Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day NINETEEN: Words from a Dad...

I started reading a new book today by Alan Alda, a.k.a. Hawkeye from M.A.S.H, "Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself".  Truthfully, I was only into the second chapter when I read this lovely passage.  Lovely, because it is addressing his daughter (and her graduating class) upon graduation from college.  Lovely, because it speaks to me as a daughter whose own father could wish something like this, but is unable to express it.  But lovely also because I am a mother who wishes this for her own children.  That said, here is the part that spoke to me (but the whole speech is quite good)

"Be brave enough to live life creatively.  The creative is the place where no one else has ever been.  It is not the previously known.  You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  You can't get there by bus, but only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing, but what you'll discover will be wonderful.  What you'll discover will be yourself."

I am thankful today for words such as these, to lift the soul, but also to direct it Home.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Day SEVENTEEN and EIGHTEEN: Slumdog Millionaire...

Hi, I have been on a camera fast.  It has been dark and cold here, so my desire to capture THAT has been WAY diminished.  I hope it will return.  

Last night we had a date night to the movies.  It was exciting to go out.  We saw "Slumdog Millionaire" and what I can say is that it was a really good movie, but too sad for me.  I think that I might have enjoyed it more if I wasn't a mom.  The beginning is about the main character, Jamal's life, as a little boy and I couldn't help but see my boys in those situations and just feel so sad.  Can I only watch romantic comedies??  Is that all I am left with?  I suppose I should learn my lesson and not see anything more serious than "Paul Blart:  Mall Cop".  That said, the filming of the movie was beautiful.  There were a few aerial shots of the slums that looked so graphically interesting and beautiful, if you could get away from the fact that they were falling down dwellings that people were living in...and still living in today.

Day EIGHTEEN:  I do see the sun shining upon me today, so I think that I will leave you all now to attempt some photography time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day SIXTEEN: A favorite bathing suit moment...


A favorite moment today:  Swimming in the kiddie pool with my boys.  The little one really wanting to hold the locker room key.  REALLY wanting to.  He wanted to so bad that he sat and played right beside me for a good chunk of time.  He felt so proud to be holding that key.  When he strayed from my side I would remind him, gently, and he would always say "No, Mama, I sit right here, beside you."  It was the sweetness in his eyes as he said it that made my day.  The day, up until this point had been more about him going one way and me needing to go another, sort of a struggle type day.

To see his smiling face say that he wanted to be right by me was what I really needed to hear, right then.  Even if I needed the help of a precious key to hear it.  They just get so big, so fast...this youngest one even faster than his older brother.  


But today they are here with me and we had a wonderful time in the kiddie pool.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day FIFTEEN: One warm hand...

Day FIFTEEN:  I started knitting again...I have finished one wrist warmer.  I swore that I would never wear something like this, but it has been so COLD this year.  We have been below 40F for a long time now, it doesn't sound THAT cold to you below freezing people, but here in Oregon we are damp and cold.  DAMP...  this year it is just chilling me to the bone.  Enter the weird fuzzy yarn and the ONE MITT FINISHED.  I have one warm hand.  I am so excited.  I am going to cast on another tomorrow, I will be toasty before I know it. (if only I was less lazy and didn't just use photo booth to take the picture.)
Here are a few pictures of the fashion show that I went to this weekend.  This dancing outfit was so sweet, plenty of ruffles, and the bows in her hair...just beautiful.
Here is a leg pic of all of the designers, it was so much fun and so inspirational.  My patterns "2" class is going well.  This term we have to sew more of our patterns into samples so perhaps I will finally share my pieces.  We will see.  I am going to attempt my first gathers this week on a little skirt.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day FOURTEEN: I almost let another slip by...

Day Fourteen:  Here I am again, trying to stay true to a project I have laid out for myself.  Trying to post everyday, trying to appreciate myself.  It is starting to feel a bit indulgent, a tad silly, and yet still good because of the routine of it and the continuity of it.  I have noticed my attitude towards myself is better.  There is much less negative self-talk.  I believe that I have left the funk that had been plaguing me.   So, where to now?

Where, where, where?
I think that I must keep going.

Today, I am noticing that my body is getting older... it doesn't look like it's 18 year-old self. (even if it did, I really didn't appreciate it then.  I thought that there was SO much wrong with me then.)  I am really great with it not looking the same because my mind has grown too.  I am so much happier in my 34 year old skin then I ever was at 18, 21, or 25.  I am grateful for that today.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day TWELVE AND THIRTEEN: So, I missed....

Yesterday was sort of busy in an rather non-busy way...I was just out and then trying to catch up on the last season of "Lost" and time does flit away.  It really does.

I attended the graduation of some of the fashion design students in my program and it was GREAT!   There were 6 designers with at least 10 outfits each....making for a soiree of about 60 models of all shapes and sizes.  All of my dates fell through at the last moment and so I went solo.  It was nice and that is the thing that I liked about myself yesterday.  I have finally reached a point that I can attend things alone and not feel weird about it.

