Menu for Week 01

December 30, 2007

My 4th week with – mpm2 with Laura’s I’m an Organizing Junkie. This is a week for keeping it simple or delegating!

Sunday: Trader Joe’s Indian food, nan, and rice.

Monday: New Year’s Eve Dinner out with Friends

Tuesday: Black-eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup*, rice pudding

(* I’m going to make this soup up as I go. I’m going to start with this recipe – substituting with peas and greens, sauteed onions with bacon… I don’t know… whatever!)

Wednesday:Chicken Enchiladas and black beans

Thursday: Turkey Noodle Soup (using turkey stock and turkey from Thanksgiving) – I never got around to making this last week (after Christmas shopping got in the way!)

Friday: Take out… kid’s choice: sushi, Chinese, or pizza

Saturday: Grilled Salmon, broccoli, salad

Have a Happy New Year!!!


Finally… goals for 2008!

December 29, 2007

It’s a little wordy but I do believe I’ve captured my FiberArt, Knitting & Crochet, and Drawing/Painting/Photography goals for 2008!


1. Journal Quilts & Take it Further Challenge

I’m participating in SharonB‘s Take it Further Challenge this year. The challenge will run all year and aims to apply textile technique skills to design. I’m not yet sure how I will explore the challenge for each month but I am committed to have a Journal Quilt as the final design project.

2. Weekly collage & Figments

A few weeks ago I decided on the following words for the monthly themes for my weekly collage quilts – Transition, Gratitude, Simplicity, Authenticity, Order, Contentment, Harmony, Transformation, Beauty, Remembrance, Acceptance, Joy (in order January through December, respectfully.) I have decided not to finish the edges and not set a predetermined size. My goal is to “reuse” the weekly pieces in other projects throughout the year (or years to come!)
Each week I am also planning to work on figments – (by definition: something invented, made up or fabricated) and collect them in a sketchbook (a la Kay Greenlees). I’ve been wanting to be more disciplined and get in the habit of recording my ideas and technique samples. This year is as good as any!

3. Quilting projects

This year I’m going to make at least six pieces that are larger than six square feet. I haven’t worked out the specifics yet except the first piece “Icarus,” scheduled for completion by the end of Feb.

4. Swaps & local quilt/textile groups

Finish the swaps I’m currently committed to: Swap pages (Jan, Feb) & Birthday postcards (Feb-2,Mar-1,Apr-1,Jun-1,Aug-1) and participate in a select few throughout the year.
Locally, I’ve committed, each month, to explore a textile techniques with a group of fiber artist… should be lots of fun and hours of work.

5. PIF & gifts

I’m planning to make gifts for family and friends this year, primarily for birthdays and Christmas. I am determined to start and finish early!!!!
PIF: I like the idea of Pay it Forward so I’m planning on offering a PIF again in the fall of 2008. I also need to complete and mail 2007 PIF.

6. WIP: TAST & UFO’s

The dreaded unfinished! This year, I’m committed to finishing the unfinished or moving it on! I still want to finish TAST. The rest… look at, make a decision and take action. I’m planning to have this all resolved before summer.

7. Misc projects: art dolls, fabric journals, mixed media projects

Art Dolls and fabric journals have been on various lists of mine throughout the years. I’m setting a goal this year to do five each.
Mixed Media projects – I enjoy the “stuff” in Cloth Paper Scissor and the work of Beryl Taylor. This year, my goal is to make at least six projects.

8. Textile decoration: dye fabric, surface design, art cloth, embellish
9. Maintain sketchbook
10. Inventory, photograph, and catalog all finished pieces.

Knit & crochet…

I blame Ravelry for this! Most years I’ve oohed and aahed over things I thought would be fun to make or try to make. Joining Ravelry started me thinking about yarns and patterns. Knitting is an activity that I can take anywhere and I do find it relaxing. It also appeals to me as an activity because it fits in with the “Zen-like” quietness that I’ve been searching for. (Beading is like that, too.) Okay, for 2008…
1. Knit a pair of socks a month
2. Knit 3 projects from Cat Bordhi’s A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting.
3. Knit these from Knitty: Branching Out; Tiffany; Venezia; Ice Queen; Muir.
4. Knit a couple of “Fair Isle Pillows”.
5. Crochet a couple of bowls and felt them.
6. Finish or frog any WIP started before 2008.
7. Organize existing stash and needles.
8. Make swatches of patterns I like.
9. Crochet a bag using recycled plastic bags
10. Participate in 2008 Knitting Olympics


  1. EDM weekly Challenge
  2. structured study
  3. Work with pen tablet
  4. Madme
  5. DrawMo! in November
  6. “Photography” – practice, study, play

Okay, on my mark, get set , go….

