Archive for the ‘studio’ Tag

Shifting Tiles

Previously, on this blog, the La Sierra Yarn Mural was under construction. It was installed on April 1 at the La Sierra Community Center, 5215 La Sierra Ave, Riverside CA.


It will be on display until May 18.



On Tuesday, the 2nd of April I realized that my next deadlines until May and July (more about those later). Then I realized that it was a good time to do the reorganization I’ve been needing to do in My daughter’s old bedroom and my two studio rooms. We have three 80″ Billy bookcases filled with her books in there. I have gotten tired of having all of my books and magazines on shelves above the windows in my studio; and lately I’ve been wanting to get all  that material down where I can reach it from standing on the floor. I’ve also been wanting to start getting all of my magazines digitally, and to stop collecting all of that paper. But that may be a topic for another day.

A few months ago I ordered 5 archival, acid free boxes for Samantha’s books. So, last week I began boxing up the books. Of course, if I was going to store 5 boxes of books in the backyard shed, I needed to rearrange a few things out there to make room. Which I did, and managed to get the 5 boxes up into the loft in the shed.

At the same time, YBLA has had a slight storage crisis. Since Yarnbombing 18th became Yarnbombing Los Angeles, we have been meeting, working, and storing all our stuff in Arzu’s 18th Street studio. Arzu moved on from YBLA in January, she needed her studio space back,  and we needed to get the stuff moved. Through the course of events, this week became our deadline for moving all the stuff and finding new places to stash it. Carol took a bunch of the stuff to her grad-student studio, and I promised to take the plastic bins of extra granny squares. We went to haul stuff on Saturday, and it turns out there were 10 bins of grannies, and two more boxes of knitted pieces.

My house is like one of those little plastic puzzles we used to have as children, the ones with the little square tiles inside a frame, with one missing. The challenge was to shift the tiles right, left, up, and down into the one empty space until you got them in the right order and a picture was formed. If I was going to fit 12 more bins of  YBLA stuff into the frame, then I had to get Sammy’s books out of the “guest room.” I had my two card tables in Studio B (my son’s old room) where I had parked a bunch of books, magazines, stuff until I could move it. I have gotten most of my books and magazines into the guest room. Five boxes held 1 1/2 of the bookcases worth of books. I ordered more, and am waiting for them.


I moved all of my bags of yarn to the shelves above the windows where to books used to be, so that only soft, lightweight stuff is up there. I folded up my card tables, and put up one of my folding work tables in their place, on the risers so that it can be work space. I was able to put all of my collection of trash art supplies under that table, finally clearing out the middle of the floor of Studio B. My photographic area is now accessible again.


MoveDonationsBUT, none of this got me the space to store the YBLA bins. While I was organizing my personal stash of trash, I broke down all the empty boxes I wanted to keep. I keep and reuse boxes – you’re not surprised, right? This gave me the idea of breaking down all the empty boxes in the shed.

This gave me the space to shift YBLA’s leftover yarn that was in the closet in Studio B.









So, off to Santa Monica I went to get the bins of grannies.










bins in car

And viola!

bins in closet






Of course, I haven’t shown the current condition of the guest room. A few things from Studio B are currently in there (The 6′ store mannikin and the photographic lights, and – oh yeah – two big bins of thrift store sweaters), and the kids are coming home this weekend. But, its only Tuesday. . .


Hello 2014

yeah, I’m really bad about updating my blog.

Let’s see how quickly I can cover the past 8 months: the dog, Zoe, sweet Zoe, turned out to be a very fearful dog with fear-aggression issues. She barked and barked at anyone who came into the house. She barked and barked and barked at the kids when they came home for a visit. She barked and barked and barked and barked at the sounds of plumbers and painters at the houses across the street. The UPS driver doesn’t want to stop at our house any more.

Doesn't she look sweet.

Doesn’t she look sweet.

The upshot is that we spent lots of money on training, and now Zoe wears a citronella anti-bark collar all the time. She has learned to not bark all the time, which keeps her calmer. I can allow her in my studio rooms (the former kids’ bedrooms on the front of the house, facing the street), and she doesn’t bark, bark, bark at the windows. She can keep quite when visitors are in the house, she can even be in the same room. But she’s still very fearful, and won’t allow anyone to touch her. She won’t make friends with anyone. She went to the kennel when hubby and I went on a cruise over New Years, and she didn’t come out of her enclosure the entire time. She wouldn’t eat breakfast, only at dinnertime. Otherwise, she’s really sweet.

i finished the window shade fabric, and if I may say so myself, it looks great.IMG_2061

The shades aren’t completed yet, as we want them to be motorized, and finding the mechanisms has proven to be a complicated process. it was late in the year when i finished weaving the fabric, then I went on my Nicaragua trip (another story i will have to come back and tell someday soon), then it was the holidays, and now suddenly it is the second week of january.

