Give Me a Theme and I’m Off and Running

Theme parties, I love them. If I am planning a party that’s nice. But if I can come up with a theme for the party. Now that’s a whole different thing, another level of a fun. I immediately get excited. I throw myself into it with gusto. I get caught up incorporating the theme into as many details as I can, the more details the better. That’s the fun, it’s like a giant scavenger hunt, what will you find?

A little obsessive I think. You may wonder what do themed parties have to do with art quilting, after all, this is a blog about fiber art, isn’t it? I think the common thread is imagination and creativity, they are really little ideas we have that excite us.

I threw a baby shower for my middle son’s first baby. It was such an exciting occasion that I got into theme party overdrive mode. He loves the Japanese culture. My daughter in Law has an older brother who lived in Japan for many years, married, had children who were just hitting their teens when they moved back to the states. I thought what a great idea for the shower, a Japanese theme. This was to have 50 or 60 people attending. I was off and running looking for anything I could use that fit the theme. but found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guestsparties and ar, creativity,, color, me,I’ll get to that.  I get overly excited and go extremely over the top behavior, yes? It is much more fun. I threw a baby shower for my middle son’s first baby. It was such an exciting occasion that I got into theme party overdrive mode. He loves the Japanese culture. My daughter in Law has an older brother who lived in Japan for many years, married, had children who were just hitting their teens when they moved back to the states. I thought what a great idea for the shower, a Japanese theme. This was to have 50 or 60 people attending. I was off and running looking for anything I could use that fit the theme. but found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guestsparties and ar, creativity,, color, me,I’ll get to that.  I get overly excited and go extremely over the top behavior, yes? It is much more fun. I threw a baby shower for my middle son’s first baby. It was such an exciting occasion that I got into theme party overdrive mode. He loves the Japanese culture. My daughter in Law has an older brother who lived in Japan for many years, married, had children who were just hitting their teens when they moved back to the states. I thought what a great idea for the shower, a Japanese theme. This was to have 50 or 60 people attending. I was off and running looking for anything I could use that fit the theme. but found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the gueststheme party overdrive mode. He loves the Japanese culture. My daughter in Law has an older brother who lived in Japan for many years, married, had children who were just hitting their teens when they moved back to the states. I thought what a great idea for the shower, a Japanese theme. This was to have 50 or 60 people attending. I was off and running looking for anything I could use that fit the theme. but found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guestsbut found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guests With parties and everything else, I suppose, once I get an idea my excitement levels shoot through the roof. On the other hand, if I’m not moved, excited or intrigued it simply has no appeal for me. I have to have my heart into it, and when I do I will pursue it down to the last tiny detail..if I’m engaged I go all out. I get overly excited and go extremely over the top behavio.. Every detail is important and I’m the happiest if I can follow my theme right down to thw smallest detailr, yes? It is much more fun. I threw a baby shower for my middle son’s first baby. It was such an exciting occasion that I got into theme party overdrive mode. He loves the Japanese culture. My daughter in Law has an older brother who lived in Japan for many years, married, had children who were just hitting their teens when they moved back to the states. I thought what a great idea for the shower, a Japanese theme. This was to have 50 or 60 people attending. I was off and running looking for anything I could use that fit the theme. but found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guestsget an idea my excitement levels shoot through the roof. On the other hand, if I’m not moved, excited or intrigued it simply has no appeal for me. I have to have my heart