Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Be careful what you ask for!

“You can't change what has happened, only what will happen.”
― Mitchell Leichner

Last night I told Marv that I wished this crud would either grab hold and be done or just let me go. Well we have all heard the saying be careful what you wish for you just might get it. Oh I got it! Sore throat, Sinus headache, Earache, tight chest, coughing and do not forget sneezing. I do believe it grabbed hold instead of letting go..........

I have managed to finish my doily though. I have worked all the ends in and it is currently blocking. I will pick a fairly easy project to work on for the next few days. I do have a scarf that needs to be finished up. I think it just volunteered to keep my fingers busy while this bug runs it's course. I am so thankful that I am able to keep working on what I do even though I am not at my best. I may be slower in the next day or two or whatever it takes for this to do it's thing, but at least I will be crocheting.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another week has begun

“Life is more about wondering than wandering.”
― Abbas Bagwala
There are times when I feel like I am not getting much done in a days time. I look at what I have accomplished and wonder what happened to the day. Then I remember all the unwork I have done. That's the work that I have frogged so I can make the design lay right, or look right. There is a lot of unwork done when designing. Sometimes it is put one row or rnd in, take out three. But I am a perfectionist when it comes to my designs. I want them right. I want them the best they can be. So if it means that I do a lot of unwork in a days time, So be it.  I am staking my reputation on the designs I put out. I would like to have a good one.
I also have to remember the amount of time that I have spent writing up the design also. That can be time consuming all in it's self. Then if I frog and redo there is a redo on the pattern and I have to be so careful that I get the corrections and the original to work harmoniously together.
So I will just keep reminding myself that there is more work to a design than what meets the eye!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Working in peace

“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other path, no other way, no day but today.”
Jonathan Larson, Rent
I am having a marvelous quiet morning here. Sitting here working on my latest design. No music, No TV, Nothing to distract me. Just me, my thoughts and my ideas.... I love these times when I am so into the creative process that I need nothing else to entertain me. That is what gives me the greatest pleasure, making my ideas become realility.  Oh don't get me wrong, I love when my ideas work out beautifully and I have a lovely piece to show for my efforts. But that's the bonus. The real joy is the creating. When colors, stitches and ideas are all dancing in my head and trying to come out through my fingers. That is my true happy place.
By the way. My garden is doing great now that I have the varmints fenced out. I even have a tomato trying to bloom. Yeah!!
Well my hook is calling to me and I must answer..............

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day 2011

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." -Thornton Wilder
We had a marvelous Thanksgiving day morning. We hiked up to the Superstitions from the trail head near our house. We didn't have to drive anywhere to enjoy ourselves. We hiked for over 5 hours and did over 8 miles. Which is pretty good considering the terrain over which we hiked. We almost made it up to the cave you can see from our house, but my fear of heights go to be too much for me about a 100 feet below it. I probably could have made it up if I pushed myself. But I couldn't see me coming back down that last bit of trail. It was rather steep just a bit more than I could handle. So we headed back down and took another trail. Which was much more my speed.
We did see helicopters on the other side of the ridge doing something, we were unsure what was going on. We found out when we got home that a plane had gone down last night. Unfortunately no one survived. My heart goes out to their families. It does make you stop and remember how lucky we are.
We are going to snuggle in for the rest of the afternoon and watch  Christmas movies and officially start out holiday season. I will break out the Christmas music tomorrow.
Of course a hook will be in my hand while we watch our movies.
So to everyone out there who reads my blog
View where we turned around to head home.

Me and Pippie on the trail
Marv and Pip on the trail

Another View from where we turned around

View of the Ridge

Natures Artwork

Birds nest in a Cholla Cactus

And yet another View

One worn out puppy dog. This was five minutes after we got home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ready for Turkey day!

