Closet: Worse Than Ever

O.K. It’s official. I am never going to get to the bottom of this closet. I am trying. Honest. Lately I’ve taken on a few challenges and the closet has again become a great place to stack, stuff and bury crafty things.aug2

Aside from crafting, and working, I decided to take the ATP written test.  The FAA has changed regulations that will make getting an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate more expensive in the future. So, I jumped on the let’s-take-this-test-before-the-end-of-the-month band wagon. This involved a fair amount of studying and stress. Just to make it a bit more challenging, I  previously scheduled a trip to Texas which cut into the time available to complete the test. All in all, it resulted in a couple sleepless nights, a tiny bit of crankiness, and a passing test result. Phew.

The revisions to my novel that the editor requested were finally completed. Editing is so much harder to do than writing. Sitting down to write is even harder. It was a relief to send it back to the editor.

Getting the test and edits out of the way made travelling that much more fun. San Antonio was the site of the Romance Writers of America national conference. Motivating, inspirational and just down right awesome. It was like Nora Roberts was speaking directly to me when she said, “Quit fucking around and sit down and write.”  There was an opportunity to meet with editors and agents to pitch our books.  Pitching your book is terrifying and exciting. Again, I have received what I consider good news, “let’s see” – not a rejection.

2014-08-03 14.43.35 One thing that makes it ‘The Great State of Texas’ is that my daughter lives there. What can be better than to play tourist with my baby girl. We had such a lovely time while we managed to visit most of the items on the top ten things to see and do in San Antonio. There was also some serious work done on Tex-Mex food, margarita’s and cupcakes. Of course we took a selfie with the Alamo!

Lest you think I have completely neglected the sewing room; I did finish a quilt for one of the pilots I fly with. Making quilt was especially meaningful for me, as he just finished his Instructor Rating. This is what a happy successful applicant looks like with his happy instructor. (Upgrading from two stripes to three.)2014-08-03 15.27.49 And the baby quilt featuring airplanes, naturally.20140802_085540

 

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Distraction Project (a.k.a. Creative Avoidance)

Whenever I feel pressure to complete a task I, basically, freak out. Generally, this is best noted by the creative ways in which I can distract myself from achieving said goal, and occasionally by a full blown 2-year-old-style hissy fit. So… I mentioned that I sent my book to a publisher and an editor…. The editor liked it! And, she wants a re-write. This is incredible news. It is not a rejection. Amazing. So, instead of writing, I’ve been painting. I know. Pathetic. I have to say, painting this room was on the to-do list, just way down the list.

It all started with a trip to a couple of my favorite stores, Hobby Lobby and Home Depot. It should be against the law to visit both stores in one day. Plus, I keep seeing all these great ideas from Found This Painted That. The Laundry Room Makeover is complete.

I picked up this tray at the thrift store for a dollar or two that needed some help… So I painted the bottom with chalk board paint. It’s so cute now! I need some chalk so I can write inspirational messages to myself.

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Before…

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Painted the walls, the trim, the door and hung my cute new hooks on the walls and voila! I also learned an important paining tip. The trim may look white, but it’s actually not just plain white. Many of you are shaking your heads at me, the rest will try it yourself and realize. I ended up with Swiss Coffee and it looks beautiful with the Cozy Cottage walls.1398869445660

 

Ok, I’m going to work on the book. Right now.

Phew!

First, let me say how stunned I am when I look at just how long it’s been since I’ve been here. Things have been great, busy, exciting, and just a little terrifying. In a good way.

In the last couple months I have finished several clean-out-the-closet projects. There was a little sewing emergency. Back at Christmas I made a couple shirts for some terrific boys. The problem was that I made them so they were just the right size. Weeks later they had outgrown them and tragedy was at hand. I quickly whipped up1392745081187 some that would last a longer (read: a bit baggy.) You’ll notice that I used the Disney Airplanes fabric already. The boys were happy, disaster averted. Bonus: one extra shirt so one could be laundered while they were wearing the other. Yep. They were that popular. Best compliment ever.

I had a great time in Vegas with my daughter. The upgraded shirt was a winner. Plus I got my daughter to autograph my copy of her self published title. Pretty awesome stuff. You can get a copy of London’s book here20140111_214251

 

There was a baby shower for one of the flight instructors I work with…1395846892942which necessitated a trip the the fabric  store….1395535864137

I had these… but really needed these…

1395535882428 And there was a birthday too. 1397347400717

 

I tried my hand at making quick pickles…. very tasty.20140301_083319

 

I did go to work from time to time…139575437119020140107_072028crack of dawn at the airport.

And… saving the best or most exciting, (the thing that was wonderfully terrifying) I went to the Desert Dreams Writers Conference and pitched my book to an agent and an editor. They liked the pitch and both wanted to see it! I’m awaiting their response. Fingers crossed.

Small Things

Can you believe how fast January went by? This time of year is busy for me at work, as the weather is so perfect. I realize that sounds just a little snarky, We have had a few days in the 80’s, now we’re back to a seasonal chill of mid 60’s. You really can’t beat Phoenix for winter.

Of course, I have managed a few very small projects. It started with Las Vegas. I met up with some dear friends and my daughter to celebrate a birthday. Naturally I was packing every item of clothing I own that is covered in things that sparkle. It just wasn’t enough. So I pulled a not-so-favorite shirt from the closet and got to work. The best thing about a shirt like this is that you’re not too emotionally invested. If the project goes South you won’t lose any sleep over it.

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I stitched on the paillettes  and glued on the sequins. Done in about an hour. I received impromptu complements from strangers (gotta love that!)  Now it’s one of my favorites.

This started it. While my daughter and I were shopping it seemed grey with sparkle was everywhere. Who knew? I’m never on trend. A wacky coincidence. When I got home I got to work on project number two. This sweatshirt was less than $6.00, Do you still have your ‘Bedazzler’? Get it out.Image

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Then there was the end of year sale, and coupons and other such temptations. I did start with what I had, but it was lacking… Isn’t that what we all say as we justify our fabric store purchases? It started with the birthday in Vegas (not mine). My friend celebrated 60, momentous. She had just come back from a trip to Ireland and so I thought a St. Patrick’s Day quilt would be so lovely. Here’s what I’ve got so far. The plan is for a ‘Double Irish Chain’. Image

Oh, and I couldn’t resist a little of this…Image

And, last but not least, I have completed the edits on my manuscript and submitted it to a writing contest. I cannot tell you the stage fright this has created. Crazy. We’ll see what happens. I’ve signed up for a couple writing conferences where agents and publishers and writers all assemble in one place. I never realized how scary putting one’s work out for public consumption could be. Keep your fingers crossed.

New Year’s Resolutions

Usually I make most of my resolutions on my birthday. Somehow it feels more personal to me, my own special day for making my own special plans. New Year’s is a great time to renew the resolutions, and any chance to set some goals is a good chance to take. As I mentioned a week ago, cleaning up my sewing room disaster was on the list, and, ta da! done. I thought I better take pictures as it us unlikely to last.

I’m feeling just a little smug, because I’ve finally finished 3 of the 4 projects that I have promised well before thanksgiving….(See me dusting off my hands and patting myself on the back.) The fourth project is nearing completion Lori, look carefully at the pictures, you’ll see it by the door…ImageImageThere are no pictures of the desk in the corner… perhaps another resolution.room aImage

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The completed projects are pictured here, two boys shirts, of course featuring airplanes and one adult size.  Because, who doesn’t need plane clothes?

little shirtImageand last, but perhaps most important, is a sewing convert. I can’t tell you the number of times I hear how horrible Home Economics was in school, how many people were turned away from my favorite power tool, the sewing machine. I don’t know why, but I have to agree, Home-Ec was awful. Yesterday whilst I was finishing up these shirts, Kim was converting some of her men style tee shirts into cute girly style. “I never thought I’d say this, but this is fun.” And she had great success.

ImageOther goals for the new year? Getting my novel off to the publishers in the first quarter. (I’m prepared for rejection:) Write novel number 2. If you can write one, why not keep going? Half-marathon. Turn my defunct hot tub into a planter. Sew, use or give away all the fabric in the closet.

I’d love to hear your resolutions. Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

As always, the holidays arrive in a flurry of activity and I never quite get to all of the projects that I have planned. All the same, the important things get done, like baking pumpkin chocolate chip bread and oatmeal cookies and smothering pretzels in caramel, pecans and chocolate.

This is a great time to say thank you to those of you who read and/or follow my blog. I cannot tell you what a thrill it is to see your comments and ‘likes’. Thank you.

I did manage to complete one little sewing project. Originally this was to be a quilt project… however it was started about 8 or 10 years ago, so it’s safe to say that I was not inspired to finish it. While perusing Anthropologie’s catalog I was inspired by their apron design and just had to make something similar for serving Christmas Dinner.

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The closet and the sewing room are rather a disaster at the moment, so I’ll spare you the update. My new year’s resolution will be to clean and organize the entire room this year. Photos to follow. Thanks again. Have a very Merry Christmas and may the new year bring you peace and love.

Kat