into it, and when I do I will pursue it down to the last tiny detail..if I’m engaged I go all out. I get overly excited and go extremely over the top behavio.. Every detail is important and I’m the happiest if I can follow my theme right down to thw smallest detailr, yes? It is much more fun. I threw a baby shower for my middle son’s first baby. It was such an exciting occasion that I got into theme party overdrive mode. He loves the Japanese culture. My daughter in Law has an older brother who lived in Japan for many years, married, had children who were just hitting their teens when they moved back to the states. I thought what a great idea for the shower, a Japanese theme. This was to have 50 or 60 people attending. I was off and running looking for anything I could use that fit the theme. but found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guestsget an idea my excitement levels shoot through the roof. On the other hand, if I’m not moved, excited or intrigued it simply has no appeal for me. I have to have my heart into it, and when I do I will pursue it down to the last tiny detail..if I’m engaged I go all out. I get overly excited and go extremely over the top do I will pursue it down to the last tiny detail..if I’m engaged I go all out. I get overly excited and go extremely over the top behavio.. Every detail is important and I’m the happiest if I can follow my theme right down to thw smallest detailr, yes? It is much more fun. I threw a baby shower for my middle son’s first baby. It was such an exciting occasion that I got into thw smallest detailr, yes? It is much more fun. I threw a baby shower for my middle son’s first baby. It was such an exciting occasion that I got into thw smallest detailr, yes? It is much more fun. I threw a baby shower for my middle son’s first baby. It was such an exciting occasion that I got into theme party overdrive mode. He loves the Japanese culture. My daughter in Law has an older brother who lived in Japan for many years, married, had children who were just hitting their teens when they moved back to the states. I thought what a great idea for the shower, a Japanese theme. This was to have 50 or 60 people attending. I was off and running looking for anything I could use that fit the theme. but found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guestsbut found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guestsbut found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guests t is much more fun. I threw a baby shower for my middle son’s first baby. It was such an exciting occasion that I got into theme party overdrive mode. He loves the Japanese culture. My daughter in Law has an older brother who lived in Japan for many years, married, had children who were just hitting their teens when they moved back to the states. I thought what a great idea for the shower, a Japanese theme. This was to have 50 or 60 people attending. I was off and running looking for anything I could use that fit the theme. but found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guests in in Kimonos. I I ordered 2 lightweight summer kimonos, though that is not the proper name for these, I also had a gorgeous vintage garment that looked Chinese,  a brocade like fabric that looked like spun gold.  For the 2 younger girls, I made Obi’s and learned how to wrap them around their waists and tie the large bow s that tied in the back. You can learn anything from U-Tube.  I found the white socks with the toes, the name escapes me. They were to greet the guests with “Konnichiwa” a welcome greeting. For over a month I searched eBay for Kokeshi dolls, trays, fans, vases and assorted items to be placed in as center groupings on the many tables. Since I couldn’t think of a cuddly animal associated with Japan specificity. like a teddy bear, I went for Pandas, although Chinese. I made a panda cake, Wilton has a large sitting teddy bear cake pan that can be decorated to look like a panda bear.  And naturally more pandas were needed. So I searched the internet for every stuffed panda bear  in the country. I found about 20 that I approved, although “used” they weren’t. They looked adorable sitting here and there around the room. Do you get the sense of how obsessed I become with themes? But it was the funnest party ever and I think my 2 soon to be parents were surprised,and that made it worth any effort.but found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guests in in Kimonos. I I ordered 2 lightweight summer kimonos, though that is not the proper name for these, I also had a gorgeous vintage garment that looked Chinese,  a brocade like fabric that looked like spun gold.  