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From My Studio

Hard to believe it’s mid-November. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Are you ready? I’m thinking about how different it will be this year. Just as good; just different.  

I hope you are having an amazing creative week!

My goal with this newsletter is to share some highlights of my week, any finds I’ve discovered, and random thoughts about business and life. 

1. I’ve been thinking about planning for 2021. I already have dreams for what I want to accomplish in 2021. The first step for me is to evaluate 2020. Even though it wasn’t quite what any of us expected, I know there is plenty of good to be found if I just look.

That’s my first step – go back and write down all that I achieved in 2020 and the lessons I learned along the way.

Over the years, I’ve written a lot of blog posts about the planning process. I expect to do that in the coming weeks.

Until then, it’s time to plan to plan. Block out times on your calendar to do this. Get planning tools. Get started.

Here’s a blog post from years ago where I wrote about planning to plan. It is still relevant today. I love the idea of creating your own covered boards for your perpetual monthly calendar pages. Have you ever tried that?

2. Were you a fan of Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns? Originally published in black and white in 1993, it is being updated to include 161 new blocks and is now in full color! All of the 4,000+ pieced quilt blocks in the book are illustrated with both a line drawing and sample color suggestions. You can use the book to identify blocks or look for inspiration.

The book is available for pre-orders at a 30% discount on the Electric Quilt website.

3. Speaking of Electric Quilt, the site 5amily, which offers personalized quilting garments and other products, has named Electric Quilt as well as On Point Quilter as one of its top 10 blog sites for quilters. On Point Quilter specializes in online learning of Electric Quilt. Its blog offers tips and inspiration for using Electric Quilt 8. 

4. Are you a fan of Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 designs and tools? They are designed to make quilting easier and more fun. One of their premier designers, Tina Dillard, has released her first book. Poppin’ With Wings showcases stunning flying geese quilts with a pop. You can order the book directly from Tina through her website Quilting Affection Designs. Also, check out her Facebook Page for a tour of the book and to see all the quilts.

5. Are you looking for a fun project for the holidays? Debbie Wendt of Wendt Quilting has created a Winter Tree-Land Quilt Along. This diamond and triangle pieced tree is the perfect shabby chic addition to your table. Debbie is teaching the class in an American Quilters’ Society Facebook group. Details are here.

6. What am I reading and watching?

I just finished reading Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall. This is a coming-of-age story about a nine-year-old white girl from Mississippi who runs away from home in 1963. She is heading to Nashville to find her mother, whom she believes is a country singer. Along the way she meets and befriends a lonely black woman who suffers both loss and abuse. The road trip becomes life-changing for both of them.

In the non-fiction arena, I’ve just started reading Podcasting: How to Start a Podcast and Create a Profitable Podcasting Business by Amanda Mayo. This book was selected by my business coach for her clients to read. Over the years, I’ve thought about creating a podcast. Since 2010, I have recorded more than 100 interviews with creatives. They are available to members of our ICAP Members’ Studio. I’ve considered moving them to a public podcast. As it is, I’m reading the book and applying the lessons to content creation, aka, the blog. If you already have a blog or are planning one, this would be a good reference.

We also just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. Highly recommended.

From My Studio

I’m relishing our return to warm weather 

After a week of chilly weather, we’ve been enjoying days in the 70s. That would be at least 10 degrees above our normal. It’s made for pleasant afternoon walks, open windows, and outdoor dining. I know it won’t last, and I’ll enjoy it while I can.

I hope you are having an amazing creative week!

My goal with this newsletter is to share some highlights of my week, any finds I’ve discovered, and random thoughts about business and life. 

1. Here is our blog post from earlier in the week. Doing fall cleanup in my yard let me take note of what I needed to prune, especially my nandina. I shared some random thoughts about pruning in your business. You can read the post here.
 
2. C&T Publishing has introduced Creative Spark Online Learning. The platform features classes from C&T authors, award-winning artists, teachers, and masters in quilting, sewing, and embroidery.
 
