Project on hold.

ImageWell, I got all my pieces cut out and started sewing them together. It only took two rows to know that I miscalculated the amount of triangles needed and I was going to need more fabric. Sigh. I went ahead and sewed the triangles into pairs and ordered more fabric yesterday, which I’m hoping might come tomorrow and I can get back to working on this. I expect lots of cutting in a my future. And I thought I was done with the bit. Ah well.

Further proof that I am far from perfect.

Since I had the extra time, I spent yesterday doing my Weekly album. I had stopped halfway through Week 11 (March 10 to 16, I go Monday through Sunday to keep the weekends together). I’m happy to say that I got it all caught up yesterday. A few weeks only had enough pictures for a single spread so I’m sure that was part of the reason why I got done so fast. Today, I spent catching up my photoblog. Again, missing more pictures than I would like. I’ve fallen off the “daily photo” habit.

New Project.

I’ve been working on getting stuff started/done that I have been putting off from fear of messing them. So far, I haven’t had any disasters with any of my projects. My current project is a quilt that I have wanted to make for most of last year. I even bought the fabric during a sale right before Christmas. So it’s only took me until the last day of March to get started. I have to say that’s better than my other neglected projects.

 

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Fat quarter stack before I cut into it.

I have all the pieces cut out (I think) and started playing with the layout yesterday. I’m still not sure what the final design will be but I’m not stressing too much over it.

Action cutting shot.

Cutting set up.

I’ll be laying out the pieces again (I had them on the living room floor, only spot big enough) after I get my Easter cards made for family and friends.

Birthday card.

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Sister M’s birthday card

My older sister M turned 39 on Tuesday so I made her this card (above). Pattern paper, kraft card from Paper Source. Flower I made by inking over ugly patterned Prima flowers and stacking them together with a brad. Stamps (“happy”) from Michaels, Stickers (“birthday”) from BasicGray. Envelope made from a Paper Source shopping bag because I didn’t have any in the size I needed.

We also sent flowers to her job and a present to my mom’s house (since someone is usually there during the day).

Do – Part 2

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Carved stamps.

I’m still working through my collection of “STUFF IN UNOPENED BOXES” that we either moved here with or received in the past four years. When (and if) we buy a house, anything we don’t need or use is going. I’ve started now by putting some superfluous kitchen stuff in the closet and purging my clothes last December, but there’s a long way to go.

Two birthdays ago, my fabulous friend sent me a stamp carving kit and various other stuff from my birthday wish list. Unfortunately, everything sat in a bin until last month. I even had bought a book (Carve, Stamp, Play: Designing and Creating Custom Stamps) this past October. I didn’t want to mess up. There was also the sharp carving tools and I’m a klutz. I could just imagine the copious amounts of blood I’d be donating to the Stamp Carving Spirits. I knew it would be bad. I just KNEW! 

Turns out, I was off a bit on the danger zone part (just ever so slightly!). Sure, the blades are sharp but I’ve yet to cut myself and, if I haven’t managed it yet, then cutting oneself probably isn’t a huge threat.

Stamp carving is messy but I’ve enjoyed every minute. I carved pretty much every assignment in Carve, Stamp, Play and even made two monograms (DH’s idea). My first big mistake was on the first butterfly I carved (maybe stamp #5 or #6). I carved off what should have been the edge of a wing. Ah well. I finished carving it out and then tried again the next day. I cut the butterfly with the missing wing in half and tossed out the mistake. All gone.

I’m thinking I’ll be dragging it all out again later today. I was going to go shopping for my sister’s birthday present but the complex we live in is getting power-washed and our front door was taped shut when I tried to leave earlier. (Seriously!) I could use the back door, I suppose, but I don’t think I should take up repelling from the deck on bedsheets. I’m lame. What can I say. Three stories is a long way to fall.

I’m getting the hang of this whole USE OR GO thing. I’m looking around and thinking “do we really need that?” DH would probably say “NO!” unless I was talking about the TV. I have way more stuff than I need and way more stuff than DH. First step is admitting there might be a problem. Second step, fiddle around a bit with what could be solutions or just a great way to waste a few days. Three, send stuff to family and friends so it’s no longer in the house and now their problem. (Plus, they get snail mail that isn’t a bill or election fliers; thereby, making their day.) And, if you find out you really did need XYZ, they can send it back.

Baby steps, right?

Do.

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Leo Kit from Miniature Rhino.

Since the start of the month, I’ve been focusing more on actually following through with stuff that I wanted to do or try or use. I have quite a collection of things just sitting around because I’m afraid to ruin, waste or mess something up. I finally realized that I was missing the point and decided to make myself open those boxes and start playing. I have a mental ultimatum when we move I had better have opened the box or it’s going to the thrift store. No excuses accepted. (Except for our wedding china because we don’t have a place to put it and I’m not kidding.)

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Leo Kit from Miniature Rhino. (Before!)

First to go was the Leo Kit from Miniature Rhino (an Etsy store) that my best friend M sent me for my birthday last summer. Yes, it’s been sitting in its package looking forlorn and unloved since then. My reasoning was simple: I would suck at this. Then I thought, of course, it might sort of suck because I haven’t embroidered anything since I was in Girl Scouts – a long time ago, but that’s not the point. I really wanted this kit and there I was not using it. What’s the point of asking for something and hoarding it until I was ready for perfect? Perfection just doesn’t exist. If it does, I have yet to make its acquaintance.

