Still Seeking

Happy New Year!

Still seeking light. And still hopeful,

in more ways than just a bright, well lit work space of course.


I decided to share the Joy Studio portion and progress on our big project, to start out the blog year.

If you’ve been following us in the past two years you may remember that as we outgrew our work space it was necessary to rent additional office and Etsy shop storage areas. This was working out nicely until our shop managers MOVED! So, everything came back to the home studio causing quite the challenge in 2016.

Here’s the timeline in a photo nutshell.

Moved From The Rental
Moved From The Rental
Dinning Room Designated for Drawing
Dinning Room Designated for Drawing
Made A Plan for On Site Studio
Made A Plan for On Site Studio

With the former home studio now full of fabric, office and Etsy shop we (I) decided to build on our home site. A scary project but a long time dream that I never thought would be realized. Still waiting but it’s looking like in 2017, it may really happen!


Broke Ground Early July
Broke Ground Early July
Poured Foundation
Poured Foundation
Floor Went On
Floor Went On
Walls Went Up
Walls Went Up
Roof Went On
Roof Went On
Wrapped While Waiting for Windows
Wrapped While Waiting for Windows

We were told the wait for windows would be five weeks! Then they came, in a big storm. Windows were wrong. It was then we discovered that two of the four walls were also, wrong. So, they came down and we waited for windows. And waited. And waited. It would be another five weeks. Second try, they were wrong again. Windows held up the studio project until December.

Windows Deliver During A Storm
Windows Deliver During A Storm
Walls Torn Down
Walls Torn Down
Wait for Walls & Windows
Wait for Walls & Windows

We kept going luckily, wrapping walls, running wires and having HVAC installed.

Electric And Furnace Installed
Electric And Furnace Installed
Shake Siding
Shake Siding

We couldn’t leave out a fireplace of course. Built by family and friends. Nice!

Stone Fireplace
Stone Fireplace

As the new Joy Studio sits now, we are fully insulated and with the correct windows.

I am starting the new year working in the designated drawing station in the dinning room at my dad’s drawing table. I’m feeling snug and . . . GRATEFUL.

Dad’s Table & Palette Tin

Looking forward to 2017 and I hope you feel the same.


I almost forgot! We are having a FABRIC special!!

Use Code: january2017 for 25% off at,

Great Joy Studio Etsy Shop

Through January.







Staircase Reclaim

Another one of my bright ideas!


Again, as part of the studio shape up this summer,

we reclaimed some lumber from our home remodel that was being stored under the porch.

The former studio staircase rough is now a heavy duty work bench.

A well needed station suited for those too messy to work on inside projects was my thought.


The designer in me couldn’t resist using the stringers as a decorative apron . . .


. . with the risers as decking on top.

A couple of the treads are on each end.


A little transparent stain with a little color & voila!

Seasonally, it will serve as a potting bench. I love the results


the new work surface!

  JoyStudioStairReclaimIJoyStudioStairReclaimKJoyStudioStairReclaimJMany thanks to my hubs!

Often, I am the one who comes up with the vision,

and always the one who hangs on to scrap lumber but,

not the one who can execute!

Cleanup Casualty

Where did July go?

Summer family visits and work on a new fabric line.

Poof, it was gone!

First of the month, with my BIG 2015 deadlines met, feels great! Ahhhhh

Time for a breather . . . and a little creating, just for fun is my August plan.


I’ll be doing it on a clean slate well, drawing table top actually.

Trying to look on the bright side . . of our studio clean up casualty.


As some of you may remember, most of my creating is performed on my dad’s, now vintage, drawing table. Not only does it hold numerous, fond memories for me, but it is an esteemed and sentimental studio piece. I’ve spent many a melancholy moment, years in fact, between sketches reflecting on the stains, splashes and scratches made by him on this favorite time worn treasure. So, I was devastated when of all items, it was nearly destroyed.

Earlier this year, during the studio cleanup, everything had to be moved for the carpet shampoo. After running out of room, I was forced to drag a few things outside temporarily for the shampooer. What could happen on a sunny day after all with no rain in sight, right?




Wait a minute. S U N ?  + Magnifying glass + wood =

F I R E !


It wasn’t sunny when I took everything out. 😦

However, during the many hours waiting for the carpet to dry the shade receded and the table was in full sun. Um, not sure how long. When I finally decided it was time to bring everything back in, I discovered something very odd.

OH NO! S M O K E ???

How? From what? And yes, smack dab in the center of the table top!!! The table was burning.



Of course, the magnifying glass lamp . . . . . and the sun. Not a good combo for wood. What was I thinking?

How dumb, and how sad. I immediately began to douse and investigate. It had burned a nine inch long gouge, nearly all the way through the beloved, irreplaceable table.




So, after a few tears well, quite a few, and panic, I began gently sanding the charred finger wide and deep, damaged section.

I mean, this was not only where my dad worked, sob, sob, but was the only work station I would ever, be able to connect (emotionally speaking) and create comfortably. No, no, no, this could not have just happened I thought, as I sanded, and sanded and sanded. Then pretty soon I began to realize, if I kept sanding, I just may go through to the other side. It was that deep. I decided to stop.



Didn’t look good.

