Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Flying By

The month, good grief, the YEAR is flying by, but I am still waiting to feel like I've got my feet firmly planted underneath me.   If I ever had any motivation, it is eluding me now.  Does anyone else have the February Blahs?   Not enough sun, not enough warmth, not enough exercise.  I need to get my mind moving!  Even my sewing has suffered.   I made, or more correctly I tried to make, a light cardigan jacket this week and it was a bust.   It doesn't fit, it looks awful, there is nothing about it that I want to salvage.   So I'll move away from that pattern and try another tunic of some kind.     The sewing takes only an hour or so, but the procrastination about cutting out the pattern can take weeks!
Last week's solstice block had hearts as part of the design, appropriate leading up to Valentine's Day.    I had intended to make the block in sea greens and white, but I ran out of the white so I added a little sunshine.   It's an odd color combination and I like it.

I have another Solstice block pattern that is cut out and ready to sew; my self-imposed deadline is tomorrow night because the next pattern will be released tomorrow morning.  It could still happen but it hasn't happened yet.

My February purse is done, cute and Spring-y.   It has little bows that tie on the sides to give it shape.  It was easy to make, as purses tend to be, and I may just make another if I run out of other projects.   I am gathering fabrics for my March purse, which will be a tote-style bag in brighter colors.
And I found the cutest Bride/Groom fleece fabric so I made an impulse throw to send to a friend who is planning her wedding.  I made it and popped it into the mail on the same morning.   I also finished yet another blanket for my brother, who is getting older and doesn't take as much care for his comfort as I think he should.  I love those super quick projects, they are so satisfying when not much else is getting done!

My mind seems lately to be spinning with problems I cannot solve and so shouldn't stress about.   I am crankier than is usual for me and feel less optimistic.   I know from my many years of experience with my moods and reactions that this is nothing more than a bad habit, and the time has come for me to start again centering myself and controlling my thoughts.   Life is good, my personal problems are small, and there is no point in spoiling my days over problems and issues outside my control.   This week's mantra:  feel it, release it, move one.   And breathe.  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Mid Month

Still sewing, there isn't much else to do on these cold winter days, unless I want to clean and organize my house -- and of course I don't! -- thank goodness my sewing machine can save me from that! Here are the projects I've made the past couple of weeks:

One of my goals for this year is to sew something that I will actually wear out of the house.   Too soon to tell, but this might be it.   I also have a cardigan cut and ready to sew and I am hopeful that it will be useable.   Neither is like the jeans and tees I usually wear, but neither is entirely awful, either, and it would be nice to dress, at least once in awhile, a little more like a 'girl.'
My guy gave me a tshirt for my birthday last year that says 'not my monkeys, not my circus,' so I made him a sock monkey to include in his Valentine's Day package.   It was kind of fun to make a toy again!

It has been Cold. As. Heck. here this week, but beautiful, with the sun peeking through ever few days and the moon getting bigger and bigger.   There are many things I love about this bleak time of year.  My fella was gone for a week.   He doesn't drink so while he was gone, I did.   Wine with dinner a couple of times.   Lovely.   Not as lovely as dinner with someone you love, but not entirely shabby, either.
When my honey got home, we went to something we had been looking forward to for more than a year -- the Lego Batman Movie.   Like any self respecting 12 year old boy, we laughed our fool butts off.   There are so many advantages to being too old to care what people think.   No matter how old  you are, I hope you are having fun.  :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Stop The World I Want To Get Off

Things have undoubtedly been this crazy before.   After all, I've read about such times in high school history and civics, studied them as an undergrad in college, learned about the legal battles that went into forming our rights in law school, and studied the ethics of it all when I got my theology degree.  Surely we will regain our senses soon.

Meanwhile, I am sewing.  Pillowcases (for a nurse who was recently engaged);
Another purse:
Quilt blocks for no apparent reason:
A pink hat by special request:
And the most recent Solstice block in the "February color", which I love.

