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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Living A Small Life Well

There was a time when being famous for something was important to me. It wasn’t that I necessarily had any specific thing in mind, just that that I wanted to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING, so well that I would be famous for it.

Once upon a time, I thought my store might be that thing. My goal was to be featured in a country magazine for being such a fun store to visit. I worked as hard as a person could possibly work to make it happen, but it just never did. Being selected as “business of the year” in my small community was as close as I got. When I sold the store having not reached my goal, it was a source of dismay for me, and I can’t truthfully say I’ve completely gotten over it.

It’s taken a bit of doing on my part to accept that I will never be famous for anything. I am a competitive person. I enjoy a good challenge.  I am not opposed to hard work, and perseverance is not a dirty word in my world. But I’m not as young or as energetic and I used to be, and the time has come to divert efforts away from me and MY potential accomplishments, and toward laying a foundation for others to accomplish their goals.

It hasn’t been easy, but I think I can finally say I’ve made a certain kind of peace with the idea.

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Part of getting to that point has been to understand that I don’t have to be famous to have made a difference in the world. I’ll never have a grand stage and make the kind of difference that the Pope or a President can make, or even a teacher, or a first responder. But in my little world, on my little stage, I can, and I have.

There is nothing wrong with living a small, quiet life, if you do it well. If you can find a way to make someone’s life a little better than it would have been had you not lived, and if you’re lucky, maybe even a few someones.

I have that kind of a life. When I breathe my final breath, I will be missed. Not by a nation, or a town, but by a few people, and truly, not everyone can say that. And unlike in my younger years, that will be enough.

So, I will continue to use my creativity, talents, and whatever time I have left in this world to enhance the lives of my family and friends, and maybe even a few acquaintances. I will live this small life well.

I am reminded of an old saying that “God has put me on this earth to accomplish a set number of things, and I’m so far behind, I’ll NEVER die!” Ha! I don’t REALLY expect to live forever, but God willing and the crik don’t rise, hopefully I still have a long time to get it all done!

 

Fuzzy Pink Socks and Birkenstocks

In the movie “Home” one of the characters says, “Throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care,” and I find myself saying that several times a day!

One of the good things about getting older is that you care less about the dumb stuff – like whether or not you’re “presentable” when you go out. I’m so over that. Hahahahaha! At least I tell myself I am.

Case in point… I like to run around the house in fuzzy socks. And when I leave my house just to head to my son’s house to watch the grandkids, where I will want to be running around in fuzzy socks again, I don’t see any need to take them off and put regular shoes on. So I just slip on my Birkenstocks and take off.

So an hour later, thinking that I was just going to drop my grandson off at school, stop by my house for a few minutes, and then head right back to their house, I slipped my Birks back on. I mean, no one would even see my…well, “unusual” footwear, right?

But then I remembered that we needed a few things at Costco. I could have gone all the way back to the house and changed out the footwear (and actually, I could have just slipped off the socks, but I didn’t think about it until just this minute! Heeheehee!) but it seemed like a waste of both time and gas, so I went just as I was. Yeah, I looked a little ridiculous. But you know what? Who cares?

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I suppose there were probably a few people judging me, but seriously, I couldn’t have cared less if I’d tried. I was comfortable. And I’d been ecologically responsible. Yeah, there were ladies in there in 4 inch heels, dressed to the nines. But are they any happier than I am? I kinda doubt it. And my feet didn’t hurt.

If anyone doesn’t want to be my friend because I sometimes wear fuzzy pink socks and Birkenstocks, what kind of friend would they be, anyway? ‘Cuz I’ll tell you, I have WAY worse issues than just the occasional fashion faux pas!

 

 

The Messy Part

I was able to move into the grouting segment of my monograms right on schedule. The first two out of the seven I have to do are all glued and ready to grout.

The bad part is that it’s not my favorite part. It’s the boring messy part. It is more of a task that needs to be done than it is fun. In fact, it’s sorta not fun at all.

It’s time-consuming, and really not at all creative. It’s just meh.

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But there doesn’t appear to be a way around it.

I had the same issue with quilting. I LOVE designing and doing the piecing, but doing the actual grunt work? Not so much. So a quilting project that I just LOVE and would REALLY like to have completed is just sitting there.

Now with quilting, there are people out there who love to quilt, and will do the finish work for you. In fact, I probably need to pull out that project, do the little bit I still need to do to get the face done, and hire out the rest. Otherwise, chances are pretty good it’s not going to get done.

But mosaics? If there is anyone who just LOVES to grout, I sure haven’t heard about them!

SO, I have to bite the bullet and just do it.

I don’t remember disliking it quite so much for the original. Maybe because I was so afraid of ruining it, that being successful felt good?

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This just feels a little like drudgery. Okay, that may be little strong. But I’m not ENJOYING it. I don’t know if I have the mix of water and grout material off so it’s harder to work with or what, but I’m just anxious to have it behind me, so I can get back to designing with the remaining 5.

