Update of my Mind! So much of our technology updates automatically. My cell phone prompts me and I can even schedule the update while charging overnight. It is so easy. Why can’t I have an automatic update for myself!? Today I went into town (20+ mile drive one way) to run some errands. I intended to make a deposit at the bank and and then head to the hardware store for shelving to go in the kitchenette/laundry area of the studio. About halfway into town I realized my deposit was still on my desk. Once home,  I logged into my bank’s mobile app and looked to see if they did virtual deposits. Seems to be a new thing. Not only does my bank do them, it was super easy! In only a few minutes it was all complete. I didn’t even have to leave home. At least not with my stuff! About then I became aware of a lump in my back left pocket: AAW! my checkbook with the deposit. I had it with me after all. Oh well — perhaps that was my update!   Join me at Houston International Quilt Festival: Meet The Teacher, Dimensions in Quilting Saturday November 5 from 5:30 – 6:00pm Come see how easily you can add more dimension to your quilted projects. From a variety of trapunto types to stitching strategies and samples with a variety of batting and stabilizers. Comments... read more

Learning From the Masters: Fredric Law Olmsted

  I love reading books about designers, architects and artists: the life and experiences of creatives who have gone before. There is much to learn from them. I am currently learning from Fredrick Law Olmsted. He is one of the forces responsible for the profession known as ‘Landscape Architect’ and the building of such verdant green spaces as Central Park and Biltmore. A quote that is particularly thought provoking; “A park is a work of art, designed to produce certain effects upon the mind of men. There should be nothing in it, absolutely nothing — not a foot of surface nor a spear of grass — which does not represent study, design, a sagacious* consideration  and application of known laws of cause and effect that reference to that end.” Nothing that does not fit. How many times do I include something in a piece of work, or a room because of some consideration other than supporting the end goal? Embellishing something a quilt because I am in the mood for sparkly that day, or keeping a piece of furniture because I have it,  not because it still retains a function or elicits love and wonder. Don’t misunderstand that I am a minimalist and want everything distilled to it’s essential elements. Not in the least! Yet a strict questioning of something’s place in the larger scheme could possibly lead to stronger work. At least if I can implement the idea into working practice! *Sagacious— having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment: shrewd Join me at Houston International Quilt Festival’s Open Studio to see how I free-motion quilt and... read more

Oh What A Beautiful Thomas! 

Oh What A Beautiful Thomas Oh What A Beautiful Boy I got a beautiful feeling Every thing’s going your way. One morning after Thomas was first born I was feeding him a bottle and began singing an altered version of the Oklahoma! musical hit, “Oh What A Beautiful Morning.” I altered the words, replacing his name for ‘morning’ and boy for ‘day.’ I have continued this ritual sometimes adding verses talking about the “bright golden bowl of apple sauce…” or what ever happens to be on my mind. I didn’t think anything of it until this summer. I had gone to Iowa to go through some things in my parent’s house. In the basement I found a box of things from my childhood. One forgotten item was a little music box that hung on my bedroom door. http://studionysha.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Beautiful-Morning.mp4 Two guesses what it plays! (If your player won’t play the video above click here to watch on YouTube!) Interesting that this song reappeared after decades in a seemingly unconscious way. I have also noticed going through that old stuff; Illustrated children’s books I loved growing up which have hatching, or rows of small lines that create form and shading. Interesting that I work with either stitches line or inked ones in much the same way. A painting that hung in the living room most of my childhood (but in the basement since my high school days) is mostly dark with only a few lines of lightness. I am drawn to create very dark toned work with small amounts of high contrast! What about the crocheted throw with bright coloured blocks that always lived on the sofa when I was young. I... read more

Simple Organization & Easy Use Strategies

Organization is something that gets mentioned frequently when people visit my studio. Perhaps it is the abundance of matching 11 gallon bins, or 18 quart bins, or shoebox sized bins each with it’s own label? Searching for supplies when I really want to be creating is frustrating and kills the inspiration! My goal is to segregate each type of supply to it’s own bin and group bins by task or category. Designated areas house supplies and have space for a specific task. Calligraphy supplies for instance are on a table with additional space to practice calligraphy. Ironing happens at a specially topped station where all the related equipment and supplies are located as well as anything that is frequently used with an iron; starch, school glue, freezer paper, fusible interfacing, etc. Things are stored close to where they are used for easy access. Shoe box sized bins hold small amounts of things like cording, paint sticks, unfinished class projects, silk embroidery floss in one, wool embroidery floss in another. 18 quart boxes hold things that with a greater quantity like spray inks, paints, lino cut stamps, etc.. Large bins, 11 gallons each, hold any thing there is enough of to fill a bin of it’s own bin; class kits, upholstery fabric, sheer fabrics, tulle, batting scraps, quilted samples, hand dyed fabrics, unquilted patchwork tops, etc. All of these three sizes of bins were bought in quantities to fill the existing shelves. There is some specialized storage like 16 acrylic shoe drawers (from the Container Store) that hold my collection of Isacord Polyester Embroidery Thread. The cones are grouped by... read more

