Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Month in Review and February Goals

Was all primed for January and then was struck down by alien illnesses.  It went from being totally in my head to my chest and am finally getting where I even feel like 'doing' something.  I will probably drop in on a friend's new studio and try and get my creative mojo juices flowing again as I have too much I want to do and not enough time.

But for January, despite everything, it hasn't been too bad on the reaching my goals I set.

  • Outline Seedcrone-Book 1- nope, failed
  • Do my "Bee Hive" swap block and mail off and eagerly awaiting February's posting
  • Send out postcards for Postcrossing - nope
  • Finish up the top for the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt well, sort of, almost finished
  • Cut out and stitch up muslin 'draft' of Texter's Harley Quinn cosplay outfit did it and now I need to get all the little supplies to work on the real deal (this coming week)
  • Find a similar pattern for Lady K so they can have matching outfits actually know which one, since Texter is Harley Quinn, will be making Batgirl for Lady K
  • Get my list of outstanding sewing, knitting, and crocheting projects updated did it and added to it
  • Finish thick, purple socks did and love them!  started another pair of purple socks (different pattern)
  • No drive-thru eating - failed
  • Plan menus did and slowly seeing cost of food for the house drop as well as my stress level over "what's for dinner?"
  • Sign up for and mail off the Chaotic Goddess "Book and Cuppa" swap did and mine was delayed getting out due to illness
  • Get the carpet and padding off the porch and to the dump - failed, may have to hire a teenager to do it for me
  • Read one book off my home shelf - didn't happen
Overall, I am pleased with my progress for January, despite being sick for most of it.  Which has refocused my sights on being healthier - as soon as I get better!

For for February - 

  • Work on Seedcrone!  
  • Schedule a writing meet up
  • Do my Bee Hive swap block and get it mailed out on time
  • Finish up the Bonnie Hunter quilt and decide on my next quilt project
  • Order yarn for Knit, Swirl pattern
  • Start working on Harley Quinn outfit
  • Finish purple socks
  • No drive thru eating
  • Continue with menu planning
  • Sign up for next Chaotic Goddess swap
  • Read one book on home shelf
  • Send off my postcard to have printed for Liberate Your Art postcard swap
  • Make some pin cushions
  • Start buying one new towel and one plant a month (don't ask)
  • Check out Old Navy for more dresses
  • Get design board reworked and hung up
  • Check on the status of my Dr. Who scarf and see what yarns I need to buy to complete

Texter and I have a couple of outings in February we want to do.  Museum of the Rockies is on the top of the list.  And we have a BIG outing in March - The Princess Tea - with Lady K in a tiara! 

Update:  Linking up with....


Friday, January 29, 2016

Book and Cuppa Received!


The past couple of weeks have been filled with a lot of coughing, wheezing, and general not-feeling-up-to-snuff.  My activity as been going from bed to recliner and back again. Which is a bad thing when it comes to getting a swap package out.  Mine, sadly, is finally going out today.  (There might be a little extra since I was delayed in getting it out.)

But I received this lusciousness in the mail yesterday afternoon.

I was partnered with Beth Ann at It's Just Life.  I had a giggle the first time I looked at her site, because she is from North Carolina!  And leads an exciting, well-traveled, life.  I do have to admit when I saw the box on the front porch, it is from KnitPicks.  My little fiber nerves just sang, thinking I had yarn!  (So she must knit too!!) But upon opening, there were these goodies.  Her box was a little delayed due to being snowed in the past weekend from the winter storm.  And since North Carolina only as one man and a snow shovel, it takes a while to get unstuck.  Which worked out well, since I was under the weather myself in another way.

Texter wanted to dive right in, but had to advise her "it's mine"!  

A wonderful quilt book which will be my reading in bed for the next few days.  And to carry around with me, too, and read. I had looked at it several times and wanted it as a EPP (English Paper Piecing) reference guide too.  A great book mark and coaster (the coaster being currently in use).  A bright red mug with all things sewing on it.  Can I tell everyone, MY MUG!  A bag of Cafe Au Chocolate coffee (my weekend treat now) and a bar of dark chocolate (yummy).  The coffee I can't wait to try out.  I am imagining the aroma when it brews.  What a great way to start a Sunday morning.  And when the weather is better, the front porch, a book and the coffee.