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.”
Reba McEntire
This will be a different year for us since we are so far away from family. It is going to seem strange for it to be just the two of us this year. We have decided that we aren't doing a turkey just for us. Besides we eat turkey all the time, it's one of the staples of our diet. So instead we have decided to do shrimp scampi with brown rice and pearl barley. That will be a treat for us.
 We may go hiking in the morning, but we haven't made any firm plans. I think we are going to play it by ear tomorrow.
The only thing definite is we will start the holiday season with watching a few tried and true Christmas movies. Of course a Wonderful Life will be one of them. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without watching that one.
I am done with all the prep I am going to do also. Finished the house about an hour ago and took a long soaky bath after I was done. I let Calgon take me away................. So for tonight and tomorrow I am ready to spend some quality time with my husband and my  hook. I am so Thankful I have both in my life.
If I don't get a chance to post tomorrow let me wish all my family and friends a Wonderful Thanksgiving. May you remember all the things you have to be thankful for. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Musings

" Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."
Steve Jobs

I took yesterday off from design work. Though I must admit I did crochet a little bit. But it was more play.
Well I guess you could say in some ways my work is play in a sense. As I play with ideas, play with my stitches to see what I can make them do. play with combinations of stitches. play with different color combos, play with different threads and yarns. Or can I just say that my work is a joy for me...........

But there are aspects that are just work too. Pattern writing comes to mind first and fore most. Taking those ideas that I played with until something good came of it and writing them out so others can duplicate that idea without spending the hours that I did to get there. Making those instructions where they make sense to others. That gets tough at times.
Doing repetitious crocheting to make that idea a reality that gets to be work too.
Keeping records of what I am doing is work.  So it's not all play either. But I still love what I am doing.

So yesterday I was in play mode for my job.

We did have a great day. After we put food in the house for the week. We took Pip and headed up the the Superstitions and took a long hike. We did part of the First Water trail. We are all getting into better shape.We could have gone farther than we did but we did have some time constraints on us. Ended up the day with Bowling league. So I got lots of exercise yesterday.  Maybe next weekend we will do the 9 mile loop. We should have more time if we go on Friday or Saturday.

I would much rather do that then face the Black Friday crowds. Call me a coward if you want. But I just don't need or want to give to someone that badly that I need to put myself through all that.

Today I will finish up this doily and get it blocked. The pattern is all written. I finished that up earlier today. So now I just have to finish the crocheting.

While I was working on the doily this morning and more ideas were popping into my head. I had a horrible thought.

Is my brain so fertile for new ideas because it's so full of Sh*t!

What a thing to think of..... But I never know where my brain is going to lead me................

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tired Fingers

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
Marcus Aurelius
My Morning has been mostly spent writing up my latest doily pattern. It is about  85 % complete. The doily is only about 75 % done but that doesn't really matter.  Not on this one anyways. I also know what I am going to do to finish it so it is really down to the easy part. Just crocheting my little heart out. I am glad as writing up a pattern to me is more tiring than all the crocheting out there. But it is something that must be done if I am going to present my design to the world. You will never see me jumping up and down with excitement when I go to sit down to write up a design. Though you might see me dancing around a bit at the thought of sitting down and doing some serious crochet work. ( Marv can vouch for this )
We all do the necessary evils though in our lives though. So pattern writing was my chore for the day.
Now I am free though to crochet as much as the day allows. Thankfully my fingers aren't too tired from all the typing.
It is my goal to have this doily done and finished written before Monday. Wish me luck.
Oh my nasturtiums are up and my green beans are poking their little heads out of the ground. That and my tomato count is still the same............. Life is Good ! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Making Progress

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw
I have spent the last couple of days organizing my ideas and prioritizing my projects. Sent in a couple proposals and worked on my doily. All good things.
The only down side is I added yet another idea to the list of things to do this morning. There are times I feel a little snowed under when I think about all these ideas I have waiting in the wings to be done.
I need to get busy and finish this doily I am working on so that something else can move to the head of the line.
On the Garden front. So far so good. Nobody has eaten my poor little plants. Hopefully we have it set up now that they are safe from night time marauders.  I will not breath easy about this for another couple weeks. It seems liked the moment the tomatoes were about to bloom that's when they would hit me. So until one has bloomed and nothing attacks it I won't rest easy.
I am going to go find a nice long movie to crochet by and get to work on this doily. I won't tell you how lovely it is turning out because I always say that. And always will I hope. If  I didn't like the design I would never even talk about it. It would just quietly disappear and never be seen or heard from again. This one I will be talking about so it must be an okay design........