For the 2 younger girls, I made Obi’s and learned how to wrap them around their waists and tie the large bow s that tied in the back. You can learn anything from U-Tube.  I found the white socks with the toes, the name escapes me. They were to greet the guests with “Konnichiwa” a welcome greeting. For over a month I searched eBay for Kokeshi dolls, trays, fans, vases and assorted items to be placed in as center groupings on the many tables. Since I couldn’t think of a cuddly animal associated with Japan specificity. like a teddy bear, I went for Pandas, although Chinese. I made a panda cake, Wilton has a large sitting teddy bear cake pan that can be decorated to look like a panda bear.  And naturally more pandas were needed. So I searched the internet for every stuffed panda bear  in the country. I found about 20 that I approved, although “used” they weren’t. They looked adorable sitting here and there around the room. Do you get the sense of how obsessed I become with themes? But it was the funnest party ever and I think my 2 soon to be parents were surprised,and that made it worth any effort.but found  it was hard to find decorations,  baby themed Japanese items that were specific only to Japan. So in the end it became an Asian theme, with emphasis on Japan. I had 3 lovely cooperative granddaughters who agreed to be the hostesses welcoming the guests in in Kimonos. I I ordered 2 lightweight summer kimonos, though that is not the proper name for these, I also had a gorgeous vintage garment that looked Chinese,  a brocade like fabric that looked like spun gold.  For the 2 younger girls, I made Obi’s and learned how to wrap them around their waists and tie the large bow s that tied in the back. You can learn anything from U-Tube.  I found the white socks with the toes, the name escapes me. They were to greet the guests with “Konnichiwa” a welcome greeting. For over a month I searched eBay for Kokeshi dolls, trays, fans, vases and assorted items to be placed in as center groupings on the many tables. Since I couldn’t think of a cuddly animal associated with Japan specificity. like a teddy bear, I went for Pandas, although Chinese. I made a panda cake, Wilton has a large sitting teddy bear cake pan that can be decorated to look like a panda bear.  And naturally more pandas were needed. So I searched the internet for every stuffed panda bear  in the country. I found about 20 that I approved, although “used” they weren’t. They looked adorable sitting here and there around the room. Do you get the sense of how obsessed I become with themes? But it was the funnest party ever and I think my 2 soon to be parents were surprised,and that made it worth any effort.bow s that tied in the back. You can learn anything from U-Tube.  I found the white socks with the toes, the name escapes me. They were to greet the guests with “Konnichiwa” a welcome greeting. For over a month I searched eBay for Kokeshi dolls, trays, fans, vases and assorted items to be placed in as center groupings on the many tables. Since I couldn’t think of a cuddly animal associated with Japan specificity. like a teddy bear, I went for Pandas, although Chinese. I made a panda cake, Wilton has a large sitting teddy bear cake pan that can be decorated to look like a panda bear.  And naturally more pandas were needed. So I searched the internet for every stuffed panda bear  in the country. I found about 20 that I approved, although “used” they weren’t. They looked adorable sitting here and there around the room. Do you get the sense of how obsessed I become with themes? But it was the funnest party ever and I think my 2 soon to be parents were surprised,and that made it worth any effort.like a teddy bear, I went for Pandas, although Chinese. I made a panda cake, Wilton has a large sitting teddy bear cake pan that can be decorated to look like a panda bear.  And naturally more pandas were needed. So I searched the internet for every stuffed panda bear  in the country. I found about 20 that I approved, although “used” they weren’t. They looked adorable sitting here and there around the room. Do you get the sense of how obsessed I become with themes? But it was the funnest party ever and I think my 2 soon to be parents were surprised,and that made it worth any effort.funnest party ever and I think my 2 soon to be parents were surprised,and that made it worth any effort.

