What I Did This Year...actually, not much!

Other than the "normal" activities that come to mind, it seems like I did a lot of complaining this year. About so many things...

  • the weather (too hot, too cold, too rainy)
  • politics (we won't get into that again, at least for awhile)
  • work (sometimes because I have to, not because I want to)
  • me (too tired, to unenthusiastic, too much!)
Accomplishments for 2016:
  • organized and facilitated many mixed media classes at work.  Lots of Alabama Chanin-inspired projects!
  • purchased my daughter's old car (which was still ten years newer than mine), and felt comfortable/safe enough to do a few road trips...Bloomington, Ohio, middle of nowhere Indiana.
Best things...
  • My daughter had a baby girl...both of them are the best!


What a year...

I wish that I could be bubbling with holiday spirit and goodwill toward all, but just sitting here, on my next to the last day of work in 2016, I just feel fraught with bad vibes.  A media blackout would be the answer.  Not reading Tweets would also be a remedy.  I've decided NOT to worry about having enough retirement funds in two years.  Hell, we'll all probably be disintegrated by nukes long before then. I'm tired of bullies, misogynists, people with no empathy, and frankly, people who are just plain ignorant...people who follow the crowds...lemmings who will walk over the edge.

Off of my soapbox, for now.

Merry Christmas to one and all...and a most joyous, safe New Year.


O Christmas Tree!

Finally!  Lights and a few simple ornaments adorning my little (4 ft.) tabletop tree.  It's about time!
Not a super picture, but at least it's now documented...I decorated!


Currently reading...

"For the woman who is doing everything for everyone--except herself."

I saw this book somewhere online, and looked it up on Amazon to get the details.  Then I placed a hold on it yesterday.  First thing this morning, it is on my desk.  Amazing! In the author bio, it says that Jessica N. Turner documents her pursuit of cultivating a life well crafted.  Doesn't that sound pleasant?

Here's hoping this one speaks to me.


Monday's my favorite things-holiday edition

It's all about comfort--physical and mental.  I love the scent of 1803's Bourbon Sandalwood candles. Not too heavily scented, just perfect.
1803 Bourbon (vanilla) Sandalwood
 For "everyday" use, I just adore LaVanila's body butters and roll on vanilla scents.  It truly lifts my spirits when I get a whiff of it!
Dreamy Vanilla scented body butter
I tried a sample of L'Occitane's Amande Milk Concentrate.  It's very lightly scented, but oh so smooth to put on.  It turned my alligator-skin legs soft and smooth!

Lightly scented, very hydrating body creme

It was hard to come in to work this morning...I was an absolute slug all day yesterday.  Most of the day was spent watching movies, rubbing on body lotion, drinking tea, and basking in the candlelight!


December...a December to remember?

...Because I didn't decorate for Christmas yet?

I picked this up at the little shop I work in a few times a month (far removed from my regular gig at the library)--way back in early October.  I really liked the industrial look of it.  I let a friend borrow it to display earrings on at a few art shows, and when I get it back, this might be "it" for decorating.  One of my other trees sits naked in the entryway on a table.  Seems like there's no real time to get to decorating it.  Maybe, maybe, maybe tomorrow.

Knitting for Peace.  World peace, local peace,my peace.  Read about it on The Healthy Knitter blog, and find the pattern for a cowl on Ravelry.

I have the perfect yarn for this project, but of course, it's in the wrong colorway for my winter coat.  I was so enchanted by the yarn color and feel that I didn't give a thought to how it would coordinate with my winter coat.  I do that so often that I shouldn't even be surprised by it!  If you don't like working "in the round", Vicki at Knitorious has instructions for using straight needles.  Find it on Ravelry here.

I have "blog-stalked" Knitorious for the past year...she does so many amazing things and I love to follow her progress on Alabama Chanin stitching.  At one time I searched lots of blogs regarding other sewist's versions of that type of slow fashion.  One of my goals for this coming year is to make a wearable garment.  So far, I've just done accessories.  It's time to broaden my horizons and my wardrobe.

Miss Vivian Rose was a blast to watch last night.  I can't wait to work on projects with her!


Three weeks post election...

Wow.  Three weeks have passed and I'm still not wanting to accept the results.  Day after day, and Tweet after Tweet it becomes more surreal.  While I do not "care" for PEOTUS, I do follow him on Twitter and reading the tweets usually raises my blood pressure.  I cannot imagine four more years of this nonsense.  Can you?