This is my third swap with Chaotic Goddess team and I have not been disappointed in the least.  I have met three lovely women and had the fun of putting together three gift boxes.  What is interesting is two of the three are close to my age (should I say, not in their 20's young?).  All three are readers and have interesting blogs to explore.  I keep following, even after the swap is over, just because they are so much fun.  If you haven't done a swap before, the ladies at Chaotic Goddess are the ones to try and get your feet wet.

Now to drop off my box!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week in Review - January 17 - 23

I just wish I was feeling as bright and radiant as this sunrise.

So the 'yuck' I had a couple of weeks ago, revisited me this week and settled, not in my head totally, but also my chest.  So now I on antibiotics and an inhaler for bronchitis.  Someone, please purge me! Smudge me with sage!  I hate this!

But I did manage to get grocery shopping done and a menu set until the end of the month.  That makes me feel really good.  Of course, the drain in the basement 'acted up' yesterday and they had to call a plumber.  At least we will be able to eat.  

Otherwise - 
  • 4 books read for the week (and about 4 more started)
  • 35,043 steps, only 50% of my goal.  going from bed to chair doesn't require many steps
  • 4 posts written
  • 1507 words generated
  • sketched out the quilting plan for the Twinkle Star block
  • finished my purple socks

At least we are also not in the Eastern part of the country where people are without power.  If I was still in NC, I would be one of those 'powerless' people right now.  And up to my ears in phone calls at work.  So glad I am here, bronchitis and all.

For the coming week -
  • concentrate on getting rid of this 'junk' I have in my body
  • get my step count back up
  • work on Mystery Quilt, haven't felt like sitting at a sewing machine.  Don't want to work on it less than 100%
  • started new pair of purple socks, different yarn and pattern

So off to drink a glass of orange juice (burned it out of my throat!), take pills and use the inhaler.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cat Toys, Design Board and Mystery Quilt

The first almost-three-weeks of the year have been really productive for me.  Part of it I am attributing to setting goals and focusing on specific projects rather than going all over the place.

I am loving the view from my desk these days.  My design board is full and things are progressing along nicely.  While my 'points' on my blocks could use some work still, that's what practice does, make it more perfect.

The Harley cosplay outfit is at the stage where I need some more 'supplies' to start the next step, but that's scheduled for February.  Right now I am concentrating on Allietare, the Mystery Quilt, and trying to get it put together.  I still need border fabric and backing, but at least the top will be almost finished.  

I was a little concerned about how it would look once it started going together and I am pleased.  Even Texter liked the colors.'s going to be a queen size!  Huge once the borders are on.  But I am putting up the blocks on the board as I sew along to be sure I get the pieces and parts all turned the correct direction and I have the correct block in the proper place.  Hopefully, by next weekend, Allietare will be finished and put away, awaiting the rest of it's fabric and then onto the playing catch up with the 1930's Farmer's Wife QAL.

The only problem with my sewing area is Sherlock, the cat, seems to feel certain items are actually cat toys.

Some of my precious Clover clips have been carried off.  I wouldn't mind so much, but they aren't cheap.  Bobbins are another favorite, followed by spools of thread.  It also seems 2 a.m. is the desired time for play and on the hardwood floor right outside my bedroom.  When I remember, I have taken to throwing a sheet over the table to keep him out of the 'toy box'.

When not sewing on Allietare, I have been knitting along nicely.  I might actually have a pair of socks soon!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mandala Monday

The Mystery Quilt is no longer a mystery!

By the way, this is  post 1100 on Knottyneedle!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week In Review January 10 - 16, 2016

This week has been spent trying out the 'new' schedule with Kayden to daycare, Texter to school and me...a day alone!  So far it has worked out pretty good.  Unfortunately, with everyone at school, there is more driving during the week, but none of it is far away.  

This week I managed to do...

