Thursday, July 30, 2015

7 Tips To Reignite your Creative Mojo- Tip #3

Some of my most creative days don't start out like that at all! These can be the days when I have convinced myself that the reason I am not feeling creative is because my art studio is a mess. I resolve myself to the task of organizing and going through all of my art supplies to throw out whats old and make a list for what I need to buy.

Well as we all know this can be a daunting task, even more so for creatives. First I have to sample things as I find them, make sure they haven't dried out or that the brush is still usable. For that I need some paper or canvas or fabric, even a paper towel will do. Then its on to checking on the pens and markers I have, drawing something to make sure they still write and thats all it takes to start the process of creating via cleaning. OH, Then there is the glue and the special paper I bought for a collage last year, I wonder if the glue has dried out? 

Did I hear you say "SQUIRREL"?

It has become a comedy routine in my house, where my studio resides. I start off the day by making the huge announcement that " I will be cleaning up my studio today!" I would like to not be interrupted as its very important that I get it done today. Within an hour my husband may pass by the door of the studio to find me missing, he decides to investigate and finds me in the garage painting on a piece of fabric. I start to explain the creative process and how to clean my studio thoroughly I need to make sure I am only keeping the supplies that are in the best condition. Another hour might slip by and my husband will open the garage door looking for me to find me gone. He then starts the search and finds me at the sewing machine, at which time I begin the explanation of how I found this small project I was almost finished with and ......... My husband says its cleaning out my studio one art supply and project at a time!

Starting off with good intentions and ending up with good inventions! Gosh I love my studio!

Taking the time to just rediscover your art supply stash can spur you into action. It can make those creative juices start flowing again and you will find that you have more ideas than you can handle! 


Saturday, July 25, 2015

7 Tips to Reignite your Creative Mojo! - Tip #2

So when I find myself in a place where I have run out of creative ideas it usually means I just need to play and explore my art supplies again. One of the best places for me to get ideas, see tutorials and organize me thoughts is on Pinterest! I love Pinterest! If I find something on there that I love I can categorize it and keep it safe. I can create visual boards for helping me come up with ideas, I have color boards, I have tutorials, I have all sorts of boards of things I love. You can also make private boards where you can collect thoughts, quotes, secret ideas for projects, the options are unlimited.

Pinterest is also a wonderful place to pin photos of your work for sale off of your website, blog or Etsy site. When you pin directly from those places the photo actually will become a link back to the source and they can purchase also! A great marketing tool.

So if you not on Pinterest, get on, its easy. You set up boards, kind of like bulletin boards to pin things you love. People can follow you and you can follow them. If you love art or quilting there are tons of sites that are available to follow, just do a search. I hope you will follow me too! Find me under Desiree Habicht! You can see my art, my fiber art, my sketches, my fabrics, my patterns! Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 20, 2015

7 Tips to Reignite your Creative Mojo - Tip #1

We all go through it, that feeling that we are in a creative rut and we can't seem to find a way out. We can't seem to shake the lack of motivation to create and the lack of vision regarding what to create.

Do you find yourself walking around the house aimlessly looking at unfinished projects?

Do you scan and survey your art supplies hoping something will jump out and grab you?


 Do you finally grab a pencil and just scribble something trying to calm the creative beast within?


For myself I love to get reabsorbed into my studio. It has a special energy that I love and its wonderful to just take some time and be quiet and enjoy the things that surround me.



 I also love to look through my working sketchbooks.

What is a working sketchbook? 
It is a place where I have made notes and done quick sketches when I get an idea for either a new art piece or quilt or fabric line. The sketches are very rough, often just the first pass at an idea. It is where I explore a theme. This is a safe place to develop an idea and they are not a sketchbook you would usually share with others. They become a wealth of creative energy and unrealized potential. A place where you store an idea that sits patiently to be rediscovered and taken on to its full potential. 

When I used to paint murals for the interior design industry and now when I design kids fabric lines I will often start with a theme. These sketches were going to be my first fabric line called "Horsin Around". I started off just sketching everything around that idea or thought. I will often take notes as well as make quick sketches. It is often a messy process since I am trying to quickly capture all the thoughts and ideas that are coming up once I have selected the theme!



These working sketchbooks are like a living book that I constantly revisit to add to and take things from. 

