Kettlecutting thread lake smaller 3 2

 

 Textile Evolution

Liz Kettle Artist, Author and Creator of the Stitch Meditation process

Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

Crazy Big News!

moving to wash

Out of the desert into the rain forest!

 

We have lived in Monument, CO since 1991. In the same house for those 29 years. Like many of you when COVID-19 hit we had some time to think about where we live, why we live here and ask is our life exactly how we want it to be?  Turned out the answer was: we are ready for a change. The little town of Monument has grown and we much prefer small town living. 

Upon reflection, the only things truly tying us to CO Springs and Monument other than friends and family was my position as of director of Textiles West. Well, Textiles West has closed,…a casualty of COVID. My husband can work from anywhere and he requested to be closer to fishing water.  It just so happens that our oldest son and his family are surrounded by water and fish so we are headed to Bremerton, WA! 

I get to live close to my grandkids!

My studio will be in my new house instead of down the road. So excited about that.

We will have room for visitors.

I will live in an area where I can actually garden again.

We will be in WA for Christmas. We are so excited but currently drowning in a sea of boxes and packing tape. 

 

 

 

stitch med kit flat crop sm

Textile Evolution On-Line shopping Closing on Dec 5.

Order your Stitch Meditation kits, Art and Thermofax screens before 

Dec 5, 2020

Stitch Meditation kits and Art make great gifts!

or

personalize a gift with Thermofax screens. 

As I pack I have been putting aside little bits of fun stuff to add to orders so you will get a little surprise in your order!

 

Shop will reopen in January. 

 

Of course online classes are always available and we  have added some great dye classes with Melanie Audet and Boro with Ruth Chandler. 

I almost forgot to add that when the shop re-opens I will be carrying WonderFil Perle Cotton and Rayon.

 

 

 

 

 

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Did it! 100 days of the 100 Day Dress Challenge

Finished the 100 Day Dress Challenge one week ago. It was a crazy fun thing to do and I am glad I decided to take the challenge.  

last day

I have to say that getting dressed in the morning is suddenly a whole lot more difficult. During the challenge the only choice I had to make was what sweater or shirt layer I wanted to wear when it was cooler. I didn't actually get to spend much time accessorizing as I thought because I was mostly home during the pandemic and summer weather didn't call for much more than the dress itself. 

Laundry...ugh....back to the laundry grind. I still try to wear my clothes several times before washing but I have gotten away from wearing an apron when cooking and not as careful when eating and cleaning. Need to adopt the apron habit again! Beats washing clothes so often.

 

day 4 smaller

Some things I learned along the way

I have way too many clothes. They have been weighing me down visually and emotionally. I used to go into my closet and just feel .....uggh! It was a disaster. Not enough room, stuff all over the place. And, I always felt like I had nothing to wear! I did a whole closet clean out with the help of my friend Cecelia Harris. We pulled out every single garment and it went in a donate, re-purpose the fabric or keep pile. I got rid of half of what I owned and now when I walk into the closet I feel light and happy with how organized and tidy it is. Most of my clothes went to a community swap and it was really fun to see other folks loving the clothes I sent back out into circulation. 

I will shop differently from now on. I had a lot of clothes that I had purchased because they were on sale for a great price....many of them I wore only a couple time and some never because they didn't go with what I already had. My new rule is for every new thing that comes in, something has to go out.

No one noticed! People following me would ask how it was going but no one else noticed I was wearing the same dress every day.  

Dresses are way more comfortable than pants or shorts...especially when working at a desk all day. 

 

The Dress

I wore the Sierra Tank Dress fromWool&. 

The wool is a lightweight terry weave and super comfy. It did not itch or absorb odors. I was never too hot and it was easy to pair with leggings on cold days.  I washed it about every 4-5 days (cold water, hang to dry). 

The dress looks as good as when brand new and ready to take on another 100 days...though maybe not in a row this time. 

