Archive for April, 2012

April 24, 2012

Textile Tuesday::Stress Reducing Hexies

by heatherkp

A very talented and good friend of mine, Betz White, sometimes asks me to do a little pattern testing for her when she’s preparing something new and wonderful to publish.  I had volunteered to participate in some testing for her recently and when she sent me the pattern my initial reaction was to be kind of freaked out.  The pattern in question required some piecing involving sewing hexagons.  Oh boy, I am not a quilter and I would consider myself  only a moderately skilled seamstress.  I took a step back and thought/read through the pattern and decided to give  it a shot.  I love hexagons and since they are part of my logo and my brand identity I though it might be cool to be able to sew some hexagons and incorporate them into my art and designs in the future.

I decided to use some scraps of silk dupioni I had done some rust dying on.  The aesthetic of these are very different from what Betz uses but I was working with a limited selection from my stash that I have here in my temporary home.  I choose 2 contrasting colors, the silver and a dark red brown that both had rust spots.  The repetition of the process is quite fun and can be done in batches, first cutting out all the pieces, laying them out, pinning, stitching, pressing, stitching etc…

The only part I got a little unsure of was the back side of the Y shaped union where 3 hexes come together.  It’s a little figity to get them to press flatly.  There can also be a very small hole here which I was worried about but in the end realized it was fine (I’m a bit of a perfectionist!).  There is a certain amount of patience and care needed to do this and I found it stress relieving because it forced me to slow down and focus on the process.  If you have the desire to try piecing hexagons, take some advise from Betz and go check out Lady Harvatine’s video.  I can’t show you the finished piece but go check out Betz’s patterns and keep an eye out for the new pattern she has previewed here that will use hexagons!

I love the way these turned out!  I will be doing more of this, I guarantee it.  Like I said it was a very soothing, repetitive, tactile process for me.  I did this project in the midst of my in law’s kitchen table over a 2 day period with limited space, materials etc…never the less I feel I learned a beautiful new skill and got a beautiful piece from this process.  Maybe you would like to give sewing Hexagons a try?  I’m not saying I’ll be turning to quilting but I will be incorporating this new skill into my work in the future.  Do you enjoying doing repetitive projects to reduce your stress?

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April 22, 2012

Weekend Walking::Earth Day & The Market

by heatherkp

This weekend we have been dog sitting for this little guy who happens to live downtown Charleston.  We are also about to be living downtown so we are going to be doing a lot of walking!

I was really excited to wake up Saturday and know I could walk to the downtown farmers market! Charleston has a vibrant weekly market at Marion Square and I’ve always loved it (even when visiting I’d try to stop by).

Ambrose Family Farms

Lowland FarmsOwl’s Nest Plantation

I am not familiar with this “Certified Naturally Grown” label (not sure why having worked at a farm stand/CSA for the last 2 years!) but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of it.

Loved the set up here with the bins running long way down the tent.  As with everything I do, I look for the form and the function. I believe well designed should be beautiful and vice versa!  So naturally the farm vendors who really “spoke” to me (who I purchased from and took photo’s of) were those that had beautiful, local (mostly organic) produce and well designed/displayed set up’s.

They have live music, local produce and lots of local food and art/craft vendors.  I saw a few I recognized and some new ones.  The market runs from April through December so things are just getting started.  I’ll be taking weekly walks to the market to pick up fresh produce while we are living so close.  After that, who knows but this gives me a chance to sample different produce from local farms and choose which CSA I’ll be joining!

I have been a suburbanite for EVER!  Everywhere I’ve ever lived required getting in a car and driving to almost every destination.  I have been walking everywhere since we’ve been here and I’m hereby pledging to take a weekly walk to the farmers market for my local produce over the next couple months! It feels great to be able to celebrate earth week this year by doing so much walking and supporting local farms and businesses.

How are you celebrating Earth Week/Earth Day?  Has your local farmers market opened up yet for the season?

 

April 20, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Whispering Wings Fancy Flyers

by heatherkp

As a part of my ongoing training and overview for volunteering at Brookgreen gardens I got to visit the Whispering Wings Butterfly exhibit.  This is one of the areas I want to be trained to work in (along with the sculpture conservation department and horticulture).  There are literally hundreds of butterflies in the exhibit and some I’d never seen.  A few are native to coastal SC but most of these species are not and they have strict procedures for making sure there are no escape artists!

Monarch, Zebra Longwing, Polydamas Swallowtails, Pipevine Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails, Julias, Buckeyes, Queens, Painted Lady, and American Lady are among other species you will see there if you visit.

