Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Compass, Ruler, Paper and Now...

Back in the day, when the world was black and white as the girls would say, I spent many an hour with my compass and ruler and a sheet of white typing paper, drawing geometric designs.  I would make grids and circles and loops, coloring them in with my colored pencils or flairs.

I recently saw a couple of videos on circles and mandalas and it brought me back to 'the good old days'.  And I couldn't find my compass.  And I couldn't sleep.  So Photoshop and I spent a couple of late night (or early hours, depending on your point of view) and produced these.

It is certainly easier on one hand to utilize Photoshop to make these designs-rotating, flipping and duplicating.  But I'm still looking for my compass.  I can tell there will be some more of these in my future.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week In Review - November 15 - 21

  • Completed NaNoWriMo with over 50,000 words of, well, crap.  About 10,000 of it useful, but I have plenty of notes for the book.
  • Led Nonfiction book group on topic of organization
  • Led two more NaNoWriMo write-ins, one of which ended early due to no-shows
  • Completed Failynn Fox Cowl for Texter and started on another one.  Texter grabbed it and I haven't seen it since, so hopefully will get a picture of it soon.  Started on a second one.
  • Made a Dr. Who pillowcase for Texter.

  • Cut out, from the scraps of the pillowcase, 6 mug mats -  of which will be a gift.

  • Savvy started a new job and is finishing up her old one, so a hectic couple of weeks for her.  But she is excited and loving the chance to get out of jeans and polo shirt and food odors to handle 'shiny things' and wear 'real clothes'.

  • Weather has been crazy.  Wind storm and now a bit of snow, with more to come over the coming week.  And cold temperatures.
Hard to see, but big tree down at park by the library

  • Steps - 57,424, miles - 26.26  below goal, but will deal.
  • Finished one book
  • Wrote 7 posts
  • Cleaned out files
  • Had friends over to watch a football game
Coming week -
  • Lead another NaNoWriMo group
  • Cook, cook, cook for Thanksgiving
  • Finish up mug mats
  • Work on second fox cowl
  • Get walks/steps in
Gearing up for the holidays with a swap and some present planning/buying.  Also gearing up for 2016 with tons of ideas.  Can't wait for the coming weeks.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Inspiration From the Strangest Places

I am on this whole introspection, planning, 'where do I want to go' type phase in my life right now.  And it just bubbles along in the background of everyday tasks.  

Now, saying that, I am in LOVE with Jim Butcher's books!  I had accidentally stumbled across him as a writer several years ago when I tripped over "The Dresden Files" on TV and realized it was based on an actual book series.  The rest, they say, is history.  I could so do Harry Dresden, just so you know.

I had started his Codex Alera series when there were only a couple of books out.  Now I have to go back and reread those books and make my way through all six in the series (which I was fortunate enough to score off the donation cart!)

I am now wallowing in the first books of The Cinder Spires series.  Since it is such a large book, I bought it as an audio so I could listen to/from work and while sewing.  Right now all I want to do is to make a next in the back of my closet and close the door and make my way through all 70 chapters in the book.  

Steampunk lusciousness--I am really, really enjoying the book.

And cats!  There are cats in the book.  Cats which talk to some humans.  And it is from a cat I pull my inspiration.  (I apologize if I misspell any names in the book as I am pulling this from audio.)

The scene is Little Mouse (as she is called by her cat) is outside the spire for the first time in her young life and embarking on a mission.  She is understandably nervous, something Raoul, the cat, doesn't understand, and he asks, "What are you so concerned about Little Mouse?'

She tells him about her concerns and fears about what they are about to do and experience.  

His response....

"There are many things you have never done," Raoul responded.  "To be frightened of them is of no use to you."

And I realized this could apply to me (and to a lot of people).  We worry about the outcome so much, we often never dare to even start something we want to do.

My biggie is my writing.  So I finish, edit and self-publish.  And....?  What am I scared of?  No one liking it?  No one buying it?  So what.  If nothing else I can say I have written a book.

So I am taking a cat's advise and am going to try to stop being frightened of attempting things I am really interested in.  In the meantime, you can find me in my closet listening to the rest of the book.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Planning the Planner (Already)

I have been really motivated over the past month or so to set goals, have to-do lists, have been consistent in writing my morning pages, and just a bit more focused on where I am and where I want to go.  Personally, I think it is because I feel I am in a 'good place' and a lot of the upheavals which have transpired are over.

