Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

Follow this Friday::Reuse and Organize

by heatherkp

Here are a few favorite things I found this week that fall into the categories of re-use and organizing.  You can’t beat that combo!Suitcase Side tables from Cupcakes and Cashmere

Crate’s are popping up everywhere and here are a few ideas for their use.

Crate Side table from Neet Magazine

Crate Shelves from Design sponge

Various shelves and organization by way of re-purposed crates, suitcases etc from Recreate

To see more ideas for re-using everyday stuff check out my Pinterest Re-Use It board.  If you would like to follow my boards (any or all of them) please click on the link in the Right hand sidebar or Here.

There is a lot of discussion these days about how images collected on Pinterest are attributed, in my case I always try to link back to the origional makers.  In some cases these items are for sale but may not be available.  In other cases they are simple ideas that no one would mind you reusing in your own way.  In any case I hope you will give credit to the creative makers who inspire us with their DIY inventions!

September 30, 2011

Fabulous Friday Quotes

by heatherkp

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. — Mark Twain

Have a fabulous Friday!


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September 26, 2011

Moving Monday::House Tour

by heatherkp

Whaaaa, moving is so much work!  Okay so we haven’t really begun to pack yet because our focus has been on the purging, organizing, sorting and getting the house in ship shape for showing.  Since I took the photo’s the realtor will be using I thought I would share a behind the scenes tour of our home.

Welcome, please come on in!

Half Bath

The Kitchen

Our Back deck with my jungle of plants, sadly some will not be coming with us.

The Dining Room looking towards the back deck and the kitchen.

The living room

The living room from the dining room, as you can see the first floor has a very open floor plan and great windows!

The Master Bedroom

What use to be our guestroom is now our staging area with packing supplies at the ready.

2nd Bath

The Office

This pretty well concludes the tour of our home for the past 6 years.  I’ve left out a few areas including the full basement because it’s not much to look at right now.  Below is what it use to look like when I had my carpet design office down there, now it’s another staging and storage area but will be a great space for whomever move in here next.

There is still a lot to do, including getting stuff out of here which we are continuing to sell.  Rather than a yard sale we will be participating in a Flea Market to sell the remaining items this coming weekend.  A few furniture pieces, art and craft items, tires, tools, electronics and other odds and ends will be going.  Now that the house is pretty much ready to show we will on alert to vacate for the realtors at a moments notice.  I’m sure that’s going to be fun!  I’m trying to keep a positive attitude but the limbo part of this process is particularly tough on me.  I’m a very home based person so I feel I’m being invaded but it’s what we must do to move on.  I’ll be back next week with reports on the flea market and the realtor’s listing info.  If you know anyone who you think would love to live in this house in Gaithersburg, MD please get in touch!

September 20, 2011

Texture Tuesday::Specimines on my windowsill

by heatherkp

It is late so I’m not going to say much BUT this photo was taken with my new Canon 60D!  So far I LOVE IT:)

This is my kitchen windowsill which includes a small vase of flowers, a  “Joy” message stone and a collection of antique miniature jars containing various specimens of moths, insects, flower and plant seeds, mica pieces and Yogi tea messages (because they are better than fortune cookie messages).   I’m taking the time to stop and enjoy the small pieces of our home that I love.  I love that my kitchen sink overlooks the back yard and I’m always bringing a bit of the outdoors inside to my windowsill.  Today’s image was enhanced by Kim Klassen’s texture “Granny’s Cupboard”.  Check out some other photography using her textures here.

Do you decorate your windowsills?

September 19, 2011

Moving Monday::Week 5 Count Down

by heatherkp

This past week’s focus has been on part one of preparing the house to show.  Both my husband and I have been busy doing some serious deep cleaning, purging and misc. small job’s around the house to make it all shiny and ready to go on the market.  In some ways it doesn’t feel real yet, a lot of what we are doing could be chalked up to a really major fall cleaning and it’s small detail work that’s not all that visible on the surface but it will make a difference in showing.  On Friday the realtor came by to check things out, collect a key and discuss how the showings will work and this defiantly made the whole move seem more real!  This coming week is part two of getting the house ready which means more purging and then organizing the stuff that needs to go into neat areas and getting the stuff that we can out.