Mary Englebreit
Here ‘s my Mary Engelbreit teapot cake. I made the spout with fondants my Mary Engelbreit teapot cake. I made the spout with fondant

Total amount Girl's tea, Mary E

Mary tea
Mary Engelbreit table setting, I made the tablecloth and napkins. The napkin holders are Mary E. napkin holders with a teapot cake. Never know when enough is enough.Mary Englibret napkin holder with a teapot cake. Never know when enough is enough.

     

“Every woman needs a space of her own” -V. Wolfe. or I want a bigger studio.

As I mentioned I’m going to do a couple of posts, that will feature suggestions to maximize space and make efficient use of what is  available to us. 

The post that triggered the idea for the series, “My Dining Room Studio, No

Room? Re-purpose!”

 

The idea was triggered by an earlier post in which I bemoaned my small studio. It occurred to me that this might be of interest to other people too. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy a solution to a child’s bedroom clutter? How about a spot for doing homework? Or a usable corner of your kitchen for a computer/home office area?

 Maybe what you’d really is a space that’s all your own, to craft, sew, think, read or write. Didn’t Virginia Wolfe say “every woman needs a space of her own” ? Or was that room?

I’ll share mine, you share yours.

As a jumping off point, I’ll share some of the things we tried, in an attempt to carve out more space in my initial

studio. I’ll do a little research for any clever ones I can find from other sources.. At the very least, this might

trigger some of your own good ideas,  which I hope you’ll share. If I get them, I’ll include them, giving you the

credit naturally. If I get enough of a response, I’ll devote an entire post to reader’s suggestions, which I think

would be really fun.  Put on your thinking caps and help us all! Initially,

I’ll be focusing on sewing rooms , craft rooms, those sorts of rooms. But you could find applications for some of

the ideas in other areas as well. For example, I thought how similar the needs would be in a child’s room,

wouldn’t it? Getting control over clutter, the toys  and books scattered about their room. They need a place to

go and it can help the child to know where that is.

A few quick ideas to start.

Here’s a few quick ideas. It’s rather obvious if you can’t find space in a room, go up. Use those walls to

add extra storage and simplify your life.

You may find that certain tasks are less distasteful, if they take less time with everything is ready to go

when you are. You don’t have to waste time and energy assembling supplies, searching and gathering all the

tools you’ll need.

With all the effort needed to just set things up before you can even begin to work. It’s less than motivating to

get started. I know a few friends who have no space at all, it is a big production to pull everything out, set it up

on the dining room table then put it all away again when they’re done for the day.

There are lots of hanging storage bags made by several big craft companies. They have lots of pockets to hold

supplies. You could use all kinds of things, shoe bag hangers, jewelry storage bags [TJ Maxx great source].

Anyway to keep things together and in reach. Here’s a link with some great

New Sewing Area!
New Sewing Area! (Photo credit: QueenieVonSugarpants)

ideashttp://decoratingfiles.com/2012/07/8-clever-craft-storage-ideas/

I have seen the perfect solution. There are craft or sewing armories. You open the two doors and there you are

facing a little desk height shelf with your sewing machine on it. Above and beneath are shelving. The insides of

both doors have been outfitted with clever little racks, shelves and places to store your supplies. Ingenious.

You could use the idea to make your own, with an old used armorie, you see them at old used furniture shops all

the time. If you have someone with a bit of carpentry skills, yourself or someone who’s willing to help you, it

could be done. I didn’t want to copy photos I found on the web, a no no, but you could easily find them to get an

inspiration and ideas.  Try Pinterest under storage or organization, I’ve seen them there too.

One of the 3 shelves holding fabric. This one is being organised, a loty of fabric waiting to go home..An obvious solution, shelves. I have 2 half walls, a floor to ceiling cubby cube next to this and one full floor to

ceiling wall of shelving. I’m attempting to reorganize the fabric, starting with this one. So a lot is strewn about

on nearby cutting table and spilling all over. I’m going for color gradients. These are solids, marbled & batiks. I’ll

get there. Photos are motivating and embarrassing, that’s kicking me right into action.

See Ya! Barb

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Progress of an art quilt

I got a request for a custom quilt from a lovely lady involving jellyfish. She wanted an art quilt with 2 jellyfish featured on it as a wedding gift for a friend who really loves jellyfish.

After coming up with design ideas I settled on a direction to go. Ran it by my customer and she liked it so I was up and running.

The idea I had  initially was  a graduated color going from light to dark blues as a backdrop. I couldn’t find the right fabric, So did some creative piecing to give a similar effect,

Drew some drawing of jelly fish and played around with the scale and placement. Traced the drawing on the steam a seam fusible web paper. Then cut up the pieces of my “pattern” and fused to my fabric choices

first sketch 2 lovers at the aquarium silhouetted reject!

After fusing everything down and stabilizing, I started thread painting and stitching it down. I like to zigzag the raw edges.

piecing done, elements fused down

More later on the progress.

Over the weekend went to Quilts by the Sea quilt show in  Newport Oregon, shared a booth with Teresa of Quilts by Nature. Lovely people who put this annual show on. Lovely show, small but not too small. Enjoyed the interesting visitors to the show. Got the flu on the last day, made tearing down and packing an awful chore sick.

Got my latest new grandson yesterday morning he’s adorable. I had a blast holding him, he made the cutest little sounds, we said he was purring,. Grandchildren are the bestest!!I’m blessed with several wonderful ones.

See Ya,

Barb,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,