I wrote to Wool& to ask about their fabric choice. The dress is merino wool, nylon and spandex. Here is what they said:

We use nylon in some of our fabrics for a few reasons. Although wool by itself has a plethora of performance factors, it sometimes needs a boost of durability in lighter weight fabrics and constructions to give it the longest lifespan. We run all of our designs through filters of sustainability AND durability to create the best, most versatile product in the end. As for 22% nylon, this is because we use a patented spinning process with nylon wrapped on the outside of the merino core yarn. This creates a fabric with outstanding pill-resistance which still looks great after years of wear (hence the 100 day challenge!). The spandex in this case is for stretch retention and construction of the overall French Terry fabric

Sustainability well thought out. I love this thinking.

You will see me in this dress again....well made, comfortable and it has pockets!

 

 

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Day 75 of the 100 Day Dress challenge

Wow! This summer is flying by! Anyone else feel the same way? 

day 35 tiny

I can't believe it is already day 75 of wearing the same dress every day. I have learned some interesting things along the way


1- it has been much easier than I thought. There is a simplicity around starting the day that I have really enjoyed. 

2-I didn't get to play with styling much as I thought I would because I didn't get to go out much…I am sure you can relate! Also, it isn't really scarf weather…I have a lot of scarves because I love fabric so much. This is sort of an ah-ha for me…less clothes, more scarves!

2- I really don't need or even want all the clothes I have. A couple friends have been sending me pics of new garments to purchase when I am done but I am not even tempted.

 

Day 62 tiny

3-The closet makeover was a lot more fun than I thought it would be and I love walking into my closet every day and seeing it clean and tidy with space for everything to breathe! So many clothes to release. Video link coming soon. 

4-The closet clean-out has inspired me to move into other areas of the house to get rid of stuff that is just stuff. We have lived in this house for 29 years....so much stuff just because we had room for it. Don’t even ask how many sport water bottles we had.

5-No one notices….or maybe they are too polite to ask?  More like no one cares. My husband noticed only because I started taking pictures of myself all the time. People who know about the challenge ask because they can’t believe I am not sick of it.

5- Dresses in the summer are the way to go unless you are weeding the garden and getting muddy.  This wool dress is way more comfortable and cooler than most of my shorts and crop pants paired with tees. 

6- Taking a photo every day is hard for me...it reveals just how much time I spend at the computer.

7- This wool dress is amazing for travel, baby proof, long enough for swings and sitting in the grass with kids.  

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Day 11 of the 100 Day Dress challenge

day 4 smaller

 

11 days in...89 more to go! I have to say wearing the same dress every day hasn't been too boring so far. It has been cool so I have changed it up with different sweaters and added leggings on our recent snow day.

Of course, I did drop chocolate on it the very first day and had to do a quick spot clean but it all came out. 

the one thing that still surprises me is when I go into the closet after my shower and think...what shall I wear today....oh yeah....I don't need to think about it! Funny how we are such creatures of habit.

Some things that have popped up for me:

What else in my closet have I worn more than 11 times? There are quite a few basics I wear all the time but boy is there a lot of stuff I don't wear very often that is cluttering up the space.

An apron is a very good thing! I used to wear an apron all the time but over the years got lazy about it....I have a washing machine and am quite addicted to using it often. But I know I have ruined quite a few T-shirts from wearing while cooking and getting all splattered with grease (bacon!). 

I wash my clothes way too much.  I try to wear everything twice before I wash it (unmentionables excluded of course). But, I have only washed the dress every 4-5 days and it hasn't suffered and no one is running away screaming because of the stench. Wool does breath and wear really well. 

For those of you wondering....it is a lightweight wool knit. Even after a day sitting at my desk the wrinkles just hang out on their own.

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The 100 Day Dress Challenge

 wool dress package

The 100 Day Dress Challenge!

I am taking on the Wool& 100 Day Dress Challenge!
I will be wearing the same wool dress for 100 days!
YES! you read that right....100. DAYS! 8 hours a day.
The. Same. Dress. Every. Day.

100 Days!
June 1- Sept 8 2020

You ask...Have I lost my mind staying home for 11 weeks.....

