Friday, January 10, 2014

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way....


Hello everyone, sorry it's been so long since I actually took the time to update my blog.  The summer was hectic as always and full of very unexpected challenges in my non-creative life.  I had some family issues to deal with, some emotional stuff to sort through, some health problems to remedy and in the midst of all of it my step-kids were here for the summer AND I changed jobs.  As I'm sure you can all imagine that makes for a pretty hectic schedule and for me it also takes a toll on my creative drive.  If I'm stressed or sad or confused it often leads me to lose interest in anything having to do with the creative process pretty much beyond what I can do with crayons and a coloring book (although that can be pretty fulfilling as well) and I can honestly say I am just starting to rebound to my former creative glory.  The biggest difference is right now I am finding myself focusing more on function than on fashion.  I have been working on a series of aprons, purses, tote bags and scarves lately and finding that very rewarding.  I have made a few outfits here and there and even a dress for my company holiday party, but beyond that my creative drive for long involved projects seems to have taken a short leave of absence.

I chalk everything that I have had to deal with in the last 6 or more months up to being part of the learning experience that we call life, that being said I am starting to realign my focus and trying to get back to some of the simpler  projects that I have enjoyed in the past.  As I have said before, thank you for taking the time to follow along with me on this life long journey as I navigate the sometimes choppy waters of the creative process.

I will hopefully be posting my thoughts more often, but I won't make any promises because I can't guarantee I'll be able to keep them especially since summer is fast approaching and I have lots to do between now and then!

Talk to you soon!

Monday, July 8, 2013

27 dresses week 3 and 4

Dress #19

Dress #14
 I've been a bit of a slacker the last few weeks.  Up until last week I was doing great about keeping up with
Dress #16

Dress #20
the challenge, but not so good about keeping the 
Dress # 21

Dress #15
 blog up to date.  I have included the 8 dresses I have posted since my last blog up date.  Unfortunately I have again fallen behind only this time it was in
Dress # 18
 regards to getting my daily posts done.  As those of you that read my post on July 2 know I was out of
Dress #17
pocket July 3 & 4 while I flew to Virginia to retrieve my step-kids for their summer vacation.  I had every intention of restarting my posts on the 5th, but flying from one coast to another and back in just over 24 hours is pretty brutal on the system. Not to mention the first few days after the kids arrive is an adjustment for everyone and I haven't had the chance to spend much time at the computer.

I plan on finishing up the 27 dresses challenge this week and with any luck will have the time, energy and inclination to post the final update as well as my plans for after the challenge is complete!

Friday, June 21, 2013

27 Dresses Challenge Week 2

Dress #9

Dress #10
Dress # 11

Dress # 12

Dress #13
This weeks dresses have if nothing else shown a great variety. A simple sundress great for the pool.  A pattern that brings back old memories. Another addition to the all wrapped up collection.  The fun and whimsy of a bright pink dress with a full circle skirt perfect for whatever spring and summer informal events come your way and finally my very favorite for the week......Lucky #13. Every girl needs the perfect little black dress in their closet and this one happens to be mine. It's super versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on shoes and jewelry!
So far the 27 dresses challenge has been a huge success with the exception of yesterday........I had a long day and just couldn't find it in myself to do anything when I got home beyond stretch out and cat nap with my Cowboy while he caught up on the latest episodes of Gangland and the Deadliest Catch.  Days like this are why I built a few extra days into my challenge!  Next week should bring some really exciting tings, I have a client coming over for a consult this afternoon, I have another project that will be ready to ship by Monday and I have traded work with one of my photog friends and if Sunday goes the way we plan I should have some new pictures to share next week!
Thanks for reading and as always I appreciate your comments!