Over the summer I became more involved with Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, the perpetrators of CAFAM Grannies Squared.

Next post, a new project for the new year: FunaDay Reseda


Last Post of 2012

Wrapping up 2012. It was a good year. I had my work in some wonderful exhibitions; I was invited to apply to California Fibers, and joined that group; I curated an exhibition at Los Angeles International Airport; and I was selected to produce a coiled piece for the Wells Fargo Green Team Trophy.

Since my last blog post, I finished the second token for the Green Team Trophy. It will be going to the Los Angeles Virtual Team.













I have woven some samples for the window shade fabric. I will soon be meeting with C & A to look at them.














Just yesterday I shared a triangle loom weaving adventure with some friends from my local guild, the Southern  California Handweavers Guild. A little group of weavers came together at Michelle Gannes’ house to learn how to weave on triangle looms. I had been curious about triangle weaving, so I borrowed a loom and joined in. I came home with my triangle about half woven and finished it in the evening. And the result was, well . . .

triangle 2. . . slightly appalling.

I figure I’ll probably add some embellishment to cover that mess in the center, then crochet an edge which will help compensate for the failure at the bottom point. As I’m thinking about it, If I use a nice bright complimentary color for the edging, it will pull attention away from the technical difficulties. Then I’ll wear it in my studio when I need a little something to keep my shoulders warm, and never take it out of the house. It will be fine.

Looking forward to 2013: along with the window shade fabric, and never weaving on a triangle loom ever again, I’ll be doing at least two more tokens for the Green Team Trophy. I’m going to attend Stitches West in February in Santa Clara, CA.  I’ll need to step up work on my Designing Weavers annual project in order to get it done by March, April, or May. I also have workshops and classes scheduled on my teaching roster thru May.  Then there is the SDA conference in San Antonio in June.

What else? I’m sure I’ll find some other things to get into – I’ll let you know.

The Story of Wallpaper

When we moved into this house (16 years ago) there was wallpaper in every room except the living room. I removed it myself in our master bedroom in 2000, during the Elian Gonzalez episode. This was also when I began to discover the public radio station we’re members of, KPCC. I remember this because I had the radio on while I steamed and scraped two layers of 40-year-old wallpaper for three days, and all they talked about all day, every day was poor little Elian. It started with Larry Mantel on Air Talk, continued with Juan Williams on Talk of the Nation, with Kitty Felde picking it up on Talk of the City, which ended just in time for Marketplace to look at the business angle of the story, only to hand it off to All Things Considered who drove it into the night.

Sam's new bedroom. Why have just one layer of wallpaper when you can just as easily have two or three?

I decided I had enough of wallpaper removal, so a  few years later when we repainted the kids’ rooms, we had the painter remove it. There were three layers of wallpaper in both rooms – AND the bathroom, which we were redoing at the same time. What a nightmare that turned out to be! I’m still glad our painter came back to work for us after that.

A year of two later we did the hallway (only one wallpaper layer), dining room (one layer only one wall above the chair rail), and living room (no wallpaper, phew!). To paint in this house is to first remove wallpaper.

All of this is the reason we haven’t repainted the family room and kitchen – where even the ceiling is wallpapered. Anyone who has been in my house and wondered why the kitchen and family room haven’t been updated, that’s why.

 The same painter has done all these jobs. He has also painted the outside of the house, and repainted the trim a couple of years ago. We got his name from a friend who has had him do, I think, three different houses. We’ve recommended him to three or four different friends who were all very happy with his work and his pricing. Anyone in LA who wants to know can contact me directly and I’ll give you his number.

Another wall of paper gone.

Painting Day

Sunday morning 7:00 am. About an hour after this, the latest storm rolled in and it rained all day, until Monday morning.

By the end of the day Saturday we had moved as much as we could move, and still have places for both kids to sleep. Only Sam’s bed remained in her old room sharing the space with the base frame of my 45″ floor loom, the tables for both industrial sewing machines, and the top of my large, 4′ x 8′ work table. I wanted to get these larger and heavier things moved as close to their new locations while I still had Michael’s help. This way, Sammy and I will only have to move them a few feet to get them where they’re going to end up – besides there really was no other place to put them. Earlier there had been some discussion about me getting rid of the industrial single needle (straight stitch) machine. But, alas, I decided to keep it. (oh, you all know you’ve done the same thing at one time or another!)

Sunday morning Michael drove off into the sunrise.
Yesterday the painter called to say he’s coming today. Sam and I stripped her bed and moved the mattress and box spring  out to the dining room; took down her curtains, hardware, and light fixture. Soon after that we crossed some kind of linguistic threshold. My old studio is now officially her room, and her old room is officially now my studio.

The base of the floor loom, table top, industrial machine tables, in the new studio.