 Yes, I admit it is a bit crazy but, the dress does have pockets!

Actually, for the last 6 months, our Textiles West team has been considering the question, how does someone change from a Standard American Wardrobe to a healthier, cleaner wardrobe and home decor that is better for the planet, our bodies and our budgets. We had some ideas but nothing that clicked.

With more time to peruse social media while staying at home, I stumbled across this interesting challenge on Instagram. Holy Cow! This sounds like a fun and somewhat crazy way for us to raise awareness of the massive impact of the textile industry production and waste.

I did take more than 10 seconds to think about this and I didn't commit until the dress arrived. I am not sure it is going to be very easy...what if I can't do it? Yikes! I grew up wearing a uniform from kindergarten thru high school and there were some things I really liked about wearing a uniform. There is the added benefit of less laundry....so what the heck...I have nothing to lose.

But, here is the reason I am taking this challenge, textile pollution is real, it is massive and quite frankly it is a women's issue. We had a hand in creating this crisis and we need to fix it. But we can have fun at the same time. So, I am taking the challenge. Along the way we will be talking about how to create a friendly textile home and having a closet makeover (getting rid of the stuff that is just hanging around) and beginning to sew up a capsule wardrobe that is functional, fits me and is made from sustainable fabrics.

I want to inspire you to create a more sustainable textile home and make it fun and easy so we will be sharing tips along the way and the first one is don't wash your clothes so much! Try to wear each garment twice or more before you wash it. See....less laundry....so easy.

Check out Wool& site

 

 

 

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Thermofax Thursday: Blue Glue as a resist

I have used washable glue to create designs on a traditional printing screen and directly on fabric so I figured, hey this should work. And it does! Just a word of caution don't let the glue dry in the screen. It may not all wash out...I didn't test it. 

I still have some testing and experimenting to do on this process....like how long can you leave the glue in before it becomes permanent. I will let you know as soon as I have time to play mad mixed media scientist. 

The circles screen I used is one of my favorites! I created it from a photo I took of rusty old bed springs. 

 

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Thermofax Thursday: Water Soluble Wax Pastels

Today's pairing with thermofax screens is Water Soluble Wax Pastels. I use the Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Water soluble ones but other brands should work very similarly. I am sorry I don't have a link for these but you can purchase them from most art supply stores. The larger ones are harder to find and I am not sure they are even made currently as I haven't seen them in years.  They are not inexpensive but they do last a long time. 

 
With these crayons you use textile or matte medium to dissolve the crayon as you pull it through the screen. I can't remember exactly where I first learned this process but it might have been in a magazine article by Susie Monday. Have fun and send me photos of what you create so I can share the love. 
 
I have some new screen designs waiting to be finalized and hope to have them up soon in the Thermofax store. 
 
 
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Thermofax Thursday: Foil

Welcome to another edition of Thermofax Thursday!

Sometimes you need something more glamorous than glitter, something that is more luscious, more seductive, more grand....you need FOIL!

Why, yes, you can use foil on fabric as well as paper

Foil comes in the usual gold, silver and copper but it also comes in fuschia and chartruse and orange and oil slick and so many variations....it will make you swoon.

Check out my video lesson on using foil with Thermofax screens. 

 

Here are two great places to purchase foil on-line:

Artistic Artifacts

Laura Murray Designs

Find your favorite Thermofax Screen and start foiling!

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Thermofax Thursday: Glitter fun

blue glitter snowflake thermofax 1 of 1
Some things just call for glitter....even if you aren't a glitter girl normally. This week's video shows how to use gel medium through the thermofax screen so you can apply fine makeup grade glitter for super blingy imagery. While I used our Snowflake screen, you can use any screen you love. I think the feather screen in silver would be fabulous...gonna have to go do that today. 
 
