Monday, May 25, 2015

Planner Playtime

This gal is beat! It's been a busy past couple of days. My friend is doing a bit better today. She was brought out of sedation yesterday. She had enough energy to ask her sister to get me to set up a meal brigade. I'm a huge, HUGE fan of It is a wonderful website where you can set up a calendar for meal schedules for someone in need. The site also has a potluck function. Both those aspects of the site are free of charge. They also offer a meal/task calendar for a nominal fee. It's worth checking out. I'm classifying this site as a "Cool Tool".

Since it was a holiday weekend and hubby is out of town, I chose the first two meal delivery days and got those cooked and delivered today. I figured it was too short of notice for others to do, so I grabbed those days. I just need to a bit of tidying up and I am done for the day!

Before all this happened yesterday I got a chance to play in my studio with the midori planner template I came up with after watching this video. And I ordered a cover from Amazon. You knew I would! Lol!

I started off making a month at a glance calendar, then a week at a glance for that corresponding month, followed up with a bill paying checklist, and a notes section. I made a booklet planner for each month.

Taking the directions from the video, I printed them out. Got them folded. Attached a card stock cover. Stapled the booklets together and ran a strip of cute Washi tape over the binding to hide the staples.

I also made some elastic connectors from small elastic "rope" to connect the planner booklets to each other (and ultimately to the cover).

So I have three blank beauties to decorate and fill in.  I need to edit my file a bit, but I have it down pat now. I can see how handy this will be.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Planning for the Future

Behind the scenes I've been obsessing over ways to get my life in order. I've started on physically organizing and tidying my home. I'm finding that when my physical house is in disorder, my mental house reflects that state as well.

I just finished the book THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP by Marie Kondo. I liked her perspective on how to "tidy up" the clutter and have one's house in order. She takes it from a zen point  of view, but I can see how the physical controls the mental. I'm living it.

You well know that I've been working diligently on reworking my studio. That is still in process. I've got several weeks of that work ahead. Part of it will be finding a new rhythm. I've already tackled the kitchen. I still have some fine-tuning to do, But I'm almost through there. Next up are books and shoes. Marie Kondo works her tidying magic by category (books, shoes, kitchen utensils) versus room. Makes sense. I'm incorporating a lot of her ideas to my work.

Thanks to a fellow Pinterest pinner, I'm now have a new obsession -- creating a custom planner to get me organized and on task. In the chaos of the month before last, I forgot to pay a couple of bills. They simply slipped out of my radar. Not good.

I think I've decided on the Midori-style Traveler's Notebook format. You can see my pins on Midori and Filofax planners here. A typical Midori is simply a leather cover with elastic straps to slip in your customized inserts. I found a wonderful video resource (above) that talked me through making templates on MS Word, and I'm in the process of making them now. And yes, I added a bill-paying checklist to my planner! I'm also going to try and make a heavily-interfaced fabric cover for mine since I have the materials on hand. I also found several good video tutorials for that. I'd really like one of those fancy leather covers, but I can wait for that. Maybe... I'll peek around Etsy and Amazon to see what is available.

Last, but certainly not least, I'm asking for prayer for our former guild president, who is battling a life-threatening infection. She just finished her term last month. She's a good friend of mine. One of my "rocks" and cheerleaders here in the Seattle area. She has a hubby, a young son, a lot of life ahead of her to live. She needs some major, major prayer. I would be very grateful if you could lift her up to the powers that be, pray for her family, and pray for her caregivers. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again

Miss me? I took off to TN/KY to visit family. It was family weekend at my brother's school. I also tacked on a visit to see my grand babies. Lots of memories made.

Buckets of background stuff going on. Will continue to work on getting my studio back in working order. I want to get started on making some planner templates.

I got some work done on my paper piecing project, but not enough to get a complete row done. Bummer. I want this done so I can quilt it. I also want to move in on my next project.

This week I need to get my kitchen back in order. Part of it got rearranged while I was gone. I got the bulk of that done, but still need to finish it up. I'm missing certain key items, so I gotta locate those.

Canning season starts soon. I took advantage of an ad I saw on my Facebook feed and bought an electric water bath canner/multi cooker. It arrived while I was gone. Our electric stove sucks (long story), so this will be a good addition to my other canning supplies. I'm toying with breaking it in this weekend by getting some crabs to boil. It was under $150. Still a lot of money, but a very useful item.  And with farmers market season, it will surely come in handy.

In an effort to get my life back in order, I started back to menu planning. I've got it posted on the fridge. Last night's dinner was awesome! I made an Asian chopped salad. Curly leaf lettuce, chicken breast meat, a minneola tangerine sectioned out, sliced walla walla spring onion, red bell pepper, 1/2 an English cucumber, sliced carrot, crushed ramen noodles, cashews, and that Litehouse sesame ginger dressing. It was more veggies than lettuce. Simply divine. Tonight is pasta with veggies. I'm debating on making it Alfredo style or al fresco style (grated Parmesan, olive oil, pasta seasoning). Tomorrow is a ham steak with green beans and baked yams (I like my yams nekkid). Thursday will be salmon, fingerling potatoes, and fresh asparagus with walla walla onion garnish. Trying to be healthy.

Not much else is going on. I'm still alive and kicking!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Great De-Stash of 2015

I shipped four boxes off to the post office today. Each were crammed full of fabric. About 30-40 pounds total? Two going to the Middle East, one each to TN and VA. Each location chosen for specific reasons. I'm eyeing some more stuff to go, but will deal with that later. By the way, this does not include the boxes full I'll be donating to my two guilds.

Many of my friends think I'm absolutely nuts for de-stashing. I'm like, that's okay... This works for me. It makes me feel like a rebel. Haha! Honestly, I was beginning to feel guilty about what I had versus what I could use. And for some odd reason I felt like a hoarder. I still feel like I have a lot of stuff, almost too much. Just feel wasteful and want to be more responsible with the blessings I've been given. 

