Thursday, December 6, 2012

Yesterday was a play day...

Yesterday was a day of exploration and play. I started out by getting a new hair cut. I had the appointment scheduled for months and I was originally going to just get it trimmed up but I wanted a little change so while I was in the waiting room I looked at a few of the style books there and found a chunky layered look that I liked a lot and said let's go for it. So here is the new style.
It doesn't look great this morning as I haven't done anything to it yet except run a comb through it and fluffed it a bit. I will get some highlights and low lights in another week and a couple hair products to help keep it in the chunky layers instead of going flat. I needed something a little more youthful and playful.

After the haircut, I headed over to Tina's for a play day. We are working on an eagle. It is all fused which means a lot of tracing patterns, fusing and cutting out hundreds of pieces. We started out by working on the beak area and before we knew it it was 5:00 already.
This is Tina's. I didn't get as far.
I packed up my stuff and headed home, changed my shoes and went up to the school to walk. I have started walking this week. That is another one of those tasks that I have been putting off for far too long. I don't know why I think that things will automatically change without putting any effort into them. As I left Tina's this is what we saw when we went outside.
The picture really doesn't do it justice. The sky was the most gorgeous red and pink. It was beautiful.

I also got a little more quilting done on my Christmas quilt. The Christmas plates are getting a dahlia like quilting motif that is done with an oval and a round template and then I am adding a secondary motif in between the plates. You can see these in the photos.

This was one of the motifs that I learned on in Kimmy Brunner's Machine Quilting with Templates: Creating Design Perfection class. These classes are great. They are video lessons that you can go back and review as many times as you need. You can post questions to the instructor and post photos of your projects.

Once all the main motifs are quilted, I will go back in and do some background fills. I know that I want to add pebbles in the center circle of the secondary motif and right now I am leaning towards stippling around the plates. Stippling is not one of my favorites but I am not sure what else will work. I am still on the fence about that but I have lots of time to think about it and try to come up with something else while I am finishing up the rest.

Today, I am off to town to participate in the food drive that the OR nurses and employees at the hospital put together and do every year to help raise funds for local organizations that provide food to needy families for the holidays. They always have wonderful gift baskets etc. and it is for a good cause. First though, I am going to spend 1 hour sorting through that stack of papers that I have. Sort today. File tomorrow. Baby steps, good plan.

So have a great day. Why don't you share with me your most dreaded job that you put off for far too long? I won't judge you. I have plenty of my own follies to judge anyone else. If you have any tricks up your sleeve to make these jobs easier share them also with me. I need some ideas to psych myself into doing them more consistently.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What was I thinking?....

I have been putting off cleaning up my studio for months now and I just don't know what I was thinking. Was it going to be such a horrible job that I would be in there for weeks? Why do I do this to myself? Why do I put off doing something for so long like this and live in the chaos and not enjoy my space while I am in it? What is it about the task that I find so difficult or distasteful that I can't get in there and just get it done? Let me share some photos with you of the before state of affairs and then I will reveal the after and just how long it took me to get from then to now. Here is what my office looked like yesterday morning before I did anything to straighten it up. Disclaimer! I hate to be so vulnerable and open here so be kind.

So this is what it all looked like when I started. Unfortunately, this room becomes the junk room drop off spot for anything that can't find a home elsewhere in the house when we are straightening up. I must admit that I had a melt down moment when I looked at everything and said to myself "where do I even begin?" but once I picked up one item that didn't belong and put it away and then the next, I got on a roll and everything just began to work itself all out. Isn't it funny that I can do that in my quilting projects but I have found it so hard to deal with the mess and confusion in my physical space. Well, anyhow, this is now what my office space looks like.

Cleaning up all of this only took me 84 minutes and all I am left with to deal with is this pile of papers so for now I have put them into this basket and this will be my next big organizing project. 84 minutes that is all it took. What was I thinking to put it off for so long?
Looking at my stack of papers now it doesn't look like that much of a job as I am sure that 35% of it can go straight into the recycle bin. I love my paper shredder. LOL.

The other thing that I did while in the office was to do some computer work. I had received an email from Apple about the features of my new phone and had saved it so I could sync up the iCloud feature between my phone, iPad and computer, so I got that all set up too.