Life goes on, but sometimes I feel so hopeless/helpless.  Ridiculous...grow up, Teresa!  Get over it and accept it.  Easier said than done.  Instead, I mope--especially after watching the news.  I think that I need to crawl up into a little dome or bubble and just "be"...shut off the worries of the world and retreat into my own little world.


Cyber Monday, after a nice long weekend

On my list of To Do's (or rather, To Buy's), my main item was a 2017 planner from OneCanoeTwo. 50% off between noon and 1 PM today.  Tah dah...done!
I'm definitely not much of a shopper, especially "in person", and especially at this time of year.  I do love on-line shopping, especially with a nice discount.  Gotta admit, this planner is for me.  All of my other shopping is nearly finished, with most of it done on-line earlier this month, or in the little shop I work in once or twice a month on Sundays.

It was a super-nice four day weekend, divided between hanging out at home in pajamas, and hanging out at my daughter's home and being amused, entertained, and enchanted by Vivian Rose.


Planning...doesn't always work

Trying to think of an ideal five days off...would they include:
  • lots of time spent in pajamas or yoga pants?
  • great "easy" food?
  • good books to read and explore?
  • knitting or some Alabama Chanin stitching? (yes...this!!)
  • playing with baby Vivian? (yes, this too!!)
  • Gilmore Girls!!
After tomorrow, I'm off through Monday.  Originally I was going to have guests (relatives) in town for several days, but too much fence-sitting on their part, and too much working right up to the holiday on my part led to an invitation "take-back".  Believe me, it did not sit well with those involved.  Live and learn, Teresa.  Live and learn.  Now I just want to spend a little time with friends for turkey day, and then shuffle off home and spend some time with the "nuclear" family...and veg out.


TGIF, but it doesn't really matter...

Yay, it's Friday.  But I work Saturday and Sunday, then Monday through Wednesday.  No rest for the wicked, I guess.

The day started off with a Benefits Meeting...(finally) getting the scoop on our insurance information for 2017.  Good news!!  No increases, either in payments or deductibles.  Good job, HR!  The meeting started off with a Chocolate Mindfulness exercise.  Click the link to go to the Ted-X Talk.  It was rather interesting, and a nice way to "center" before a meeting.

The weather is gorgeous right now...78 degrees and sunny.  Not bad for the last third of November. We've had such a warm autumn...it's hard to imagine bundling up in coats, boots, and scarves.  That happens tomorrow...the coat part anyway.  Moderate to severe storms are supposed to move through the area later this afternoon, bringing on a cold front with a high temperature of 46 tomorrow.  No problem...I'm working anyway.  It will be a good day to bring in a crock pot of soup to share with my co-worker tomorrow.  I've tried some really great recipes from Pinterest lately...Irish Beer cheese soup (so good, but so bad for you), and yesterday's effort was Crock pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup.

My suggested modifications for the Irish Beer cheese soup...

  • Instead of coating the cheese you've shredded with corn starch, do what you've always done with corn starch...mix it with a little cold water and add it to the pot of broth, then add the shredded cheese.
  • Substitute the Harp's Lager with a regular old American lager.  It will taste the same.  Save the Harp's for drinking, not cooking!


Twisted Tuesday

Things that made me happy today:

  • $2.99 Chicken Breasts at Fresh Market
  • Delightful deli items, also at FM...chicken salad and yummy Greek artichoke salad
  • Morning coffee from Starbucks.  I'm always game for the bonus stars opportunities they provide, and I hoard free food and drink bonuses until the last possible minute, trying to see how many I can build up.  I'm currently at 3.
  • Packets made up for my mixed media arts program at work tomorrow.  It's always so good to have and carry out a plan! We're doing putz houses...little glitter cottages.  It's a repeat program from about four years ago at another library location.  By tomorrow at this time, I will have glitter all over.
  • A few knitting projects lined out...mostly mindless knitting, the kind I do best.
  • "Cheap" gasoline...still at around $1.86/gallon.  
  • This is an odd one...listening to Christmas music on my lunch break.  Leslie Odom Jr., Simply Christmas.  Just beautiful!
Things that made me sad today:
  • Newspaper headlines about Paul Ryan, Breitbart, Trump, etc. blowing up MediCare and possibly Social Security.  Not good news when I'm 2 years away from collecting.  Not good at all.
Looking Forward to:

  • My library hold should be here tomorrow...Hag-seed: The Tempest Retold by Margaret Atwood.


Birthday Weekend #63

Feelin' old and cranky.

