Category Archives: Goals

My February OMG!

This has been a great month for me. I have settled back into the routine that affords me piece of mind. My housework isn’t suffering, the laundry’s always caught up, I’m cooking more often, I’m getting a lot of time in my sewing room (although it still needs a major sort out), I’m reading more, and Mister and I are back to spending evenings together (when he doesn’t have last minute homework) visiting, or watching our favorite shows (while I stitch). We finally have an appointment for the pad and carpet to be repaired downstairs, and replaced upstairs. My stitching friends will get a laugh when they hear that the bedroom carpet will be Platinum colored.

As to the sort out in my sewing room, I finally dug through the huge box of scraps given to me by one of my friends.  So many beautiful pieces of fabric, and so many 1/2-yard pieces as well.  I still have the bag to go through, but the bits have been pulled for the scrap basket I use for Wild and Goosey, and the rest has been folded neatly until I get some cutting time for charity quilts.

Speaking of charity quilts.  Today is the last Saturday of the month, and this is the day that I have dedicated to working on charity quilts.  One Saturday a month, for at least 3 hours.  For the first quilt, I’ll be making 10″ paper pieced string blocks starting with a neutral in the middle.  It took me longer than expected to go through the above mentioned box, so I’m not getting to sew 3 hours today, and will carry that over to tomorrow.

Here’s where I stand this month:

February goals

Baby Quilt – 1) finish step one; 2) cut background for step two
Lozenges – Make a minimum of 20 lozenges with February RSC17 colors (10 black/10 neutral corners)
Farmers Wife – Make a minimum of 4 blocks

Baby Quilt – This item was for my One Monthly Goal link-up.  I am beyond thrilled to say, that not only did I finish Step 2, I finished the quilt top! The longarmer has been contacted, and the backing should be pieced by tomorrow evening.

Lozenges – This item was for my Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.  February’s color was Teal.  I made a total of 29.

Farmers Wife – not only did I catch up, but I’m ahead of the game.  It has helped me satisfy my love of paper piecing. As I have gone through the scraps hunting for the perfect piece of fabric, I have been sorting them into colors (and ironing some of the worse off pieces) as part of my sewing room sort out.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So much accomplished!

For stitching, I have made progress on Death by Cross Stitch, and finished a 2nd round on An Expression of Gratitude.  I spent more time than anticipated on Death because it was just too easy to keep going while getting stuff around the house sorted after the water break, dealing with the contractors, and the repair to the walls.  But, I’m back to my rotation, and will probably move on to Houses of Hawk Run Hollow by tomorrow evening.

I am linking up to Elm Street Quilts and soscrappy.

 

 

Let’s do this 2017!

I am so happy today is the end of 2016, and I am very much looking forward to 2017. I have penciled in some ideas, set some not-too-lofty goals, and am crossing my fingers that I, my family, and friends have a healthy, happy year.

I have selected a word that I think best represents my goals for 2017. If you follow me on Instagram (link in the right column) you will have already seen this, but here is a tidbit of how I came to select that word:

…I have always felt as long as I make positive progress, no matter how small, I will succeed. And it goes hand in hand with my “think happy thoughts” and “stop saying, start doing” from past years…

I will progress forward in 2017.


To help with that I have made some minor tweaks to my blog. Still more changes need to be made that will happen with time, but most of it is just adjusting some info in the tabs up top.

Most of my goals for the year spin around my quilting and stitching. A few, in no particular order, are:

Attend my Girlfriend Reunion in Vegas – This is my new year beginning.

Maintain my daily routine to the best of my ability. If there is interest, I’m more than happy to post more details. I will say that my daily routine keeps me very time- and guilt-free to sew and stitch a lot.

Stay the course on my Year of WIPs Challenge – I am so, so happy with how much progress I have already made since starting this on October 1.

