Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Day By Day, February 1-14

Happy Valentines Day 

 Be Happy and Dance, an art quilt by me. 

February 1,2,&3 - I continue making headway on decluttering, organizing, giving more away, and accumulating less. A pile of magazines was first on my list. They can become clutter so easily. 
After going thru the first 20 magazines, ripping out articles and inspirational images, this was what I had left. I kept one magazine intact for sharing with my grandkids. And I continued on. 
This is the binder of what was kept after 'ripping through' all 35 magazines in the pile. I put articles and images into page protectors. With getting more than 7" of magazines down to 2" and organized by topic, I'm feeling like I've made some major progress in this area. 

February 4- Attended the 'Cobblestone Sandwich Makers' meeting. I did this as my 'take' on McTavishing, our topic of discussion. It's always fun to get together with people that have similar interests. We are always interested in learning ways to improve our quilting skills. 

February 5- We attended Worship services at OLC, stayed for the 'souper bowl' lunch, and then went to visit with Aunt Marjorie. She is a very special person to us.  While we were at church, we heard about a gentleman that could use some bedding items.  These will make a nice set for him. The quilt has florals but with the browns, golds, and deep greens it has a masculine quality. We'll take them with us on next Sunday. 

February 6- I went to Nancy's house to pick up my book on Silk Fusion and see her latest adventures in gelli-plate printing. Then to Michaela's, and off to Ladles for lunch. Sonia brought my DVD on Silk Fusion. We solved many of the world's major problems. I picked up groceries and headed home. Nancy and Michaela shared how far they had gotten with their BCQC projects. I shared mine, at its present stage. I really wonder what will be the final outcome of this. 

February 7- I tore up 3 sheets and rolled them into bandages for missions. The strips are a bit wider than my last batch and I ended up with 78 rolls. They'll get delivered on Sunday. 

February 8- Wendy's scarf is ready to get mailed out. RoseMarie will receive a replacement package for one that was lost over a year ago! She never said a word until I specifically asked her if she had gotten the one I sent in December of 2015. I should have asked sooner, but time got away on me. 
I love how Wendy's scarf turned out. 
We also dropped off a box of stuff at Goodwill, and a box of bubble wrap at a local Antique Shop. 
Had lunch at the Italian restaurant and I now have a pizza box to use for my BCQC project. I'm toying with the idea of attaching it to the top after treating it with some gesso and paint, it's a perfect size!

February 9- Today I went to my first WW Mtg in over 4 years! I'm going to be back on track with this program. It worked well for me in the past, I just dropped the ball, and ignored making good choices. I met some very motivated people with positive attitudes. Just what I needed at this time.  Later that day I gifted this scarf and dropped off the small quilt to my guild for our charity project. 
February 10- In today's mail was my second blog book. This is a journal book, and provides pictures to go with my stories. And there's always plenty of space to add notes later. Like, what I might eventually do with my pitiful BCQC project. It has been stripped of it's borders. I'm determined to get a grip on this and have a finish!
I've been dyeing some tops and various fabric pieces. I used a variety of methods, and per usual, lots of colors. These were more serendipitous than any I've ever done. The one on the top of the basket pressed up beautifully. Maybe I'll try to get some snapshots of me in them, doing something creative?

February 11- Silk Fusion Workshop was a lot of fun. Laura arrived right on time. After acquainting her with the building, we started reviewing the process and techniques we would be using. She was knowledgeable in felting with wool, understood the difference between wool and silk, and was full of enthusiasm throughout the day. Chef G provided a tongue pleasing Jambalaya for our lunch. By the time we had finished eating our fusion pieces were ready to be 'packed for transporting home'.  We decided to visit Middleton Place and take in it's beauty and grandeur. I always get 'calmed' by the atmosphere and humbled by it's history. A must see if you are ever in the Charleston, SC area. The camellias are in full bloom right now, and it is amazing. 
This was one of the silk fusion pieces I made. 

February 12, Sunday- When we arrived at church this Camellia was in bloom. 

February 13- My neighbor and I went to our Weight Watchers 'weigh-in'. Yahoo! I lost 3.6 pounds. I knew dropping the snacking, eating more lean protein, and drinking plenty of water would pay off, just didn't think I'd see this amount so soon. 
The leader suggested we do a bit of decluttering during the upcoming week. Whether it is thoughts or a physical space, clutter tends to be overwhelming and then we just shut down and don't make the best choices. I took several pictures of areas in the house that need attention. Now, to pick 'one' and get it 'done' before next Monday. Where do I start?
Kitchen and entry. 
Livingroom and bedroom. 
Powder room and laundry. 
Landing spots
Sewing room areas
 Sewing room areas
Longarm room 
More longarm room spots

Now to just get started!

