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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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.

Oh Baby!

Well November is past and I did manage to complete the 50,000 word NaNoWriMo challenge. I’m currently working on the third go around of editing. Most exciting, terrifying really, is one of my readers has returned a marked up copy. I haven’t had the nerve to open it to see what they said. My goal is to come up with an actual marketable novel. To that end, I guess I’ll have to toughen up and see what kind of edits are suggested.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to celebrate with friends the upcoming birth of their first baby. Naturally I made them a baby quilt. The best part of quilting is giving the finished quilt to someone and seeing their happy expression.

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The company Christmas Party gave me an opportunity to clean out the notions box. Yep. Ugly sweater competition. Lest you think, just for a moment that this sweater is not that bad (I have heard this) you might be missing the fact that it is completely covered in plastic rhinestones in red and white, red sequins, red paillettes, and about a million red jingle bells. Well, if that were not enough, don’t overlook the stunning and realistic poinsettia and the topper, blinking lights. The overall effect was stunning, like a phaser. I found it hilarious when I came home just a little late and attempted to stealthily creep in so as not to wake those sleeping… jingling all the way. You can see we did not have a bit of fun.

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Finally a view of the ever full closet. It is beginning to feel like Mary Poppin’s Carpetbag… an amazing number of things can fit in one closet. With Christmas coming I need to get busy. I’ve got some shirts to make for some small boys.

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Thankfully Near the End

Here we are in the final stretch, as they say, nearly finished with November and National Novel Writing Month. I have achieved the heretofore mythical word count, and can boast 52,502. Now I’m in the process of procrastinating about the final edit. The sad news is, most publishers actually want more than a measly 50,000 words. Sigh. Of course I have lofty aspirations of actually getting my little book in print. Well, actually, I want someone to pay me and put it in print. I do want it all.

On the procrastination front, because I’ve done so well here, I can recommend baking. Cake, cupcakes, and a lovely batch of cookies just last night. You can justify this activity easily; one must eat! What better than a morsel of chocolately deliciousness full of brain stimulating energy. The side benefit of cookies and cake: running. You must! You just ate half a dozen oatmeal-chocolate chip-coconut-pecan-cranberry cookies. Running is good for you. It’s not healthy to sit in front of your computer for such a long time. See. I’m an expert. If you need any tips or procrastination ideas, or even a good rationalization, I’m here for you.

This little gem has also assisted me in the procrastination arena. I found her sitting in a thrift store begging to go home with me. What could I do? Besides negotiate for a lower price and ask sweetly for the young man to find a way to fit it into my car? singerShe’s a rugged little beauty that will sew through some things that I can’t subject the electronic machines to.

I also attended a baby shower this weekend, and naturally had to take a little something along. Because I can’t wait to give something away once it’s made, she already had a quilt and diaper bag weeks ago. I didn’t want to arrive empty handed so I whipped up some bibs. I breezed through the images on the internet, gathered up a little inspiration, a general idea of bib shape (haven’t used one is quite a while) and some scraps and went to town. I was rather pleased with the results.

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Bringing home a new sewing machine, complete with cabinet, required rearranging the furniture in my little crafting/computer room. Sadly, some of it ended up back in the closet and while it’s still organized, it has lost it’s spacious open feel. The advantage is that everything is now in one location.

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A Fine Day for Procrastination

There are just two weeks left of NaNoWriMo. You’d think I’d be frantically typing away at my ‘Great American Novel’. Instead, I’m resting on my 45,225 words and procrastinating about the rest. While this annual competition, scratch that, event, challenges the writer to complete 50,000 words, reading submission guidelines tells me 50,000 is woefully short. Sigh. So, I’m working to write an actual, full sized, adult novel, not stopping at 50,000 because that is the challenge, but stopping when it’s really decent. Good, I don’t know.

To that end, of course, I’m procrastinating. In a very creative way, but procrastinating all the same.

I was inspired by http://foundthispaintedthat.wordpress.com/. When my friend asked did I want a pile of spray paint she decided not to use, I said: YES! I’ve been spritzing up all kinds of fun stuff.

This little shelf was a thrift store find priced under three dollars. Originally a dirty chipped white, I sprayed on a bit of mocha colored spray paint, then rasped around the edges for a distressed look. The white paint made the ‘antiquing’ easier. It’s perfect in the sewing room. I pulled some wooden spools out of one of the boxes in the closet to display.

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I’ve been saving jars that have an interesting shape, thinking that one day I’ll find a use for them. I painted the lid, glued on a large bead for interest and scrubbed off the label. The most difficult part of this job is getting the glue off the jar. These will make perfect Christmas gifts filled with a sugar scrub or bath salts or candy or hot cocoa mix or…

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Now I have only a few minutes left to write before I get ready to go to work. Excellent job procrastinating.

Three Weeks Left: National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo continues. It is as hard as I thought it would be to write 50,000 words. Well, to write 50,000 words into a cohesive story. 34,387 words so far.

It is difficult to stay on task, to not procrastinate, to not creatively avoid writing a novel because you have other things that are so important to do right this minute like updating a blog or baking a cake.

Now I will get back on task and bake a cake. No, wait, stop. I will, really, write right now. Really.