Set up my Scrappy Planner (by Lori Holt) – While I do use my phone/computer to keep appointments and send me reminders, I will always be a paper and pencil gal, and I love having a written plan for housework, quilting, stitching, menus, travel, etc. This particular planner is designed by a scrappy quilter and I’m looking forward to seeing if this will be the fit for my lifestyle, I am hoping it to be.

Finish all the way to binding En Provence, Midnight Flight, Swoon, Kristen’s Quilt, and Kristen’s Baby Quilt.

Attend my quilt chapter Spring Quilt Camp – I did not attend a single camp in 2016.

Attend more quilt chapter meetings.  In June I was selected to be the co-recording secretary, from July to end in October-ish.  The other person decided to drop out to spend more time with a soon to be born grandchild, so I agreed to stay in the full capacity. I may consider asking to stay an additional year.  In any event, I am making a concerted effort to attend more meetings (they are about an hour drive away from me).

Attend my annual June cross-stitch get together – this year in Nashville.

Post one quilt-related goal a month on my blog – This is a new-to-me event. The link with more information is in my left sidebar.

Flosstube – this is a biggie for me. It will be a learning curve and a put myself out there curve. While “flosstube” is a specific cross-stitch “term,” I intend to include my quilting.

Continue to try one new recipe a month – I succeed at this easier that I thought I would when I started it way back when. The key to my success is always keeping breakfast-for-dinner available for those recipes that fail so bad it immediately goes into the garbage disposal, or in the outside garbage can. I am never afraid of trying something new since I know I have a standby in case it is not “eatable.” 😀

Whew! Reading back over that sounds like a whole lot, but it is really not. The hard part for me will be staying the course and not letting my ADD/Squirrel!!! tendencies get in my way.

Last, but not least, I have a huge decision to make about a volunteer position that takes up a lot of my time, and sometimes mental energy, January-May every year.

I have volunteered for Phoenix Comicon in one capacity or another for 4 years. I have also volunteered for the smaller Phoenix Fan Fest, at a different time of the year, 2 different years during that 4 years. While January-March is mostly my spending an hour twice a day, once a month, driving back and forth to downtown Phoenix (and the gas!), plus spending 4 hours in several meetings (we’re up to 6 hours, now), April-May is all of that plus up to about 20 additional hours a week on the computer dealing with staffing issues, and last year emailing back and forth with artists/vendors regarding staff discounts/donations. Then there is the time and the money I have spent during the convention itself to make sure I am doing the job the way my Manager, Directors, and the Convention owner want it done for the convention to be successful.  I can safely say it was not rare for me to put in 60 hours from 8 a.m. Thursday to Sunday 9 p.m., and this past year my new position had me there starting 9 a.m. Wednesday, however I did leave around noon on Sunday.

Major changes are being made in the business (because that is what it is) that many people, myself included, are not happy about, so they are going to have to convince me that those major changes, which do affect me, are worth the amount of time I devote (and the money I am already spending). Right now I am feeling like I have been kicked in the teeth, and am questioning why I ever bothered to get involved. There is a meeting this coming Saturday with the owner and I will make my decision after that.

Since I have always been one to make a contingency plan, I have pretty much decided what I will be doing with that time if I they cannot convince me. More on that later.

So, now I am off to sew together the parts I cut out for En Provence Part 6.  I know I have been remiss in posting progress photos here, however you can find them on my Instagram.

Enjoy the rest of your 2016, and if it is already 2017 where you are, Happy New Year, and I hope it brings you every wonderful thing you want.

Hello 2015

ID-100300018Like so many other people around the world I hope this new year brings joy and excitement and good surprises.  I want to learn something new, forget something old, and make a new friend.  I want travel, and laughter, and riches beyond compare, but not the financial kind.

This year’s mantra is “Stop Saying, Start Doing.”

I’ve already posted about my 101 things, and mentioned that I’m going back to participating in WIPocalypse.  My page for that is set up.  I’ve tried to limit it to 5 stitching things and 5 quilting things.  That’s not to mean there won’t be more done in those areas, just those 10 things I’d like to finish in 2015.

