Thursday, January 30, 2014

Contemplating Happiness

I've been thinking quite a lot about happiness and how I could be happier.  I am mostly a happy, optimistic person, I think it's in my character but I also choose to be that way.  Always said that if I had to have wrinkles I wanted them from laughing and smiling!  I've been re-reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project  and Happier at Home and both have made me think about what makes me happy and what makes me unhappy.  I've had several "light-bulb" moments lately.  Some will shock you, or not.  I don't really like quilting.  So I'll finish the 15 or so I have currently on the list and maybe I'll do another one or two after that-this way I'll know I'm actually fairly good at it even if I don't want to do it all the time.  Plus it's very important to me to finish what I begin.  Sewing makes me happy-making clothes and things for my home-that's good.  Cross-stitch makes me happy, some days, but has taken a back seat to the quilts.  That needs to change.  I love to read!  Almost anything and everything!  Always have, always will that I won't even try to change but maybe I won't feel bad about all the re-reading I do.  I need to clear out some projects and I thought about which one(s) would make me happiest to have done.  So, I'll be focusing on The Town of Kansas and it's book for at least the month of February.  I've been working on it for several (many?) years, it has it's own bookcase and files so clearing that out would be a tremendous accomplishment -and relief.   I don't expect to do much if any stitching and I don't think you should expect a lot of blogging!  Maybe one a week, maybe not.

So some things that have made me happy lately.  A new pair of brown shoes with 2 inch heels-make me FEEL taller, better dressed and are really comfortable!.  I need to find some in black.  A really, really good batch of bread.  Quite possibly the best bread I have ever made, certainly the best I have made in too long a time.  I enjoyed the whole process.  Beta reading Suzie O'Connell"s next book-very fun and I got to read it before anyone else!

Many other things to change, decisions to make, resolutions to keep but I feel like I'm finally moving forward.

Blessed Be!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Under the needle this week

Under the needle this week is "Twisted."  I'm on step 4 which is a really long one.  To top that off I was two, yes TWO, blocks short on the hot purple pink you can just see in the back.  After an exhaustive and exhausting search I didn't have any more fabric!  Quilter's nightmare!  I bought this last summer-what are the odds that anyone would still have it?   I got lucky though, a new and small quilt shop near me still had some, whew.  I bought a yard, just in case I want to do something else with it.

After a full day of shopping and errands I came home and made this:

These have to be the best brownies I have ever made, or eaten for that matter.  I took some over to my neighbors, if I'd eaten all that 13 x 9 inch pan I'd be really sick and quite a lot fatter!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ten Days? Really?

It can't have been 10 days since I last posted, can it?  Wow.  I guess that would be because nothing much is happening around here!

I've been struggling with getting out of bed in the mornings-I swear I could sleep 24/7 right now.  Have no clue why but it seems to be getting a bit better.  Have also been struggling with doing those pesky exercises and stretches!  But I have done them 4 out of the last 5 days (I didn't do them yesterday as I had the big boys.)  I'm going to quit taking the nerve meds with tonight, I hardly noticed it when I quit the morning one, but I wonder if they could be part of the sleepies issue.  Anyway, I don't need it so why take it!?

I have been stitching some most every day on "Twisted"  and have added several "flowers" to the hexie top.  I spent some time tonight working on Kolby's stocking, the cataracts make cross stitch very tiring and headachy.  I've finished painting a small nightstand for the guest room and found some top curtains for over the sheers-have really cool tie backs for those!  I'll get them hung and the filets for the big chest  cut and installed tomorrow.  So I'm making slow progress on projects.

I purged books this past week as well.  I love books and love to read but storing them is a big issue.  I have a Kindle (although it's getting spotty about working so I'll probably need a new one soon) and I use it now for fiction only as I find it difficult to page back and forth if I want to see something again.  If you know ahead of time you can bookmark it and go back but I once looked forever for a rabbit quote in the Beatrix Potter biography-never did find it.  Anyway, the book shelves were stuffed so some books had to go!  I likely  won't miss them.

I guess the biggest news is that I was honored by the Jackson County Historical Society as their Volunteer of the Year for my work in the archives.  It's nice to be recognized (even if I really only type!)  Lovely dinner with good company.  Also I got to dress up!

It's cold tonight and I'm ready for sleep!  Maybe it won't be another 10 days!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

First Finish of 2014!

