Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To-Do Lists

I've been sharing an email conversation this week regarding to-do lists, sparked by this article about Leonardo DaVinci, ADHD and creativity. I loved the variety in the accompanying illustration by Wendy MacNaughton - everything from pick up a specific book to "Draw Milan". A friend sent me her list that ranged from considering how to be a more concientious consumer to grade papers. Here's my list:

Put away outdoor table and chairs
Put up Christmas lights
Grocery shopping
Bring framed photos of my kids to work
Send updated photos to the grandparents for Christmas
Take my car in for repairs
Get haircut for Andrew
Think about my faith
Art journal page – Grace Like Rain
Make a plan for Christmas shopping
Finish service line projections for FY12 and FY13
Monday Scorecard (yes, I know it’s Tuesday)
Neurosurgery market analysis
Prepare agenda for Dec. 13th FCO Board meeting and send out so members will prepare ahead of time
Send FCO December Concert Press Release Info to President
See if band boosters need help on Saturday
Check home email – FIRE bands playing on Saturday? And e-pethealth registration
Knit socks
Schedule time with Andrew to work on his family life project for Sunday
Schedule riding lesson? Talk to Erin first
Pick Taurus up from garage
Map Thanksgiving
Get out the rest of the Christmas CDs
Ask Andrew to practice violin
Reschedule Friday phone call
Start work physician listing criteria
Finish painting Erin’s closet doors

And just so I don't forget - add these to the list of blogs I want to check on regularly:

And here are some quotes I've been saving up for possible art journal pages:

"Yes, and imagine a world where there were no hypothetical situations.”Jasper Fforde

“The cucumber and the tomato are both fruit; the avocado is a nut. To assist with the dietary requirements of vegetarians, on the first Tuesday of the month a chicken is officially a vegetable.”― Jasper Fforde

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently,as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”― Thich Nhat Hanh

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories,instead of theories to suit facts.”― Arthur Conan Doyle

“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I'll bet they'd live a lot differently.”Bill Watterson

“I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”― L.M. Montgomery

"It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem."G.K. Chesterton

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."

"Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness, is what separates the truly alive from those who are merely going through the motions."— Tom Robbins

"Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer."— Tom Robbins

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth,but most of them pick themselves upand hurry off as if nothing ever happened."— Winston S. Churchill

quan-da-ry [kwon-duh-ree, -dree] 1. a state of perplexity or uncertainty, especially as to what to do; dilemma.

"Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any."~ Orson Scott Card

"I'm interested in having fun with ideas, throwing them up in the air like confetti and then running under them."~Ray Bradbury

"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy.You can't "try" to do things. You simply "must" do things." — Ray Bradbury

"No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time."— Lewis Carroll

"A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all."Rita Mae Brown

"I was a little excited but mostly blorft. "Blorft" is an adjective I just made up that means 'Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.' I have been blorft every day for the past seven years." — Tina Fey

"With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?"~Oscar Wilde

"When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way."~Wayne W. Dyer

“Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” ― G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions

“There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.” ― G.K. Chesterton, Heretics: The Annotated

“Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Monday, November 14, 2011

No Fast Food For Me This Week

What a fun weekend! Last week I decided that I wasn't eating fast food this week, which meant I needed better planning. I also had one new recipe I was dying to try. Michael did the grocery shopping last Thursday evening and I picked up my one ingredient for the recipe I wanted to try on Friday. Sunday, I was prepared for cooking. I made Baked Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash (from December issue of Real Simple), freezer burritos, prepared crock pot meatballs and made enough rice for side dishes to last the week.

The Baked Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash was really dinner last night for Michael and I. I didn't expect my kids to even try it with squash in it. Andrew had some and liked it. I guess his tastes are maturing. Michael and I loved it and I will definitely be adding this to my regular cooking rotation now that winter is here.

Today for dinner we are having crock pot meatballs with orzo and steamed broccoli. Tuesday, meatloaf from the rest of the ground beef and Thursday burritos. I love it when a plan comes together.

