Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The one good thing about not feeling good ...

... is that you read a lot of books and watch a lot of movies!

Yes, I've had yet another relapse of this  'cold/flu/allergy/God only knows what' last week.  It all started the Saturday after Thanksgiving when one of our adorable little germ-bombs (aka grandchildren) gave me something over Thanksgiving.  Everytime I start feeling like myself - it comes back!

Let's just say, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!!  But on the plus side, I've read A LOT of books and watched A LOT of movies!!  Let's start with the Movies!

Begin Again - A delightful movie about musicians coming to NYC to make music.  There are actors that can sing! Singers that can act! and if you love NYC - there's alot of that to see too!  We got it thru Netflix.  It reminded me alittle of the movie Once - about Irish bar singers.  Both cheerful and fairly light!

Last Vegas - Oh my!  Much more fun that I thought it would be!  I love Kevin Kline, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas!  But wait - there's more!!

At Middleton - a Romantic Comedy about two parents taking their respective children on a college visit.

Finding Vivian Maier - A documentary type movie about a nanny in NY / Chicago in the 50s-60s who took thousands of photographs.  They were discovered when someone bought boxes in a storage unit sale.  Really fascinating - I'm ready to look for the books made from the prints!!

All of the above movies passed the "but will it keep DH awake while watching it!!!"  PS - we won't say anything to him about that little litmus test!!

Besides reading, I have been updating my database of "Books Read".  I felt just good enough to piddle on the computer too!  I've been rating books I've read since 1985!!!  I wrote them down; rated them zero - four stars and kept track of how many books I read each year.  A disclaimer - I'm not reading "War and Peace"!  I love mysteries; science fiction; end of the earth tales ...  I'm not really into Historic fiction.  And I read fast.

My idea was to rate them, then look for the authors that got **** later to check if anything new by them was out!  Works like a charm!

As I worked through the database I was finding 'holes' in series.  If it's a library book, my system is to add it to my physical list the day I return it.  BUT if it's borrowed from someone, read on vacation, and now - if it's read on Kindle - sometimes I miss listing it.

So I made a list and went to the library and checked out the unlisted books by favorite authors!  So far, two thirds of that list haven't been read!  So I've been really enjoying dipping back into my favorite authors and characters.

Stephen King - I got Revival for Christmas.  Very good, so good that I went back and read Dr Sleep and Mr Mercedes! And Blaze by Richard Bachman! I smiled everytime there was a small reference to a past Stephen King book or TV miniseries in the stories.

Tony Hillerman - I love Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee.  I hadn't read The Sinister Pig, The Skeleton Man or The Shape Shifter.  I'm sorry to report that Shape Shifter seems to be the last one.  I hate when a series ends and this was a great series!

J A Jance has three series that I've followed.  JoAnna Brady, Arizona sheriff; JP Beaumont, Seattle detective; and Ali Reynolds, TV journalist.  I had missed Dead Wrong in the Brady series. Others to be checked out later.

Dana Stabenow - I was sorry that I HAD read all of her books.  I love her Kate Shugak and Liam series.  And isn't it fun when they 'meet' on a case.  JA Jance does that too.

Nevada Barr - again, I HAD read all of her books.  LOVE Anna Pigeon and 'visiting' all the National Parks in her books.

This week's books from the library include Lee Child, Michael McGarrity and Sue Miller.  I'm looking forward to feeling better - but have the books on the ready if I relapse again!

We're having some sunny days between rain storms.  Yesterday we walked down to the beach.  We had a surprise there!  There are some "new arrivals"!  We have so many sea stacks and rocks lining our coast the real mystery is how on earth did logs this big get up to our trail to the beach!  And eventually they will disappear again!!  The ocean has some tricks up it's sleeve!

That's me on the right!  You can see our path coming down to the beach. The logs must have banged around on the edge of the cliff because they were snugged up tight and lined up!

Hmmm, where did our path go??? And where to start?

