Saturday, January 26, 2008

WITW - Week 3, A Sense of Perspective

I am on the computer, adding shots to my Flickr albums, checking out the forums and the thought comes to mind - maybe you should do your check-in for the week. My inner procrastinator says "Well, maybe you should do it a bit later, you know - kind of think about what you want to say, then do it later." I almost listened, then I replied, "I don't think so! The kids are all still asleep, I don't have anything else that's urgent to do at the moment - why not just do it now." So here I am!

This week was a much better week, I felt better about what I was doing in most areas of my life, I am trying to be better to myself and not be so hard on myself about what isn't getting done, what needs to be done, what I should have done. It really is about perspective, and the fact that I didn't get the living room dusted and vacuumed this week, is really not going to matter in the long run. Though the issue of balance is at the front of my mind, how to balance work, play, and art.

Morning pages - what can I say! I love doing these - and I know why. I get them done, and I feel like I have accomplished something for my day! It's so good to see the tangible results, how the notebook pages get filled, and the stuff that goes there stays there. Really a relief! I really enjoyed how I was able to see that the fact that I pile too much in one day is counterproductive, makes me feel guilty and sabotages my efforts.

My Artist Date this week was a trip to Staples, and I had so much fun! I bought some pencils to put in the little bag I made for a sketch book and I plan to go out this week and do some sketching - it's been years, but I really want to go out to the beach and draw my heart out! It was hard to think of something to do, but this trip really fit the bill and left me feeling relaxed and happy.

My weekly walk was very nice, I used the first task as my walk and was very refreshed after adding up all of my blessings. One of which is living in a house that the sun shines on! I complain about being at the top of the hill because whenever I go for a walk I have to walk uphill to get home, but whenever the sun is out it shines right on me. Not like the houses down the street. Between the hills and the trees I realized that they only get direct sunshine at mid-day, and that would be really depressing to me. I don't want to be under the trees, I want to be out in the sunshine! I did a second shorter walk later in the week, and enjoyed that also. It'll be nice when it's not quite so cold out, but at least the sun is shining!

I chose not to do the Anger task. I was feeling so positive this week, that I did not want to stir up that pot. I think there is enough anger to go around without digging it up for no reason. I may choose to do this task later on a day when I really am angry, I think it would be a great way to get rid of those feelings, but I really have a problem with thinking on petty things that stir you up when you are feeling content - I like to feel happy and well with the world, thank you very much.

I haven't accomplished as much with my Dear Jane blocks this week, but I did get pictures up on my flickr page - I wonder if there's a way to put pictures in the order you want them? I'd like to put them in order, but I didn't upload them in order. I guess I'll have to play around with it and see. Anyway, here's a block I did last week that I was very proud of! I really was stumped on how to approach this block, until it hit me - Seminole piecing! Took me a couple tries to figure out the right angle for the cuts, but when I did - wow! I am really pleased with the results, it was a 2 hour block, but well worth the effort. It really pays to have a big repetoire of techniques!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Don't Think, Just Do It!

I did not want to do the collage exercise in week 3 of Walking In This World. I made up all sorts of excuses, but was spurred on to do it yesterday. Usually I host a small quilting group on Thursday afternoons, but this week no one came. Because of that I decided to make my Artist Date a trip to Staples, and pick up posterboard and spend an hour working on the collage. I forgot the poster board at Staples, but picked up a sheet at WalMart while I did the grocery shopping, then went home and got out my magazines and glue stick and I did it!

The issue I wanted to explore was balance because this was a topic that had come up in my bible study group this morning as we discussed Mary and Martha. I really feel a lack of balance in my life right now. I seem to go between doing too much to doing nothing at all and I would like to find a steadier balance.

Doing the collage was a lot of fun! To tell you the truth, if I have ever done one before it was so long ago that I can't remember anything about it. I was quite pleased when I was finished, and was even more pleased when my daughter admired it! She is a very artistic young lady, and I felt very good getting her stamp of approval.

Anyway, I did somelthing that I have to admit I was a little afraid of doing because I didn't think I would be any good at it. I had fun, and enjoyed the results. So, Yeah ME!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

WITW-Week 2, a sense of proportion

Still a little late, but I'm catching up! This was an interesting week, looking at all of the things I could do/would like to do/am interestin in makes me feel a little overwhelmed. I have really enjoyed concentrating on my quilting and becoming an expert in that, and it feels quite comfortable. To get out and try to do some new things is a little intimidating, but also freeing at the same time.

1. Morning pages - I have had no problems doing these, and am still enjoying them a lot. I even did them first thing the morning I had to get up before 6 to take my daughter early for a field trip. I tend to vent/worry mostly, sometimes just ramble about the day before, and what I want to get done today. I see that I often want to more than is possible in a day and see that maybe it would be all right to lower my expectations a bit and not push so hard all the time. Some time management would probably help also!

2. Artist Date - I did do it but I didn't really enjoy it so much. I went thrift shopping, but there were people everywhere and I had a bit of a headache. I really wasn't having fun, so I went home and putzed around with some sewing. I did have a great time the day before at the fabric store looking through the decorator fabrics for some stuff for a job I'm working on. I really think that was more of an Artist Date than what I planned!

3. I did one walk this week, and that wasn't exceptionally great either. I was upset about a situation and thought about that the entire time. I did have it pretty much worked out in my head when I got home and took action on the situation, but was not happy about how it affected the enjoyment of the time outside. It was such a lovely day and I really wanted to enjoy it and savor it more.

