Studio Complete?

The fabric area of my studio complete with brand new bulletin boards. This Ikea shelving and orange boxes are perfect for this area.

My custom bulletin boards are finally hung!

I feel like my studio might almost be done. My husband and I started redecorating our third floor over a year ago with new paint, carpet, shelving…the works. It’s been a very slow process because we did most of it ourselves.

The bulletin boards are at the top of the stairs, so it's like an art gallery as you enter the room.

The chunk of it was done last spring but organization eluded me for a long time and it took a while to find the right shelving. Bulletin boards were my last big push and, of course, I couldn’t just buy cork from Staples. They had to be fancy-pants bulletin boards I made myself from stuff I found here and matching fabrics. I chose three Ikea fabrics and then made a mosaic using those fabrics and some Laura Gunn scraps that Kristen was so gracious to give to me.

And finally they are on the wall.

It’s sad that both my husband and I have grandfathers who were carpenters, yet neither of us can hang a coat rack without worrying it’ll fly off the way and whack us in the forehead.

Luck for us there are people like Chris Fairchild from In Order to Organize.

All my jewerly supplies in one area neatly labeled. I need one more piece of furniture to marry the beading area to the sewing area. Coming soon!

Chris owns a personal organization and personal training business right here in Easton. Not only can he put holes in my 100-year-old walls without worry, he can organize, build, plan and create. Chris organizes any aspect of your home, business or work flow.

In spring, Chris talked me through how I use each section of my studio and what would make the most sense in terms of storage and organization. He helped me decide on shelving, and I plan to have him make shelves for a closet and a wall shelf above my sewing machine.

That’s his other great talent. Chris can design and build custom pieces for your house.

He hung my bulletin boards for me and I am eternally grateful. I assisted him as he figured out the spacing (does holding a level count as assisting?). If I’d hung them they’d be crooked, and I’d have to lie that uneven spacing is art at its best.  Instead he measured and drilled and they look beautiful.

So is my studio finally done? I suppose as done as it’ll ever be. I have a few boxes to unpack and I still can’t find my rotary cutter, but that may just be a casualty of reorganizing.

The kids supplies and crafting area is on the left side of the table. It's not as tidy-looking as I'd like, but it's functional. Once everyone can read, I might transition to more orange storage boxes.

Holiday Custom Orders

Did you see that word up there in the title?


Really? Already?

Personally I think all the holiday hoopla shouldn’t start until after Halloween. On Nov. 1 you can break out the Christmas carols and stores can heap upon us trees and sparkly ornaments and the like. But until Nov. 1, it’s still fall and pumpkins and trick or treat.

On the other hand, I think about holiday gift giving year-round. I’m always shopping for the perfect gift.

The perfect gift for the horse lover in your life is a custom horse hair bracelet! You send me the horse hair, I wash it and braid it, adding beads and sterling silver, even gold if you like. A piece of your favorite horse with you all the time.

Check the horse hair tab above to check out the different jewelry styles. If you’re not able to sneak into the field and clip a bit of horse tail, I offer gift certificates for purchase in any denomination. You can also order custom jewelry without sending me horse hair and I will use the tails I have in stock. Choose from white, black, brown or any combination of the three.

Creating this jewelry by hand takes time, so keep in mind these deadlines as you contemplate which horse hair jewelry piece to buy for a friend or put on your wish list.

  • Horse hair must be in my hands for the order to be placed. Send your horse hair to me as soon as possible.
  • I prefer to have horse hair before November 24 for custom pieces.
  • Any horse hair arriving after November 24 will incur a $20 per piece rush fee for Christmas delivery.
  • All horse hair must be to me by December 1 to be made into jewelry for Christmas delivery.
  • Gift certificates are available any time and do not expire.

Please fill out the custom horse hair jewelry order form and mail it along with your check or money order to:

Susan Newquist

Red-Tail Designs, LLC
813 Porter St.
Easton, PA 18042

If you choose to pay with PayPal, I will invoice you when I receive your order.

Happy Halloween/Happy Thanksgiving/Merry Christmas!

The Great Pumpkin Speaks

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a love-hate relationship with technology. I love it when it works, I hate it when it doesn’t work.