Today I had a cancellation in my schedule and I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather so I decided to take advantage of it and stay home.  It was the perfect day to do a BIG PURGE of the ART and CRAFT SUPPLIES!   The husband’s been out of the house all day and I’ve had a movie marathon while sorting piles and piles of stuff.  I’m not done and might be staying up late to finish the fabric and yarn stash but I plan to get through all of the craft stuff TODAY!  I’ve got a really large pile so far and there’s sure to be more before I’m done!  I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to sell some of it at a flea market we are selling at in early October but I think with so much going on I’m just going to donate a big part of it and give some things to friends.  If you live in the DC metro area and want to know what I’ve got leave a comment or shoot me an email.

It feels FANTASTIC.  I was skeptical when I started this morning, I wasn’t sure I was in the right frame of mind to do this today but I feel so free and liberated.  If I don’t LOVE it, it’s going.   I mean, I’m finally getting rid of things I’ve moved about 4 times already (from MD to KY to GA back to MD), it’s about time don’t you think?   I have sooooo many types of craft and art supplies that go all the way back to when I worked in an art supply store in college.   Here’s what my stash includes and my strategy is to get rid of some things in all the categories because I still dabble in all the them and these are the creative outlets that will stick with me in the future as well.

Categories of Craft and Art Collections in my Stash::

Knitting (the yarn stash includes both knitting and weaving yarns!!)

Textile arts (dyes, chemicals and fixatives for dying yarns and fabrics of various kinds, also recently have accumulated various rusted metal objects for natural dying and I still have a large stash of onion skins even though I did one batch of natural dying with them recently)

Weaving *OK, I haven’t really woven in 6 years! (except a small bit on my table loom) but I still have tools etc I’m not ready to part with.  Will I ever weave again?  I hope so!

Sewing (patterns, embroidery supplies, fabric, thread and other tools and supplies)

Paper crafts (glues, papers galore, brads, stamps, paper punches, cutters etc) *Did I ever mention here I use to have a small greeting card line when I lived in GA?  I still make holiday cards and do other paper crafting quite frequently.

Fine art (paints, pastels, boards and canvases, markers, colored pencils, sketchbooks and various specialty papers)

Is there anything I don’t have?  It feels like it but I suppose if I did clay or more 3-d art it might be worse.  At least my loom (which is FOR SALE) is dis-assembled and got rid of basket making supplies after our last move.

The remainder of this week is CRUNCH time for getting the house ready to show.  Mainly this means more purging and then organizing all the stuff we are getting rid of into neat categories of DONATIONS, FOR SALE and TRASH (which needs to go to the dump this week).  I’ve also got some fall yard cleanup to do and it looks like the weather should be pretty nice for this.

September 15, 2011

Procrastination is not healthy…or is it?

by heatherkp

At least not chronic and habitual procrastination.  Honestly I haven’t met anyone who procrastination was good for in the long run…but in the short term, sometimes I think it can be a good thing.  Right now though I find myself severely procrastinating beginning the work to move.  I procrastinate when I am totally overwhelmed and right now, that’s how I feel.  I don’t know where to begin in theory but in reality I’m avoiding DOING what I need to.

My list doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter because a lot of what I’ve accomplished so far is invisible stuff!  Like making phone calls, sending emails, researching, running errands…today though I’m beginning with the deep cleaning we need to do to get the house ready for showing.  Cleaning is usually a good place for me to begin when I’m feeling overwhelmed, it’s physically demanding, task oriented and has visible results!  I know for some people cleaning is a reason for procrastination.  For me though, I’d rather start whatever big job I have to do with a clean slate, so cleaning helps me get motivated.  I’m not saying I love it just that I know what to do to get myself going.

Sure, I’d rather be sitting outside enjoying the remaining days of summer but alas…too much to do and the weather today has turned decidedly fall like today!  I did take a little break today from all the moving madness to swing by my garden and pick a few tomatoes, tomatillos, sunflowers and pull a few weeds.  The garden isn’t done yet, summer isn’t over yet and we are where we are for the moment.  In the midst of the chaos of moving I am making a promise to myself to stop, procrastinate a little (as needed) and enjoy the last of the time we have living where we are.  The packing and moving will get done!