A road-trip to Bloomington, IN on Saturday morning...Bloomington Hand Made Market, and lots of little shops (especially yarn shops!!), and delicious food at Function Brewery.  The trip to Bloomington is so easy now since I-69 is open all the way from Evansville to Btown.  Nothing exciting along the highway though...just miles and miles of farmland and quarries.

It was a four-day weekend, and it absolutely flew by.  I spent some time with my daughter and grand-daughter, and spent the day with my friend Carol (my usual travelling/shopping buddy).

Still feeling half sick about the election...can't seem to shake it.


Oh my...

Despair is in the air.  While I hope that we will all pull through this "national, world-wide" disgrace, I fear that will not be the case.

Sad, sickened, and angry...not a good combination.

Hope springs eternal...


Central Standard Time, Day 2

Pre-birthday (mine) "portrait" with Vivian Rose
Day one of CST started early, of course.  As I suspected, I was awake at 4AM.  Not so bad...in the general scope of things.  I felt like I was accomplishing lots of things way before 9AM.

I met up with a friend at my daughter's house early in the afternoon, and we all went to another friend's open house, followed by a hang-out at Starbucks.  All in all, a very good morning/afternoon. Since we were a bit thrown off by the time change and changing light patterns, we had either a very late lunch or a really early dinner at the local Mexican Restaurant.  Delicious!

I caught up with Chicago Fire--all of this season's episodes--and promptly fell asleep long before 8PM.

Day 2 has started the same as day 1.  Early to rise.  Way too early!


Darkness Falls...

Tonight's the night...er, early tomorrow is the time-- to fall back.  The only real positive for me is that tomorrow morning will be glorious...it will be light out earlier than the current 7:20 am sunrise, so it will be a day to get up really early (for a Sunday morning, that is).  The bad news--I almost always wake up at 5 AM.  Does this mean that for several days I'll wake up at 4AM until my body adjusts? Yikes!

In preparation for the long dark winter, I've pulled out the fleece pj's, fluffed up the quilts, and have made my bedroom nice and cozy. I'm hoping that the fabulous weather we've been experiencing will hang around a bit longer though...I'll take 85 degrees in the first week of November any time!

Tomorrow is my friend Scarlet's open house...she's a full time artist, and she creates beautiful things...paintings, jewelry, journals, notecards...the list goes on and on.

I can't wait to see some of her new stuff!  We're taking a carload to the open house...Megan, little Vivian (her first open house), and my friend Carol.  Fun times...Starbucks after, I'm sure!


Off schedule already (Sad face)

 Day 4 of NaBloPoMo, and I've already missed a day.  Sad but true...but I was pretty industrious yesterday.  Errands were run, granddaughter was watched, dinner was shared with daughter, and many many projects were thought out.

This morning when I came in to work, theses delightful books were on my desk.  My holds came in...Flora Bowley's latest book
 and this interesting read about creative women and their businesses:

It's going to be a busy weekend, library work tomorrow, and attending an artist's open house on Sunday afternoon.  Should be interesting!


Things I do that make me crazy...

Bad habits...yeah, I've got lots of them.  Most of them I've learned to live with...I'm messy, unorganized, unable to complete a task straight through without straying off course, and one of my biggest faults...too many "hobbies."  In the past several years, I've tried to "specialize"...pick one or four things that I actually enjoy doing and leave the rest behind...then something pops up and I'm off to the races again, with a new and different--shall we say--interest.

Last year at this time, I was taking a sock knitting class.  I still have that same sock cuff on the needles.  I'd really like to finish a pair of socks, but working with those tiny needles and that thin yarn just takes So.Much.Time. One of these days...

Lonely little sock cuff

Alabama Chanin poncho, ballet/natural colorway

My other interest is nearly anything Alabama Chanin.  I've blog-stalked a few people, watching and admiring their progress on those wonderful hand-sewn creations, and even have made a few little items myself, such as the fingerless gloves and a book cover. Over the past several months, I've tried to "infect" a few friends and library program attendees with the AC bug.  We've had three or four AC-inspired classes...fabric flowers, gloves, samplers, and of course, the book covers.  I've almost finished a beautiful Magdalena stenciled poncho, ordered from the DIY School of Making.

I'm always bargaining with myself...if/then scenarios.  If I clean the kitchen, then I can sit and stitch. If I sort through the bookcase, then I can sit and read.  I'd like to be able to power through projects, but it seems like most things just make me tired.  No staying power!