There are several authors I have on my wish list that I’ve never read and I’d like to read at least one of them.  I also starting reading the Bible through today.  I’m using The One Year Bible for Women by Tyndale House Publishers.  I’ve asked Melissa to use her excellent card making skills and make me a bookmark.

I want to keep expanding my cooking skills and try several new recipes.  I have a couple of cookbooks I haven’t cooked from yet and am anxious to try them out.

I’m recreating my household journal this year since I want to be better at managing my time.  I don’t want the internet to suck my valuable time away, especially with the things I need to do for COMICON and my new Arizona Quilters Guild position, so I plan to continue to use my timer when I’m at the computer.  Less internet suckage equals more reading, quilting and stitching, too!

I want to go back to that mountain and try another, and another, and another.  I bought some new, warmer, workout clothes a couple of days ago and got rid of the “nothing to wear” excuse I’ve been using since the weather got cold to us, so I’m headed back out to my daily walks.  I also want to get back to my Zumba classes so studio shoes are on my shopping list, too.

While there are many, many more things I’d like to do in 2015, they’re just brewing in the back of my mind and if they happen, I’ll share.

May 2015 bring all my readers what they seek.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

One more week!

How busy have you been?  Are you planning out your 2015 year?

I’ve been busy, but not crazy busy, except in spurts.

This past weekend was the Phoenix COMICON Fan Fest.  It has been touted as a success and that makes me happy.  Two and a half weeks from now I have my first meeting for COMICON 2015, so I’m trying to not even think about anything related to it until then, but it’s a near impossible task I’ve set myself.

Next week we’ll be in California with Son and Girlfriend.  I am really excited about that.  Since we moved here we have flown Son and Girlfriend in to spend Christmas with us.  That, and a pair of tickets to Disneyland, has been their Christmas gift from us.  Last year we asked them if they would mind if we came to California and all 4 of us went to Disneyland on Christmas.  You would have thought they were both 10 with their reaction 😀  We’ll be crossing an item from my bucket list by staying at the Disneyland Hotel while we’re there.  We’ve decided to go to Disneyland on Christmas Eve and California Adventure on Christmas Day, since we’ll have to leave Anaheim late Christmas Day to drive to Oceanside.  We haven’t completely decided when we’ll return to Arizona, but no later than Sunday.

I am working on a Christmas item right now.  I gave up on getting my room painted until after Christmas.  Between Mister’s studying for finals, my COMICON obligations, and some sewing I needed to get done, I quit stressing about it, cleared a spot and set my machine back up.  Here’s where I shoved everything that was stacked on my table, so I could sew.  That white “wall” is my design wall and behind that’s my shelved in closet.

2014-12-17 11.28.29

And here’s what the guest bed looks like (there are 2 tall piles on the floor I didn’t bother taking photos of). Most of that will go on the shelves behind the design wall in the photo above.

2014-12-17 11.30.02

Here’s what I finished by yesterday.

2014-12-15 15.19.23

Hoping to finish the piecing today and the quilting and binding tomorrow.

Very little stitching on my Lizzie*Kate mystery and no updated photo of it.

That second question up there?  I have been planning out  my 2015.  I try to adopt a positive thought for myself every year.  Last year it was “happy thoughts” and no matter what was going on I tried to always remind myself to think happy thoughts.  I had a really good year with that.

This year I tried to continue that and added on to be less judgmental by reminding myself that I may find myself in that person’s situation one day, or that I didn’t know the story behind what was making someone behave the way they were, either toward me or toward others.