Why do I put off doing those things that in the end will make my life run smoother? Do you ever do that? Why is it that we would rather put up with a messy situation, life, relationship, or whatever "it is" than sit down and deal with it so that it doesn't continue to ruin our day, our life or even perhaps our health? We can only blame so much on other factors but when it comes right down to it, we have to blame ourselves for not stepping up to the plate and doing something about it, we have to break that losing streak by stepping up and playing to win. So I hope that what ever it is that you are struggling with you will take the time to sit down and figure out what it is that you can do to correct it or at least make it more tolerable. I am sure that you have heard the AA's definition of insanity, Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I can continue to ignore my clutter/disorganization problem and hope that it will all go away someday, or I can get in there and do the work and put routines in place that will help to prevent the problem from reoccurring. I hope that you will find the courage to tackle one of your big issues and come up with some solutions to solve the problem.

Have a great day and take those baby steps to clean up a messy situation in your life.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Time to get back to work...

I don't have any photos of anything from yesterday as I was out and about running errands and getting my mammogram done. All went well on that front, nothing unusual was found. Good news. I had a very good lunch at Panera Breads. I had the Turkey Harvest Salad. Scrumptious. I believe it is a seasonal thing so if you want to try it you might want to get there soon as I don't know how long they will continue to have it. I picked up some French bread, a variety of cheeses and olives and made a nice tray of these for supper last evening. Have you ever had baked Brie. I love it. I made one of those too. I used puff pastry, laid the whole wheel of Brie in the middle of one sheet, spooned Raspberry preserves on top of the Brie, sprinkled with Pecans, wrapped the puff pastry up over it all and pinched the edges together. I baked it at 400 for 20 minutes. Oh was it good and so easy to make. I should have taken a picture of my cutting board with all the cheeses laid out and the Brie cut open spilling out soft gooey yumminess. I am sorry I never even gave that a thought I was too busy eating it up.

I am going to get back into the studio to work but I also am going to clean up my office and get all of my papers in order. The plan is to spend 1-2 hours each day working in the office and then reward myself with some play time in the studio. I have so many projects to finish before the end of the month and I am really going to have to step up my game if I am going to get it all done. Ok here is the line up of projects. 1. Clean the office, 2. Make the curtains for baby Jake's room, 3. Make baby Jake's quilt, 4. Finish the Christmas quilt, 5. Make BD present for Kate, 6. Make 5 Christmas gifts for the Sewjourner's group, 7. Make Christmas present for Jeff. I also had plans on doing another online class. That might have to wait till February. I think that would be too much to add right now to my plate with everything else I have to do before I leave for Texas at the end of the month. Maybe I can give up sleeping for the rest of the month. Do you think I would be a happy camper or anyone else around me if I did that? No?!? I know me and I know that wouldn't work.

I am excited to say that my baby girl is back to her home safe and sound after what appears, by the photos she has posted already on Facebook, to have been a most wonderful trip to New Zealand. I am impatiently waiting to hear all about her trip.

Well, for now I am going to take some before photos of my office and start tackling the mess that gets left for another day in here. That day has finally dawned. I hope I can find my way back out once I get started. Send in the posse if you don't hear from me tomorrow. LOL...

Have a great day and get at those dreadful jobs. Get them done and off your mind.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Update on craft sale...

We had a great day at the craft sale. First of all, it was so nice to see many familiar faces and have a chance to chat with old and new friends. When we arrived in the morning, there was already a line of people waiting to get in the doors.
We also got reports from shoppers as they came in that it was difficult to find a parking spot. Now that is a good problem to have. Tina and I each reserved a table together so that we would have plenty of space to show our beautiful wares and we also asked for wall space so we could hang our wallhangings. Here Tina is manning the table.
This photo was taken after several hours so you don't see the first thing to sell as it is already off the wall. Tina had made a Steeler's wallhanging and I told her that it would be one of the first things to sell and it was the very first thing to sell as a matter of fact there was a note on our table when we arrived from another vendor who wanted it and as soon as we got behind the table she was over talking to Tina about it. We laughed about that a lot. We both did well as far as sales and as I have always said I make things that I know I can give as gifts if they don't sell so for me it is all a win win situation. I have the motivation to get things done through out the year and I also have lovely gifts to give when ever they are needed. I do want to clean out my older inventory though so that I have newer items for next time. Gift giving time is here so we can take care of that.

Saturday morning before the sale I did manage to load my Christmas quilt on Lola. I am doing an experiment with the batting on this quilt so there will be several posts to let you know the how's and what's of this project. I am hoping that it all goes well. So stay tuned for further updates.

Today, I am off to the "big city" of Hermitage to have my mammogram done and to do some shopping. I could get it done in Greenville which is closer to home but this gives me the excuse to spend a little time shopping. I plan on having lunch at Panera's and pick up some French bread for a wine/cheese and olive dinner tonight with DH. Yum. I can't wait. So for now, I need to get myself organized so I don't forget anything and get ready to leave.

Have a great day. Remember to be thankful for your many blessings and give a friend a big squeeze. LOL...