Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just a Swangin'

The paint had barely dried on the deck and swing and the new cushion made before Miss Bianca jumped up to try it out for size and comfort. She already thinks that the wicker chaise is hers and goes out every morning to take her place on her thrown to rein over her domain. She has a dog door that lets her come and go from my sewing room onto the covered deck to enjoy being outside whenever she feels like it. In my next life, I want to come back as my

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Proud Mother

I know it's well after Mother's Day, but a friends blog gave me inspiration for a long overdue blog. I know it's hard to tell in the picture above, but the very attractive lady in the picture above is my amazing daughter. I have to pinch myself daily to believe that my sweet little curly haired girl grew up to save lives on this helicopter and in the ICU of our local hospital. Now, this isn't amazing because I don't believe in my daughters heroism or intelligence, it's amazing because she had the biggest wuss in the world for a mother. She was a head strong tomboy, born with no fear, who loved to climb trees and ride motorbikes on our large property. These hobbies brought her to the screen door dripping in blood many times. It didn't take her long to figure out that she should call for help from her dad, not her mom, because mom had no stomach for blood. Her own, or anybody elses. Then or now.

Favorite (and only) daughter is fourth from the left in this picture, looking very proud, as she should be. She says this is her proudest accomplishment, landing the job on this helicopter. I prefer to think it's her bachelor degree that she moved five hours away from everything and everyone she loved, except for me, to work for. Moving back in with Mom after being out in the world on her own to be able to afford to go back to school. Now, I'm not going to pretend this was easy for either one of us, but in a strange way it made us closer and respect each other even more for the women we had worked so hard to become. As she prepares to pursue her Masters Degree this fall, she gives this mother even more reason to be proud. I know, all mothers say they just want their offspring to grow up to be happy and productive human beings, but it doesn't hurt if the offspring grows up to make the world a better place in the process!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Time for the Important Things

One thing being happily unemployed has done for me is give me plenty of time to do all the things I never had time to do while being employed outside the home. Mostly it's given me plenty of time to make lists of the things that I want to do with that time. On the top of the list was to master making a good loaf of sourdough bread. Since the last few loaves of sourdough bread we purchased were around five dollars, I had plenty of incentive for this project. Little did I know I would be dedicating a full week of my life to this first loaf of bread. Consulting my favorite bread book I learned that the first step in this process was to make a starter. Since there are dozens of types of starters, this step was daunting. I finally settled on trying two types of starters, one with honey and one with yogurt. I also decided I wanted to make a whole wheat sourdough bread to make this bread as healthy as I could. The yogurt starter was created with no drama, the honey starter was a different story. The directions said to use a two quart jar as a container for the starter. Obviously, the bread book needs some editing because the starter erupted like a volcano and ran all over, creating a huge mess. With the mess cleaned up, all that was left to do was give the starter time to do its job. I stirred the starter once a day and finally on the seventh day I was excited to actually get started making the bread. Much to my chagrine, after consulting my bread book for the next step, I learned there was yet another step to take before I could actually make bread. The next step is to make a sponge out of the starter and give the sponge twenty four hours to work its magic. Finally, yesterday I got to make the first two loaves of bread. The culmination of all this work was not the most beautiful loaf of bread ever made, but it certainly tasted wonderful buttered with the satisfaction that it was made with a week of my work and time. Just like any work in progress, with time and experience I have a feeling I may be on the road to something great.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Satisfaction of Completion

I've always gotten a great deal of satisfaction out of finishing something. Whether it's a bottle of shampoo or a sewing project, there's always that moment of pleasure knowing I've actually stuck with it until the end. Those of you who know me personally know I constantly struggle with focus. Sometimes there are just too many distracting things in this wonderful world that I find it hard to stick with anything long enough to actually reap the benefits of completion. For the past week I've looked out my kitchen window and instead of seeing the beautiful mountain view my gaze usually settles on, I saw a half completed deck staining. My husband had painted the flat part of the deck on a lovely cool day, but had not painted the railing and door. The railing easily has 75 to 100 small spindles requiring paint and a great deal of time. After over a week of solid rain and no opportunity to finish the job, I decided it was the perfect time to finish the job. It was the absolutely perfect spring day. Sunny, but cool with the most delicious breeze to keep the job from getting too warm. I don't broadcast this little tidbit about myself, but I actually enjoy painting. Especially the type of painting most people hate. The tedious trim part, like painting a jillion railing spindles! So I spent Mother's Day on my top deck, enjoying the mountain view and breeze, painting spindles and watching my husband plant sweet potatoes in our garden. This morning we have rain, again, but my view out my kitchen window is now one of satisfaction. Now to the bottom deck on the next day we have without rain!

Friday, May 1, 2009

My favorite way to sew is with nothing but a measuring tape, creating something totally unique that no other person on the planet has one exactly like. It's gets harder every year to cut out the large yardages required for these kinds of projects, so I'm reminding myself with this blog what I'm still capable of. A personal kick in the posterior to motivate myself to stretch and try new things. I did create a new design this week, but it was just a smaller version of one of my other designs to accomodate some of my more petite clients. Yes, it did require some brain power to make all the parts fit together well, but it wasn't exactly brain surgery. Elementary math at best. Not even a hint of algebra needed. I don't ever want my sewing to become mundane or ordinary, or God forbid....boring! That's the whole reason I wanted to make a living with my STOP doing the same thing everyday. I feel very blessed to be able to wake up everyday and do what makes me happy and have people pay me for the things I create. Some days I even have time to sit down and enjoy the things I've made like these two projects pictured in this blog. I'm finding out it's hard to pursue your passion AND stop and smell the roses. Moderation and balance is a lesson I've never learned I guess. Now I just have to decide if I really want to learn the lesson. It just might be time.