had measured before I cut I'd maybe have had enough for two.  :(  I tried the old sitting room curtains and there is a whole lot more curtain than I need.

I might have to forget my dentist appointment because the Rooster phoned me after he got to work to say that I shouldn't try until he gets the man to clear the driveway.  It is blowing very solid bars of snow across the long driveway and he barely made it out.    I did find the snow heavy wading when I did my the chickens yesterday. 

I'm taking the measure of the day.

Monday, December 16, 2013

In the mood to measure

A busy week coming up.  I shall be multitasking in a measured way!

I need to take full  advantage of the looming deadline.

I hope I can measure up!

Friday, December 13, 2013

The REAL Studio Tour- storage

Welcome to the Coop and Saucer.  This will be sip and say kinda post so I hope you have time for a cuppa!

First I must tell you that I don't want to 'store' things.  I want to find things.  Quickly.  Easily.  And then  Return them just as easily.  I must say that in order for 'finding'  to actually work it needs to support the worker and the workspace so it is very unlikely that one storage system fits all! ;)  Nor does it remain the same.  As we understand how we work and what our latest hobby/interest is the layout needs tweaking.   Macrame does not have a top priority space, in fact its been purged!   lol

Two different concepts influence my storage needs.

I favour form over function.  That just means I like pretty more than workable.  But I have learned a few things about myself over time and I am now willing to sacrifice pleasing design to making the process of making things relatively easier.   I adore those perfect studios. But I am part of the Real Studio Tour because a real studio must function first and foremost and that will be different for each one who lives and works in the form. :O  Valuing form over function may produce a pleasant workspace but it has not moved my creativity forward.  I am now compromising nice for 'get er done'.  lol

Secondly I have discovered that there are filers and there are pilers.  I luv visiting those office stores that have files and storage to accommodate.  Colour coordinating supplies is just wonderful icing on the cake.  oops!  I have been sew busy getting ready for the tour that cake slipped my mind.  ;)  Sorry, my creativity doesn't include food.  My Rooster is in charge of pantry and kitchen layout. 

But much as I luv the whole idea of filing, I had to give away the filing cabinets.  It made perfect sense when I filed something but I could never, ever find it once the file swallowed it up.  In fact I couldn't find the tops of the cabinets.  And then the real truth is...

I'm a piler!

So my solution to my storage problem is to eliminate any flat surface that could possibly contain piles. No small problem!  LOL  Especially if it can be concealed behind a closed door.  yikes

The best storage for me has been plastic bins. I can pile stuff into them. I can sorta see whats in them and a card label confirms it. ;)  Then I can stuff everything back in and slide it back into its designated spot.  That's the ideal anyway.  I shopped sales for the rolling storage and got most of the shoe box size on sale as well. Because they are all the same size they are interchangeable. 

Plastic storage units on wheels have been excellent and I really like the shallow drawers so things don't get buried.  They also do double duty as supports for my counter. 
They can be reconfigured to fit under my cutting table.  All my fibre and sewing stuff is on this side of my room.

I have fabrics for projects stashed in the shoe boxes.  I have colours grouped (piled) on shelves and backs  have their own shelf.  I have set boundaries. This much and no more.  It has taken a few years of giving fabric away and curtailing my buying but I can now sleep nights. ;)  My white curtains hide the visual chaos and provides me with a design wall.

I had thought the peg board would work well but I cannot create in chaos. This is evolving and I already added the magnetic bar for my scissors. :)  Too much visual stimulation stalls me. Now next week you will see that in the midst of creating there is a lot of visual chaos and that is part of the process.  But I do have to clean up and start with a relatively clean area whenever I start something.

This has taken time to set up as I begin to understand how I like to work and with what materials.  I am learning to group things together.

Left is all my dry scrap booking stuff.  In the centre is my wet mixed media stuff.  I so wanted to put all my little bottles in cute white boxes but then I admitted defeat and just grab  bottles and when there are more on the counter than up on the shelf  I put them all back and start again!  Having them at eye level is perfect! I always seem to work in the same two square feet so I just tried to make the rest somewhat organized.  The right spot had the old cutter and is now a desk and repository for my inevitable piles. At least it is in the farthest corner.   But at one time that whole counter would have been piled high. 

So my storage strategies advice is don't expect a quick fix but take the time to try things and determine what works best for you. 

My introductory photo is now the cutter station and is in great jeopardy for piles.  I'm hoping the runner covering it will deter my piling desires.   I also stashed my closet door behind the cupboard inside.  (I do hope to reclaim this as a bedroom if we ever get a utility room/studio accomplished!) It sure opens up my space and because the cupboard isn't so deeply into the closet there is less floor space for piles!  yippee!

But I think I will first take advantage of the cleared and tweaked floor space to see if I can wash it up and get some of the paint and glue off the floor.   Next week's tour will reveal how successful my finding and returning works!  ;) ;)

The Real Studio Tour

For more great storage ideas join the tour.  Its the Real Deal!