Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Are you cooking?

I spent Monday at the doctors (and Tuesday at Wal-Mart)...good news and bad news.....good news is my labs were all great and I am really healthy.  The bad news is my blood pressure has been creeping up and he put me on medication.  Not a lot, a low dose, but definitely blood pressure medicine.  I was so disappointed as I have tried so hard to eat healthy, exercise etc, but it's in my genes!  It's probably why I was feeling more energetic too.  High blood pressure means higher energy and low blood pressure makes for low energy.  Dang, I hate taking pills or medicine of any kind but I must admit my doctor is very sharp and keeps up on things but he also isn't a pill pusher so I know he has my best interests in mind. He was right about the dairy products too!  I've lost a few pounds and my cholesterol is excellent now!  He said, "See, I do know what I'm talking about."  and I said "That's what we pay you the big bucks for!" LOL!
 So, after all that, I went shopping for SUPPLIES in the big city.  Here's some of what I got.........Some self-sticking thimbles that are also reusable.  A scalloped cutting blade for my rotary cutter.
 some towels to embroider and a few panels to hand quilt.
 I was looking for something like this but wasn't expecting one with a grid on it...very nice!
 The quilt shop was very disappointing for the most part and had the same material as when I was in there 6 months ago.   Then I went to the Truck Patch, mostly organic, store and I am never disappointed with it!
 I got my shampoo and soaps....
 I got several boxes of these for Christmas presents......they are so good and I couldn't replicate these or trust me....I would!  The reason the imported cookies are so good is that they are still using the best ingredients....like butter and farm fresh eggs, etc. In the U.S.  it's all over processed and as artificial as possible....no pride in what they make just greed....lots and lots of greed.  Greed tastes terrible!  But these Almond thins are made in heaven!
 These are specifically for my SIL as he spent time in Spain when he was in college and probably had a lot of these.  They are also very good!  The are fried in olive oil and they are similar to the leftover pie dough that used to get rolled out and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon....except these are orange....my favorite!
 Good old Bob's great products.............
 and who can do without apple cider vinegar?
 and Annie's 25th anniversary mac and cheese.....yummmm!
 While I was gone these came in the mail for me..........a small quilt pattern
 and wool felt squares that were such a deal I couldn't pass them up!
 This was the sky this morning....rain on the way but I'm all tucked in and have all I need.  I just have to cook it now!  Oh, I got my organic turkey too.  I had my first one last year and it was the best  turkey I ever made so it was a no-brainer this year.  Happy Thanksgiving and I am so grateful for all of you!
Happy Trails!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

YOP Week #21

I missed last week for a number of reasons....I was sick.  Sick of a lot of things.  I was sick of starting over all the time, I was sick of following directions exactly and it still not turning out and I was sick of  working on presents for others and yes I had a fever and a cold too.
But sometimes when a door closes a window opens or is it vice versa?  Anyway, it all worked out wonderfully and I have a new plan, a new attitude, a new lease on life and all is right with the world again. 
So, I am going to bore you with my epiphany.  I believe that when you get sick either mentally, physically or things are just not going right for you that you need to examine why....so I did and I came up with the conclusion that things were out of balance.  Too much giving to others and not enough to myself  (it's always one extreme or the other isn't it).  Too much emphasis on one craft and not balancing it out with the other things I love to do.  Having a bucket list and dreams but not doing a single thing towards them for weeks or months. Don't get me wrong, I love my life and I am enjoying each moment but I really think I am attention deficit.   Therefore, I have all these things I love to do and make and create but I flit from one to the next to the next and nothing really ever gets accomplished.  But on the other hand I can be very self-disciplined if I have a plan.....keyword....PLAN!
So, here it is....THE PLAN:

1.  List all the crafts you enjoy doing
 For me it was quilting, sewing, cross stitch, embroidery, punch needle, paper crafts, rug hooking, knitting, crocheting and miscellaneous crafts.

