Tag Archives: birthday

Artist. Not just a quilt artist.

I remember my purple bedroom with the hollowed-out-closet turned art studio. It was AWESOME! At five, this was waaaay better than a trip to Disney. I sat in there for hours at my little desk coloring, drawing, stamping, creating. I had to get permission for messy stuff like glue, paint, and clay but my parents made sure that I got to use them sometimes too.

My husband and I are getting an art studio ready for me in this house. It’s a bedroom that was a storage room. The things that were in there have sorted, organized, and put in their proper places so now it’s empty and ready for sprucing up. Yes, the row of shelving stays. I get to fill it up with fabric!

studio before 1We got rid of the smelly carpet, threadbare curtains, and popcorn ceiling treatment. The weird shape on the window is from the brown packaging tape holding it together. It’ll need to be replaced. We got rid of the 7The first things accomplished getting rid of the carpet, tossing the curtains, and scraping the popcorn treatment off the ceiling.

my studio minus carpet curtains and popcorn ceilingI had a circus party in the closet studio house. The invitations were tickets I made. I painted our windows (half dish soap, and half paint) with balloons, clowns, and animals. We made a train down to the basement playroom. Hands on the shoulders of the kid in front of you. No pushing! There was a face-painting station and a cake with a train on it. Such fun!

At 31, I can still taste being five years old. So I’ve decided to play! I’m joining a meet-up for art journalling in my area. My first meeting is this Friday morning. I’m hoping to make friends and to play. Not to make anything specific or become a world-famous collage maker or painter, but to play with other artists.

cupcakes and lollipops journal pageHere’s the first page of my art journal. I stamped the background with bubble wrap, painted with cherry syrup, glued ribbon, brushed glitter nail polish on, and added the lettering. Who says you can’t create without art supplies? I knew what I wanted to say and made do with what I had. 🙂 I will be picking up a tray of kids’ watercolors from the dollar store before my meeting though. 🙂

 

Linking up to Val’s sewing room link party. Check it out if you want some ideas for your studio.

 

Sometimes I Need a Bit of Quiet

Sometimes I need a bit of quiet. Do you ever get that way? Life’s just so go-go-go noisy and it’s good to take a break to breathe. So that’s what I’m doing today on my 31st birthday. Hubby and I went grocery shopping and that’s really the only thing I’ve checked off my to-do list…. which is totally okay. We’ll cook together tonight and watch a RedBox movie. I’ll quilt a bit and fold a load of laundry. Maybe have a nice long soak in the tub. I’ll return those phone calls and emails later.

have to put clothes on

I’m getting real quiet and listening and learning about myself and my business. I’ve noticed that I don’t have a real clear direction and want to remedy that. One thing I have planned is to participate in a group read and discussion of The Power of Unpopular by Erika Napoletano, a business book that many people have recommended to me.

This week’s Project Quilting Challenge is to finish a UFO (unfinished object) so I’ve been working on the Turtles Quilt for my childhood summer camp. I’m up to the final border on the top. I’ll post some updated photos of that in a few days. It almost definitely won’t be finished by Sunday so I may work on a smaller project to submit. There are some great prizes that are randomly drawn this year and it always feels good to have a finish. If I don’t this week, well, I’m not going to stress about it.

turtle sees who can get home first

We’ve been doing some gardening this past week. Living in Southern California does have benefits! We loved the potatoes so much last year that we’re planting three times as many. So far we’ve weeded, pulled up some stumps, laid a brick path, transplanted the bird of paradise plants, painted some pots, and planted seeds that’ll be flowers.

tatobucket

I’ve linked an older post up to the Tuesday Archives link party. This week’s theme is nine-patch quilts. The last nine-patch that I made is in my etsy shop. It’s a disappearing nine-patch baby quilt with kids’ prints on a pink and orange background. pink d9p finished

Sisters are Warm

It’s cold and snowy in Boston, where my sister lives, today. I could say neener-neener from my warm Southern California climate but I wish I could be there to give her a big hug instead. See, it’s her birthday today. So this post is for you, little sister! I love you.

beach estey

I don’t feel too badly that she’s stuck in the snow because she, always the adventurer, just got back from a family vacation to Mexico.

