A year since I posted on this blog – yikes! I had all sorts of ideas for this last year, but this year I think I’ll use this blog more as a catchall for all of my projects. But on to my “word of the year”.
Self-actualization. That was my word of the year last year and frankly it was a toughie – not sure I thought about it as much as I did, but I did explore some of my talent areas and look seriously at my career goals and make sure I was using my abilities in finding the right niche in life. I’m not finished with a lot of what I started last year, but several things have happened to make me want to shift gears.
Hubby is between contracts right now and so as a result I have decided to go back to work. For a few reasons – money – and also to have some more stability in our lives. Another reason is that I miss it – really miss it – coworkers, focusing on one project, going somewhere every day. I miss it.
Lastly, I need something else in my life, I keep adding volunteer work, entrepreneurial projects and more and nothing seems to “do it” for me.
This year my word is “Evolve” – hopefully bringing something more substantial to the table, this year I hope to take what I learned over the last year and come out of my cocoon as a butterfly. For many reasons (some personal I won’t go into here) – I see this year as possibly bringing a lot of changes! Sometimes you just have a feeling about a coming year and this is one for me. So, I’m hoping to take those changes and evolve into my next stage in life.
It’s definitely today’s “big fancy word of the day” but it’s the closest I can come to what I want to accomplish this year.
Definition: the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, esp. considered as a drive or need present in everyone.
The term was originally introduced by the organismic theorist Kurt Goldstein for the motive to realize one’s full potential. Expressing one’s creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and the desire to give to society are examples of self-actualization. In Goldstein’s view, it is the organism’s master motive, the only real motive: “the tendency to actualize itself as fully as possible is the basic drive… the drive of self-actualization.” The concept was brought most fully to prominence in Abraham Maslow‘s hierarchy of needs theory as the final level of psychological development that can be achieved when all basic and mental needs are essentially fulfilled and the “actualization” of the full personal potential takes place, although he adapted this viewpoint later on in life, and saw it more flexibly.
So, what does this have to do with me? Well last year, my word was “nurture” – I think this was my first complete failure of a “word of the year” and I think in essence it’s because it doesn’t really have to do with me – it had (subconsciously) to do with me changing everyone around me. Obviously (now in retrospect) not a great idea.
How can I expect anyone else to reach their potential if I haven’t reached mine.
Thus, my word of the year.
I have big plans this year and most involve my creativity and expanding that to encompass my life instead of being on the sidelines. I’m hoping this makes me a more successful person. This blog I hope will keep me anchored!
I haven’t written a book review in a long time and have run across a couple of really good ones lately.
The Book Thief
First, is “The Book Thief” – now out as a movie, this is a fabulous and inspiring book. I was a bit skeptical when I realized the book is narrated by death AND purports to being a teen book (mature teens for sure). But the book walks a marvelous line between telling a horrible story (it takes place in a town outside of Auschwitz during WWII) and painting a beautiful picture. The story is inspiring and hopeful in a time where you can’t believe that existed.
I’m eager to see the movie and see if it does an adequate job of telling this lovely haunting tale.
The Winthrop Woman
Second was a fun find from Kindle, I came across it while looking for something different to read and it was a Kindle daily deal.
This book was a great find! Such an amazing history (not particularly flattering I might add) of the founding of the Colonies by the people fleeing religious persecution in England.
It avoids 5 stars because it does drag at the end and frankly it just seems crazy this poor woman goes through all she does – however, the book is so amazingly researched, I’m sure it’s true, just depressing.
Great, educational read!
After redesign after redesign purchasing of new fabric, reorganizing and organizing blocks, and then piecing, finally, Alec’s quilt is pieced and ready to go! The lesson learned here is never (I mean, never ever) put a quilt away and forget it. The biggest issue is all the “cute” fabric I had that I couldn’t get anymore. So, it left me with only so many design options. plus, his bed doubled in size. Trust me, this was NOT the way to do my first (yes, my first) full sized quilt!
So, now it’s off to Holly’s quilt Cabin to be sandwiched and quilted and with any luck at all will be done by Christmas! Hooray!
And here’s the crewel piece – it needs to be put together into a pillow, but that should be fairly simple! I loved this project and really hope to do more – it was fun, fairly fast and totally worth the end results!
I’m getting tired of my current projects and am circling in on finishing them (hope, hope, hope) – but today I started playing with what may be my next project. I really want to try my hand at creating a cross stich pattern of my own. A lotus on a black background. So I grabbed these two pictures:
Then I started pixilating them in photoshop – I like this one the best:
I’m still altering and playing with the background and then there’s getting a grid over it to correspond to the pixels. I have a feeling this will take a while, but it should be fun!
Taking a break on other projects and working on some not so photogenic ones, I thought I’d show you my crewel project — really having fun with this one:
Read any good books lately? I’ve been really stuck. I finally bought a mystery in a series I’ve been reading in despair.
So, on my sidebar for quite some time has been “Alec’s Car’s Quilt” (as in Cars the movie). I’ve had the fabric for forever. however, no sooner had I purchased it than he up-sized to a double bed and all my fabric purchasing, etc.
Well, that threw me into a tizz. So, it sat for 2 years!!
A few weeks ago, I asked my “expert advisory panel” (aka, my stitch group) for advice and they told me it was no big deal…yeah, right.
However, this past weekend, I picked out a size I liked from the best quilt sizes here, drew it up in Adobe Illustrator and then laid out all the 8×8 boxes I thought I’d need. The design to the side is what I came up with.
Then I laid out my blocks and have come up with a pattern like below. The blocks on the left are the blocks in the middle. The black with the red square represents what I’d put in the “border of blocks” on the outside.
It’s going to work out pretty well – however I have NO idea what I was thinking when I got the black fabric with the motorcycles. I know there’s some really cool Route 66 fabric out there, so I’m going to get a black one to go behind the red Lightning McQueen blocks and then I’ll need to find a border fabric (no ideas – I’ll take them all into a store and work it out.
Now I need to figure out how much fabric, etc. Wish me luck!
The good news is I’m making progress. I should be able to quilt it myself too – I’m not planning on doing anything too fancy – just in the ditch!
Any other suggestions?
Oh and I’ve added some new items (and will be adding more soon) so keep an eye on my sidebar! I’d love to find homes for those last little spirit dolls!
I’ve been working away at my cross stitch. I really have enjoyed working on this and I think it’s the variation of colors and textures I like the most.
As for books, nothing too exciting. Do you ever have too much to read and books your not that thrilled about but feel the need to finish? That’s where I am. Hopefully this week I’ll get through those books and on to some others I really like.
I cannot tell a lie – Chentie did this! Happy Easter Everyone!
Taking a few weeks off from stitching – and I guess it’s not fair to say it’s a stitching injury, but it is an injury that keeps me from stitching. I pulled the upper muscles in both my arms. I’m under Dr’s orders to not strain them, but sheesh, do you know how much you use those muscles? crewel is totally out of the question and even beading and cross stitch are hard on it. So, I’m on a break – hopefully better soon!
I have however been reading!
First, confessions…do you ever read Harlequin Romances? In college I had a roommate that would bring in grocery bags full – I could read two a day. Some were well written and some were junk. So, last week I took a break and read “The Inconvenient Duchess” – cute, historic, fairly predictable, but a fun quick read.
Tigers In Red Weather – I had a hard time rating this book. I think it’s beautifully written, but on the other hand, I really hated the characters. I felt the story was interesting in how it was told and the language it was written, but it left me wondering – and not in a good way.
The Art Forger – Really enjoyed this, multilayer plot and interesting insight into the art and art forgery worlds.