  • get fabrics semi-organized
  • received my swap partner for the Chaotic Goddess Book and Cuppa Swap
  • planned menus for the week
  • Walked 55,172 steps or 25.23 miles, about 79% of my goal.  But with the cold weather, I consider than a plus.
  • Wrote 8 posts
  • Logged 3846 words writing
  • Finished 2 books (we won't mention the ton of books which came in on interlibrary loan)
But yesterday was a fantastically productive day.

I put a border on my Twinkle Star block and make the binding and pin basted the block.  The backing is the same fabric as the border.  My stash is so small (compared to others). All donations cheerfully accepted of unwanted fabric!

Now I just need to decide (and sketch out) how I want to quilt it.  What!  Actually plan the quilting pattern!  Yep, my skills are growing in several areas.

While I was at it, I had the wild hair to start a string quilt and I am doing it as stokes for a round a'la RSC16 color challenge.  So taking one of the paper foundations I cut out, I made a blue string block.

There it almost looks like a tie.  But each month during the challenge I will make a spoke the color of the month.  I should have a nice round medallion to place in the center of a quilt by the end of the year and check off 'string quilt' on my list of things to do.

The big accomplishment of the week was cutting out a muslin test of the Harley Quinn cosplay outfit for Texter.  Since she wears 6/9 size in the store, but according to her measurements on the pattern she is a 14 and I didn't want to cut into the fabric without being sure, I made a test dummy.

The good news is everything fit well except for the corset which will have to be adjusted.  But I rather know it know than when I have boning, linings, etc. to fiddle with.  Luckily, the corset is also the only piece which is complicated.  The remainder (blouse, shrug and hood, skirt and bustle) are fairly simple.  The only hard part (at least for me) will be the bias binding around the edges.  At least there is no real hemming to be done.  Oh! And I have to be sure to get the red and black on the correct sides of the outfit.  So I will be doing this when I am alone at home so I am not distracted by little ones.  And I have almost 4 months to complete it.  We have the fabric (probably too much as a matter of fact), now it's just the little odds and ends like grommets for the corset, double fold binding tape, etc.  Come of Joann's coupons!

So after messing with the costume, I made a quick pair of pants for Lady K.  She was upset mommy was getting a dress.

It's a bit big, but the hem is made of a couple of different fabrics and the pockets on the sides are different fabric also.  A quick and easy pattern.  It's one I won a couple of years ago from Pink Fig, their Sweet Heart Pants.  I can see more being made in the future.  

The last thing I did on Saturday was to take my box of the Mystery Quilt, Allietare, and set it out to work on today.

I am determined to work on this today and get the final pieces sewn together so I can put together the blocks.  I would like to have this done this coming week.  Then it will just be getting border and backing fabric.  But at least it will be one more quilt top done.

And then, after all of this, I remarked I needed to soak my feet and cake them in lotion.  Texter pulled out a foot bath for me and gave me a mini-pedi!

This coming week...
  • Monday is a holiday!  But working the book drop.  Hopefully, some knitting with a friend too.
  • Get the mystery quilt done
  • Pull together the swap gift and get it in the mail (must wait for payday though)
  • Get my fabrics I am using for my Bee Hive block in September and do a test block
  • Writing night on Thursday (hopefully)
  • More steps and more yoga

Off to work on Allietare!

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Something I am seen several articles on lately, especially in conjunction with New Year goals and resolutions, is about finding your 'tribe'.  

I was fortunate enough, early in my needlework phase, to find a lovely group of women as my tribe.  We met on Thursday nights at the local needlework shop and stitched, solving the problems of the world as we went along.  But best of all, we all spoke the language of needlework.  We understood the need to own every pattern a certain designer published.  We congratulated each other on finished pieces, ogled new colors in fibers and linen, coveted needles and scissors and supported each other with our common 'thread'.

And then, unfortunately, I was without my tribe.  The needlework store closed and we were all cast adrift, a tribe without a country.  My upbringing kicked in and the "I can go it alone" mentality took over for many years.  While I still knitted, crocheted, sewed, and wrote, it wasn't the same.  Some of the joy was removed from it and made the process seem a little less bright.