Ignore the beginning of the video where I say it is September! LOL While I filmed it in September, chaos quickly ensued and I have just had time to post it now. 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Thermofax Thursday: Discharge Paste

Thermofax Thursday: Discharge Paste

I love the subtle surface design effects you can get with discharge paste. There are lots of ways to use it and we have some tips in the FREE Fabric Embellishing book study Ruth Chandler and I have created. NOTE: Fabric Embellishing is being re-released this fall so if you don't have a copy yet you will be able to get one. 

You never know what result you will get with discharge paste. It depends on the base color of the fabric so it is often a surprise. I have a black that discharged to a beautiful blue. 

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Thermofax Screen Printing: Three Paints

Welcome to Thermofax Thursdays!

In this blog series I will be showing as many techniques, tips and experiments with Thermofax Screens as I can come up with. Not every Thursday will be a Thermofax Thursday however! I am not sure I can come up with that many techniques. Hope you enjoy the series and if you have a question you want answered just ask! 

I love comments too...helps me know I am not taking to myself all the time. :-)

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Stabilizer Smabliizer!

I am a big fan of stabilizers.

stabilizer cabinet 1 of 1

 

They are crucial anytime you want to add stitch to fabric as an embellishment but I often get a blank look when I talk about them in class or at a party. Ok, so I haven’t been asked about stabilizers at any parties recently but I am not good at party small talk so I would really love someone to ask about them as we eat canapes.   

Stabilizers are like a great foundation garment. They give support in all the right places. They aren’t usually needed when you are piecing two fabrics together but if you want to add stitch details on a fabric they will save your sanity.

The most common question I get is what stabilizer to use and when. Of course that is an ‘it depends’ answer…depends on what you are doing, what fabric you are using and if it can stay in or needs to be removed from the final project.

One of my pet peeves is when directions or supply lists indicate you should use Pellon or Vilene stabilizer. I could just scream!!  That is like writing ‘use meat’ in a recipe. What kind of meat? Beef, chicken, elk, sea bass, goat? You will get very different results if you aren’t using the right one.

Don’t make me guess. Tell me exactly what type of stabilizer I need!!

A stabilizer’s main purpose is to add stability to fabrics…the fusible aspect of any stabilizer is simply to make it easier to apply the stabilizer to the fabric. Extra stability allows you to add dense stitching without distorting the fabric. The more stitches you want to add to the fabric the heavier a stabilizer you need.

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There are about a bazillion different stabilizers on the market and a little time getting to know them will serve you well.  You don’t need to know them all. That would take quite a while. There isn’t any one best, right or perfect stabilizer. While there are many stabilizer brands there are only a few stabilizer manufacturers. It is more important to become familiar with the ones you can easily purchase.

Try my stabilizer sampler exercise to help you learn about them.

Make some Stabilizer Samples!

This works great as a stitch party…everyone brings a different stabilizer and you all swap around.

 stabilizer images for blog post 1 of 2

my stabilizer sample ring-be sure to use the same fabric on each so you can compare weights easily

For this exercise, gather an assortment of interfacings, fusible, tear away and cut away as well as heavy weight stabilizers. Grab some fabrics-pick weights and fibers you use the most often. Cut small sample squares (or circles or rectangles). Apply the stabilizer to the fabric.

If it is a sew-in stabilizer, sew it on.

 If it is a fusible stabilizer, fuse it on.

Write on the back of the stabilizer the brand name and item code so you can easily purchase it again.

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stabilzer samples from my book: Threads: the Basics and Beyond

 

Now, stitch a decorative stitch on the edge. The lighter the stabilizer the more open the decorative stitch should be. With a heavy stabilizer you can add a detailed stitch. If your stabilizer isn’t stable enough for the stitch you selected it will distort the fabric. DON’T throw that away. The samples that don’t work are really more valuable than the ones that do work.

Put them on a ring or a string or in a book so you have a reference for the future.

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Stitch Meditations

Stitch Meditations

 

This video has been in the works for a few months. It is a bit long but I hope you will be inspired to create your own Stitch Meditation practice. 

You can find the ones I have available for sale in the online store here or you can see them as I post them and claim it right away! 

