Posts Tagged ‘notebooks’

The Spirit of a Dog

January 15, 2014

Although I delayed the vacuuming until someone was around to comfort Abby, the dog decided to be brave. She retreated briefly when the vacuum monster roared. Marshalling her courage, she crept forward to meet it. She stood her ground for a time, then realized this was not a battle she could win. Still, I think she considered the confrontation a victory.

 

Abby on the clean(ish) rug

Abby on the clean(ish) rug

 

Abby’s courage, while ill-advised given that the vacuum monster isn’t going to eat anyone, inspired me this week. I’m running away from the pile monster, and that needs to stop.

 

My plan was to take some of the treasures that I’d hidden in other rooms and bring them to the sewing room so I could a) admire them and b) store them where I could see them so that c) I would eventually use them. I started with my notebook collection.

 

One part of the collection

One part of the collection

 

Then I found another corner with notebooks.

 

Another part of the collection

Another part of the collection

 

Next to the second stash of notebooks I found Christmas stuff – “just in case” presents, stuff to add to presents, stuff to use for decorations.

 

Forgotten things from a scary corner

Forgotten things from a scary corner

 

I’ve made progress on tidying the piles in the sewing room, but there are still mountains to face. Who knew I was so good at finding corners to stash stuff?

 

At least the thread pile is next to the sewing machine

At least the thread pile is next to the sewing machine

 

So this week I’m going to channel the spirit of a dog. Although I retreated from the piles many times, I will throw myself once more into the breach. I may retreat again, but someday – someday – I will taste victory.

 

 

 

 

Notebooks and Deadlines and Lists, Oh My

November 27, 2013

My pumpkin pie is baking as I write. The good news is I won’t have to hide it from the family, because we’re celebrating Thanksgiving today. My son works tomorrow, and my daughter is house-sitting for traveling friends, so today is our day.

 

Tomorrow is list day.

 

Every year, I leap feet-first into a major panic at Thanksgiving. Did I remember to buy the stuffing (I forgot one year)? Do I have enough wrapping paper for the presents that have to be mailed in the next week (and can I find it)? Have I overbooked myself once again with things that sounded like so much fun when I said yes in August (and do I dare turn the calendar page to look)? Can my aging brain cells keep all the things I need to remember in a safe place?

 

I’ll never know the answer to that last question because this year I decided to use a safety net.

 

My brain for the next six weeks

My brain for the next six weeks

 

My notebook collection includes one that is festive enough to find easily. I jammed it and the pen in my pocket as I was heading out yesterday, determined to write down all the stray thoughts, stocking stuffer ideas, and notes to self about projects I agreed to do. I filled two pages in three hours.

 

“Self,” I said, “you’ll probably need another pocket notebook. It should be sturdy, bright enough to be seen under the stacks on your desk, and cheap.” Then I remembered one of my many abandoned projects.

 

My back-up brain for the next six weeks

My back-up brain for the next six weeks

 

I bought some shiny red card stock months ago to make . . . well, I can’t remember what I was going to make. I cut it in half, then folded it, then gave it the pocket test. It’s slightly bigger than the notebook I’m using now, but it will work.

 

Finding paper to put inside was a snap. I have lots of stationary left from the days when I sent newsletters via the post office rather than the internet.

 

Who's old enough to remember this?

Who’s old enough to remember this?

 

Since this notebook only has to last until Christmas, New Year’s at the most, I decided to bind it with quilting thread.

 

Not time seeping through a crack in the universe - just thread and a flash

Not time seeping through a crack in the universe – just thread and a flash

 

The tiny knot on the inside doesn’t interfere with folding or writing at all.

 

Hurrah for the quilters' knot!

Hurrah for the quilters’ knot!

 

I am inordinately proud of myself for finishing this project. It is useful, pretty, and made from supplies I already have. Best of all, it might even calm my jangled nerves when my holiday panic hits, knowing I can find my notes.

 

My pie is done. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Transitions

October 16, 2013

The prison quilting class began a new phase this week. I conducted my last class as leader and passed the program on to new teachers.

 

My last load of kits and class projects

My last load of kits and class projects

 

Whenever I let go of one project – rare times, but they do happen – I imagine all the new projects I’ll tackle with the extra time in my schedule. One would think by now I’d have accepted the reality of transition time. One would think.

 

This is the notebook I re-purposed for the FCI quilters manual.

 

Lani Longshore notebook

 

Since I had been a committee of one, the manual was in my head. Part of my transition time was occupied by writing down the things in my head, which is always a scary business.

 

Lani Longshore title page

 

There is also the scary business of transferring all the stuff I still have for the program to the new teachers.

 

Stuff that must leave my house

Stuff that must leave my house

 

Admittedly, it will be scarier for them.

 

More stuff that must leave my house

More stuff that must leave my house

 

When all that is finished, I need to finish up my Christmas projects. Mom and I bought the fabric for her gifts together. Here is the block for one of the three dresser scarves I’m making for her.

 

One block, just one little block

One block, just one little block

 

This is what all three look like on my design wall.

 

What do the blocks say to you?

What do the blocks say to you?

 

I think there is some kimono work in my future, when I really do have that extra time I’m imagining.

 

 

Favorite Things – A Short List

February 8, 2012

Here is a picture of the ruler that caused so much trouble last week:

It’s large enough to be useful without being unwieldy. Since its apparent disappearance caused me so much angst, I started thinking about other favorite things. Without meaning to sound like an informercial, I will start with chocolate:

I like dark chocolate, except when it comes to peanut butter cups. I don’t know what magic spells they use at the Reese’s factory, but it works for me. I’m also a sucker for cute little things, so the shaped peanut butter cups are impossible for me to pass. If they ever come out with a peanut butter groundhog my candy life will be complete.

I also like cute little notebooks:

I have dozens of them scattered around the house. Many of them are in the same pristine condition they were when I snatched them off the shelf and ran squealing to the cash register before someone else could buy them. It doesn’t matter, I’ll still buy more. It’s in my genes – my father could never pass up an interesting pen or notebook. His father couldn’t either (and yes, I’m using notebooks I inherited from them both).

Then there are the gadgets I get for free:

 

The quilt shop in town was handing these out, and I would be lost without it. I know, I could have bought a retractable tape measure, but I didn’t know I needed one until it was put in my hands.

Last on this list of favorite things is my new iron:

When I first started quilting, I found myself buying the least expensive tools to save more money for fabric. Sometimes that works, but not always, such as with my first iron. It was probably $9.99 at the big box store, and I suffered along with it for years. It finally died – around my birthday, as I recall – and I asked my husband to buy me a new iron as a gift. I knew he would buy something sturdy and well-made. He bought me a Black and Decker iron because he liked his own Black and Decker tools. Turns out he was right, so when the little workhorse he gave me went to that Great Sewing Room in the Sky, I replaced it with another Black and Decker. It may not be quilty, but I like it.

Now back to the regular program –