Thursday, December 31, 2009

reflections on one little word

one of my favorite photos of 2009 taken on a solo beach walk during a spring sunset.

I went to a crop at my LSS last night. I got SO many layouts done! And I splurged on some cute Valentine stamps and fun card making stuff. I'll post pictures in a bit. I am still on vacation from work but am wondering something. Why do I keep having stress dreams every night? A few nights ago it was a dream that my car got wrecked. Last night it was that I was missing important work deadlines, stressed at work and being disrespected. Why? I am excited for a New Year, new start. I have been organizing and purging junk at home. That usually makes me feel great and in control. Why the dreams?

2009 has been a series of tests and stressful issues that were out of my control. It all started just after New Year's with the apartment issue. That was awful. It forced me to focus on my "one little word" Simplify. I had to get rid of a lot of personal belongings. Organize. I didn't have access to all my art supplies and had to work with simple materials. The positive was that I began to truly appreciate a good night's sleep, I rejuvinated my interest in knitting and met a great group of women doing so and I learned to self advocate.

This summer was a challenge while Cary was gone for military training for 2 months. I re-learned how much I do like my own company though I missed him terribly. I enjoyed simple summer pleasures...sitting on my balcony, taking care of my plants, growing vegetable, reading, going to the beach and doing my art. I was able to again take pride in my home and nest.

This fall has been challenging with some medical issues with no easy solutions. Nothing life changing just frustrating. I learned how to listen to my body and mind. I learned again how to advocate. I learned to simplify my routine.

Now in the New Year I want to lighten up more. I want to worry less and focus more on the positive. Maybe that is what my dream was about? The dreams were kind of more about how I felt a lot in 2009. Stressed, not heard, too much out-of-control junk. I don't want those dreams to be my reality in 2010. I don't want stress and negativity to rent so much space in my mind. Life is short. My "one little word" for 2010 is going to be ENJOY. I want to enjoy my life. There will be frustrations and stress but they don't have to be bigger than my enjoyment of moments. I need to re-adjust the proportions. The glass needs to be half-full.

So here's to ENJOYING 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


knitted cell phone cozy

Today was productive! I didn't get as many things done yesterday as I wanted....but made up for it today. I am wierd and love taking time on staycations cleaning and organizing. So that is what I did.

My hall closets.
Coat closet.
Scrapping supplies.
Cleaned the shower and bathroom.
Under the kitchen sink.

Sad I know...
I'm a Virgo to the core.

But I also did some fun stuff. Knitting...the phone cozy. I activated my new phone last night and LOVE it! So much fun being able to text and look online without straining my eyes or scrolling through the number keypad. But realized that in my bag it will get all scratched and ruined. So I found this pattern on Ravelry and it took only a few hours and some scrap yarn. Speaking of scrap yarn...the pink yarn I had leftover was from a baby hat and booties I made for a friend's baby. She just had her a week ago and today I saw her first pictures...and she is wearing the hat! So excited for her...

Tomorrow I am planning on possibly food shopping and then going to a crop tomorrow night. Haven't been to one in so long.

I am really enjoying this vacation...

Which reminds me...I'm trying to think of my "one little word" for 2010 and I think it might be...


We'll see. I keep coming back to that word. It is the one word that I really want to add more of into my life. Less worrying. Less being frustrated. More enjoying.

Monday, December 28, 2009

monday gratitude and other things

little clay house I made as in art class as a child

Monday Gratitudes: I want to start with this. I was doing this weekly but got off track. It was such a positive way to start the week and change my mind set.

Today I am grateful for:
  • a beautiful Christmas.
  • being a kid again with video games.
  • a new art project to work on.
  • access to great art supplies and a little extra $ to buy them.
  • my friends.
  • dark chocolate.
  • a camera that although it is old, has lasted me so long and still works well.
  • red grapefruit.
  • the scent of pine.
  • birds.
  • my plants.
It is so nice being on vacation at home. I could get used to this. I love homemaking things. Cleaning, cooking, baking. This is good. I am enjoying my cup of coffee and watching a.m. tv and loving the sun coming in the window. Taking in the scent from the Christmas tree. A lazy a.m.Thought I am not good with a lack of plan and completely relaxing. I like to have things to do and look forward to - even on vacation. But for now I'm just waiting for Cary to get up. He works tonight so we get a little time together today. Yesterday we went to the mall and movies and saw Avatar. Absolutely amazing! I just kept imagining paintings and drawings seeing all the magical flowers and wings on the bird creatures. Beautiful and inspiring and thought provoking.

