Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Long Road Home

Its been a crazy few months with trade shows, classes and then Quilt Market in Houston. Market, as its known, is the wholesale side of Quilt Festival. Basically this is where the shops come to look for new goodies for you and their shops. It is also a venue where the fabric companies can show their newest lines of fabric etc. We try and go every year, we have been doing this for about 12 years. Its just so exciting and we get to go in and look at all the amazing quilts before the public has access and its very crowded.

This year market was a bit more exciting with the tail end of Patricia, the hurricane that hit Mexico, making its way through downtown Houston. Everyone was ordered off the streets and there was lots of flooding since 24" of rain fell in 24 hours! We had the luxury of just watching it all from the comfort of our room. Luckily the hotel has a enclosed walkway to the hotel so we could get Jenn across without having to deal with the wheelchair in the rain. But taking Chloe out to go potty was a bit different. Randy braved the elements and always returned soaked, no umbrella works when the rain and wind drive in horizontally.
Our little table at Sample Spree!
My new fabric Lazy Little Lady Bugs displayed at Quilting Treasures Booth

I had a booth next to Quilting Treasures which is my fabric company. It was great for everyone to be together. Here are some of the pictures from my amazing time at market and with some of the artists that will be involved in The Fiber Art Connection! A new online Fiber Art Community that connects the best of the best to students from around the world. Check it out at
Me and Cheryl Sleboda

Me and LesleyRiley

Me and Liz Kettle

Me, Rayna Gilman, Jamie Fingal

Me, Lyric Montgomery Kinard and Sue Bleiweiss a big winner this year with her new book out and a winning quilt at Houston!

Leslie Jenison, Lyric Kinard, Jamie Fingal, Deborah Boschert, Me, Kathy York (another winner) and Sue Bleiweiss

Yeah Morna Golletz

Victoria Wolfe and more

We are all coming together to bring you a totally new and exciting online learning experience!!
Check it out at www.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What an exciting couple of weeks!!!

We are getting into our busy time! Shows, new fabrics, new patterns, tours, classes. It becomes a whirlwind of activity and craziness around our house. I am so thankful for Randy's help and Jennifer's patience as I try to juggle it all. We were at the San Diego Quilt show where we had a booth and I taught two classes! It was amazing! What a great bunch of women, we had a blast!!

Some beautiful things were happening in my Art Applique class!

More here, look how creative.


Daniella and Mom!

My booth with my excellent helper, Dawn!

Wow! Love this one too!

Everyone had fun!!

Teaching techniques to the students

Daniella Stout and me

Luba won too!!! Congrats Luba, such a beautiful quilt!
Then it was back home to grab some more patterns and take a shower for the  tour! LOL 6 stores and two lectures each day kept us hopping!  It was an amazing time meeting and talking with all of the women in the Sew Fun Club at the Moore's Sewing Centers in Southern California. I did two lectures each day at each store and then sold my patterns and more! What a fun bunch of women, and so creative! I am also inspired by them every time I do this tour! Here are just a few of the stores we visited!

 A funny thing happened at the Moore's store in Orange. I had helped Jennifer in the bathroom get to the sink a left her and Chloe to wash her hands and then told her to come back out. Some time had passed and I heard her telling Chloe, No, not that and I called to her and asked her if she was alright. I walked back to find Jennifer covered in toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. She had dropped my purse off of the back of her wheelchair and was asking Chloe to pick it up. In an effort to please, Chloe made the decision to not pick up the giant, heavy purse but instead to bring her everything else that she could reach. So if you happen to be visiting the Moore's store in Orange and you notice bite marks in all the rolls of toilet paper now you know what happened!!

Thank you ladies for sharing this week with me I really enjoyed it! Now I need to get ready for Palm springs!!

Monday, August 31, 2015

7 Tips to Reigniting your Creative Mojo! Stenciling Away!!! Tip #6

Incorporating a new element into your art is a great way to just explore some new possibilities. Stencils are a wonderful addition to any fiber art pieces.
 I wanted to share some exciting news!! I am the newest designer to be added to the StencilGirl Family!! Today my new stencils were released and I am having so much fun playing with them! I have been working on a larger fiber piece  and I am adding elements from my stencils to help add some texture and detail. I have a blog post on the StencilGirl blog, and on Facebook! I hope you will take a minute to go over and check it out!!
I even used them on some ceramic plates!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

7 Tips to Reignite your Creative Mojo- Tip #5-Visit a friends studio!

As artists we have a tendency to work alone, lost in our own world of the art we create. Often that is enough and being in the zone fills that special part of our soul that cries out to be heard. But being alone also has it draw backs. Sometimes whats needed is a fresh set of eyes, a friendly voice, someone else's point of view, a new set of cluttered walls and messy tables to absorb visually.

I don't know why it is that seeing someone else's messes and art supplies excites me right to my core but it does. I have also found that artists often don't get to share what they are working on much outside of social media which is static and still a bit disconnected.  So when you go and visit another artist and ask them to "Show you what their working on" it can be a wild ride through another artists mind and eyes. I love it, an "e" ticket when you might be feeling you had only an "A" ticket in your studio lately. (I am showing my age here) But dare to jump in and just enjoy the ride!

 I guarantee you will be inspired and motivated to go home and create again. I don't even want them to straighten up their studio first ( although most of them do). I like seeing the mess, the clutter, the paints and pencils, fabrics and gesso. The trail of thought that is left behind that also tells a story.
Recently I visited a new friend in her studio, Libby Williamson. I had such fun just walking around and taking in all of the paintings and projects that lined the tables and walls of her studio. It was a visual smorgasbord of artist eye candy and it was so exciting. I loved hearing about her latest adventures and projects, her classes and her challenges as an artist too. Here is a quick video of my visit, I was picking up a flag wall hanging for myself, I love to support other artists too!
Libby Williamson's Studio from Desiree Habicht on Vimeo.

I love the creative process and the journey that takes place when creating a piece of art, don't you? I would love to hear your story about a visit you have had to one of your artist friends studio.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

7 Tips to Reignite your Creative Mojo!- Tip #4 How about coloring book blog hop?

Sometimes I just love to go back to a simpler time in my art. When the hardest decision was which color to choose! I have always loved to color and seem to somehow acquired more than my fair share of crayons through the years, can anyone have too many crayons?! I decided to dump them all into a empty washing machine soap bucket and I filled it up!
This is after I sent home small buckets of crayons with the grandkids!

 I often pull out the crayons and coloring books when my grand daughters arrive and spend hours with them on the floor coloring in front of Disney movies! It is just really relaxing! Although I enjoy coloring in kids books once you start coloring in one of these adult coloring books you can get lost in the designs!

My good friend, Jamie Fingal, created her own coloring book!

It is filled with her wonderful, hand drawn, whimsical images that are on a sturdy paper that will handle some water! When they finally came in I tried to drive down to her studio to get the first copy! I was really excited to see all of her fun art as a collection to color!

The quality of paper in Jamie's coloring book allows me to use nice art supplies too! I decided to use one of my favorite pencils, Inktense from Derwent. They are water soluble and are bright and fun! I colored and then used my water brush to bring them to life! I did the fun camper page! So retro and fun. Next time you are feeling a bit in the creative dumps take some time to start at the beginning and remember how your love of art started!

Whats really fun is that Jamie is going to be giving away 2 coloring books in a random drawing from people who leave comments on our blogs during this blog hop! Make sure you go and check out everyones pages and leave a comment! Happy Hopping and Coloring!

We will be giving away 2 coloring books to two separate people.  Just leave a comment on all of the blogs, and two random numbers will be chosen, to two lucky winners living in the U.S. only.  Winners will be announced on August 10th

Sunday, August 2 - It's National Coloring Book Day and I will kick it off.  I am having a book signing and sale in my studio from 12-3 

Monday, August 3 - Lyric / Markers - Quilt Circles
Tuesday, August 4 - Leslie / Watercolors or Markers - Coffee Cups
Wednesday, August 5 - Desiree / Ink Tense Pencils - Trailers
Thursday, August 6 - Deborah / watercolors - Houses
Friday, August 7 - Susan / watercolors - Flowers on Page 3
Saturday, August 8 - Sue / colored pencils - Dresses

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. 

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.

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