Update of my Mind! So much of our technology updates automatically. My cell phone prompts me and I can even schedule the update while charging overnight. It is so easy. Why can’t I have an automatic update for myself!? Today I went into town (20+ mile drive one way) to run some errands. I intended to make a deposit at the bank and and then head to the hardware store for shelving to go in the kitchenette/laundry area of the studio. About halfway into town I realized my deposit was still on my desk. Once home,  I logged into my bank’s mobile app and looked to see if they did virtual deposits. Seems to be a new thing. Not only does my bank do them, it was super easy! In only a few minutes it was all complete. I didn’t even have to leave home. At least not with my stuff! About then I became aware of a lump in my back left pocket: AAW! my checkbook with the deposit. I had it with me after all. Oh well — perhaps that was my update!   Join me at Houston International Quilt Festival: Meet The Teacher, Dimensions in Quilting Saturday November 5 from 5:30 – 6:00pm Come see how easily you can add more dimension to your quilted projects. From a variety of trapunto types to stitching strategies and samples with a variety of batting and stabilizers. Comments... read more

Learning From the Masters: Fredric Law Olmsted

  I love reading books about designers, architects and artists: the life and experiences of creatives who have gone before. There is much to learn from them. I am currently learning from Fredrick Law Olmsted. He is one of the forces responsible for the profession known as ‘Landscape Architect’ and the building of such verdant green spaces as Central Park and Biltmore. A quote that is particularly thought provoking; “A park is a work of art, designed to produce certain effects upon the mind of men. There should be nothing in it, absolutely nothing — not a foot of surface nor a spear of grass — which does not represent study, design, a sagacious* consideration  and application of known laws of cause and effect that reference to that end.” Nothing that does not fit. How many times do I include something in a piece of work, or a room because of some consideration other than supporting the end goal? Embellishing something a quilt because I am in the mood for sparkly that day, or keeping a piece of furniture because I have it,  not because it still retains a function or elicits love and wonder. Don’t misunderstand that I am a minimalist and want everything distilled to it’s essential elements. Not in the least! Yet a strict questioning of something’s place in the larger scheme could possibly lead to stronger work. At least if I can implement the idea into working practice! *Sagacious— having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment: shrewd Join me at Houston International Quilt Festival’s Open Studio to see how I free-motion quilt and... read more

Oh What A Beautiful Thomas! 

Oh What A Beautiful Thomas Oh What A Beautiful Boy I got a beautiful feeling Every thing’s going your way. One morning after Thomas was first born I was feeding him a bottle and began singing an altered version of the Oklahoma! musical hit, “Oh What A Beautiful Morning.” I altered the words, replacing his name for ‘morning’ and boy for ‘day.’ I have continued this ritual sometimes adding verses talking about the “bright golden bowl of apple sauce…” or what ever happens to be on my mind. I didn’t think anything of it until this summer. I had gone to Iowa to go through some things in my parent’s house. In the basement I found a box of things from my childhood. One forgotten item was a little music box that hung on my bedroom door. http://studionysha.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Beautiful-Morning.mp4 Two guesses what it plays! (If your player won’t play the video above click here to watch on YouTube!) Interesting that this song reappeared after decades in a seemingly unconscious way. I have also noticed going through that old stuff; Illustrated children’s books I loved growing up which have hatching, or rows of small lines that create form and shading. Interesting that I work with either stitches line or inked ones in much the same way. A painting that hung in the living room most of my childhood (but in the basement since my high school days) is mostly dark with only a few lines of lightness. I am drawn to create very dark toned work with small amounts of high contrast! What about the crocheted throw with bright coloured blocks that always lived on the sofa when I was young. I... read more

Simple Organization & Easy Use Strategies

Organization is something that gets mentioned frequently when people visit my studio. Perhaps it is the abundance of matching 11 gallon bins, or 18 quart bins, or shoebox sized bins each with it’s own label? Searching for supplies when I really want to be creating is frustrating and kills the inspiration! My goal is to segregate each type of supply to it’s own bin and group bins by task or category. Designated areas house supplies and have space for a specific task. Calligraphy supplies for instance are on a table with additional space to practice calligraphy. Ironing happens at a specially topped station where all the related equipment and supplies are located as well as anything that is frequently used with an iron; starch, school glue, freezer paper, fusible interfacing, etc. Things are stored close to where they are used for easy access. Shoe box sized bins hold small amounts of things like cording, paint sticks, unfinished class projects, silk embroidery floss in one, wool embroidery floss in another. 18 quart boxes hold things that with a greater quantity like spray inks, paints, lino cut stamps, etc.. Large bins, 11 gallons each, hold any thing there is enough of to fill a bin of it’s own bin; class kits, upholstery fabric, sheer fabrics, tulle, batting scraps, quilted samples, hand dyed fabrics, unquilted patchwork tops, etc. All of these three sizes of bins were bought in quantities to fill the existing shelves. There is some specialized storage like 16 acrylic shoe drawers (from the Container Store) that hold my collection of Isacord Polyester Embroidery Thread. The cones are grouped by... read more

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