Monday, July 18, 2011

Scenes from a Studio. And Dirt

my.sewing.nook

My friend Kathy was kind enough to ask me to share a look at my sewing space, so you can see that over here today, as well as lots of other very inspiring sewing spaces for the rest of the month! Anyway, it goes without say, that I have been chomping at the bit to get this place in order enough to share some looks at what the new attic studio has been turning into.

fabric.shelves

I am a firm believer in slow realization for any kind of living space. In other words I think the best spaces are those that get decorated, adorned, furnished, over time after use and function come to light. You can certainly fill a space in a matter of days, but really making it come together in the best possible way for me takes time and doing it wrong a few times, shifting, etc. The only problem with this method being that it makes me and my room a bit camera shy until it gets where I want to be....wherever, or whenever that is. But you know. Every space in my house is a work in progress. So with this new space when I have one corner or another cleared, looking the way I like seeing it, and not the way I don't, I'll snap and post. No big tada. No major 5-hour-photo-editing-post-post. Just some scenes. Here are some scenes.

favorite.tidbits

Snippets.

chair.stealer

I treated myself to 3 new chairs. Above Eleni has stolen this one. I'm sitting in it now. I lovesss it. I also love the giant sized needle I just noticed in that photo. It makes her look like Thumbelina. She's making a quilt with it. It doesn't occur to me to tell her to use a smaller needle. Its seems to be working for her. More on that later.

parallel.play

Above you can see that Isabela has stolen this chair. Both so different from anything else I have, and look perfect in the sunny office nook portion of the studio. Oh, I also got this little one to slide under the long counter. Sorry no photos of that yet....

Dirt. I spent about (lets see, 3, 8, 4, 2) 17 hours in dirt since Friday at 4:15 when I had to pull up one side of the black plastic off my grass to see what was hapnin. Dead grassiswhat. Anyway, thanks to all the amazing advice on this post, I spent the rest of my weekend removing plants, layering dozens of cardboard boxes and fabric bolts over dead sod, layering 4200 lbs (really) of topsoil over that, marking out a little pathway to Roman's tree swing, then dividing and replanting the plants so that they don't suffer out of the ground any longer. Speaking of suffering. Phew. I cannot move. And I'm only halfway done. I do plan a post on this, its just that every time the work in progress scene looked like an informative picture for you on the method, I was covered in a sunburned coat of mud (it was pretty) and no one was around to fetch my camera for me. Then last night I showered, got gorgeous (relative to the mudcake anyway) and went out with my husband of 18 years for Mexican and a movie to celebrate our anniversary. I ate 9 entrees. Not really...wuuuhhhl. Midnight in Paris was so entertaining and sweet.

So. I feel so chatty. This always happens when I think about taking a little blog break. But I need to, in a serious way. Blogging has been too fun lately and I have a job that I'd like to keep which is only slightly impossible for a mother of 6 during the summertime.

Hm.

OMG! I (almost) stepped into the shower this morning to rinse off the final layer of mud from my early morning planting session but stopped when I realized that I would have been showering with a mouse. I paced and said oh my gosh about 12 times in a row then I finally walked out into the studio where poor Pierrette was trying to do her job and calmly asked her (as I paced in my skimpy towel) to please look in the tub and verify that I was indeed looking at a mouse because it felt too much like a bad dream. Pretty much everyone else in the house except me had some part in collecting the mouse into a ball jar and covering it with a handtowel to set it free while I stood nearly naked on a bench in the studio saying oh my gosh some more. Just as Pierrette and I admitted that through the glass jar in her hands that he was quite a cute mouse, he lurched from under her charmed and distracted handtowel-holding hand onto the dining room floor where he ran around in a few circles before hiding under the china cupboard. There is cheddar cheese waiting for him now, in the jar which he'll likely come out to enjoy while the rest of us are occupied.

Also the tub is disinfected, which I doubt would have happened otherwise for at least another week.

xo, Anna, who couldn't let the week go without telling you that.

58 comments:

  1. Your studio is beautiful!

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  2. Thanks for the sweet post. I love your studio, and am so jealous! Can I visit? Also, I'm so sorry to hear about your mouse experience. I would have had to be peeled off the ceiling. For whatever reason, we keep getting humongus wood spiders in our house. Those are the kind that contort their bodies to look dead so when an unassuming person reaches down to dispose of it, its lets flail out and it jumps on you. Its really quite terrifying. I almost stepped on one after having to go check on Layla in the middle of the night. I hate spiders!
    Also, happy anniversary to you! 18 years!- what an accomplishment! We just celebrated my parents' 25th on Friday, and surprised them with a trip to Europe since the only place they've ever been is Williamsburg, VA.
    Anyway, it wasn't my intention to write you a separate post like this! I'm sorry!

