My Little Atelier

Sewing Room

This Saturday it will be a whole year since we moved to our new place in Napa.  Before that we lived in a loft apartment where my workplace was divided into two rooms.  I did my office work and design work at the computer in the loft and my artsy work at the corner of the big living room where I had a second desk and a cabinet.  When we were looking into buying a house, my husband insisted that I have a room that I can call my own.  I thought it would be nice to celebrate that occasion with a tour of my “Little Atelier”, which is what he calls this room.

I painted the room a cool blue-gray colour that was inspired by my favourite season – Winter.  This is my sewing desk.  The sewing supplies are stored in a lovely fabric basket sent by Cheryl.  She also sent me the cathedral window pincushion that is resting against the fabric basket.  My most favourite wall hanging – “My Best Enemy” – is on the main wall and my little acrylic painted crest is on the wall to the left of the window.  I saved a small branch while trimming a tree in our backyard last weekend, the crest is hanging from that now.

I love the night sky and that takes centre stage in this area.  There’s a HUGE Map Of The Universe poster on the wall.  On the desk there’s a Lego space shuttle and a Mars hug-a-planet ball.  Keeping with the theme, a little bit of Doctor Who also sneaked into this area of the room.   A blueprint of the sonic screwdriver of the tenth Doctor is on the wall and a Tardis clock sits on my desk.

Sewing Room

A wider view of that corner

The sewing desk is actually an old dining table.  I love the large size of it.  I have some computer hardware programming items under that desk as well.   My violin and a mandolin are behind that desk, right by the floor lamp.

I have a large kitty bed on my computer desk for my beloved orange kitty who joins me every morning within ten minutes of my walking into the room.

Sewing Room

This is the “Shelf Around The Corner”, very much like the Shop Around The Corner.   It is more of a shelf of whimsical curios than anything else.  A lot of the things on this shelf were gifts, while some of them I collected during our travels.  Along with my computer programming and cosmology books,  I also keep a few of my favourite story books here, some of which are signed.  A new addition to this corner is the “Will Work For Books” magnet on the lamp.  My first-ever job was at a bookstore, so recently my husband got the magnet for me as a nod to that.

Aside from a variety of Florentine and other types of stationary papers, there are a multitude of other things on that shelf:  A couple of Venusian glass pens,  a little replica of a standing stone from Orkney, bejeweled spiders, a tiny little violin, some tiny chemistry flasks and beakers, just to name a few.  Tintin and Captain Haddock have been my best friends since I was a child, so I had to keep a Tintin pencil sharpener there too.  I have to work hard not to clutter this shelf up too much!!

Sewing Room

Right beside the shelf is my guitar and its amp.  I catalog my books, so new books always end up in that Fair Isle star fabric basket before they go on the shelf.  The serger, a few more books, rocks, mineral collections, etc. are stored in the closet.  The drawers at the bottom are perfect for storing my knitting supplies.  My pretty Doctor Who stitch markers and the Tardis wallet made by Caroline are also in one of those drawers.  The ironing table hangs behind the door.  My husband changed out the drawer pulls and the closet handles for nicer ones after I finished painting the room.

Sewing Room

These are the cabinets on the other side of the door.  Between the two cabinets are a few Lego sets, painting canvases and my other violin.  The cabinet on the left is my fabric cabinet, that’s all the fabric I own.  It is organised by projects and type of fabric.  There’s only one exception –  Amanda sent me a huge stash of novelty fabric from her own stash.  They are so much fun to look at that I left them at the top of one of the stacks.  This way I can see them and smile every time I open the cabinet.

The other shelf with the half doors is right by the sewing desk.  Inside the closed doors you will find yarn and sewing supplies.  I sometimes have Charlie joining me here, that cushion is for him to sleep on.  On the wall are two of my watercolour paintings – Northsea coast and a stone bridge on the isle of Mull.

Sewing Room

I love the painting supplies on this shelf.  When I walk into this room every morning, they are lit up by the soft morning light.   I love to play with large Lego sets and I usually sort the pieces before I start building.  That’s what’s stored on the second shelf along with a Lego biplane and the yellow pincushion from Kris.  The two boxes on the top shelf contain a few more quilting supplies.  On that shelf I also have a few prints acquired during our travels.  I need to frame those.  Hanging from the knobs is a little house sent to me by my dear friend Sil from Brasil.

It is not a large room, but many things happen here  – work, play, music, photography, painting, drawing, and sewing.  This room has to fit it all, and it is very much organised with that in mind.  With that said, I also made room for the little things that make me happy.

Happy Crafting!

Capturing A Little History

Jedburgh Abbey Doorway Details

Drawing of a doorway detail, Jedburgh Abbey, Scotland

In school, I was never very good at history, I always managed to only pass by the skin of my teeth.  I had the hardest time following the syllabus.  Whenever I came across an era that I liked, I researched, read and dove in, completely ignoring everything else that was being taught in the classroom.  The good thing about being a grown up is that now I can continue to do that without the pressure of grades.  I also don’t have to stick to just books, I can now travel to places of historic interest as well.  I love prehistory, archaeology and ruins.   That took me to Scotland twice.

Sword Relief On Stone From Iona Abbey

 Drawing of a stone relief, Iona Abbey, Scotland

I recently started drawing again after a long hiatus.  I missed the scratching sound of pencil on paper too much.  I went through my Scotland photos and picked out a few to draw.  In the evening after a long day, it’s wonderfully relaxing to revisit the places through drawing while listening to some comforting old TV show or movie.  I think these drawings would make nice embroidery designs too.

