Archive for the tag 'studio'

slightly cleaner

March 8th, 2013

You probably can’t really tell by these pictures because I didn’t take a before shot….but they are both tidier than before..

slightlt cleaNER1

Really….the top of this dresser was just piled with fabric….and I couldn’t really access it at all…the stuff in front of the grey shelf unit still needs to find a home, but I was happy just to see it looking a little better.

slightly cleaner2

That grey shelf unit in the first photo had found itself camped out down here in FRONT of the yellow drawers……for about a year and a half I think….I know, I know……anyhoo…..moving it out of  there reminded me how FUgly this yellow dresser is…So I am going to paint it white I think.  Actually, I am only going to paint the drawer fronts white, and then update the knobs one at a time so they all end up being different.

Oh, and also, in those drawers….well, I  uh, found fabric that I hadn’t seen for QUITE awhile! So some of that is going to get given away, used, or sold in a grab bag or seventeen…..and I will keep whittling away at the pile to the right of the cabinet as well….and redoing those shelves as well…they are a little too deep and that is annoying, but they were free and I can’t afford something nicer yet…so they will have to do…..

Chopping away at that “elephant” one piece at a time……

What are you up to today??

2013 looking forward…..

January 14th, 2013

So today’s post is part of the Folk Journal Project again.  Late, but in the same week at least (they cut the link-ups off, so there is a healthy little bit of pressure there to get this done! I like that!)

This week’s quandary was What goals do you hope to achieve this year? How are your New Year’s Resolutions holding up?

I will start with the second question….Resolutions? I have never really made them….most people talk about breaking them anyway so what’s the point? I really don’t see them helping my self esteem.

On the other hand I always have MANY goals for every year.  Most of which don’t get done unfortunately.  The Tyranny of the Urgent often overtakes the Important. But in an attempt to somewhat match up with Folk’s journal prompt, feel free to read on.

The two biggest goals that I have are as follows:

First, I’d like to get that book that I was supposed to have finished last year done! 2012 presented itself last year this time with many setbacks both financial, emotional, and motivational.  They were pretty overwhelming to me.  It took the entire year and will take some more this year to overcome those setbacks and there may be more, who knows. I am trying my best to rely on God’s help to overcome them…..which also isn’t easy for me, but I will keep trying.  All that being said, I am expecting 2013 to be far better than 2012 in the long run…..AND to get that book finished for the editing phase!

The second major goal is to get the painting on our house finished. It was mostly done in the fall of 2011, but there were some still large portions on the porches to do last year, and not much of that got done.  So we need to get that wrapped up.

There is another big project to be done this year, but it is really part of a bunch of little goals for Blue Nickel Studios. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will let this picture show you what needs to be done.

small image of part of studio mess

Yup, that is one HALF of my studio….and the other half doesn’t look much better, so my major commitment to myself and my ever so patient wife is to clean and organize this monstrosity.  It may well take up the entire year, but I think I can do it, and I hope to show you some beautiful pictures by this coming fall/winter.

So some of the goals that go with this cleanup and finish a bunch-a-stuff work plan are listed next in no certain order necessarily.

  • Sell a bunch of  de-stashing of fabric and misc. items and vintage stuff I don’t need anymore on Etsy and or Instagram.
  • Get at least 4 patterns ready to sell as downloadable PDF’s and then print versions down the road. (I really want to get 10 patterns done, but that is probably more than I can do with all of the other plans going on….I’ll settle for 4 and be happy for anything above that!)
  • Get my class list for Sisters 2014 lined up and submitted to the staff (that has to be finished by the end of February at least I think)
  • Plan for more classes to teach locally for the rest of this year.
  • And a few more things that I have to keep secret for now, but I am hoping for good things from ( I know I am always “hoping” it seems.  Here’s to a year of getting more than “hoping” done on them!)

And probably the biggest goal that I should be looking at is not being so busy! I need to make sure that I try to spend more time with my parents and kids and wife… those are also huge goals for me to concentrate on….if you can call them goals….and if some of the other things listed first don’t get done this year because of time spend on family and loved ones well that is how it goes (however if things don’t get done because I was wasting time on the computer, well then, that better be a goal as well–more PRODUCTIVE time on the PC!)

Hardly my most eloquently written blog post, but I managed to spit out a few things regarding goals and maybe, just maybe, I might remember to work on them throughout the year to come.

What are your goals this year? It’s hard sometimes to know which to work on first, isn’t it?


Finds at Sisters…..

