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Friday, February 29, 2008
Friday Post
I said I was going to try to post more often and I am. I had forgotten how many pictures I had taken in the last 2 weeks (well, not THAT many- but plenty to post).

So, here we go.

First we studio. Now, the room itself is only 10' x 12'. Into that I have put 2-4' tables and one 8' table and a Koala Outback II and a small book case. To say space is tight would be an understatement. While it's a pain as far as storage goes it's also very convenient/efficient as far as working. The wall on the west (outside wall- all window) has the 8' and one 4' table along it. This is my main workspace. My ironing board (literally- a 4'x4' piece of 1/2" plywood, covered with 2 layers of batting and the silver ironing board fabric) sits on the 8' table. If I am facing it my cordless iron is on the pull-out from the Outback to my left by 90 degrees. A 180 turn puts me facing my machine. I have to roll my chair very little as there is only a little over 3' from the ironing table to the sewing machine. To my right when facing the ironing table are the 2 4' tables in an "L" with slightly 6' from where the iron is to the table on the N wall- this is where my computer is. The 4' table to my left has one of my printers on it, telephone and a lot of my tools. My other printer is under the table holding the computer. It sits on top of a plastic storage drawer full of "odd" fabrics. The rest of the N wall is my beautiful storage cabinet that was custom built into the space that was meant to be a closet (this was supposed to be the third bedroom but was used as an office by the developer of this neighborhood- my friend's mom- who lived here first, used it as a TV room so the French doors into the living room were left and no closet was ever built). There are pictures of this beautiful cabinet in my blog somewhere.....I will try to find them later and put in links for those of you like me....too busy to go hunting.

Ok, the top half of this cabinet, which is 5'6" long, is like a china hutch- glass fronted doors, adjustable shelves (7) on each side. It's about 3' deep. The left side has my hand-dyes (both ones I have done and those purchased) and a large part of my antique kimono silk collection. The right side is all commercial fabrics.

The bottom half of the cabinet is drawers- 5 of them. The top-most is the shallowest, the second drawer a little deeper and the bottom 3 about 5.5" deep. I keep my threads in the top two using adjustable silverware organizers from BB&B. The other three are currently being emptied and rearranged but hold fusibles, unfinished projects, paper pads, a mat cutter (never out of the box), embossing gun (same deal) get the idea.

Ok, the east wall is where the French Doors are. They abut the south corner but take up a little more than 1/2 the wall. The rest of the wall has black felt that is mounted on velcro (hooky side) that is attached to the wall- I have three strips- top and two sides- to keep the felt fairly taught. The south wall, as noted before, has the Outback cabinet against it. With the back portion elevated (and it is) this leaves less than 4' to the door. I managed to find a little bookcase to shove in there to keep my most frequently referenced books there.

As you can imagine, EVERY available surface is in use. Under tables, under the Outback, etc. I have to keep the space in front of the cabinet clear because, as I have discovered, within 30 minutes of setting anything in front of it that will interfere with the opening of a drawer, I will need something out of one of those drawers. The only thing permanently in front of it is Kaiser's (my dog's) fleece blanket (it was purchased as a lap blanket for my friend's mom who lived here because she was always cold- it was too nice to get rid of but way too warm for me- queen of hotflashes). Now, does the dog use it?? Well, occasionally. Usually he just finds a spot that I am most likely to need to occupy in the next 15 minutes and stretches out there. Of course, when I ask him to move he becomes quite offended.

Kaiser in one of his favorite spots- right in front of the computer. If I am at the computer he likes to be behind me, blocking access to the sewing machine. This placement assures maximum attention from me.

To the right is the ironing table- I forgot to mention that I have a cutting mat I store between the table and the window- it's a simple matter to grab it by the top edge and slide it out on top of the ironing board. Originally I had visions of sliding the ironing board off the table when I needed to. Let me tell you- not gonna happen. I did that once and it's heavy and awkward. Much easier to just move the cutting mat.

Another view of the work area- sewing machine to the left. Yes, I could have cleaned up before I took the pictures but, what-the-heck, you might as well see it as it normally is.

View from the door looking in....complete with doggy butt. Heaven forbid I should get up and move and Kaiser not follow. The only place he goes without me it into the bedroom to jump up and lay on MY side of the bed (he has his own side) because he knows he isn't supposed to be there.

My lovely little bookcase- crammed into the corner. There was a bunch of stuff piled in front of it but I needed to rearrange some stuff while looking for the still-missing light box, so I have moved that stuff elsewhere so I can get at the books.