 

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Women of Abstract Expressionism at the DAM

Joan Mitchell east ninth street 1956 sm

Joan Mitchell  East Ninth Street   1956

Women of Abstraction

Last week I was thrilled to be able to take in the Women of Abstraction Expressionism exhibit at the Denver Art museum. The exhibit is incredible and if you are within 500 miles you should definitely make the trip to see it.

The description from the DAM website says it better than I could:

“Women of Abstract Expressionism focuses on the expressive freedom of direct gesture and process at the core of abstract expressionism, while revealing inward reverie and painterly expression in these works by individuals responding to particular places, memories, and life experiences.”

I really don’t know how to put into words just how great this show is. The works are mostly very large and they are so filled with emotion and expression that I felt totally filled up by the time I was finished.

One of the most telling quotes from the exhibit was by Lee Krasner who was married to Jackson Pollock. It went something along the lines of I was a painter before Pollock, during Pollock and after Pollock but I am always known as Mrs Jackson Pollock.

Here are some of my favorites:

Helen Frankenthaler western dream 1957 sm

Helen Frakenthaler Western Dream  1957

 

Jay DeFeo Torso 1952 sm

Jan DeFeo  Torso 1952

judith godwin Woman 1954 sm

Judith Godwin Woman  1954

Lee Krasner the seasons 1957 sm

Lee Krasner  The Seasons   1957

 

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Take a Leap and Grow!

Changes for web

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog during the Fiber Art Connect blog hop!

I am so excited that Desiree Habicht has created the Fiber Art Connection. I wish I had had this access to such wonderful teachers when I first embarked on my art journey. So much great education coming to me for such a great price!  I love how FAC is about connecting and there will be opportunities for discussions, growth, learning and sharing in this online community. 

In order to build a great community experience students won't be able to register after classes start. Registration for the Fiber Art Connection CLOSES on March 15,2016 so be sure to register before then. 

Of course you can Register now!  

There are 10 technique and tutorial filled weeks with lots of opportunity to connect with teachers and other students. Each week a different teacher teaches a different class, with material presented each day of the week so you aren't overwhelmed. There’s a great FAQ document to answer all your questions.l

Take a leap and grow with us!

One thing that all the teachers at FAC have in common is we love getting to know our students. We are all about community, encouragement and helping our students grow and bloom into the artist that lives inside of them. 

So, here is a little bit about me...

What draws you to the fiber arts? Why do you work the way you do? 

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved fabric. I love the way it drapes and the many textures of it. I tried other art media and often take classes outside of textiles but I always come back to fabric. 

Why do I work the way I do....hmmm that is a big question. Over the years I have looked for the 'right' way to work. It has taken me a long time to realize that there is no 'right' way and my way is as good as any! And, of course if I am not true to my way of working I don't get much work done. I work a lot in my head. Thinking through design issues as I drive or do the dishes. I tried for years to work on paper but it just doesn't work for me. 

I do work in a sketchbook but not necessarily to design a project. I use a sketchbook to experiment with techniques but most often to simply play. I have been working on my drawing skills the last couple years and I do use a sketchbook for that. 

Tell us about your studio! Where in the world is it? Is it clean or messy? Is it hidden away or out in the open?

I have three studio spaces in addition to the Thread Lab It sounds like a dream right? Not so much! The two rooms I use at home are mostly dumping grounds and store my class supplies. During travel season it looks like my suitcases have exploded all over the floor...because they have! LOL 

I have a public studio space at Cottonwood Center for the Arts. I love my studio space there. Moving into an art center has been life changing for me. I didn't realize how much I needed the comradery of other artists. Being surrounded by so much beautiful art is inspiring and it has given me courage to stretch and grow.  I share the studio with Cass Mullane a friend and fellow textile artist. The studio at Cottonwood is generally very tidy and we have a small gallery space. 

The Thread Lab is a teaching space underwritten by WonderFil Specialty Threads. Half my thread is there and the other half in my main studio...never the one I need of course!

