25 January 2016

Studio Update

2016.01.13StudioBefore01
A while back, I decided to turn my daughter's old bedroom into a sewing room.  But somehow, I never was very comfortable sewing in there and preferred the old sewing room in the basement.  The room become a collect-all room and though it began to accumulate my painting stuff, I still painted out in the kitchen or in my stitching studio (the breakfast nook/butler pantry).  

2016.01.13StudioBefore02
My daughter loved the color of silvery gray, so that's what the room was painted.  It should be a good neutral for painting, but I found the color terribly depressing.  Enough that it kept me out of the room.  It felt so dreary to me.  

2016.01.13StudioBefore03
It just wasn't a very inspiring space.  

2016.01.13StudioBefore04
Rather depressing.  I just couldn't spend enough time in the room to put for any effort.  But then I realized that I really needed a dedicated painting space.  One that I couldn't wait to get into each day.  And so I began thinking about what I wanted to do with the space to make it work for me.  

Step number one was to make the space my own.  It needed paint!  I painted one wall green and the others in my favorite white.  I cleared out all the non-painting stuff, rearranged, and downsized some unnecessary things.  I also hung up as many of my framed pieces of artwork as I could, that weren't already hanging in other rooms.  

Yesterday, at last, the space finally came together with the help of my youngest son Zach who helped me move some furniture around!  

2016.01.25StudioAfter01
Welcome to  my new studio space!  

2016.01.25StudioAfter02
I love how light the space is with the new paint.  It feels so open!  

2016.01.25StudioAfter06
There is room now for my art books and some inspirational bits.  

2016.01.25StudioAfter03
There is a gallery wall filled with my artwork!  Instead of hiding in the stairwell or in the basement or tucked away in closets, my art is now out where I can see and enjoy it!  

2016.01.25StudioAfter04
I anticipate that the display will change periodically as new paintings are created and framed!  

2016.01.25StudioAfter05
I love being able to see the variety of things that I have painted over the past decade!  I'm hoping that this new space helps to keep me motivated to paint!  

There have been a couple of other small home projects as well.  I've spent some time updating the main entryway and also my bedroom.  Mostly small changes, but all things that make my little house feel even more like home!  

09 January 2016

A Winter's Day

2016.01.08SnowyArbor
Another round of snow yesterday left the arbor looking lovely.  I can't believe that the roses are still holding onto their leaves, but I'm hopeful that once spring arrives in a few months they'll be replaced with fresh green ones! 

2016.01.08Snowbird.junco
The snow birds have been visiting the feeders in large numbers!  Always love hearing their twittering in the depth of winter! 

2016.01.08MugofTea01
When it's cold and snowy out, my one morning cup of tea grows to 2 or 3!  So cozy on a chilly day!  

2016.01.08Thomas
With Epiphany past, it's time to put the Christmas decorations away.  Thomas has taken up Mollie's spot on the table while I gather things.  Soon, the house will be fresh and clean, feeling open and spacious with the decorations all put away for the year.  Then it's time for some creativity!  Lots of stitching taking place and a little painting!  I'll have things to share soon!  


04 January 2016

Painting

2016.01.04WhirlingButterflies
As I noted previously, one of my goals this year is to spend more time painting.  It's something I really hope to grow - both in my ability and as a business.  One of the things that has come out of this is that I have started a new blog which will feature my my paintings and painting process, rather than trying to include that on this blog.  I will continue to blog here about my stitching and travels, home and garden, but all the art stuff is moving to the new blog: Lisa P Boni Paints 

One of the things I will be doing is making many of my paintings available for sale!  Please feel free to contact me if you are interested. 

2016.01.02WatercolorSketch
I will also be putting my watercolor sketches on the new blog rather than here.  Though they more than likely will not be available for sale as they are more for my own enjoyment and I don't like removing them from the sketchbook!  

Hope to see you there! 

02 January 2016

The Road Ahead

2015.12.31SnowyRoad
A new year!  A new path to take!  I love these first days of the new year and looking ahead to what might be.  So many possibilities!  

For me, it is time to take stock, to make plans, to hope, and to dream.  In 2015, I set forth some ambitious goals.  While I met many of them, I also faltered when life events occurred.  It was discouraging to fall short.

While I have many hopes and dreams for 2016, I'm making a shorter list of things to accomplish.  A list that I hope will be easier to achieve.  Along with this has come some difficult decisions and a several things I need to let go of.




My Project List ~ Stitching

2016.01.02SignaturePieceWIP
I don't anticipate beginning too many projects this year, but I do hope to create a "signature"piece in shades of ivory and blush rose!  

2016.01.02CQJP2015
Finished my CQJP 2015 project is a priority and will likely take me the better part of January and February to accomplish.  It's getting so close!  Can't wait to be finished with it! 