I have so many things I want to do on this week off. I usually do. I have my 7 Gypsies Printers tray calendar project to do. I might start that tonight. Also want to start knitting my sister some of the Bella Mitts I made. She asked me for a pair...also hoping to make it to my LSS crop this week. I have never been. I'm eagerly awaiting for some pictures in the mail. I ordered for Oct/Nov/and part of Dec. Didn't get some Dec pictures developed accidentally. They'll have to be in my next order.

Also have been completely regressing to childhood when I first played Super Mario Brothers. Cary got me a Wii and that game for Christmas! So fun. We have been playing and having so much fun....last night I also bought Animal Crossing. Seems kid-like and a little complicated but my boss loves it! And she is not a video game person.

So here's what is on my vacation agenda today:
  • Look through my new crockpot cookbook and find 2 recipes to buy for and make later this week.
  • Start assembling part of my printer tray calendar project.
  • Hopefully get my new cell phone in the mail and activate it! A great upgrade from my current phone...
  • drink my coffee slowly.
  • a walk? and or muscle conditioning at the gym.
  • Barnes & Noble for a wall calendar and 2010 organizer. And maybe a book to read.
  • Put my knitting needles in their new case and organize my knitting project basket a bit.
That's enough for today...I am an overplanner!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

vacation project and other stuff

Our tree. There is a story as to why we have a pumpkin under the tree. It is just the longest-lasting-Halloween-pumpkin-ever! We bought that in early October and it is still solid! So we feel badly throwing it away. I don't know how to make pumpkin pie that doesn't come out of a can...

This Christmas was another different one but so nice. Last year was the first year I wasn't living in my parent's garage apartment so I didn't get up at the crack of dawn and open gifts with everyone. Cary and I went over later in the morning. It was nice...but different. This year he had to leave for work at 6:30am unfortunately. So another different Christmas. He and I celebrated and opened gifts on Christmas Eve day. On Christmas morning I went over to my families house after he left for work. So it was almost like it was as a kid. It was nice to feel like Christmas stretched out over a few days instead.

I'm on vacation this week and loving it! 9 more days...
Yesterday I went to my LSS and picked up a few things for a project with some Christmas gift money...and received a $20 coupon in return! Good deal...I'll be back there this week :)

Anyhow I was eyeing this...

and saw a store sample where it was turned into a calendar. Perfect! I just took down the one I made at a class there last year. So I bought some basic neutral supplies....

And I plan on doing each months's square differently while all using the basic neutral base. Adding colorful, meaningful details. Probably using some of the papers and embellishments I have been getting in my Cocoa Daisy kits. I am looking forward to working on this during the week. And it is the sort of project that while it is hanging up in my kitchen I can add to it during the year if I find something that fits it.

Today I am looking forward to spending some much needed time with Cary. He has been working 12+ hour shifts for the past few days. We plan on going to the movies and maybe dinner. And the mall to pick out a new Wii game or two. Last night I met some old high school friends and a local bar and had so much fun chatting. Two of the girls live out-of-state and I hadn't seen them in years.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

merry christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009


I was crafty on my snowday yesterday. I finished one layout with my December Cocoa Daisy kit. Still need to add the journaling at the top right though. I really am loving getting those kits. It has also cut down on my supply spending and simplified the whole process. I actually scrap more with them. Instead of sitting at my desk overwhelmed with choices I have been taking out the kit and a few other supplies and just working. I had originally bought a 3-month membership for my birthday in Sept but I continued if for another 3 months. I think I will keep it going.