With Texter and Lady K being gone for the holidays (only slightly sad about that), I have already scheduled myself a day to set up my calendar/journal for 2016.  I have been jotting down ideas of what I want in it and what I want to keep track of.  One thing which drew me to this workbook, by Lisa Jacobs, was the idea I had of treating the things I want to do like a business.  If I want to write, sew, create, etc, then why not treat them like a business and have more accountability to myself.

So lots of fun coming up.  I will try and document the process of putting together 2016!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mandala Monday - Coloring Books

I was into coloring books a long time before the current craze came up.  But I am sssooooo loving this craze and the wealth of really good 'things' to color.

This mandala was created from this cover...

By Johanna Basford, this is a collection of 20 postcards.  Just perfect for coloring and sending to friends or leaving blank and letting them color.  Texter has the coloring book this is based on.  I like the heavy stock the postcards are on and the coloring book is equally hefty, making it great for coloring and framing.

Of course, they are also perfect for coloring and adding to my journal.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week in Review - November 8 - 14

Huff, huff, huff....it's been a really busy week.  Unfortunately, that means I am behind on my word count for NaNoWriMo.  But I do have it in my head, I just need to get onto paper/computer.

This was the BIG project which occurred on Saturday.  On the spur of the moment.  The carpet in the living room/office was old to begin with.  And stained, some of it pet stains.  Of course, Lady K and the pets added to it.  Nothing Texter or I did could get rid of stains and odors.  So, with permission from Savvy and CJ, Texter started ripping out carpet and padding yesterday.  We are now a hardwood floor in the living area.  It does need some cleaning.  Probably could use being sanded and a coat of whatever put on it.  But here's to hoping it will easier to clean up any spills and stains, both by animals and Lady K.  And it looks good with the colors we selected for the walls.

But it was an all day job and Texter did much of it all by herself.  Once she got the OK, she was off.  She pulled and cut the carpet into sections we could handle.  I was so proud of her work.  It's hard for me to remember/realize she is an adult now and capable in many, many areas. Right now the front porch has a huge pile of carpet and padding which we will have to load up and take to the dump next week.  But it looks so much better.  Now for some area rugs!

For the rest of the week - 
  • Books - finished 4, scanned 1
  • Steps - 56,989 steps/26.06 miles.  About 13,000 miles short for the week!
  • Posts - 5 written
  • Led one NaNoWriMo write in
  • Made reservations for breakfast with Santa in a couple of weeks
  • Finished a cowl for a friend (one project down)
  • Started a baby quilt for a friend
  • Added to my fabric stash for the Mystery Quilt and just 'because'
  • Joined co-workers for dinner Friday to unwind
  • Signed up for a "BeeHive" swap and the Chaotic Goddess Christmas swap
For next week -
  • Another book review posted and another book selected for next review
  • Leading Nonfiction Book Group
  • Leading two NaNoWriMo write-ins
  • More plans for my planner
  • Catching up on writing for NaNoWriMo
  • Go through papers around desk and 'organize'
  • Finalize menu for Thanksgiving and make shopping list
So off to take dogs to get shots and then head down to the library for NaNoWriMo write-in.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Christmas Swap with Chaotic Goddess

I have signed up for another swap with Chaotic Goddess and can't wait.  The "Local" and "Book" swap where so much fun.  Of course, learning about my partner and picking out goodies will be even more fun!

Join in the fun.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Mandala Monday

On my walk to work Wednesday morning, I passed by a planter on the Gulch with lovely salmon pink geraniums covered in snow.  I love the pop of pink and green against the white of the snow.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Week in Review - November 1 - 7

On one hand I feel like not much happened the past week, but then I started listing what I did do the past week and it actually amounted to a lot more than I thought!

We had our first snow of the season on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, by occurring on Tuesday, my day for watching Lady K while Texter is in school, I heard "Gran-ma snowing'!" about 6 million times during the day.