You’ll find wonderful classes in all price ranges. You can test the platform out with a free class with Becky Goldsmith. 

 
3. Etsy announced its 2020 Design Award Winners at the end of October.

Grand prize went to a credenza upcycled from skateboards. Awards were given in a variety of categories including a people’s choice of a ring that I’d love to order.
 
4. I know for a fact that 2020 has not been the year you planned for. How could you plan for a year such as this?

No matter how good your vision for the future seemed in January, every single one of us has faced unprecedented challenges, obstacles, and decisions since then.

I need a reset. I want to make 2021 my best year yet. How about you?

My friend Cyndy Porter is hosting her annual Success thru Style Summit in January. This time, however, it will be virtual. 

This Summit is known for its intimacy and community of vibrant, heart-centered women focused on being their best and changing the world! And, they have fun! Lots of fun!

If you join me, you’ll make time to:
–reflect on your dreams, your accomplishments, and prepare to officially leave 2020 behind.
–renew your spirit with inspiration, mindfulness, relevant insights and training, retail therapy, entertainment, conversation, laughter, and fun.
–relaunch your life with a plan to achieve your dreams.

I’m excited to be attending and want you to join me. I’ve arranged with Cyndy to offer you a wonderful discount to make it happen.

If you sign up before Nov. 26, Thanksgiving Day, you can attend the Jan. 22-24 Success thru Style Summit for only $97. Just use my link here and the discount code SAVE50.

And, I’m putting together a follow-up session for anyone who signs up through my link so you can get extra accountability moving forward.

Can’t wait to see you there! 

Is it time for pruning?

A few years back at our home on the Chesapeake Bay I replaced five KnockOut® rose bushes. For years they had been beautiful bushes, full of continuous color, and tall enough to provide a barrier between our patio and our neighbor’s. Best of all, this rose variety was supposed to be disease resistant and did not need spraying. I am not one for heavy garden maintenance, so it was wonderful to have inherited these easy-care varieties with our home purchase.

The problem was that a couple years earlier we noticed these bright, thick red shoots. Our landscaper suggested pruning and that is what we did with the hope that we could get rid of the rose rosette disease, as it is known.

Unfortunately, the virus spread to the whole plant and we ended up having to pull up all five plants and start over. This time, we choose not to plant the roses.

So, what does this have to do with business?

Just like with roses in your garden, your business can use a good pruning if you want it to bloom and prosper.

And, you want to do the pruning before it becomes necessary to take more drastic action.

Here are some random thoughts on pruning in your business. Many of these were gleaned from a walk through my yard.

Read more…

From My Studio

Hello Creative Soul!

It’s fall y’all.

I woke up to a chilly 30 degrees. It was the first morning with temperatures this low. I hear we will wake to 20-degree windchills on Monday morning. That means I will pull out my long underwear for a morning walk.

I hope you are having an amazing creative week!

My goal with this newsletter is to share some highlights of my week, any finds I’ve discovered, and random thoughts about business and life. 

1. In case you missed it, here was our blog post from earlier in the week. Social media can sometimes seem like the bane of my existence. I have a love/hate relationship with it. How about you? This week I took a look back at finding the right social media platform for you. You can read the post here.



Read more…

Finding Your Social Media Platform

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, SnapChat.

Do you get the feeling that you need to be everywhere on social media?

And then you worry that if you are, you’ll never get anything else accomplished?

You are not alone with that thought.

It does at times seem that everyone is everywhere. Just because it seems that way, it’s not really true.

And, you’re right, you won’t get anything done if you are always on social media.

The good news is that you can have a presence on social media and have it work for you. Here are five tips for finding the social media platform that works for you, lets you connect, and helps you build a social media following.

Read more…

From my studio

Welcome fellow creative! 

I hope you are having an amazing creative week!

My goal with this newsletter is to share some highlights of my week, any finds I’ve discovered, and random thoughts about business and life. 


