Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Starting to Think Creativity again.....

After a pretty slippery week, it slipped by... literally, I am back on track, in a big way. Next Thursday is the day to drop off garage sale items at the Textile Center. Again, I will miss it this year as I have to work every Saturday again.

That will free up some space downstairs and Paula of has invited me over for a sewing day. I am pretty excited about that. Most likely I will make some skirts. She suggested that either I cut and she sew or we work on our own thing. I hadn't thought of production style sewing. But hey, I will give it some thought. I think working on our own thing will be how it goes.

I will gather some fabrics soon. Maybe have some new skirts to wear for spring! Hooray, the sun is coming out again today.

The skirts I have in mind are from Kay Whitt's Sew Serendipity. I have made a couple, they are cute, quick and easy. I am thinking maybe three. I have a plan for some of my scrappy heavier weight cottons. I will show you later.

Have a productive spring day!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Creativity Thwarted

Another weekend is over. Saturdays are just out of the mix of getting anything done anymore. A ten to six shift will do that to you. So, nothing creative happened on Saturday. Sunday, I was planning to hem some pants for work this week, but again, it didn't happen. I went to see the movie "Oz- the Great and Powerful" It was quite good. I like how the movie is reminiscent of the original Wizard of Oz movie. The iconic set design and color/black and white were integrated into this tale, making it seem a true sequel. I really enjoyed it and am hoping that a sequel to the prequel is made, bridging the two story lines. The color was very well done, the contrasts which made each hue jump from the screen were breathtaking. No, I did not see it in 3D, but it would be an adventure.

Lately, there has been a great deal going on in my life that has been challenging. Not an illness or anything like that, just some challenging situations have been coming up and the only place I know to go and be with them is my tiny little room of ten x nine. That in and of itself is challenging. The basement studio area is a mess, as I had taken the sewing machine out and haven't had a chance to get to it yet. I am not motivated to go down there. Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow.

I think I don't like a schedule where I never have two days in a row off. I find it very limiting. It is like never scheduling enough time to really enjoy a project, by always being interrupted. I like to schedule enough time to really enjoy what I am putting on my schedule. Once I get into it, I enjoy what I am doing, but being motivated to start. Ughhh! And only three more months here in the little cottage by the river. THEN WHAT!!!?  I don't even know what I want anymore! Better start to define it, or something important could be lost. Time to start taking a look at what there is to be grateful for before getting too caught up in the desire list.

Today I will be getting trained on new flooring at the shop. The bamboo, I believe. I am looking forward to that. I have new plans for Shelly's Design Studio website as well. The look will remain a bit the same, just new pages and it will be equipped to accept payment on certain items. Not all items will be available online, but some will. There needs to be more exploration of that. Tuesday maybe I will get something together there.

Time to go and hem up some pants, my least favorite thing to do. But then it must be done. One of these days, I want to make a skirt. One of these days......

 This is a bit of a whiny post, my apologies for that. I literally feel backed into a corner in so many areas of my life right now. Backed into a corner means that communication definitely has the potential to come out sideways!  (I feel very restricted these days, like my sacred boundaries are being challenged) I know I have been challenging for my housemate especially, to say the least! All of my energy is going to being on my best behavior at the store and, recently, with a house guest, it has been/is challenging at home as well! I feel like I always have to be on my best behavior, presentable. It is a small house!

 I have worked hard to project myself in a certain way to the world, to be respectful, knowledgable, helpful, kind, sharing. There has been a lot of giving going on for a long time and I have felt depleted and empty for a long time.  I haven't been giving to myself. I have not providing my own source of renewal and well being. That is something you can not get from another. It has to be sourced from within. I haven't been taking care of myself, emotionally, physically or spiritually. None of my grounding practices are intact any more. This well is dry. My creative water source has to be diverted through me, as a channel. Yes, that is the best way to describe it, I have stopped channeling me and trying to be what I think everyone else wants me to be. I have stopped creating myself. No wonder nothing creative is happening over here!