This coming year my plans are to “quit saying, start doing.”  I’ve been listing my WIPs and projects I want to start and trying to formulate a plan that will get me doing more.  I love my calendar on my phone for reminding me of appointments and not letting me double book something, but I’m going back to using a paper organizer for my projects.  More about that in a second.  I’m also going to use Wunderlist.  I have it downloaded on my computer, phone, and tablet.  It’s the first thing that pops up on my computer when I start it up and it shows me what I have to work on, as a reminder to not get sidetracked. I’m tracking my WIPs and projects I want to do on it since I can add things from the different electronics and it’ll sync between the 3.

After following a discussion Melissa was having on Facebook, and others sharing what I’ve been thinking and the types of planners they use, I’ve decided on a Planner Pad.  I love that it has the possibility to be used as something other than an appointment book (which my phone covers).  Also, I will be using my timer more to keep from letting the computer suck me in.  I have found myself spending less time on it the last few months anyway and it has made a difference in what I’ve accomplished.

I have 4 trips planned for 2015.  Vegas (Jan), Prescott (Apr), Tennessee (Jun), Prescott (Oct).  I am stepping up my volunteer activities as well.  In addition to continuing my sewing for AZ Blankets 4 Kids, I’ve taken a larger responsibility with COMICON, and I am the new Membership Director for the Arizona Quilters Guild.  I am looking forward to having a very heart-fulfilling year.

So my goals for 2015 aren’t to get this done, or that finished, etc., but to just be more organized which should lead to productivity.  I guess I’m sort of going to run my retired life like I ran my working life 😉

I’m linking up to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.

A new button!

I managed to futz myself into making a button for FAB4FOCUS!  I never cease to amaze myself 😉

Sunday Stitching Report

Why not?  LOL

I finally took a very (horrible) photo of And They Sinned Thursday evening.  I pulled it out to show at the LNS before I started my new Elizabeth Sheffield sampler.

This is approximately 180 hours over about 65 days. 2013-08-01 17.02.31

Poor thing is so wrinkled, but that’s only because it has been so loved!  I still love every stitch and will be right back to it when I finish up the first section of Elizabeth Sheffield for Sampler Sunday.

Thank you for your comments on my FAB4FOCUS post.  I will be mentioning it quite frequently in hopes that it gets shared elsewhere and generates more interest.

Fabulous, Focused, 2014

WARNING: This post may contain rambling, confessions, grammatical horrification, a little guilt, and hopefully a few thought-provoking plans for 2014.

If you were to make a list of all your crafting/hobby Works in Progress (WIPs) or Unfinished Objects (UFOs) would it scare you, or cause you to be disappointed in yourself?  Are you still in love with every single one of them and want to finish them all?  Are you overwhelmed by that number and do not know where to start to get them all done?

That pretty much describes me.  I have ADD.  No, really, I do.  (I will give you a minute to get over your surprise.)  Because of that, in order to get practically anything accomplished, I have become a list maker in many areas of my life. Sometimes I have more than one list covering the same thing.  In other words I have to stay focused to get things accomplished.

For my needlework, if it is not in my face it is off my radar. I know I am not the only one who suffers from that.

Someone will mention they are working on a project and I am reminded that I have something similar that I started eons ago so I go looking for it.  I start digging through my WIPs and almost immediately start feeling guilty about all of my long-lost, and much-loved, projects that I want to finish.

Or a new something comes along and I jump on that bandwagon and I am adding 2 (or 5) more WIPs to a list and the guilt starts all over again.  (Of course, sometimes there is no guilt involved, but I still get a few heart palpitations over the amount of WIPs I have.)

Throw in having more than one hobby, craft, obsession, whatever you want to call it, and it really starts getting out of hand and the numbers go from single digit, to double-digit, and for some people, triple digits.

Well, I am determined that 2014 is going to be a FABulous year in a great many ways but for my hobbies it is going to be a FAB4FOCUS year.

I am going to focus on 4 projects at a time – for 4 quarters – in 2014 – in each of my two favorite obsessions – Quilting and Cross-stitch.