February 14- Valentine's Day. And G is making things shiny. 

It's getting close to lunch time and I'm going to have some Jambalaya today. 

May God bless you with a happy day. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Headway During January

Two baby 'long leaf pine' trees I see when I go to town. I've been watching them for 3 1/2 years now. 

During January 'headway' was my focus word. Many projects saw significant headway, with several being completed. And, as usual, 5 more were added to the original list of 10 intentions. 

As of 4:30pm, today, this is how my month went. 

1- Kitchen Upgrade. The upgrade is completed, all that's left is a few tweaks and decorating. 

2- We changed out our Livingroom seating pieces, brightening the room and giving us more seating. 

3- I held a silk fusion workshop on January 6th. We made flat and dimensional pieces. 

4- I spent time trying to save the Mermaid Sweater, but in the end it became a scarf, with extra yarn. 

5- My Crazy Quilt project went through several stitch 'n rip moments before it reached this spot. 

6- I free motion quilted a crib quilt, then turned the backing to the front for its binding. Time saver!!

7- Red Impatien flower. This is the only item on my list that just freezes me in my tracks! No progress. 

8- Sort and organize projects, by month.  This was a good idea, and keeps the clutter down. 

9- Declutter and organize my house. Re-evaluate my activities. This is going well. 

10- Prepare for Beach Retreat with my guild. Situations arose and I did not attend. 

The add ons:

11- Rip and roll bandages for medical missions. First batch was finished and returned. More to go. 

12- Silk Fusion mosaic piece. This came about from the 1/6 workshop. Next step is quilting. 

13- I presented a program about sericulture (silk cultivation) on January 17. It was well received. 

14- We participated in a silk scarf dyeing class. We used a special tissue paper, vinegar/water, and ironing to set the colors. A few days later I decided to heat set once more and then do a cool rinse. I noticed some traces of dye, so I did the 12 hour soak that is my usual, and most of the color was lost. So, I just got out my ProcionMX powders, some ice and "over dyed". I liked them so much that I added project #15, further down. 

15- Dye four more silk scarves for gift giving. They're drying on the porch as I write this. 

So, where does this leave me?
January (1st) intentions 10 + 5 added during the month = 15
End of month report. 
Ongoing projects (9&11) = 2 
Completed (1,2,3,4,6,8,13,14&15) = 9
Items dropped = 1
Progress (5&12) = 2
Projects that rec'd no attention, yet  (#7) = 1 

All in all, a good month. Moving the Red Impatien along, and finishing my Crazy Quilt and Silk Fusion mosaic pieces are at the top of February's intentions. Along with bandage making, and decluttering. 
The rest of the February list numbers close to twenty! And with fewer days, I'd better stay focused and work at NOT adding more to a very full plan. 

I have the rest of today and all day tomorrow before February actually starts. I know me, posting this now takes the anxiety away for trying to get one more thing finished. If I do anything I would like to 'thaw out' and work on the Red Impatien. 

Do you have any project like that? One that you've gotten it just so far, and you froze? I imagine we all hit these spots now and again. How did you get yourself beyond the stopping spot? Your comments on this would be greatly appreciated. But whether you comment or not, I'm grateful that you've taken time to visit. I sincerely want to say, thank you. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

January Is Flying By,,

Here we are 3+ weeks into January. Time sure does flywhen you're having fun!
I gave a presentation about silk and silk fusion, at the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild meeting on Saturday. 
We also did a scarf dyeing class. George went with me and we each did one. We enjoyed working with a tissue paper product that had dye powders in it.  I have them soaking to make sure we have no issues with staining in the future. 

Some of my fun has been playing with the pieces I made in my Silk Fusion workshop. 
I'm not sure if this is where I will leave it. I have it pinned to another quilted wallhanging until I decide. This becomes #12 for January projects. #11, added on my last post, is an ongoing project of ripping and rolling bandages for mission groups. 

Also on the last post 1,2,3,and 8 were completed. 

#9 is the decluttering and organizing that is an ongoing project. I have added quite a bit to the boxes that I've already started so progress is being made. 