I had visions of continuing this post with photos of some current work but, I have spent enough time here for now and need to get back to my current "gotta-get-it-done" work- a special entry into the "Quilts in the Garden" show in the UK.


posted by Teri Springer @ 12:00 PM   0 comments
Hello Gretchen, Are You Out There??
Gretchen Huggett- I need you to get ahold of me regarding a woman in Ohio (this side of Cleveland) with lots of weaving stuff to get rid of.

Thanks- hope you still read my blog.

posted by Teri Springer @ 10:41 AM   0 comments
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Enough Already!!!!
Ok, I love winter more than most people but, good grief, someone PLEASE turn OFF that snow machine!!!!!

Currently working on wrapping up a piece for a show in the UK that has to BE there by 4/1 so I had better get cracking.....

And, after reviewing my counters and seeing how many people have stopped by I feel like I have let them down not posting more. So, I hereby vow to try to post at least 3 times a week. We'll see how I do.....

posted by Teri Springer @ 10:38 AM   0 comments
Friday, February 15, 2008
Dyes Used
Thought I would share the dyes I used. I mixed them in 12 oz plastic "party" cups (the opaque ones) that I had left-over from my class with Heide Stoll-Weber. I mixed about 3-4 ounces of each. I used:

Rust Orange (Dharma)
Sunrise Red (Dharma- will strain next time)
Maroon Brown (Dharma)

The rest are from ProChem:

Hot Chocolate
Stormy Sky (my favorite)
Terra Cotta
Barn Red (also will strain next time since I don't know which of the reds was the one that left blotches)
Black 602A
Burnt Orange
Chocolate Brown (not the same as Hot Chocolate)
Havana Brown (a greeny-brown that I just love)
Dusty Purple

My goal was to get very earthy colors that look like rocks, shaded rocks, rocks at dusk, etc. The result was too "tie-dyey" for the project I wanted them for but that's ok, I can still use them for other projects. However, now I need to make the fabrics I need for the current project. Thankfully the majority I already have; it's just the rocks I need! to find the light box to make my transparency for the pattern
posted by Teri Springer @ 10:32 AM   1 comments
Ice Dyeing- Soda Ash Presoak THIS is more like it! The soda ash presoak made a big difference. The dye strike was, of course, faster and that allowed the ice to act as a resist. I also can see areas where the snow that had fallen and wasn't entirely shaken off acted as a resist also. Still not sure I would want to do this on a larger scale. Maybe when my studio in Chester is done and I have direct access from the dye studio to the outdoors.....Now I am on to other things. My challenge piece for the West MI Art Quilters.


posted by Teri Springer @ 10:01 AM   2 comments
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Happy VD & Ice Dyeing Results
Sorry- old joke (you reading this Rita??). Hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's day. I received tulips from mum & dad (my stepmum remembered I LOVE tulips).

And here are the fabrics from batch 1 of the ice dyeing experiment. This was the batch that was not pretreated with soda ash but had the soda ash solution poured into the bucket after the dye was poured on. Not spectacular but not bad either. Don't think I would go to all this trouble again for this result. Could have done this in the dry, warm studio. I do know that I will be straining ALL red dyes from now on!

The batch of fabrics that was pretreated are in the washer right now having their second cold water rinse. After this rinse I take a piece out and run it under cold water in the bathroom sink (I can't see the water coming out of the washer because there is no sink in the laundry room- it drains into a pipe). If the water runs clear I then wash the fabric in hot water with the Synthrapol. If it does not run clear I keep repeating the cold water rinse until the water IS clear. I find I use a lot less water doing it this way (as opposed to hand rinsing in the studio sink) because I have an "ecosmart" washer that uses less water than a normal top-loader. This method is also MILES kinder to my bad back!!

I will post pics of batch two after they are ironed. Sorry about the pictures but I just didn't have room to get proper photos and was too lazy to do them one at a time by hanging on the cabinet door as I did with the one piece of silk noil I dyed.
posted by Teri Springer @ 12:38 PM   2 comments
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Yes- I HAVE been Working
Amazingly enough. First, I am trying to get all "business" stuff out of the studio. It's tough because I listen to the radio on my computer (only way to hear CBC radio here) plus my email is in here.....any way, here is what I spent part (read: most) of my day doing:

Yep- shredding. Tomorrow is recycling day so I thought I'd get a bunch done to put out. As it turns out I have a lot more to shred than I bargained for. I am not even close to done but have put out what is done. The rest will have to go out next recycling day.....

