Posts Tagged ‘plans’

There’s Always One More – Quote Challenge

September 9, 2015

Julaina Kleist-Corwin invited me to join a quote challenge – three posts, three quotes. She publishes great quotes all the time, so do check out her blog for some lovely reading. I can remember snarky quotes from movies, but those aren’t always useful. For my challenge, I’m going to offer advice I’ve found valuable. The first is one of my father’s favorite sayings: “There’s always one more SOB than you counted on.”

Even simple blocks can be troublesome

Even simple blocks can be troublesome

This is especially true in art. For me, the SOB is often a Surprisingly Obstreperous Block. I have re-sewn many a seam, only to find I have to nail that sucker down by hand to make the points match. In my writing, I’ve faced the subplots that wander so far off the path they must be abandoned, the characters that insist on hijacking the story, the red herrings that become dead herrings only to resurrect themselves at the most inconvenient moment.

The take-away for me is to plan as best I can, then step out in faith with a smile. Life will be what it will be. If I expect a setback and it doesn’t come, that counts as a win.

There will always be many more projects than I counted on

There will always be many more projects than I counted on

One last thing – I’m supposed to nominate others to play. Here are three, but any of you are welcome to share words of wisdom. The rules are simple:

  • Thank the blogger who invites you (that’s me)
  • Share a different quote in three separate posts. The quotes can be from your favorite book, author, or yourself, but if you quote someone else acknowledge the source with a link
  • Nominate three bloggers to join the game

I nominate:

Violet Carr Moore – Violet’s Vibes

Marlene Dotterer – Marlene Dotterer, Science Fiction and Fantasy Author

Neva Hodges – Words by Neva

Luck and wisdom!

The Hijacked Journey

December 3, 2014

I should have known better – never give the universe a chance to have too much fun at your expense. The planned blog for this week was about another version of my Challenge letter project – a journey quilt. That journey got hijacked, big time.

Lani Longshore journey quilt

This is the end of the process – the destination, if you will – and I had planned to show you how I got here. You may notice the last part of the saying “it’s the journey, not the destination” in this photo. You may hear the universe laughing right about now. That’s because the photos of the journey got munched in their own little transporter accident. While moving the photos from one device to another, they were scrambled forever.

So I picked up another path, using my grandmother’s embroidered squares to make pillows. I have enough squares to make a pillow each for my brother and cousins.

Lani Longshore embroidered pillow

Lani Longshore pillow

Lani Longshore large pillow

My grandmother bound many of her quilts with prairie points. I’m using them as a design element, mainly because I could never make a long string of prairie points lie flat and straight. Three is my maximum, and even then there is much swearing and gnashing of teeth.

And in another journey/plot twist, the gnashing and naughty words are getting me a new sewing machine. My Viking is a grand little work horse, but it is old – twenty years old. Lately it has been skipping stitches, and the bobbin pops off the spindle if I look at it funny. My husband said the waves of frustration rolling out of the sewing room are too much to bear, and my birthday present is a new machine. He even found a link to a site evaluating the ten best sewing machines for quilters.

Honestly, I did not have a meltdown on purpose (but I’m still accepting the gift!).

Luck and wisdom!

The Surface of Infinity, Wired

May 29, 2013

The most amazing thing happened to my Challenge Project – it told me it didn’t want beads. I’ve never had a project that refused beads before. Perhaps it was tired of being fussed over. First I had to wire its tail to make a Mobius strip.

Beading wire works well

Beading wire works well

 

I had considered satin stitching the edges in lieu of binding, but that didn’t seem enough when I finished the wiring, so I bound the quilt with a sheer ribbon.

Gauze ribbon is a great binding for small projects

Gauze ribbon is a great binding for small projects

 

 

The result was exactly what I wanted. You really can travel both sides of the loop without crossing the edges.

The finished project

The finished project

 

 

Since I was in the mood for handwork, I finished my cross-stitch kit. Well, I say finished but what I really mean is I adapted the pattern (because I can never quite count right) and kept adding embroidery and beads until it seemed like a good place to end.

Spider and bat button

Spider and bat button

 

I managed to get one more project off the pile, which was a pillow made from elephant fabric for my daughter.

Lani Longshore elephant pillow

It seems an appropriate comment on my life in the studio – never forgetting that my goal is to reduce the piles before they start creating their own gravity wells.

 

 

Dasher, Dancer, Discipline

November 28, 2012

I was all set to start my annual December whine about being too busy to enjoy the holidays. Then my friend Maya Madhavan asked if I would bring her projects to the Progressive Party. Yes, that’s projects, as in plural. She won’t be able to attend for three months and she got them all done ahead of time. While she’s working. And taking care of her young family. And fitting in the holidays. I have no excuse.

Maya’s projects – done ahead of time!

Instead of whining I remembered “The Night Before Christmas” – especially the line about dash away, dash away, dash away all. Dashing about without a plan is as useful as those nutrition panels on the back of candy bar wrappers (you can only read them after you’ve opened the wrapper, and once the wrapper is open you know you’re going to eat the candy, so why bother reading how bad it is for you?), but I have lots of to-do lists, which can fill in for a plan until something more reasonable comes along. Similarly, dancing is best when done with joy, even if your feet are hurting. Joy comes from within, which leads me to discipline. That also comes from within.

So, I found myself a new mascot:

My new mascot

Crows are clever and observant – and I just happened to have this one left from the Halloween decorations. My little crow will remind me to plan.

Next, I found something that represents holiday cheer:

This is the one time of year I can indulge in my love of all things shiny. If that isn’t enough joy, I’ve got a recipe for killer gingerbread cookies.

Finally, I will remember that creativity requires a certain level of discipline:

I bought these badges with small gift ideas in mind. I didn’t make any notes, so those ideas are gone. I can whine and moan, or I can pull out my graph paper and come up with a new idea. For now, I’m going to pull out the graph paper (the whining will come later when I design something I can’t sew).

Before I forget once again, Julie Royce wrote about her crime novel in progress – PILZ – last week. You can read it here. Julie’s blog alternates between her novel and her travels. Check out her stories about her recent trip to Europe with her husband.

Acceptance and the Real New Year

August 29, 2012

Although I haven’t been in school in decades, and even my kids are finished (for the time being), Labor Day is still the beginning of the year for me. This is the time when I have to make sure last year’s produce (whether made into juice, jam or dried) has been eaten, because more is coming:

Pears for drying

Seriously, a lot more:

 

Grapes for juicing

 

 

More grapes for juicing

Life is complicated this year by having both kids move back, with their stuff:

My goal was to clear away clutter – not going to happen. What will happen is that I will be more focused on efficient use of time and space so when the kids move out again my stuff won’t automatically expand to fill the gap.

The good news is, I am learning to accept that I am not in control. Helping me along the route to letting things go is having Abby’s quilt on the floor:

 

The dog’s quilt

It is one thing to make a quilt knowing that a dog is going to sit on it. It is another to actually see the dog sit on it. After the first week, I realized I was okay with the situation. I even tried taking a picture of Abby on the quilt, but she’s not fond of cameras:

 

Abby escaping the paparazzi – me

So, here’s to deep inhales, full exhales, meditations on peace, and the beginning of something new.