Now I am fortunate enough to have found my tribe again.  I am living in a community where I am surrounded by friends who speak the same language, both in fibers and in writing.  What is interesting is I also have found my tribe online too.  I have made friends hundreds of miles away who understand the need to have yet another piece of fabric, or skein of yarn or start yet another project.  Those people who actively cheer me on or enable me by pointing out in a 'did you see?' way.

Want to get excited about what you are working on?  Be able to walk into a quilt store and the owner knows your name and remembers what the last project you were working on was.  Walk into an art gallery and the owner references a post you just wrote.  Meet up with a friend and she hands you a piece of fabric because it will work on something you have in progress or thinking about starting.  Have a tribe member bug you to account for why you haven't done something on a project.  Add yet another book to your stack because someone thought this was a book you would enjoy reading.

Having a tribe around you, or at least in my case, inspires me.  I can see 100's of possibilities which I probably wouldn't without them.  They support my desire to write 50,000 words in a month and understand when I say at the end I am scraping all but 1000 of them.  They ask for my advise and give advise back on projects and ideas.  

Tribe members who understand that at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning, while the rest of the world is still fast asleep, I am taping together pieces of paper to use to make a string quilt foundation because...well, just because.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Quiet Moment With Some Digital Art

Lady K seems to be adjusting to and enjoying 'school'.  Problem these days is bedtime.  And she wants me to lay down with her and go to sleep at the same time.  So last night I did the adult thing, stomped my foot, and said "I'm an adult and I don't have to go to bed at 7 in the evening."  Nope, didn't impress her either.

But I stood strong, she finally nodded off on her on and Texter went to bed.  So I had an hour or so of some uninterrupted time at the computer.

It was a combination of two things.  First, my friend Maureen was posting nature photos on Facebook as part of a challenge.  Well, goodness knows I have enough of those.  Then Kat Sloma from Kat Eye Studio had a post on making mandala coloring pages from your own photographs.  Which was what I sat down to do.

However, this is what emerged...

Yep, I'm pretty jazzed with what came from this exercise.  I found myself playing with blending modes to get the look I wanted and love how it turned out.  And yes, this is from part of the picture above.  What I really like is how this 'winged figure' emerged in the "U" of the branches.

Then I used a bit more 'stuff' on it and came up with this.

Not sure which one I like the best.  The top one is more airy and other-worldly in my opinion, but I really like them both .  Once again, I need to find somewhere I can get these printed out so I can hang them.

But another one I tinkered with reminds me of a possible quilt, which is interesting.  You see, I had come up with the thought I might take my mandalas and use them as the basis for my mini-quilts, recreating them in fabric.  And then I made this...

Right!  I can see all the half-square triangles in this and turning it into a quilt.  Like I need more projects on my list.

So I toddled off to bed very happy last night.  It's been awhile since I have sat down and played with my photographs and Photoshop and was more than pleased with the outcome.  

I really, really need to find a printer!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My First "Day Off" Results

With the new semester, my work schedule and Lady K now in 'school', Tuesday's are MY day!  I have a full day to myself.  Well, at least 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  I had a whole list of things planned for the day on my calendar.  But I walk back into the house and look at this...

Boxes on top of stuff, clutter everywhere.  And this is just about a fourth of the living area.  The other side is my desk/computer and then the rest of the large room is filled with entertainment center, sectional couch, recliner, and Lady K's toys.  Everywhere.

So I spent the morning removing things, like paint buckets, from the front closet and putting items we need to get to, but can be out of the way.  Some of the toys went back downstairs.  My sewing corner is a little neater, but I am still trying to decide where I can put some things.  Actually, some of it could go back down in the basement where I have the rest of my sewing stuff.  I'm just too lazy to want to walk back and forth.

Of course, when I was ready to nap, I had two sets of very quizzical looks as I was urging them off my warm flannel sheets.  I know, I'm a terrible pet owner.  But technically they aren't mine anyway.

I did manage to dive into one of the green bins which holds the majority of my fabric to work with.  I took some of Lady K's bins which were not being used by her toys and sorted into colors.  One of these days I might be a 'real' quilter with neatly sorted fabric. While I was at it, I pulled the fabric I had for the Modern HST QAL I am participating in, just to see if I was going to have enough fabric.