My relationship with myself is completely different than it was several years ago. One hundred and eighty degrees different. I don't know how I got here? I don't like being in this state of relationship with  myself. Today, I start to clear anything that is not me from my life. I feel like I have gotten rid of so much already, but there is more!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Green Draperies

Window treatments are a technical specialty of mine. It is the evolution of my love of sewing. The lovely times I spent in work rooms, not sewing, but specifying and writing instructions for people to bring a vision into reality. Sometimes it was my vision, or I helped to clarify the vision, and other times it was someone else's vision, completely. I came into play to supplement the technical knowledge of how to make that vision work, how to translate it to fabric.

The environment was empowering. My skills were encouraged to expand, there was trust from my clients and superiors and my professional skills thrived. Micromanagement was unheard of in my early career. Still in college and working with some of the most successful interior designers at the time, I learned a great deal and as a result my standards have been set, very high. There are details that the most discriminating customers would pick out. Some were not reasonable and I had the knowledge and background about textiles to tell them why. I could advise before the materials were ordered on what to expect, the challenges and the solutions to them. It was success most every time. With my years of experience in the workroom, I would guess that as a designer, my experience with window treatments and the tricky windows especially, exceeds many designers in my area.

My problem is, my work, has been sold by someone else. So, in an effort to recreates some semblance of a portfolio, I am toying with the idea of duplicating my sketches, publishing them and sharing my successes with others, claiming a bit of credit for my accomplishments.

It is the beginning of a new phase at Shelly's Design Studio, as well. We are going green and we are specializing in window dressings. There is a great deal of research that has to happen, finding resources and expanding the look. But that is a little about what we are up to. Of course the other products are still available, but as the website develops, I hope to showcase more and more of the beautiful products and eventually projects of my own that will appear on the site as well.

Shelly's Design Studio is growing and expanding, in a very healthy shade of green! If you are interested in 'green draperies' send me a message or contact me at and I would be happy to meet with you to further discuss your options!

More on this developing topic here or there! Thanks for checking it out!

PS My concussion seems to be getting better. I rested a great deal yesterday and have been getting lots of sleep, no naps today though!  The stiffness in my neck is gone. Hooray, still taking it slow.. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Icy Monday

Wednesday, getting ready to go off to the NBH for the day. Monday, I had forgotten my reading glasses. I went home to get them and fell on the ice in the parking lot. Yesterday, I found myself with a headache, that still lingers today. I slept most of the day yesterday and when talking on the phone to a friend, I found that my ability to speak fluidly is being challenged.

I often pause to scan my mind for the most appropriate word choice, but have found myself at a complete loss and then could not even remember what I was saying. I am a bit concerned, yet don't really know what to do about it.

I am hoping today for a better day. From what I read online, a concussion will do that. When I hit the ice, it was my head that hit first. And hard, I don't ever recall hitting my head so severely in my life. It was more near the top, then my shoulders and then my 'butt'. I have a very stiff neck yet today, but, it is much better than yesterday.

This is going to be short, as a headache is already starting to set in.

More at the end of the week. Maybe I will have a creative thing to report. I am hoping to. Hemming up pants is the extent of my sewing these days....

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday night and checking in

It is sunday night and I am checking in with the world. This new schedule is kicking my ****!

There are days when I am clearly falling behind on the things that are important to ME and to my wellbeing. So far, learning new products and the benefits and features is compelling for me. And the Saturdays, I liked having saturdays to myself. To relax, share time with friends, family and just putter around. But, once I get to NBH, I find that it is the most inspiring to talk with people about what their visions are, what they want and offer from my experience things that have value to them.

It has sparked a whole new realm of possibility for my design practice. In the context of growing someone else's business again, I am ok with that, but this time, I want to give my self the quality and benefit of my experience and expertise as well. The things that are valuable from my experience for another, need to be integrated within my own structure more soundly and at a deeper involvement.

The integrity and foundation is strong in regards to my values, there is still a little chaos surrounding their stability. Not to worry, as it all gets distinguished, it gets integrated, woven into the fabric of my enterprise and the new dreams have something to grab on to.

This week I am researching furthering my credentials and adding product categories to Shelly's Design Studio website. Thanks for checking it out and for coming back to vibrant threads.

Window treatments are haunting my thoughts and there is a new idea that is really generating some excitement within me. I am meeting with a friend later this week to discuss some really solid inspiration and see where it takes us... sooner than later we are hoping.. Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Staying Afloat, Keeping my Head ABOVE Water!