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Day

" Your life is what your thoughts make it. "
Marcus Aurelius
Today is a Monday so time for new ideas and actions.

 I made the decision yesterday that I will quit trying to work on multiple projects at once. I found I just wasn't really feeling like I was getting anywhere on them. In fact I found myself not working on any of them. Which is not a good thing. So now I must choose which of the three projects is going to get my full attention again. I think it will be the doily as I am really feeling in need of a doily fix. There is just something special to me about making these mini pieces of art. So I will satisfy my creative side and work on the doily that has been patiently waiting for me to get serious about finishing it up. I think I need this right now. Working on something practical right now just isn't going to get the juices flowing.

I did get my garden replanted today. I have my toes crossed that things go better this time. Everything seems happy where I have the garden now. The one nice thing is I have the patio table and chairs right next to it so I can go out and crochet and enjoy my garden all at the same time. Should be pleasant when it really takes off. I hear the call of my hook so must fly..........

Sunday, November 13, 2011

" Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of the little things "
- Frank A. Clark

My morning yesterday was spent moving my garden and hopefully varmint proofing it. I feel like I am building fort Knox just to get a few tomatoes  and such. Not sure what I will do if this doesn't work. My garden yard now sits on my patio out back so nothing can dig their way in. I added 1 inch chicken wire around the lower 2 feet of the fence. So they are are going to have to be pretty small to get in there now. It's not so convenient where I have it now. But if this works I will build a slab for it in a better location. But before I go to that much trouble I need to see if it would even be worth it.
I had to do this as out of 3 tomato plants and my squash plant I have 1 pretty pathetic looking tomato plant left. They have eaten the rest. One of the ones they raided does have a leaf bud on it so I will give the poor thing a chance. But I will not be holding my breath.
Tomorrow I will replant. Wish me luck folks! I think I need it.................

We spent the afternoon hiking again. Taking advantage of the cooler weather to discover the areas close to us that we can enjoy. We went again to the Salt River and hiked a different trail than yesterday. We didn't take as many pictures as the day before but we did get some. It was a great afternoon for hiking not too warm and not too cool either. Pip loves it when we go to the river as he gets to go with us.  I did clip him on Friday night as the burrs kept grabbing his long hair. He still picked up a few but they were much easier to remove.
The highlight of our walk was seeing a couple of the wild horses that roam the park. We saw a mare and her offspring. They were almost as curious about us as we were to see them.  So for about 5 minutes we got the watch them before they decided to exit to safer territory.
Bluff across the river

Same bluff different angle

And Who are you ?
Mom called him to her side and checked us out. You can barely see him to the right.

Okay you don't seem too threatening, we will go about our business.

And our parting shot as they go tired of our company.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

“May you live every day of your life.”
Jonathan Swift
We took time yesterday for another Salt River hike. The dog loves it when we go there as he gets to go with us. We had another great day enjoying the beauty around us. Then we topped the day off with pizza and watching the final Harry Potter movie. Couldn't ask  for better.
 We did get some nice pictures this time on the river. Had more than our cell phone cameras with us.
Today we will tackle the varmint problem and my garden. It is moving up onto the concrete slap and we are adding chicken wire around it so if they are small enough to get through the chain link this should stop them. Don't know what is raiding my garden. But I want to be the one eating out of my garden not supporting the native wildlife. I have no idea what I will do next if this doesn't work.
Here are a few pictures of our day on the river.
View across the river and Blue Heron if foreground.



One happy River dog

Neat Rock unfortunately to heavy to pack home.

