Monday, December 19, 2016

Exactly three months ago I wrote on unfinished projects.  Today, there are still some left, that will probably be the way life goes.

On other fronts - The spirit of this season hasn't hit yet.  I've decorated up the house and it looks great.

Love the glow of the tree when lit and the the lights in the entry way as they illuminate my crocheted snowflakes.  I've played a few Christmas carols, watched some good old Christmas movies and attended a bunch of gatherings.  Nothing really is sparking the spirit.

Clearing the decks is something that is still going on.  I don't spend much concentrated time on that and need to get back to eliminating the stuff in my life.  Stuff takes energy, doesn't give back, and really it needs to be someone else's treasure!

So to the basement I went - I took out the decorations from storage and found I had lots of half empty boxes of stuff.  Oh yeah - I began emptying them.  The shelving is clear!  The boxes to put those current decorations are ready to accept those items placed around my home.  There is a good group of ornaments to give away.    I did find a box, not opened yet, with some other ornaments.  That will have to wait for another day.

The picture above is a sample of the glass ornament I had from either Mom's house or from my maternal gram's tree.  There were a bunch of them - I haven't used them in years. Then it dawned on me - why not cover them with some crochet lace?  In about 4 hours - I had covered six balls!  What a sense of accomplishment.  Of course the "likes" and comments from FB friends were so welcomed.

They will go in a box and become a gift!

Another gift came to mind - I've done lots of snowflakes - mostly for my snowflake display in my entryway.  I get to thinking - some of my nieces and nephews are graduated from college, in college, and the last two are in high school.  They all want money - so I tuck some bucks into an envelope and that's it.  Hmmmm, maybe I'll begin a tradition this Christmas.  Stay tuned for future developments. LOL I know it is only a few days away!

Monday, September 19, 2016

UFO's - UnFinished Objects

What are they......

Here's some random thoughts I have had about my UFO's 

I'll say IT IS MY Choice. Sometimes projects had a great calling to my creative spirit when it was started. There was a challenge, new pattern, stitch, colors, etc. It waned and became a UFO.

About a year ago I ventured on a 30 day Minimalism Challenge (more on my blog). What a difference it made. I organized the UFOs by level of completeness. Then looked at my life and whom would receive the finished item today. Great questions to ask.


Before I knew it, some projects were re-claimed (torn down to reuse the thread) , some were cut off and added to my 'sample' book, others were tenderly put back for another day (emotional ties).

I gave up on a dozen or so UFOs since that time. I now feel free, I have not lamented over the early terminated projects. I paid a sweet homage to them as those projects were part of my journey. They were holding me back from completing the projects I wanted to do.


It was almost two years ago that I wrote those words.  Since then I've enter the BIG E twice.  I've moved my studio to a different room and consolidated some items.  Not enough yet, and the new space isn't really working for me yet.  Nonetheless, I've got it in better shape, just missing a few more "ah ha" moments to get it in the shape I need it to be in.

I've been brazen in eliminating unfinished projects.  After conquering the technique or the puzzling pattern, lately written in russian, italian, or spanish, I cut it off and move on! 
This year I've entered a Motif challenge at Annual Tatted Lace Motif Challenge on FaceBook.  This challenge has helped me to finish the various little motifs I've tried in tatting.  I'm still having technical challenges with their website, though I'm working at it and the Admin helped me some today.

For today -- it is consolidating more of the ideas, patterns, threads, etc.  I've got to pack for the BIG E...  my volunteer day is Wednesday! I get to demonstrate making lace, see the fair, and enjoy a great day away.

Enjoy the day...............  More Lace!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Where did the time go?

It's about four months into "my eight month year".  I've been looking at my calendar and wonder what the heck have I done?

It seems I've been running from one thing or event to another.  Lack of focus some folks would say.  I'd have to agree with them.

Yesterday was my monthly meeting with my mastermind group.  I have been involved with this group since 2001!

Basic premise is that you are to share your successes, challenges from the prior meeting and set your goals for the next meeting.  You are accountable to the group.

