Monday, November 28, 2016

Getting It All Together

So, I've been dealing with this topic for a while now, and just wasn't yet ready to admit to myself (much less anyone else) that I really need to get my stuff together. With the craziness of a full time job, and a full time teaching business, I've let things slide at home. I hosted a group of Thanksgiving, and we had a great time, and they are all friends, and know about everything that has been happening in my life, so they didn't have any great expectations that my house would be spotless. But I did. I want my house to be organized and easy to clean. And I don't want to spend every waking our of the 1 day I get off every month cleaning it. That's just not a good plan. Yet, that is exactly what I have done for the last 6 months or so, spent my one day off doing a mountain of laundry and vacuuming and dusting every surface, and still feeling like it wasn't as clean as I would like it to be. I've realized that this has been my life not just the last 6 months, but the last 25 years. I'm a crisis cleaner. I clean when I am either - incredibly bored (and let's face it, it takes a LOT to be that bored), or when having people over. It's just that I used to have more of a life. I used to have people over every week, so it never got too bad. But with my current schedule, which doesn't look like it is going to change in the near future, I need to get control of it.

So I reached out to a couple of friends who have immaculate houses that are immaculate all the time, to see how they do it. Of the four of them, three sent me to the Flylady system. I've heard of it before, in fact I am pretty certain I started her program a couple of years ago, but never really got committed. I never got tired enough or frustrated enough to finally really make it happen. But now, I am. I am ready to get all of this stuff organized in a way that makes sense, and makes it easy to follow. So, I spent a couple of hours reading through her attack plan this weekend, and preparing myself. I got my control journal started. I got my dry erase markers ready. I made my lists for home blessing hour, and I decided on my decluttering attack plan. So, now its just a matter of putting in the time every day (15 minutes is all I am supposed to need, per the FlyLady). And getting stuff done. Flylady says it's baby steps, which makes sense to me. It's how I got my finances in order with Dave Ramsey. So, Baby Steps it is.

First Step - Shine the Sink

So, I am off to shine my sink (which is going to be interesting since it is black enameled cast iron, and not at all shiny)!!!! Wish me luck!!! I'll see you tomorrow to see what tomorrow's challenge is.

I am going to try to update here every day,so you can see how it's going. I'll even try to do pictures, hopefully I will remember to take them.

Do you want to join me??? DO you have any advice for the perpetually cleaning???

See you soon!


Sunday, November 27, 2016

What I've Been Up To....

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, but life appears to be getting back to normal, I'm starting to get back to my normal life and schedules, which means it is time to look at what's happening around here...

Watching - Hart of Dixie -- I finished binge watching the entire series earlier this week. I must admit I was a little disappointed with the last season, but you know how it goes it gets once you know what is going to happen, it gets too predictable....

Craving - Post Thanksgiving feast food. It's my favorite. Thank goodness it's that time of year.

Doing - lots of cleaning! With all the things going on and all of the events of the season it's fall cleaning season! 

Obsessing - over yarn, there are SO MANY new amazing ones being released it's been really hard to resist putting them all in my ETSY cart.

Loving - the long dark evenings....I always initially hate the changeover, and struggle to find my mojo, but once I find it again, there are so many hours of sewing available!!!

Reading - Rachel Cruz's new book  - Love Your Life - Not Theirs

Wanting - a new freezer - with all of the meal planning and cooking that I have been doing I need a big chest freezer, so I put that on my Christmas list....I wonder if Santa has connections at Sears?

Pinning - lots of food. lots and lots of food.

Dreaming - about beautiful linens and decorating. Not sure what that is about, but I have been dreaming about completely redecorating.... 

Writing - not much. I really need to get back to writing.

Crafting - not much....

Sewing - not much either, though I have my mojo back, so you will likely see more of that in the near future.

Knitting - Christmas knitting, which as you know is super secret knitting, so no further discussion is allowed.

Listening - to Brian Tracy, what can I say self help and productivity is my jam.

Wearing - pajamas, lots of pajamas. That's the joy of a 4 day weekend!

Needing - to wash the I write this post, I am sitting on the couch watching Practical Magic and seeing all of the dog nose prints, handprints, rain paths, and general dust on the windows. Funny that this is completely distracting at the moment.

Planning - meals. I'm doing a new bi-weekly meal plan, rather than a weekly meal plan, and it is proving to be interesting. Definitely good for the budgeting and saving money, but it is proving interesting in the planning department, especially with schedules changing over the two week period. For example, I made tacos expecting to have 6 people over, but it was just me and Josh, so we had lots of tacos. The following day, I thought we just had 4, so I just made enough for 4, and but we had 8 people for dinner, so I had to "make up" some extra sides. Thank goodness I had plenty of stuff, but it meant I had no sides for the following day, and had to make a stop at the store. 