But I have actually worked on some creative stuff too. I am working on a piece for the West MI Art Quilter's Challenge- the theme is "Italy" this year. Never having been there I went looking for photos that screamed Italy at me. I found one of the northern Italian coast and a week later I received a brochure in the mail for cruises and a picture of the same spot was in the brochure! Different angle but the exact same spot. Anyway, I emailed the person who took the first photo and she was kind enough to give me full use of her photo as long as I show her the finished product. Hey, no problem!!

In the meantime I have been working on a series of wholecloth pieces that I am hand stitching (yes, I am crazy but hand stitching is the only way it felt right). I don't want to show any until they are done. BUT, I did give "ice dyeing" a try today. I don't think I will do it again unless the results are REALLY spectacular (meaning, not again).

First I scoured fabric. D'uh. Second, I soaked all the fabric in plain water and wrung it out. Some fabric I put in one bucket, untreated. The rest I put in a second bucket after doing a soda ash soak. I put both buckets outside.

Now, it's been darned cold here so everything froze solid. One thing I didn't think of, all the pieces of fabric froze together (d'uh again). The fabric that was not treated wouldn't come out of the bucket. So today I went out with my dye and started dumping and pouring (I didn't mix up a lot of each color but I did use about 12 colors). The untreated fabric got a soda ash solution dumped on it (in it, as it was still in the bucket) after the dye.

Ok, brought it all inside. As it S-L-O-W-L-Y thawed, I separated the batch that got the soda ash dump (which helped it thaw faster than the pre-treated fabric). squeezed out the excess dye and made fabric burritos with plastic wrap. The burritos were put in a disposable roasting pan and placed in the oven, preheated to 170 degrees F. Those have been in there since 10:20am.

The pretreated fabric took a tad longer to thaw enough to separate....those burritos went in at 1:30pm.

So, now we wait until tomorrow for the wash out to see what the results were. I really hate waiting but, since the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing in 12 minutes, I will manage.....and if I am down in the TV room I can't hear the *(^&^%^%$^*& snowmobilers roaring by the house.....stinky noisy things.

posted by Teri Springer @ 7:03 PM   0 comments
Friday, February 08, 2008
Yes We Can!
posted by Teri Springer @ 7:35 PM   1 comments
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Customer Service is an Oxymoron
Yes, it is. Oh, occasionally you come across the freakish person who actually believes in treating the customer like they matter. VERY seldom do you come across someone who acts like the customer is their reason for being in business. Lately it seems more that businesses treat the customer like they (the business person) is doing them (the customer) a favor by even acknowledging that they exist.

Then there are the companies that just need to polish up their customer service a little.

Sears is in the first category. I ordered a jewelry armoire on line because I gave up on JCPenney's sending me one in a decent box so that it did not get damaged in transit (to JCP's credit, when I returned the first one and refused the second one they immediately credited my account). Anyway, I ordered the one from Sears in early November so it would get here before I left for Nova Scotia for Christmas. On-line it said "in stock and ready to ship." Well, they lied. You're getting the Reader's Digest version here. They stalled and stalled. Then they said they shipped it. Then they said, no, it hasn't shipped yet. Finally, it had shipped but, since it came directly from the manufacturer Sears had no way of knowing when it would arrive. When it didn't show up in 14 days I canceled the order and asked for credit. I was told I would have the credit in 3-5 days. Two weeks later, still no credit. I called. Was told "oh, sorry but we have no control over how long it takes for the manufacturer to issue credit." Uh, excuse me?? I didn't order from, nor did I pay, the manufacturer. The VISA statement quite clearly shows that Sears was paid on November 16th. Since I paid Sears then Sears should be giving me the credit. Nope, doesn't work that way. Sigh. Ok, called VISA and asked that the charge be reversed. This was in later January. The credit was on my statement in 48 hours (January 28th). So, order placed 11/9, charged 11/16, finally got my money back on 1/28.

No wonder Sears is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Ok, then there is firstStreet which falls in the latter category.

In early November I ordered a "Tiffany-style" floor lamp with full-spectrum bulb (think Ott- light but more attractive). It was perfect for my living room so I could do hand work at night in front of the TV. Again, order placed, confirmed. Was supposed to be "in stock and available to ship." It was ordered so that it would get here before 12/20 when I went home for Christmas. It didn't make it. I emailed. "Oh, sorry but our computer shows that this item is backordered and won't be available to ship until 1/15/08." Ok, I responded, did it ever occur to you to send me an email to tell me this? No response. I got home on 1/4. On 1/11 I was notified that the lamp had shipped and should arrive within 10 days (good grief, how do they ship this stuff? slow boat??). 1/21, no lamp; 1/22, no lamp; 1/23, no lamp. I emailed again. Oh, it didn't actually ship (then why did you tell me it did). They are still back ordered and won't be available until February. And you were going to tell me when?? I noted that good customer service requires communication, just like any relationship and that I did not appreciate being charged for an item and told it had shipped when it had not. I suggested they try emailing customers whose orders were delayed for any reason and that most people (me included) didn't mind waiting for something we really wanted as long as we knew why we were waiting and how long the wait might be. Their response?? They canceled the order and credited my VISA. Did they email me to tell me they were doing this? No; I found out when I checked my VISA statement. The credit was issued 1/23. On 2/2 I received a letter in the mail telling me they had canceled the order. Gee, thanks. But, at least I didn't have to go to the manufacturer to get the refund.

Will I ever order online from Penney's or At least, not from However, I have not had any problems with so I am debating that one. How about firstStreet?? Well, I already did. I ordered a different lamp since the Tiffany style is still back ordered. I was charged for the new lamp on 1/31- I'll let you know when/if it comes.

No wonder the US economy is in the toilet. If one more person tells me it's my patriotic duty to buy American and shop in American stores I think I will scream. I am finding the US stores (both in person, via catalog and via the Internet) have the worst customer service. And the larger the business the worse the service.

End of Rant.

If you are in a Super Tuesday State please go vote!!! and vote Obama!!!!)

posted by Teri Springer @ 9:54 AM   0 comments
Monday, February 04, 2008
No Rant Tonight
I know I promised you all a rant but it will have to wait until tomorrow. Just remind me to tell you about "customer service."

Anyway, I am not in the mood for a rant tonight. Possibly it's the effects of the Vicodin I took an hour ago for my sore back. Hard to rant when you are "comfortably numb" (which is, ironically, my current ring tone....).

I am sitting here in the studio and I can actually see counter tops! Not all of them but, hey, it's progress. I pin basted two whole-cloth pieces to hand stitch and my Janome is set up and ready to go tomorrow so I can finish the small pieces I started in Tahoe. Yes, I am actually working! My depression still makes it difficult to keep moving but I am making an effort. Mondays are good for me. My friend and housekeeper, Connie, is here on Mondays and she gets me moving. When she cleans, I clean. I think I need her here 5 days a week to keep me moving. Wish I could afford that! But I think her other customers might not like it.

So, my living room is looking more like a living room ( am inspired to clean it up to show off my beautiful new fireplace) and now I am waiting for my painter to find the time to pop over so we can discuss color and texture. I had chosen some shades of peach but they just are NOT going to work with the look of the living room- too "prissy." Now I am thinking a warm gold maybe; either in a sueded look or Venetian plaster. The bedrooms are no issue- I KNOW what I want in there. I'm going to leave the studio alone for now; the off white I have works just fine.

So, I guess that is it for now. I can't wait for tomorrow. Go Obama!!!!

posted by Teri Springer @ 5:48 PM   0 comments
Ok, now that I have moved those two most recent posts.....

I was without my beloved Janome 6600 for over 2 weeks!!!! Yikes. I tried to free motion with the Viking (I know I used to use it for that) but I just couldn't get it to work so I gave up and started filing, shredding, etc. I am trying to move ALL paperwork to the desk in the bedroom but it's difficult since the computer is here in the studio. I will set the laptop up in the bed room once I get the desk cleaned off so then it will be an office! I did get a wireless printer for in there. It is just a printer, not a photo-quality since I don't need that kind of quality in the office. If I do anything on the laptop that needs to be in the studio I will just use a jump drive to switch computers.....Now I just need to redo ALL my QuickBooks files on my Mac......sigh.

Ok, I am finishing up cleaning the studio so I can get some work done. I got on a roll last night but was interrupted by the Super Bowl. Normally, as much as I like football, I don't watch the Super Bowl unless Green Bay or Chicago are playing (don't have to worry about Detroit getting in). But, many years ago I did very well financially thanks to the Miami Dolphins and I wanted to see if the Pats would pull off the 2nd undefeated season in NFL history. I was torn as to whether I wanted them to do it or not. But, in the end, it was Eli I had to cheer for. I just like that kid. And somehow it seemed fitting that, just like last year, it was a Manning who ruined the Pats season.

Great game kid!!!

Ok, I do have a rant I will save for this afternoon.....I am off to put some fabric away that has been sitting in a bin since I got home from AQT.

posted by Teri Springer @ 9:26 AM   0 comments
Just Another Snowy Day in Michigan (2/1/08)
Anyone who has visited Hawai'i should recognize the title as being "borrowed" from a ubiquitous bumper sticker (well, ubiquitous if you live in Hawai'i) that declares: "Just Another Shitty Day in Paradise."

Yep, it's snowing here. Again. Still. Once again the boys don't have school. That means Joey will be in bed until noonish and then want to go snowboarding (let's see, the roads are bad enough that the school buses won't go out for a school that is 8 miles away but HE wants to drive to Bittersweet Ski Area that is 20 miles away.....and he doesn't understand why I won't let him). Ben is up (at the crack of 10:15) and making his breakfast. He'll study and watch DVD's all day.

Me, I'm still without my sewing machine so I guess I will clean my studio. But, before I go, here are some pictures of the view from my front AND back porches!

The actual view from the front door (you didn't think I was actually going to go OUT, did you??)

My pretty new Highlander Hybrid. Only 500 miles on it. I had thought of a name for it but, since I was in bed at the time and half asleep, of course, I can't remember what I decided on.

The view out back. I DID open the door for this one and yes, I have been out. The dog demands it. Thankfully a couple of local snowmobilers (I'm guessing kids with no school) had already been by this morning so, once I waded my way out to their tracks walking was a lot easier. Now, I want to know HOW those kids parents got them out of bed so early on a snow day!

Oh, and the smoke detector is still cheerfully bleeping away. I finally bought yet another new 9volt so will climb up there today and try to get it to shut up before I rip it out of the ceiling.

posted by Teri Springer @ 9:25 AM   0 comments
No, it's not ME moving but my blog posts. I just can't keep up with two blogs and it really seems silly to post some stuff on one and then not post anything on the blog most people have come to associate with me so, I am going to just one blog. I was going to make this blog strictly work/art related but, since I am trying to force myself to get stuff done, photographed and to my web mistress, I said "ta heck with it" and am using this blog for everything. So, here's a post from 1/23:

But now it's one of the smoke detectors in my Michigan home driving me crazy!!! It's been beeping the last week; telling me I need to change the battery. Of course, it just HAD to be the one in the living room- the room with 12 foot ceilings! So I have put it off and put it off....Today I backed my dad's car out of the garage to get to my 8' ladder (that my ex got me for Christmas- no, he's not trying to knock me off- I asked for an 8 or 10' ladder so I wouldn't have to keep borrowing his 6' one). So, in comes the ladder:

Did I mention that I'm scared to death of heights?? So, I set up the ladder. Problem, the batteries are in the laundry room- on the OTHER side of the ladder. Ok, so I climb over the box of wine that needs to go down to the wine cooler, get the battery, climb back over the box. Climb the ladder, hugging the wall on my left because- oh my, the steps to the basement are just to my right so, not only am I near the top of the 8' ladder but I also have a full story drop down hard wood stairs to my right. Goody.

So, I climb up and realize I have the top of the ladder under the lower ceiling of the hallway, making it necessary for me to lean back to get to the smoke detector. Nope, not gonna happen. I climb back down; move the ladder.

Climb back up. Open the smoke detector and remove the old battery, forgetting to note which way it was facing. D'uh. I try to get the new 9 volt in. Won't go in. I try and try. Ok, finally I reverse it. A couple of pushes and it goes in. Oh YEAH! I close the smoke detector and climb down. Then I go to toss out the old battery and wash my hands. Go to put the ladder away.


Crap. That's a brand new battery. It's dated 2012! I climb back up the ladder. Make sure the detector door is closed properly. Yep. Test the detector (yikes- in my house, when one goes off they ALL go off!) yep, it works. So, WHY is it still beeping?

At this point I have given up. I am downstairs (in the basement) waiting for the Toronto game to start and I can still hear the ^%&*%% thing. Too bad. There's nothing I can do. I will go buy another battery tomorrow and see if it works. If not, I guess I have to call my electrician. Usually the detectors last about 10 years (did YOU know that the ones that are hard-wired into your homes electrical system need to be replaced??) and this one is 8 years old so maybe I need a new one. If I'm going to get one replaced I'm getting them ALL replaced (I'm not paying the electrician to come out to replace just one smoke detector).

Ok, it's time for hockey.

posted by Teri Springer @ 9:22 AM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Teri Springer
Home: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
About Me: Studio Art Quilt Associates for the Atlantic Canada Region (New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island). Quote:Apples and Wine: Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough & smart enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree. Now Men... Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the hell out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.
See my complete profile

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