August 2nd, 2012

Okay LAST post on my trip to Sisters, Oregon.  I promise! Hope you aren’t tired of this yet.  But I really have to share these reading materials that I found.

First item is the Better Homes and Gardens Studio Spaces.  I picked it up from The Stitchin’ Post the first day I was in town.  It has so many wonderful little ideas to make a pleasant and organized studio space……not that I am going to get any time to work on that soon or anything.  But of the books I have picked up on studio spaces, I found it the most aesthetically delightful.

The second item is an EARLY Quilter’s Newsletter…..1971 early that is!! Just check it out! photo-copied onto regular paper and super, super thin!

And I don’t think I even noticed when I bought it, but the feature article was about a farmer from Nebraska named Ernest B. Haight.  Mr. Haight also had an engineering degree as well as running a 240 acre farm.  He had his own method of quilting on a machine (oh the horrors in the 60’s!!) What I found the funniest line ever is that he would send in his wife Isabelle to buy the fabric because he “didn’t want the clerk to think (he) was a little off”  That really cracks me up because to be honest….some quilt shops are STILL that way in spite of so many men quilting these days (and BTW, way more have come out of the woodwork since I started quilting big time in the mid 90’s….and people still look at us like anomalies).   Anyway, thank Ernest for paving the way for your brothers in needle and thread!!

The third book that I picked up on Show day was this one at one of the antique shops in town.  I LOVED the title:

Note, not clothing, but Body Coverings……Clothing is so “Establishment” you know….the book is full of awesome hippie and 70’s styles.  Reminds me of watching TV as a kid. Funniest thing ever?  It has Jean Wells Name in it! It had been hers and she donated it when she moved and it ended up in the antique shop!!  The binding did however start to fall apart after I looked at it for awhile, but I still just love it!! And now that it is falling apart, I can do whatever I want with it and not worry about “ruining” a book.  Total inspiration in these pages.   My inner hippie is feeling pretty groovy over this whole find

this guy does have another leg…the one is white and blending into the wall….

I just don’t have enough words for this shot……other than perhaps Male Modeling has changed just a bit since then??

  And do I say anything about the somewhat phallic references in this lovely caftan? oops I already did…sorry…..

some cool looks that totally make me think of Starsky and Hutch, right? or maybe the Mod Squad?

And trust me there is even weirder stuff in here…including a tie made out of peanuts….whole peanuts….body mask for five…..along with typical patchwork Holly Hobbie type stuff…

And last but DEFINITELY not least…and not included in the first picture above is this book by my NEW friend Gwen Marston.

I tell you she was a delight to meet! and I really felt at ease and right at home with her immediately.  She personally is very happy with this book of hers, and I am very happy to have my own signed copy of it.  Yes, I had it signed…..I kinda find things like that silly, but being signed it reminds me that I did get a chance to spend some great time with her, and hope to spend more in the future….

Okay, that’s it people…I am done talking about Sisters, Oregon.  Mostly…… I am sure some more images from that Body Coverings book will show up here again as I continue to find “interesting” stuff in it!

So what do you all think?  Anyone ready to get their inner Hippie on, or redo your studio?  Hope y’all have a great weekend sewing…..

sneak peek

November 4th, 2011

okay really just a TEENY sneak peek….I am going to try to give you the  tiniest snippet of my progress on the BOOK project…partly to entertain you…and mostly to keep myself pushing forward on it….a book is hard work….and it takes a lot of concentration, which is hard when so much is going on around me.

so here are a couple of pix to give a peek and maybe just a little inspiration to go do something creative and colorful yourself.


that’s it…gotta go sew some stuff!! and write…and sew….and well you know….all the rest….


258: Upon a November evening……and into a snowy morning…

November 21st, 2010

it is stormy and cold out tonight…..but in the studio it has been warm and cheery….here is a little of what I have been working on ….or trying to work on …..or going to work on….when I wasn’t at the DayJob….which has been all consuming since about  mid-October or so it seems….blah, blah…..someday I will be able to write something clever and witty for you all, but for now, it will be pictures with an occasional caption….maybe….and if you are lucky or very tired yourself, they may even seem clever….  :)

I will be teaching how to make these great little bags  at Ben Franklin’s in Monroe, Washington.  If you are a local peep, come on down and join the fun.  My friend Monica designed these, and once you start making these, you won’t be able to stop.


This bag has a vintage lining that I just love….   

I may well have already posted this stitched up piece by my friend John, but I might not have to here it is to share with you. I am not exactly sure what I will do with it yet, but I am intrigued by the whole piece for sure.


When you dig out your holiday fabrics for one project you often find works in progress that need finishing….like these placemats I started years ago.  Can you tell how my “style” has changed…..I still do like these and MAYBE I will get them finished up this year…….yeah, right….


Here is a table runner from leftovers from the project at the end of this post (of which the pattern is downloadable now….I just have to get the link on the site here….or if you  just can’t wait go here now for it!)   actually this isn’t a finished table runner, this is just what is on my design wall at the moment….I may be putting in some sashings and such…don’t know yet…it is purely an experimental piece…


a stack of Swoon and solids for a magazine project I am working on….this is such eye-entertainment for the dark side of Autumn..


A tinsel tree that I made out of pipe cleaners from this very cool set of instructions… 


Micheal Miller is reproducing Tammis Keefe now….I had never heard her name before this year, but I definitely recognize her work from growing up….these very bad reindeer crack me up…you can’t see it in this picture….but Santa has a whip…..Santa seems pretty bad too now come to think of it…..


And last but not least on today’s post, my favorites from Patty Young’s  new line Sanctuary

These are a very interesting weave that I have a hard time describing. To me they are not typical quilting cottons, but they are not the drapey voiles that Free Spirit has been coming out with.  They remind me very much of some thinner cottons that Kaffe Fasset  has used, that I used to think were too thin, but when I talked to Kaffe about it, he said he liked them because they pressed better than thicker cottons.  After he said  that, I  looked at them differently.  I am looking forward to working these of Patty’s into my patterns. 

So that’s it for today’s post….nothing eloquent….nothing earth-shattering….but a little bit of color on a cold November morning…..(yes I started this post two nights ago, and finally got around to finishing it.  It is now Sunday, the rain is gone, and it is actually snowing now, so it must be colder I assume)

Would love to hear what’s up in your world….crazy busy like most of us this time of year, right??

Peace out (or Piece out),


232: More winners announced….

June 26th, 2010


I finally got all the past recent winner’s packages put together to be mailed….one step closer in actually getting TO the winners….some went out last week, and the ones I just bundled up should go out this coming week….

Soooo…..I think it is time to pick three more winners from this post….  


And the three winners are (from a random drawing)…..

Evelyn from Use The Loot

Nanann from Nanann’s Woogies & Whatnots

and Believe it or not….Cherie from the Quilted Jonquil …..for whom I just packaged up a package for in the last round of giveaways, and it hasn’t left yet   ……  has won a second time!!   ….so I don’t need your address again Cherie, you lucky jonquil, you!!   Everyone rush over to Cherie’s place to pick up that winning mojo, ok?  

But Evelyn and Nanann, you need to send me your snail mail address  so I can send your Anna Mariaprize packs to you.  Send them to bluenickel5(at)earthlink(dot)net.


Hope you enjoyed the random garden shots juxtaposed with all the “info” stuff….

And here is a day or two ago showing the results of a fun day in the studio….it is cleaned up a bit not at all from then….it was sure a fun day in there!


218: Mirror, Mirror

April 5th, 2010

Thi colorful Pompom Mirror was a gift from Mimi a few years back…A little too bright for the rest of the house, but it goes just great in the studio.  It is just a basic IKEA mirror that she hotglued a bunch of Pompoms on….here it hangs with my Chinese boxing boys, the Abominable Snowman, my homemade pencil frame and a Christmas kitten drawn by the same Miss Mimi…


….and here is something a tad more exciting than this messy corner of the studio.  I have had the pleasure of being interviewed by Joe Cunningham for his upcoming book, Men and the Art of Quiltmaking.  Joe asked me last year and interviewed me by phone for my bit in the book.  And I have three of my quilts going in it, one of which you can make cause I wrote up directions for it for Joe’s book.   Joe was up in my neck of the woods about 5-6 weeks ago, and we had a great evening after his show at a local quilt guild. If you haven’t seen him do his “show” it really is a great one, and I am here to say you should …..not only is he a talented quiltmaker, he is a great muscian too!!


  I can’t remember what Joe told me he wrote, but I okay’d it, so it must be decent! :)  I am really looking forward to getting my copy, and I will probably get a few to sell in our Etsy shop too, just cause I can, and you might want to get yourself a signed copy (well, okay my signature, not Joe’s…but maybe I can get some like that too.) 

That’s all for now, I am back to those approximately 673 things I have to do this month and 1/2 of next….

TTYL,   S.