Trying new recipes, specifically Turkey and Dumplings and homemade scalloped potatoes. Both were excellent, and I am super happy with them.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Deadlines, Deadlines, and work to do

Life seems to revolve around deadlines. Work deadlines, design deadlines, writing deadlines, sometimes it seems crazy how many pieces and parts are all spinning around all at the same time. Yet, I managed to spend this rainy San Diego weekend working on new projects and watching Gilmore Girls rather than working on the things I needed to work this week, I have to get back to it!!! And hard.

Task 1 : Finish reorganizing the sewing room

Task 2 : Finish African Violets placemats

Task 3 : Vintage Compass finish border units

Work is destined to be busy all week, as we get ready for year end activities and all of the craziness that ensues. The weekend will be busy, as I am teaching at Cotton and Chocolate in Thousand Oaks.

And somewhere, I need to do some final Christmas shopping, since I am going home for a few days, I will actually have to wrap presents and the like which I haven't done in forever.

In the meantime, I am going to use that last day of this glorious 4 day weekend to get a head start on a few of those items!!!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pattern Focus : Prismatic Star

Prismatic Star is perhaps my favorite large beginner project. It uses strip techniques and simple construction (no Y-seams, yippee!). The best part....they look amazing!!!! The original was designed for the Judy Niemeyer Bali Pops by Hoffman -- with 48 varying strips, like my original....

This one is my original using the Generation 2 Bali Pops from Hoffman, in the #1 color way, which is really bright. I used Cabana for the background, and Midnight (a super dark Navy) for the leading and I love it.

This one is Judy's, and I took this picture at the retreat center last summer. She used the same Bali Pops, but a mottled purple background, and Raven (dark Blue/Black) leading.

Here's that same Bali Pop using the Celery background. This one is a student's work from Cotton and Chocolate.

Here's another view of mine, with a rotated center....where the center's are not grouped in pairs. I just liked it better.
You don't need to stick to solid background, prints work just as well.

And you need not stick with Judy Bali Pops, you can use regular ones just as well.....just kick out the 4 colors that just don't go, and add 6 strips each of the lightest and darkest fabrics (in this case light blue and navy). This on is Lauren Bauman's sample from Cotton and Chocolate. 

If you want, you can even use only 8 fabrics, like I did in this sample for Craftsy. This one was made out of their new boundless batiks line using 8 fabrics for the strips, plus a black with gold dots for the leading.

Or you could use 4 sets of 6, instead of 6 sets of 4, and you will get this version. 

Regardless of which version you make, it turns out AMAZING!!!!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Quilt Focus : Celtic Wave

This quilt is one that is near and dear to me for a couple of different reasons. It was made for a friend's son, who is an Army Ranger. It's one of those that came out exactly as I envisioned it, except for 1 little issue....I cut the border units an inch too small, so I had to replace the border pieces with a slightly different fabric. The weird thing is, I actually like the change better....

So, without further ado.....Celtic Wave!!!!

The quilting on this one is by Tammy Doane, and it is fantastic!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What have I been up to???

Watching - Netflix -- I found a new obsession, called The 100, a post apocalyptic series. 

Craving - Sour Cream and Onion's been forever since I had some.

Doing - lots of planning

Obsessing - about Halloween decorations. There are so many ideas out there, that I just don't know where to start.

Loving - the cooler weather. It's been overcast and even misty/rainy over the last week, and we have been enjoying it.

Reading - Fantastic Beasts -- it's just a few weeks now until the opening, and I can't wait.

Wanting - more time to's been deadline only sewing lately, and I am ready for some fun sewing

Pinning - recipes, I've been on a cooking kick lately, and I've been investigating new recipes every night.

Dreaming - about a new sewing hutch...there are new Horn Cabinets out and they are gorgeous. 

Writing - not much.  

Crafting - even less.

Sewing - just deadline sewing, but I am looking forward to getting back to fun sewing this week.

Knitting - just a few tv rows, not any real knitting

Listening - to Florida Georgia Line on constant repeat. Though I am excited about Kenny Chesney's new album, but I haven't gotten to the store to get it yet. 

Wearing - nothing but my work work uniform of jeans and t-shirts

Needing - to see less election related craziness. I just want it over already.

Planning - menus,  and blog content, and sewing that needs to be done.

Trying - new recipes, this past week it was Asparagus Pasta, and Chicken Tortilla Soup. This week : Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken and Mississippi Pot Roast (thank you slow cooker).

So, that's all the things going on around here. I hope everyone has a great week and managed to achieve all of their plans!!!