4. Issues, who me have issues? My biggest issue is worrying what other people will think about me doing something different, or changing. I need to not worry about such things so much!

The best thing I did this week was a started working on my dear Jane quilt again. I haven't touched it in over a year, and had a great time the last few evenings working on a block. I decided that before I can get on the computer I need to make a block. That way I get something productive done and don't feel guilty about wasting my time - plus I've enjoyed the challenge! I'm working out how to get the blocks scanned and up on my blog, so maybe I'll work on that some more tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Walking in This World - Check in #1

Late as usual, but I am not going to just throw my hands up in the air and quit! My weekend was busier than I expected, and due to a severed line we had no internet on Monday. Tuesday I had to work, so here I am - better late than never I guess!

This post is my check in for Walking in This World - a book whose sub-title makes it pretty self explanatory ~The Practical Art of Creativity. There are several things we are expected to do regularly throughout this book, a weekly walk, an artist date, and three pages of writing every morning. Plus different exercises each week to make us think a little more. Each week I will be checking in on the weekends about my progress through the book - So for week One:

Morning Pages: I did three pages each morning. This is actually one of my favorite things. Most of my pages are of little importance, just thinking aloud about the day, venting about irritations, plans about what I need to do. I enjoy it a lot, and it's very freeing that I don't have to write about anything of significance. It really helps me get a handle on my day, see more clearly why things are bugging me, and sometimes I think about it and say - oh grow up and get over it already!

Artist Date: I had quite a struggle with this! Planned to do it Tuesday afterenoon - got called in to work. Planned to go Wed. after work, had to work late. Finally got up and out of the house on Thursday and went! I went to a used bookstore that has opened up recently just around the corner from the quilt shop. It was so nice, very clean, everything all nicely arranged alphabetically, and great prices! I bought two books by Madeleine L'Engle, Jane Eyre, and Shardik. After that I went to the library, just browsed around and found a few more books to take home with me, including one that I've thought of a lot. I read House of Stairs as a teen-ager and it's one one those books that really stuck in my head, and I've often thought of re-reading it to see if it was really that good or not. So, I did borrow it and re-read it. Still a very interesting book, somewhat like a twilight zone episode to tell the truth, but I see why it appealed to me so much. Anyway, I had a fine time, and can't wait to try something else this week - Friday is free, so I'm aiming to go to the thrift store and see what cool stuff I can find! Fun!

My weekly walk was also a struggle due to bad weather, but Friday, I bundled up, braved the rain, and went out. It did indeed rain on me for the entire time, but it wasn't unpleasant because I was well prepared. It was wonderful to hear the sound of the water running through the streets - it was very quiet and pleasant. I dressed well so I was comfortable. I usually like to walk with my music, but left if behind for this day so I could listen to my thoughts better. I really enjoyed it, and would like to try to take more walks, even if the weather isn't perfect. I really felt very relaxed and at peace afterwards.

One of the issues that really affected me this week, was a sense of being overwhelmed by a lot of things to do that I really didn't want to do. So I procrastinated, and made myself too busy to do the things I should have been doing and caused myself a lot of stress over the weekend which really was unneccesary. I think some of this issue may actually be hormonal, but as they say, knowledge is power, and I really should not allow myself to get so stressed out over these things. I just need to get busy and do what I need to do and get it over with instead of putting it off and stressing out! I honestly think part of it is a control issue. If I feel out of control, I simply shut down in order to feel like I do have control, but then things get really out of hand. Does that make any sense at all?

Anyway, onwards, I am off to deal with the things on my plate for today! Sorry for being late, and I'll try to do better this week!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Back To Work

Well, today was the first day officially that we were all back to school and work in this house, and it was kind of sad last night! But, on the other hand we all survived our day and are working back into our old routines. Work for me wasn't all that bad, after all I do work in a Quilt Shop! We are getting ready for a big quilt run in February. I cut strips to make a jelly roll for a sample quilt. If it comes out well we plan to cut enough strips for another 8 jelly rolls (that's 40 strips each!) So, that should keep me busy next week.

I mailed out my patterns today, and bought the supplies to mail out the rest. I am soo nervous about this, I really hope I get some orders. I am not much of a risk taker, so this is really out of my league. But it is good for me. At least I keep telling myself this!

I bought the back for a batik Crazy 8 quilt, so will work on quilting that this weekend. I think it will be a nice little quilt - here are the blocks before I sewed them together:

And this is the first quilt I made with this pattern - very different isn't it?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Welcome 2008

I am very happy that on this first day of 2008 I have actually done the things that I most wanted to accomplish today. I got 10 patterns ready to mail out to quilt shops in California, to hopefully sell them. I am going to send out 10 next Monday, and 10 more on the following Monday and see what happens. I am scared and nervous, though I don't really know why. After all, what are they going to do, send me a mean e-mail or laugh in my face? The worst that can happen is that no one orders a pattern. Though I do suppose that would be sad, but at least I will know my pattern is not worth promoting.

I finished up the postcards!
Step 3 would be to zig zag the edges of the cards using white thread for the bottom and a color to complement the top on the top side. I then draw a line down the center of the back and add a little sticker that has my name to the bottom corner:
And I listed the last of the previous batch of postcards and pot holders on my etsy shop! A great day to start off the year - tomorrow won't be as much fun. I have to go to work, and set up eye, dental and dr appointments for the spring. Oh well, not every day is a holiday!