The problem is that the 'thing' I need is often in the studio I am not at. I schlep bags back and forth much to the amusement of my studio mate! Packing for a teaching trip is quite the adventure and I have to have detailed packing lists so I can collect the bits from all the studios. I get lots of exercise running up and down the stairs at Cottonwood between the two spaces there. Of course half the time I get to the 'other' studio and forget what I was looking for! LOL

What’s your favorite color and why?

 Yellow Green! I love every tint, shade and tone of yellow green from chartreuse to deep olive....yes, even that shade that looks like baby poo. To me this is the color of possibility, growth and freshness. 

What's your least favorite thing to do when you're working a piece?

Cleaning up after I am done! I tend to pull everything out and have piles everywhere when I am creating....I wish I had an efficient studio elf that would come in to clean after every project. 

If you could fly where would you go?

If I could fly I would love to fly to all the National Parks. Wouldn't it be cool to see them from the vantage point of a bird? 

Baby blessings accordian book

Tell us about the class you’re teaching in The Fiber Art Connection. What do you hope your students will learn from this?

My Fiber Art Connection class is all about collage. It is everything I wanted to learn when I was trying to learn collage: enough composition and design to feel confident, ways to organize my thoughts to communicate the feelings, emotions and story I want to share and fun techniques to make it uniquely mine. 

Collage is a wonderful medium and so accessible to everyone because you don't need a lot of expensive materials to get started. I hope my students can use this medium to discover and develop their own unique style of expression. 

Where else can we find you on the internet?

I am on facebook, instagram, google+ and of course on my web site here. 

FAC basket horizontal

Have we not got a fabulous give away??? Who wouldn't want to win this pile of goodies? For your chance to win you need to leave a comment below.  Comments are open until midnight 3/14/16

In your comment, tell me what you most want to learn this year--doesn't have to be textile art related

Visit the rest of the fabulous artists teaching at Fiber Art Connection for more chances to win! 

Commenting on all the posts will be open until midnight your local time on 3/14, which is the day before the course actually starts. After combining all the entries, we’ll user random.org to choose a winner, Desiree will ship to the winner that next day so they could use the items in the class if they registered.

3/1: Desiree Habicht

3/2: Candy Glendening

3/3: Liz Kettle-me! 

3/4: Roxanne Lessa

3/7: Ruth Chandler

3/8: Cecile Whatman

3/9: Deborah Babin

3/10:  Rayna Gillman

For even more chances to win you can:

  1. Register for the workshop that will change your art!
  2. Share a link to this blog post on social media and then leave another comment here telling me you did so
  3. Sign up for the  mailing list, link found  http://www.fiberartconnection.com/
  4. Don't forget you can enter multiple times at each stop along the blog tour by following step 2 on each one as well as leaving a comment!

 

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Are you Doing the 'Check-in'

It is always weird when something one does so naturally is sought after by others or when you find out that friends, especially close friends don’t do what you find such a basic part of your day. It makes you feel a bit like a freak! 

I have recently realized that I naturally do the ‘check-in’ on a consistent daily basis in one form or another and that many other people rarely do the 'check-in'. This boggles my mind! 

I thought everyone did regular check-ins.

The realization came to me as two more people asked me to help them do the ‘check-in’ in their studio space to help them be more orgnaized, professional and creative. Conversations with friends made me realize they don’t check in with their bodies or their spaces either.

You may be asking what is a 'check-in'?

A check-in is simply that…taking time to check in with why something is working, isn’t working or could be improved. I guess it could be a form of mindfullness. Maybe it is just an awareness.

When I walk into my studio, my office, my house, the Thread Lab, and even Cottonwood Center for the Arts I do a quick mental check-in to see if things are working well or if there is an annoyance that can be improved. What has been undone for so long that I no longer see it? 

I started this when I was managing a Pier 1 store way back in the day. It takes a bit of mindfulness to remember to do this and to be able to look at a space you enter every day with fresh eyes.

As an artist it is an excellent skill to cultivate!