I've noticed that I have not been living up to my "goals".  Yes, I have enjoyed successes and dealt/dealing with my sets of challenges.  It just seems to me that I haven't been living up to my goals I set each month.  As for the goals from last month,  somehow they evolved or got on the back burner.

That's all for now....  more excitement is coming.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Cleaning Day - Dread it or Joy?

Cleaning Day, it is such a joyous day for me.

Cleaning Day happens once a month with the help of a friend of mine who has a cleaning business.

My house is clean generally all the time.  I'm a drop it and leave the cluttered and littered mess kind of gal.  Since this day is once a month, the littering and clutter doesn't get too bad.  So the night or two before, I run around and put items back into their places.  Since I started a minimalism campaign about 18 months ago, most items have a place.  Of course one could wonder why I don't put it in its place when I have it in my hand?   Guess I got distracted!

Cleaning Day is a chance to get the big stuff completed and caught up without losing a step in my work schedule.

On the dawn of the Cleaning Day, I begin the wash, make a great cup of coffee and pick up the last few items.  Then Sabina arrives!  We go over any extra items that need to be done and then she wizzes away.  I get back to working on the day's tasks and responsibilities.

We stop for some lunch and catch up on each other lives, and then it's back to work for both of us. 

Then low and behold, she is done and viola it's like a magnificent hotel suite!  There is a fresh smell about, all the laundry is completed, bed changed and made, vacuuming done, trash out just to say a few.  There is an amazing relaxing feeling about my home.    I tiptoe about for several days to keep the feeling going.   

Over these last 18 months, I must say that my home stays picked up better because of Cleaning Day.  A recent article I read affirmed my thoughts that clearing the clutter is healthy to the mind and spirit.  While each of us is different, I do think that a "place for everything and everything in its place" keeps my life in order, saves so much time looking for those bits 'n pieces and keeping the sanity of day somewhat in line.

Hoping you find the joy in Cleaning Day, however you find it.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy New Year to me!

Happy New Year to me.  Yes, I've come up from the "season" yet once again.  It was long and challenging.  Yet, I'm out on this side once again.

This year needs to be a bit different.  In the dark of the winter months, I've had some time to reflect of what I have been involved in the past, what I'm currently involved in and what those items I'd love to try out in the future.  

Of course the future items and events many of them, I don't even know exist yet.  I do know, it is time to clear more of my decks so that there is the opportunity to be available to what comes across my path.

My year has generally been eight months long - May 1st through December.  Yesterday I took a bit of time to ponder.  What this year will be?  This is what I've come up with so far.

Minimalism  - Continue to downsize!  I continue to evaluate my "stuff".  A friend is having a tag sale so I could unload a few more or lots more items.  I also had an 'ah ha' moment as I could take part in the weekend flea market to dispose of more of my stuff.  During the season, I rearranged one of my rooms, well it was one room that impacted one other room that had two areas.  I was able to rearrange and viola - I have an empty room.  The room with the two areas is so much more enjoyable. 

Art - Spend time with my art .  My lace is in  various stages - lots of projects in at various stages of completion.   Fairs and such are beginning as it becomes demonstration season.  How do I get back to being part of it?  I was watching a video of myself giving a seminar, "Lace is Everywhere" and re-experienced joy.  Time to bring some of that joy back to the present!

Volunteerism - A big part of my non-working life.  I generally enjoy being part of organizations.  There is the contribution part, community part, and the just ride along part.  The first two are where I receive my most joy.  The third part is okay and helps balance out the my personal schedule.

Family and Friends -  Time is needed to help out a relative that has some challenges.  That will require being on the road quite a bit more.  Other family members have been doing the lion's share to date. Time for me now to give them some relief.  

Happy New Year to me.  I've started off with a different kind of list.  It's a more joyous perspective look at what I have before me. 

Hope your New Year 2016 has given you joy!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Living My 60th Year - Film Making

A couple of years ago, I began to volunteer at our local Community Access Television station.   Let me say, it is fun and sometimes frustrating.

I started out make a program, subject - lace, making it, some history, interesting tidbits and the such.  I made up a list of programs, who could I invite to be a guest on the program and such.  

