Monday, January 28, 2013

Valentine Chocolate

Yeah, I know it's early, but February is nearly here and I was ready to whip up some new Valentine decorations. While sorting fabric, I found delicious colors for these two projects. Warm brown and caramel colors contrast nicely with batik reds for a table runner called Valentine Chocolate. A few half square triangles, squares and strips made it quick and easy. I just love how it looks on my kitchen counter.

Another simple project, One Heart, is an adorable door hanging for my mother-in-law. Since she doesn't see very well, I thought the black and white background would contrast well with the bright red heart. Neither project took very long to design or to finish, so I'm headed back to the sewing room to keep my creativity flowing and my fingers busy.

Useful Notion: February is the month of love, hearts, lace, and chocolate, with some bubbly wine and a few snow flurries thrown in for good measure. Enjoy it!

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Shiny Red Mustang Convertible

Did I forget to tell you I got one for Christmas? It's parked in our barn, waiting for sunny warm spring days. My friends know I am passionate about sports cars, particularly shiny red ones. I love the rumbling purr of a big V-8 engine while driving down country roads with the wind in my hair as I smoothly shift that racy 6-speed manual transmission. A dream come true, since I really missed my '94 Camaro.

Except this dream is a little different. It's true that I'll have the wind in my hair, but I won't be on a country road. I'll be mowing the grass at Ireland Acres with the Troy-bilt Mustang RZT that we bought from my late father-in-law's estate.

Sorry, I couldn't resist the temptation to lead you on for a minute. I've been thinking about a Mustang for a while now...I probably should have specified a Ford.

“Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.” - Wise old saying

“If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.” - Mario Andretti

Monday, January 14, 2013

January Kick-Starts My Creative Mind

My brain has been in overdrive lately, coming up with ideas for new craft projects. I've made lists, notes, and sketches for clothing, quilts, bags, sweaters, and home decor. Everything I see triggers another brainstorm and my magazines are full of sticky notes. Sewing and crocheting relax me (except when I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea). I love the creativity of designing, the fun of choosing colors and supplies, and the satisfaction of completing an item that someone will use.

During the holidays I crocheted a simple vest that I named Carnival, and made a simple knit top to match it. Last week I finished a new granny square vest called Teal Then. I didn't have a pattern, just started crocheting and designed it as I worked. With the warm weather we've been having in Tennessee, I hope I get to wear them more than once or twice. 

Teal Then
January also makes me want to clean, get rid of clutter, and organize. It must be all those magazine articles, or possibly a side effect of taking down Christmas decorations. Whatever the reason, the result is a neater house. And I find things I knew were here somewhere. So far I've tackled two closets, the pantry, the laundry room and several drawers. In the sewing room, I put away bits and pieces from end of year projects, filed magazines, and sorted fabric. I'm sure a trip to the Goodwill donation drop-off is in my future.

Oh, and yesterday I sewed a cute black and hot pink wallet for my mama.

“A design isn't finished until somebody is using it.” --Brenda Laurel

"Anyone who has ever cleaned out a closet and taken stuff to Goodwill knows how liberating it is.  You feel lighter, your mind feels clearer." --Cecile Andrews

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ready For A New Start

Rowdy        1999 - 2012
I am definitely ready for a new year. The past two months have been a blur. I experienced sadness, stress, and frustration mixed with moments of sweetness, friendship, love and reflection. I put one foot in front of the other and got necessary things done. 

On the last day of the year, our sweet old Rowdy dog left us to go run through the fields of doggie heaven.

After such an unsettling finish to 2012, my resolutions for 2013 are simple.

  • Live in the now
  • Keep special memories
  • Enjoy life every day
  • Do things that bring happiness
  • Focus on what matters most
  • Avoid negativity
  • Choose my own path
  • Accept what is
  • Listen to what life has to say 
  • Time is precious, so use it wisely 
  • Aspire for balance between being, having, and doing

Resolutions should be like a mission statement.  Refer to them as you go about your life and decide if what you're doing or thinking fits your current mission.  Whatever doesn't fit, doesn't get into your life. 


If your thoughts are mostly in the past or on the future, 
  you cannot enjoy the present.” – Author Unknown 

The first thing in all progress is to leave something behind.” – George MacDonald 



1930's accountability Accuquilt adapt addiction adjust adventure advice affirmations amazing antiques attitude autumn baby quilt balance be yourself beach beauty birthday blessing bliss BlockBase Blue Wren breathe brightness camping card trick cat challenge change chevrons chips & salsa chocolate choice Christmas closet clothes clutter coffee color contentment cooking crafts crazy creativity crochet decorating design designs distraction DIY downsizing drama dreams energy EQ8 exasperating people excitement expectations fabric fall family feed sack festivals flexibility flour sack flowers flying geese Flynn Quilt Frame focus fool free spirit freedom fun furniture garden Granny Hill Granny Rose grateful gratitude Halloween happiness hexagon imagination independence insight inspiration intuition inventory Janome joy just for today karma laughter lemon pepper lessons letting go life lists little things loose ends love magic Memorial Day memories Mother's Day motivation NASCAR nature opportunity organizing paradise passion patience peace perception perspective positive energy productivity quilt quilting quotes reflection refresh relaxation remnant renew resilience resolutions responsibility retro routines satisfaction scraps sewing sewing machine simplicity simplify snow solitude Southern traditions spring st. patrick's day stitching strawberries stress sugar sack summer sunshine thankful Thanksgiving Thoughts tropical prints useful valentine vintage waiting weather winter wisdom wishes yard sales