Getting Organized for 2008

December 26, 2007

I bought Dave Allen‘s Getting Things Done and have from time to time thumbed through it in an attempt to motivate myself to actually get things done! Sometimes just thinking about the book has inspired to get going on some things but I haven’t yet spent the necessary time to really get everything out of my head, written down and ready to work on. Why not? I think I may have thought that GTD was a bit anal-retentive too complicated. More likely, I was too lazy to do the work necessary to get all the “stuff” collected, out of my head and ready to process. During the next few weeks/months I’m going to pull it together and start working on GTD and begin the new year with an actionable plan to be more productive with my time.

I’ve been working on the workflow process (off an on) for years: collect, process, organize, review, and do. My left-brained self works comfortably in this mode. I’ve also been gathering and consolidating ideas on my vision of my different levels of focus. Allen’s next method in gaining control and perspective is achieved through what he calls natural planning. I know I get caught up in “reactive” planning and despite my best intentions I haven’t made the natural planning model work. I’m sure after I do the work of collecting everything that I’ll get to the “next actions” management that I’ve been missing.

My 6 levels of focus:

  • Life Goals – Pursuit of happiness by living a full life: make it up, make it happen!
  • 3 to 8 years – a broad celebration of life. A time to let go of “realizing expectations” and turn more towards leisure interests, living with more lightness and deepening friendships and personal relationships. I’m not sure what I’ll be five plus years from now but I do know that I want the journey over these years to be focused on:
    • Developing a more inner-driven behavior: an ease to enjoy many things; a focus on the here-and-now; comfort with assertiveness, compromise, and managing conflict; an inner contentment with life.
    • Broaden and deepen my expressions of intimacy or caring – allowing friendship to increase in importance.
    • Find outlets for social caring – know how to enrich my sensitivity to the world.
    • Appreciate play as a feature in my life and get more personal meaning from travel and leisure.
    • Know how to create a simpler more fulfilling time schedule
  • next 3 years – I’ve pulled together many of the things I want to do in life and with my art work in two separate 101 tasks in 1001 days (here: life and art.) I still need to do one last review and check that I have, in fact, the integration I need from my 101 tasks through my areas of responsibilities to my current projects and activities.
  • areas of responsibility –
    • Be and take care of me – mind, body, and spirit.
    • Infuse the joy of being a couple into my daily life – shaping, sharing and managing life together.
    • Actively affirm the lives of family and close friends – be optimistic, keep thinking fresh, and do what it takes to make sure they are well and loved.
    • Express and formulate my artistic work and distinctive character in various media.
    • Reach out and give back to a broader community.
  • current projects – weekly review: revise projects and someday/maybe’s
  • current activities – Deal with “stuff” and the daily to-do (next actions)

Well, that’s a start. Next, I need to get to the stuff and start a weekly list that I can start review each Friday.

    Menu for Week 52

    December 23, 2007

    My third week with – mpm2 with Laura’s I’m an Organizing Junkie.

    Sunday: Left-overs.

    Monday: Lentil Soup (This is getting ridiculous! We are really in a rut but I did get a new crock pot!)

    Tuesday: Build your own Pizza (DH made pizza dough last night. He’ll roll the dough out and everyone can make their own individual pizza – plenty of red sauce, pesto, fresh mozzarella, provolone, feta, broccoli, olives, etc.)

    Wednesday: Teriyaki Chicken, broccoli, and rice

    Thursday: Crock Pot Hungarian Goulash… I giving this recipe a try.

    Friday: DH’s Chicken Stir-fry with rice

    Saturday: Turkey Noodle Soup (using turkey stock and turkey from Thanksgiving.)

    I never got around to baking and making this no-knead bread. So, Monday we’ll make a few cookies and do the bread for dinner on Thursday.