Interesting stump

Humbled by the strength and power of nature.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Albert Einstein
Well I have been visited again by a tomato vine lover. My Roma tomato plant is gone. Literally chewed off at the base and hauled away. That is in my fenced garden yard too! All we can figure is either the culprit is small enough to go through the chain link or they dug their way in. I haven't moved the pots yet to see if there are any holes where the perpetrator could have gotten in.  I am just devastated by this. I couldn't believe it when Marv asked me about my missing tomato. At first I thought he was joking. But alas no............. ( Big sigh )
I do owe the rascally rabbits around here an apology. It wasn't you you stole my first tomato. I blamed you too soon. I am sorry. But please stay away from anything else in my garden that might look tempting. I have shed enough tears over this garden.......
Spent the morning doing errands including a trip to the post office with the last design due out before the first of the year. So I am free to let my creative juices flow for a while. Still working on the three designs each day. They all are making progress. Just some more than others. Okay so one has a stronger call for me at the moment. That is normal for me. I tend to get caught up in a design and it's where I want to be until it is finished. But I am trying really hard to be logical about this and work on the other 2 at least a little bit each day.
At least the one that I am wanting to see done so badly is the easiest to pack around so I can take it with me when we are out and about this weekend and not feel guilty that I am ignoring the others.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Still working on the three projects and making progress on them all. We will see how long this lasts. I am normally someone that gets focused on one project at a time and works on it to the exclusion of others.  So this is interesting doing it this way. I must admit one project is drawing me more and more into the trap of ignoring the other two. So far I have been strong and resisted..............But who knows how I will feel later when I have to put it down.
 One reason I don't normally work this way is I am afraid of accumulating too many UFOs  doing it this way. I can see where it would be so easy to put something down for what you think will be a short time, and it not getting picked back up in a timely manner. Sometimes never!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another busy day. I got designs shipped out and patterns sent. I will finish getting the rest out by the end of the week. Then I can relax and enjoy my crocheting time.

I did solve my dilemma of what to work on yesterday not by flipping a coin, but working on all of them. I would work to a certain point that I gave myself as a goal on one piece and then moved to the next and did the same thing. Then I allowed myself to play with the newest idea after that. Worked well as I got quite a bit done on the 2 designs and yet had some play time too. Have to remember I do need my play time. Going to try and do the same today. See If I can make myself show some self discipline here.

 Oh and I really really like the new idea. Going to wind up some silk thread for this one today. It's thread I splurged on at convention and I have been waiting for the right project to use it on. Think this one is it. So I may do the design twice. Once just for me and once for publication. But some designs are that way.

Garden isn't doing much at the moment. It has been rather chilly around here the last few days. Not cold enough to hurt anything, But not warm enough to encourage growth either. Never done a winter garden before, still not sure what to expect from things. But you can't find out with out trying. Right?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Finished the last project yesterday morning. Put the finishing touches on the pattern last evening and sent it out to testers this morning. Always a good feeling to get to this point on a project.
I even cleared off and organized my desk top. Setting out the threads I need for the next 2 projects. Seems strange to have so much clear space around me. Almost scary.
The flip side is I am having a hard time making myself work on these projects because I have other new ideas that are screaming at me that they are much more important than the ones that have been waiting. It is so hard to know which projects to focus on. They are all good ideas, at least I would like to think they are. Nor is is like I need to wait for material either. I have everything I need for the ideas that have been waiting and the new ideas also.
I do need to make a decision though and get busy on something. Maybe I will flip a coin.
At least I can't say I have designers block at the moment. I could probably keep busy for the next year with just the ideas I have in my sketch/idea file at this moment. But right now I think I am averaging 2-3 new ideas for every project that I am working up. That file will be bulging by the end of this year at this rate and I will definitely feel a bit snowed under...........

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Still working on the same design. Needed to re figure the back side so it fit correctly to the front. Think I have it this time. If not I will redo it again and again until I have it just right. Sometimes what looks good on paper doesn't work out in real life. Sounds like other aspects of my life......

It is going to seem strange not to roll the clocks back tonight. But they don't change the clocks here in Arizona. At least I don't have to worry about forgetting to do it.