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  3. I thought with a title like this that the studio part would surely be best. And, although the studio part was quite inspiring, the dirt and mouse part were more truly Anna. So happy you're chatty =) because I really need that pick me up today!

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  4. Eeeeeeeeeeeeek! A mouse!

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  5. your space is looking mighty spiffy!
    good luck catching that mouse.

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  6. Well this is a rich post! I was thinking of all my impressions and responses, but now that mouse is running around in my thoughts, and you have made me smile and giggle. Loveliness... all of it, even the mouse, because you make it so dear.

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  7. I don't follow many blogs, but seriously...yours is one of my favorites. Because some days you just post pretty pictures, and other days you chat about the everyday in a way that makes it sound beautiful and real. I am never put off by a wordy post here. It makes me wish you were my neighbor and we could sit in rocking chairs stitching and sipping iced tea together. Ha. And now I sound like a stalker.

    Alas.

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  8. oh no - don't take a blog break, I've been loving your posts lately. I am working on a cloned version of myself for all forms of work. Leaving the real me for the kids and blogging. I'll let you know if I have any success...

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  9. I love the chatty posts, feels like I am ktalking with a dear, dear friend on the phone. The added benefit is I get to see that gorgeous space and the cute kids! the mouse story just made me laugh out loud although I can appreciate I wouldn't be laughing in your spot.

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  10. Time is often the most overlooked ingredient. We always try to rush through to the finish. I wholeheartedly agree that spaces need time to come into being. Otherwise, they're just too sterile to live in.

    I love those jars filled with perle cotton. A little bit of heaven on the shelf.

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  11. You're the best, thank you! Where I Sew month is making my wish list quite lengthy. I most definitely need a Chindi Folding Stool, too cool!

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  12. Your studio is beautiful!!!
    How organized your shelves are!
    It's so colorful and yet so harmonious! Love it!

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  13. I LOVE the idea of "slow realization." YES.

    Love seeing the creating your kids do alongside you, also. I noticed that in these pictures the ones doing their own thing in your studio are girls. Are any of your boys interested in needle-thread-fabric type pastimes? Do you think the gendered-ness of these hobbies is changing in the next generation or do they remain girl things? (That is honestly not meant as a criticism like "Well. Where are your boys. And what are YOU doing for gender roles?" I am just genuinely curious about your observations as a mother of multiple children of both genders, so maybe you have some insight into what are individual differences and what are general boy-girl differences, you know?)

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  14. Wow!, you really are living the dream! Your studio is amazing! swap? Michelle xx

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  15. I love your studio! My girls come in and make fun things with scraps while I am working...so cute to see someone else experiencing the same sweetness! Happy Anniversary!!!!! Hope you found your mouse and he exited gracefully! Love your blog! God Bless,
    Cathy

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  16. Anna, What I love best about your studio is that it looks like someone works there, lives there and creates things in it. Like you I think it takes time to live in a space to make it yours.

    Happy Anniversary to you and your husband- may you celebrate many more happy years together.

    Thanks for sharing- Your mouse story was cute - probably not much fun for you. I loved that you kept your sense of humor about it all.
    Warmest regards,
    Anna

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  17. I love your life and am especially encouraged by your suggestion that decorating takes time and shifting, after you've lived in something for a while. I think it's reflective of your life. You are creative, obviously quite talented, but you have lots of irons in a big fire, which makes you and your decorating interesting.

    So I"ll take your suggestion to keep on styling my house, one purposeful corner at a time, knowing that in the end, there will always be a corner ready while another is under construction.

    Cheers to a beautiful studio! And here's to the gardening and decorating work that lies ahead.

    {rebekah, birmingham, al}

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  18. I love seeing the little bits of your studio. I also totally agree that spaces work better over time with adjustment and use to make them just right.
    Loved Midnight in Paris Happy Anniversary!

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  19. Oh my goodness is right! Mice are adorable but NOT when you find them where they aren't suppose to be! Hope you were able to find him and put him outside to find a better home.

    You have been very ambitious! Enjoy the blogging vacation and especially the children! As you know they grow much too fast. Happy Summer!

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  20. I love your studio. If it were mine I would just want to spend the whole day making pretty things. I also take time to decorate trying to only collect things I really love, not that fill the brief. That way, many years on I still love those things, the others I am not. I have been in my house for 9 yrs and it is still evolving around our changing lives (now with 3 little people).

