Wow. Moving.

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It’s been two months, five days, three hours, and 12 minutes since I’ve sewn anything. Okay, I have no idea exactly how long it’s been, but it’s definitely been over two months, and I’m going insane.

The last logbook page I posted on Instagram. I managed to squeeze a trip home to Michigan in between school ending and moving. More pages past this date exist, they just weren’t documented. I tried my hardest to keep this up during the move, but one missed day turned into a week, and then all of a sudden I was over two months behind. Planning to dive back in soon.

Aside from putting all of my creative practices on hold, the move to Portland has been really good for my soul; I love our new house and neighborhood, I love not working at a K-8 school (working in an office is AMAZING), I love my 11 minute commute to work (18 minutes by bike), and I know I’m going to get a lot of shit for saying this, but I love that it’s not constantly sunny here.

Anyway, I know this space is primarily meant to be about sewing and making, but it’s my blog and there ain’t gunna be any of those things without some house updates first. So why not share what’s happening?

Current sewing space situation. So DARK.

The entire second floor of our house is mine, and I’m so excited to transform it into a bright, beautiful, and functional workspace. As you can see, it’s currently dark and gross, but the bones, the bones are GOOD.

Not drawn to scale.

It’s a pretty big space. I’m planning to have a sewing zone and a computer / other art zone with storage in between. I think once it’s all done, it’s going to be pretty amazing. Now to just find some patience while all the work happens.

The plans:

  • update the electrical (currently everything is two-prong / un-grounded)
  • add lighting and two ceiling fans
  • install duct work and remove ugly wall heaters
  • drywall over the OSB and paint white
  • install hardwood flooring
  • remove carpet on stairs, refinish
  • paint built-in bookcase white and add countertop
  • remove weird 70s glass partition and install another bookshelf or pony wall
  • update closet (paint white and install closet system)
  • create a ton of storage in knee wall

So far we’ve done the duct work and the closet, and the electrical work is starting this week!

This is the closet before. It was painted a dingy yellow and had stupid clothing rails. The long one was supported in the middle with a piece of cord tied to a screw in the ceiling. Removing them was an irritating challenge. The support system (first pic, right side) had about an inch of wood filler covering all the screw heads meaning I had to dig all 6 of them out to remove the dumb thing. I also discovered that the rails were punched into the drywall for additional support. Drywall patches are amazing!

Ah, what a difference paint makes. Once I had the white box, I spent a small fortune on a closet system for my clothing and a garment rack to store all of my paper patterns.

I’m really pleased with the pattern rack. It was something I told myself I could have once we moved. Prior to this, all of the patterns hung on hooks and it was really hard to find what I needed. Now they’re organized by garment type and it makes me want to get back in to sewing IMMEDIATELY.

Brussels + Bruges + Paris

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Spent a lovely week in three cities.  So much art. So many pan au chocolat.

There will be another post about my logbook and another about my handmade travel capsule soon!

 

Unsolicited Advice on Social Media (+ some inspiration)

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Along with everyone else, I’ve been battling a spring cold and have subsequently been pretty unproductive making-wise. Feeling like crap has, however, given me all the time to look at images on social media.

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how damaging Instagram and other social platforms are to people’s sense of self-worth and productivity. Now I must agree that I may spend more time than is healthy scrolling, but other than that, I don’t agree with this sentiment. I draw so much inspiration from Instagram and the community on this platform has really helped solidify my love of making.

While being a sick blob, I marinated on the reasons I don’t find social media toxic and came up with a few tips, sprinkled with some inspiring Instagram accounts (all photos are linked):

Follow real people. Yes, celebrities are real people, but I follow artists and makers whose lives are more similar to my own. I’ve “met” so many lovely makers through Instagram – folks I can reach out to for making advice, and are encouraging and kind. Good people with good intentions make a social media platform meaningful and uplifting.

Quilt Inspiration by Jennifer Neil of @ersa.fibers

Follow accounts that share inspiring content. There’s a lot of stuff to look at on the internet. Food shots, make-up selfies, and memes don’t get my creative juices flowing, so I avoid looking at accounts based solely on those things. I also look for well-lit photos, process shots, and honesty. Making can, at times, be incredibly frustrating and it’s nice to follow people who keep it real (even if the photos’ compositions are pleasing).

Weaving Inspiration by Sarah Sullivan of @sullystring

When inspiration hits, document it in a sketchbook. It’s important to capture ideas, otherwise they fade. Anytime I see an image that sparks an idea, I document it in my sketchbook (or pin it on Pinterest). The practice of putting ideas on paper is very calming and lets me brain dump when I’m overwhelmed with ideas and inspiration. I love this Shinola Sketchbook, if you’re interested in starting a sketchbook practice.

Sketchbook Inspiration by Hillary Butterworth of @butterhi

Share your work. Think of social media as a motivator and as a means to document your creative work. I’m a stickler for only taking photos in natural light and my job/commute makes M-F making pretty challenging. It’s a goal to find the balance where I’m making something and sharing it every day.

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Happy sharing and scrolling!