I have not worked out all of the kinks yet, but it will go something like this:

For my cross-stitch I am going to pick 4 WIPs that I want completely finished and either hanging on my wall or show-cased in my house somewhere.  I will ONLY work on one of those 4 projects until they are finished and by finished I mean take it to the framer, or stitch it up, make it into a box, whatever it takes to call it F.I.N.I.S.H.E.D.!

I have not yet decided on my cross-stitch projects.  I started a private sampler stitch-along yesterday that is goal-based.  It will be completed over 6 months so it will be the first item on my list and thus will be the first thing I stitch on each month until I stitch to our goal.  I am also hoping to finish And They Sinned before the end of the year but my two-month long stitching slump put me behind, so it may be on the list as well.

I also have a huge box of items that are completely stitched that need to be finished.  Many of them need to go to the framer, but many are ornaments that need to be finished.  Yup, they are going to make the list, too.

If I were to choose my 4 cross stitch projects today, my focus list might look like this:

1.  Elizabeth Sheffield (stitch toward goal)
2.  And They Sinned (20 hours a month and focus on this piece if everything else is finished)
3.  And A Sampler Grew – finish out pin pillow and scissor fob
4.  French Alphabet Sampler – find it, frog error in border, order new fiber to re-stitch border

I am also going to pick 4 quilting projects, but this list will be a little different from my cross-stitch list.

I have 2 Blocks of the Month (BOM) starting – one at the end of 2013 and one at the beginning of 2014 and they will count as one item.  If I keep them on my list that will help me stay on track to have all of the blocks stitched and 2 large quilts finished.  One is a 9-month program and one is a 12-month program.

I also have several Jo Morton Little Women club quilts that I want to finish so they will be one item on my list.

Another item will be the quilts I am making for my son, niece, and seven nephews – for a total of 9 quilts.

The last item will be determined closer to the beginning of the year, but I have plenty to choose from.  So today my example list would look like this:

1.  BOM
2.  JMLW club quilt
3.  Son’s quilt
4.  Sampler quilt table topper binding

I am a “quilt with your checkbook” gal, except for the JMLW quilts, so I still have some figuring out to do when a quilt is out for quilting and that slot is temporarily empty.

If I have finished something I will add something else in, but not to the neglect of what is already on the list.

I plan on doing 4 reviews during the year to see how I feel about my projects. I will decide to keep them on the list if they’re not finished, or I will get them OUT OF MY HOUSE.  I am a member of enough online groups that I know I can find someone who might love my project if I no longer do.

So why am I sharing this in August?  Well, since misery loves company I am hoping someone will either volunteer to ride roughshod over me to help keep me going, or will want to play along, too – which will also keep me going.

I am sharing this in July hoping others might share it on their blogs/forums and to give anyone who wants to play time to think about how they want to organize their own 4 projects.

And, I am sharing this now because once August gets here my year is over in a minute!

Last but not least, it is a list 😀

You do not have to have multiple hobbies to play.  Nor do your hobbies have to be cross-stitch or quilting.  Scrapbookers, card makers, knitters, crocheters, chain maillers, needlepointers, beaders, and any other hobbiest I might have left out, please come share!

Right now the plan is share a list on Sunday what was accomplished the previous Sunday-Saturday and what to accomplish the next Sunday-Saturday.  Review at the end of the quarter for any adjustment that needs to be made for the next quarter, i.e., get rid of something no longer loved, add in new start, etc.

No sign up will be necessary if anyone wants to join me.  Just jump in whenever you start, post your goals for your first Sunday – Saturday, and link up to my blog so we can encourage each other. Each week after that post your goals for next week, your accomplishments from last week, and link up so we can continue to encourage each other.

Beginning of the end

July always reminds me that the year is half over and I need to get serious about what has been on my annual to-do list.