#10 was to be prepared to go to my guild's Beach Retreat at the end of this week. There were some situations that arose and I will not be attending.  I may just take the weekend and stay in my sewing room except to eat and sleep. And go to church. 

Numbers are a bit out of order, but that's pretty much the way life goes for me! 

4- The Mermaid sweater is no longer. I started from the bottom with unraveling it, and using the yarn for a cowl/scarf. Not entirely happy with this either. I may unravel it all! This picture shows the cowl on the upper portion of the chair and the remains of the sweater below on the seat section.  lol

#5 was my Basic Crazy Quilting Class project. I have removed it from the stretcher bars and trimmed it. The blues/greens fabric is what I'm think about using for a frame around it. 

6 and 7 have not been moved forward as of this morning. 
So here's where I stand:
4-changed direction
5-progress made
6-no progress
7-no progress
9-ongoing project
11-ongoing project
12-progress made

And now I'm off to get a few things done before I get some lunch. 
Hope your month is full of fun too. Luann

Monday, January 16, 2017

Giving Up or Letting Go, Item #1 and My Super Powers

Started on 1/16/17
This post is totally a personal journey entry. If you have stumbled upon it, you're welcome to read it and I can only hope that if you are going thru something similar it will resonate and be a blessing. And as always, you can comment or email me personally if you prefer. 

Giving up or letting go? Now, there's a question that will really get a person thinking on a deeper level. At least for me it sure has. Kim from Sublime Reflections offered a 4-week process for setting goals, Design Your Destiny 2017. I signed up and was encouraged every week by her emails. 

Early in the course, I wrote her stating that I was 'leaving behind' some of my half-done creative projects. She responded and encouraged me to dig deep as to the WHY behind this decision. She told me to ask 'why?' 5 times, each time I'd be digging a bit deeper into what was really my underlying reasons for not continuing. I knew she wasn't saying I shouldn't stop, but that it would be in my best interest to get to the root of my decisions. This wasn't as easy as it appeared.  Every 'why?' produced a new rabbit hole to navigate. 

Where do I start? I want this to be coherent, but the whole process tends to ebb and flow like the tide. I'll do my best to make sense, but like I said at the beginning, this post is meant more for me to get some clarification, than to keep anyone reading. I'll take that first 'unfinished project' that made me want to toss it. Here's a picture of where it has been since April 2016. 
I call this Koi Pond, for absolutely no good reason! It started with a piece of my hand dyed fabric for a background. I then looked for my bag of scraps that had been fused about 3 years prior! Ok, so I was trying to use leftovers that should have been tossed. These were so stiff that I knew right up front that I'd never stitch on it. If I tried, I'd probably break my needle on the second stitch. Why I kept going, I'm not sure. It's the old attitude of 'you start it, you finish it!'  This is hogwash. All of the fused fabric scraps need to hit the trash bucket along with the piece, as is! So, here I am 10 months later with it still in my UFOS. Why do I want to trash it? The fusible is unsuitable for the application. Why? It is too stiff to stitch thru. That's 2 whys? and I should have been able to toss it. But I couldn't, so I asked another why?, and that's where the digging began. I couldn't toss it because, I should be able to use one of my super powers, salvage it, and have a masterpiece to boot! Talk about thinking I can do "anything"! Where was I to go next with this? If a friend had given this to me in an 'ugly UFO' swap what would I do with it? So there I was back to thinking I had some 'super power' that could do miracles! It is time to get off this crazy merry go round! My SUPER POWER is taking over, I will put it in the trash and learn from this experience. I think I will take a final picture of it and give it a new name, Fusible Lesson One. And the lightbulb went off,,,,
On second thought, I'm not trashing it totally. I'm going to cut a 'page' from it for my Techniques Tried and Lessons Learned Book. This is a 3-ring binder for items such as this! Yeah, my super powers have come thru for me after all. It's not a completely discarded piece, there's a use for it after all. Kim is going to be so proud of my 'why' response. 

So, in working thru this in writing, here on my blog, I've discovered a solution I am comfortable with. 

Today is February 25, a little over a month has passed since I wrote this post. I've not dug that piece out, but after writing the post it has had absolutely no power over me! I'll get to it in due time. By the way, just when is 'due time'?

Have a wonderfully creative day. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mid January progress report

I'm happy to report that I am making 'HEADWAY' on my intentions for this month. 

