Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life, books, scraps

I think we've got it!

  I found a great size and format for the scrapbooks for my kids.

It is a small album,  journal pages are 6 x 8.  It comes with dividers and lots of pocket options.  It is called Simple Stories, is made in Canada, and is available right at the local shop!  I'm tickled!

The girls are settling into the routine and are finding their style and stride.  The reorganizing is working well.

They inspire me as much as I help them.  When life gives us scraps; we make books about life!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

wow working

The first wow, although they aren't on my worktable, is my peonies.  Good thing I decided to cut and bring this first lot into the house because...

we got seriously hit with wind, rain and hail very shortly thereafter.  I won't be watering the garden nor working in the flowerbeds any time soon.  whoa!  Can you see the water on the new field of oats in the background?  :O   And I thought the mosquitoes were bad before.  Now the field ones will be arriving to visit their city cousins!  :(

I have become aware that fabric stashes have nothing on paper and ephemera!  oy!   It has settled into and overflowed about five spots so I need to find a plan to contain and have them readily accessible.

And I think stamps are closely related to bunny rabbits.  Talk about multiply!  I didn't even open the deep drawer at the bottom which has stamp making material.  I just learned this week about hot moldable foam which should surface from where I've hidden it soon! lol  But do notice I have two empty drawers!   Some sub category will be getting its own space.  ;)

One snag to having a clean work surface every night has been the pages and pages of mixed media that needs drying.  I awoke with an image of unused real estate in my playroom.  The Rooster had added legs to support the leaf extension on my worktable.  These very old Ikea chests have lovely shallow drawers but they don't quite come to the edge of the tabletop.  I hung a clothes line!  Three cheers for dreaming!  Creatively!!!   These are the pages of the butterfly book the girls and I are working on for Creativity 101. They are gonna be so impressed when they come today.  lol

Today is scrap booking and I have a bit more sorting to do.  I am pleased to see like grouped with like.  I am also finding stuff I'd forgotten about which is why I need to group things.  I am determined to put a moratorium on shopping for a while. sheesh!  

The work table is getting cleared and hopefully every night it will be clear.  Under the work table is becoming organized.  I'm a piler so I am trying to eliminate places to pile and have a drawer system that is the easiest for me to actually use.  The games I play but hopefully they work.  ;)  That would really be a WOW!

hmmmm?  Now I'm wondering why I can't have peonies on my worktable!   lol

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Second time around!

Finished up the last section just before the downpour!  There are some areas that need editing but the Rooster got all the way around.  One night the mosquitoes had him quite irate as he scratched and surveyed the weeds returning where he had started early in the month.  oops!  But he is happy with his progress.  I am following up by starting over.  I get the smaller but newer weeds out and then I shop the outer edges of the yard for plants to fill in the spots. This lets nature take back the outer limits where we are losing the battle and fills in the blank spots where I can manage them.  I'm actually giving them a second chance! :)

So far I can report that the end and the beginning look good! The middle does have its moments though.  ;)

          The peonies survived the wind and the rain so I'm hopeful that the show is forthcoming.

I'm a bit late trimming the deadwood but the roses are beginning to break forth as well.

These columbine self seed and I'm never sure where they will present themselves.

The dill weed is almost a weed!  And the straw flowers continue to spring up in colourful arrangements.

Not so pleasing is what our big dog does to the raised bed at the house.  He never did this before but age and the dreaded mosquitoes and ticks may be making his life a misery.  This was once shaded and I'd hoped for cool water pools and hostas.  The tree began to bang on the house so we removed it and establishing smaller trees and a bit further out has been a challenge.

The  Rooster and I are conferring on a creative solution.  He wants to pile on big boulders.  awk!  Not the look I was going for even though my reflecting pool and rock garden fizzled.  Darn dog!  lol  A few days ago I bent down to smell some flowers in a raised garden in town.  I started wondering how I could get some flowers up to nose level.  !!!  If we made this a raised shelf and put big container plants on it I could even sit down to smell. ;)  The water hose is right there!  Ta da!  A great idea is born and the Rooster is happy to set those few boulders under a flat deck and not manhandle others.  The details are to be worked out and the project is added to this fall's list.  This area has been awaiting renewal for a while.  We have a week to fine tune these beds and then on to building a new clothesline,  fixing the fence, and tackling the barn which are next on the list.  The Rooster is hoping to do things well so that there won't be a 'second time' for these projects.  After all, we'd like to smell the roses, and the peonies, and the...