These books are not sexy and they are not pretty but I love mine. They usually contain a heavy multi purpose paper, it is often large and it is not meant to carry around. It is often tucked next to my bed at night for those late night epiphanies. It might be where I am testing an idea, or working through a problem.

Working through different eyes

I find that when I sit and revisit my ideas and studies I get inspired to jump up and start my new project. I never seem to make my way through all my working sketchbooks before they have sparked an idea and I am ready to begin!

Do you have a working sketchbook, one that no one but you looks at. A place where you feel safe to create and develop your ideas? If not I hope you will get one today and begin releasing your ideas into the book before you lose them forever! 

Tip #2 next post!


I am going to be asking a few of my most creative artist friends to share what they do to Reignite their Creative Mojo and I will be sharing it with you soon!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

The Freedom to Create

The truth is someone could hand me a canvas or a piece of paper and all the art supplies I could possibly want and say "create something" and I would start to think .  Something happens, I freeze, my head takes over and I start to over think it. What will I create, what if it doesnt turn out, what if people don't like it, what if it makes me look like an amateur.

Its in that moment when my heart is overwhelmed by my head and my fear and I can't create. 

It has nothing to do with time.

It has nothing to do with supplies.

Its because I can't get out of my own way.

But then.....

I hand a child a box of chalk and say create me something. There is no thinking , there is only colors being choosen and shapes being drawn. 


First a flower, then a portrait. Chalk isn't enough, flowers are picked and layed carefully onto the hair and dress, a living portrait finished in no time at all.

This is the beauty of a creative heart, one that is free from the head noise and is happy to get lost in the freedom of creating. 

I love that freedom, I watch them and wonder in their creative awareness, lost in the process. I love how they are happy to create in front of all onlookers. 

A reminder that the process is more important than the result!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Beauty of the Garden- Sugar Hill Farms


Valley Views

After hours and hours of driving we finally arrived, many come now as it has become a highly sought after vacation spot, but for me, I came to see my mom and my brother. When it all began, over 30 years ago, my brother had a dream to live in this valley. He would bring my mom here and convinced her to purchase some property with him. I remember that trip, full of excitement and anticipation. I wanted to also be a part of it, I wanted a piece of shangri-la for myself.

The roses garden at the Madrones

At that time the valley was much different than it is now. Truly an unspoiled country side, close to the coast and with a huge untamed element. I remember the stories of the Boyde brothers,who bullied the town and its people. The stories of a not to far away valley where wild horses still ran the hills. This valley, known as Andersen Valley, is in northern California. Rolling golden hills, sprinkled with oak trees and guarded by giant stands of Redwoods like soldiers on watch as people drive through to the coast and Mendocino. There were apple farms and some wineries as you drove through the valley. The main town, Booneville, was the larger of the two, it had a hotel, a fair grounds, a senior center, gas station, greasy spoon and a cafe. A large part of the town center or Main Street was empty old shops in need of much repair. The town was still famous for its own language of sorts called Boontling folk language...The next town over, Philo, was not quite as developed. It consisted of a general store, a farm supply, a lumber yard and the post office. The beautiful but short drive between the towns on the way to the coast were sprinkled with churches and homes, rolling green or gold hills dotted with grape vines and sheep. The oaks and redwoods which also lined the main two lane highway appeared to watch the visitors as they came and went, often feeling like something from a scary movie.

The reputation in the valley was also a bit eery. It was told, by the locals, to have been home to serial killers like Charles Manson and Charles Ng. Even this pristine environment  had some dark secrets. The attraction of being secluded in the country, away from the main stream of society, can sometimes draw in a darker element.

I remember that weekend, driving with my mom and brother, looking at property, listening to locals tell their stories and worrying about my mom living here. The property they convinced her to buy was a mountain top property that was part of a larger estate which had be subdivided into smaller parcels, around 160 acres each. Yes, you heard me right, 160 acre small parcels of rolling green hills and giant oak trees that overlooked the world. The views were 180 of amazement. Nothing has ever scared my mom. She has always been a strong women, supporting us and herself, reaching the top of her field of interior design without any formal education.  She had always lived in Southern California but my brother had convinced here to look up north where he now was trying to settle.  We looked at many properties that weekend and my brother ended up buying a 5 acre mixed use piece of property right on the main road. Unlike my moms property which was on top of the world, my brother's property was nestled in the valley floor, surrounded by rolling hills and in need of much work. The house was falling apart, since the foundation was failing it was leaning badly to one side. There also stood a large commercial warehouse type building on the property which was rented out to a plumber in the valley. The over-grown property was full of poison oak, wild blackberries, and broken down vehicles which looked like someone had driven them onto the property where they died and were just left to become part of the landscape, like lawn ornaments only there was no lawn. Yes, my brother had also been the recipient of my mom's spirit of adventure with no fear of the huge challenges that lay before him. 