1. Just in case you missed it, here was our blog post from earlier in the week. I caught myself thinking about how I was to fit in an art project and started down an “as soon as” path. It’s too easy to get trapped there and never make progress. You can read the post here.

2. This week, I got a note from my niece. She received her high school graduation quilt and loves it. It was to be the quilt to take to college. It will be when that happens, perhaps in January. I want to share pictures on the blog this week. For now, here’s one photo.

3. One of the artists I discovered in an article in the New York Times earlier this year is Bisa Butler. Her work features large-scale images of Black people created in bright African fabrics. It is rich and full of detail. Last Saturday I found that she was included in the Clarice Smith Virtual Lecture Series of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery, which is my favorite gallery here in DC. The lecture is free. You can get more details and sign up here.

4. What a difference a year or seven months makes. Any other year, I’d be in Houston at International Quilt Market. Facebook has a good way of reminding me with the memories posts. I do miss my friends and colleagues. I miss the energy of my students. And, I miss the creativity of the quilts. The quilts. I do miss the quilts. Right now, a virtual Quilt Market is scheduled for Jan. 26-28, 2021. Virtual Quilt Festival is scheduled for Dec. 3-5, 2020. You can sign up for additional information here.

Make it a creative weekend!

Are you caught in the “as soon as” trap?

Do you find yourself saying, I’ll do it as soon as … ?

Yes, I’ve been there way too many times. Life is busy and it’s so easy to get stuck in as soon as land.

As soon as my day job slows down, I’ll work on my creative biz.
As soon as I get through my backlog emails, I can start thinking about this new project.
As soon as this pandemic is over, I can build my business.
As soon as my studio is clean, I can start on a new project.
As soon as I finish the stash of home-made cookies, I’ll pay better attention to my health.
As soon as the gym reopens, I’ll start exercising again.

While that sounds plausible to you, in reality, “as soon as” doesn’t ever come.

Because something else happens to stop you.

Every. Single. Time.



Read more…

From My Studio

Welcome to my new weekly newsletter. 

I hope you are having an amazing creative week!

My goal with this newsletter is to share some highlights of my week, any finds I’ve discovered, and random thoughts about business and life. 

Today I woke up to 35 degrees. Daytime highs will be in the mid-60s and 70s so I can handle the chilly morning.

1. Just in case you missed it, here was our blog post on Wednesday. I focused on evening rituals. It was a follow-up to an earlier post on morning rituals. I’d love to hear about your rituals. They really make a difference.

2. “Creativity is there to help us explore who we are.” 



Read more…

Evening rituals complete your day

Some time ago I wrote about the power of morning rituals and how they set you up for success.  Evening rituals can be just as powerful to end your day. They add a sense of completion, build confidence, and set you up for the next day.

If you think about it, your evening rituals can have a significant impact on how your next day goes. A good evening can translate into a good morning. Unfortunately, a bad evening often leads to a not-so-good next day.

I think of rituals as mindful practices that you make that can be come habits. I have evening habits, or rituals, that make a difference. And, when I feel off one day, I can often trace the cause to the previous evening.

Here are some rituals to consider.

Review your day.

Take time to look back on the day and see what worked for you. At the end of his day, Benjamin Franklin asked himself “What good have I done today?” It was a follow up to his morning question of “What good shall I do this day?”

Consider what you learned. It’s not always something specific to a task, like a new way to use the software you just purchased or a shortcut to one of your art techniques. It could also be something that you learned about yourself.

Read more…

From my Studio

Hello creative soul!!
Welcome to my new weekly newsletter. 

I hope you are having an amazing creative week!

My goal with this newsletter is to share some highlights of my week, any finds I’ve discovered, and random thoughts about business and life. 

1. Just in case you missed it, here was our blog post on Wednesday. I focused on why you should be blogging and 7 tips to start and grow your blog

2. The scourge that is sugar!



Read more…
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