Outside the sewing room, it is cold!
So most of us are finding indoor fun.  My granddaughter's art class was asked to help decorate our local "animal care center," formerly referred to as the dog pound.   They did a great job and it was fun for both of us to see several of her creations transferred onto the walls!

Not much else is new except that,  oh yes, I finally succumbed to the LuLaRoe craze when a couple of local people set up fundraisers for our Search and Rescue group.   I felt I had to support my peeps, so I bought a few pair of leggings.    Now I'm not young and not thin, so I doubt very much that I will ever consider wearing leggings outside the privacy of my own home.   Of course, as the family record keeper (my sister) would be quick to tell you, I said the same about capris pants, which became the foundation of my summer wardrobe as soon as they stopped being trendy.   At any rate, I do love my new leggings, which I wear under my nighties in the morning as I dawdle over coffee.    I am trying not to buy more because, goodness knows, I don't need more encouragement to dawdle!
Stay warm, stay safe and if you can, stay sane.  :)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ignoring Politics As Best I'm Able

Little bits of odds and ends got done this week.   I made a Paw Patrol pillowcase for my hair stylist's just-turned-3-year-old grandson -- she told me during my last haircut that she was looking for little rewards because he s in the potty training stage, and that he loves Paw Patrol.   My great nephew loved the pillowcase I made him for Christmas, so I thought her little guy might enjoy one, too.  I dropped it off last weekend; he was taking his nap, and his mom planned to swap the pillowcase while he was sleeping.   I got a text from them the next day, saying that he takes it everywhere with him.
I made a couple more quilt blocks, still trying to decide what block I will use for my Rainbow Quilt challenge, the first one I've joined.  I am leaning toward either the little heart or second,  cobblestone block, or more likely both, since they are both very easy and I think both will look nice in a mix of colors.  I also made the 5th block in my Solstice Challenge, and another fleece blanket for my brother, who loved the one I made for Christmas.   I also started, but did not yet finish, another tote -- hopefully I will be able to claim that finish next week.  :)

And I made a very cute little non-pink, non-political cat hat, that my granddaughter thought was the cat's meow.   I don't post photos of the Grands so you will just have to take my word for it that she looked a lot cuter in it than I do.  :)  I will be making more of these, maybe some teddy bears, too, once I clean my craft room just enough to find the fleece remnants that I KNOW are buried underneath!
There is nothing else new to report from my station here in the Middle of the Mitten.   Our Sunday dominoes games are well underway, and I am losing every game but loving every minute.   I hope the same is true for you.   The loving part, that is.   Losing is optional.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mid January - Already?!

Today is sunny, clear and bright, but I was snowed in one day this week, and the snow plow guy didn't come until evening, so (although I am sure I could have driven out over the snow) I told myself I was homebound.     We've had several snow and ice winter storms recently, back to back.   Anyway, on my homebound day, since I hadn't really planned for being snowed in, I didn't get much done.   Later that night, in the wisdom of retrospect, I decided I had squandered a perfectly good day. I hate when that happens.  I did do a (very) little sewing: another quilt block or two (I goofed on one of them, and the colors look better in person, really they do), and made a fleece nightie because it has been cold has heck.
The grandkids had two snow days this week, and one of them had a third day off when he got sick.  Is there anyone in Michigan who has't had the crud?  Every surface was covered with ice and it snowed or rained on and off all week.   Lovely, lovely weather to stay inside and I am lucky enough that I can do that.   But scary for those who have to be out.   Maybe the bad weather is the explanation for the weird and troubling dreams I've had most of the week, but I need to shake it off because Spring is nowhere in sight!