2016.01.02MollieFeathers
I also want to finish  my "Mollie Feathers" piece.  The name came when my Mollie Kitters was sitting on the table next to it as I worked on it and I realized that the colors were the same as her.  With her passing, it is now a tribute in her memory and I will add a photo of her to the back when it is finished. 

After much thought, I've decided to not participate in CQJP 2016.  There are too many projects that I want to complete and things I would like to try and work on that don't fit into the realm of a large year long project at the moment.  That said, I do have lots of ideas for big projects, but I am putting them aside for the time being. There should still be plenty of stitching to share throughout the year! 

2016.01.02Featherweight
After working many extra hours in the past couple of months, I treated myself to a little Singer Featherweight sewing machine.  It's portable enough to take with me to workshops and the like and to keep to my CQ stitching station in the breakfast nook.  

I've been working hard to pare down my stitching/sewing/crafting supplies.  Being surrounded by materials that I love to work with makes stitching such a joy.  Not having to paw through boxes of unwanted/unloved materials to find what I want/need is also a joy and such a relief!  

Painting

2016.01.02ArtSupplies03
I hope that 2016 will also be the year that I get back to painting on a far more frequent basis!  After trying out several versions of plein-aire equipment, I have settled on this very lightweight set-up that travels easily in a smallish backpack!  Since I have three children who love to paint, I going to share my old equipment with them and we hope to begin going on some painting outings together!  Creating art AND spending time with family ~ what could be better?! 

2016.01.02ArtSupplies02
With my art, I'm on a journey to lighten up, to brighten up, to loosen up.  To help, I've added some new colors to try to my palette!  I'm also hoping to take a workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry in the near future to get me going again and help with my journey!  

2016.01.02ArtSupplies01
A new tiny watercolor palette of just three colors has been added to my travel watercolor kit!  Just arrived this morning, I can't wait to try out these handmade watercolors by Greenleaf & Blueberry

2015.12.27LimitedPalette
Last year, I started to play a little bit with a limited color palette of Daniel Smith watercolors.  To help understand them a bit better, I made a color chart.  How surprised I was to find that the colors are similar to my CQJP 2015 palette!

I had fallen out of the habit of taking my watercolor kit with me everywhere and it's something that I've really missed.  So, I'm looking it over to pare it down as it had gotten a bit out of hand, and soon, it will be will me everywhere again and hopefully, there will be lots of new watercolor sketches to share!

New Paths

You'll notice a new tab at the top of the page for Workshops!  I have signed contracts to do a lecture and workshop at two different quilt guilds in October!  One in California with the Santa Clara Quilters Assn. and in Colorado with the Columbine Quilt Guild!  I'll be presenting a lecture called "The Heart of Crazy Quilting" about the embroidery and embellishments of crazy quilts and then presenting workshops on the same topic!

For the time being, I have decided not to pursue teaching crazy quilting locally.  My ever changing work schedule makes it difficult, and I found that the time commitment was causing un-due stress on my already busy schedule.  In the future, I do hope to return to teaching on a more regular basis, but it might have to wait until I'm retired.

Health

My biggest project for 2016 is to get some health issues under control.  For many months now, I've had increasing pain in my hip and sacroiliac joints, that has made it difficult to walk without pain.  It turns out that I have a number of issues going on and one in particular that will require surgery.

As many of you know, I have had a great deal of difficulty with weight in the past and had bariatric surgery in 2011.  It helped immensely and I lost over 100 lbs, but then once I went back to working nights in 2013, the weight began to creep on as I resumed some bad habits.  Now I'm in the position of needing to lose the weight that I have gained before they can perform the surgery.  Time to break those habits and get back to good ones!

2016.01.02Chocolate
My biggest downfall is that I've fallen in love with chocolate!

And salty things.  If offered a choice between sweet and salty, I'll nearly always choose salty.  Unfortunately, most salty things are also high in carbs, which are the thing I need to avoid above all others.  Sigh.

Because of the bariatric surgery, and not being able to walk much, my weight loss journey is quite a bit different than what most weight loss scenarios look like, so it's going to be a challenge, but I am determined!  

Travel

I really, REALLY love to travel!  To see new places or re-experience places I've been before brings so much joy!  Part of that joy comes from taking photographs, doing sketches and sharing the journey with all of you!

While I don't have much planned in the way of big trips this year, I will be traveling to California in October and there will be many things to see there as I've never been to the San Francisco area before!  I also hope to take a few smaller trips throughout the year, mostly within Colorado and maybe Arizona.  There will be lots of dreaming and planning for a hoped for trip to England and France in 2017!  And just maybe a trip to Israel with my son and his wife!

Closing Thoughts



Each year I try to choose a Psalm to meditate on throughout the year.  In this election year, I thought that this one might help me focus on what is important. 

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Put not your trust in princes,
   in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
   on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
   the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
   who executes justice of the oppressed,
   who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
   the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
   he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
   but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
   your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!



Who knows where the road will lead! I'm looking forward to the journey that 2016 will bring! 

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