Changes

For a while, and by that I mean practically my entire life, I have been plagued with a severe case of super terrible time management*. Oddly, this didn’t translate too terribly much into my work life, but it has permeated my personal life for far too long. So, for the last year I’ve been reading blogs, books, and anything I could get my hands on to get myself on track.

The great thing about these kind of searches is that one typically receives enlightenment from the most unexpected places and for me it was signing up for Ramit Sethi’s 20X Your Potential email course. Day 1 was a physical challenge in which I held (mostly) a plank for 21 minutes, it was brutal! Day 2 started a more internal/mental approach and was essentially a day to set a long term goal that you’ve been avoiding. One of the steps was to meditate on that goal. Let me say first that I’ve been meditating on and off for a while now and though I believe it helps me in a lot of ways, I had never had a light bulb moment… until this past Tuesday. I’m not going to get into it here, but to put it simply, I see things in a slightly different way and it has made things much more clear and doable.

Now let’s skip to today, Day 5. The challenge was to give back, to do something for others instead of for yourself. Wow! This used to be something I was good at and let fall to the side. When I lived in Charlotte I volunteered at Animal Care and Control, I gave blood every eight weeks, I did a lot more than I’m doing now which is almost nothing. So now I’ve been challenged and it’s time to step it up.

On March 22nd I’ll be attending a volunteer orientation for Animal Care & Control
On March 26th I’ll be donating blood and setting up a regular schedule going forward
Today I donated through Kiva
On Monday I’ll be contacting my local ALS chapter about donating time

This internal shift feels good and I plan to make the most of it. What about you? What do you feel good about? I need to know!

*I once completed and entire Social Studies Fair the night before it was due. Ugh!

Epic Procrastination

Ahem… Hello there… It seems that I have been suffering from some sort of extreme procrastination when it comes to writing. There have been so so many times I have wanted to come back to this and talk about what has been going on and well, next thing you know its been so long that I almost felt silly even starting again. Nevertheless, I’m back with no guarantees on time tables, but with a promise that I will not let fear and worry rear it’s ugly head again. At least, not when it comes to this. Maybe.

Instead of attempting some sort of major game of catch up, I thought I would start with a single simple question…
What have I been cross-stitching?

At the beginning of the year I did another (yes, this is not my first rodeo) major sorting/culling of my cross-stitch accoutrements and decided that I need to spend more time focusing on one project instead of letting my monkey brain rule me. With that I decided to complete Savannah’s Curtsy by Mirabilia.

Mirabilia-Curtsy

She is almost complete. Above her, in a lovely script, will be the word Welcome.
I haven’t worked on her in about a week. I was running dangerously low on thread and didn’t want to continue until I was sure that the new batch wouldn’t look completely off as it would be a different dye lot. The good news is that it matches perfectly. The bad news* is that I’ll be out of town for a week and a half, which will postpone her a bit more.

In an effort at full disclosure, I did allow my monkey brain to take over in a moment of weakness. I signed up for a sampler that will be delivered in 12 easy installments! It was like the best infomercial ever, but wait, there’s more! Well, not really more… only if you count that I had to buy more fabric and thread so that I could get to work. Does that count as more? I’m fairly certain it does.

Behold, parts one and two of the Serenity Harbor Sampler by By the Bay Needleart.

Serenity

 

I know it doesn’t look too exciting at the moment, but it will. Of course, I also made a deal with myself that if I signed up for this I must complete each section in the month that I receive it. So far, so good, but these have been very light on the stitching. I’m pretty sure that by April I’ll be feeling the full brunt of my self made deal.

With that I will bid you adieu. I already have in mind a topic for my next post so keep an eye out.

* It’s hard to call this bad news as I’ll be in Cabo for a few days and then in WV to visit with family. Bad news indeed…

hidden potential, maybe

In between waiting for a load of laundry to stop spinning and before I run off to scrub the shower (cause those things don’t magically take care of themselves, apparently) I thought I would discuss a small personality flaw of mine.

magsI know, it looks like a pile of magazines, but what you’re actually looking at is a compulsive behavior. Growing up it was unicorns, stickers, and such. As an adult it’s been Barbies, Beanie Babies (embarrassing, but true), and crafting supplies which has ranged from patterns to yarn and everything in between. I’ve mostly broken out of this need to have more and more and more of something, but for some reason my current obsession seems to be these lovely glossy periodicals.

This is not all of them, but only the unread ones and this doesn’t even include my digital subscriptions… in my defense, sort of, I no longer have any physical subscriptions, but when I pass by a wall of magazines like this my heart races a little and I might break into a bit of a sweat. It’s almost like I’m gazing on a wall of potential, but we all know that’s not really how it works.

moremags

So now I’ve placed myself on a strict moratorium of absolutely no magazines until we get packed up and move to our new place. That’s a month and half. Totally doable, but that means I have to figure out a way to buy groceries without passing this wall of temptation…

good times

The lazy blogger has struck again… and I have so much to talk about!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but we have been house hunting the past few months. And by that I mean we have spent almost every Saturday and Sunday traipsing around to various open houses looking and analyzing every detail of any home that fits our very specific criteria. It’s a mess out there people. I don’t know how many of you are privy to the ways of the San Francisco housing market, but it’s crazy town. The list price? A mere suggestion. Cash buyers? More than you would think possible. It’s been a bit daunting.