This  Tiger striped butterfly was among my favorite and was my husband’s favorite (of my photos, he didn’t join me this time).

But my favorite had to be the malachite, I just love anything green!  This exhibit runs all spring and summer, check it out if you are in the area!

PS.  Did you know that this week was/is National Volunteer week?  Do you volunteer?

April 17, 2012

Texture Tuesday::Natures Inspiration

by heatherkp

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit scattered, splattered and smothered so I’ve been seeking solace in natures beauty.  Luckily the opportunities for natures inspiration are everywhere just outside my doorstep!

To me April is always about soaking in natures beauty, celebrating the bounty, digging into the soil and watching the miracle of life emerge after winter’s rest.  This is a time of wonder, taking it all in and the appreciation of beauty…the hard work and the reflection are right down the road but for now it’s all about the inspiration, the enjoyment and the wonder of spring’s beauty!  With the ocean so close by and  spring the flowers in full bloom I have no excuses and am claiming it as my right to soak it in!

Lately I’ve been posting less frequently and haven’t been going very in depth about what’s happening with life and business but it’s one of those times in life when I’m going with the flow and soaking it all in.  The time to share everything bubbling beneath the surface will reveal itself when it’s right.  In the meantime, I’m here,  getting inspired and enjoying sharing some of that inspiration with you.

PS. This weeks texture used is Oh My by Kim Klassen.  Do go check out her amazing photography and textures!

April 14, 2012

Silent Saturday::Birthday Love

by heatherkp

Birthday Love to my Mama!

An amazing, optimistic, independent Aries women I love!

April 13, 2012

Freaky Friday::Strange Beach Findings

by heatherkp

I have stumbled across some very strange things on my beach walks.  Can you identify any of them?

Some are interesting, some disgusting and some quite beautiful.  What do you think?  I do know what most of these.  I am very inquisitive and want to learn more about what I find.  Luckily I have a Marine Biologist in the family!  Thanks Beach Chair Scientist!

April 8, 2012

Silent Sunday::Seaweed Pressing

by heatherkp

 

 

 

 

 

April 3, 2012

Texture Tuesday::The Simple Things

by heatherkp

In honor the simple little things in life that bring us joy.  Thanks Kim for sharing this idea and your latest Simple texture I used below:)

10 Simple things that bring me joy…

1. Taking photo’s

2. Sunsets

3. Time with friends (family friends, new friends & old friends)

4. Laughter, especially from children

5.  Chocolate

6.  Neat and organized spaces

7.  Walks on the beach

8. Hugs

9. Waterfalls

10.  Flowers, in the garden, in my house, in photo’s-anywhere

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. — Dr. Seuss

The simple life::Living with Less

April 2, 2012

Makeover Monday::His & Hers Walk in Closet

by heatherkp

This was a case of a beautifully designed closet that just wasn’t functioning so well.  Without calling in anyone to redesign the closet or purchasing anything new we made do with what they had and re-organized some things so that more of what was needed fit into the closet in a neat and tidy way.

His and Hers Before

Her Side Before

His Side Before

About 4 hours later (mostly working by myself on this project) I had this closet finished.  On her side I sorted tops, bottoms and long dresses and jackets by clothing type and color.  I re-located less used special occasion items to a second guest room closet, created drawers designated for specific items such as hats, jewelry, belts and lingerie.  This freed up space for the client to use other bedroom furniture drawers for items that should not be hung such as sweaters, other knits and casual/frequently used items.

On his side I sorted full suits by season putting the warmer season suits to the front since we are shifting towards summer (at least here in the south).  This client also has quite a collection of bow ties and suspenders which I hung on a multi section hangers (often used for scarves or pants).  Again I sorted shirts and pants/shorts by type and color leaving suspenders attached to several pairs of pants in this case.

We got rid of almost everything on the floor and many of the decorative boxes and items cluttering up the shelves.  We used the shelves for shoes (both in and out of boxes and drawer bins), bags, hats (on the top shelves) and photo albums.  She liked keeping these albums in the closet but if she needed more shelving space she could remove them to another area in the future.  The closet is a nice space to keep photo albums if you have the room and you can always pull out a few at a time to have on display in a more public room of the house.

His and Hers After

Her Side After

Her Side After

His Side After

Tip: Store items that are not needed often in the back of deep corner shelves in containers that are easily pulled out.  For example shoe; a shoe shining kit. Label the edge of shelves so you know what’s hiding in the back of each.