Finally, Scott's Rhombi:  A Penrose Tiling is finished!
I'm tired of looking at it!  I'm sure you are as well.  I needs to be run through the dryer with a damp towel again to get all the cat/dog/Gail hair off of it but I have no more stitches to take in it!!  I'm taking it to Quilt Guild on Monday and then sending it off to live in Scott's office in Columbia.  (His coo-workers will have something new to look at when they video-conference!)

Now on to Twisted.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Winter Blahs

We did not get feet of snow, like some folks. Nor did we get -45F temperatures (without wind chill) it has been cold enough and snowy enough that I have been in more than out for the past week.  Cabin fever beckons, even for Quinn!  It is to rain on Friday ( yep rain, not snow) which will make a muddy mess of everything and cause Quinn to need "hosing off" every night in the shower-she hates it.  But, she wants to sleep on my bed and muddy, messy dogs must stay on the floor!

I have taken down the Christmas decor and packed it away (the boxes have not made it to the attic yet but they have found an out of the way spot in the guest room.)  The house looks sad and bare-dang it I want my bedroom tree back at least!

Beyond that I have been reading quite a bit and stitching a little.  Little to no accomplishments around here.  Ah well, tomorrow is another day!  Now, I need to go put the clean sheets on my bed so I can crash in a little while and finish up the laundry.  Bye!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Winter Waiting

Waiting for snow again, 3-4 inches, to be followed by extreme cold and dangerous wind chills.  Ho-Hum.  It's January.  While my house is pretty warm, some areas are just chilly.  My office/studio is one of the worst, I think I might be getting out a space heater for a few days.  If all the predictions are true I'll be staying home for a few days!  Good sewing weather.

Rob came over and got all the boxes for Christmas directions out of the attic this morning so I'm beginning to take down the decorations.  I hate this time of year-the house just looks naked!  Then I'll need to change my blog photo!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Under the Needle.

I had such high hopes for this being a regular Friday feature!  Oh well, new year, fresh start!

Both of these projects are ongoing, though one should be finished soon-I hope.

This is Scott's Rhombi, a Penrose tiling.  I'm stitching the edge on by hand, all the angles and points created all sorts of issues with finishing it.  I'm using grograin ribbon stitched down on both sides with little tucks.  I'll stitch it down on the back with a 1/4" (or a bit more) of the ribbon showing on the front.  I think for it to lay flat it will need a row of machine stitching as well.  I'm nearly finished with the front,  would really love to have it finished by the next Guild meeting on the 13th.

A full view of my hexigon quilt.  This will be the center, I have a long way to go.  I just began making flowers with no idea how I would put them together.  Now, of course, I wish I'd not used yellow in the center but I won't be undoing any!

Here's a close up, if you look really hard you can see the needle!

Both of these projects have been English Paper Pieced and I may have found my favorite part of quilting!  I reserving judgement for a while.

I think I may have found that missing Mo-Jo!  Yesterday, I had the most productive day I've had in months!  A little house cleaning, a little cooking, a little sewing, and of course the exercises!  All in all a great day!

The University of Missouri-Columbia, my college alma mater's, football team at 11-2 earned a place in the Cotton Bowl (they took the East region of the Southeast Conference)!  Tonight's the game!  I really hope they win but whatever happens I'll be a proud Tiger!  Beth and Lucas are having a little party with the boys so Quinn and I will head down there to watch at least the first half!  Scott and Bri are going to the actual game-the lucky stiffs!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Beginning!

Every year is a new beginning, a fresh start, the time to make choices that change your life.  So that is my plan for 2014.  A new beginning and finally making those choices that will change my life.  It's hard and confusing trying to decide between one thing and another because this time it isn't possible to have both.  Sometimes you can have both, sometimes not.

In that line of thinking, I'm going to re-think my choice of participating in Bonnie Hunter's Mystery.  I pulled fabrics, I bought the rulers, I'm in the Facebook group and now that I've seen the reveal I agree that it's a beautiful design. I know I could do it but the fact is I just don't want to.  Else I'd have cut some of the fabric I pulled!  I just do not want to start another quilt, at least not until I've finished more of the ones already begun.  To begin another quilt now, when quilting is not my passion and I have so many other things I want to try, just adds another layer of frustration.  So in a few minutes I'm going to put all that fabric up, store those rulers, and put the directions inside of the Bonnie Hunter book I own.  I won't need to think about it any longer and that will be a good thing!

After that I'll work on Scott's Rhombi--the edge from hell!