mary in the snow

Plus her daughter Mary sees the snow as a grand adventure! Look at that cutie’s smile!

estey trying to escapeSis has always been eager to explore. This photo with my Dad is actually one of the most flattering ones. I have a LOT of pictures where she’s trying to escape and making scrunchy grumpy faces. It’s not that she didn’t want the loves, she just had things to do!

preggo estey

This mama, pictured when she was pregnant with Mary, is always up for some silliness. Princess preggo! Professional photo by Jasmine Holzworth.estey witch costumeDressing up has always been appealing. Look at her as a witchy toddler!estey and kate sharing fries

Super-social, she prefers company over solitude. Above she and our cousin share french fries. A few years back she was shocked that I was going to get a facial alone. What’s the fun in that?! I’m a firm introvert and loved it. We’ve learned to appreciate our differences and see more and more similarities as the years pass. Happy birthday chickie.

If you’re needing to warm up your cold fingers, or need an awesome winter gift check these out. I’m up-cycling wool clothing into arm-warmers. The socks, scarves, vests and sweaters I use have stains and holes in them so these are truly giving them new life. They’re pre-felted so they won’t shrink on you and are stretchy to fit most adults. I have one child-sized one for sale in the shop as well. That one has smaller thumb holes. Only $15-$20 each! These two pairs and more are up for sale and I’ll be adding more as I sew them.

warmers lblue tan outside
arm warmers long dark inside

 

Linking up to Handmade Tuesdays and Thankful Thursdays.

Sixteen’s Not a Baby Anymore

 

My baby brother turned sixteen yesterday. I guess that means he’s not a baby anymore! I, as the snarky big sis had to post this meme for him.

sack of breathHere’s what this handsome man looks like today. Okay, fine. He was 15 when this photo was taken. But I’m not going to call up Jim’s school for a selfie! 🙂

jim15I’ve got the feels… lots of them. So it’s difficult to write about what Jim means to me, especially without embarrassing him in the process. (Teenagers!) So I’ll let these scrapbook pages that I made a few years ago do the talking. These photos were all taken before baby Jimmy was two weeks old.
BabyJim1 BabyJim2 BabyJim3 BabyJim4I love you kiddo. 

 

Lovey Beanbags for Mary’s First Birthday

My niece, Mary Constance, is a year old this month. I remember waiting by the phone on the day she was born, and being so excited to meet her in November. I even got to give her a quilt in person during that trip. I wasn’t able to be at her first birthday party, but several of her extended family members were so I’m grateful for that. Everyone should be surrounded by people they love on their birthday.

Of course, photographs were taken of the cake-eating. I love how Mary is focused on sharing her cake. It’s a serious job.

Mary sharing cake

 

She allowed others to feed cake to her, too. It became a big ‘ole finger-food experience.

Mary having cake

My Dad, brother, and I wanted to give her something special. I’ve been dubbed the artist of the group, though my Dad’s a great writer and my brother’s a musician. Plus I used to work as a nanny, so I know a lot about age-appropriate toys. So here’s what I came up with.

Mary Beanbags

The beanbags, sewn by Mary’s favorite Aunt Megan (me!) are developmentally appropriate for a toddler. They’re good to squish and throw. As she grows, I’m sure she’ll learn her colors in English and Spanish and these’ll be good tools for that too as they’re primary and secondary colors.
Beanbag Qualities

Can you see the qualities embroidered on the front of each beanbag? My dad, brother, and I each chose two things we see in Mary Constance. On the back of them is the name of the person who chose that word for her. Now they’re customized specifically for her and – BONUS – they’re super gushy mushy lovey.
Beanbag Names

 

I do custom orders! These were invented for Mary’s birthday, but if you like ’em I can give you a quote and make some for your special occasion. Just email me and we’ll make it happen.  mrs.megan.null@gmail.com

30 at 30 Birthday Sale!

I’m 30 years old today! I’m so grateful to be alive and to have so much. I want to extend a little bit of that joy to you, so here’s what I’m offering:

J Pillow

 

red polka dot heart pillow cover

All heart and letter pillow covers in my etsy shop are now $30 even. They usually go for $35 plus $3.50 shipping, so you save a whopping $8.50 per pillow. Aren’t they cool?!?! To celebrate the first two days of my 30th year, I’m offering a coupon code that’s good through the February 6th. Use this coupon code at checkout to get each pillow for $30 even.