The fabric is from 2  or 3 different collections, but they play together well.  So at least for this top I'm not going to have to buy any fabric.

Also, while I was going through fabric, I pulled a piece I am going to use for my mini-quilt using the dark Twinkle Star block.

I am going to use the backing as a self binding since I will only need a really narrow binding.  No wait!  I think I will add a border to the front in this fabric to protect the points on my star.  Then I can go back through and cut another piece for the backing.  Of course, it also means I have to find something for a binding.  Back to the bin!

Since I wasn't in the mood to work on sewing 98 HST's together to form blocks to go on the Mystery Quilt, I took what was already sewn to see what at least one of the two blocks look like.

It's bright!  I can't wait to see what happens when I add the other block which is more of the red and neutrals.

So this week I hope to get the border on the Twinkle Star and find something I want for the binding.  And since I have a 4 day weekend coming up with the President's Day Holiday, I want to get the Mystery Quilt together and set aside to find borders and backing for.  And maybe finish up my purple sock to boot!

Not bad for my first day off.  Can't wait until next week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

More Quilt Blocks!

Yesterday was my first day 'alone'.  Lady K was in daycare until noon, Texter in school until noon and I didn't have to be at work until three in the afternoon.  I dumped drove them to their respective 'schools' and came home.  A nice, easy, beginner yoga routine with Rodney Yee (I have the flexibility of a board) and since I only had until noon free, decided to pull the fabrics for the Modern HST QAL and get started on the first block.

I have several yards of some of the fabrics in the Nested Owls series and decided to use it up for this small quilt.  Since I didn't have any actual background fabric (and no money to go buy any), I decided to use the muslin I have on hand.  The blocks will finish out as 12 inch blocks and there will be 24 in the quilt we are doing over the next year.

The purpose of the QAL is to do a variety of half square triangle blocks and perfect our technique.  I have issues with points!

This is the first block we have done, Candy.  I am pleased with how it turned out.  Unfortunately, it is a tad over the 12.5 it needed to be.  I was worried about it being too small that I did a scant 1/4 inch seam and it make it just a smidgen over.  Points may be an issue in the final sew-up.  Will have to see.  But the muslin looks good with it (in my opinion), so Block 1 and I'm happy.  I had thought about doing 2 blocks, but realizing I have several other BIG quilts in the works, I opted for a large lap/twin size.

While I was digging around in my stash, pulling all my owls fabric, I decided to do another Twinkle Star for the RSC16 Sampler.  When making my initial 6 blocks, afterwards I thought about what if I swapped out the light/dark areas?  What would it look like?

I used the same dark blue I had used as the center block on my original blocks and then went light with the rest.  I came across this piece of butterfly fabric I had and decided to use it for my center block.

So the original block beside my inverted block.  Totally different look.  

So my original idea was to see what, over the rest of the QAL, alternate blocks I might come up with and make a lap quilt from them.  But the more I stare at the darker block, the more I think I am going to make a mini-quilt out of it.  I have been wanting to make a mini since I have so many huge projects in the works and I think this might be a fun first attempt.  Easy to quilt it and I think I have a piece of fabric I want to use as the backing and binding for it.  Will have to see....after my nap!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mandala Monday

Today is the first day of the new semester for Texter.  Poor thing is going after having three huge ovarian cysts pop over the weekend (and two more to go).  But she is chomping at the bit to get going.  She starts taking some medical-type classes this semester and is really excited.  Starting today we will be getting into the routine for the next four months of her to school every day, Lady K to day care, or as we call it for her, 'school'. And me, after being under the weather for a week, back to work and having time to myself to write, sew, knit and do yoga.