Some of the tasting rooms at the Madrones

I remember those early years when we would come up to visit him and he had a small wood burning stove in the shape of a train that we would light to try to warm up the cold, damp air. The fireplace was boarded up because at night the family of bats that lived in the chimney would fly out and often they went out the wrong way, ending up in the living room with all of us screaming. So began the next 30 years of adventures, for my mom and my brother and us as occasional visitors. When my mom decided to move to northern California she stayed with Jim on his 5 acres as she contemplated how she would develop her large acreage. The more she went to the property the more she realized how hard that living on top of the world would be.

Her closest neighbors were also true pioneers in every sense of the word. They had built a fully sustainable home with solar panels and storage batteries, dug wells, grew all their own food and hunted. They were a wealth of information for my mom and years later they were the ones that modeled what her life would be like all alone on that mountain. I think that is when my mom decided that the winds on top of her mountain would make it too hard for her to landscape and live! LOL yes she had plans to landscape that acreage. 
Peonies

My husband and I had also wanted to be a part of the move to the valley. We had been looking at many pieces of property over the years and even had made offers but the one property we tried to get slipped through our fingers when the owner decided not to sell. Many years later, my mom, with all her charm and persistence, talked him into selling her that piece of property. That is where I am sitting today, on a 5 acre piece of property that we tried to by in the 80's and that my mom now owns.

The Carriage House

Once she purchased that property she sold her large acreage and began to draw up plans for a large estate to be built with a carriage house and storage units so she could bring all of her treasures that were in multiple storage locations to this one final home. A place where she could finally settle in and build her dream house and have her antiques again. The building restrictions for this area are crazy and as she started the building process the costs were exorbitant. It took years for the carriage house and storage unit underneath to get finished. She lived in the small unit upstairs and began to landscape her 5 acres of paradise with her large house always in mind. The acreage was also full of poison oak and redwood trees, wild turkey but she loved every inch of it. She would spend countless hours in the yard laying out flower beds and building cages in which everything had to be planted in order to protect the roots from the gophers and squirrels.  It was hard work, long hours and it was plagued with weather issues, large trees breaking, and wild animals. 
One of the hidden garden rooms at Sugar Hill Farms

My brother's property was also changing. The once derelict property was now beautiful. When my mom was living with my brother she helped him with his property. He had raised and leveled the foundation, kicked out all the wild residence that once occupied the house and drew up a remodel plan. He hired local people and started the remodel of his tiny house. It became a beautiful, 3 bedroom, open floor plan country farm estate and went from about 1400 square feet to 3000 sq ft of glorious room. They had found and salvaged old windows and doors but yet you would never know as the place was incredible and perfectly decorated.

The leaning house that was home to bats was now the envy of every interior home designer and magazine. I can't tell you how many times we all would arrive for holiday dinners to a roaring fire, gourmet meals with wonderful smells filling the air. The house was full of arrangements of berries and local greenery with bottles of local wines always flowing. The once uninhabitable house had been reborn, recreated and resurrected into a place of celebration!



The grounds took longer, a work in progress as are most gardens. My mom was actually working on both gardens and helping my brother in his very successful design business he was running from the redesigned commercial building. After years of hard work,  Jim decided to close down his design firm and reinvented his business into a bed and breakfast with tasting rooms and pizza ovens.

The newest project and property, the future home of treetop cottages for guests in the redwoods. They are calling it the Brambles
One of the guest suites at the Madrones

 He longed to stay closer to home, travel less and reduce his stress load. My mother needed the same too. So began a new chapter in my families life in the country. It has continued to change, as life does, always moving, evolving.