The good part though, is that we were not in any particular hurry, so being outbid by unseemly amounts wasn’t a huge deal. The great part is that last Tuesday we put in an offer for a place we really really liked. And we got it! Not without some good old fashioned trials and tribulations, but we are currently in escrow and crossing our fingers that the rest of the process goes off without a hitch. Even sitting here writing this a week later I’m still a bit in shock that we’re this close and I’m so super excited!

Part of the reason it was a little crazy making is that we had to sign all the docs and get our escrow account up and running on Wednesday (we accepted their counter offer that morning) cause we were leaving for New York City Thursday morning. Our timing is nothing if not impeccable.

Oh, and our trip to NYC? A-ma-zing*! Mike and Emily flew up to meet us and were able to meet up with several friends who live there now. It was really nice to spend a weekend walking the city, eating amazing* food with amazing* drinks, all in the company of great friends.

Good times, people, good times.

* just for you Mike…

well laid plans

This morning I woke up with a really terrible headache. You know the kind, the kind that makes you want to crawl back into bed for a few more hours and try again later.

So for a little motivation I ran out for some of my favorite coffee and a delicious fruit danish and took some time to get some reading in.

breakfast

It totally helped* and I was back on track. Sometimes a little indulgence is exactly what I need to get going.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but I set up some crafty things that I want to accomplish for May, because lists are what get me through life the day.

For May
Finish Roadside Attraction socks
* Weave in ends and block the Rockefeller shawl
* Finish the white on santa’s beard
* Finish 1 Fiddlehead Mitten
* Finish 2 preemie hats
* Cast on one new project

Yesterday I finished up the toe of my second Roadside Attraction sock, wove in the ends, and then wore them out for a bit. Love these socks so so much!

sock1

I really love the simple design. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making another pair of these. Maybe with a little longer leg next time.

sock2

Since the socks are done I’ve started back on santa’s beard. Seriously… so much white. After the white is done I’ll need to add the off-white, but for now I’m going to focus on the pure white bits.

Progress.

santa1

 I’m fairly confident that I can get these things done this month**. I’ve even calculated how many ends their are to weave in on the shawl (48) and how many days left in the month (23) so that I’ll know how many need to be done each day (2.09). I’m nothing if not a planner…
 
* This post is brought to you by the magical danish and awesome latte.
** Or at least 4 out of 6… that’s not bad, right?

happy cinco de mayo

Good morning world! Or really, almost noon, but hey it’s my blog, right? And yes, since it’s my blog I can use a thousand commas and start sentences with and… but I digress.

Today is my birthday and I thought I would say a quick hello to everyone out there and talk a little about my annual birthday angst.
I have this weird relationship with my birthday where I don’t want to make a big deal of it, but I kinda want it to be a big deal. And I don’t really care if people know my age, but yeah, I kinda do care. Can you tell what kind of morning it’s been so far? It’s been a morning of contemplation dashed with a smidge of serious reflection and what do I have to show for it. Not much except for plans to make myself a better me. Not sure what that means, but there it is.

So here is to another year of living my life in my own personal crazy making sort of way and  allowing myself to not take myself so seriously. Maybe let go of some of those internal rules that I create for myself that add to my neurosis. We’ll see.

Speaking of rules… I do want to add one though (I know, I know). A good one. I want to write here at least once a week. About anything. I enjoy putting my rambling thoughts down in a semi-cohesive sense, but what scares me is putting them out for the world to see. Nothing like a little healthy fear to get the blood pumping.

So no rules on what the content will be. It could be knitting. It could be navel gazing. It could be about my need to rearrange the cutlery when I’m at a restaurant. It could be about how I am never quite sure how to end a post…

 

 

no more guilt

Monday morning, at yoga, our instructor spoke about going about our daily activities from a place of love and not guilt. This really struck a chord with me. The reason? Every morning I sit down and write a to do list and every day I look at that list and then swiftly begin the process of procrastinating. Now mind you, most of these items aren’t difficult. Some may take time and some effort, but generally they’re not what you would think of as difficult items. Yet, I procrastinate and the more I procrastinate the guiltier I feel and then I procrastinate even more and then I feel like an ass for not getting stuff done.

So. Yeah. Not really helpful in feeling good about what one has accomplished for the day. I may be getting things done, but my brain puts up such a fight that it’s kinda exhausting. I just feel, well, over it. So here’s what I’m doing. I’m reminding myself why the item needs to be done. I know, sounds silly, but when I look at my to do list and I see wash dishes I’m changing that internal monologue from ‘I really should get this done before Joe* gets home cause the kitchen looks like crap’ to ‘I’m going to feel really good when this is done and the kitchen will look great without all the clutter’.

