Thursday, January 16, 2014

Priming the Pump

Hello Blog.  

It's been such a while since I was last here and I feel a little out of practice.  

Whenever I feel like I've fallen off the wagon with any habit, I just take the pressure off by priming the pump.

Eliminate the expectations...just show up and write we can get accustomed to one another again.

So first, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Though you never left my heart, I didn't actually come by and say that, did I?

I have been blogging for six years...I'm now entering my seventh.  I started getting these books printed on Blog2Print and I'm just waiting for them to announce a coupon before I print 2013.

Every Christmas season I think how wonderful it would be to blog about it all.  

And every Christmas season I'm too busy enjoying it all that I often don't even take pictures, let alone blog about it.  

I'm shooting for next year.  Seven is my lucky number so maybe in my seventh blogging year it might happen.

So, here I am finally settling into January, my favorite month.  I have a few monkeys on my back...aka projects/tasks that I've promised people...that I need to finish before I can delve into finishing Mrs. Rose.  I've also re-committed myself to Japanese Embroidery so that I can graduate by the Fall of 2015 so Japanese embroidery will be showing up here more often.

I have tons of playing ahead in 2014 and I'm eager to get started.  That's why I chose my word for 2014...

By that I mean...

create schedules for work...

until they turn into work habits...

until those habits become routine.  

All of which should lead to progress.

OK.  Progress is not the word.  Let's get back to WORK.

I'm pretty good at "work" when I've reached the flow stage of any project...but then I take too long a break in between before I show up to the next the word WORK. 

WORK hard, WORK consistently, WORK when you don't feel like working, WORK like someone is watching you and giving you a performance review...

But before I start talking about the work, I've got to close the book and talk about some highlights from Christmas.  This year rather than exchange family gifts, we decided to put all our names in a hat and choose someone to buy a gift for.  That means little kids could get adults, teenagers get each other,  etc.

That plan worked really well and it was great fun to see what the kids gave the adults.

My niece Allie had me.  She's standing in the pic below and giving me a gift which she made herself...

which is my absolute favorite kind of gift.

Isn't it marvelous?   

An Allie Original, ball point pen on canvas.

I love it and it goes very nicely with the colors in my sewing/dining room...

My husband Jim had Allie's twin sister Lindsey, spelled Linz.  Well, check out what my engineer of a husband who works in the lighting industry handmade for his goddaughter...

At first he started out with just an "L" but he didn't want to stop there.  

Linz even has a remote to turn it on and off and change the lights from strobing to fade to constantly-on...etc.  When you're an engineer you think of things like remotes.

Speaking of handmade gifts, check out this little Christmas hand towel knitted by my super-talented Crazy friend Irene.  

She's been knitting more than crazy quilting lately and I am one of the beneficiaries.  

If I find the pattern she used (knowing her she probably made it up), I'll let you know.

For Christmas, I had the Littlest One...she's in second grade now.  I'll tell you about her gift another day.

And lastly, my SIL has a birthday just before Christmas so I like to give her a little something since those folks that have birthdays around Christmas seem to get lost in the holiday shuffle.

I made her this spiral rope necklace...made with silver 15/0 and smokey 11/0 seed beads plus chinese 3mm crystals.  

It turned out lovely and goes with lots of things.  I can see more of these in my future.

I learned how to make it at one of the gazillion beading parties that they hold at my new favorite beading store, Bead Soup, in Savage Mill.  

I'll be back there on Saturday for another class with the amazing Erin Simonetti, loom weaver extraordinaire.  Follow the link to the snow and you'll get a glimpse of what we'll be making.

So much more to share.  I feel better already.  The pump is primed and I'm rip, roaring and raring to go for 2014.

Now back to WORK.

Which includes taking down all those pretty Christmas decorations...

I had fun decorating the house this last year.


Rachel said...

What a talented and ingenious family.

I too am hoping for more consistency in applying myself this year - thinking encouraging thoughts for you!

Elizabeth Braun said...

I love it that your family makes rather than buys. That's so rare in this consumer age.
My word for the year is 'FOCUS'.

