Making something new out of the discarded or neglected is what gives me the most creative energy.  Gutting and remodeling this outdated studio apartment in 2011 was one of my favorite projects of my lifetime.  I learned a lot.  I really like being dirty and tired from physical work.  I slept remarkably well.  I knew my mission.  There were deadlines.

The downside of all-consuming projects for me is that they become an escape and I neglect other responsibilities in my life.  I’m learning something about that now too.  When is a project a craving?  What am I escaping when I’m willing to get so singularly focused?  Who in my life is this affecting?  How?

I’m not entirely sure what’s next.  I’m learning to be OK with the unknown.


This week in my studio…

I furiously got rid of stuff that was keeping my mind a complete mess.  I couldn’t even prioritize what I needed to work on first.  I spend one hour cleaning out and booked an appointment with GOT JUNK.  The minute they drove off I could breathe again.  The guys were great and both artists in their own right too.  Apparently GOT JUNK sites have a lot of materials, metal, wood and other things to scavenged.  I gave lots of things away and unearthed a few items I unfortunately would’ve purchased again because I didn’t know where they were.  The clean out felt awesome.  These are not very good before and after photos, but I think you’ll get the idea.

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Yesterday, I got to the studio ready to work on my designs for STRUT and all 4 of my sewing machines didn’t work—broken belts, jammed up and one vintage and one, a 1950s SINGER I acquired I couldn’t figure out how to get the bobbin to thread even after I read and reread the manual.  Reading manuals is not one of my strengths. It’s like reading Japanese or Greek or writing code to me.  I called my sister to tell her that I actually had to laugh at the absurdity of having all machines fail on me when I was busy sewing. I was grateful that I could find the humor in the problem.  What else could I do, really?  What was the universe trying to tell me.  I then headed out to one of the most loved repair shops in northern Vermont…Smitty’s in Essex Junction, Vermont

I was so grateful for the service.  SMITTY and his wife are truly Vermont Treasures.


In an hour and half I had two of the machines in beautiful working order. I’m sewing leather and my sewing machines are taking a beating.  If anyone ever wonders what to get me for a gift, it’s leather needles.  As a bonus, I got to have tacos with my daughter, Willa while I waited.  There’s always a bonus, if we’re paying attention to everyday hardships if we dig deep.

 By 2pm I finally was able to get to work and nearly finish one of my pieces for the show.  I love to work with the tension of tough and soft materials.  I think the leather with the softness of the ecodyed silk from Elizabeth Bunsen is an interesting contrast…just like life.


Sometimes things are hard and sometimes things are delicate and sometimes we just have to laugh at it all. 

Big projects, a few hours before guests arrive? Sure.

I think you know by now that I’m a big fan of projects.  I think it’s a perfectly good idea to sand and coat my outside tables a few hours before 35 people show up at my house for a 4th of July bash.  My husband, Jeff thought it was a little kooky, but he understands and he’ll love how they turned out.

Here are some before and after photos of our outside tables.  What a difference a little sanding and sealing does, huh?  My favorite product and again (this not a paid endorsement).  However, if VERMONT NATURAL COATINGS happens to see this post and would like to send a few gallons my way, I wouldn’t be angry.  So many things need to be sanded and sealed.  Now the water will just bead off of these surfaces and they aren’t splintery to the touch.  I better start slicing the watermelons and icing the beer and sodas down before the crowd arrives.

Happy 4th of July folks!


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From their website:

VERMONT NATURAL COATING’S PolyWhey natural finishes are tough – scratch, chemical, and water resistant – dry quickly, and do not yellow.”

one corner of my studio: before & after

Yesterday I didn’t feel remotely creative.  Over the weekend I showed my studio to my niece and she thought it was cool but really disorganized.  I usually don’t mind my space messy but when I stepped in to the studio yesterday I realized she was entirely right.  It was not very inspiring. There was a lot of garbage around.  And I didn’t know what textiles I had for working on a current project.  So, yesterday when I cleaned and hauled out two large bags of garbage and recycling I did sort of feel like an organizational Rock Star.  When I don’t feel creative, I clean.  I still have a lot of spaces to organize, but it’s a start and doing one chunk at a time is so much less overwhelming than thinking I need to do the whole space.  I was told once that when you have the desire to get rid of things that you are making room in your life for new possibilities.  I wonder what’s next?



10 dollar boots & an hour

I found these brand new boots for 10 bucks. I had an hour before a meeting and although I liked the shape of the boots they were too shiny and new (I just hate things to look new).  So, I took them to my studio and started mucking them up.  Here are the results.

Lisa Lillibridge dakota 1966 boots before Lisa Lillibridge dakota 1966 after Lisa Lillibridge dakota 1966 boots after with jeans Lisa Lillibridge dakota 1966 boots behind with green stripe