Monday, June 24, 2013

I will, I will not.

 Once upon a time I had some control over my life.  The Rooster crowed once and left for work at 6:00 am and returned at 6:00 pm.  The day was mine. :)  Not so now. :(  The Rooster still crows, leaves for work, and returns.  But some of my chickies have returned at various times as well and the youngest is now back in the coop  with his girlfriend.  They need a little TLC before they can fly again.  My time is not my own and I have had to admit my stamina is not what it once was.  I do need my 8 hours of sleep, a healthier diet and some warm up stretches if not some kind of exercise program.  :o  I need to get some control back and the choice is mine.

 Since I am now willing to accept this as the new normal I have decided some things.  i.e. -  I will grow up, act my age, set an example, etc.!  ;)

I will look ahead and accept that there are things I cannot change.  What is, IS.  I will not look back and moan for what I only imagine could be better and probably wasn't.  Hopefully I can learn from my mistakes. I do want to focus on what is, not what was nor what could be but NOW.
I will manage my endorphines.  I will not waste creative productive opportunities.  Sound confusing?  Well, I discovered that reorganizing, planning, and beginning bright new ideas makes me high. I luv that feeling.  But then I come down hard when it is time to actually do it and I am dismayed that I somehow lost that 'luving feeling'!  I will begin to put off short term pleasure for long term gain. Btw, that is my Rooster's mantra! ;)

I will continue to simplify and sort. Clutter confuses and distracts.  But I will not loose focus, climb on the endorphine train, and derail! I'm a great starter but not a great finisher.   Hark, do I hear my longsuffering Rooster crowing.  Half way through a creative curve he will straighten up, look me in the eye and say, "You've done it to me again, this is NOT what we are supposed to be doing!".  He is very focused unless I razzle dazzle him with my fancy feather movements!  lol 

I will use a timer.  I will not write out elaborate schedules, plans, or timetables with colour coded papers, pens and stickers.  Okay, the stickers are an exaggeration but you get the idea. :o   I will figure out how much time I have most days for work and play. I will figure out the best time to do things.  I will not do what I want, I will do what is best.  I have been known to pick cleaning, which is my happy place where I day dream about what if..., rather than do something I'd rather not do.  The only list I will attempt is a time log for what I did in hopes of improving and focusing. I will set the timer and try some discipline.

I will have reasonable expectations.  I will not be fooled that writing down my to-do/wish list means by some magic it has been or will be done.  I am an optimist.  I am married to a realist.  Surely something has rubbed off on me and I could become an optimistic realist.  lol 

I will commit to a general (realistic) plan.  I will not get bogged down in la la land embellishing the landscape!  :(   Five things!  Simple priorities! One big project a month.  Hardest thing first. Clean up worktable every night. Finish something!

I will get back to basics and a good balance.  I will not clutter things up nor complicate things. 

I will use my supplies and purchased classes.  I will not buy more supplies nor more classes. 

 I will manage my time.  I will not waste it.  I will find out what works for me.  I will limit some things.

I will DO it!  I will!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

wow, organized or what!

This is not what this worktable looked like 24 hours ago!  But I was, pant, pant, ready for Creativity 101 by the time the girls showed up.

The Rooster added the rods and made the box for the last bookshelf.  I had decided to put all the mixed media supplies in that last bookshelf and that meant moving all the fabric that was grouped for future projects.  I had started rearranging fabric but the Rooster felt it was much easier to take the top boxes down and work on the floor Monday night.  It was but I had to empty them.  :O

The worktable got some extra support with two legs on the end corners.  The ironing board still needs to be put inside the closet door.  I found the Rooster's handy dandy chop saw while he was at work and I cut one more shelf and a divider for this bookcase and I think it'll be good now.   See.  I'm not totally helpless but the quality isn't up to Rooster requirements. 'sokay!
The Rooster mutters about how long before I'll change things again.  I'm hurt.  These are upgrades, not changes!  ;^)

I now have a helper on Tuesday afternoons and we purged and organized.  I would look at some fabric, remembering when and where and what for and wax nostalgic.  But the two questions that solved the dilemmas were- 1) Would I want a quilt from it?  And 2) Would anyone else?  Surprisingly my young gal okayed some. I did give her all the novelty fabric to sort and she commented that she could see some would indeed be hard to part with!  lol   I'm embarrassed by my excess but I am already feeling way lighter, freer and definitely happier. 