Sometimes it means taking a look at why I am not doing something I want to do. Recently, I realized that I was spending less time with my stitch meditations. I checked-in and saw that the space wasn’t working for the inward focused task. You can see that quite clearly…

stitch meditation space 1 of 3

What a mess...there is stuff everywhere. Piles on all the windowsills, on the plant stand, and on the floor. Where did I put those scissors?

stitch meditation space 2 of 3

Fabrics and cool bits are all jumbled in a basket getting all smooshed and wrinkled, threads are everywhere! 

I did a little reorganization and now the space is welcoming and makes me want to sit and stitch.

stitch meditation space 3 of 3

All the fabrics are sorted by size-no longer a wrinkled mess, papers and cool bits are in a separate bin, I can even find my base flannel pieces! All the threads are on the top shelp with my scissors.

I do the same check-in with my body every day. What feels good, what feels less than great, am I tired, achy, how is my energy level? I don’t stop there though. I question why. Did I eat right today? Did I exercise enough? Did I get enough sleep?  Maybe this is because I was so sick for so long and it is partly by asking these questions daily that I was able to figure out what foods make me sick and which ones don’t.

I do the same thing with my emotional state….how do I feel? Am I on top of things or feeling overwhelmed? Why might I feel that way and what thoughts do I need to look at changing in order to get back to happy?

Check-ins are a huge part of self-care whether we are talking about your space or your health.

Have you done a check in lately? The winter solstice is a great day to schedule a check-in!

My check-in today is telling me I need to clean out my email in-box. :-) 

I have a gift for you to help increase your mindfulness and gratitude practices in 2016. 30 days of Gratitude texts from the gratitude coach, Terza Ekholm. 

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Dreaming the Future

 

Vail 2015 1

 

I am spending this week in Vail Colorado at the Full Circle Mastermind Summit. The purpose of this Summit is to spend time working on business planning and building. We work on our own respective businesses and come together as a group to brainstorm ideas and problem solve with group discussions. It is always a great week for me. It allows me to think bigger, get some different perspectives and reminds me to focus on what is the most meaningful. 

It is also a time for me to remind myself of (or fine-tune) my business values, my mission and my vision. 

So often we forget to take time to work on the things that are important to us. We forget to pause and look at the big picture because it is so easy to become overwhelmed by the details of the day to day. We forget to make sure our life has a balance that makes us happy. We can spend so much time on our art or our business that we neglect family or vice versa.

OR: spend so much energy on everyone else that we neglect ourselves and our dreams! 

This week my planning will be focused on my new adventure! The Thread Lab: a WonderFil Threaducation Center. More details on this very soon.  In the meantime you can join The Thread Lab Facebook Group.

Take a few minutes or a few hours this upcoming week and join me in spending some time thinking about your big vision, your dreams and your big picture. I would love to hear what they are. 

 

 

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Thread Misinformation Getting Me Down!

Thread Misinformation Getting Me Down!

I have been mulling over this blog post for months! I get so frustrated by the misinformation about thread that is out there and when it comes from someone trying to sell me a product I get really peeved! Add to the fact that he was talking about metallic threads which already give folks problems I just had to speak my mind. 

 

 

 

For those of you who want to learn even more about thread check out my Threads: The Basics class now on-line! 

 

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Allergies and Art: Pushing the Edge

minimal red squares

This week I embarked on a new allergy therapy that is able to help with food allergies. It is the only treatment that is available for those of us allergic to foods as well as all the plant pollen, dust and animals in our lives. Of course it isn’t covered by insurance but that is a different blog post entirely.

What does it have to do with art you ask? Well, actually more than one would think. It is about pushing the edge always and seeking excellence from yourself and the world around you.  

I do very well managing my food allergies when I am at home. I rarely go out to eat and I am obsessive about making sure I have safe food with me all the time. However, I travel quite a bit and that is where everything gets bad. No matter how careful restaurants are with my food I end up getting sick. The main culprit is oils. Most restaurants, unless we are talking 4 Star and up, don’t realize that the oil that is labeled ‘olive’ oil is cut with other oils. In fact it usually says 100% olive oil on the label. If you want to read more about it google ‘olive oil scam’ or go here. Then there are those restaurants that proudly proclaim we use vegetable oil. I generally want to slam my head on the table at that point.