And still enjoying the Habit Blog. It's led me to some new (for me) amazing blogs. Here's a few I've checked out this week:

At Upper Pond (must try the marble loaf cake)
Twenty Two Pleasant (Again, another recipe to try - ginger cake)
This is Marzipan (amazing photos from a different part of the country)
Little Red Hen (I follow this via Tammy at daisyyellow too - quilts, knitting, farm, nearby)
Urban Prairie Forest (beautiful pictures)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


"For the past 33 years, I've looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself - if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today. And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." - Steve Jobs

I've been enjoying the habit blog so much since finding it last month. Today my favorite quote was from Lindsay Crandall "It's not that I can't handle things while he's away; it's that everything is so much better when he's here." That's so true for me. This quote led me to look at another blog, which led to yet another blog with the above quote from Steve Jobs. Uh-oh. There may be a few things in my life that I need to purge. I've gotten into some habits or at least routines this year that need to change. I need to focus on these and change something.

Monday, November 7, 2011

To Done

Not To-Do. Too many things to-do. This week I'm just counting the To-Done list. It is much more satisfactory and not as scary.

Enjoying the Habit Blog immensly. I loved what Tara R. wrote on the 3rd. "I chose grace, and the day, in turn, graced me. It's easy. When I remember."

Finished two strands of my bottle cap curtain (similar photo here).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thinking about another class

It is nearing the end of the year and access to 21 Secrets will go away. I've done a lot of the classes and feel like I've truly gotten my money's worth. I'm thinking about a new class now. I'm completely overwhelmed with work and life at the moment, but maybe this kind of diversion is just what I need. This class at Elvie's Studio on lettering is the one I'm leaning toward at the moment.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Balance - Family, Church & Community Focused

I haven't been posting because I tend to like blog posts with pictures. I don't have a decent camera so I quit posting. But then I was inspired/motivated by Chel at GingerBlue to post anyway. I realized that I do actually read blogs and since this is my blog, I can just write without posting photos. I can ramble too, obviously.

I realize lately that I'm too busy because I'm craving some art time. I've sketched and/or doodled in my moleskine that I keep in my purse or my art journal while waiting at my kids' lessons, but I haven't been in my art space in months. I need to do something with paint and color and maybe some collage, glue, and clay. I haven't knitted in months either. I'm in an artistic dessert. This weekend isn't looking much better for art projects either. However, it's not all bad. While in this artistic dessert, I'm filling my soul with some other important ingredients.

I've been working several hours a week volunteering for the Fenton Community Orchestra. Things are going well and I wrote a successful grant proposal that will help us through this year while becoming well established for the next couple of years. My focus now is to find some additional board members and some others willing to take on some of the administrative burden, and hopefully replace myself in the next couple of years before I'm burned out. I would hate for the orchestra to die after only a few years. This is work that excites me and I feel gives back to the community in which I live.

This week I attended a new class at our church. It was much different than I expected. I think I was expecting to go in, sit in a class room with a few people and read a book. Instead, I showed up early to take my kids to youth group and participated in a group sing which was lead by the youth band (in which my son plays guitar). There were several classes starting around the same time so adults and kids all participated. It was a very fun experience. The class turned out to be a huge class with more than a handful of people and I'm really looking forward to it. We will read the book outside of class and discuss in class. The class was full of great energy and I think I will learn a lot.

As for feeding my soul, in addition to the class at church, my family will participate in a community work day this Sunday. The day is to help people and organizations that need help with yard work or projects. It will be a great time working to give back to my community alongside my family and church family. Last weekend we all participated in the CROP walk through church. I'm feeling good about these accomplishments and relishing the wonderful sense of community. I just need to find a little more balance between all the important aspects of my life. I love that I've been spending valuable time with family, church and community and plenty of time at work but need to fit in a bit more creative play time.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Taking a Break - Obviously

I've been making an effort to spend less time on the computer and more time making art and on all my other projects that need my time and attention. I'm not sure if I will seriously start blogging again or not. I never could find the time to truly keep up my blog anyway.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2nd Week: 21 Secrets

Another fun week. I spent a lot of time this last weekend in my art studio. It was fabulous. I also bought more art supplies, which is always fun. I went to Michael's with my 50% of one item coupon and picked up more gel medium. Then I went back later because my daughter wanted to buy something and I found a set of liquid inks on clearance for $4.99. I can't wait to play with them.

I've continued to play in the four groups I started with last week and have at least watched all the videos plus added another class too - Tam Laporte's. I'm having so much fun! I have a few finished or almost finished projects. I've been really surprised to find how much I enjoyed one class that just didn't seem to be "my thing". I'm making myself branch out and try new things and I'm finding new things I like. Gotta love that!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

21 SECRETS-My first Week

Wow! What an awesome, creative, FUN, art-filled week I've had. I'm taking Connie's (from dirtyfootprints studio) 21 Secrets class. It started April 1st but will go until August so plenty of time to get in to all the different teacher's classes. There are 21 different teachers sharing fun techniques. So far I've worked in four groups - Aimee's from Artsyville, Tammy's from Daisyyellow, Alma Stoller's class and Connie's from dirtyfootprints studio.

My daughter has joined me for some of Connie's painting and she even convinced her father to come and paint with her today.

Erin's painting:

Mike's painting

I am having so much fun! Did I mention that already?

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Picture This"

I loved the interview she did about this book. I can't wait to get the book.

"Q: What would you say to someone who asks about the functionality of your books, their purpose?

A: My goal is to make a book for someone who is sitting in the waiting room at the Jiffy Lube while they were getting their oil changed. I want to make books that are picked up by a bored or waiting person who starts to thumb through them and gets drawn in enough so that they stop noticing they are waiting at the Jiffy Lube and instead start to itch to make something with their hands. A picture, or a comic or anything at all. I'm devoted to the idea that the use of images can not only transform our experience of time and space, but also has an absolute biological function that is directly tied to an essential state of being which is this: the feeling that life is something worth living."

Lynda Barry - About her book - "Picture This".

This thought has been in my mind the last few days as I've read several posts on what being an artist is. I loved the post Connie wrote on her blog Dirty Footprints today. My thoughts lean towards the "everyone is an artist" side of the arguement. We all drew pictures as kids and most of us still doodle while waiting on the telephone so I don't feel the need to categorize artists as only people who make a living doing art or spend all their time doing art. If my daughter asks me if she's an artist, the answer is YES! If someone asks me if I'm an artist, I always hesitate, but really, I think the answer should be YES!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Blog Lull - Weekend Update

Weekend List:
1. Buy a camera
2. Buy my son new jeans
3. Attend several birthday parties including one in which I get to eat wonderful food and another which involves laser tag.

4. Photograph and upload some of my art journal pages.
Decluttering targets that need to be accomplished:
1. My linen closet
2. My closet
3. My bedroom in general

Well, I managed to get my son jeans and go to birthday parties and eat wonderful food. I played laser tag and in the first game managed to come in behind my husband (codename Viper), my daughter (codename Fang) and my son (codename Fender). That Fang kid rocks at laser tag. I think it's because she's so little she manages to duck under all those lasers and sneak up on more people. I stepped it up a notch in the second game and was ranked 6th overall, which is awesome for me, but now I have a blister on my trigger finger. I'm just not cut out for these violent sports!

And then there was the decluttering list too. I only managed to do one table in my bedroom.

Heaps of snow arrived yesterday so I didn't leave the house so no new camera and I made the mistake of picking up another Harry Potter book so I haven't managed to do anything productive since that time. I should finish the book today though so that will only leave two more in the series. Hopefully I can finish them by the weekend and get back on with art. Although my husband brought Twilight home and is reading it. I may be forced to read that next...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Recycling/Reusing Sweaters

I have been wanting to find some ideas for remaking or repurposing some of the lovely sweaters I have that aren't really fashionable anymore or just don't fit me right. I found this lovely list already compiled at Always Christi. I'm hoping to find some time this weekend to work on one of them.

Pictures of my stack of sweaters awaiting rebirth to come, as soon as I get that new camera.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Blog Lull

Well, I still have no working camera and blog posts are pretty boring without photos. I've been working on a 2011 Art Journal and really like some of my pages but my cell phone takes horrible photos.

I'm currently enjoying catching up on Kristy's 365 Day Jar Project and plan to continue to follow this throughout the year. I have really enjoyed some past 365 day projects from other artists and would love to find my own but given my schedule, I'm wondering if perhaps that is a bit ambitious. Perhaps I should try a 52 week blog post project?! Once a week for the next year sounds like a good goal.