1- The kitchen countertops and sink have been installed. The new faucet is working, but we will be waiting for 70 days for the part that makes it function hands-free to be swapped out. 🤔

This was an easy choice for us. We both liked it the moment we saw it. 

I've been pulling together the pieces I want for above the cabinets. Here's a picture of the fall colors I had there, and then the new 'beachy' look I'm going towards. I have only gotten one section done. I may need to shop for the other side of my kitchen. 

The kitchen is well on its way.  I'm counting this one as done. 

2- Changing out of Livingroom furniture. Done. 
3- Hosting the Silk Fusion workshop. Done. 

4,5,6, and 7 have gotten no attention. This is fine, as I've been working on 8&9. 

8- Sort and organize projects by months for the upcoming year. This has been completed. I also sorted thru magazines and put them into an appropriate month. I used two smaller carry/totes and used the 'boxes' for #9. 

9- Declutter and organize stuff and involvements. Well, I can't file away involvements into a box, but as I backed out of some activities I started filling boxes with the 'stuff' that I no longer need to keep. I have delivered 3 boxes to charities. 4 are started and designated for specific people or places. It's amazing how freeing it is to give away the clutter of one's life. 

10- Beach Retreat has been put on hold until I hear back from those in charge. 

So, as of today my 10 Intentions are: 4 completed, 1 in progress, 1 on hold, and 4 needing attention. 
Not bad for halfway thru the month. And as usual, I've added a little something. 

I am ripping sheets into strips and then rolling them into bandages for Betty's Bandages. 
I have 60 rolls in my box. I will deliver them tomorrow and bring home more sheets. 

We went to the beach yesterday. 

May God bless you abundantly. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

January Intentions

My Camellia has a couple of blooms opening already. But, I digress,,,

I invested time, during December, on Design Your Destiny 2017. This was a series of email worksheets from Kim, Sublime Reflections. As I worked thru week one, a reviewing of 2016, I saw, in writing, just how many projects were finished. Then during the second week, a list of what I was leaving behind helped me focus on what my time wasters were. Week three found me honing in on what was important to me, not just what I thought others wanted of me. My action plan came about during the final week. So, here I am 7 days into 2017 and I am content with my decisions. I'm also aware that I'm a creature of 'tweaking' and I'm fine with that as well. So, without further wordiness, here are the intentions for January:

1- Continue the kitchen upgrade. Countertops have been ordered and will be installed by 1/15. 

2- Livingroom furniture replacements. Ordered 1/3 and delivered 1/5!!! 1/6 all old pieces were gone. 

3- Silk Fusion Workshop. This took place yesterday. We each made a vessel and one or two more pieces. It was a great time of sharing. These are my pieces in the drying stage. They need another day or two before I can continue with forming the actual vessel and adding some embellishments to it. The other piece is more vibrant in reality, lighting wasn't complimentary. 

4- I'm still trying to decide on the next step for this crocheted sweater/vest. In my opinion, it is too narrow thru the body portion. I may unravel it, reball the yarn, and look for a different design. 

5- BCQC project needs to get taken to the next step. It's difficult deciding on embellishments and their placements. Once these are done I will be able to get it off the stretcher bars and framed for hanging. 
6- The kid size quilt, above on left, is waiting to be 'sandwiched', trimmed, bound, and sent off. 

7- Waiting in the longarm room is my red flower piece. After it's quilted, I will do a facing type of finish. I've also been have been thinking about some thread sketching before the quilting. Hmmm. 

8- Sort and organize my projects for each month. I've started this task, and it's surprising how calming it actually has been. Putting things into monthly allotments (with a list) has a way of freeing my mind of the constant thought, 'what is slipping thru the cracks?' I won't need all 12 boxes. So, I've already filled 2 of them with give away stuff. I think a great way to continue this will be, as I empty a box,  designate it for 'give away', and continue to fill it with appropriate items. This leads right into:

9- Continue to declutter and organize, not just stuff, but involvement as well. I'm like most creatives, very interested in too many things! I recently turned down a couple of great opportunities to expand into new areas. I wanted to say yes, sure, I'd love to. But I want to improve in the areas I'm already invested in. Hard decisions sometimes must be made. 

10- Beach Retreat at the end of January. I want to be prepared with 2 or 3 simple projects. 

That's it for now. As you can see, some of the projects are underway, others need attention. I'll keep you posted. 

And as always,
May God bless each of you with His Peace.