I also knitted this weekend and finished 2 really quick projects. A chunky cabled cowl and hat. I keep seeing these chunky cowl's in stores like the Gap for $30 - $40. Well...this one was one ball of yarn for $5! Nice quality yarn too - Sirdar Big Softie. The hat took 2 balls. So the entire set was made for $15. And it took a day to knit. Can't beat that! Excuse the terrible self-taken shot of me with messy hair. Plus I am not the best "hat person!"
Anyhow...I've been in a funk last night and this a.m. Not sure why. But they say "you choose your attitude." So I'm going to choose to be in a better mood and scrap some more...I have today off since school is out for break. But I go back to work tomorrow and Wednesday. Then...vacation!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

a christmas girl's night

our tree in the sunshine

Hosted the monthly Girl's Night last night. Had SO much fun preparing and then hosting. I love having people enjoy my food and home. I cooked a big Christmas ham dinner for pie, red velvet cupcakes and lots of cookies. My friend brought a beautiful Christmas punch and we ate, laughed and had a Yankee Swap. It was our usual group but with the wonderful addition of two old friends we recently reconnected with this year. We all went to high school together and have been friends all this time. I loved it.

Some more scenes from the night....

my table decorations...rosemary tree that I hope I don't kill!

Favor boxes I filled with cookies and decorated with an ornament for the girls

Pretty Christmas punch one of my friends made.

Sweets. Cary watched me bake for two days!

Today I spent some time at local yarn shop, visited my parents and knitted. Had dinner with them and now I'm home waiting for the snowstorm and Cary to come home from work. Looking forward to a snow day tomorrow. Hoping to play with my December Cocoa Daisy kit while I watch the snow come down.

Happy Saturday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

another monday

Our {so far} undecorated Christmas tree! Cary and I have been like two-ships-passing-in-the-night this week and weekend. Hoping to decorate it tomorrow night after work. He started back working last week and the hours are terrible.

Today is my last day of school. Yes. The professors get excited for break too! It has been a good semester. Last week was so busy with grading and all. And this week I feel like I am overwhelming myself with projects. I have to slow down. Still need to make 20 more Christmas cards so I can try and mail them out by Friday. Also baking cookies for my co-workers and a batch to go in little takeout boxes for my girlfriends. I am hosting the monthly Girl's Night friday and I am making dinner. And this weekend I bought a few ceramic village peices to paint for my collection. Did one over the weekend. I find them so relaxing. Sunday I took a class at my LSS to learn how to knit a tiny snowflake ornament. 4 hours later I had one done! I think I have the hang of it now. My Nana used to knit them...almost like mini doilies. So pretty. I think I will give this one to my mom along with her gift. I paid for her and I to take an advanced knitting class to learn the Entrelac technique in January.

Finally finished Christmas shopping too. Just need to pick up on last thing for my Dad. I am feeling a little overwhelmed with the $$ of things. Grocery shopping for Girl's Night made me anxious! But I try to be as frugal as possible.

As this week progreses I want to sloooowwww down and enjoy each thing I am doing. Because I really do enjoy doing each of these things. I just want to slow down an appreciate them instead of rushing to do the next thing! A bad habit of mine.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

let the holiday preparations begin

Holiday preparations underway! Started my Christmas cards last week. Did buy a set of 10 so I can simplify and not get stressed out making so many homemade ones. They will all be different but based on the same design. Here are two of them...only have three made and about 30 left to go!

Today I also tried out 3 new cookie recipes...

Hazelnut Roly Polys - Dec/Jan '10 Country Living

Strawberry Jam Thumbprints - Dec/Jan '10 Country Living

Coconut Macaroons - Food Network Magazine Dec 09's 50 Holiday Cookies insert

...we'll see how they taste! Cary is expected home shortly after being away for guard this weekend. He will be my taste tester. He starts back to work tomorrow. The company he was laid off from found 40 hours/week for the month of December. That is something to be grateful for.

Yesterday spent the day shopping with my sister (complete with a shared peice of Peppermint Cheesecake from the Cheescake Factory!) and I got it all done except for 3 things I need to pick up/pay for next weekend. Feels good to have found some meaningful things for people. Still need to finish knitting one gift as well.

I have kept busy this weekend but fun busy. Looking forward to a vacation coming up in a few weeks and a Girl's Night to host the weekend before Christmas. I love this time of year!

Happy Sunday!


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