Usually by the 1st of November, it's time to snuggle in...hot tea savored in a cozy reading nook.  Not today!  We're looking at a high of 85 degrees...a record here.  The good news--no humidity.  It's absolutely beautiful here...autumn leaves, sunshine, and a gentle breeze.  Thursday, a day off this week, should usher in a cool front with maybe some showers.  Time to break out the Trader Joe's Spicy Chai!


High Anxiety

Voter Anxiety Treat Kit

I voted last Thursday at the library.  Huge lines were prevalent all week long.  I knew that I didn't want to wait until the actual election day to vote...I have to work until 6 that day, and who knows how early one would have to be to vote before work.  That said, the "big news" that seems to have hit every Friday regarding one or the other candidate arrived on schedule.  Wonder what "news" we'll hear about this coming Friday?  I decided long, long ago who I was supporting in this election. While the choices aren't even close to superb (and why is that, America??), surely anyone with any common sense can accertain who would be the most presidential.  #ImWithHer

Worry about this election has seeped into all parts of my life...at least when I'm home I can bury my nose in a book or binge watch something on Netflix.  No political ads there, thank God!  It's time to sniff the Bath & Body Stress Relief, steep a cup of Positive Energy tea, and think good thoughts.


Looking Forward, again...

I realize that it's only the 7th of October, but before you know it, November will be here.  Close your eyes and skip over a few weeks!  Lots of fun things happen in November...holiday shopping events, such as Mack's New Market in Terre Haute, IN, Chandelier Barn Market Holiday Shop in Montgomery, and various local holiday open houses.  This year, a friend and I will be attending the Bloomington Handmade Market at the convention center in Bloomington IN.  There are lots of cute little shops in Bloomington...Lola Rue, for one...and a few really fabulous yarn shops.

Lola Rue's, Bloomington IN


Rabbit, Rabbit and all of that!

One of my very most favorite months is October.  Fall is generally in full swing, and the vibrant autumnal colors are gorgeous.  Today has started off rainy/gloomy with big-time humidity hovering near.  Crisp air, where are you?

I had the past two days off, one regular day off and a vacation day, and managed to not get much of anything accomplished.  I did autumnize the mantel, and pull out some fall scented candles.  I worked a bit on some upcoming library "programs"...mixed media club things, but did not finish them.
We'll be doing some embroidery, some regular stitching, beading, and a few other handiwork things.  I always like to schedule something like this for the early part of the new year, to try and ease into simpler things.  SLOWING down...


Tuesday Trivia

Here's what's up...

Currently Reading:  Last Words by Michael Koryta, in preparation for the sequel Rise The Dark.

And The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

Currently Watching: The Republic of Doyle on Netflix.  It is a dramedy with a charming cast of characters, set in St. John's Newfoundland.  Beautiful scenery, and it's great storytelling.  I will be sad to finish watching it.

Currently Listening to: the  Alexander Hamilton soundtrack, and Words & Music:  John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits.  

It's a mixed bag...but typical!


On the horizon...

There are several things coming up that I'm excited about...

Robin Dudley-Howes class on Jeanne Oliver's site starts in mid-September.  I love the way this looks, and we've actually made beaded crochet necklaces and bracelets in classes at my library.  This technique is different though, and I can't wait!!  Registration is available here.

Just a few Saturdays away, the Chandelier Barn Market begins...it's located out in the middle of nowhere, but the vendors are spectacular!  We had so much fun there last year.  Hope the weather is just as beautiful on September 10!

I'm currently working away on my Alabama Chanin poncho...I've set the deadline to finish on or before Labor Day, so that I will actually have my Summer 2016 Project finished on time.  I love this piece, and hope that I don't mess it up when I start cutting away fabric.

What have you been up to?


Floating through August

It's been a long, hot week.  Lots of rain, heeps of humidity, and frazzled tempers!  I met friends for lunch at a new pizza place in one of the "cool" parts of town...Franklin Street. Great pizza, and good conversation.  I call my mid-week day off a practice for retirement.

Last night, the local Shakespeare company put on A Mid-Summer Nights' Dream outdoors, along the riverfront.  The Pagoda is just a block and a half away from my house, so dragging my folding chair down the street was not a problem!
Before the play...

Cloudy...but no rain this evening

Torches...did they keep away the bugs?
The play was amusing, but it ran a bit long.  The mosquitoes were biting, and frankly I'm usually in pj's by 8:30 or 9:00!

It seems like the past two weeks have just flown by.  Not much to differentiate one day from the next. I now await a blast of crisp autumn-like breezes.  Please?