DH standing in the middle - he's like a mountain goat climbing over these!  Very sure-footed.

The view from up on the little bridge.  That's about 20 feet up the path!

I love living on the coast, especially on sunny days, exploring the beach!  You never know what you're going to find down there!

I'm headed to the Oregon Gardens Quilt Show and the Newport Guild Retreat this weekend.  See you later with lots of stories to tell and pictures to post!?!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Creativity - what does it look like??

I think creativity looks like this! (image is from  I love stacks of quilts - what's not to like!

My DH thinks it looks more like this!! This was my beloved sewing room back in NE.  I think (hope) it was a "before" picture.  But I'm afraid this was probably pretty usual!  My DH used to say I would always have a sewing room, so he could have the rest of the house!!  LOL!

Of course, you have to work in/through DH's version to get to my "version".

Last year, in Stashbusters Online Group, we were challenged to a "Word of the Year" and I chose "reduce".  And I meant in all things - weight; angst; clutter; UFOs; etc.  

I'm sorry to say, I stayed about the same in weight - but that was a move forward!!  I didn't gain a few - which I had been doing.  But I feel a major shift in my brain is happening!  I'm only 62 (snicker) so I should be working on being an adult soon!

But angst; clutter and that "got to have" mentality made big - huge- strides forward!  And forward movement is about the only thing we can aim for.  After all, there is no control group!  To paraphrase the song Santa Baby - "think of all the fabric I didn't buy!!!!"

That brings us to this year.  The word that keeps attracting me is "Create".  Seriously, it's everywhere!  And by "create" I mean in all things again.  Create a healthier life-style, a more comfortable habitat - less clutter, just the things I love.  AND create a studio (sewing room doesn't work for me anymore!!) that inspired me, doesn't make me feel guilty about how much stuff is in the way, is piled around, is NOT being worked on!!

Another thing that is fascinating me is the concept of an "ART Journal".  I've always wanted to be able to draw.  I love drawing pictures with the Gkids - I'm almost as good as they are! They are 1,3,6,8 yrs old!

When we lived in Newport, I took a colored pencil drawing class.  I wasn't too good at it - and one week DH ate my assignment!! (an apple!)  Who knows if I would have stayed with it - we moved.  I do still have the pencils; they've been spared in everything 'clutter attack' here.

Product Details

I think it's going to be interesting to work through.  And what I hope to accomplish is adding drawing/doodling to my life.  By next year - clip-art on the blog just might be drawn by me!!

Want to join me?  Let me know.  I just read Chapter 1 - AND did the assignment!!  You'll laugh at that statement - it was really easy!

So far, I've added doodles to my day.  I'm using the Disney Creativity Studio (there's that word again!)  Why their copyright shows on my silly little beginning doodle is beyond me!

I mailed a package to Miss P and Mr M and drew all over the envelope! And I just learned to hide the mailing address in Photoshop!!  I have to quick add that to my Jan to do list and check it!!  LOL!  I think I might just spend the money and buy white envelopes for the next 'care packages!'  Whoa, Nana!

I did something different for our anniversary and our DD and DS's birthdays.  I wrote 43 memories for our 42nd anniversary; 36 memories for DD's 36th birthday and 40 memories for our DS's 40th!!  It was fun coming up with them.  My DH had fun reading them together.  My DD loved hers!!

So-o Valentine's Day is coming up ... or your own family holidays - try it, you might like it!  We did.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year - welcome 2015!!

Well, there's nothing like starting the year out with the best of intentions!! We'll just see how long that lasts!!  LOL!

It's time for a 2014 wrap-up!  I love doing these - my year doesn't seem "finished" until after the wrap-up - so here we go!

Not a big year for reading!  Around 50 books and a lot of those were re-reading favorites.  Do you ever do that??  I did forget to add Kindle books to my list, so had to go looking for which ones I read that way ... not an exact count this year.  :(

Best books this year:

Bad Blood by Dana Stabenow.  Kate Shugak series is a real favorite of mine.  Gotta love spunky women!