Today I was looking in the mirror and I was appreciating my skin.  It is surprisingly clear and not very wrinkled.  I really only have the cute wrinkles, like from smiling, laughing, and thinking too hard.  

I was fiddling with Picasa and figured out how...finally to watermark my pictures and re-size them.  Sometimes it is the timing of everything.  Learning a new system you just have to find the right sequence or "button" and then you think "Why did I ever think that this was so hard??"
We went out walking last weekend and this great old Filbert (that is Hazel nut, for you non-Oregonians) orchard turned arboretum.  First, it was a lovely sunny day in JANUARY!!  Then we lucked out and found this cool honeycomb/hive piece on a picnic table.  We thoroughly examined it and went our merry way.  On our way back around, the path went by this huge tree that had been cut down because of storm damage and there was a HUGE hive that was built inside of it.  There was still honey dripping from it.  It smelled divine.  I hope the bees made their way to a new home before it got cold.  It was so amazing, I hope that the pollinators have a better year of it this year.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day ELEVEN: Shoulders...

Shoulders, I've got broad shoulders and we don't need no stinkin' shoulder pads 'round here.  Thank goodness!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day TEN: Great Eyebrows...

Day TEN:  An ode to my great eyebrows...
You are so bushy, 
and expressive.

You point down
when I get depressive.

You were unruly,
'til I learned to tame you,

You were a mono, but 
with agile tweezers, are now two.

I thank you now 
and every day,

Thanks to you my every thought and 
emotion are on display.

This talent for verse is one of the many reasons my mom always said "It is nice that you are so good at math." But this is MY blog and I will rhyme if I want to!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day NINE: Still kickin'...

Day NINE:  I am still not feeling so great, but that is not what this is about.  Today was cold.  The boys and I were visiting some friends and there was bike riding, some daredevil stunts on a scooter, basically a good time was had.  Did I say that it was cold?  It was.  I am thankful for my EXCELLENT circulation, I was able to watch many races and still feel my fingers afterwards.  Good Times.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day Eight: "Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things"...

Day Eight:  I like that President Obama, referred to the "makers of things", in his speech today, as the people who helped bring our country to prosperity.  No where in his speech did he say the "buyers of things have made our country what it is today".  Is this something that we had forgotten, in our race to spend our way back in to a "healthy economy"? We, Americans, are makers of things.  We do not simply need to subcontract to the cheapest source of labor or use the cheapest source of goods.  We need to make things, not just money, we need a product.

Today, I am so very thankful for my hands and their ability to create something out of parts. Make dinner, make a quilt, it is all the same, the whole is more than the sum of it's parts.   I think that each one of us has this ability and we just need the confidence to try, and then the fortitude to try again or try something new when the first attempt looks ridiculous.

This part that follows is also one of my favorites...I really like that he referred to our "curiosity" and "imagination" in the address.  Those are two of the most vital things I try to cultivate in my boys...sometimes it is a bit much, but it will take them far in life 

"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day SEVEN: Stomach flu...ewwww

Day SEVEN:  Don't like to be sick, but happy that I am still alive.  Better's hoping!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day SIX: The mind is tired, yet the body remains strong!

Day Six:  On the family walk today, I was so tired, so tired....but my strong, sure feet carried me to the end.

Picasa play day...  Collage.
Fun, don't you think? 

From my favorite monkey came this sweet, sweet package!  Two little quiltlets, a house that I am ready to move into today, and "my favorite things", Horses and an abundance of birds.  I love and loved all of it....from the Greeting stamp to the alphabet card with a "J"....but most of all the quilts that were done with so much care.  Katy noticed that I favorite-ed (on flickr) the house quilt and so she made me this bonus one.  What a pal!   I also love that she chose such cool fabrics, some that I had never seen before.  There is no better way to win the heart of a fabric hoarder, I mean collector, than to give her some lovely bits in a finished quilt.   I am a blessed quilter.

Note:  My quilt from yesterday started out from the bizarre log cabins in the middle with the pointy hats, I think that I am going to make many more house-ish projects before I am ready to move on.  I just keep making things that look like that.  I used Kona cottons for all the colors and the white-ish color is Jo-ann's quilter's cottons in Parchment.  I have not liked some of the weights of Joann's solids...but Crazy Mom uses, a LOT of it, so I thought to give it a try.  It is really nice and is white enough, but not too white.   I am sold.
Peace to you today!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 5: Still sad about a TV show...

Day 5:  I have strong eyes..20/15...even though I wear glasses.

I have been experimenting, with Picasa and in the quilting studio the last 2 weekends.  Here is the top that I finished today complete with an experimental slide show.  My monthly quilt swap challenge, for January is working with solids and Gee's Bend inspired theme.  This top is what happens when I get carried away with my twin tiny quilt to keep.  I really love this palette, it is not one I usually use and I think that all the colors look really "glowy" to me.  I like when that happens. (as you can see I had a hard time finding a way to photograph it will my husband napped and the kids watched "Wow, Wow, Wubbzy"...gotta love a lazy Saturday.)  I also got my 6am chair quilt all sandwiched and started quilting it.  I decided to wait until it is finished for the grand reveal.  It is a large wall quilt, but it will get finished FASTer than if I make it larger. Right now, I am not willing to shelve another half-finished project.  I am about getting it out there and getting on to the next more lingering indecision, there are too many quilts that I need to make.

