Birdie From Barb

My friend, Barbara Kiehn, who many of you know from her wonderful pieced quilts, sent me this adorable birdie, who now resides in my quilt studio.  I was taking pictures this weekend, so I decided to take a picture of this bird:

barbbird  Cute, isn’t he?  A huge “thank you” to Barb for her lovely gift!!

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

This year I made a decision to accept myself as I am- and to try new things.   Today, I took a big step forward by having a professional photography shoot.  You see, I have always hated pictures taken of myself since I was a teenager, so I ended up being the one capturing images of everyone else. I realize that I am not alone if feeling this way, many women do.

birthday08So it was time to expand my comfort zone.  I started by scheduling a photo shoot with Lauren Jaye from Vida Mia Photography in Folsom, CA.

Lauren’s portfolio is just incredible!  I found out about her from my daughter-in-law, Aimee, who hired Lauren to photograph my grandkids, Jack and Kate.

I was nervous until Lauren came over to my house to look at my work, get to know me, and also plan the session.  Within a few minutes, it felt like we had been friends forever and knew I could trust her completely.  Lauren had a vision for the shoot, so I put myself totally in her hands.  She could choose wardrobe, make up, hair, accessories, etc. and I would “go with the flow” (Note to my friends from other countries- this term is American slang for accepting things as they come.)

I cleaned my studio (well mostly), pulled together a rack of clothes options, organized my make-up, and hung some quilts between the oak trees per Lauren’s direction.  She showed up at 5:00 pm to do my make-up and hair, and then picked my first outfit, a lovely light silver tank with subtle pleats in front with a colorful turquoise jacket, black skinny jeans and black boots.  My main accessory was this jewelry piece I had completed during my college Metal Art class.copperpendant

Following Lauren’s direction, I posed, turned my head and body this way and that, but really- I mostly just laughed and had a great time!  The inside portion of the shoot went by very quickly, then it was time for a fashion change.

This time, I wore a lovely new tank that had patterns of black and white, with a purple shirt jacket, with some fun, funky jewelry to match.  I again wore my favorite skinny black jeans from Chicos and black boot with heels.chicojean

The outdoor session was my favorite!  Lauren showed me some images from her camera and I was blown away at how wonderful the pictures were coming out!  She is a master!

Once again, I laughed and had a great time!  I had some fun ideas about posing with some quilts, and Lauren took my suggestion, ran with it and made it better!

By the end of the photo shoot, my self confidence had soared!  I felt pretty, and fabulous about myself and where I am at this stage in my life.  I can’t wait to show you some of the pictures when they are ready.  I highly recommend Lauren to all my quilt and artist friends.  She is a master at what she does.

Now that I stretched myself by having this photo shoot, taking the risk of seeing myself as others see me, I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner?  Why did I let this hang-up keep me from capturing wonderful images of myself throughout my life?  So, I want to issue this challenge to you- try something that you are afraid of, or you are sensitive about.  It could be wearing sleeveless shirts if you are sensitive about your arms.  Wearing shorts if you don’t like your legs.  Scheduling a photo shoot.  You get the idea.

It would be great to hear your thoughts about this topic.  How do you feel about having your picture taken?  Have you overcome a lifelong hang up- no matter what it is?  Please leave me a comment, I want to hear from YOU!  Hugs, Carla

Reorganized Studio!

It has been awhile since I shared my studio, so here are some pictures for you.  First up is the view from the door showing my longarm machine table, thread is below organized in bins:

Next is a long view of my Ikea bookcase storage units:

Now for some close-up views:

Shoe organizer make great excess storage:

Here is how I organize some of my fabric.  Yes, I even have a tutorial for how to wrap the fabric:

More Ikea Storage Bookcases:

Next is a view of my desk:

Here is a picture of my stitched and painted collage piece (from a DJ Pettit class):

In this next view, I love my ikea plant hangers, a perfect place for items I use all the time:

Notice my beading organizer case?  Here is a close-up.  I have lots of interesting stuff waiting to be worked on:

This is from TJMaxx:

(click for large view)

I must admit that I have a lot of things to look at in my studio.  I like to collect items from other artists, too.  Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Gold Bug Quilt Finished!!

I finished this guild quilt this morning.  It is now going to the quilt designer to be trimmed and bound.  I admit I am physically tired… LOL  For those who have asked, it is a king size plus quilt.

Here are some pictures of it hanging on my dining room table:

the center section:

Another view of the first 2 borders and how they look together:

and the back of the quilt:

Now to do my final trimming of the back side of the quilt.

If any guild members read this, I do hope you will stop and leave me a comment about how you like the quilting?   The same goes for non guild members….

Btw, The guild will be selling a smaller version of this quilt in pattern form, too.

Regards, Carla

Clean Studio

I was dared to show the “before” picture of my messy studio, so here it is:

messy studio

Can you say, “piles?”   LOL  It was cluttered, dusty, and needed some thorough organization work!

Here is the after pictures:

cleanstudio overall

I love the colors in this next picture.  The 2 small paintings are by Terri Stegmiller, mixed media artist.  I love to collect small work by other artists:


clean studio 1

Check out my behind the door storage for lots of odds and ends:

behind the door storage copy

My desk:


And part of one wall showing my silly sock creature, some paintings, and a print by the oh, so talented Geninne:


There you have it!  The studio is clean now, but I still need to put up a few more organization items on the walls for magazines, stencils, etc.

Metal Class Homework!

Good day!!  I’m back from visiting Faith and we both finished some homework pieces for our class.  To be honest, I was too tired to take pictures while I was there, but I did take 2 snapshots this morning of  completed jewelry pieces:


This is a beginning chain maille bracelet using the box chain weave.  All I have left to do is add some complementary beads on one end for added decoration.  Thank you to Faith and Gene for creating the jumprings by hand!!  Now to make one in silver!!

Next up is a required class project; a simple hand forged copper bracelet.  Here, the instructor will be grading our forging technique:


I have more projects, but I will reveal them at a later time.  Now for some uh-oh news….  Remember this bracelet?


Unfortunately, it is now missing-in-action!!  This is a shame since I LOVED this cuff bracelet!  I am now working on a 2nd replacement one, so I will show you it when I’m done.  Luckily, I found some more of those cool beads in my bead stash!

Before I sign off, I wanted to do a couple of shout outs:  A huge THANK YOU to Faith and Gene for hosting me in their home!  Faith made some yummy “ini” cocktails to cap off our day, too, which is a bonus!  They even sent me home with a huge bag of sweet tangerines and kumquats!  Life is good…..

A quick shout out to Christine, from the delightful Oreneta Aground blog for giving me a “Creative Blogger Award” in a recent post:


I will be sure to pass the love around in a future post!  LOL!

Enjoy your day!!  Hugs, Carla

Carla’s Studio- update

Thought I would show you what my studio looks like today. It still isn’t finished, and I do not have my quilts on the wall yet. But I do have lots of places for storage- most of the storage pieces came from IKEA (in case you are interested):

My longarm quilting machine table takes up the most space.

A close up of my desk space:

and some storage ideas:

and how I store my yarn stash:

& thread:

As you can see, I just need to finish quilting the green sections on Jill’s booth quilt, then I’m finished.

I do hope you have enjoyed this tour. My studio is a work-in-progress, so it is always changing.

We went to visit Jack today (and his parents, too). He turns 6 months old tomorrow, can you believe how time flies?? Stop back by and I’ll be sure to post some pictures.

Happy Creating!! Carla