Posts Tagged ‘to-do lists’

Confessions of a Fruitcake Fan

December 26, 2018

Confession 1 – I like fruitcake. To eat. No, seriously, I have pleasant memories of delicious fruitcake, mostly homemade but some commercially made. This year, I decided to make my own fruitcake. As you can see, it is still a work in progress.

I bought the ingredients, but like many Christmas crafters I ran out of time and energy (that’s confession 2). So here’s my holiday wish for all of you – peace of mind. If the to-do list taunts you, turn those unfinished projects into family stories. I promise, we’ll laugh with you because we’ve all been there.

Luck and wisdom!

Battling To-Do List Anxiety

August 29, 2018

The Unfinished Quilt Challenge has been a blessing for me. I’m getting projects finished, and the deadlines keep me working as efficiently as I can. No blessing comes without a curse, however. For as much as I’m pathetic without a deadline, I’m also pathetic with them. I tend to get myself twisted inside-out worrying that I won’t meet them. I know the world isn’t going to end if I don’t get my projects done, because it has happened. Some of my best unpublished stories are the tales I spin to explain to my friendship groups why I came to the meeting empty-handed (and they always forgive me!). So, this month I snatched minutes here and there to get at least one project done. Despite the whimpering voice in my head telling me I’ll never finish a thing, I have three projects ready to bind.

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This one actually got finished!

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The lesson here? Listen to the voice of doom if it helps to get you in the studio, then tell it to hush. You’ll get the work done.

Luck and wisdom!

What Remains

December 26, 2013

This year began in chaos, and dreadfully long to-do lists filled with undone tasks from the previous year. As Christmas approached, I thought I might – for once – be able to tick off the last obligation and begin the new year focused on new assignments. For one brief moment, I reveled in the luxury of thinking I was done.

 

The next day, I tried to find a specific rubber stamp in my sewing room.

 

Of course, I couldn’t find it. After searching in all the places it should have been, I knew I had to pull out the scary boxes and pry in the piled-up corners. It was time to put away the things I had put down in order to have room to finish projects. Even after two days of sorting, stacking and general puttering about, I faced a table full of of stuff.

 

Stacks, stacks, stacks!

Stacks, stacks, stacks!

 

My stamp is still hiding. I may end up making my own, which is probably for the best. In the meantime, I decided to start on new projects (perhaps if I pretend I’m not looking for the stamp it will creep back where it belongs).

 

Lani Longshore Egyptian quilt top

 

The Challenge project for February is to make something based on an art or architectural style. Years ago I started the Egyptian quilt pictured above. Now is as good a time as any to finish it.

 

I almost finished another project. It’s quilted and bound, but when I started beading it I realized it needed another type of embellishment, something with paint or ink.

 

My first Mars quilt

My first Mars quilt

 

I brought out my Shiva paintsticks, but still can’t decide what I want to do. There are a few days left in the year, so perhaps I’ll figure it out. If not, there’s always next year. At least the list of undone tasks is short.

 

The Great Sort-Out

November 13, 2013

You know the warning about making a new pillow for the couch and the curtains look dingy, so you clean the curtains and the walls look dated, so you paint the walls and the rug looks horrible . . . and eventually you’ve redecorated the whole house? That’s where I am. I started a sort-out of the sewing room, and now all the other piles that need organizing are calling my name.

 

This is where it all started.

 

Abby the dog and the bins

Abby the dog and the bins

 

The last of the supplies for the prison quilting program went to their new home. I had a plan for using that new-found space, but I made the mistake of looking in the bins.

 

Part of my collection of reusable stuff

Part of my collection of reusable stuff

 

This is one of two bins that hold my mint tin collection. The Trader Joe’s mints (which are delicious) come in a cute square tin with a clear panel in the lid, perfect for holding beads. I’ve been collecting them for quite a while. Usually I open the bin and toss the tin inside without looking at how many are in there. Now I’m looking. Oy.

Then I went into the kitchen and really looked at the overflow spice stash.

 

The overflow spice site

The overflow spice site

 

I love having herbs and spices on hand, but when the kids moved back home with their spice collections things spiraled out of control. No matter how much cooking and baking I do, the spice stash seems to grow, not contract. Woe to me.

 

As a final exercise in self-punishment, I scanned my collection of notes for books and stories I want to write (or have started writing but put aside for one reason or another).

 

Secret burial ground of many Great American Novels

Secret burial ground of many Great American Novels

 

Attending to these piles will take a lot of time and energy. It isn’t enough to organize the stacks of stuff, I have to do something with them. Organizing – for me, anyway – works really well when I rarely touch the pile again; attending, not so much.

 

Filed and forgotten

Filed and forgotten

 

I organized this small shelf months ago and it is still tidy. Of course, the fact that I haven’t been able to reach it for months might have a lot to do with it being orderly.

 

Perhaps, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I should be grateful for the Great Sort-Out. If I turn this into an early New Year’s resolution, then I can check something off the 2014 to-do list right now. We take our victories where we can.

 

 

Catch Up

June 5, 2013

Some days the little catch-up jobs take all my attention. Despite my best efforts to ignore them, comes a time when they block my path like a herd of linebackers. That’s what happened this week. One of those tasks concerned photos of quilts made in my prison class, and I thought I would share them.

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Margaret Misegades and I teach the class, but we also get help from other members of Amador Valley Quilters who donate fabric to the program, cut kits for the inmates to sew, quilt and bind the tops and backs, and get those quilts to Community Quilts for distribution to local organizations. These photos were taken by Cathy Lacer.

 

Lori Vogel's house blocks

Lori Vogel’s house blocks

 

This quilt began with orphan blocks donated by Lori Vogel. The inmates completed the top in one class and the back in another.

 

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From Cathy and Vera

 

This is a quilt made from kits that Cathy and Vera Pierce cut.

 

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From Linda’s pattern

 

This quilt started with a pattern that Linda Ballou wrote up for me. Both she and Rose Seay have made many kits for the class, and have been a source of great ideas for easy patterns.

 

Like all the really worthwhile activities in my life, the prison class would be impossible without the help of my friends at Amador Valley Quilters. I don’t know that I thank them enough for all they do for me, so I’m glad my catch-up job gave me another opportunity to say how grateful I am.

 

 

 

 

One, Two, Three, Many

October 3, 2012

Because the beginning of the month is my busiest week and I’m expecting company next week, I have been paralyzed by deadlines. My mind-body must think crouching in a corner and hoping everything will just go away is a survival skill, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why. I told myself I had to do one thing, just one thing, in the hopes that momentum would let me finish my to-do list.

It didn’t, but I did make some progress on a cross-stitch pattern. Once again, I learned that I can’t count. I managed to put the base stitches mostly in the right places. Since this is an abstract tree, I gave myself permission to put the rest of the stitches and beads where they tell me they want to go:

 

I can see the tree (if I squint)

Next I pawed through some blocks that were made from sorta-kinda-maybe the same fabrics. I was hoping to make a baby quilt from them.

 

Bunnies in blue and black

Reality gave me a dope-slap, and I accepted that they don’t go together. However, I found fabric to make two projects (possibly a baby quilt and a table runner – we’ll see), so I consider this exercise a success.

In the meantime, I’ve been processing fruit. The dried apples and pears are now residing in three separate containers:

 

Healthy snacks that we really do eat

If I am lucky, this latest round of crouching in corners is over so I can meet my deadlines and have the house cleaned before my mother arrives. That will still leave many projects, but I’m used to that.

There’s always more to do