Feb 15, 2018

The arts! They are too many!!!

Punch needle, rug hooking, embroidery, household sewing, folk art--sculpting and painting and general making--as well as dolls.  Was that enough?  Oh no. 

I got a big curly hair to make great big quilted wall hangings.  I've wanted to for a long time, but I finally got out the paper and started designing.  I've made the blocks for each, sewed them together, and crazy-quilt stitched the block joins.  I'm now cutting out the wool design pieces and am appliqueing them on.  It's a verrrry slow process. 

In the end, I will create patterns to sell in my Etsy shop, and have the wall hangings for my home.  Wait, is that the end?  Oh no.

A friend in a local sewing group invited me to a crazy-quilting class.  I've always wanted to make a crazy quilt--there's something so wonderfully unrestricted about this form of quilting.  So I went, and boy did that bug bite me hard!  So add THAT art form to the too-many-bees-in-my-bonnet. 

Here are some photos of the wall hanging project.  My husband is so very patient with my messes.  The design stage required a bit more space than my studio allowed, so I set up a 6 foot table in our bedroom--which stayed there for three weeks!  (I have started a part time job, which causes the most inconvenient interruptions.)


Hope your February is going as you would have it go.  It's been wet here--which is good, because we've had a scary-dry winter.  Cheers!

Dec 29, 2017

It's that time of year again.

That time when all the magazines at the check-out counter are shouting about how you can lose 20 lbs in a month on their new diet, or how you can FINALLY get organized this year.  Need to quit smoking?  THIS time, you can really do it.  Need to learn to (fill in the blank) and finally (another blank) and make it stick?  We can show you how.

The gyms will be full--at least up until Valentines Day, when most have dropped out in favor of chocolate and self-forgiveness. 

I am a big fan of self-forgiveness!  I've got lots of things I should do--and undo, accomplish, learn, commit to, many other shoulds.  But after my first thirty or so New Year's Resolutions came and went, the majority of which were unfulfilled, I realized New Year's Resolutions didn't motivate me.  They do work for some, no doubt.  But I did hate the gym that first few months when it would become so crowded.  (At some point, I quit the gym, too--in favor of walking my dog every day and stretching in my bedroom floor.)

In the intervening years, I had to distill it down to this: is my goal realistic?  If not, can I break it into sections, to be accomplished one at a time?  If I can't do that, what is unrealistic about it?  If it is realistic, what--in tangible, concrete terms--will allow me to accomplish it?  And lastly--what does January 1st have to do with it?  For some reason, my goal setting urges seem to hit in the fall.  I clean, organize, analyze, and study what changes I want to make.  I don't always accomplish them, but I manage enough that I have learned what works for me.

What do you do when you want to make a change, and stick to it?  What do you want to accomplish this year?   

Dec 5, 2017

We're baaaaack!

Almost three weeks on the road clear to East Tennessee and back.  On the way through Oklahoma, we stayed for two days visiting our eldest daughter and her kids.  Then on to Knoxville, to visit with our youngest daughter & her family, and our youngest son, who drove down from Ohio with his family, for Thanksgiving.  Five days there, then two days up in the tri-cities area of Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol exploring the area.  The hardest part was getting there and back: four days each way.  Our poor dog Schultz has no interest in getting into the car now.  I don't blame him.  Counting a run down to Phoenix to leave our cat w/ in-laws, we logged 4,588 miles all total.

Tennessee was worth it.  Circumstances sort of dictated this as our time to go check it out--the hubs really preferred to go in the spring when the trees are green--but even with so much of the fall color gone, there was so much beauty to enjoy.  We hiked, went antiquing, put up our daughter's Christmas tree and decorated it.  We saw a Colonial era fort (1757) that the English built during the French-Indian war.  Of course we had Thanksgiving dinner--with a noisy houseful!  And I got to play in the garden a little, planting a couple of baby trees I'd brought her from AZ.  Tennessee dirt is good dirt!

Later we met a nice lady outside of Bristol--and met all ten of her collies, both rough and smooth.  Schultz was not impressed, but we were. We did learn that we want smooth collies--I am just not up to that much dog-brushing.

With our kids spread out so far--Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Tennessee--it's hard to see them very often.  But two years in a row, we've been able to at least see three of the four.  Now we're going to let them come to us! 

We've pretty well decided to retire to the Knoxville area--we liked a little town called Maryville (which the locals pronounce as "mur-vel") best of all we saw.  How long that will be--who knows.  Maybe ten years!  But for the first time ever in our years together, we're planning a major move instead of just jumping into action.  We've moved sixteen times in our years together, but we really (really, really!) want this one to stick.  As in; 'til we're too old to live on our own. And who knows?  Maybe this one will really be it.  I'm going to keep telling myself that, and imagining how it will be to have those mountains to hike in any time we want.