Anyway, in addition to numerous foods, I am allergic to all oils except pure olive, grapeseed, peanut and avocado. So, every time I travel I come home sick. I actually lose 4-8 days after every trip just getting back to ‘normal’. I could quit traveling all together but my travel is usually to teach. Teaching is what I was born to do. So, I am always pushing the edge, questioning the status quo, by researching, reading forums and seeking alternative medical treatments. That is what led me to a unique allergy treatment that works for food allergies, LDA.

It is scary to go off all of my current antihistamine meds that have been keeping me finely balanced on the edge of ‘ok’ but nowhere near excellent health. It is stressful to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for an alternative treatment that isn’t covered by insurance. One that other doctors dismiss out of hand. But, I am an artist and that means fear and excellence part of my daily routine. 

cliff wall oregon

To be an artist is to face scary every day that we go to the studio to push the edge. If we aren’t pushing the edge we are just making the same old thing. We get stale, boring and are bored. We aren’t reaching for our own personal level of excellence.

These are the questions I ask myself with every piece of artwork:

  • How can I make this better?
  • How can I make this more me?
  • How can I drive this forward to excellent?

Actually, I ask those questions of everything I do…

Except for housework…usually I ask myself “how little can I do”?

What questions keep you driving forward?

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We All Love Thermofax Screens

You know those class videos you watch where the teacher has a droning voice and you can barely pay attention? And the other ones you bought that are simply a waste of valuable time because there isn’t any real meat?

Thermofax 101: Screen Printing Made Easy with Lyric Kinard is NOT one of those!

lyric thermofax cover

Lyric is cheerful and fun in her video and she makes you feel like you are there with her rather than watching a video. She is also willing to let you see her mistakes and shares how she could ‘fix’ them.

Thermofax 101 contains all the important information that you need to be successful in Thermofax screen printing and has some great extras such as other materials to use instead of paint, how to design your own screens and more.

Of course, you know…I love her section on creating an idea sampler book to use as a record of experiments and ideas for the future. Lyric also shares some great ideas for creating masks and using transparent extender for ghost printing.

If the design aspect of printing your own fabric makes you cringe don’t worry! Lyric has a great section on Color and Design that covers the most important basics without going into so much detail that you get lost.

Two thumbs up for sure!

thermofax examples web 9 of 14

I use Thermofax screens on fabric and paper! This image is from one of my journals. You can find the screens I sell on the Shop page! Or send me your designs to create your own original screens. 

Want to win a copy? Leave a comment below telling me what shape you would most love to print. I will chose a winner right before I head to Quilt Market next week on Tues May 12, 2015.

Don’t want to take a chance on winning? You can get your copy here: http://lyrickinard.com/2015/02/thermofax-101-instructional-dvd/

ATCs Feb thermofax

Check out the rest of the blog hop for more chances to win!

April 24 Cheryl Rezendez  http://www.cherylrezendes.com

April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison  http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com   

April 28  Sue Bleiweiss  http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

April 30  Judy Gula  http://www.artisticartifacts.com/blog/

 May 1  Sue & Elizabeth Gibson  http://pgfiber2art.blogspot.com/

May 2  Judy Coates Perez  http://www.judycoatesperez.com

May 4  Linda Stokes  www.lindastokes-textileartist.com

May 6  Jane Davila  http://janedavila.blogspot.com

May 6 Melanie Testa http://melanietesta.com/blog/

May 8  Carol Sloan  http://carolbsloan.blogspot.com

May 9  Kathy York  http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com

May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp  http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com

May 12  Desiree Habicht  http://myclothesline.blogspot.com

May 13  Jamie Fingal  http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

May 14  Deborah Boschert  http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com

May 15  Sarah Ann Smith  sarahannsmith.com/weblog

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