While I was watching over my sick Grand, I noticed that the kids are using, or at least displaying, the tuffet I gave them for Christmas in their music room.   Nice.
This weekend is supposed to remain clear, which doesn't all that much matter since most of my doings these days are indoor.   I am planning to cut and hopefully sew a couple more bags and pillow cases, but so far today I have nothing to show.   Fingers crossed, next week will be more productive!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Still Sewing

I have entered the New Year with more sewing.   I have this great momentum going and don't want to lose it, so I am going to try to participate in the Rainbow Scrap Linky Challenge this  year -- January's color is purple.   I haven't chosen a particular block I want to make, and am still experimenting, so I made a couple of purple blocks for this month's challenge.   I am thinking today that maybe I will do simple log cabin blocks and, if so, I will need to make another purple block before the month is out.


I have also made the first three of the Solstice Challenge blocks, and will continue to try to keep up with those.  As you can see, I am new at this and haven't figured out how to make my blocks work together, so it is unlikely that I'll end up with a quilt top unless I organize my thinking soon!   But I'm not putting any pressure on the exercise at this point, just playing along.


Meanwhile, I completed my first purse/tote of the year, which will go into the box of potential gifts for next Christmas.   As I've said (everywhere, to everyone) I made something for every single person on my list this year, and it was a good feeling.  I'm making no promises about next year, but I know I will do what I can.   I've already cut out two more purses, so I am pretty sure there will be purses, again, on the giving list.   
It is cold as heck this week, a windy 5 degrees when I left the house this morning for our monthly search and rescue drill (thankfully, an inside training this month!)   The cold weather does make it easier to stay home and sew.   Since I am such a sissy it is all the more amazing that I did push myself out to the local Center Court walking track once this week.  It was good to stretch my legs and goodness knows my heart and body need it, so I hope I will make more of an effort on that than I managed last year.

Meanwhile, we are making plans already for family gatherings this summer.  Ahhhhh, summer.    It feels so far away.

I hope you are staying warm, wherever you are!  :)

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year Musings

It is that time of year when I, like many of us, become annoyingly introspective.   I did not start the new year off on the best of feet, since I was (finally) coming down with the cold that had already claimed everyone I knew. So, although I was still filled with gratitude at my relationships and generally good health and relative security,  I felt crummy, a little self pitying, and not even a little bit optimistic.  Maybe I was especially introspective this year since I am 67 now, which (in my head) is a reflection of my high school graduation in '67, making me wonder if this is a second chance, perhaps a final chance, for new beginnings.

And so I have been asking myself, what do I want?   What goals, if any, would I like to accomplish?   What changes, if any, should I take another shot at making?   It is hard to think when you feel yucky, but this is what I think I know as I enter 2017:
For sure, if I am allowed to choose,  things are finally getting good and I want more of the same.  I am so lucky, so blessed, to have family and a guy that I love.   I want to spend time with those people, I want to keep enjoying and treasuring them.
I know, as I have  known every freaking other year, that I would feel more hopeful and healthier overall if I were in better physical shape.   But I also know that I am unlikely to become a goddess or a marathoner or even a fitness club member.  With those constraints, I would still like to remember to choose each day to eat better and move more.   I'm a good cook and there is no reason not to use that skill, which I enjoy, for my own good.

My bloggy friend, Janne, is an artist who travels a lot, to interesting and exotic places I can only dream of.   One of her goals this year is to travel someplace she has never been, and I think that is a lovely goal for me.      My someplace is not likely to be Japan or Norway or Finland or Scotland, it will almost certainly be someplace much closer to home, and that will be just fine.

I would certainly like to de-clutter my life.   I am a believer that a cluttered house, a cluttered basement, a cluttered craft room (just for example) lead to a cluttered mind and messy thoughts and emotions.  I am surrounded by material things I do not use, do not want and do not need.   It would be good if I could reduce that load, even by a little.

And I would like to learn some new skills.   I am hoping that I will keep sewing into this new year, and that I will become more competent.   I am hoping, too, to find some surprising new things to learn and study by just being open to whatever comes my way. 

And to you, my few bloggy friends who have kept in touch with me along the way, I wish you the very best year.   I have a feeling it will have its ups and downs,  but if we can keep our heads on a level plane and our hearts open, I hope it will be a good one for all.