Friday, June 14, 2013

27 dresses challange week 1

Hello all! Just wanted to give you all a quick recap of the dresses featured this week during the 27 dresses challenge!
Day # 1
Day # 3

Day #2
Day #5
Day # 7
Day #6

These are 5 of the 6 dresses I posted this week.  Day 4 is currently floating around cyberspace somewhere and refusing to download to my blogger site (I'm thinking it's probably a case of operator error, but I have to many other projects going to actually focus on that).  I have received LOTS of interest but no one has taken advantage of the great deals I'm offering along with my challenge.   I will continue to a daily dress for (hopefully) the next 20 days.  I'm hoping that sometime soon I can get some new pictures of people actually wearing some of these designs (even if it has to be me) so that everyone gets a better idea ofhow they fit and what they can be worn with or for.
 As always I appreciate everyone's input and I can't wait to hear form you!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

27 Dresses

Hello All,

Yeah yeah yeah I know it's been nearly a month since I posted, sorry life gets in the way sometimes and I mean to and then I get sidetracked and realize I can't think of anything to say that sounds even mildly intelligent.  For those of you that are now asking ok Casey what does the movie 27 dresses have to do with making clothes and exploring your creative process.....I know you're thinking it, it's OK I'd probably be thinking the same thing if it wasn't my bright idea of course! So here it is...........

27 Dresses is one of my favorite movies but it actually has very little to do with this idea other than providing a catchy title.  I have issued myself a challenge, over the next 30 days I am going to feature a different dress on my Quilted Elephant Facebook page.  Some will be pictures from the archives that you might have seen when you first started visiting the page, some might be designs you recognize but in a fabric or length you've never seen,  some might even be pictures of me (taken in the mornings before I go to work by my super sweet husband who would usually much rather be sleeping than taking my picture) and some might be pictures of some of my loyal fans wearing their favorite Quilted Elephant dress.   My goal with this little exercise is to make the commitment to actually tend to my Facebook page on a daily (or every other day basis) and to reacquaint some of you with Quilted Elephant.  I have been sewing quite a bite lately, but I haven't been posting many pictures, usually because I'm repeating a design in another fabric and I don't want y'all to get bored, but I figure if I post one a day for the next 27 (ok maybe 30 days in case I miss one or 3) days they won't seem redundant and you as my loyal followers might see something that you would like to have.  That's the best part about this challenge, if you place an order for a ''dress of the day'' within 24 hours of it being posted you will get 10% off your order and free shipping on that item. (If multiple items are ordered you will get 10% off the entire order and discounted shipping to account for your dress of the day order).

The 27  Dresses Challenge will officially start on Friday, June 7, 2013.  The daily dress will be posted daily by 6pm and can be ordered at the discounted rate for 24 hours, even if  I post the next days photo in a shorter time frame.  I look forward to hearing from all of you and for those of you out there that are hold outs and have Quilted Elephant dresses that you've never sent me pictures of cough 'em you could be part of my 27 dresses challenge.  At the end of the challenge I will post all 27 dresses here so everyone can take one last look!

Thanks for reading and as always I look forward to your input

Monday, May 13, 2013

Oh Muse where did you go....?

