19 June 2012

Lotta Work to Do

When I moved into this two-bedroom apartment, I thought that having the spare room for crafts and guests was going to work out splendidly.  I thrive on having separate spaces for separate activities...I'm one of those people who cannot work at home, but happily forgets about home when at work.  The geography seems to switch my brain.

I had hoped to create a tunnel-vision crafts space in this room, but that never really happened.  I guess walking into the extra bedroom wasn't enough of a trek...I never really found a way to focus in there.  Also, you'll notice the place is a mess.  Which was pretty much a constant this year: having a mess in there while the rest of the house was tidy.  I tidy my office every day before I leave, setting out on my desk what I want to start out with the following morning.  Clearly, good habits never made their way into this room.

I have been looking for a way to have studio space outside of my home.  And this week I was super-psyched to get a call from SPUR Studios telling me that they had some open space.  And I was at their building the next morning to check it out.

I was trying not to get my hopes up because the room could easily be too big or too small or too pricey.  Well, the available studio is almost exact same size as my current crafts/guest room.  Not too big, not too small, has a window and a locking door.  And the price: slightly more than $1/square foot.  And the building (this is a huge selling point for me) is shared with other creatives--visual artists up top, musicians down below.

Right now, the studio is in rough shape.  But, I'm allowed to modify it as I see fit, so I've taken careful measurements, and worked out a plan.

Everything here is depicted is to scale.  These pictures were made for free at www.floorplanner.com
What a great service!  You can put in the exact dimensions of the room, put in windows, doors and the rest of it in the exact spots they go, and then add furniture that is exactly the dimensions of what you've got!  Switching between 2D and 3D really let me visualize the space.  You can even add people and adjust their heights! Using this tool, I developed a good sense of how to set up the room and what furniture to move over there and what to leave at home.

My official move-in date is July 1, but I'm allowed to get some work done in there beforehand.  I'm going to paint the room the same color as my current crafts room (a soft/cool gray/green color painted by some previous tenants).

The big project/question is the floors.  The carpet needs to come out.  I would love to put in cork flooring--sound and shock absorbing, eco-friendly, and lovely to look at--but cork tiles price out at around $500 for the room.  $300 for the cork, and $180 for the adhesive (ah! glue! why are you so pricey?)

This laminate from IKEA would do the job for $220.    I wish laminate looked like it's own thing, not like fake wood. I just hate having fake things. The only think going for the laminate is that it's better than the carpet and relatively inexpensive.

Depending on how the concrete looks once I pull up the carpet, I may just paint or stain it and throw down a few rugs to absorb noise.  That would be the cheapest option: $30 for concrete stain + 60 for a simple rug.

Anyway, I'll update the ol' blog once I've made some progress, but I've just joined Instagram, so if you want to follow me there there will be quick little updates.

Oh, and the title of this post is "Lotta" work to do because I wanted to tell any of you that might have your own moving, decorating, or dreaming going on that I've really been enjoying Lotta Jansdotter's interiors/life book, Handmade Living.

She has such a clear vision of what she seeks in her spaces and it remind me of what I seek in quilts, "When I think of Scandinavian Style, I think of simplicity, functionality, and unpretentious classic forms."

There's also a good discussion of mid-century modern forms, which you know I dig, "Mid-century Scandinavian designers made us of natural materials and relied on traditional craft principles to create high-quality pieces with a handmade feel that would last for generations.  The result is a style that is classic, elegant, and modern."

Sigh.  So good.  The Amazon listing has a decent-sized preview of the book if you wanted to look it over there: Handmade Living.

01 June 2012

A Very Long Conversation

I've been picking away on this little quilt since A2MQG's retreat so many months ago.  This project is a wedding present (there have been many weddings amongst my friends lately!) I do tend to make wedding presents AFTER the wedding, which is perhaps a not something Miss Manners would like, but I like to consult with people a bit to make sure I'm not going to make something they won't like or use. 

I was originally planning on buying this particular couple a gift, as I am behind on promised quilts (Elle was married a year ago in August and I have the sketch, but no progress)  (there are others).  But, what I ordered was back-ordered, and when my mom and I arrived at the wedding, there were all these hand-made pennants everywhere.

This is the groom (one of my favorite people on earth), me, and my mom.  This picture doesn't even being to capture the amount of pennants there were at this wedding.  There were hundreds and hundreds.  So. Many. Pennants.

At some point in the evening, I asked what was happening to the pennants next.  And there was nothing planned.  And so I said, 'send a few to me and I will make something from the fabric for you.'  And so, this summer, as I roamed the United States and Canada, I had in my car a box of pennants.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them.  I thought at first that I might do a quilt like this one by Krista (Spotted Stone Studio)
baby Ingrid- complete

Her quilt is based on one by Ingrid Press, which I also love.  (see it here)

But, that quilt is rather more block-based than is my style.  Also, I really didn't have my own spin that I want to put on it, I just found it pretty and suitable. And I like to push myself, so I waited for further inspiration to hit.  And then, one day, I saw this:
From what I gather, this is some sort of film by Rivane Neuenschwander.  I saw the still image and it got me thinking about conversation bubbles as a shape.  Specifically, a shape that would be fun to make with patchwork.

The groom is one of those people that never stops talking.  It's usually about rather fascinating things like the Enlightenment or punk rock or Adorno, however the amount of words he says a day is astounding and a subject of much teasing.  I don't know the bride that well, but I do know that she also teases him about the incessant talking.  : )

Additionally, I thought that thinking of a marriage as a long conversation was a sweet idea.  So, a quilt of conversational bubbles seemed hilarious and sweet and multiple levels.  Also, it worked with the size and shape of the pennant fabrics I had in my little box.

One of the pairs of bubbles here is their wedding vows.  I drew this up in photoshop, pulling the colors from Lizzy House's fox fabric.  I then had it printed at Spoonflower.

 Right now, the quilt looks like this...

Actually, wait...it now looks like this:

I was working on my conversation bubbles when I was on the quilt retreat and people encouraged me to make a tutorial; which I will do soon.  Stay tuned.