In the afternoon we went shopping for the new fixtures and hardware. My new studio faces south and east, and the south-facing window gets direct sun all day. It’s not the ideal orientation for the artiste, but one works with what one has, right? I got some white cellular fabric blinds at Lowe’s. I think they’ll still let a lot of light through, and I’ll probably leave them down most of the time.
The single window in Sam’s new room faces some trees along the side of our neighbor’s house, and only gets the direct sun for about a half hour in the late afternoon. She’s actually happy she won’t get the harsh morning sun when she’s trying to sleep in, and I’m looking forward to lots of bright white light. I’ll deal with the summer heat when it gets here.
It’s going to be a few days before the new carpet will come for Sam’s room. We’ll start setting up my new studio on Wednesday. It’s good I’ll get a head start moving my cabinets and incredible amount of sh– back into my studio. Otherwise she might never find her stuff in the living room.

Ready for Painting

None of us can believe the amount of shi stuff we had in our two rooms. The truth is most of it is mine.  I didn’t go through my stuff, I just packed and moved it.

Looking from the dining room into the living room.

I did a major clean out of my studio a little less than two years ago, so I’ve been operating on the theory that I didn’t need to purge. But after the first day of hauling boxes out and stacking them in the dining room, I revised that idea.
I’m going to go through and weed out my materials when I move into my new studio. I think I need to take a serious look at my fabric stash. I need to make some serious decisions about what I really am likely to use, and give away the rest. It should go to someone who will make use of it.
Did I mention we are having both rooms painted? That’s why we moved out of both at the same time. We’re getting new carpet for Sam’s new room.
When we moved in this house, we didn’t repaint the room that would become my studio, nor, as you can see, did we remove the so-very-ugly wallpaper. And there just is really nothing I can say about the light fixture. I’ll finally have a studio with white walls, and proper lighting.

This is the same corner as in the "before" picture.

This is why we waited till after Christmas day to really start packing. There is a dining room table in there somewhere.

Now, here’s the thing that concerns me: Michael is going back to school tomorrow, Sunday. The painters are coming Monday or Tuesday. The carpet layers are coming the day after the painter. Michael helped move all this sh-t stuff out of these rooms. Sam and I are going to have to move it all back in by ourselves.

The unbelievable amount of stuff spilled over into Michael's room.

This is a massive job, no wonder I put it off for three years.

Moving the Studio

The Before Picture


I last promised an update back in September, so I have quite a backlog of news to report before I start on new news – I’m trading rooms with my daughter: my studio for her larger bedroom. Yes, we’re in the process of a massive moving operation.

My son had a good first quarter.  He made friends, got along with his roommates well, and even lost weight. He found he didn’t eat as many meals per week as he had on his plan, and he started playing racquetball and working out regularly. He also got straight A’s.

My husband and I went on a trip to Canada and the East Coast right after Michael left for school. We took a cruise from Montreal to Boston, then spent two days in Boston and New York, and four days in Washington DC. In Washington we visited my aunt and uncle, and my cousin and her family. We went with my aunt up to central Pennsylvania one day to my hometown. There we visited my father’s two cousins who he grew up with; they were more like brothers. It was a really nice trip.

We came home to a house with no children in it. It was just me and the old dog for about five weeks from mid October to Thanksgiving weekend. I concentrated on making jewelry for the holiday sales. I had five pieces of “assemblage” work accepted in an exhibition at Ontario (Ontario, California) Airport. A man traveling on business saw my work there and bought some jewelry from the Arts That Work website. I got the notice that I am one of 23 people chosen (out of 127 applicants who submitted 187 proposals) to curate an exhibition at either LAX or Ontario Airport in the coming year.

 On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the weekend of the Designing Weavers holiday sale, Clancy couldn’t walk more than a few steps without falling. I had been using a towel as a sling to help him up over the past few months, but now he was growling and snapping at us. He wasn’t able to get himself outside, and he wasn’t letting us help him up. these were the signs that I had always said would mean the end.

 When I came home from the sale in the evening we rigged up a sling with handles so we could help him walk. We talked to the kids and they wanted to see him one last time. But they also decided they wanted to be with us when we took him to the vet, so I made an appointment for Saturday. It was not our regular vet, they were closed the whole weekend.

He fell in his food bowl.

 My husband started to pass a kidney stone on Thanksgiving morning. The kids went to their aunt’s house without us, and we missed dinner. We were, in fact, in the ER all day Saturday and came home just in time to take the dog to the vet. It was sad, but it was time.

 We had half the box of dog biscuits left, which we gave to our next door neighbor for their very large dog.

 The week after Thanksgiving we had our family Hanukkah party. Hanukkah was extremely early this year, from December 1-8. Both kids made it home for the party. My daughter finished her final papers early and was home for the winter break by December 3rd. My son went back to Riverside for finals week and came home on the 11th.

 This brings us about up to the decision to move our rooms.

More tomorrow. . .

Clancy, 1997-2010

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