What tricks do you have to motivate yourself when you find your in a procrastination zone?

September 12, 2011

Moving Monday::6 Week Countdown

by heatherkp

It’s official and I have not announced this in person to several of my clients but we found out today that we will be able to leave the DC metro area by the end of October.  This is about a month sooner than we anticipated but honestly it’s PERFECT!  It seems like things are really falling into place, that this move is meant to be.  I can’t wait to move forward but right now I’m looking at all OUR STUFF thinking, “I hate moving”.  That is not going to be the case, this time I’m embracing it and I’m going to love it!  I’m going to try to love it at least.  I’ll be checking in each Monday here on the blog telling you about the process.  So this week being the first week here is what we are doing to plan and organize for our move:

  1. Start a “Moving” binder or file folder to keep all the important information in one location.  Keep everything related here.  I’m opting for an expandable file folder with several tabs to keep things sorted by category (i.e. the moving info itself, donation, sale and give away, storage, lodging and other information for the destination location).
  2. Use up food, cleaning supplies and any other perishables or consumables that you don’t want to move.
  3. Check pricing on moving companies, moving trucks, storage facilities and be ready to book in 1-2 weeks.  There are several options here, DIY, hire a service or a hybrid (you pack, they move).  In our case we have done all of the above in past moves and we are opting for total DIY this time.  We made this decision to save money and we’ve had quite a bit of moving experience.
  4. Make decisions about large items to sell, donate or give away. Collect items to get rid of (for donation, sale or throw away) throughout daily routines; keep an empty box and bags in one location and place items to get rid of here.
  5. Research hotels or other temporary housing and book as needed.
  6. Enlist or hire help for the day of the move.
  7. Locate and purchase boxes and other packing supplies.  Determining the quantity of boxes needed is a bit tricky but an moving supply company can help you calculate this based upon how many household members and how large your home is.  Supplies will include the following:
  • Boxes in various sizes as well as specialized wardrobe boxes, china and silverware boxes, flat boxes or cardboard for artwork.
  • Equipment such as dollies and hand carts will make moving large items much easier and safer.
  • Packing tape (and guns), markers, labels, box cutters (or other such knives), bubble wrap/packing peanuts and newspaper (or unprinted newsprint which is much less messy).
  • Packing pads, blankets,  sheets (the old one’s you don’t need anymore) and plastic shrink wrap (which is not very eco friendly but sometimes is VERY helpful!).

Since the move is going to be taking up a lot of my time I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to commit to blogging but I’ll be popping in to share our progress and any other helpful or interesting things that come up.  I am SO excited!!  Can you tell?


September 11, 2011

Silent Sunday::Reflecting on the River

by heatherkp

Something kind of like this…

…no doubt getting quite muddy but enjoying camping, friends, fires, cool nights, hopefully a canoe ride down the river and reflecting a bit upon that tragedy we all encountered 10 years ago today.  Bless this beautiful country!

September 9, 2011

Friday Field Trip:: Charlotte and The Mint

by heatherkp

On my way home from Penland I stopped and stayed with a friend in Charlotte.  We had one day to do some sightseeing and since we are both artists we decided to do a bit of window shopping and hit a museum or two.

[Side Rant:: window shopping, since most shops in Charlotte are closed on Sundays…still?  Come on, just because it’s the South doesn’t mean everyone wants to sit around and do nothing…geeze!]

Anywhoo, we did go to the relatively new Mint Art museum at the Uptown location.  I was so pleasantly surprised by this museum, what a wonderful collection of contemporary and older works of various mediums including paintings, sculptures, photography, fashion and various “craft” mediums such as ceramics, metals and furniture.  I thought this museum was the perfect size, not too big and not too small.  It took the two of us about 1 1/2 hrs to look at all of the exhibits (3 in total).  Some of my favorite pieces are below and I do apologize that I don’t have all the artists names for the different works.  You will just have to get yourself to the Mint the next time you are in Charlotte, you will not be disappointed.

I was able to see the Gary Noffke- Attitude and Alchemy exhibit (which is still running but only till Sunday!) and From New York to Corrymore: Robert Henri and Ireland as well as works from the permanganate collection.  Overall I was exposed to a lot of artists I was unfamiliar with and I’m so glad they are now on my radar! 