Ready? Here’s the code: 30 at 30

Not interested in the pillows? You can still use the coupon code for anything in my shop that’s $35 or more. You’ll save $8.50 per item. Items like these:

birdsbag1 crazylogs

Again, type in the coupon code 30 at 30 during checkout before the end of the day on Thursday, February 6th to get this discount.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/QUILTArtbymegan

It’s a Good Day to Meet Baby Mary

My emotions are still swirling all around inside me, so I’m sure I’ll be blogging more about this  event in upcoming posts… but it’s time to announce that my sister gave birth to a healthy baby girl yesterday, April 2nd. Welcome, little Mary.

newbornmary

It wasn’t a long waiting game. Dad called me around 4am to say that he’s in the airport on the way to the birth. (He snagged a plane in St. Louis in time to get to Boston for all the action.)  Even so, I jumped every time the phone rang, all day long, hoping for another update. So I spent the day calming myself with some handwork. It’s not a great photograph but here’s what I’ve been working on.


DSCN0963

This piece is called, “On a Good Day”. And today was a good day.

Jim’s Gym Bag

My baby brother turns 14 today. Let’s face it: he isn’t a baby anymore. This young man excels in sports, scouts, and school. He even has a girlfriend. So this year I asked for his input on a gift. I wanted to make something he’d like to have… not that I’d like him to have. (See the difference?)  He asked for a gym bag. Okay, I can do that.

More conversations revealed that he’s like to fit a basketball, sneakers, and clothes inside the gym bag.. and that his favorite team is the Boston Celtics. So here’s what I came up with, after going back to the sketchpad many many times. I’m happy with its simplicity… which makes it more likely for this manchild to get good use out of it. I even managed not to cut the “m” into a heart-shape.

 

I made this bag out of one yard of designer-length tapestry cloth. It has two large pockets inside and a long strap. Jim’s name is fused on with heat-n-bond ultra hold. The dot over the letter “i” is the Celtic’s logo.

TIP: Choose your fusible webbing wisely! Heat-n-bond ultra hold is great for this thicker fabric that will get a lot of use. Don’t sew through it! It’ll gum up your sewing machine. I use seam-a-steam2 for the portrait quilts. It holds well, is stiff, and is still easy to sew through. If you’re making something that needs to be soft I recommend misty fuse. This is not paper-backed, which is why I don’t use it for the portrait quilts. It would take a lot more time than my current method… but when it matters, it will keep the fabric soft.

UFOs A-plenty

How many UFOs do you have? No, not the space ships, I mean unfinished objects. Mine are mostly sewing projects and I’m sure I have at least 30, though I haven’t done an exact count recently. This week I’ve been hopping from thing to thing, not quite satisfied to sit down with just one.

Please forgive my lack of photos this time. I took them… and moved the camera away from its cord… and promptly forgot where that cord is? I know, it’s where I left it. Wherever that is. So just use your imagination for this one and I’ll get back to photos on the next post.

Here are some of the UFOs I’ve been working on this week:

  •  A one block log cabin quilt with Asian prints.
  • Decorating my work apron. We’re required to wear one, but can trick it out however we want to. I’m adding pockets, making it shorter, and decorating it with some of my crumb quilting goodness. Yes, I’ll show you guys a picture soon.
  • Binding some place mats for the senior center.
  • Hand quilting “Estey’s Quilt”… It’s almost ready to show you guys! I spent several hours working on this at a car show. Thankfully, my husband recommended bringing along some handwork. I’m so glad he did because it would have been beyond boring for me without it!
  • Planning out a birthday present for my baby brother. He’s turning 14. I know, not really a baby anymore but he’s still my baby.
  • Making a red/blue/purple/black string quilt
  • Playing around with improvisational piecing
  • Pulling fabrics and otherwise planning a portrait quilt based on a wedding photograph
  • And, of course, working on the 4 subjects piece I wrote about in my last blog post.

Whew! I don’t know why I’ve been project-hopping like this but I’ll just go with it for now, especially since I don’t have any big deadlines coming up quickly. I’ll just enjoy dabbling in everything.