PS, if you really want to keep closer tabs on me…which may or may not prove interesting, follow me on Twitter.  I am on there probably too often, but I might actually even say something intelligent once in awhile…maybe….more likely it would be something silly…but you know, whatever….   :)

215: Peace, Baby, Peace….

March 10th, 2010

So I was supposed to have this done and outa here 2 days ago for the DSQ8, but here it is on the design wall… and I should be done piecing it tonite…probably won’t get it on the quilting rack til the weekend…    

This week at my day job I got some bummer news about bonuses…or this year lack of a bonus, and I am trying to recover from that….I have always gotten a bonus and thought I was getting a small one…very small, but it was something….and yesterday found out not even that…sigh…being a guy, I can get too attached to my work, even work I don’t like, so I am having a tough time, but you know what…this too shall pass…..

It might take awhile, but in time, I  know God will take care of everyhing…so I will wait and see what He does….

And too keep in peaceful mood, here are some pictures from Linda’s clean side of the studio….


And our ancient Quince and Forsythia that keep coming back year after year after year…..Spring brings a great amount of hope…no matter what the situation, don’t you agree??

As the kids in my kids school say,

“Peace Out”

and a wonderful day to you all!!

190: Open Studio Tour 2009

October 3rd, 2009

Well, you know I am now really frantically sewing to finish all these projects for Quilt Market next week, and so with my day job taking up most of my time, there hasn’t been much time for reflection and blogging and making all the pictures look all prettified and what not….but I could not resist particitpating in the Quilting Arts Open Studio Virtual Tour 2009 !! I found our cheapy little digital video recorder and did a ten minute whirlwind tour of the studio that Linda and I share in our home.  I didn’t clean, so it looks exactly like it does when I am working on too many things at once…which is most days….maybe if I get around to cleaning it, I will do another recording of it so you could see what it COULD look like.

So anyway without further ado, here is the Blue Nickel Fall 2009 Studio Tour…

Blue Nickel Open Studio Fall 2009 Virtual Tour Link 

And let me know if you have trouble seeing this, as loading it this morning is proving to be a pain in the butt (of course, because this is the day all of us who signed up for the tour said that we would have pix or vids of our spaces for you to enjoy)

Also let’s do a mini-giveaway while we are at it.  I will give away 2 bags of colorful quilting scraps from my various projects..some of which will not even be in the stores for awhile yet…So let me know what you thought of the tour, and whatever else you want to tell me about what inspires you or what you like about this time of year….not to hard, is it.  Not like my friend Jona who once made people respond in rhyme, which I might do soon, because I thought her responses were absolutely hilarious!

(PS, if the above video doesn’t seem to be working you can check out this pre-tour video I shot, it’s shorter and may be all you ever want to see of the studio anyway. ) 

Shorter version of  Studio Tour

189:So long Summer….

September 29th, 2009

Okay so officially summer ended last week, right?  But around here it ended yesterday and the rains and winds have come…
I hope I am forgiven for not posting most of this month…I have had a ton of projects due (like next week) for Quilt Market, and I am frantically trying to finish them up now….I should be doing those right now, but I thought if I didn’t post soon…you would all run away looking for a fresher and more frequently updated blog (one that doesn’t tease about giveaways and then never gets around to it..oh, wait I am guilty of that too!  Dang!…Really, I do Promise to have a big giveaway soon….I gotta make room for more you know!)

Anyway…I don’t have a lot of time to squeeze this post in so I am going to make it a brief one.  

First come back and join me and a host of other artists on October 3rd in the Cloth Paper Scissors Open Studio Virtual Tour….CPSOSVT for short….  

   Studios Fall Tour 2009    I am working up some videos of my studio for the tour and will post them here on the day of the virtual tour…..the video camera I am using is not that great, but adequate, and my test videos were fun to do….so come back here on the 3rd and join the tour…I can probably even work up a giveaway by then…maybe…I probably should huh? Since I am inviting all these people I should do something nice, since I am not really cleaning the studio for the tour…

Well, I gotta get back to work on these projects which will get posted in a couple days, but before I leave…let me leave you with these shots from this past May and my mother-in-law’s beautiful yard:

clelmatis clematis 2 foliage foliage 2 garden grill  greenery in pot grill and clematis lovely pot rust and petal  rusty milk can  3  pots full  succulents 

That’s all for now….Betty has an awesome green thumb, doesn’t she?  I have pix I took inside the house too, and her artistic touch is obvious there too…okay so now back to sewing!!

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