Weekend Stuff and July Roundup

This summer is going by so quickly.  I can't say that I'm a fan of summer...the weather this time around is way too hot and sticky!  Since I'm a believer in climate change, I can only imagine that this will be the norm.

Our library's summer reading program comes to an end today, and school starts in just eight days.  Doesn't seem possible!

The highlight of the summer has been the birth of Vivian Rose.  Mother and daughter are doing well. She will be 3 weeks old tomorrow.

I had a short visit with my brother from the Phoenix area, and my parents.  All came to visit with the baby.  We're planning a longer get-together over Thanksgiving this year.

Other than that, July consisted of:

  • Free Art Friday...every week I would place three pieces of hand-made art somewhere around the area, then post about it on three social media accounts for the library.  It was fun, and people really seemed to enjoy it.
  • Mixed Media Club (also at the library) - Big Fun!  At the beginning of the month, we had a class on fingerless gloves, ala Alabama Chanin.  We're still working with donated t-shirts, and having a ball creating with them!  
  • Mixed Media last week consisted of making our own "Gelli"-type printing plates and carving rubber stamps from Pink Pearl erasers.  


Pretty little Vivian Rose

Meet Vivian Rose, born Sunday July 10 at 7:53 PM

I kind of like to play "caption the picture" with this one.  She doesn't look too happy being on the giving end of a camera lens, does she?



...and the living is easy!  No, really.

So many changes are in store this summer.  Going to be a grandma soon, and I'm sure that will be a significant change.  Company coming, by way of Ohio and Arizona...great-grandparents and grand-uncle of baby Vivian Rose will be here shortly after her arrival.  In the meantime, I've been working on a little Alabama Chanin DIY for myself.

I finally decided to order this poncho when the 20% sale was announced.  Since it was an AC DIY project, it came with two of the same color layers--any colors, but two of the same.  I saw (and to be honest, "coveted") a beautiful example of this poncho on Patti Calande's blog, Gather & Make.
I wanted that same color way, so I was able to locate a beautiful cream-colored 100% cotton jersey at the local purveyor of gorgeous fabric, Let's Sew.  I could have ordered the natural cotton from Alabama Chanin, but they only sell full yard increments, and I needed just 1.5 yards...actually just a piece 22" x 54".  At $26.00/yard AC price, I really didn't want to be that spendy.  The Sea Island Pima cotton jersey from Let's Sew is just luxurious!  So soft, so drapy, and yes...expensive...but just a little less expensive than the AC cotton, plus I could buy the length I needed.
Yay! My package from Alabama Chanin arrived!
First stitches, after basting the two layers together.

Inspiration...from the Gather & Make blog
This is going to be the perfect neutral garment piece of clothing for keeping air-conditioning drafts away from me!



Yesterday was the perfect June day...clear and sunny, no humidity, and warm.  I finally managed to drag the big bags of Miracle Grow potting soil from my trunk to my back yard.  Whew!  I planted a few more pots for the front steps, and the remainder of the soil went into my old faithful two-part washtub.  I came across a gigantic sale of spring/summer bulbs at Walmart last week...25 cents per bag.  I bought perennial cinnamon ferns, Tennessee orchid ferns, dinner plate dahlias, calla lilies, and one of my very favorites, lily of the valley.  The lily of the valley won't do much this year, but maybe by next spring, I'll have the little white bells scenting the back yard.
Cinnamon ferns and orchid ferns should soon be spilling out of this!

My front porch looks basically the same every year...geraniums, herbs, a few annuals in pots.  Pretty easy upkeep, if I can manage to keep them watered!

I'm still plugging along on my Alabama Chanin stitching.  Pretty slow going, but I know that I'll love it.  Our Mixed Media Club at the library has been working on a few AC-inspired projects too...book covers, flowers, and at the end of this month, fingerless gloves.  We've all decided that it's nice to sit and stitch in a group setting...easy conversation, and the time passes so quickly.

Our summer reading program has begun at the library...we're calling it the Summer Learning Program this year.  I've taken on the project of Free Art Friday.  Each week, I drop off 3 little pieces of art somewhere in the city, then I take a photo of it and post it on our library's social media accounts.  We've put little cards in with the artwork so that the lucky recipient can tag us back and let us know that it has found a new home.  Here's what we dropped off last Friday:

Baking and cheese making...

In the "learn something new" part of my life, yesterday I learned how to make mozzarella cheese.  Making and baking French bread w...