As I stared at the ruined rubble in a daze of despair, it became apparent. If, I wanted to save the integrity of all the stains, the splashes and drips that my dear dad-o left behind and still be able to function, I had to flip the top. After all, I couldn’t bear to sand, fill and refinish the entire top erasing the traces of creating he had left behind.

So, it was decided.



It was the logical solution.


Funny though, how creativity is all tied up to our emotions and how easily that can be interrupted, blocking the natural flow of making. We’ll see.

So goes my tale of the turned over,

clean slate,

in it’s new location,

ready for action . . . again.


Full studio re vamp news & reveal to come – Fall 2015!

Digging It



Time to try, taming the terrain.

Following winter our wooded lot is always wild and wooly.

Lots of weeds, invasive vines

and forgotten friendly faces, needed digging up.


Much mulch to be moved.

Three truck beds so far and more to come.





After the first couple days,

starting to notice, some surprising sprouts.


Including . . .

post planting poison ivy rash, picked up in the process!



These hands & body, are ready to return to my desk/drawing table job.


Speaking of wooded lots . . .

Posted This Week,

WOODSY WONDER artist fabric samples on Our Etsy Shop!

Cleaning Distraction

put·ter 2 

v. put·tered, put·ter·ing, put·ters


To occupy oneself in an aimless or ineffective manner.

To waste (time) in idling: puttered away the hours in the garden.

[Probably alteration of potter, probably frequentative of Middle English poten, to poke, push, from Old English potian.]

putter·er n.
Do you ever start out cleaning but end up puttering instead? Yesterday an attempt to de-clutter the kitchen counters cost me valuable time as I began to “putter!” Another habit/inclination that I picked up from my mom I suppose. Sometimes however, it’s precisely what one needs. And it makes cleaning slightly, more attractive.
This putter session resulted in a temporary (summer) fix to adorn my terribly outdated garden window. I picked up the fun outdoor party lights (above) recently and decided that they might add some glam inside, as I (Cinderella) wash (load in the new dishwasher) the dishes. Now, how can I construct a valance out of some of these vintage/antique garden prints and seed catalogs collected over the years. Ideas anyone? Not to worry, I’ll scan & print, to preserve the charming ephemera.

Fun to Fruition

Speaking of fall…….

Last April I had the privilege of working with Fons & Porter’s “Love of Quilting” on a couple of Halloween projects. Featured in their Sept./ Oct. issue, which just hit news stands, is my “Hair-Raising Halloween” fabric and projects.  Kits for the quilt are available through F & P and fabric is in quilt shops now for both of these fun home/party decorations. Fabric-Quilting Treasures. Quilter-Elizabeth Cechettini.

The banner is an easy, no sew project that even a non quilter like me was able to construct. Not a bit scary, well a little, but I hope you’ll still try one. Step by step instructions are included in the issue. I can’t wait to put both of these vintage inspired items to good use for the tiny goblin guests this fall season.

Crafting Concluded

Crafting this past weekend was a welcome break from the normal deadline driven art schedule however, it will be put on the back burner once again. I wanted to share a couple of my projects as the final post featuring the Mary Engelbreit Home Companion Workshop. Both of these projects were taught by Charlotte Lyons and were created using cardboard and paper. The paper I chose to use is from two of my most recent fabric lines which, could also be substituted to create these fun projects. Still need to embellish, the fun part!

“An Appointed Time” fabric introduces at Spring Quilt Market May 21 – 23 in Minneapolis, Minnesota & delivers in June 2010.

“Hairraising Halloween” fabric just delivered to quilt shops.

Fabric from Quilting Treasures

Ann, Charlotte, Janet

Unchartered Territory

Hi – This morning I’m multitasking, AS usual! Gathering some supplies for my first workshop, stocking up baked goods to help feed the church building group in June and a hair cut at nine. Crafting, baking and candlestick making!

I’m attending my first artsy, craftsy workshop which begins tomorrow. Several months ago I signed up for Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion Workshops, which is where I’ll be for the next few days. Since this is a first for me, I’m not sure what to bring so, perhaps a little bit of everything?

I’m looking forward to learning some new techniques and having some FUN! Really, I’m not sure exactly what I’ve signed on for but, I’m filled with nervous excitement. Wish me luck? Eeks, do I really have time for fun? I think I need to gather some more crafty stuff, maybe some paint or more glue, er, um……. ribbon?

God’s Time

Waiting upon the Lord – For many years the vision for a new church has remained our hope, until now! My church home is building this summer and we, small body of believers, are very excited. On Friday, an absolute gorgeous day, I was inspired to take a drive on the country roads to check out the progress.

Trees were uprooted…

A foundation was being prepped…

Plans are in place…

for an old fashioned, church raising!

It’s set for Fathers Day weekend!

Our beautiful back yard, Thank you God

St. Valentine


Bit of HistoryValentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith in effectual, commended him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270. Archaeologists unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.

JWF© - Faux Postage

Bit of Fun – Here is our Valentine projects reveal. The Valentine boxes & tags were created using a combination of original art (collage sheets),  vintage sheet music, stamps, post cards, large shipping tags, ribbons & buttons. Still adding some embellishments to our “Valentags!”