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From My Studio

Saturday, November 14th, 2020
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

Saturday, November 7th, 2020
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! 

From My Studio

Saturday, October 31st, 2020

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.



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From my studio

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

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?

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

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.



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From My Studio

Saturday, October 17th, 2020

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.” 



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From my Studio

Saturday, October 10th, 2020
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!



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From My Studio

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

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 3 things you can do to make this last quarter great. 

2. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18. It’s hard to think of someone who championed women’s equality more.

As a textile fan, I loved how she made a fashion statement in her judicial robe. RBG and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice, wanted to include something feminine with their attire. The jabot was the answer. Here’s a fun article in the New York Times about the different collars that Justice Ginsburg wore



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3 steps to finish the year strong

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

Welcome to October!

You have 3 months left until we turn the calendar to 2021. That’s 13 weeks. It’s 92 days. Plenty of time to accomplish what you set out to do this year. 

Yes, I know it’s been the craziest year on record. What started out to be perhaps a short-lived inconvenience has turned into so much more.

Undoubtedly, your business was affected in ways you didn’t expect. Maybe you had to lay off employees or cut back on their hours. Maybe you applied for a loan or a grant to keep your business going. You likely had to learn a new way to deliver your product. So many people made the shift to offering more services online, whether that was teaching via zoom or delivering more marketing and selling online.

As you start this last quarter of 2020, here are three steps to taking you where you are now to ending your year in a better place than you expect.

Reflect

The first step is to reflect on where you are and how you got there.



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The power of a pause

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

You’ve spent the past three months either staying close to home, sheltering in place, or some variation of that. You’ve given yourself to others during this time. Perhaps you were unexpectedly homeschooling. Or caregiving in your home for someone who was sick. Or sharing your workspace with your spouse. Or just worrying about keeping your life and business going. 

Add to that the racial and political turbulence that came to a head in the past couple of weeks. Perhaps you were one of the many who participated in peaceful protests over the weekend. Or maybe you simply paused social media on #blackouttuesday. 

If you kept up with any of what has been going on in our world, you can see that it’s noisy. Emails, blog posts, podcasts, traditional news outlets.

I recently read that the “typical” person receives 120 emails a day. That same person spends 11 hours a day connecting online with media. On a daily basis, you can read 1,331 newspapers, listen to more than 550,000 podcasts, and read more than 2,000,000 blog posts.

It’s enough to give you a headache or more if you try to keep up.



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