My mom, now 83, has settled into the bottom unit of the carriage house so she doesn't have to climb the stairs over and over during the day to water. She lives to be outside, pruning, planting and enjoying this paradise of hers. She has no need to have the gardens on tour, although people plead to come and see them. She is not boastful or showy, she has come to a place in her life where she is happiest alone, digging in the dirt, marveling in the blooms and fighting the weeds. Her routines have become as regular and constant as are the seasons.

Both my brother and my mom have created multiple wonderlands which we can all enjoy as a family. My brothers place is called the Madrones and is open to the public now. The host for my art retreats guests. Both properties have given us countless hours of walking the gardens, picking wild blackberries, talking about the plants, the varieties of roses, laughing about the pests and the struggles.


 It is a place where I love to lay on her bed and feel the breeze coming through her windows as we chat; a place that is already bigger than life and more branded with her identity than anywhere else. I treasure these days with my mom and my family.


It is the knowing that as the garden continues to change so goes life. These days together in her garden are fleeting and I don't want to take any for granted. I take every opportunity to visit her, to paint and sketch and journal in this beautiful place.


 I love being a part of this magical garden that will forever bear witness of her love for this valley and us. A place where she has left her mark for all to enjoy. We call it Sugar Hill Farms.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Owl in the Family


My newest fabric line just made its debut at Quilt Market ! After months of work and planning I sent off my little projects for Quilting Treasures Booth. I didnt get my quilt finished but I managed to create an owl family. I am feeliing a bit like Dr. Frankenstein in my laboritory, sewing and stuffing these cute critters into life! They now sit on the bed in the guest room, waiting to go!

The first Family!

All together now waiting to go!

Placemats ready to go to market


Monday, May 18, 2015

Soaking up the Sun

Do you ever have those days when its just too beautiful to be cooped up in the house. The chores are calling your name but the day is calling to your very soul?

Those are the times when you need to take a few minutes to honor need. That need to take a step back and just soak it all in.
Chloe seems to understand too, lets just soak up some rays

I had that opportunity Sunday.

The sun was warm and the breeze was blowing. I grabbed my paints and ran outside to just paint the day. I was having enjoying the colors in the yard, the flowers blooming, I was so intrigued by the whole scene that my mind couldn't settle in on what I should paint. I ended up painting our dog Chloe, she did pose for a few minutes but was off chasing lizards most of the time. The rose arbor was a bit easier since it remained posed as I painted that last hour of light.

This arbor is so heavy with roses it actually broke this year and we are discussing our options for next year, I would hate to lose these roses. They look like giant ice cream cones of flowers that arch over the walkway! Have you captured a day in your yard recently? What new things did you discover ?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Another Giveaway!!! Don't miss this amazing DVD on Thermofax Screen Printing 101!

My dear friend Lyric Kinard who just released her amazing DVD called Thermofax 101, which is all about thermofax screen printing and mixed media. I watched it all the way through in one sitting, I loved it! So informative and helpful since I didn't know anything about Thermofax screens!


I took one of my paintings and had her make me a thermofax screen. I had painted a picture of a Boston Terrier, since we have one and I love them.

I followed Lyrics wonderful instructions on her website on how to take a photo am make it Thermofax ready and I emailed it to her. She created my wonderful screen from my painting! 
I then decided I needed to add some words and Jennifer decided she wanted Boston's Rock so I added the text!

When I got my screen I started to do practice screens and I have printed many now! 

I will be making some goodies for Jennifer, a bag to carry treats for Chloe and more. I will be making some more black and white prints for you! I will be giving away 3 of my screen prints for you to make into something fun for your dog lover!  Make sure you leave a comment below to be entered into Lyrics drawing for a FREE DVD!! I  free give away of Lyrics DVD but also I will be giving away some of my prints of my screen on fabric and paper for you to do what you please with! Here are links and the blogs to visit starting May 1st and check out the Thermofax 101- picture is a link to Amazon!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Seeing through an Artist's Eye- Mastering the Basics- REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

Join me for my 6 week class:


In this course we will not only be learning the secrets of how to draw almost anything we will be building a strong foundation for you to build your new artistic life.



We will be also going deeper and addressing some of the negative mindsets that often surround art and Artists.