Like I said in the previous post, I am going to be a bit off of my schedule coming up. With the new position and working at getting my Shelly's Design Studio site up and running and tweaked, it is feeling exhausting. Some days are flooded with inspiration and creativity! I wake up at 4:30 and can't get back to sleep, so I get up and write, plan, organize my mind.  From the looks of my house, my mind is pretty cluttered and full of lots of actions that need desperate attention!

Other days, like today, I am exhausted. Lately, 9:30 has become bedtime! The mornings that are NOT 4:30 call to action inspiration are deep sleep, astral travel, no one's home in the body mornings. Unfortunately, my body is looking for that right now and I am having a day of outside commitments. It is ok, I will acclimate. I am an adaptable individual and will morph into what I need to and meet the needs of others. Of course, mine seem to always take a back seat. Small things for myself, that is what I must do. Because really, when I help others, I help myself.

It gets me out of my head, shows me a bigger picture of myself than what I can see from the inside. Inside, there are a great deal of limitations. From the outside, apparently, others see something different and much greater than I do from my perspective. I do know that whenever I am just in the moment and make life about what others want to achieve, my life is better. It is when I am alone, that I feel I am neglecting myself. Finding that balance will be the key to achieving balance in my life.

This morning, I went down to the studio to make some copies and wow, what a neglected mess I have going on down there! Maybe soon I will be able to address the blockages down there. The new job is requiring lots of hours of my day, those are usually the days that I get up early, to accomplish some things for myself. This afternoon, I am going to put together a binder for myself to keep with me on the floor for reference information and contacts of people I talk to...  I think I will work on that now, just trying to stay afloat....  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hiccups in Consistency

Lately, I have been in the habit of posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday on Vibrant Threads, and on Tuesday, Thursday, I have been posting to the blog on Shelly's Design Studio. This is a great deal of writing and it has been very cathartic and re-energizing for me. I hope people, you, have enjoyed what you have been reading. While some posts don't seem to have anything to do with creativity and sewing, they do for me. The challenges are what keep me from being creative for myself, and discovering that, my friends, is a mystery that I am committed to solving.

It seems that the routine is going to go through a series of hiccups and inconsistencies in the coming weeks. You see, I have just accepted a full time position with Natural Built Home (remember the photo contest?) as their color specialist. I will also be covering floor sales several days a week and scheduling in home color consultations through and on behalf of Natural Built Home in Minneapolis. My first official day was yesterday. (Wednesday, hence no post)

It was great fun working with some customers on color selections and acclimating to the new color palettes. The store only sells non-toxic and NO VOC paint. Between the three lines and the ability to custom match formulas with Mythic paint, I think it will be a fairly easy transition for me to get used to new colors.

A fan of pretty colors!
The three lines of paint are, Mythic, Yolo and AFM Safecoat. The mythic line seems to be the closest to the Benjamin Moore paints that I am quite used to, so I am comfortable that it will be a smooth transition. I just need to order a Mythic fan deck for myself, to add to my collection. I love fan decks. It is like having a box of crayons that won't melt. Then, when a selection is made, you just go get what you need and play... like a kid in a puddle! Yes, sometimes it is that messy! A mess is a sign of true creativity!

Classic Inspiration!
So, this is fair warning that the posts may become a bit erratic, but I promise to do at LEAST one a week. They may be shorter and the photos, may become even less frequent... but I will get the hang of the new routine and work at making the blog entertaining, hopefully inspiring and somewhat empowering. You are not alone if you have a driving passion to create and a feeling of overwhelm as to what to do next.

Take a small step and do something that moves an obstacle out of your way, chips away at it, or at least makes you smile.

In case any of you are wondering, what about Shelly's Design Studio? I will continue to offer design services independently, as well. There are so many details involved in creating a safe, comfortable and beautiful home, I want to be able to offer guidance, service and products that will continue to meet those needs. Each project is unique, each clients needs are different and each home has a different personality, it is important to me to keep the flexibility and availability open and fluid.

If you are in the area, stop in and see me!

Monday, March 4, 2013

More Yummy Buttons!

Over the weekend I received a package in the mail. Saturday mail, it was. A letter from my mom and a package from my friend Shelly Ann. (I think we are the only ones allowed to call each other by our full name, as that is how it was when we were kids..both being Shelly's) She's grown up now and goes by Michele. And my mom, well, she looked at me and said, she is definitely a Shelly! Was she ever right on! As a pisces, with a LOT of pisces and a lot of water, Shelly is who I am. But that is not what this post is about names and all...

