Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cake, Socks, Office Space and other Important Stuff

Not much quilting or fiber art going on -- I'm still working on quilting the landscape piece. So I thought I'd give a little tour of my office space at the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn.

This first picture is the view as you step into the office, which is located just off of the main entry to the inn. You can see the PC desk where Mark is busy working on internet advertising and google stats. The view out these windows is of the lawn and garden area at the front of the inn. I want to change the drapes to something more sheer and also get some tie-backs so that you can see the beautiful green lawn while working at the computer. This computer station is mostly used by Kimberly, our office assistant.

This next picture shows the left side of the office. The desk is Kimberly's desk. All those thin shelves are used to hold the supply lists for all of this years workshops.

This final picture show the right side of the office, which is where my desk is located.

Now on to more important matters. I think I mentioned the sour cream chocolate cake I was thinking of making during the last snow storm. Well, here is a picture. I decided on the sour cream cake because Mark had a lot of left over sour cream between workshops and it had to be used up somehow! However, the problem with making a cake between workshops is that there is no one else to eat it but me!

Adina gave me a couple of fun pairs of socks for Christmas. Below is a picture of one pair. And to "kill-two-birds-with-one-stone," my feet are resting on top of a scarf and hat I knitted mostly while on the train going between Vienna and Innsbruk - a wonderful 4 hour trip on the fast, smooth, and clean European trains.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Studio Lives!

It feels so good to get my studio straightened up so that I can actual work on something creative. My studio is small so it doesn't take much to get it unworkable.

I took a bunch pictures after it was cleaned so that I have a record of that brief moment when I could clearly see all the table tops and the floor.

This first picture is to the right as you go in the door. It is my storage wall -- a mismatched bunch of what ever leftover furniture I could find around the inn that could be used to store stuff in it.

This next picture is to the left as you enter the studio. It is my fabric storage wall and you can also see my no frills design wall - a piece of foam core board just leaning against the wall.

This last picture is looking straight into my studio. My view out the window is to the front of the inn, but it looks black because I took the picture at night.

Now for the fun stuff. This is a picture of the piece I created after I finished cleaning up. It is inspired by the pastel painting technique taught by Susan Ogilvie. Susan taught a workshop here at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops last year (and she will be teach two here in 2007). Her work is fantastic. Before beginning a painting, she prepares a board with a textured paint so that the brush strokes create a raised surface. This prep paint is usually in a bright color like an orange or red. Then when she paints an image with pastels over this prepared surface the texture and bits of the unlying color show through.

So in trying to "replicate" this technique in fiber, I used an underlying layer of a bright orange/red patterned fabric and then cut "brush strokes" into the image to reveal the under layer. My brush strokes are just meant to be representative.

I am still in the process of adding lines of stitching, but overall I am pleased with how this turned out and I think I'll explore the technique a little more.

Then because Mark is sick with a cold and someone "must" keep him company while he alternates between watching the Food Network channel and DVD movies, I'm working on a knitting project -- my first step beyond scarves and hats! It is (hopefully) going to be a sweater jacket. What you see in the photo is the back piece and the two front pieces. I'm currently working on the sleeves. I hope this sweater doesn't turn out to be itchy beyond what I can stand. Generally wool does not agree with my skin. Everyone keeps telling me that it is just the grade/quality of wool that is the problem. The yarn for this project does not feel particular soft. I bought it as a kit from Rams Wool because it was going to be my first real piece of clothing and I didn't want to guess about how much yarn I needed or what type. Well, if it doesn't work for me, someone is getting it as a present, so watch out. ;-)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Storage of Stuff

We got a light dusting of snow last night. I love the snow. Hopefully, we'll have some on the ground for the next workshop!

It's time to start clearing out my studio so that I have the room to start creating once again. My studio tends to become a storage space when we don't have a specific place for stuff that we need to store, such as for the dining room table decorations. I'm trying to build a collection of decorations that change with the seasons. But at the moment we don't have any designated storage space for the decorations that are not currently on the tables! This is the new Valentines decorations.

Plus my studio is already packed to the gills. So to actually have the space to work on a project I have to sort of redistribute the stacks from one surface to another.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Now I've Gone and Done It

Yes, I've finally given in to temptation and created a blog of my own. Now let's see whether I can find the time to keep it fresh and interesting.

The plan for this blog is to not only record my Crazy By Design moments, but also the happenings around our inn, The Greenville Arms 1889 Inn, and at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, of which I'm the art workshop director.

My first bit of news is that I've made my first Crazy By Design sale for the year! Elizabeth Apgar-Smith, who is the painting instructor who just taught a watercolor workshop here, bought one of my Crazy Ties for one of her sons. Below is a picture of a similar tie.

Well, that's all the news that is fit to print at this moment. Now is the time for another latte!