After she left it was up to me to bag and load the trunk of the car.  I'm sure the hood/nose is pointing slightly heavenward as if to say 'Really!'.  I did scoop up one or two, no more than half a dozen,  as a last moment reprieve.  I also forgot to edit the green fabrics which are squeezed into their allotted shelf.  oops! The main colours aren't stacked nicely but they are in their place.

Oy!  Now I need to organize all this side of the room which is for the wet stuff.  We need to find stuff easily and quickly.   Next worktable session is scrap booking but a lot of sorta wet stuff is also on this side of the studio like stamps and stencils.  How much better can it get?  :) 

I must remind the Rooster that it takes a lot to personalize a house to make it a home and that applies to my Coop and Saucer Playroom as well! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

In the mood

 The fore casted rain has been holding off but the dew this morning was very heavy.

The plants are all loaded with dew.

The Rooster was in the mood to weed Sunday night but the mosquitoes drove him in finally.  The wood ticks have also been very bad this year.  He is giving weeding till the end of June and then it is time to move on to The Projects!  :)  He has almost completed his initial pass around the circumference of the yard and is most interested in filling all the black areas to reduce future weeding. lol 

We moved the bench to the other sunnier side of the yard.  I/we are thinking a nice paved circle would be lovely in front of this bench and anchor it. The two small and rounded lilacs on each side and a nice  small sized tree off to one side but behind it will make a nice grouping.  And off to the left of the photo and deep under a shrub is where mama duck is in the mood to brood her eggs!  shhh, its a secret!

We were all in the mood for lunch in the veranda Sunday afternoon.  A little crowded but very pleasant.

While the Rooster was on his hands and knees in the yard I was in the mood to purge my fabric.  This is the rough sort.  I have 4 bags for the MCC quilters.  I just asked myself if I'd want a quilt from the fabric in question or do I even know someone who would.  Folk art??? I have come a long way, baby!  lol The boundaries for my fabric will be this shelving unit and a matching one with projects to the right of the sewing machine.  My neutrals are still to be moved from the closet. hmm, I might just switch all the fabric to the sewing machine wall and put the beads, buttons and thread on that end wall.  Tonight the Rooster will hang my new rods for the white curtains which will be my design walls.  vbsigh  It feels good!  I was in the mood!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Flower power

 The chokecherries are done and the lilacs are in full flourish.  I do like that powerful smell.  Makes me think of walking to school way back when.  :)

These straw flowers have self seeded all over and I need to entice some over to the bare patch in the north east corner of the yard.  They can exert their power to self seed over there.

For some reason clematis seem to like my yard.  I need to redirect the one beside that lilac where it threatens to overpower that shrub and plant a few more throughout the yard.

But the real power is happening in the studio.  I pushed the bookcase into the closet and traded spots with  the nine compartment cubicle.  I edited the books and the cloth boxes.  I have one  stack and one bag so far for the thrift shop and one bag of garbage. whoo hoo!  The real power is arriving later in the day as the Rooster is taking some time from the yard to work on the studio 'to do' list!  Ah, the power of progress!!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


                                             I caught the sparkle!

Four girls for Creativity 101 and we were so busy I forgot to get finished photos of 2 anklets and one pair of earrings.  But after the three girls left we returned as I had visions of sparkles in my head.

                                April fine tuned her anklet and made a second.

                                                                      I made an anklet.

 Then I perfected the curve needed to attach the beads to the earring itself.

Since I was still seeing sparkles I finished up with a flourish and a matching bracelet.  When 'it' happens it sure feels darn good!