Weekend List:
1. Buy a camera
2. Buy my son new jeans
3. Attend several birthday parties including one in which I get to eat wonderful food and another which involves laser tag.
4. Photograph and upload some of my art journal pages.

No Frills Prompt: Empty

No coffee left to sustain me
But plenty of work left to detain me
And many blogs to entertain me
So I must seek a refill

I've been wanting to do Tammy's No Frills Friday Prompts but I never seem to get around to it. I decided that the first goofy thing to pop into my head when I heard the prompt would just have to suffice.

"It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity."~ Dave Barry
(Also from Daisy Yellow this week - loved it!)

Back to Jan 1st Please

It's mid-February and I need a reminder that I made some goals! I'm already falling off the wagon.

1. Simplify
2. Exercise

Goal for the weekend - both! Declutter and exercise.

Decluttering targets that need to be accomplished:
1. My linen closet
2. My closet
3. My bedroom in general

I'm hoping to incorporate some regular decluttering in to my weekly cleaning schedule. I really need that. I found this list helpful. I have too much furniture in my bedroom and I would love to get rid of two pieces. Not sure where to put them and I'm not sure I'm ready to give them up. I would love to get rid of some furniture but am at the point where most of what's left is a family heirloom/antique and that makes it harder.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Broken Camera

And now we're down to just the cell phone camera.

Which doesn't take the greatest pictures. We have two little point and shoot cameras but one is telling us it needs to reformat the memory card all the time and the other was dropped. Now we need to consider what we really want and how much we should spend. In the meantime, I will have to get by with the cell phone and my scanner. I have been creating art journal pages related to my goals for the year but have been waiting on the camera. I guess I will need to scan if I'm to share here.

Yesterday, my daughter and I stopped at Goodwill on a whim. We walked out of there with 9 tops and one pair of pants plus a necklace for $36. I think you just have to be in the right mood to spend the time there and we both were. Erin got these three cool t-shirts and the necklace. Of course, with the poor picture quality, you can't really see the necklace but it has different shaped locks and keys on different chains. She loves it. One of the black shirts is a Detroit Tigers shirt which matches a cute hat she already had.

We purchased two sweaters that we intend to use for craft projects. She found a sweater bear somewhere and wants to try to recreate another. I have a pattern for it that I have to dig out. Not sure what we will being doing with the other one but it was very soft with a lovely pattern.

Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 Reading List

I was lucky enough to get a free book to review from Library Thing this month. It goes hand in hand with one of my 2011 goals. The book is The 60 Minute Money Workout by Ellie Kay. I've only got as far as the second chapter but am really enjoying this book so far. It isn't the type of book that you just read cover to cover. To get the most out of it, you need to actually do the work. I need to review it for Library Thing though, so my plan is to read it cover to cover, and then go back and start working on it.
Other books on my list for this year include:
One Year to an Organized Financial Life by Regina Leeds
One Year to an Organized Life by Regina Leeds (see a pattern?)
Sense and Sensability by Jane Austen
Diary of Anne Frank
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond
Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh
Four Word Self Help by Patti Digh
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Katie DiCamillo
It's a weird mix, I know. My 11 year old has been trying to get me to read the Edward Tulane book since she was in first grade. She's read it about 5 times. Some of these are on here because I feel like I should read them and some are just fun reads (I hope). One is even a re-read, Glass Castle.
Tammy's list on Daisy Yellow inspired me to get my reading list down so that I don't forget. I need to add them to my Good Reads list yet but this is a start.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Currently Enjoying

We are all settling into the New Year quite well. I have been busy posting to my Tumblr blog but not here. I have been an avid blog reader though and my current favorites are:

Artsyville - Loving List it Tuesday and thinking I should play along

Geninne's Art Blog - Love her work and just received a print as a Christmas present to myself. Wish I could order some pillows too.

I'm spending loads of time knitting socks. The "sock of the month" class sounded doable but I'm still on December's sock and now have January's sock started as well. November's socks are the only pair I've finished!
Please enjoy this cell phone photo of my November socks. I forgot to take a photo so had my niece send me this. I gave them to my sister for Christmas.