Dolores said...

Have fun with your snow project. It really looks like a lot of fun. Unique gifts are the best.

Dolores said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wendy said...

So glad your back! I love reading your posts. What a neat idea for exchanging gifts! What a nice drawing, and what girl wouldn't want to see her name in lights!! Have a great New Year!

Mary Ann said...

I'm glad to see you back and look forward to your "work" in 2014. I'm hoping to try new things and stretch a bit:)

Cath said...

Good to see you're back. I'm looking forward to seeing some more Japanese Embroidery this year :-)

bubbygigi said...

Susan, Happy New Year to you and your family. I've missed your posts. My word for this year is finish as in finish some of the projects that I have sitting around the house before starting new ones.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Marvelous!! I saw so much love in the gift from your niece. All the gifts you showed are so thoughtful.

I thought of you several times this holiday, knowing you were really busy and enjoying the holiday.

Ours are always laid back and quiet.
We stayed in and watched it snow..snow...snow..which nudged Terry to..yay retire.

xx, Carol

PS: Only YOU would choose WORK as an inspirational word ~lol~

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

What an awesome gift exchange! Happy to see you back!

Createology said...

Susan you never disappoint with your posts. I adore your Christmas gifting and what a wonderful treasure Allie created for you. Engineer husbands are amazing...I know because I have one too. Lovely beaded necklace you created. Such a good word for 2014. Happy New Year Dear and Creative Blessings...

margaret said...

good to see you back blogging, wondered how Mrs Rose was coming along, I have so enjoyed watching her progress. Some lovely presents exchanged over Xmas. Oh yes happy new year and all the best for 7th blogging year. Am I right in thinking someone somewhere prints out all you have put in a blog each year? sounds interesting

margaret said...

good to see you back blogging, wondered how Mrs Rose was coming along, I have so enjoyed watching her progress. Some lovely presents exchanged over Xmas. Oh yes happy new year and all the best for 7th blogging year. Am I right in thinking someone somewhere prints out all you have put in a blog each year? sounds interesting

Bobbi Pohl said...

In the picture of you opening your gift, I love how the expression of the dog matches the expression of the woman whose lap it is on. Tee, hee. Here's to "work" in 2014 and the good times!

lifemyway said...

I am also jumping back on the blogging bus this year. We must not be too hard on ourselves. Sometimes experiencing life just gets in the way of documenting that experience. I just want to say that your work is above and beyond and has always been a source of inspiration to me.

denise said...

Welcome Back! About a week or so ago I had to check on your blog thinking that maybe my feed was messed up. LOL When I saw no new posts that I missed, I chalked it up to 'break time.'

Glad you had a wonderful season that involved thoughtful handmade gifts. Happy New Year!!

Judy S. said...

Happy New Year, Susan. I've been out of touch because our computer died. The grand kids were here and then we went to CA, so no blogging happened here either. Lots of catching up to do. I LOVE that necklace. Is it your original pattern? It's going to be fun to see you back at work on Mrs. Rose.

Amy Taylor said...

Every one deserves a break! Glad you primed the pump. You've inspired me to think of a word for 2014.

Allison Aller said...

Happy New Year!
So glad you are back. xoxox ;-)

liniecat said...

What a wonderful bloggy read this post was.
Love the LINZ lighted idea!
( that fellas a keeper bless him lol)
really liked the natty fingerless gloves and that display of sparklies looks so I daren't do that because of my blessed cats .. they'd feel duty bound to weave through the glasses and ornaments to be sure they could still do it!
Tho they are so much older than they used to be and wider round the middle but they still think their agile lol
( not unlike me that really ..)
I dont suppose you have a link where I might try and buy some of the little elf heads do you?
Ive tried on Ebay searching for elf heads and only seem to have found bizarre dressing up rubber heads for people lol - fettish or fancy dress? !!yukkkk

Martha said...

Are the blog BOOKS for your use only or can we purchase them? I would love to own one of your blog books for hands-on inspiration. Thanks for the great blog!

Catherine said...

So fun seeing your gifts!! Such a creative family you have there!

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