The good news is, they’ve turned out well, and when I’m finally done, I’m going to be very proud of them and happy to have them on display in the homes of people I love.

 

Travel Wall Dreams

Ever since we moved the furniture in our dining room and entryway to make an “office” for Mr. Tattered and freed up a whole wall in the entryway, I’ve been dreaming of putting up a wall of travel photos and mementos.

It took awhile to firm up my ideas, but I finally decided to turn the wall into a giant scrapbook page, complete with background papers, photos and embellishments. The few things I have positioned so far look a little weird all by themselves, and I toyed with the idea of waiting to show it to you until it had taken more shape, but I thought you might enjoy watching the progress.

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I’m trying to think outside the box for display ideas. This shadow box has in it a few of the treasures we brought back from Italy.

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I found these cute little tags. I’m going to fancy them up a bit, and mount a photo on the back of each, then they’ll hang from the cute rack above.

I’ve been collecting frames and things I can re-purpose as frames…

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This galvanized mason jar lid was repurposed into a coaster. I’m repurposing it again as a frame.

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I don’t know if this “P” will decorate a frame or just be mounted on the wall, but it just screams PARIS to me…

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This frame is designed for changing photos easily. I may use it for the most recent trip photos while I find frames for them.

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Because I KNOW what I’m thinking, it all makes sense to me, but I have no idea if it looks crazy to you at this point.

I hope you’ll follow along with me as I work on it!

 

Is It 2016 Yet?

Yeah, I know. It’s only September.

But my 2015 word, “IGNITE” has been a bit of a bust, so I’m getting kind of anxious to get on to a new one.

Well, that’s harsh, I guess. I have really had quite a productive year, so if “ignite” had meant getting a lot of projects done, I would be doing well. Unfortunately, it was meant to get me caught up on OLD projects, not adding dozens of new ones!

And as long as I’m confessing, I never really even got a working list going of projects I had stacked up that I wanted to get done this year. So, really, I was doomed from the get go.

But, that’s sort of harsh, as well. It’s only September. There is still a whole quarter of the year left. If I set my mind to it, got that list going, and really kicked it, I could pull out a respectable year.

Ha! Now that I think about it, the last time I checked in on my “word” we had this discussion, and I was going to try to get back on track. Then I toyed with a July reset, and here we are in September and I STILL haven’t made any progress. Heeheehee!

But there’s this little problem.

Mosaics.

I’m obsessed.

And it isn’t an obsession that’s going away anytime soon.

I have seven (yes, it’s now up to seven) monograms to make. Two are nearly to the grouting stage, two are partially done, two are blank, and one isn’t even purchased yet (Oh, yeah! THAT’S what I went to Hobby Lobby for today! OOPS!)

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These are the two I’m concentrating on first. If I can find the last beads I need tomorrow, I should be able to start filling in the grout the next day.

So, as you can see, I’m being productive. The problem is, I’m supposed to be finishing old projects. Things I’ve had stacking up for years. Things that I was once really excited about, but lost interest in.

What I don’t seem to be able to do is to STOP adding new projects long enough to give myself time to work up the enthusiasm necessary to dig out the old projects. And now that I’m this crazy about a new medium, it almost seems futile to force myself to stuff I don’t want to be doing. It’s AMOST enough to make me donate the half-finished projects to Re-Create and let someone else finish them. But then on the other hand, I’m STILL not ready to give up on them. All those stacked up projects still have a certain appeal to me.

Hmmmmmm.

I  need to think on this some more.

In the meantime, I sure am enjoying these monograms! Heeheehee! I guess that’s a good thing.

 

 

Lots of Irons in the Fire

Periodically I go through times when it seems on the surface that I’m not accomplishing a lot.

Forget for a moment that I have a clean family room and kitchen (an all day project a couple of Sundays ago, and I’ve managed to keep it clean – shock of all shocks!) and I can’t point to getting much done.

But, again, that’s just on the surface.

Look deeper and I’ve done quite a bit here and there.  It just doesn’t always show.

I mended a pair of slippers that easily could have sat on the counter for 6 months.

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I put all the scrapbook pages I did in Sunriver (along with blank protectors) into their album with fancy straps. It was on my list, but didn’t NEED to get done right now, and no one will ever notice that I did it.

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I FINALLY got the girl’s swim team photos and ribbons put in their frames.

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And I’ve made a fair amount of progress on my monogram mosaics.

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Considering that I’m spending a bunch of time lovin’ on my four grandchildren and trying to make sure they get where they need to be when they need to be there, I’m pretty proud of myself getting much of anything else done.

But I figured out that if I keep a couple of projects lined up, and all the materials I need in “go bags,” the 2 1/2 – 3 hours a day that Lexi naps allows good, concentrated time to “work,” if you can call it that!

I’m notorious for wasting the time on social media, but I can’t tell you how much better it feels to actually have tangible accomplishments at the end of the day! Yay for “go bags” and lots of irons in the fire!

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