Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016 In The Rear View Mirror

I'm starting the writing of this post on December 21, hoping to have it ready to post on December 31. Always need to start with a picture or two. These are my Christmas joys!

It's that time of year for me. I'm into reviewing 2016 and setting some goals for 2017. I've been getting weekly emails from Kim at Sublime Reflections on Designing My Destiny for the upcoming year. First we took inventory of 2016, while putting some focus on what worked, what didn't, and what got missed along the way. I accomplished quite a bit, even though I have had a real lack of energy since returning from vacation in October. My focus and dedication to finishing anything, just isn't there. So, that makes it a good time to reflect and plan, with anticipation, for a year that exceeds the current one. 

While reflecting on the old UFOs that were completed, new projects started (some becoming 2016 UFOs and others finished), and how many items I gave away I realized that I had a very productive year. Here is a recap:
12 quilt tops were quilted on my long arm machine for customers
17 quilts of my own were finished, these were everything from lap to Queen in size
18+ pillowcases
12 tshirts were hand dyed
Wicker sofa's cushions were reupholstered 
2 Eurosham covers were made
1 'fox' pillow was constructed
1 fleece throw was finished
2 over dresses of prom type fabric
1 twined rug
1 tote bag was made using my favorite pear fabric
5 wallhangings of various sizes
1 table runner/dresser scarf done mostly on the longarm quilting machine
8 journal covers
1 playing cards case with silk fusion exterior
1 small weaving
2 pieces for the Call & Response Challenge
1 rhombus cowl/shawl crocheted
2 workshops given
3 workshops taken
30+ boxes of someone else's stuff were sorted thru and passed along to appropriate recipients 
And over 100 items were given away! That's a good year. 

Thanks go to God, for blessing me with the ability and resources to do this. 

My December intentions have all come along nicely.  
The Contata at Orangeburg Lutheran Church was blessed by these five Claflin students. 

We have attended most of our planned events and activities. I say most because we both had to deal with health issues mid December, but we're on the mend now. Made some of Heather's Cold Killer Chicken Soup, and got some given to us by a neighbor. 

The kitchen redo starts on December 27. I'll be without the full use for about one week. Everything needs to get moved out. This is how it looks 12/21/16. Too dark and dreary for us. And a bit messy. 

Sure glad I picked up these boxes last week. The plan is to put the group of UFOs, books, and paraphernalia, that I have on my monthly goals list, into the box designated for each of the twelve months. This will keep the visual distractions to a minimum, I hope! But first, I'll pack the kitchen into them while we're in the improvement process. 

And the yard project is completed. Here are some before and after pictures. 
This was done by Baker's Pond and Garden. Brian and Mr. Joe were so pleasant and thoughtful. And Baker's have a great BBQ every week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. If you're in the area drop in to their location on Central Ave, in Summerville, SC. You won't be disappointed. 

And as for my 2017 intentions and goals, things are underway. I've written down the majority of unfinished, thought about, and dreamed of projects. I have over 100 separate entries and two thirds of them are assigned to a month for some attention. This is where my 12 boxes will come in handy. Any and all of the "stuff" that can be put into a monthly box is going in. I hope to have a contents list on the top or side of each box. I will be able to easily find something if I need to retrieve a gadget or gizmo. 

As of today, December 27, our kitchen is in the process of a face lift! 
By Friday I should be able to add a collage of the cabinet makeover. 

Then we'll need to shop for counter tops, sink, and faucet. I really like how the mocha glaze looks over the antique white. And to think I entertained the idea of sanding down the original cabinets and chalk painting them.

It would have been fun, but I'd rather figure out my next step with this sweater/shawl I've been working on. I'm not a thin person, and it definitely would look nicer on a 'very' thin person. I thought it was odd to not increase as I went down from the underarms, but I trusted the pattern. Oh, well, I have a new gadget for winding yarn into balls, so that might be its next step,,,
And I did finish a special gift for Aunt Marjorie. A case for holding 2 decks of playing cards and a scratch pad for keeping score was made from one of my recent pieces of silk fusion. 
No telling what might still get done before this post goes up. I've found it a bit easier this month to just keep adding to this one. So, if it is a bit challenging to follow, it is not you, it's me, and accept my apologies ahead of time. 
Thanks for hanging in to the end of this one, it's been many days in the making. LOL

May Jesus' love for you be manifested in such a way that you shine. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Creative Growth 2016

This post is all about the new or dormant avenues of creativity I have pursued this year. 

I've been doing the worksheets for Design Your Destiny 2017. This is a four week set of worksheets from Kim at Sublime Reflections. During the first week, we were encouraged to take a thorough look back over 2016. One topic was to list all of the accomplishments. While looking over my list, I was struck with how much I've grown as a Creative Individual. Not so much the volume of finished items, there were plenty, but the opportunities to grow creatively that I had pursued. 

1-One Block Wonder, tumbling blocks, and machine appliquéing of hexies when a slashed section needed to be addressed. 

2-Improvisationally piecing. First quilt had a miss-cut block. Second image is the backing that almost became a front, I liked it so much. Third is getting a background that would work for the Impatien, then appliquéing it down. 
3-Block of the month quilts. I think monthly tasks would have more appeal if my creative time was more limited. The best way for me is to collect all the steps, read everything, do my own cutting guide, and proceed from there. I enjoyed it more that way. These were the two I finished out this year. 
4-General sewing for the grands, making cushion covers, totes, etc. I used new types of fabrics and stabilizers in these projects. I don't think I'll sew with glitter fabric again. Too much cleaning afterwards!
5-Designing the layout for the Tumbling Around The Garden quilt, when I couldn't get all pieces up on my design wall. And learning to use the Accuquilt Go cutter for all the leftovers of a project. 
6-Using Ice with mixed Procion MX dyes for the results you can get from the splitting action. Shibori under ice produced amazing results. 
7-Knitting, Crocheting, Weaving, Twined rug, and Twisted Fabric coasters. I rarely pick up my hooks or needles and I forget how much I enjoy using them. Some of the projects that I started are already unraveled, others are waiting for finishing. And the handbook and loom for the twined rug were given away. I enjoyed making it, but I know it will only sit and make me feel guilty that I'm not doing more of them. 
8-I tried utilizing my longarm quilting machine for sewing. Some results were better than others. I prefer a conventional method for piecing things. I liked how the dresser scarf turned out. 

9-Fabric book pages were finally made into that elusive book!
10-Precision paper piecing was added to my tool belt when I took a workshop that not only taught me Judy Niemeyer's technique but more importantly a lesson about getting rid of the clutter in my work environment. I couldn't believe how effective it was in keeping me focused. 

11-Call and Response Challenge stretched my artsy side, as did my attempt at a fused improv piece.

12-Experimented with designing: color progression on the Jamaican Me Crazy quilt, illusion of movement on the Schulta quilt. 
13-Silk Fusion has really gotten my attention. Here are the first three pieces. 
14-Crazy quilting with Kathy Shaw's method stretched me to follow someone else's plan! Not an easy thing, but so worth it. Not completed as of this post. 

My take-away from this little exercise:
I continue to be open to learning. 
I'm ok with unraveling, or cutting something up, for using in a different project. 
Projects have their own life span, some are finished sooner than others. And this doesn't seem to have anything to do with complexity. 
I get enjoyment out of planning, documenting, reviewing, and blogging about it. 
Hope you enjoyed reading it. 

May God bless you with peace and love. May the Christmas Season live in your heart every day of the rest of your life, here and forever. 

PS-all those December Intentions are well underway, yeah!
Love you all-Luann