Also on Tuesday, I did what I hope is a month's worth of basic grocery shopping.  And then I came home with the groceries and Lady K and I cooked all day.  Pot roast was put in the crock pot for dinner than evening and then I fixed the following for immediate dinners and to put in the freezer -

  • Granny Soup
  • Butternut squash soup (my first attempt at this)
  • Chicken Enchilada Lasagna Roll-Ups (also, my first try on this recipe)
  • Egg Custard Pie
I have the 'stuff' for two more soups, Tuscan Bean and Spicy Tomato, I will probably make next Tuesday and put in freezer.  Also in the freezer is a bunch of boneless pork chop steaks and a pork roast (pork was the 'special' of the week).

For the week, other highlights were - 
  • Ordered turkey from the Real Foods grocery (2nd year of doing so)
  • Walking - 72,400 steps or 33.12 miles
  • Wrote 3 posts, one of which was a book review
  • For NaNoWriMo about 7000 words (need to really ramp up)
  • Lead two write-in sessions for NaNoWriMo at the library
  • Took trash to dump which had accumulated under the carport
  • Planted tulips in the yard before the snow started

I was given some bulbs from a friend who was planting some in honor of her mother who just passed. I planted them all by the front steps in a tiny area I have for flowers. Can't wait for spring now.  Rhubarb and horseradish will be coming in the spring for the yard.  Already planning out beds in my head.  Unfortunately, I have to leave room for Lady K and the dogs.  But it will be doable for some raised veggie/flower beds.

Another fun thing I did this past week was to help 1+1=1 Gallery move artwork to the garden for some renovations they are doing over the next couple of weeks.  It was a bit scary caring some large pieces of ceramics down the basement stairs, especially with the artist standing right there.

And I jumped in front of a food truck last night!  Ok, it's not as dramatic as it seems, but Bad Betty's BBQ was parked in the Gulch last night.  So Texter, Lady K and I bundled up and walked down in the dark to get some BBQ.  We still had a couple of hours before they closed down for the evening.  As we turned the corner to starting walking down Last Chance Gulch to where they were parked, I see their headlights coming toward us.  NOOOOOOOOOOO!

You see, I had tried twice only a week ago the get BBQ.  But a power outage curtailed their scheduled appearance in the Gulch.  Yes, I could drive to other places they were parked, but I walked down from the house TWICE on Halloween to get some BBQ only to be turned away as they weren't serving due to no power.  I wasn't letting pulled pork, ribs, and brisket drive away again.

Luckily, he stopped while Texter is yelling "Mom! Really! Stop!".  It seems they had been called as an emergency food truck to the fair grounds because another vendor didn't show up, but he was willing to pause and let me get a couple of pounds of brisket.  Unfortunately, the parking police were out and chastised him for stopping on the Gulch in an undesignated spot to serve me food.  Lucky for the parking police person I didn't take a bite out of him!

Texter and I carefully took the brisket home where I promptly made me a sandwich and savored every mouthful.  Right now, the rest of the brisket is residing in the fridge and awaiting other meals.

Yesterday, I sent most of the day (between trying to corral Lady K) knitting the Canyon Cowl I promised I would knit last year and watching "Haven" on Netflix (long story behind that selection).  I'm about 3/4 of the way through and will hopefully finish up tomorrow.  I have the Fox Cowl to do next for Texter.

Of course, with NaNoWriMo going on, I am behind on my 1930's Farmer's Wife QAL.  So what do I do, but agree to do a mystery quilt with a friend over the next couple of months.

I had planned on driving to Missoula on Tuesday for the opening of Krispy Kreme Donuts.  Due to the snow, I decided donuts were not that important.  But having next Wednesday off due to Veteran's Day, Texter, Lady K and I will give it another try.  They need to go to Kohl's to get a dress for Christmas (in South Carolina) and I want to do a quick Barnes and Noble stop if possible.  But we are suppose to get snow again on Tuesday, so we will see if I want to give it a try on Wednesday.

For the rest of the week:
  • NaNoWriMo writing!!!!!
  • Host one NaNoWriMo write-in
  • update my list of 1930's Farmer's Wife blocks I am behind on so I know where to start playing catch-up
  • look for batiks for the mystery quilt 
  • update the monthly calendar on the fridge
  • pull out the 'stuff' I have for a baby quilt and get it basted so I can quilt
  • go through my notes for ideas for my 2016 planner/journal
  • Movie - there are a couple out I want to go see