So today, drop everyone off and then come home, do some yoga and work on this mystery quilt which has more parts than a Swiss watch!  Or maybe, since today will be a short day, pull out the fabric for the Modern HST QAL and work on the first block.  I pick everyone up about noon and then off to work this evening.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week In Review - January 3 - 9

This has not been a 'kind' week to me physically, been under the weather.  And since it's been from the neck up, I have been tempted to just unscrew my head and set it on the table.  But I did get some things accomplished.
  • Saw Star Wars VII!  Fantastic!
Since Texter finished a semester of math in 11 days (with an A, by the way), I had promised to celebrate with a trip to see Star Wars VII.  Well worth going, even when not feeling well.
  • Lady K officially in 'school' (daycare to us, school to her, like mommy)
It's been an interesting adjustment.  Not sure she is completely with the program yet, but it did give both of us a chance to chill out (and nap undisturbed).
  • Joined the Book and Cuppa Swap at Chaotic Goddess
Tomorrow is the reveal of my partner and then some 'stalking' to see what my partner would like.
  • Finished my Bee Hive Swap Block for January

This is my block I'm keeping.  I have found with swaps, I like to make two and send off the better of the two.  Not that I have been in all that many swaps.  At first I was a little concerned I didn't have any orange.  Actually, the navy blue was my issue!  I had a layer cake with plenty of orange in it.  The block, Homebase, went into the mail yesterday to the January queen.  By the way, I am Queen in September (for my birthday) and already have my block picked out.
  • Finished my Rainbow Scrap Challenge for January

The lighting wasn't great, as you can see by my shadow on the block.  But blue was the color for January.  The center is a batik with words like 'create', 'imagine' on it.  Then a purple/blue batik for the points and a blueish/grey for the light blue.  It was a fun block to put together.  I made 6 blocks for the quilt we will be finishing up by the end of the year.

With all my time in the recliner and bed, I did manage to finish up the following:
  • Books read - 5
  • Posts written - 5
  • Words written - 1,330
  • Steps walked - 23,513 or 10.75 miles
  • Finished up one sock and started the matching one

  • Worked on the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt a bit.  I am sssoooo tired of pressing and sewing together 100 plus pieces for each step.  But the end is in sight.  Those women who finished up the day of the reveal have my admiration and a slightly envious glance.  I love seeing some of the other colors people came up with.  Next year I might be a bit more adventurous.
  • Received two Chris Jurd patterns - very, very quickly from Australia I might add.
For the coming week - 
  • Writing up posts I have some ideas on
  • Taking Henry Marcus back to have his ear repaired
  • Cut out Harley Quinn in muslin to fit on Texter
  • Yoga 3 days everyone is at school and day care
  • Write two letters to friends
  • Modern HST starts online
  • Work out the NEW routine of Lady K to daycare and Texter to school and me to work Monday through Friday
  • Plan menus for coming week (have leftovers for the next couple of days)
  • Finish up the Mystery Quilt
Today, my plan is to get Texter's meds from the drugstore and then hit the recliner for some knitting.  My mind can handle the repetition of the sock and I am all sewn out with the little pieces for the quilt right now.  

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Book and A Cuppa Swap

While wintery weather is upon us...or at least here in Montana it is...I have joined in with just the right swap!

Right now a good book and a warm cup of coffee or tea is just the ticket.  Can you heat up NyQuil?

Monday, January 04, 2016

Mandala Monday

Today will be a bit chaotic, as we get Lady K established in day care.  But she gets to play with other kids (which isn't happening now) and learn in a more structured environment.  AND Texter can go to school and study during the day and play with her on the weekends and at night.  AND I can have some ME time!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Week In Review - December 27 - January 2, 2016

The holidays are over (sigh of relief) and next week will signal the start of a new school year for Texter and Lady K heading to daycare (huzzah!).  AND, hopefully, a settled routine for ME!  For some, I know, it sounds boring, but I function much better with a schedule, routine, plans and goals.  Don't get me wrong, I can drop everything for an 'adventure', but my day-to-day works much better this way.  

With Lady K in daycare two half days and three full days each week, not only with Texter have time to study and go to school, but I (after running taxi service and work) will have time to concentrate on things I want to do without interruption of little hands.  My list keeps growing of projects I want do work on and I can't wait. As you can see from above, I have managed to get in a little stitching over the holidays.  Did a couple more blocks from the 1930's Farmer's Wife QAL.  Still wwwaaaayyyyy behind.  