  • Have you always wanted to draw, always wished you could express yourself creatively and openly. 
  • Let me help to build your confidence so you can learn to creatively begin your artistic journey. 
  • Learn how to really see like an Artist, how to notice the important things. 
  • Learn how to no longer be just a casual observer but an intimate partaker in the beauty that surrounds us! 
I would love for you to join us. Read more about the class here! Early Registration is now open, register before May 20 and get early bird pricing and my bonus E-book on Enhancing your Journaling experience.

Save your Seat Now!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Celebrating Sue Bleiweiss's new book - Colorful Fabric Collage with prizes for you!

I am honored to be one of the featured artists in Sue Bleiweiss's new book- Colorful Fabric Collage. This wonderful book is about appliqué and how varied and wonderful it can be. Sue has some amazing projects in the book and several guest artists so you can see different styles of work. Sue has done a great job of writing this book and sharing her love of appliqué. She not only gives you tons of ideas for creating, stitching and displaying your work she also has lots of fun projects in the book! I know you will enjoy this book! 
THE SUNBATHER

When Sue asked me to do a small piece for the book I was thrilled and really thought about what I wanted to share with you. I decided that it had to be one of my favorite family's pets. I love to do these wonderfully lit, fun pieces that capture our furry best friends! This is Winston, he is my brothers Frenchie and he is a character. They live in northern CA where it gets cold, in the winter you won't find Winston far from the wall heater. In the Spring you will find him sunning himself in the garden! Make sure you check out Winston on page 57! And make sure you check out Sue's book for more wonderful examples of different methods to use  appliqué. 

If you leave a comment here today you will be entered to win all this;  prize package that includes a book, a stack of 10" squares of Sue's hand dyed fabric, some spools of Aurifil thread and a package of Mistyfuse.
Click on the book to see more, its an affiliate link to Amazon where you can get your copy! Below is a list of the contributing designers that will be doing the blog hop and offering free prizes!! Don't miss out!

May 4: Sue Bleiweiss: http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/
May 4: Jamie Fingal :http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
May 5: Leslie Tucker Jenison: http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/
May 6: Terri Stegmiller : http://stegart.blogspot.com/
May 7: Deborah Boschert : http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com/
May 8: Desiree Habicht : http://myclothesline.blogspot.com/
May 9: Kathy Sperino : http://finishinglinesbyksperino.blogspot.com/
May 10: Barb Forrister : http://www.barbforrister.com/blog/
May 11 Kathy York : http://www.aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com/
May 12: Lyric Kinard : http://lyrickinard.com/lyric-kinard-blog/

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Quiltmakers 100 Blocks! All this from one inspired idea!

Its my turn to share with you my block and remind you to leave a comment here to be entered into a drawing for lots of great prizes!

This story is all about inspiration! I was working on a new Mug Rug pattern for my Mug Rug Club and I was babysitting my twin granddaughters. We were watching cartoons and a fish poked his head out of the water and my heart jumped and I knew I had my new pattern. While I was designing and making my new Mug Rug pattern I decided to make my block for Quiltmakers 100 block volume 11 magazine.

My first Fish Mug Rug
Then I had another idea

and another, all Mug Rug patterns then I went to the block

Here is my block that you have in your magazine with the pattern and templates! But I wasn't done yet, I was on a roll!


From the there my mind was still spinning and I decided that this would be a wonderful fabric line so I designed the small stripe after my Mug Rugs and block and sent it off to see if my fabric company, Quilting Treasures was interested in me developing the line, they were very excited and I started developing the whole line. 

This was the painting of my idea for fabric I sent to QT and I went on to develop the panel with all the characters and the coordination fabrics too. 

The Under the Sea Panel

But wait! Thats not all! I thought to myself that it was too cute to not make a baby with this idea, and so I designed this cute quilt that matches everything! 

Same idea, worked a bit differently. And just when you thought I was finished with this idea I thought that these adorable and now very popular fish would make a wonderful embroidery CD to go along with everything else and so Free in the Sea Embroidery was born!

All that from one afternoon watching a cartoon and being inspired enough to keep developing my idea! 

So if you are interested in anything you see here today you can find it on my website at www.desireesdesigns.com but you can get the block pattern now in the Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Vol 11 out now!! Leave a comment and be entered into a drawing to recieve a free magazine and gifts too! I will also be giving away a free panel to one lucky person who leaves a comment here! 


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