Notorious 19 and Takedown 20 by Janet Evanovich.  Both of these Stephanie Plum books got 4 stars from me! And if you look up "spunky women" in the dictionary, surely Stephanie Plum is pictured!

The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch by Marsha Moyer - great fun

Pure by Julianna Baggott - science fiction -  an unusual story line. First in series of three

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon  I can't believe I kept away from this series so long!  And I thought I wasn't interested in "Historical" books!!  We had Outlander Series on Starz parties too!

Pope Joan - Donna Woolfolk Cross  A book club selection that surprised me with how well I liked it!  Historic!  Who knows - maybe I'm NOT set in  my ways!!

Deadline - John Sandford  Featuring Virgil Flowers as a friend put it, "I love me a good cowboy!"  Made me reread all the other Flowers books.  This one was awesome!

The Arsonist - Sue Miller Small town under siege, loved the main characters

One Hundred Names - Cecelia Ahern  I loved this book, also out of my 'box' - contemporary Irish tale.  In the author's notes at the end she tells how she got the idea for the book! She was at a literary awards dinner; heard "one hundred names" and went off in her mind on the tangent of what that could be about.  She 'came back' to the present just as the award winner was saying, "and look for our movie out in March "The Hunger Games"!!!  I'd say that idea was pretty pushy about who was writing it!!

Year of Pleasures by Alice Berg I love her.  I get so much insight into me by reading her books! How does she do that??

Now to the fun part of my year - quilting!  I'm happ-happ-happy to say that "Birds of a Feather" a BOM offered at Gretna's Quilted Moose is finally done-done!!!  YEA!  Poor baby languished for years, but finally made it to the big times! You can read all about it here!

The other big finish I had was J's recovery quilt - My beloved SIL celebrated a year free of cancer around his birthday.  So this quilt was his present.  You know how those 'quiet' steady relatives usually don't get quilts - because they don't nag you about them???  I pieced the top the same time I made my Nephew's college graduation quilt - ummm, 2 years ago!  Thankfully, he felt it was well worth the wait!!

There were 4 QOV; baby charity quilts; Christmas stockings; fabric post cards and too many doll clothes to count! (apparently!)  But it all equaled a great deal of fun!

One more thing before I close today - you may know I have a Pinterest account :)  There are approximately 13,800 posts(!) and 1,400 followers(!)  A fact that amazes me and my daughter!!  But makes it a great deal of fun! If you want, there is a icon on the left side of the blog that will take you right there!

I'm not exactly sure why Pinterest is so-o much fun.  But for me, a list-maker; an idea keeper; a creative woman who thinks she can recreate anything that strikes her fancy!!  It's really nirvana!  And so easy to update when you're watching something on TV that doesn't need your undivided attention!

My idea is to go back into my boards and look at what I've pinned and figure out why? what attracted me to that pin and what it says about me??? Just a thought!

Today's board  I evaluated was "My Quilts Thru the Years"  I usually make a "word" copy of each year's blog entries; and check to see if the quilt pictures are on this page.  I like having them there - for quick access.  I don't know about you, but digital pix are hard to keep track of!  There's 1000s of them, in different places and mine really need a spruce up!!  Meanwhile, I need to look back on them to remember details or sizes ... well, here's where they are!

My first go at saving the quilts was early in my Pinterest 'career'.  I looked to see if they actually saved and each one had a 'pin' already.  Oh, gee - what did I do wrong?  But no - someone had actually created a board on their Pinterest featuring all my quilts!!  Was that admiration or stalkery???  It did make me think!!

Do you have favorite quilts that you've made?  They could be "standards" that you make for many people.  They could be a quilt that resonates within you; because of who it is for, because what was happening at the time; or just because.

That's all for now - this has been so much fun!  More of it in 2015, please!!