Is there something you’d like?

I am a little at loose ends right now. I have lots of goodies in my shop and I’m not sure what to work on next so I thought I’d do a shout out. Is there something that you have been waiting for me to make? Something you would love to get for a gift for yourself or someone else? Remind me if you’ve asked in the past- I am not good at remembering what people ask for.

If you are not sure about my prices, go check out the shop to get the range. Email me with requests- mimik@pobox.com. I will let you know if it’ll be possible!

I got an Oliso iron and I really like it!

This is a story and a review of 2 irons, and the one I’m now using every day!

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I use my iron a lot when I work and I’ve been unhappy with the last few irons I’ve bought. Some of my complaints included the iron taking a long time to warm up to temperature, having no indicator that it is at temperature, turning itself off very quickly, having a small water tank for steaming, controls in awkward positions (one iron I had would constantly turn off because the control was right where my hand went when I picked up the iron!)… I’m sure there were other things that I’ve very happily forgotten. I was contacted last winter by Oliso to ask if I’d be interested in trying out and reviewing their new mini iron. Of course I said yes! I had never actually heard of the brand so I went to check them out. The mini iron wasn’t going to be available for a month or so, so I checked out the full size irons. I was intrigued- Pretty colors and those funny feet!

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Because I was already in the market for a better iron, I decided to spring for the TG1050 Smart Iron. I’ve been using it for 3 months now and I am so happy with it. If you want to see it in action, here is an excellent video review of the iron by Wendi Gratz and she points out all the features that I like too. She has a fancier model but everything she mentions is true on mine too. Every time I put my hand on the handle and those little feet go up, I get a silly thrill- and that is pretty amazing from an iron.

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Now, about the mini iron. Eventually I received it and began using it in my studio. I’d already had my new full-size iron for a while at this point. My mini is a lovely yellow color and about half the size of a regular iron. It comes with a silicone rest to place it on when you are using it. The iron will not stand up like a classic iron in a rest position. The silicone plate rest turns over and it clips onto the iron for storage.

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So what do I think about this cute mini iron? It turns out that this is not a tool I need every day in my studio. I will carry it when I travel though. I can see that it would be very useful when I unpack for shows and there are touch-ups that need to be done. It would also be excellent for travel teaching and if/when I take a class. Some of the reasons it is good for travel are the same as why I won’t be using it everyday in my studio.

-The water tank is very small so the water gets used up very quickly. This seems like a plus for traveling.

-The mini does not have an auto shut-off. It turns out I am very dependent on this feature. I scared myself because I accidentally left it on when an unexpected guest rang the doorbell and I forgot about it. This would not be an issue when using it in my show booth.

-It packs up compactly and the silicon rest snaps right on the ironing plate.

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I think this little guy would be fine for someone who only occasionally uses an iron or, as I’ve noted, as a traveling iron. But, oh how I love my blue smart iron!

fyi- I got my Mini Iron for free to review, but I bought my Smart Iron at JoAnns. Just so you know, the “sale” price at JoAnns was the same price (or a little higher?) as “regular” price, direct from the website, which I didn’t realize when I was shopping.

Ask away if you have any questions. I wasn’t sure what exactly you would want to know!

 

2 Boy Pups

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I’m back from Providence where I had a terrific weekend. (If I have time, I will do a separate post about it.) I tried to do a blog post from there but wasn’t able to and too distracted to try too hard. So here are a few more pieces that got finished before the show. Two boy dogs-

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The dolls are back in the etsy shop, and I am adding the ones that I hadn’t listed yet. It might take a while!

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The Swaddled Baby class

Yikes, it has been almost 2 weeks already. Time to post, right?!

The Swaddled Baby class went really well. There were 15 participants, 2 5-hour days, and beautiful handmade babies at the end.

Babies in progress-

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The first day we focused on the hard parts- the face, getting the body stuffed and closed up, basic designing. By the end of the first day, pretty much everyone was ready to move on to the fun part- designing, embellishing, stitching. I didn’t get any pics at all from the first day!

Busy hands-

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Lots of pieces-

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And here are (almost) all the babies at the end of the day. (A few left early.)

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They are all different and amazing! Most people didn’t finish but it seemed like everyone was well on their way and had fun getting there. Here are some of the dolls that went home on Sunday afternoon-

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Frida Baby!

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Another great class at French General!

recap, 2017

I’ve been putting this off all week but I need to do it. It is really helpful for me to have my yearly reflections written down here so let’s look back.

Wow, I’m not going to lie, it has been a really tough year. Politics will be mentioned. The situation in our country and the world has been terrifying. I did some artwork in the first few months of the year to help me deal with my feelings of despair.

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I posted about the above and below here.

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Later, I spent a month working on this-

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Posted here.

I had a very busy trip to LA in April which I posted about here and here. The trip was awesome and I love LA. It was hard to really relax though and I felt that many people I was around were also feeling the weight of the world’s troubles. And then my Mom died.

Unfortunately, as the year went on, I just found myself wanting to retreat more and more. Nothing seemed to help- social media has been/is overwhelming with the constant outrage, my energy and creativity felt sapped when I engaged. During the first 6 months of the year I felt like I couldn’t find the joy in my work or even get to that wonderful focus where the world recedes and I’m in the work zone. Having some shows and deadlines helped. Also, audio books and podcasts. I’ve been continuing to post photos and work pics but somehow the words are gone. I don’t feel chatty about my work on my blog or on any of the other sites where I hang out. I have retreated not only online but also in real life. I know it is not good for me so I guess that is what I have to work on this year.

There were good things too, thank goodness. My garden was amazing this year. If you follow me on Instagram, there were lots of flower pics. the daylilies and the dahlias!

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In August I was feeling so uninspired that I knew I needed to mix things up a bit. I spent 2 weeks working on a quilt idea. I played with colors. shapes, designs. I didn’t finish anything but I’ll get back to it at some point. I felt totally recharged after that- It was like a brain vacation. Obviously, something I should do more often!

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That got me back into work mode for the fall and right up to Christmas. I had a great show at CraftBoston 2017 and I plan on a post about my booth, hopefully tomorrow.

Lastly, I was part of this beautiful book, Beards Rock. A real honor.

And now, 2018. I hope with all my heart that this year will bring a more stable and peaceful world although this first week does not make that seem likely. On my personal horizon, I have lots to look forward to.

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I will be going back to LA at the end of February to teach at French General again. This time we will be doing Swaddled Babies. There are still a few spaces available if you’d like to join in the fun. Check out all the info here. I am also planning to visit QuiltCon.

In April, I will be in Washington DC for the Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum.

Then, in August I will head west again, to San Francisco, for the ACC show at Fort Mason.

I think that having all these things to look forward to will keep my head in a good place. I’m already back in the studio getting a little work done, doing some cleaning and organizing, and thinking about all the projects ahead. Happy New Year everyone!