By this time of year, for the past couple of years, I’ve been working on patriotic designs. The first year, I stitched Memorial Day through September 11. Last year, I stitched Memorial Day to just past July 4th before switching to Mary Wigham. This year, I’ve been doing so many other non-stitching things that I never got around to starting patriotic stitching! It has been in the back of my mind to start something on July 4th, but now that it’s on top of me I don’t want to. I have so many xsWIPs and I know I shouldn’t be starting anything else, but (there’s always a but) I’ve decided to join an Elizabeth Sheffield (Scarlet Letter) stitchalong on August 1. This means I have a month to get all the supplies together and get my stitching act together. For the past 6 weeks or so I’ve only stitched when I’ve been at the LNS for our open stitch-in and that needs to stop if I want to get And They Sinned done.

I’m also becoming more and more involved with quilting instead of stitching and wonder if I should just give up stitching altogether for awhile, but then I realize how much I love it and figure I’m just going through a little slump. If I wanted to give it up altogether I wouldn’t look forward to Thursday nights and the stitching I do then, right?

So, I’ve decided to go through my to-do list I made at the beginning of the year and clean it out of anything that I know I realistically won’t get to. The rest of the things that are on that list (2013 Jul-Dec) are going to be stitched on in a mini-rotation. If no other stitching happens, I’m at least going to rotate taking them with me to the LNS on Thursdays.

Get it done in July

I never made a post about what I wanted to accomplish in June, but I did have a written list.  I wasn’t 100% successful, but got a lot done.

1. Move all fabric from drawers to cabinets
2. Rearrange bookcases
3. Finish organizing studion- still need some shelves
4. Organize quilting projects
5. Finish quilting gift project – just need to finish binding
6. Cut 160 squares for Son’s Quilt
7. Sew Scarlet House pin pillow – didn’t even pull it out
8. Continue on And The Sinned
9. Prepare Caramel Corn for sewing

For July, I’m keeping it easy since I’ll be traveling and I’ve started working part time:

1. Finish organizing studio
2. Finish binding gift project
3. Start cutting sashing for Son’s quilt
4. Sew Scarlet House pin pillow
5. Continue on And They Sinned
6. Finish applique on Caramel Corn
7. Cut fabrics for hexagons

I bet you’re wondering…

…now why don’t she write?  (brownie points if you know where that’s from.)

What happened to Wednesday? I managed to tick a few things off my to-do list, but not near as many as I thought I would.  Getting back into a routine is always hard for me and between getting off of it over the holidays, and then last weekend’s trip, I’m struggling more than usual.  While I think I’m completely over whatever ailment I had I have now caught a case of the lazies or the I-don’t-wannas.

I did manage to get the kitchen back in order and the laundry started, among other things, but I never made it into my craft room yesterday, other than to fight with my laptop, so no new progress photo to share.

I don’t know what I’ve done but for some reason my ActiveX Control doohicky is not working on Explorer.  I’ve “googled” and followed written and video direction and it still won’t work.  I’m using Chrome for now but I can’t access any of my bookmarks and this old bird doesn’t like change — at all!

Mister had class all day/evening so he wasn’t there to fix it so I soothed my frustration somewhat by stitching more on And The Sinned while finishing off the first season of Eureka and starting on the second season and setting my timer between episodes and working on the house (and probably muttering about the computer the whole time).

The weather here was unbelievably wonderful yesterday so I left the slider open while I was downstairs and the puppies were in and out so much they wore themselves (and the birds they chased off) out.

Mister only has 1 class this afternoon.  I’m supposed to head to Attic for open stitch night but I haven’t decided whether or not to go.  I haven’t seen him very much since last Thursday and it might be nice to have a night on the couch with him and the puppies catching up on the DVR.

Tomorrow is the first Friday that I’ll be accompanying Mister to campus.  We’ve scheduled to get his Beemer worked on (a strut or something is leaking) and My Shiny gets her first oil change.  I’ll probably read while he’s in class and whatever else we do will be decided later.

Gotta get off this contraption and get something accomplished!

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