Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cold Feet in FL

My daughter was complaining to me in November that her feet are getting cold. She lives in Florida now, and was surprised how cold it will get there after dark in the winter months. So I started this pair of socks for her. I just wish I would have gotten them finished 6 hours earlier, so she could have taken them with her instead of me sending them now. But I was sidetracked by other things, and just did not meet my own deadline.
I wish I saved the yarn band for this yarn. I bought it back in February at the "Unwind A Bit" Yarn Store in Chillicothe, OH. I am not in that area very often, but must make a point of stopping by there every time I am in the area. I love their Berrocco selection. I also always find a very yummy sock yarn. At my last visit in November I found some nice Alpaca sock yarn which I gave to my daughter who is learning to knit her own socks now.

The New Year Comes With New Plans

I have not been very diligent in posting my achievements. I am sorry, I did not even take a picture of the Baby Quilt for my Nephew's Baby. Well, but they really loved the quilt.

So here are some plans I have for the New Year, because 2014 was a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of year. I don't like being disorganized and feeling like I am chasing my own tail all the time. So for 2015 Organization is my key word.

1. The whole work and home thing needs to be balanced. So I will get more organized with keeping up with my home, and not do these power cleaning sessions every weekend. One important step toward that is, to de-clutter my home. I looked carefully at my home the last few weeks, and saw that I have too much stuff I really don't love that much. So getting things out of the way will make it easier to keep everything clean and neat even after a long day at work.

2. I will get more organized with a healthy and balanced life style. I will make time to plan my menu and if need be cook ahead. A lot of times with the long work days we grab quick take out food. I would like that to be an occasional thing, not the norm. Nobody can feel good and energetic on take-out food. I will also make regular time for exercise. I already worked on this during the month of December, and can make time to go to my exercise room, and take some time to myself. I found out that I have my most creative thoughts while exercising. It is amazing how great ideas come to my mind once the blood flow is established.

3. I will make time to relax with some yarn and fabric. I just don't make time to sit and knit or quilt, because I feel guilty about all the other things that need done. A lot of times I get side tracked on Facebook too. So I will make the time and just relax with some "Fiber Therapy", renew  my spirit, and maybe get a project or two done.

4. I will also communicate more effectively on the Computer. Just getting caught up reading Facebook messages is not communication. So I will use my Computer time to communicate, not to waste time. After all, it is not very relaxing to read FB. But it is very relaxing and educational to read articles, or instructions on how-to do new knitting or quilting technique.

5. I will meet the deadlines on my CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for my re-certification. I get a CEU opportunity every 2 months and this year I will use all of them. Due to being so disorganized in 2014, I did not use them all, and feel quite guilty about it. So I will further myself professionally in 2015 by keeping up with the educational part.

Now I don't think my goals are too lofty or unattainable. I think with a little planning and discipline I should get a good handle on my issues. I will however keep up with my progress on here. This will keep me accountable, and perhaps someone has some hints or tips on how to improve on things.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A new quilt is in the making

I started a new project this week. It is a baby quilt for our Nephew and his lovely wife's baby. The little girl is supposed to be born in September 2014. Considering the speed I quilt, I better get moving, or the baby is going to be 5years old before she will get the quilt.

I am using the pattern "Center Square" by Karen Renaud. I found it in the Big Book of Baby Quilts. I wished I could have found the exact colors and fabrics as in the original pattern. But it was not in the Cards. But I do like my alternative that I found very much.

So far so good I am making good progress on the project. I decided instead of having marathon quilting sessions, I will just sit down for half and hour to an hour, and then go do something else. My biggest hindrance to quilting on a regular basis is, that I don't think I have enough time to sit down and sew a little. I need to get that in to my brain that it is OK to just sew for 15 or 20 minutes. I will make more progress on my projects in that short period of time than I make if I don't sit down to sew at all. But for some reason I have it in my brain that I have to be able to sit there for the next 3 hours in order to even consider getting started. Now that might be true if I was sewing at the dinner table and have to drag every thing out first. But I don't have to do that. I have a sewing area that is already set up and ready to go. I guess it is just a matter of letting go of perfectionism, and learning to enjoy the small increments of time to myself.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Log Cabin in Day!

Well, not quite. It is just the name of the pattern by Eleanor Burns. My day was 3 years long. But I am glad to have something new to post. It was a long time. But working full time and having a family is really getting in the way of my knitting and quilting time. Well, not really. We make time for what is important to us, and my family and work are quite important to me. But no matter, my quilt is done. I could not get a pic of the whole quilt, because it is so huge I have no surface to lay it out on.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I am keeping busy

I finally pinned my Log Cabin quilt yesterday evening. It is about 108x108 inches. I set the blocks into a star design. Now the only problem I have is, that I have no idea how to quilt it. I am planning on quilting it on my domestic machine, and already know, it will be a bear to wrestle through. I thought concentric stars would look great, but I am running in to the problem that the stars get distorted as they get smaller and larger. I thought about free motion quilting, but my quilt frame with the machine is too small for this quilt. I think free motioning a large quilt like this on my sewing table will not turn out great. My batting has to be quilted between 2-4 inches apart. I am trying to figure out some kind of straight stitching, because I think that would work the best. I will have to do some more thinking on that.