The other thing I realized while contemplating all of this is that I’ve been placing rules around things that I enjoy so that I’ll do them. Let me say that again, I’ve placed rules around things I enjoy so that I’ll do them. Is it just me or does that make zero sense? On that note there will be no more crafty Friday or whatever Tuesday posts. Clearly none of that was working and it just created guilt around something that I initially started because I love to write.

So instead of guilting my way through the day with all the should’s that hang out in my crazy brain I’m going to think about why I’m really doing them and work to turn my mind over to the joy of it… even for things as mundane as washing dishes.

What do you guys think? Are you living your life from a place of guilt or love? Also, while flitting around the internet I found this post about guilt that I really enjoyed.

 

* To be clear, Joe is not nagging me about things undone. This is all in the fabulous world of negative talk that goes on in my head.

cross-stitch tuesdays

Last week I magically woke up at 5:30 in the morning with this urgent need to sort through everything that was cross-stitch related. The end result is that I’ve paired everything down to fit into one box. It felt really good to get these things down to the bare essentials and I feel that what is left is the best of the best. These are the things that I love and will most likely be completed in my lifetime. Heh!

A few weeks ago we were in Charlotte and I did pick up a few things from my favorite little shop in Rock Hill. I mean, I hadn’t been there in almost three years and who knows when I’m going to get back. Even looking at their website just now had me thinking about new purchases, but I must stay strong to my purpose of maintaining a smaller stash and look away.

OK, so what did I get while I was there? I managed to walk out with only two patterns. One of which I plan to start after Santa is complete so I went ahead and purchased the fabric and beads I needed.

Mirabilia, Silver Moon Tea.

earlgray

The other one, Sleeping Princess, I’ll start sometime down the road.

sleeping

And yes, these items fit into my newly created cross-stitch box so I’m in the clear as far as that’s concerned.

While I was in Charlotte I was also gifted a fantastic pair of scissors while in town. Aren’t they gorgeous?!?!? One can never have enough scissors…

scissors

I know it’s been a while, but I have made some progress on Santa. The white for the beard has been a bit tedious, but oddly exciting at the same time. Once I get through that part I feel like I’ll be so close to finishing this piece. I really can’t wait to for this to be done, you know, in a good way.

santa

 

knits on friday

Public service announcement: please read!
Craft on friday will now be knits on friday until further notice. I plan to spend more time being bi-craftual so I think knitting and cross-stitch deserve their own personal space on the blog. All cross-stitch content will now be posted to on Tuesdays.

And now back to our semi regular program…

One of my knitting goals for this year is to use or destash more yarn than I bring in. To that end I’ve been paying more attention to what I buy and trying to limit it to things I want to knit in the near future and not just buying yarn cause it’s pretty. Because honestly, so much of it is pretty and that’s what got me here in the first place.

I did buy yarn while I was in Charlotte a few weeks ago. This gorgeous green will be a Simurgh shawl. I plan on starting it after I get a few things finished up, but I’m already imagining how beautiful it will be.

green

I also may have completely caved on the Rockin’ Sock Club that, for the past two years, I’ve sworn to forego and then made the mistake of looking at the first shipment. Damn you Blue Moon for having such amazing yarn!

In my defense I have vowed to knit all six skeins that will be arriving this year. I’ve already caked this one up and it’s ready to go… January’s shipment of Portland Plaid for the win!

STR1

But before I start that I’ll be knitting up a few preemie hats. Good friends of mine recently had twins who were born premature and it made me think about all those little ones that need toasty heads to stay healthy. It may also help me to use up all those little bits and bobs of yarn that I wasn’t sure what to do with. As far as I’m concerned it’s a win/win.

Preemie hat the first. Seriously tiny.

preemie

I did manage to complete the Beet socks and I plan on knitting the leftover yardage into another preemie hat. Look at all that yarn being used up!

beets

The plan now is to get another preemie hat on the needles and then get going on that gorgeous new Portland Plaid. See ya next week!

 

crafty friday

Oh my gosh! The past two weeks have been part hectic and part recovery from the hectic. This was partially due to my brother-in-law getting married and we spent a week in Charlotte visiting so many people plus all the wedding shenanigans. Good times!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled Friday of crafty goodness…

With everything settled I can finally show you a picture of my not so secret project aka gift for the bride to be.

shawl1It turned out beautifully! The pattern is Meira and was a lovely knit. I’m really thinking about making one for myself.

Knitting seems to be in my blood lately. Not only did I whirl through the shawl, but I’ve completed one sock. You heard me… one sock! I’ve cast on for the second one so hopefully I’ll have a pair shortly.

Sock the first.

sock2

With all the knitting I’ve been really neglecting Santa. I think I needed a bit of a hiatus from him and knitting has filled in that gap nicely. Once I finish up the second sock I’ll get back to making him a priority, but honestly, that white beard is leaving me a little unexcited. So.much.white.