On a show that is produced at the studio, Common Sense CT - I did an interview on lace.  With a bit of social media, blew it out across the globe to lacemakers everywhere.  It received the most views for a show ever.  I was laughing as the host, Gary Byron, said we couldn't talk about lace for an hour show.

Fast forward to this summer.  Sometimes, despite the 'gang', you need to take the camera by the lens and go out an film an event.  I did, my first one was a meeting and I had all sorts of difficulties.  The second one, pictured here came off pretty good.  It took so long to edit it.  Find an opening and closing, then find royalty free, fee free music for the beginning and the end.  Learn to make graphics, called the bottom thirds.  Oh did I say of course learn the editing software?  

I'm glad to say that last week, it was finally done and approved to be shown on TV (you need to live in Newington to watch on TV) and at our website where you can watch on-demand at .

My third had to do with the Town Hall Renovation project.  It was a hearing  to get feedback.  Let's say, the majority of the residents that spoke out, were not in favor of the plan the then current (now ousted) Town Council.

The last one I was able to do was the Kiwanis Speaker Meeting.  I was there to only watch and enjoy myself.  Low and behold the guy from the studio was nowhere to be found.  Our MC was not happy, and not having any time to get back to the studio to get a camera, I took out my phone and began filming.   I could only film about 15 minutes on my device and graciously the MC gave me his phone to continue filming another 45 minutes - all without a tripod to steady the camera.  November 30, 2015 show if you are interested.

So back to the studio and attempted to join two different videos (matching the audio), add the beginning and end, make and add the graphics and even a slide for "technical difficulties" as the speaker had begun before I could hit record button.  

This program is Scott's baby and he usually does the editing.  He's an expert when it comes to editing!  So we finished and as we sat back to send the video through encoding, he said, paraphrasing, despite using the phone to video the event, I did a pretty dang good job on editing.  He had written me a review on them with items I had to correct.  I'm going to keep them and actually write up some suggestions to "newbies" like me, to make it easier to learn the edit side.

Am I ready for Sundance or Hollywood?  Not yet, though debuting my work is pretty dang special !

PS - the lace program hasn't happened yet.  The studio has made progress in getting techy stuff in order so folks like myself can make movies!  I did make a movie on my snowflakes which you can watch here on my YouTube channel.

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Living My 60th Year - Having Lunch and get a Bonus

Here's to a new year and remembering to eat lunch!

Yes, remembering to eat lunch.  I know that could sound strange.  

It's not the eating, I'm referring to.  I have my lunch, sometimes it is over the sink, grab a sandwich and run, or bring it back to my desk and consume it among the pile of paperwork.

I've been taking a full break for lunch lately and not at my desk.  Lunch is a pretty decent meal for me.  Many times it is left overs from the dinner before or a sandwich with fruit.  How much time?  About an hour, it's an hour I take time away from my work.

When I worked in a large office with lots of people around, this was what we did.  Somewhere around 10am we began discussing lunch.  Where to go, what we would like to have, who brought lunch and a host of questions.

Since I've worked for myself, that isn't the case.  I often talk to myself, though the subject matter isn't about lunch!  

What I have found, that by taking that break has allowed me to do a host of items that would had been regulated to some other part of the day.  I've done some fun reading; do part of the laundry;  or do some pick up around my non-working space.  Most of these types of tasks are 5 -10 minutes, though they feel like a received a bonus at the end of the day.  I find that I am a bit more focused during the balance of my day and accomplish work effectively.

Life is good, I get to have a better lunch,  a good break and am more productive for the balance of my day.  

What's your lunch break like?

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Living My 60th Year - Apples, Apples and more Apples

Apples, Apples, and more Apples.

It's that time of year..... Apples, Apples, and more Apples.

This year, my farm partner, Pam, decided that we needed to pick apples.  We had three plots in the community garden this past summer and planted veggies like you couldn't believe

Summers are great as there is so many choices of all kinds of veggies.   We grew this corn and it was pretty good.  The big farm up the road grew three types of corn.  Yum!  I brought all three types to a family picnic, husks in tack as we were going to grill them.  Sweet.
My Corn Crop

It was kinda funny when the kids peeled back the husks to find out that they were different.   The drama was .....  Really we need to get kids in the garden so they know where food comes from!