Along with the screen printed fabric, he kit came with a piece of black fabric for practice, a 4-inch embroidery hoop, needle and skein of floss. I had some problems getting any sort of french knot but thanks to Google I found a fabulous video From the World of Cross Stitching on YouTube that helped me figure out my french knot-making issues. (Go Me!)

Is it perfect? No. You can see for yourself that my first attempt at embroidery in adulthood was far from perfect, but I had a fabulous time doing it and wasn’t that the whole reason for the gift to begin with? (The correct answer is YES!).

I’ve spent the last few weeks playing with all sorts of other hoarded presents with mixed results but I’ve enjoyed every mistake. I was having too much fun to stop and blog about it.

I’ll be sharing some of the other projects later. Off to mess stuff up now.

Progress.

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From my in-progress Safari West album. Most of the digital kit is from Menagerie Bundle By Studio Sherwood (http://shop.scrapbookgraphics.com/Menagerie-Bundle.html). Bits and pieces from DesignerDigitals.com. Fonts: Garamond, CK Ali’s Writing. Photos by me.

I’m making progress in some things. My focus/goals this week (and last week) were to keep working on the Safari West day-trip album I’m creating for my in-laws. I don’t have any hard deadlines for finishing so I’ve been averaging a layout or two a day, which is fine with me. I’ve found that when I try to rush through something like this, I make mistakes and end up hating the results. I’d rather take lots of little breaks for walks or to do something else for a bit. Scrapbooking stays fun that way. If I pushed myself with layouts and deadlines, I’d hate scrapbooking.

Workout-wise my progress has been stagnant. I feel like I’m missing some enjoyment with getting sweaty – Not that I’ve ever been a girl that liked being sweaty and gross. I’m thinking that February will see me going back to the gym. I’ve been putting it off because I’d rather just workout at home and get it over with, but, if I’m honest, I’ve missed the stairmaster and the row machines. But at the gym are annoying people talking on their cell phones too loud or leaving their gear in the aisles. And I have to get in the car and drive there. I’ve still been working out 5 to 6 days a week and getting in a good long walk in the afternoons, but I’m getting bored with my DVD collection and think I need to change it up a bit. I’ve added more yoga to my workouts… even on days I don’t feel like taking the time, I always feel so much better after I finish a practice. Now, if I could only feel that way the rest of the workout, I’d be almost loving it.

I’ve even managed some progress in the kitchen. (I am not someone who loves cooking or baking or being in the kitchen at all. I know how to cook I just don’t want to do it. There I said it.) But I cooked twice this week, on the same day! (Go me!) On Wednesday, I made myself black bean soup from scratch for lunch. It was pretty good but I tweaked the recipe with a bunch of spices, probably should have taken notes. I think next time I’ll puree it longer to break up the bean skins more but overall it turned out good. I also made a three-bean chili for Thursday night. The recipe suggested letting the chili sit for a day for the flavors to meld and, I think, it made a difference in the end product. DH gave it his approval, which is good because he was concerned when I told him it was vegetarian and  there’s quite a bit leftover. If he hadn’t liked it, I’d be having it for lunch everyday for about two weeks. Probably freezes well though. Hm.

Accomplishing stuff.

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I took everything out of the lower cabinets today for a sorting and rearranging session.

First off, let me apologize for the crappy picture. It’s not my finest work but you get the gist. Now, let’s move on.

I make a list every year of stuff that I’d like to accomplish and post it somewhere visible. This list usually gets lost after the first few days and everything I planned on doing gets forgotten in favor of Law & Order marathons or curling up with a book. (Both of these things are worthy time wasters and shouldn’t be mocked at all.)

This year, I decided to change tactics and didn’t bother to write anything down so there was nothing for me to loose a week into the new year. Problem solved. Go me! Now this might sound surprising but I’ve managed to get all my (mental) plans for the past week crossed off. Maybe I found a system that works for me.

Monday – After my usual Monday stuff (cleaning bathrooms, laundry, and errands), I sorted out the pantry, tossing out anything expired, inedible or unwanted. I found that I had two separate vacuum containers with whole wheat flour and two more of sugar (all half full). So I dumped them together, freeing up spaces and two vacuum containers for other things. Awesome.

Tuesday – I finished my project life album for 2013. I was waiting for DH to go back to work and pictures from friends and decided to just get it done and off my desk. Last year, took 3 albums so I’m planning on digitally scrapbooking this year and printing a book out at the end. I’m planning on scanning whatever stuff I collect and adding it to the pages. Anything important will be put in a envelope in the back.

Wednesday – I started scrapbooking our day-trip to Safari West with DH’s parents for their 50th wedding anniversary.

Thursday – DH worked from home so I didn’t sort through the kitchen cabinets as planned but did more scrapbooking instead. More fun anyway.

Friday (today) – I took pants I bought DH for Christmas that he hated. (My fault for trying something new!) I treated myself to three pairs of new jeans. I drove by three homes in three towns to see if we would want to tour them this weekend. After all that, I still managed to sort through the cabinets and reorganize everything. Of course, we’ll find a house now and all the hard work won’t matter. Ah well.

Overall, I think I should get a few stickers, gold stars preferably, or a nice dinner. Hm. I’m sure DH will be game. I need to figure out my list for next week. Anyway, I should be scrapbooking.