    The mouse story made my skin crawl. How on earth did you guys catch it so easily with a jar? I hope he likes the cheddar, I have found they like peanut butter and chocolate too.

    dxx

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  21. Your studio is beautiful. It must b a pleasure to work there! Thank you for reminding of the new Woody Allen Movie. I'm looking forward to its start in Germany!
    Best wishes, Micha

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  22. Anonymous6:40 AM

    I brushed off a bug crawling up my leg in the shower once, thinking it a spider, until I looked down at it on the shower stall floor and saw a small scorpion! This was in our home, so I went running in my birthday suit through the house in search of insect spray, a jar, and a small knife. He met a crueler fate than your gentle mouse (whom I recommend if you let live you carry FAR from the house, if you don't want to see him again).

    There's a question for you in the Sewing Patterns group; I'm having a harder time locating sufficient pom poms than I am at finding scorpions. Thanks in advance!

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  23. I love your studio! Very inspiring! And omg, your mouse story cracked me up! I literally laughed out loud, seeing as I am in my salon by myself I am sure that I looked quite odd to the people walking by. HAHAHAHAH I love it!!

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  24. Taking a break from blogging? I'll sadly miss your posts, but I can completely understand. I only have 3 children and can hardly get anything accomplished. I've been unintentionally "taking a break from blogging" for a few weeks now. I hope you get to enjoy your summer! And that the little mouse comes out to get that cheese. Thanks as always for the beautiful fabrics and inspiration. From the moment I saw your fabrics, you quickly became my top favorite fabric designer. My husband tells me I'm hard to shop for...I just remind him that all he needs to remember are 3 words "Anna Maria Horner". He still can't believe that fabric could make me so happy...but it does. Especially when it's fabulous. Thanks for the fabulous:) And Happy Anniversary to you and your husband. You obviously have figured out how to stay grounded in your marriage. It's refreshing to see:)

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  25. What a beautiful room! Great natural light (what my craft room is seriously lacking) really helps so much. And I just had to say that I'm loving the multi-tasker tote with the innocent crush fabric. I ordered the pattern this week and I can't wait to start on it! Have a great summer =)

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  26. Anonymous12:20 PM

    Thanks for answering my query so quickly, Anna Maria! (Figured you'd see my reply here more quickly. :-)

    I just this minute got back from WalMart, where I found some big white pom poms that I think will work. We don't have a Textile Fabrics (or much else) as far out in the country as I live - but thankfully I found some poms that should work. I have other poms purchased on etsy that are smaller that may suffice for the non-white pillows. Lord willing, I'll post the results in a few days to a week (or so :-).

    Thanks for your comments on the sewing. Your pattern is good fun for me - although a challenge; I'm an adventurous beginner. Those turns are tricky, but so worth the effort.

    Now if I can just keep our new kittens away from the poms and the pillows - Can I lend you some kittens to take care of your mouse problem perhaps? ;-)

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  27. Your new space is so very beautiful! I dream of having my very own craft room someday soon. x

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  28. What a great inspirational sewing space! It looks like such a happy, cheerful place to create.

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  29. Always a great story here! :) Thanks for sharing your life with us! And... I am totally drooling over your sewing room... and your stash of your own fabrics! :) How could one resist creating beautiful things in such a place!?

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  30. Beautiful pics! I love that it seems like your children are in the studio a lot, being all creative and such. Makes the space look more beautiful.

    Funny mouse story. Where I live, we've just been experiencing a mouse plague, not nice! So the thought of kindly catching one to then put it outside seems so bizarre, funny and yet ideal! Best way to intice a mouse... peanut butter. They LOVE it! :)

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  31. That looks like heaven; children in your work space.

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  32. Here I was reading your post and thinking I really must write something about how beautiful your studio is, how much I love the fabrics, the colours and patterns, and how lovely it was to see your children joining in. But I see that about 30 people thought the same and got there first!

    I really enjoy your writing and being inspired by someone so far along the sewing journey when I am so near the start. I hope your blogging break doesn't last too long!

    I'm not sure how much my three boys would join me in my imaginary studio (one day!), but the eldest asked me the other day if I'd teach him how to sew, so there's hope yet!

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  33. Your studio is so beautiful! I am always inspired when I visit your blog- please don't take too long of a break!!! xoxo

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  34. Anonymous7:45 AM

    Oh man, I am sooooooo afraid of mice! I would be on top of the table or something. Love your space! Love your Moda fabric too.

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  35. Anonymous11:34 AM

    Could you share the brand and color name you used on those two beautiful chairs...they look kind of coral. I also re-doing my sewing room and love the colors you have chosen...thanks for sharing where you get different things.

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  36. Thank you for sharing your studio as a living, breathing, transitioning work in progress. I love it!

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  37. Wow, I am extremely jealous of your work space! It is beautiful. So glad I found your blog on here. Am very much looking forward to following your work! ♥

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  38. Anonymous7:09 PM

    Anna, I come to your blog as it makes me smile and feel positive about the world and the future. Going through a bit of an uncertain time. Thanks for your uplifting posts- it makes me dream of my own space.....
    Kate

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  39. Omg thats the funniest thing I've read in awhile! Hope the visitor has moved on and you were able to enjoy the sparkling tub. :-)

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  40. Come here again and i found i love this style and atmosphere, warm and lovely. who live here is herself princess!

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  41. Beautiful space! It looks very calm and loving, if you know what I mean. Thank you so much for letting us have a peek. Vanessa x

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  42. I just noticed that your lovely voile is on the cover of the Vogue pattern book incorporated in a designer pattern! Wow, that just seems like such a stunner- growing up looking at those patterns feeling like I could create something designer myself- to then have your fabric featured on that book! I'm sure you know about it, but I just wanted to say that I felt proud somehow. You are just so amazingly talented!

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  43. welliewalks, I didn't know about it :) Which catalog is it?

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  44. FYI, mice and rats are actually more attracted to peanut butter than to cheese. Whenever I bait a rat trap, I use a dab of peanut butter, and it works well. Hopefully you won't have any more mice running loose in your house though!

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  45. I want that studio. Simple.

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  46. I'm so excited to see that your threads are available for purchase now. I can't wait to get them, as I know that lots of embroidery and knitting are in my future travels. Also I've been wanting to learn to crochet, so this will give me the incentive to learn. :) All those luscious colors.

    We are going to Nashville for the first time in about 3 weeks. I am requesting where to eat kid friendly places in the area on my blog today. Got any great places to recommend?

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  47. I love your philosophy on home decorating. That's a lot like life, isn't it? We never really arrive, I mean, we finish up a corner here and there and go work on somewhere else, only to come back to that once lovely space and realize we have some new ideas to freshen it up (or, realize we need some serious spring cleaning).

    And how dissatisfied do we creatives feel when a house is fully complete and we have nothing to work on?!

    I love seeing the photo of the sketches and little paintings, and the concept designs. Is this what your creative process is like? I always wonder how designers do it. Do you just sit down at the computer and go, or do you start out with hand drawn ideations? I wonder this because I'm a painter. And I usually just sit down and go. I think I would be a better designer if I could learn some new processes. Would it be too much work to document some of your creative process sometime? I mean, if I can't just hang out in your studio and WATCH, I guess that would be the next-best, right? (Oh to grow up as your daughter!!)

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  48. Amazing interior. Looks cute and functional. :) And when your little girly is helping, everything must be easier and more fun!

    ___
    Simply Fone

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  49. just came across your blog through the top 20 baby photo blogs (congratulations!) and upon reading this felt i needed to tell you i had a similar mouse but really a rat situation and instead of shower i was on the toilet when it ran out. FREAKED FREAK out and still freaking 7 months later. so i feel your pain.

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  50. I agree with eek a mouse! too...ok what came first the mouse or the digging in the dirt? Do you think he moved inside with you because someone was playing around with his digs? Or maybe he just knew you always seem to be having a good time and he decided to come check it out.

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  51. Thanks for sharing your studio-slow
    and steady that seems the best.
    Always good have a time of rest and
    relaxation!

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  52. Carrie Picott5:36 PM

    AM:
    Not that you have time to watch relaity TV (and not that I watch it either) but your gorgeous fabric appeared on the Bachelorette as some throw pillows on a sofa in Fiji. I know it well because the same fabric lives in my master bath as my shower curtain. Just thought I would share.

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  53. ok, so my comment doesn't pertain to this post. i just wanted to say that i'm a newcomer to all that is amh, and as such, i suggested to my kids that they pool their $$ and buy me your 'seams to me' as a birthday gift. well, i feel like a kid who was just given free reign in a candy store! couldn't wait to sit in bed with book in hand and just give it a quick once over and over and over....belive it or not, these comments from a 53 yr old who has been sewing since she was about 14/15 yrs old! pretty funny, right? but as a mostly self-taught sewer, i love to learn new tricks or to affirm my own. so thanks for the numerous gifts within the book. my first project will be the pincushion caddy. and i will definitely be sharing some of your projects with some young sewing newbies (me and a friend host a 2 wk sewing camp in the summer and some after-school workshops during the school yr). -thelma

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  54. There's a mouse living in my garage and it's freaking me out! We have a pest control guy coming tomorrow to eradicate it. :)

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  55. A mouse ! I would be running. I am such a chicken. Love your blog!

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