Thanks Dad!
Back to apples, we picked lots and lots.  Driving back home with bushels and wondering what we were going to do..... then that moment and I had an  "ah ha".  My Dad had a dehydrator and my brother Tim had it.  So I called him and made arrangements to borrow it from him since he wasn't using it.  

Oh my goodness, I thought it was a small one.  Nope, and he and I laughed, and said simultaneously - That's Dad.

Apple Chips
 Since I had lots of apples - I tried out the apples!  That's the result and they were great!

You need to be consistent in the slices - thicker slices the longer they take to dry.

Not the prettiest apple chips, yet they were really good.  Unfortunately I need to get a routine to make the chips - the routine to eat the chips is already working!

If you are wondering how crunchy - they are not potato chip crunchy.  They are still pliable and really good!  I put some away, I couldn't believe that, and when I took that back out, they were still great.

Pork Roast and Apples
I still had lots of apples left.  Bring out the crock pot.  There is a pork roast in the pot with some apples.  Very nice.

Apple Sauce
Next - applesauce - the crock pot is great to make apple sauce.  Cut them up, put on a good amount of cinnamon and nutmeg on low for 4-5 hours.  The last hour add cranberries!   

I've made several pots of applesauce so far.   I went out and purchased more apples.  Some times, especially for applesauce, the second hand apples work just fine and I can make two batches.

Roasted Butternut /Apple Soup
My last creation to date was to make a roasted butternut squash apple soup for Christmas dinner.  It was quite the deal as I couldn't find exactly the soup recipe I wanted.  The butternut squash came out of our garden

Low and behold with a bit of tweaking, viola, an amazing soup.  Mom and Tim had some, everyone else turned up their noses - their loss!

It's been a good season for apples.  The next time I make sauce, I'm going to do some canning of the sauce.   Isn't the old saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away?  

Anyway......... Apples, Apples and more Apples.  Hope you decide to try some!

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Living my 60th Year - Sharing

Photo Credit Alan Levine

I made a remark about the posts upon posts in FaceBook over this past holiday.  It wasn't to be taken as a snide remark.  For me, more isn't better.  It is nice that many folks are sharing their good wishes.

As I looked at the various communities that I belong to, one of them posted a link to a pdf on beads! Oh my goodness - what an amazing resource.  

I've started using some beads in my crochet and tatting work.  It is like learning another language only this subject matter isn't static.  This little pdf is such a great primer.  

So here's a shout out to Big Bead Little Bead shop for the pdf and to FaceBook group N.F.A. Tatting for posting the link.

Now I need to match up beads to my various crochet and tatting threads!

Enjoy the day........

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Living My 60th Year - A New Year

Credit to Jan van der Crabben

I've  been absent a while - I was bogged down in "stuff".  Really can't name exactly what it was, but whatever it was, now has seemed to have left!

Happy New Year.  The entries, hundreds of them, all well wishers  are flying by on FaceBook.  

What is New Year?  A day on the calendar.  Actually, it is the first day on the  Gregorian calendar and was started, according to some sources, somewhere about 153 BC. Then depending on how or what you  believe, New Year occurs throughout the year based on that calendar.

My New Year's Day isn't January 1st, mine is May 1st.   Actually this begins my busiest time of the year as I start the "season" which lasts from January to April.

So to celebrate the disappearance of the boggy, I decided to take this day head on. For the last few weeks, I've been catching up and cleaning up.  

Ruthless catching up - marathons at my desk.  I've filled my recycle box twice in the last week.  Papers scanned, filed, shredded or recycled.  

Marathons at my volunteer desk aka my kitchen island. Taking assessment of my assignments, glad to say most are up to date.   

Ruthless cleaning up - marathons at putting items back to where they belong.  Interesting as my minimalist work a year ago and this year has made this easier.  Actually, a few times I had to empty the drawer, closet, etc and put it back together.  It is amazing how 'stuff' shifts during the year into places not intended.  I've done at least 1000 stairs so far today.

Marathons of re-arranging - all of a sudden, more drawers need to be done.  How did that happen?

Whatever you choose for your New Year's Day....  May you have health and happiness all year long.

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.