The past week included:
  • Getting my planner set up for the first four months of 2016
  • Six posts written
  • Word count for January 1 and 2 - 1155 (that's what I hope to write daily now)
  • Steps - only 79% percent of goal...55,050 steps or 25.18 miles
  • Books read - 2
  • Menus made for the week and grocery shopping done
Other things -
  • Tried Murray's for the first time.  I know, I should have tried it sooner, especially since I walk by it all the time, but I haven't.  So I did.  Can't wait to go back and try other items.  I had the Belgian Waffles for lunch on Saturday.
  • Picked up my piece of art I bought for myself for Christmas.  It's a sculpture by Trudy Skari.

I have named him Henry Marcus.  Please note the ears.  The LLLOOONNNGGG ears.  The ears I was warned about when I picked him up.  He was carefully wrapped in bubble wrap, with extra wrap for his ears.  I had brought a bag to put him in to carry him home.  I have a place in my bedroom, on the dresser, where he is in the corner and can't be hit. This, after all, is my first REAL piece of artwork I have purchased (not counting Savvy's gift).

I had walked to the gallery and it was a whopping 10 degrees outside maybe.  When I got him home, and Texter was carefully helping me wrap him, as I put him on the table to start cutting the bubble wrap away, I heard "tink".  As the wrapping came way, so do half his left ear.  


We didn't have any super glue, which I have now found out is a good thing.  I had messaged Maureen at 1+1=1 Gallery to tell her, despite her warnings, an ear bit the dust, so to speak.  She sad 'no super glue' and her talented, woodworking hubby, Tim, could repair him for me.  So, Henry will be bundled back up and carried back downtown for an ear job.  Maybe Tim can do a little kintsugi on his ear.  I think Henry would like a bit of gold in his ear.

For the coming week - 
  • Lady K to daycare!
  • Bookstore with Texter for this semester's books
  • Sign up for the Book and Cuppa Swap with Chaotic Goddess
  • Finish up the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt 2015
  • Make my block for the Bee Hive swap
  • Make my block for the Rainbow Scrappy QAL
  • Start on Texter's Harley Quinn outfit (cutting out in muslin first)
  • Seeing Star Wars with Texter on Tuesday
  • Getting Seedcrone underway (again)
  • Yoga after dropping Lady K at daycare and I'm back home (3 mornings)
Off to finish up a couple of things on the computer and back to the sewing machine.  Downton Abbey's final season starts tonight, so some knitting this evening!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

A Surprise Gift, December Goals Reviewed, January Goals Set

Before I start on boring stuff, let me share a 'goodie' I received as the year was ending from a friend in Washington.  Marie, of Musing Crow Designs, is an incredibly talented woman.  We met several years ago on a art journal swap and have been friends ever since.  What is really funny is we have never met and we probably walked past each other in the hallway years ago.  We both worked at one time for the same airline and have circled each other in areas we have lived in, too.  One of these days we will meet in person - which might not be a good idea. We both share very similar interests and our pocket books and project stash might suffer greatly.  We do enough damage over the internet!

Anyway, I had sent her some fabric earlier this year and she sent me a thank you - 

For those not 'in the know', it's a needle case.  A place to stick your various needles so you can find them again!  Now I have to round up my needles from all the various spots I have placed them so I can find them again and put them into the book.

But the best part - my colors!  Actually, when I look at the front of it, I think of Van Gogh's "Starry Night", one of my favorite pictures.  But it's purple and green and she has done some great variegated stitching on the cover and around the edges.  I'm now one step closer to being 'organized' and I have a companion to remind me of others out there also sewing away.


So my goals for December were: 

  • Set my word of intention for 2016 - I picked one, or it picked me
  • Make bags for my oracle/tarot cards - also, partially done.  I have them at least wrapped them in fabric until I find something more I like.
  • Set up my planner for the first quarter of 2016
  • Update my projects list and start assigning an order to them 
  • Work on Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt
  • Catch up on the 1930's Farmer's Wife Quilt blocks - nope
  • Look at scheduling a once a month writing get-together in 2016
  • Send off my Chaotic Goddess swap gift
  • Start mapping out garden plans for the front yard - not yet on paper, but planning in my mind
  • Look for fabric for curtains for bedroom, bathroom and living room (I hate mini-blinds) - so-so...thinking of a shelf across my long, narrow window for plants in my east-facing window
  • Read one book off my home bookshelf - not yet, but scheduling them in for 2016

