Thursday, February 18, 2016

Happy Birthday!

My mom and I share our birthday, and today was very nice!  I turned the big 3-0, and am not daunted by the idea of being three decades old.  I'm one of those oddities that is actually excited to age, to go through life getting the experiences that I can and being able to show at the end that I LIVED!  My mom is very much the same.  Possibly one of the biggest things she has done recently is 3 years ago she donated her kidney to the husband of a gal she went to high school with.  She felt that she was just called to do so, so she did.  He is living a very full life, and they have become fast friends (his name is Carl, my mom is Sheila, and the kidney has been named Carla, LOL, that's my family's sense of humor).
Mom and I did have to work today at her store, but it went by quickly and the ladies I work with are all so great, I got a hug from everyone when I came in.  After work we met up with many of my family members at a local pizza place called Sweet Basil and spent the next hour in pleasant company.  I was pleasantly surprised to receive gifts from everyone, it's been a while since we've had a party so I was just expecting the pleasure of everyone's company.
I had to laugh at all the cat-themed cards, what are they saying about me?  And the one from my cousin actually made me teary-eyed, we have grown quite a bit closer since working at the store together for the last couple months.

And I get a kick out of this photo, what a variety of gifts!  The ammunition is from my great-uncle, and as soon as he handed me the box I squealed because it means we get to go target shooting soon, yay!  Chocolate and movie tickets and wonder clips, then tools from John because he knows I need some around the house and we never have any, and then there's this:
My present from mom and dad, individually wrapped bills that mom apparently spent all morning wrapping for me!  Look at all the pretty colors!  They said it's for a new laptop, I say let's plant it and see if it grows into a tree...  Oh, I nearly forgot, mom also bought me some daffodil bulbs, and they are so close to ready to bloom I can hardly wait!!  They are my favorite flower.
I also got a singing message from my dear friend Lacy-Jean (who is a zookeeper at the San Diego Zoo, awesome!) and I sure hope to talk to her this weekend, and then I received a photo-text from my other best friend (Megan) that made me feel so great.  I love my girls!
This is from almost five years ago now (whoa!) and it's Lacy-Jean, Jennifer (my sister), myself, and Megan.
Oh by the way, I'm making progress on my UFOs!  I did actually complete the rose:

I felt like my revolver was fitting for the Guns' N Roses theme.

When I took it to the lady at the fairgrounds where they hosted the banquet she was so excited, and tried to walk away with it for her very own :)  I may need to make up a couple to just have on hand, I saw some great key fabric that I think would also make a good background for the rose.  With the border this finished at ~16.5 inches square.  I'm working on photos of the quilting which I will share later.
And I am nearly done with the braided runner, this was just when I started and of COURSE the bobbin ran out, right in the middle of a feather.  It is coming along quite nicely, I just have the outer border to quilt and binding to put on and that will be two things done!
No progress has been made in my room though.  Hoping to get something accomplished this weekend, as we have no current engagements.
Belle is telling me it's bedtime, so I must follow orders.  Plus I can hear sleeping noises from John in the other room, so it really must be time.  Thank you for visiting!
Thomas: Whoa, wait, I swear she put this down here so I can burrow.
Belle: No, it's meant to be slept on so our fur cannot be extracted from the batting, silly boy.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

a Completely Honest Sewing Room post

So, this last weekend I was all excited about the fabric I had received from Connecting Threads that I just had to sit down and make some Disappearing Hourglass blocks.  About one and a half blocks into it, John walks in the room and says, "What are you doing?"  Uhhhhhhhh.... (goes my brain) "Sewing?"  I answer, wondering where this is going.  He looks around my sewing space (about 10' x 8' room that is PACKED with stuff, mostly in piles) and says to me, "When was the last time you sat down and made a list of what you haven't finished?  If you want to feel better about your organization and time spent quilting, you may want to look into it" and then turns and walks out.  Subtle, but effective that man is.  You may be picking up that we had been having conversations about never feeling like things get finished.  But look at all the things I've done in the last couple weeks!
Aurifil BOM-click on photo to visit the website

I laid out a Valentine's herringbone table runner, which is now wrapped up in that towel and under my cutting table

Two more Snapshots QAL blocks done, only 4 to go!

The National Rifle Association is hosting a banquet with a theme of Guns and Roses and I plan to donate this to their auction.  The banquet is on the 13th of February, 11 days away.

My tumbler-leader/ender project is making great strides!  I even added more pieces to my darks and lights.  This will eventually be a REALLY busy and fun quilt.  My tumblers are 2.5"...
So here's the skinny:
I made a list of how many projects I have tops of, or piles of fabric for, or that are even partly quilted and just need to be finished, and I have filled the 20 lines on my sheet!  That's just the ones I can remember!!!  Holy Cow!  I truly thought I was doing better than that, I thought I was closer to 10.  You know what though?  This is a good thing, as I obviously have enough projects to keep me busy for a couple months then I can set up achievable milestones for myself.  I am going through my sheet and prioritizing the projects (such as Susie's birthday present which I had wanted done at least in her birthday month, urg, too late now) and am writing down target dates to finish them by in a little calendar my grandma gave me for Christmas.  My plan is to whittle my list down to 10 before starting a new project.  I believe it to be achievable because all my projects are at different stages in the quilting process and so if I get tired of one stage, I can switch to another WIP but still be working on this list.
Here's the rest of my open honesty today, behold my stuffed sewing space!
View from the seat at the sewing machine.

This is what is directly behind me, the Macy's bag is where I put my cut-offs of fabric.  This is my cutting table... it's hard to be efficient in this mess.

The hardest thing is that my little haven is so overwhelming when you walk in, that John doesn't often venture in to visit. I adore my husband, and want to be around him as much as possible, but he won't stick around when I'm sewing.  The cat's barely come in here too, how bad is that?  I think they are afraid of being buried.
I have come to the conclusion that John is very much in the right, and I need to restructure myself, and my room (obviously...) so that I can feel GREAT about sewing for others, and for myself.  I love this hobby, and am limited on space, so some things will need to change if I want to keep this up.  Thank you for letting me share these thoughts with you today, do you have any ideas that might help me along?  Or do I just need to buckle down and make things happen?  I appreciate any assistance I can get :)
By the way, here's what started all this in motion: