Saturday, February 1, 2014

Febraury 1 and I got an early Valentines Gift!





Tim, my husband came home yesterday with an early Valentines Day gift.  I told him its not Valentines yet and he said it was for Happy I Love You Day.  They are beautiful sconces...very heavy brass....I just love them...dont know where I am going to hang them yet...will post pics when they are at their destination wall.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mid January...and Im back after a long stillness....

 Winter out my kitchen window....kept the x-mas lights up and added some Valentines stuff so can keep it all up through February.  Looking for some red or pink lights to add to the white lights....



 And on this snowy day...my geranium is starting to bloom again which it has been doing all winter...so nice that I thought to bring it in from the summer outdoors...to bring some "summer" into my life all winter!



I have not been on here for over a year I think....I actually completely forgot about it and also have not been very creative or productive.  But then, something awful happened.  The Koi Pond quilt that I made for my daughter is gone...lost...thrown away...do not know.  Its a long sad story.  I just found out yesterday, when I called her to see if my sister could borrow the quilt as my sister wanted to hang it in her house in a prominent spot and my daughter never liked it and was not hanging it up.  As far as I knew these last 2 years she had it creased in a box folded up.... lonely and unloved....no one even saw it but her...I was trying so hard to finish it many Valentines Day ago...that I figured many people would see it when she hung it in her house..so that would be ok and I wouldn't worry about no one seeing it before I gave it to her as one of the best gifts someone could get...I thought......then, horrible beyond horrible...her husband thought it too colorful and probably tacky...and they never hung it...she chose the quilt design..out of one of my original paintings.  So I was very hurt and surprised that she did not like it .it looked just like the painting...or maybe it was just her husband...I dont know....the bottom line is it was unloved and she was ungrateful from the start...I should have taken it right back...but did not realize she did not have it hanging for a long time...yesterday,I learned she had sent it back to me UPS a year and a half ago...I never got it...I never knew she sent it and to watch for it...someone either stole it from my porch...or it got thrown away with moving boxes without me knowing what it was...dont know which one makes me more sick...and sick I have been.  I keep literally throwing up.  I have been crying non stop.  I spent so many hours and months making this quilt with love....probably over 1,000 in materials and threads alone...it was highly quilted...and I used very expensive thread...the fabrics were mostly hand dyed batiks and other very fancy material...each petal for the flowers intricate...oh my God the work.  Oh my God the time I spent sometimes till the wee hours of the night....everyday..I had just lost my art gallery and I was happy to have something to spend my time on...knowing she was going to so love it....On the back I stitched a picture I had transferred of her and I when she was very little up high on my shoulders after sledding one winter.....and a special heart bead..and stitching that said Made with love to Hannah from Mom  ...and how much I loved her...etc...and Happy Valentines Day 2011....Now...it is just gone....UPS said its been too long..even though she put 3,000 dollars on it as the cost and had insurance....they say its been too long....I did did not know she had even sent it....I am so sick...It was bad enough that she didnt appreciate it or love it or care about it at all...can you imagine someone making you personally such a gift and you not even finding a distant wall ....a hall wall or just somewhere not so obvious and hung it out of sheer appreciation of what someone had done for you out of love....but no...she couldnt find a spot in her life...she was that embarrassed or ashamed of it;??????????  People said I could have won awards with it....that saw the pictures....If I sold it at my gallery I would have put 2500- 3000 dollars on it....which even wasnt enough for how long I worked on it....my sister wanted it badly to hang in a spot that would have made me proud....and I NEVER would have sold or gave it away...If I died...I thought how nice that I left my family an heirloom piece that could have been handed down through the generations ...I was pretty proud of it....now its probably laying in a pile in a landfill...rotting... ......My relationship with this daughter was already strained...feels now even more unbearable..that she cared so little about such a gift and the bottom line....me.  For many things compounded.  She had made it quite clear for some time that she does not want me in her life...that she finds me unbearable and unwanted in her life.  No matter what I do....and I have tried and tried and tried...especially since she had my 1st granddaughter a year ago...whom I have only seen 6 times...and we just live an hour away...its been like pulling teeth to see my granddaughter and be granted a glimpse of my daughters life...I am so not in her picture....I cry and cry about this...it wasn't supposed to be this way....and I cant do anything about it all.....my therapist keeps telling me this....that I cant do anything about others peoples actions, only my own or thoughts...I cant change her mind...or cant make her want me or love me....cant make her see what she is doing to us and to my granddaughter by her stubborn refusal at forgiveness and grace and continually seeing only the bad in everything.. ..I cant do anything right...My relationship issue with her alone has kept me crying for years now....and now the quilt.....  She might has well just burned the quilt up in front of my face as if to say....."you see how much I hate you."   My husband should not have left me alone today.. I feel so mentally healthy, unsettled, sad, lost...and angry...yes, angry.  I feel like I am going to have to go through the stages of grief...with the loss of this quilt...its like a death...those of you who are artists can probably attest to the fact that our artwork can be like an alive thing...our babies...our creations...and they end up meaning more than the art itself...each stitch had love in it...for real, not just the cliche....today, I feel the loss of my daughter..our worsening relationship because I am so hurt and angry and sad, the loss of seeing my little baby girl grand baby even less than I already do, and the loss of my quilt......its all too much....of course, I know, the people come first, ........but I have already been crying about the people ..so much that I thought I couldn't endure it if it didn't get better soon.....but....my quilt is a new hurt.....and I will need to process this now..along with all the rest of the losses...
 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Springy dessert to make...

 Thinking about spring...and wanted the taste of summer (strawberries!)

 

Strawberry Sigh Layered Dessert


I love layered desserts. They always look so pretty.
It is kind-of similar to another of my favorites, our Pineapple Dream Dessert, but different enough that it warrants its' own blog.
I named it "Strawberry Sigh" because you can't help but let out a dreamy *siiiiiiiiiiiiigh* after you taste it. I ate soooooo much of this the other day I thought I was going to explode. It's probably best you don't make this unless you have some guests to share it with. Just warning you.


Strawberry Sigh

Ingredients
Crust
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted

First Layer
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 cups Cool Whip, thawed

Second Layer
1 pkg (6 oz) Strawberry Jello mix
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 cups frozen strawberries (chopped)

Topping
2 cups whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Directions
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9 x 13 pan lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
Crust - Combine pecans, flour, and melted butter in a medium bowl until well mixed. Press firmly into prepared 9 X 13 pan. (If you have trouble with the crust sticking to your hands as you press it down - keep dipping your fingers in a bowl of water and that should help.)


Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
1st Layer - In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar. Stir in the 2 cups of Cool Whip. Carefully spread over cooled crust. (It helps to drop it by the spoonful over the crust and then gently spread it together.)


2nd Layer - Whisk together strawberry Jello and boiling water until Jello has dissolved. Stir in frozen, chopped strawberries. Let Jello thicken slightly in fridge and then pour over cream cheese layer.


Topping - Whip cream, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spread over Jello layer.


Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. (I covered mine and chilled it over overnight as our dinner party wasn't until the next day.)


You can try and just eat a small piece but.....good luck with that.
This is a nice, light dessert to follow a heavy meal.
Or...you know....for breakfast....
What?
It has strawberries...strawberries are fruit....
You are supposed to eat fruit for breakfast...

Be sure to stop by The Rustic Pig and Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons for some great links.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blue Willow hooked design

Blue Willow  From Christine Little Designs- encompassingdesigns.com     Want to hook this for my dining room.  Never thought I would buy a design as I can draw...but this saves a huge amount of time getting it all perfect.  Im going to buy this and hook it.

Picture






















For all you Blue Willow fans, but don't feel that you have to hook this piece in the traditional blue and white.  Add colour to give the pattern a new dimension.  I have a beautiful plate with the willow design done in deep colours of golds, teals, blues and reds and I would send along a picture if you wish to go the nontraditional route. 

#3 - #6 Cuts

Size: 32 1/2" x 45"

Burlap - $78.95
Linen - $106.58

Friday, February 22, 2013

Learning as we age

 From Deanne Fitzpatrick's blog page....she was talking about getting older.  I love this and wanted to share:


The following is from one of our famous journalists, Regina Brett, who is 57. I think all of you will enjoy it!
- Regina Brett’s (Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist) 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on
To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.
It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.
My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here’s an update:
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
Warmly,
Marianna

Books suggested to read by Erica Baumeister:  I love her books so I want to read some of these books...it feels like we would have the same sort of taste...if I love her work!

The Art of Eating – MFK Fisher
The Awakening – Kate Chopin
Baby – Patricia McClachlan
Bel Canto – Ann Patchett
Beloved – Toni Morrison
Blackbird House – Alice Hoffman
The Blind Contessa’s New Machine – Carey Wallace
Broken For You – Stephanie Kallos
Chocolat – Joanne Harris
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant – Anne Tyler
Emma–- Jane Austen
Enchanted April – Elizabeth von Armin
Garlic and Sapphires – Ruth Reichl
The Giant’s House–- Elizabeth McCracken
The Girl in Hyacinth Blue – Susan Vreeland
Guernica – Dave Boling
Here at Eagle Pond – Donald Hall
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
The Language of Baklava – Diana Abu-Jaber
The Lottery and Other Stories – Shirley Jackson
The Madonnas of Leningrad – Debra Dean
My Family and Other Animals – Gerald Durrell
A Natural History of the Senses – Diane Ackerman
Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek – Annie Dillard
A Room With A View – E.M. Forster
West with the Night – Beryl Markham
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Find More Time for the Things that Mean the Most to You This Year

“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.”
Charles Richards
There are many important things in life.
Your family and friends. A hobby perhaps. Working out and staying healthy. Reading, learning and growing as person.
But finding the time for what is most important in life is not always easy. It sometimes feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
But even if it may not feel like it, there are often ways to improve how you use your time. In this article I’ll share some of the most effective strategies I have found for doing so and for shaking yourself out of a rut and reconsider how you actually spend your time.
Focus.
With a lack of focus on what is most important in your life it becomes easy to spend too much time and energy on aimless actions or work. On things that aren’t really that important but you do out of old habit or other unhelpful reasons.
To become more focused:
  • Write down your top 4 priorities where you see them every day. To keep your attention in the right place it is essential to remind yourself every day of what is truly most important to you. So think about it and reduce what is important in your life at this moment to the top 4 most important priorities. Write those four things down on two notes and post one in your workspace and one your night table.
  • Reduce distractions. Ask yourself: what are the 3 most common distractions that keep me from doing my work in a focused way? Figure out how you can prevent those things from distracting you. It could be by shutting the door to your office, by putting your phone on silent mode for an hour at a time or by having notifications for email shut off.
  • Find balance. If you just work and work you will quickly become unfocused and the longer the week drags on the more tired you become. To work smarter try using a timer – on your cell phone or use an egg-timer – and set it for 45 minutes. Then put in a drawer or somewhere where you can’t see it.
    During those 45 minutes dive in and immerse yourself in the no-distraction zone and your work until the clock rings. Then set you timer for a 15 minute break where you get away from your work space if possible. Take a walk, go for a snack or have a conversation about something else than work.
Simplify.
One of the smarter ways to simplify your life and to free up time that we explore quite a bit in the 31 Days to a Simpler Life Course is to set limits.
Here are a few key areas that you can set powerful limits for:
  • Your daily input. Reduce the number of blogs, newsletters, magazines, book clubs, podcasts, TV-shows etc. you follow. Just keep the ones you are really getting something out of.
  • Email. Just check and process your email during one chunk of time once per day. Instead of checking it 10 times or more each day.
  • Social activities. Write down a list of the social activities you are involved in after school or work. Maybe you are involved in a club or an activity that it is not as fun or rewarding as it used to be. Maybe you want to rearrange your priorities a bit to focus on something else this year.
Minimize or eliminate.
What else can you eliminate or minimize besides the things listed above? Some meetings at work or in school? Redditing or some online forum you hang out on a lot?
Question and reconsider your own habits regularly instead of moving along in the same old tracks just because it what you usually do. See if you want make changes to make more room for things you would honestly get more out of.
Find unnoticed free time in your day.
One final tip. There is often quite a bit of open travel- or waiting-time during a year. What will you use your such time for this year? Perhaps you would like to read more while riding the train or listen to audio books while waiting for a meeting to start or while you are out driving your car.
Even if you only have 20 minutes of commuting time each day then you still have a many, many hours in a year that you may want to, at least partly, use in a new way.
Image by bogenfreund (license).


P.S: If you are serious about making small and big changes that matter and that stick in 2013 then join us in one of the Positivity Blog courses:

Stop feeling lousy about yourself and start creating a life of self-love where you feel you deserve good things and happiness and dare to follow your dreams - with The Self-Esteem Course.

Minimize the clutter and the unnecessary. Maximize your relationships, health, effectiveness and the things that mean the most to you - with the Simplicity Course.

One small task each day for 31 days to simplify your life step by step - with The 31 Days to a Simpler Life Course.

Copyright 2006-2013 Henrik Edberg.

Here is my rug that I am still working on.......but I am trying to do hooking on it at least 2o min a day.  Its working...I see progress.  I read somewhere ...dont worry about finishing...think about starting each day...each day a new start...and then it will get done...a different way of looking at it I like.

Wondering what this would look like in all blues and whites and greys...again, just for myself...my living room as a rug.

 Want to do this as a quilt ....there is a show coming up about children....but not sure I have the time to finish it by the show.  Would be fun to find the fabrics for this quilt...all those cute happy prints are so in right now.
 I want to needlework these for my living room