I have to say that the death of Claire McLeod (fictional character) has made me so sad.  I feel utterly ridiculous about being this attached to a character, but I think that I identified a lot with her.  Seriously, I have been thinking of things that she could have done different so that the Ute wouldn't have gone in to that gully.  Very sad.
Ahhh, the dark days of winter.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day FOUR: Claire McLeod Dies???? BUMMER!

I have strong arms.  Strong enough for the lifting and carrying of stuff, but still soft enough for the comforting of growing boys.
I just watched the episode when Claire dies...I feel totally ripped off, just when Tess had found out that she didn't have cancer and Alex was going to propose.  Why couldn't we have had her around a bit longer?  Can't shows have a "happy" couple of episodes?  Why do Meg and Terry get to stay in love and be it just because they are "old"?  Why? Why? WHY?!!! 

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I like my perfectly, imperfect, slightly crooked teeth.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day TWO: Electric boogaloo!

I like that my baby toe has a nail and is straight!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Let's try something new...Day ONE:

January 2, 2009
Hi friends,
I want to share this little cutie.  It was the December swap of our partner's 5 favorite things for this group.  Katy picked Robots, Red, Snowflakes, Houses and Woodland Creatures.  I had a wonderful time after Christmas hand quilting this while watching "McLeod's Daughters". (I am so addicted to that show...luckily I still have 4 more years worth of shows to watch!  I would also post a link, but I am concerned about seeing any spoilers.  No.  No. NO!)  I am starting to like hand quilting more and more.  I love doing the smaller projects by hand especially.

On to the meat of the post:

I am deep in the thralls of self-loathing.  Specifically, I have been saying a lot of mean things to myself about my physical self.

Not a good plan.  
Not who I want to be, and not what I want to hear.  

As a positive project, I am embarking on a daily positive thought about my body this month...maybe I can end on Valentine's day??  This can be my valentine to myself...
I think this is a better plan.

Day 1:
I like that I am 6 feet tall.

Feel free to participate if this is an issue for you too...there is entirely too much negative self-talk going around, I have heard it.  You don't have to post it publicly, you could even just make a list on an old piece of notebook paper and keep it in your night table drawer.  I am hoping that I can get back on track with finding the things that I like about my body instead of just focusing on what I don't like.  Join me!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Better late than never...the learning curve is proving to be steep...

Messenger bag
Tea cozy
OK, for those of you who are die-hard mac users...I salute you.  I am trying really hard, really I am.  But today, January 7 is my first post of the year, because I am getting so bogged down in the photo programs on this silly mac.  I tried iphoto and had a really hard time finding things and then if I wanted to adjust anything it was daunting.  (how can I trash pictures that are ugly with out doing it during a slide show?)  I was so annoyed...because really I want the computer to do all of my thinking for me...and just let me be creative the WAY that I want to be creative, WHEN I WANT TO!  I downloaded Picasa tonight and I had a much easier time with that interface.  It still seems like there are many copies of the same thing still...but I was able to catch up on my 365 project through mid November and SO I am a bit less cranky.

I am still trying to figure out how to make my pictures smaller so I can post them to the blog directly from the computer (this time I went through Flickr, because it was something I knew how to do.)  I think that I will get Photoshop and that might help too.  (I was kind of learning to use it before the switch.)  The worst part of all of this frustration is seeing my poor husband cringe when I go ON AND ON... he really just wanted me to be un-tethered and free to live my Web 2.0 lifestyle.

Honey, it is going to be OK.  I am just a big baby and I am trying to learn to walk here...  give me a chance and I will try to whine less.

Whine less...I guess that is my big profound message today folks.

I did want to share two of my favorite projects that I made for Christmas for each of my sisters.  They are both a wool felt applique on 2 everyday objects that I hope my sisters will use and enjoy.  The dog is a silhouette of Sadie, RebaStar's chocolate Lab-Pitt mix.  She is a great dog and they all got to stay with us over the holidays.  When I crashed the day after Christmas, she was able to occupy my oldest son with a marathon game of Monopoly.  He was so proud that he won, due to investing in Boardwalk and Park Place and building hotels.  "Mommy, I never bought on that side of the board before."  You are moving on up, little man!

The messenger bag was for Miss M and to be honest, I am not sure that she will use it... mostly because it isn't from American Eagle or some other ridiculous corporate store....but hopefully someday she will look at it and realize that it is WAY COOL and her older sister ROCKS!

I think that this is about enough for today...  Maybe tomorrow or the next day I will be feeling more deep and profound.  I did pick a word for this year...and did I tell you, that I think it is going to be a doozy??  Good and all, but a doozy!