And for me … it doesn’t work often.

In fact, I possess a rare anti-technology aura that causes computers to seize up, sputter and spit at my mere presence. How I ended up marrying a web guy is beyond me (yin and yang?), but that’s another story.

Yesterday my anti-technology aura was at warp speed. I won’t go into the gory details, but eventually I abandoned my computer tasks in lieu of making pumpkin chains with my little guy.

I’ve been thinking about making them all month, but PTA meetings and managing homework, driving to soccer practice and more mundane tasks like painting the porch and laundry got in the way. Basically, creativity seems to take a back seat to the everyday tasks required to maintain the status quo.

Once I started cutting, coloring and taping, I couldn’t stop. My little helper and I have added pumpkin patches to nearly every window in our house.

My technology time-out made me realize how much I’ve missed creating over the past few months, how much I missed making goofy projects with my kids. Creativity is the antidote to my hyper-organization gene and my family might tell you I can back off from the organization right now.

As the season changes to fall, hopefully my creative hiatus will also morph into a creative time spilling over with new, fun projects (it can get messy here!), and you’ll see that here in my blog. (Unless my anti-technology aura obliterates it.)

Girls Weekend Tutorial

Some very relaxed mommies.

A formula for a relaxing weekend:

Five moms – kids + a cabin near an artsy small town + spas + plenty of shopping + lots of good food we didn’t have to cook – husbands = Girls Weekend.

My friends and I gathered recently for our semi-annual girls weekend. It was the usual mix of good, uninterrupted conversation, many rounds of yoga, undisturbed shopping, relaxing, uninterrupted meals,  and lots of laughs.

Did I mention that we did uninterrupted activities? No one demanding, “I’m hungry” or announcing “I just spilled all the juice.” More like, “Of course I’ll have another glass of wine” and “You should definitely buy that coat. You deserve it.”

The weekend went way too fast…as usual.

Last year I made journal covers for all the moms at Girls Weekend.

Girls Weekend began soon after I had kids when my friend and I decided we needed to get away like we used to when we went on long backpacking trips together. These days, we’re looking more for pampering than high intensity physical accomplishment, so we opt for the spa-like Girls Weekend. Recently we’ve upped the ante and now have Girls Weekend 2 or 3 times a year, often at one of our houses.

Some of my friends claim, “You’re so lucky your husband lets you go away for the weekend.”

There are just so many things wrong with that sentence.

Having girls weekend is not about luck, it involves training, low expectations, compromise, planning, and hard work.


Ideally training your spouse for weekends away should start as soon as you’re married. If you missed that window, you need to do it as soon as you have kids. Leave the kids early and often with your spouse (just an hour or two at a time) so taking care of the children for a weekend isn’t quite so traumatic to the spouse or dangerous to the children.


Low expectations is key: I consider it a successful weekend if everyone is still alive and there is minimal bloodshed when I return. In all honesty, my husband does just fine without me and is great when I’m away.

In order for you to enjoy your weekend, you have to let go of all your expectations of how you household should be run, and this honestly may be the toughest part. You have to let go of the worry that something will go wrong while you’re away and the idea that the house and the kids will look the same when you return.

So what if they have peanut butter in their hair, nothing matches and they ate Popsicles for 4 out of 5 meals. They’re alive, right? And likely fairly happy because everything was completely different from when you were there. Different doesn’t mean better, just exciting because it’s new.


Once you break it to the spouse that you’re leaving him with all the kids for several days, it’s best to do as much planning as possible to make it easier for him. I stock the fridge with his easiest, most favorite meals: chicken tenders, waffle fries and cheese. Yes, this could be renamed heart attack weekend, but one weekend of this isn’t going to hurt anyone.

Making it easier for the spouse ensures he’ll want you to go away next time. That’s right, when you walk into the house relaxed and calm, he may plan the next Girls Weekend for you. (Note: the calm usually last about 20 minutes until the kids break sometime or the dog yacks on your new beautiful shoes you spent way too much on.)

When I’m felling particularly nice, I arrange a weekend away at a relative’s house for one of the kids. Never for both…I can’t make it too easy for him.

Fun finds from an antique store we shopped during Girls Weekend, a place we never could have gone with our kids!