My muse has decided she needs another vacation....hopefully she exhausts her yearly vacation time here pretty quick and I can manage to get a few things done.  I haven't been completely unproductive since my last post, just not nearly as productive as I would like to be or as I usually am this time of year.  I know last time I posted I promised pictures of some of the wonderful arty things I got for my birthday (over a month ago) , but yeah it hasn't happened!
I have worked on a couple of non-sewing projects since my last post.
 One is my re-purposed cabinet door.  A friend is totally remodeling her house that was built in the 30's, one of her latest projects was a total gut of her kitchen.  My sometimes creative husband asked if he could have a few of the old cupboard doors to use for photo art and then they sat (he has wonderful ideas but not always the best follow through) and I realized one of them was just the right size for a message center for my studio.  I have several cork boards that I tack drawings and such to but no real place to jot down reminders other than the margins of my project journal. I decided to strip off the old paint, decoupage the border with fabric scraps and buttons and such and then turn the whole inside into a chalk board.  This sound pretty easy right? WRONG!!! Did I mention that these were the same cupboards that were originally installed in the house in the 1930's when it was built.....After an entire day of scrapping paint off a layer at a time (for anyone that knows anything about kitchen fashion I have scrapped away the white, the ecru, and the beige. In some places I have also made it past the goldenrod and the avocado green)  I came to 2 conclusions. The first one was that this was going to be a lot harder than I thought and the wood that I found underneath the layer of paint was to pretty to cover up with fabric scraps. I have decided that I will only take the paint off the frame and the top have of the door interior, the bottom half will be cork (that means I only have to sand it down enough for hot glue to stick) and the top half will still be chalk board.
I worked on a second non-sewing piece as well.  This one will have to remain hush hush for about another month.  My oldest friend and creative cheerleader Mila Bowman at Encourage Creative will be reaching a milestone of not only completing one creative act everyday for 365 days, but also blogging about it on June 15th, because I won't be able to attend the celebration I have created something special to commemorate her accomplishment.  After she has received it I will make a point of posting for all to see! (Sorry Mila NO HINTS for you!)
I also completed a 4 piece collection.  The customer was happy, but because everything was done by static measurements between 2 states the tops were exactly what she wanted and the bottoms were to small.  She assures me she doesn't hold me accountable and has even tried to pay me for the shipping or material costs of a replacement garment.  NOT gonna happen, I believe in fixing my mistakes and doing whatever I can to make the best of the situation and keep the client happy all at one time. Now if my pesky muse would settle down so I could get to work!
My Facebook page reached a new milestone since my last post....we have reached 50 likes! It took a little over a year but we've done it and had a fair amount of traffic ever since.  I am in the process of finishing up an apron for the winner of my first person so be 50 contest.
 I have also been contacted about the possibility of doing another wedding.  Thankfully this one is more of a laid back beachy theme and I will only be doing a bridesmaid dress and potential the brides dress, but they have yet to set anything in stone.
I have also taken a few minutes (ok a couple hours) to rearrange all of the Quilted Elephant photo albums by collection.  I'm hoping this makes them easier to flip through for those of you that are interested.  If anyone is interested let me know.  Work has slowed down considerably and I think I'll have a little more studio time than I have and I'd love to have new projects!
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Finishing What you Start

Get ready for it the second blog post in less than a week.  I must have to much time on my hands or something!

Over the last week or so I have been attempting to clean and organize not only my studio but the space upstairs in the loft that was formerly my studio.  The new studio is actually in pretty good shape, but the old space is still kind of a mess.  I attribute some of this to the fact that I was at the very beginning of the wedding project when I moved and because that project overwhelmed my creative life for so long I got side tracked from finishing anything else.  I have also been working a lot more than normal at my regular job which has meant less studio time, combine that with my Muse's cute little decision to take an unscheduled vacation and I haven't gotten much done.

Last week I actually had a studio day(granted it was cute short by a trip to Michael's and to the fabric store, but that's neither here nor there) and part of my time was spent going through the mess in the loft.  I really didn't make much of a dent, but I did make a discovery, I found at least 3 different projects that had been started and then put aside and never finished.  From talking to my artist friends I know that this is something that is fairly common for them, they start a project and then abandon it because it's taking a different direction than what they are looking for, but thus is something new for me, I'm usually pretty good at following a project all the way through to the end even if I'm unhappy with the out come, I guess these pieces somehow slipped through the cracks! Over the last week I have made a point of finishing 2 of them and maybe next week I will feel like finishing the others, all one needs is a zipper and a place to wear it, so maybe that one will be next. I'm pretty sure I can find an excuse to wear a cute sundress, or maybe  it will go unpublished and become a gift for one of the many upcoming birthdays I have ti start thinking about.

As my weekend comes to an end ( it really wasn't long enough) I'm going to make more of an effort to finish cleaning up the old studio so that it can turned into a more useable space.  I received several new art pieces for my birthday earlier this month and I will be displaying them in my next post.  I have realized  I have some pretty talented friends!

Thanks for stopping by and as always I appreciate your input and your feedback