    Week 51’s menu

    December 16, 2007

    My second week with – mpm2 with Laura’s I’m an Organizing Junkie. I’ve haven’t done much else on this blog.

    Sunday: Smoked Salmon Quiche

    Monday: Dinner out @ Company Holiday Party

    Tuesday: Lentil Soup (again! it’s becoming a family favorite!)

    Wednesday: Lemon Chicken and delicata squash

    Thursday: Hot & Sour Soup

    Friday: Dinner out – husband’s 51st birthday.

    Saturday: Lasagna

    I also want to do some Christmas baking this week and make this no-knead bread.

    Domestic Arts

    December 10, 2007

    I’ve been struggling with what I put on my blog(s). I started this one to deal with posting issues each November when I participate in DrawMo! I had thought I would use this space to talk/ramble about what I’m doing with my artwork but during the last few weeks I’ve decided that blog I keep on blogger is where I’ll keep the vast majority of what I’m working on and where I’ll do my “show and tell” stories. I’ve been hoping to have a place to keep track of the domestic arts: cooking, home management and planning leisure time.
    Have decided to join the Meal Plan Monday folks over at Laura’s I’m an Organizing Junkie.

    Sunday: Lentil Soup and bread

    Monday: Bake Potatoes with broccoli, cheese and bacon

    Tuesday: Latkes, applesauce and Spinach Ricotta Pie

    Wednesday: Lemon Chicken and delicata squash

    Thursday: Pasta Bake with Lamb sausage

    Friday: Chicken Cheese Sauce, rice and broccoli

    Saturday: Leftovers

    This will also give me the opportunity to experiment more with WordPress and figure out it’s pros and cons.

    new month

    December 1, 2007

    November’s over, so is my structured commitment to DrawMo! and NaBloPoMo. Now what? I was trying to explain to someone who doesn’t blog ( she hardly ever uses a computer) why I blog. The short story is that it helps me maintain a record of accountability and it’s a place to journal my activities.

    I started blogging as past time, curious about some of the how-to’s: learn some html; take digital photos; use photoshop; learn to upload/download; play with Flickr; share my artwork; etc. I don’t consider myself a writer so I always feel like I’m struggling to come up with something to say. I’m not a storyteller. If I went to the dentist, I might say so, but I wouldn’t feel compelled to give more information (unlike my husband who can go out to get the mail and spend 20 minutes telling me what took him 5 minutes to do!) I’m not trying to sell anything, the art I create is to indulge myself and decorate my home or give away as gifts. I still feel a little uncomfortable with the whole socializing/chatting stuff – I don’t think I play well with others. I know my family members read my blog, they never comment and I’m okay with that. When I do get comments, I try to respond, but “Gee, thanks!” wears thin after a while. I’ve joined a few communities and while I enjoy checking in on their activities I tend to look for the bottom line and look at the visuals. I have a hard time when it comes to making comments (even when I really like sometime) because it usually sounds like: “Wow, that’s beautiful! I love it.” and I know I’ll get a “Gee, thanks!” in my gmail inbox straight away. I must confess I do have a fondness for a few fellow bloggers and I do catch-up with their blogs from time to time. But I just don’t seem to have enough time and there are so many things I want to do!

    So, where do I go with the future of my blogging? I’m tending to be more open with my blog being more of an online diary. Even when I was keeping a personal journal (offline), where I recorded my morning muses and nightly notes, it took the tone of how-am-I-going-to-get-from-A-to-B or a introductory paragraph that was the prelude to a To Do list! I don’t fret over would’ve/could’ve. I don’t have the time or energy for wallowing in angst. I don’t have the desire to persuade others to my way of thinking. I don’t feel the need to engage in controversy( my politics/religion/sex – my business!) I do want to improve my writing skills. I do want to keep an easily accessible record of what I’m working on and what I’m doing. I do want to share and socialize with a select group (I’m not sure what I mean by “select” – whether I select them, they select me – it’s both static and active – this new flavored social networking in the world-wide-web… but I do appreciate the opportunity to expand by community outside my physical small town!)

    I’m going to try and post more frequently. Daily? maybe, if I can figure out some format for me that works with the who and am and the what I want to do.