DSLR Camera Quilt Pattern

I could not have done these drawings without my trusty camera.  I made the SLR camera pattern many months ago and never got around to making it.  My friend Amanda recently made this pillow from that pattern.  I squealed in joy when I saw the picture.  I LOVE the way she quilted it.  I already told her that I am going to copy that quilting design when I make my quilted camera.


Around The World Blog Hop

Acrylic painting on fabric with Inktense pencils

Acrylic painting on fabric – this is me in symbols

I got an invitation from Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs to participate in the Around The World blog hop.  She is so wonderful, there was no way I could say no to her.  Cheryl not only creates beautiful quilts from her original patterns, she also makes stunning sewing accessories.  I also love her colourways.

It’s my turn to share a few things about myself.  You already know what I am working on since I have been talking about it for the last few weeks.  So I thought I’d share pictures of a few of my favourites – finished and unfinished.


Pullover with Caron's Sticks And Stones yarn

My first knitted pullover made for my husband

How does my work differ from others of its genre?  How does my writing/creating process work?

I create with camera, pencils, paint, fabric, yarn, music… well, you get the general idea.  I read this somewhere many years ago about photography – When visiting something iconic, thousands of people take photos of it.  Find a way to put your personal touch to that photo so it doesn’t look like everyone else’s.  I try to apply that principle to everything I do.


Spring Kites Quilt

Spring Kites make me want to fly away

“The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” – Neil Gaiman


Rock Music Quilt Top

Rock Music mini – waiting for a better name and a suitable quilting motif

Why do I write/create what I do?

It is very hard to say why I create!  Although I am new to fabric-craft, I have been creating all my life.  I have always found art to be a venue to channel my emotions and have always used art to find focus.

I am most comfortable with expressing myself through writing.  It keeps me motivated and it is a journal of my thought process behind my projects.  I have met many like-minded people and made new friends from near and far over this website.  I have gotten some great ideas, encouragement and inspiration from interacting with you and I hope to return some of that through writing and sharing my work.


Ring of Brodgar - Orkney, Scotland

First ever Micron pen drawing – Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland

These three girls are amongst the chief instigators of many of my crafty projects and, unbeknownst to them, a few non-crafty ones as well.  Other than creating beautiful original art and being the objects of my admiration, another quality they all share is that they are never afraid to try something new.  I hope you will visit them and see for yourself what I mean.

Ruth from Ruthie Quilts is one of my oldest quilty friends.  Last year we did a fantastic wonky house swap together with a couple of our other friends.  Cheerful and fun are the words that come to mind when I think of her.  I am hooked on snowshoeing because of her and I have her to thank for the all-over body aches that follow!  If I know her well, she would accept that blame happily!

You can find Caroline at Trillium Design.  She is a Jane of all trades and master of them too.  My knitting is to her credit.  She is always eager to share her knowledge and she is one of the most encouraging people I know.  She is also the best partner a girl could ever ask for to organize a year-long Doctor Who Quilt Along.

Susan writes about her work at The Bored Zombie.  She can get you into a lot of trouble but in an extremely good way.  She shies away from following any rules and makes her own along the way.  Her rules are always much better, believe me!!

I now leave you in their good hands.

If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.

-Shel Silverstein

Happy making in whatever medium inspires you this week!

Flag For My Atelier

Flag Drawing

Our neighbour’s flower peeking through the fence to say Hello!

When I saw the announcement for the Flag On A Stick blog hop, I teeter-tottered on the decision of joining.  As I was sorting through things and putting stuff up in my new workroom, I came across a drawing I did for a college project few years ago.  The objective was to describe yourself on a shield.  I thought that would make a perfect pennant to hang in my new atelier, as my husband lovingly calls my new workroom.  So I ended up joining the Flag On A Stick blog hop hosted by Sew We Quilt.  It’s an indoor flag, so I used a very light interfacing to give it a little stability and sewed two tabs to the top so it can be hung on a wall.  I took the picture outside just in time before the rain started pelting down.

Flag Drawing

This is the original painting that I scanned.  It is done in watercolour pencils and marker.  The scan wasn’t quite large enough for this project, so I scaled it up and printed it out.  I then traced the drawing on the fabric in pencil and painted with acrylic colour pencils, paintbrush and textile medium.  I haven’t done textile painting in a very, very long time and I couldn’t find any reference on how to go about it when using pencils. So I did a few test doodles to figure out what method works best for fabric painting.

Flag Drawing Closeup

The flag is steeped in symbolism.  Every single colour and element in the flag has some meaning that describes me, but I won’t bore you with all the details.  The only thing I think I should mention is this – the cat on the top is not there because I love cats.  It’s there because I am very much like a cat – I am an extreme introvert, I like small spaces to hide in and I like to have control over my own life situations.  The last bit is probably best described in the Latin phrase you see on the shield – Resolutely in action, gently in manner – which is why I chose it.

Flag On A Stick

Thank you so much, Thearica and Mdm Samm, for coordinating the blog hop.  I would have never worked on this otherwise and my new atelier would have remained without a flag.  There are some really awesome flags being created by the other participants in the blog hop.  I am sharing my day with these talented ladies and they would love for you to visit them  –

Thimblemouse & Spouse

Stitchin’ By The Lake

Just One More Stitch

The Quilting Queen Online

Selina quilts

Spring Kites Quilt Pattern  Fair Isle Star Quilt Pattern

I am giving away these two patterns from my shop to celebrate spring – Spring Kites and Fair Isle Star.  My giveaways are for my followers only and I would love for you to follow me anyway you like.  Please leave a comment and let me know how you follow my blog and you will be entered in my giveaway.  The winner will be announced on Thursday, April 10th.

Thank you so much for visiting!