Carefree – Word of the Year

Each year I pick a word of the year. For many reasons this past year was pretty miserable. without going into detail, my Mom died, I’m in the middle of a divorce, we had to put the dog to sleep and my Dad is facing some issues with aging and being on his own. At any rate, it was a heavy year and my immediate thought my 2015 word of the year would be a bust – want to know what? It wasn’t?

Evolve – that was my word of the year for 2015 and boy did I! While my list above sounds awful, the divorce will ultimately be a good thing and is pointing me in the right direction. My Mom had battled with a lot of health issues and was on Hospice in her last days. So while her death is sad, it’s also a blessing (for those of you who’ve been through it, you’ll know). My Dad has had issues all along and my Mother passing away just made them come to the surface. And the dog – well we adored him, but he was 15 and had horrible arthritis and could barely get around.

What’s left for 2016 is a year with less worry, less drama and more hope. I’m moving my business, my art and my personal relationships in the right direction. I’m hopeful and I’m looking forward to a wonderful year! :)

carefree_artabandonedCarefree is my word of the year for 2016 and I’m working to make it happen!

adjective: carefree
  1. free from anxiety or responsibility.
    “she changed from a carefree girl into a woman”
    synonyms: unworried, untroubled, blithe, airy, nonchalant, insouciant, happy-go-lucky, free and easy, easygoing, relaxed, mellow;

    “she’s nothing like her carefree mother”

New items on Etsy and finished project!

If you actually click through to Art Abandoned you’ll see I have an Etsy store that frankly hasn’t changed for a while. However, lately I’ve been adding new items, and I have more to add, so I hope you’ll check it out:

Including some new spirit dolls!

And I finally finished this project:


I started this several years ago on a trip to Dallas with my daughter. Unfortuately the entire kit was lost in a shift between hotels and I was forced to start over again. After restarting, putting it aside, getting it back out and now finishing, it’s been a few years, but I’m thrilled with it. Now to find a frame!

Project Round up!

I’ve gotten so I post on Facebook more than I post here, but I miss this blog – lots of history and frankly I’ve just gotten so busy with and that I forget about it! :)

I’m almost done with this piece, my first full size cross stitch. I just started doing the backstitch, but I’ll be thrilled when it’s done. I even have a place to hang it! Its been fun, but I’m not fond of the feel of the cloth, nice to move on to something softer.


This is my newer cross stitch. It will look like this

and I like the material a lot better! It has a really nice feel to it.
Last , but not least is my Brazilian embroidery piece. I can’t really watch tv and do this – it takes more concentration:


Word of the year follow up and new 2015 word: Evolve

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.Resolve-to-Evolve2-300x300

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.

Word of the year: Self-actualization

9fa799209580721df8aa7d4d427f9a8f-d4jjsb4It’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.”[1]  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,[citation needed] although he adapted this viewpoint later on in life, and saw it more flexibly.[3]

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!

Two good books to curl up with by the fire!

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!

Crewel and Quilt so close to finished I can taste it!

alec quiltAfter 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!


Playing with creating Cross Stitch patterns

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!


Happy 4th and life is Crewel right now

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.

Cars quilt – resized and ready to go!

alec's-quiltSo, 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!