Margery Ryerson  (a student of the Robert Henri School of painting)

Lynn Mapp Drexler

Sheila Hicks

Nick Cave

Hildur Bjarnadottir an Islamic Fiber Artist living in Charlotte.

Henry Siddons Mowbray “Rose Harvest” American 1887

I don’t have the names for the following artist work but they captured my eye as part of the “permanant” collection of art and craft works.

A couple other artist work I took note of but don’t have photo’s of are Australian Fiber Artist, Annemicke Meinand French painter Maurice de Vlaminck.

Right next door to the Mint is the Bechtler Museum which we didn’t get a chance to go into but there was a sculpture exhibit of works by Niki de Sante Phalle outside across the street from the museum in the park.  These sculptures were an exploration of “mythology”, they were sparkly, larger than life, bold, colorful and quite fantastical!

Charlotte has the charm of the south but has some quite cosmopolitan museums, restaurants and really interesting architecture!  If you have the opportunity to visit Charlotte I’d certainly give 2 thumbs up to these side by side spectacular art museums!

September 7, 2011

At Work in the Studio With::Penland Artists

by heatherkp

For quite some time now I’ve been contemplating how to merge my love of art and design and my passion for organization.  While I was away at Penland I found a little seed that’s germinated and has been pushing it’s way slowly to the surface.  In that wonderful nurturing and creative environment I spent a lot of time walking around and observing other artists, their “studio” (albeit temporary for most) spaces and the work being created.  One particular evening we were visiting the Resident artists studio’s and the idea really struck me to start a blog interview series with artists about their sense of or lack of organizational skills and how that affects their work.

Above and Below::Studio space of Jewelry Artist Jeong Ju Lee

Above and Below::Studio space of Daniel Marinelli

Below::Studio space of Textile Artist and Weaver Robin Johnston

Today I’m bringing you the introduction to this new series.  I can’t promise how frequently I will be doing interviews, much of that depends upon who I’ve come across and their willingness to share their organization or lack of.  For many artists and creative types being organized is just not a big priority and often staying organized is a struggle.  Revealing this to the world may not be something many artists are willing to share.   So many people continue to feel embarassed or asshamed about being disorganized but I am here to say that EVERYONE struggles with organization in some area of their life (or has in the past).

Above and Below::Studio space and workshop of Woodworker Tom Shields

Upon speaking with many artists though I’ve come to realize that for all of us there is a cycle to the way we work.  We carve out a space, gather the materials we think we might need to begin and we dig in.  For some creators they need to end each work day (or session) with a bit of re-organizing and tidying up.  Others will continue to work right along side the ever growing piles of detritus, materials, abandoned projects, dishes, tools and whatever else accumulates.   Some artists can go days, weeks or months before they feel the need to stop and tidy up again.  What prompts this action?  Is it the completion of a big project or a feeling of distraction or getting stuck?

Above and Below:: Iron Forging workshop

Above and Below:: Woodworking workshop and workbenches of student artists

I wonder for each of us, how does the order or chaos of our working environment impact the artwork we create?  When you look at someone’s artwork is there any clue as to their working methods?  Could you venture to guess if they are organized or dis-organized?  How does our environment help or hinder our creations as artists?  These are all questions I am interested in exploring further as we meet other artists and discuss their working methods, see behind the scenes into their working spaces and perhaps learn some organizing tips from some of them.

Above and Below:: Metal Casting studio workbenches of student artists and the instructor

Above and Below::Studio workspace of Bookmaking student artists

Above and Below::Studio work spaces of Letterpress student artists

Above and Below:: Studio work spaces of Encaustic student artists and instructor

As I wandered from studio to studio observing and speaking with artists about how they work and taking photographs I found that most of the time people tried to tidy up when I asked if I could photograph them and or their spaces.  “No” I said, I want to capture you the way you really work.  I really appreciate the willingness of all these artist to allow me to share their working spaces with you here.

Above:: studio workspace of fellow surface design artist Kathleen Bennett Bastis

Call to action::If you are an artist and feel you are particularly organized or dis-organized and want to share your working practices and space I’d love you to comment here or email me.

Above:: studio work space of my instructor Jason Pollen;>)