For January, I have the following goals set down:
  • Outline Seedcrone-Book 1
  • Do my "Bee Hive" swap block and mail off
  • Send out postcards for Postcrossing
  • Finish up the top for the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt
  • Cut out and stitch up muslin 'draft' of Texter's Harley Quinn cosplay outfit
  • Find a similar pattern for Lady K so they can have matching outfits
  • Get my list of outstanding sewing, knitting, and crocheting projects updated
  • Finish thick, purple socks 
  • No drive-thru eating
  • Plan menus
  • Sign up for and mail off the Chaotic Goddess "Book and Cuppa" swap
  • Get the carpet and padding off the porch and to the dump
  • Read one book off my home shelf
One good thing about goals and breaking them down into steps, is that I can tweak and amend as needed.  By being more specific on my 'to-do', I have a better chance of getting it done.  It will be interesting to see  what happens in January.

Friday, January 01, 2016

MORE - Word for 2016

I know.  I debated and debated over selecting MORE as my word, but it was the only word which popped into my head. Let me explain a bit what it means to me.

MORE is not about 'stuff', it's about the intangibles.  More experiences, more enjoyment, more time for myself and the things I want to do, more financial peace.  A MORE BETTER life in 2016 (ok, grammar police, give me a break there!)

To that end, I have been working on my goals for 2016 and here is what I have come up with as of this morning...

  • Passports for everyone (we are too close to Canada not to have them)
  • Cosplay costumes for everyone (it's a family thing)
  • Advent Christmas 2016 (start collecting little gifts now)
  • Getting stuff out of storage in North Carolina and getting it to Montana now that we have room for it
  • Plan menus, post them, and shop from them
  • More hikes in 2016
  • Trip to Glacier
  • Return for longer time to Yellowstone
  • Trip to Seattle
  • Do the Montana Quilt Shop Hop this summer to explore areas I haven't been before
  • Save for getting things out of storage
  • 365 Savings Challenge
  • Weekly Savings Challenge
  • Watch spending and plan out purchases better
  • Plan menus and shop from them
Writing and Reading
  • Finish Book 1 rough draft of Seedcrone series
  • 150 books read/listened to
  • Lead NaNoWriMo Again
  • Monthly writing meet up with fellow writers
  • Work on book with MB
  • One book a month off my bookshelf
  • Do Postcrossing monthly
  • 10,000 steps a day
  • Vitamins daily
  • Drop 20 pounds (or be under 200)
  • Plan menus weekly
  • Eat breakfast!
  • Train for 5K in June
  • Hydrate daily!
  • More fruits and veggies daily
  • Kayaking!
  • Take quilting classes to hone my skills
  • Cosplay costumes
  • Finish up the Bonnie Hunter 2015 Mystery Quilt
  • Have my current quilt tops finished by myself or a professional and use them
  • Christmas Tree skirt
  • 1930's Farmer's Wife quilt top finished
  • Do the Montana Quilt Shop Hop this summer
  • Work on a knitting/crochet project and get things out of stash
  • One yard of fabric on payday to build stash
  • Make mini-quilts
  • String piece a quilt
  • Do the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge
  • Do the UFO Busting Challenge
  • Start collecting fabric for a Kaffe quilt, a cat quilt and an I Spy quilt
  • Go for more walks in the woods
  • Work with my tarot/oracle cards more
  • Read more on Wicca and Buddhism  
  • One new towel a month (we use so many towels and they disappear!)
  • One plant a month 
  • Set up recycling bins in basement
  • Learn to use Twitter and Instagram better

Yes, there are some things which overlap and are in two or more areas.  And it is a lengthy list, but I think it is pretty specific for the most part.  Being more specific and breaking goals down into 'parts' or 'steps' helps me tremendously.  For example, on the Cosplay costumes, this coming week I have down to cut out Texter's costume in muslin and fit it before I start using 'real' fabric.  I also have down to look for a similar pattern for Lady K, so they can have matching outfits.  By setting out steps, I can do it!

So here's to MORE in 2016!!