My sweater I am knitting has not been touched since I posted last. But I am planning on changing that today. I have so many knitting podcasts to catch up on. So I thought I could knit a few hours today, relax, and catch up. A cold front has moved in to our area again, and that makes of course perfect knitting weather. Also, I would like to get this sweater finished so I can wear it before it gets too warm for it. If I can get the body finished today, which is about 5 more inches, I think that would be great.

This brings me to a new endeavor I am starting. Like everyone else, I am trying to lose weight. I figure if I lose weight, and become skinny, my sweaters will knit up so much faster. I am not following a certain diet plan, because that just made me fail every time in the past. The "you are not allowed to eat this" approach is making me want the "forbidden" food even more. I tried a lot of diet plans, lost weight on them, but could not stick to them. Until I think, now it finally clicked. Not a diet, but a different lifestyle. So I have decided to do the "French Girls don't get fat" approach. I am controlling my portions, make good choices, and move more. I chose walking and strength training. I really enjoy Leslie Sansone's Walk away the pounds franchise. I have enough DVDs to keep it interesting and mixed up. On days I don't want to do her workouts, I have a Treadmill, exercise bike,  weight machine, rowing machine, Swiss ball, and assorted weights and stretch bands. So quite a home gym that I will use more now. I started on Friday with 195.1 lbs. and am down to 194.3 lbs. I know it is better to start weighing weekly, but I find it more motivating for me to weigh daily. This way I can make corrections when I see a gain or stand still, and I will catch it before it becomes too big. Now I know people say, "What about fluctuations?" Yes, that is mostly water you take on from eating too much sodium. But my theory is, if I see that fluctuation, I can counter act it by drinking more water, and flushing my system out. I will keep you updated how that is working out for me. But for my first week, I need to have special strength. I work in a doctor's office, and get take out lunch a lot from visiting drug reps. It is all very nice and good, but eating out gets old, and is nothing special anymore. My plan for this week is to bring my lunch from home. It is more calorie controlled that way. I just need  to be strong, and say "no thank you" when the menu comes around to me. I think it will be tough the first few weeks, but once I get control over my eating habits, I can start to take part of these lunches once a week, and make it something special again, rather than the norm.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Back to basics

I originally started this blog in order to have a sounding board for anything that moves me, and makes me tick. For some reason I just started posting about my crafts, but really not much about me or my life. I want to change this, and get back to the basics. I want a little of everything. After all, I am more than a crafter, and you really do not get to know me, until you know more aspects about me.

I have not been posting in a while, because I got busy and sidetracked, and really had not much to post about. But that is only because I have not given it much thought.

On the crafting line of things. My knitting is progressing nicely, and I will post some pictures here of my finished projects.  Currently I am knitting on a Cardigan, in one piece, with steeking. I thought it might be time to start learning that technique, and get over my fear of cutting in to my knitting. I will keep you updated on that.

My quilting is very slow, and even at a stand still right now. I don't know if I can blame the lack of time, or just not having the quilting mojo right now, because things in my quilt room are not going exactly the way I want them to. Murphy's Law has been hitting me left and right in this regard, and I am afraid to work on anything, because lately it is not working out well for me. Not to mention that I just have a hard time to make time for quilting, other than on retreat.

The lack of time brings me to my family. I am a little out of my comfort zone right now. My oldest daughter wants to move out, and all the way to Florida. Off course I have mixed feelings about these plans. I am excited for her, because I remember gaining my independence, and it was a very scary and exciting time for me. But I am also worried for her, because after all, she is my baby, and she is moving far away, and I can not be there to rescue her all the time. Naturally I want the best for my daughter. I want her to stay close to home. But I also know, she is 20 years old, ready to spread her wings, and she needs to soar. Not to mention she has to move away to a college with a good Psychology program in order to complete her degree. So you see how I am torn with my feelings about her plans. It is just difficult for me to accept the fact, she is a grown, young woman now, and  makes her own decisions. So I try to have a cheerful attitude, and try to support her as much as I can. After all, I done the best I can in raising her, she is a wonderful young woman, she needs to make her own way, and needs my support and prayers.

On the work front life is getting a bit busier too. My job responsibilities have multiplied. My co-workers are giving me the cold shoulder, and try to punish me for what they think is a great reward. I am a Certified Medical Assistant in a Family Practice. I am sorry I can not go into too much detail about my work, but I am sure everyone understands about confidentiality. Any way, my boss asked me to take on some more responsibility in addition to what I do on a daily basis in  order to improve the patients experience in our office. This means working a lot closer with the doctor, and my co-workers say they are OK with it, but their actions speak volumes to the contrary. So my days are a little more stressful. Not so much from the work load, because I have a pretty good system going, and very rarely stay late. Most of the time I am done with my work early and get to leave early. So needless to say, it was a no-brainer to accept the responsibility and trust my doctor is placing on me, and make this career move, and secure my position in the office by being more needed, due to the work I do. So now my co-workers, who used to be  good team players, are now giving me the cold shoulder.  This is not a reward by any stretch of the imagination, because I am working non-stop now, and have to plan my trips to the water cooler or bathroom very carefully, as to not get doctor behind schedule to see patients. But for some reason my co-workers see it as a reward. So I just have to weather out the storm, and hope the dust clouds will settle soon enough, and they will become the wonderful co-worker they used to be.