2.  I have Outlook on my PC but you can use a notebook or a piece of notebook paper.  Under each of the craft categories, I listed what I was currently working on and what was the next step I needed to do,such as:
Knitting - finish Tracy's hat.  The rule is I have to finish Tracy's hat before I can start any other "knitting" project.  And I also have to do some work on Tracy's hat before I can move on to the next craft on the list.  Being ATDD (if I am?) means I cannot really sit and work on something for hours and hours.  Now I can if there is a difficult problem to solve like when I worked on computer systems but although I'm not that good at some of these crafts it's still not the level of complexity that really grabs my attention for hours at a time.  So, after I work on Tracy's hat, let's say the next category is sewing....I don't have a project in sewing at the moment so I get to pick one!  Yay!  After choosing a sewing project, I move on to the next category and when I come around to sewing again it will probably be to gather materials for the project.  So you see,  it satisfies my need to have lots of projects going on but also keeps me from getting too confused by having so many projects going on! LOL!  In my dream world, I would get to work on each of these categories every day but then there would be no clean clothes or food to eat etc.  So, they just rotate as time allows but as you can see when time does allow, I don't waste it floundering around wondering what I should work on.

3.  No deadlines!  Self-imposed or otherwise.  It takes the joy out of making things.  When I work on things for myself or others I want to be injecting the love and wonderful feelings I have for that person or animal or plant.  I don't want to be resentful in any way.  If water can absorb emotions then fiber can too!  I only want healing and loving thoughts to go into the hat that will sit on my SIL's head or the scarf that will be around my daughter's neck or the stuffed animal that my grandson will hold next to him.  So, there will be gifts bought and the handmade will arrive whenever chock full of nurturing feelings!  No extra shipping charges for all those good feelings either.

4.  No jumping the line on projects unless something awful happens and you need a purchase or a new project to soothe yourself or someone else.
Okay...so that's the plan for now and I just came up with it so there will be refinements along the way and you will be witnesses to how well it works for me but it's worked in other areas so I'm hoping this will go swimmingly!  Feel free to call me on the carpet too if you see me breaking my own rules.

Okay..............now for the YOP's which will be current projects only (according to the rules! LOL!)
This hat doesn't look much farther along than last week but actually it was frogged and restarted again......effort #13...I'm thinking this might be my lucky number!   Long story but let's just say that not all You Tube video techniques are compatible with each other.  But I have definitely learned a lot...several times over it seems.
Remember this book I couldn't wait to delve into and make those doilies on the cover?   
well........what's wrong with this picture?  Part of the reason for The Plan....I counted every stitch, I consider myself a well versed crocheter so did I have a fever when I crocheted this?  You be the judge.  BTW, I do love me some Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino!  Oh yeah!
The doilie will stay this way and maybe that's why we see those antique doilies with the ruffles?  Like me maybe they just weren't about to tear it out and start over! LOL!  I also used the exact yarn required and hook size but it turned out pretty small so I'll be going up in hook size next time.
I turned away from the yarn projects for a few days (can you blame me?????) and got back into quilting....just some scraps for a little doll quilt........
But then I ran across so many other projects I wanted to do and "that old feeling" for quilting started to come back so...I ordered some material..........on Ebay....Historical Blender's fat quarters....Oh, I love me some polka dots....not too dull, not too bright....just right! Notice there was nothing in THE PLAN that stated you couldn't order supplies.....I made sure of that! LOL!
I did have a wild thought of making crochet blocks like the quilt blocks and we'll see how that turns out.
I hope you had a wonderful week and that you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving here in the U.S. although you never need an excuse for getting together with friends and family and sharing good food......but Thanksgiving does take it to a new level.  Don't forget to donate to your local food bank so everyone can partake and it goes without saying to "spread that attitude of gratitude"!
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Trails!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

FNSI....Friday Night Sew-In

Grab the Friday Night Sew In (FNSI) button 
I prepared so I would have a good meal to fuel my creative endeavors..........split pea and ham soup.......

 and homemade bread.........
which allowed me to get this done...........of course Grace just HAD to get in the picture!
Unlike some of you, I work on the Christmas gifts for others all week so on Friday nights I work on something for me.  My daughter did call though and we talked for quite a while so I didn't get as much done as I thought I would but I love talking to my daughter and you would too if you knew her! LOL!  
I am making little quilts.....above being the first from scratch,  I have the 5 main blocks done and now I will either cut 4 whole blocks to fit in the spaces or I will piece the blocks like I've already done except in the same color.  I'm utilizing scraps for this little quilt and I have plenty more where they came from.  These "little" quilts will be used as table mats, dresser scarves, chair adornments...you name it.....oh,  as artwork to hang on my walls too.  Yes, so FNSI is Fun night sew-in too!  I will be here every Friday night so stop by and bring your projects with you!  I can't wait to see what you've been working on!  Signups are here
Or if you just want to visit and see how others are spending their Friday nights.
Happy Trails!