In the mail, I received several buttons that Shelly Ann's husband found in a box of stuff that he picked up at auction. She had told me over the phone about them and thought I might like them. Oh, was she ever RIGHT!
Detail of the metal buttons with Rhinestones

I have a piece of lavender velvet that would be a really great jacket, I hope I have enough, if not, I will have to track down other fabrics to combine with it.

The magic number Three!
There were also these fabulous reds! Large and small... They are a beautiful red, not too orange, just a nice strawberry Red with a gold line on them. A bit translucent and swirly. I like swirly buttons! They look liquid.
Molten Strawberry Red
Large and small strawberry red
Coat of Arms buttons in bronze

Large metal coat buttons

Stay tuned for Wednesday's post, as I will have more clear information on a big announcement. Just finalizing the details and then I will have something exciting to share!

Friday, March 1, 2013

March 1, the Beginning

The beginning. The source. The first.

Is the beginning when an action is taken? When a desire is realized? or when an inspiration strikes?
Could the beginning be when the last thing was completed? There is an opening, a clearing for anything to come in and to be realized. Focus on the old is not even a memory, all energy has been detached and there is nothing. A void is created.

An emptiness, a weightless, drifting nothingness. Many people fear this. I know it scares the crap out of me! I feel so purposeless and alone. Listless and unmotivated, I begin to search the periphery of the void, looking to the future, there is nothing in the present to ground me and to anchor me as I develop a vision, grasping for a strategy.

Only to realize, the inner workings of my soul are at work here. Knowing that, I am still creating. I am a creative being. The thing is, I don't know what I am creating. My soul knows me well. The conscious creature that I am can and will easily sabotage the unknown into a deep dark pit, wrought with danger and unpleasantries!

Apparently, this is the direction when one is in destruction mode. That sounds so sinister. Not so. Destruction is a necessary part of the cycle of life. It perpetuates creativity, allows for freedom of choice. When something is truly and completely dismantled, the freedom to pursue anything is what is left in that void. (If you find yourself sorting and clearing and purging, you are in destruction mode. It is very difficult to create and to clear, so if you find yourself not being creative, honor the process)

The void is the ultimate creative chamber. You can bring in whatever inspires you, what ever experience you are longing for and create it, attract it, feel what it feels like to live it.

It starts at the solstice, the time when the days begin to lengthen, although the evidence is slight, we know this and begin the task of formulating our 'New Year's Resolutions'. We declare these at  the beginning of the calendar year, sharing them with our friends and family.  January and February are typically the months of the void. The time when we are sweeping out the last of the dust bunnies of the previous year and getting used to the nothingness of the void.

By mid-February, the pressure of the void has really started to get to us. The waiting is excruciating, we can feel the energy, deep in the earth or out in the universe, but it doesn't seem close enough to interact with us yet. It is still in the future. How do we find the inspiration and the motivation to stick to our vision. There is nothing there, except the vision.

And then, about March 1, something stirs, something emerges from our past, the core of who we are, that has anchored us in the ocean of nothingness, the sea where all is sourced. Something shifts, it is not visible, but rather an energy, a life force energy that is rooted in our past endeavors, the seeds we have sown, begin to burst forth from the darkness, reaching the light of their highest potential. Living the dream while growing through the gaps. Life force energy is the most powerful, creative energy in the universe. It is an energy with consciousness and purpose. It expands into experiencing miracles.

About March is when those resolutions that were created from the soul, start to show up, just like the days are obviously getting longer, we are getting glimpses of the promise we made to ourselves, the evidence is showing up. Things are going to be changing my friends. In my life, most likely in yours as well, most definitely on the planet.

Grieve adequately for the past, release the emotions, until it feels you have emptied your soul. Then be still.

When you start to become aware of the stirrings around you, observe them. They are there to help you, to move you gently into the new. Once you open that door, you will be ready for the frenzy of chaos that awaits you. New challenges, opportunities, growth, progress and expansion. It is a full ride we are on at the planetary amusement park called 'EARTH'.  Relish the ups and downs, enjoy the ride!