I know de-stashing is not for everyone. I even likened it to one of the seven signs of the upcoming apocalypse to one friend. Lol! You gotta believe that! And those who've seen me shop in action can attest. This is a major paradigm shift in my thinking.

My sewing room is slowly shaping up. Once I get that conquered, I will hopefully be I n the mood to sew. My mojo has been severely lacking. I need to make some backs so I can sit down and quilt. I was going to send them out, but I'm now thinking of just biting the bullet and doing them myself. I don't know. I may change my mind. I've got lots of time to think.

I'm also trying to make some room for paper crafting. I blame a Pinterest pinner I follow for my latest paper obsession -- organization and planning. I'd like to set up the studio/room for office work and sewing. With my nieces and daughters leading busy lives, I think making them each a customized planner would be a blessing for them. Making one for me as well. 

My life has been very hectic since I've been down with the foot stuff and adding a member to our household. To be honest, I've let things go and don't feel like I have the control over things like I did before. And it just seems that a lot of physical "stuff" is in the way. Combine all that with a minor health issue, I don't want things to get worse. 

Clearing and purging of mind, body, and soul -- in the surroundings and myself is in order. 

I am so blessed by abundance. I am blessed to have choices. I want to be responsible with both.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Today was another day of de-stashing. I'm a woman on a mission to be more responsible with my fabric stash. This was somewhat what it looked like before.

Then I did this...

And this...

And this is my new stash.

Much more responsible. I could still cull about one or two more shelves, but I'm holding out on that for a while. Who knows? I may change my mind later this week. All is getting donated to meet certain needs.

I've also been talking to hubby about my plethora of machines. I'm toying with selling my two extra machines on Craig's List or packaging them up for a fundraiser donation. Who knows... Maybe some one may get a surprise in the mail. Lol!

Either way, I'm a firm believer in paying things forward. It always seems to put a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

My studio/sewing room is still notcompletely reorganized. Still have a ways to go. But I put a big huge dent in it today. And that makes me super happy!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Girly Stuff

Not much sewing going on these days. Life is a bit discombobulated right now. Trying to get back on track. Just not sure how.

I made a life-changing purchase this month. Now when I tell you what it was, you'll laugh. But I'm serious. Yes, really!

I love painted nails, but painted nails don't love me. I dabbled with some acrylics, but found the upkeep cost too much. My nails grow fast. I mean super fast. So I'd need fill-ins every ten days and new tips each month. Hello $100! Not! And let's not mention the havoc that sewing handwork does on the nails... And acrylics...

I found a LED light nail gel kit by my favorite makeup company from QVC (Mally) for @$70 plus shipping and handling. Hello gorgeous hands! I can control the application myself. (Nail salons scare me.) And I hear gel polish wears like iron! It came with enough stuff for over 100 manicures. Of course I ordered a few extra colors. After all, a girl needs choice. ;)

Last week I took off the acrylics I got, and yesterday morning I sat down to do my first gel manicure! I just opened the instruction booklet, laid the products out and went to town. About 45 minutes later I was ready for anything! No need to wait for stuff to dry... I went straight into action!

It always seemed that just after I paint my nails the old way, I'd have to pee or something. And then I'd wreck at least one nail. Lol! Murphy's Law. No worries with gel. When you're done it's done! I'm sure that it will take less time next time to do a mani. First, I won't do it after using my asthma inhaler and drinking coffee (hello shaking hands!). And now that I'm familiar with the process I can move much faster.

I love how shiny and colorful my nails are. I'm usually chipping by the end of day one, but not now. Not even at day two!

I know it's superficial, but for me that's life-changing. And this makes me one very happy girl!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Behind the scenes

Did I tell you I got a new book? Yeppers, I love it. More English paper piecing madness! And the projects are GORGEOUS!

The 40 minute timer thing is helping. I got a whole row of component pieces assembled and a good start on sewing the row together. Just need to keep up with it all. Feet first and the head will follow.

I'm in destash mode. I learned of a fellow quilter in a foreign country that could use fabric. Folks, we are lucky here in the U.S. in that we have a broad selection and good prices compared to the rest of the world. So I'm going to fix up a flat rate FQ bonanza box to go to her mom in the U.S., and when her daughter visits the U.S. She'll bring it back to my online buddy. I'm excited about this. Doing this will be more fun than shopping for fabric!

I joined the Reddit fabric exchange earlier this year. That is done through Reddit gifts. I'm a Reddit Quilter. Proudly, I may add.  Reddit is like a huge giant message board... An online community to share ideas. Reddit Gifts is an offshoot of Reddit.

Anyway, today I reported that I haven't received my fabric exchange gift. Bummer. But that's no biggie. I edited my description to help out Jamie. Jamie is a young lady we've taken in recently. I asked for stuff for her. Her interests are quite different from mine.

I also signed to be a "rematch Santa" for someone who didn't get a gift. I sure hope it's a quilter! They'll be sure to get a big bonanza box like I'm doing for my friend. I am also waiting for my gift recipient to post her thank you. I hope she liked what I sent. I put a lot of thought into it.

Today I opted out of my Tuesday group. Still have some issues I need to work out, like this nagging cough. I'm over it. That will come in due time. I've scheduled yet another doc appointment. I have a big trip east planned in May and I want to be well for it. At the rate I'm going, I may have to cancel. That's a bummer.

Besides that, all is well. I've made a few fun purchases the last few days -- got me a cool gel manicure set on QVC and a bought a freezer for the garage. Eagerly waiting for both to arrive. I'll be looking for some freezer meal ideas. Got any favorites?