 Staying quiet again today. Back is better but not total well yet. Marv says I have a pretty good bruise back there. Funny how muscles can react to a wrong move. Hopefully I can start doing my normal routines tomorrow.

Well I am off to finish up this piece. I added another idea to my stack of sketches this morning. I will never catch up with the ideas. They definitely form faster than I can crochet them. It's always a matter of choosing which one is screaming the loudest at me when it's time to choose the next project. Every once in a while I make myself go through them all and remind myself what is in that stack.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The design is probably 85 % done. Took a couple tries to figure out what I wanted on the back side. But I have it now so it is smooth sailing from this point on. Then I can move on to one the 2 designs that have been patiently waiting for me to get these committed designs done. I have worked a little here and there on them. But now I can give them my full attention.

 I am pleased that this design is turning out so well. I always worry a bit when I commit to a design that I haven't designed yet. Will it be good enough? Will it be my best? Could I have done better if I only had me to please.... But this one I am very pleased with and have no qualms about claiming as one of my designs. I am too the point where I can hardly wait to see it all done........ Love these moments! It's why I design in the first place.

 The back is better today. No longer walking around like a question mark. Still need to take it easy for a day or so. But the muscle spasms seem to be settling down.  Now it can just stay away for another 7-8 years or even longer would be nice.

Thankfully I have most of the lifting needed out in the garden done for a while. Almost everything I wanted to plant is planted. It going to be the strangest garden I have ever done. Should be interesting to see what happens. Might be a bust. But at least I am trying.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The design I am working on is going wonderfully. Should have the first side done this afternoon. Only have like 3 more rows to actually crochet and 2 more to write up. Then it will be do the back side, but it will be much simpler and won't take nearly as much concentration.
  My back is still giving me fits so it's been a quiet day of crocheting and pattern writing for me. Marv was a sweetheart and made sure I had everything I should need close at hand so I wouldn't have to do any lifting today. I will be so glad when this passes and pass it will. I have done this before.
Thankfully only a few times and far between episodes when I have.
The first time I was walking across a parking lot and I stepped into  a pot hole. O lord I hurt on that one. Who would have thought a wrong step could hurt so badly. Bad thing was I was at an important horse show and I needed to ride. I did but it wasn't pretty. 
Since then I have done it one other time. So glad it's only once in long while this happens to me.  You have heard of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Well this is a case of the wrong move at the wrong time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spent a good part of the morning putzing out in the garden. Got my green beans planted and my acorn squash transplanted into it's bucket. My garden is slowly taking shape.  Was enjoying myself immensely until I tweaked my back moving a pot. Not even a big pot. But I moved just wrong. Hopefully it will be okay by tomorrow.  I haven't done this in a long time. It could have waited to happen again. Like forever.
 I have spent the rest of the morning Editing patterns getting them ready to send to editors. I am hoping to send everything due the 1st week of December out by the end of the week. I hate being late on anything so I always try and arrive early or get done long before I need to worry about being late. Only one more pattern to prep and I can think about wrapping everything up and sending them on their merry way.
Also finished writing up one pattern and it is now ready to go to testers.
Sometimes I think I spend more time here at the computer than with a hook in my hand to make these patterns happen.

 Going to keep quiet this afternoon and work on this design. It's already figured out. Just need to crochet it in thread of choice. Will be writing the pattern out as I go this time. Figured this was a good thing to work on while my back relaxes and unkinks. Should be cleaning house but I think I had better listen to my body on this one and do the design instead.
So today has been a day of tweaking things, backs, patterns, ideas,  Next time I think I will skip the back though...........

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What a glorious pleasant day. I took the day and went up to Prescott, AZ to join a group of fellow crocheters for their monthly meeting. They made me feel so welcome and like I truly belonged. It was wonderful. Especially since I haven't found any fellow crocheters down my way here in Apache Junction yet. I have missed sharing with people who have the same addiction as me. So it was crocheting, chatting, lunch and more chatting and then I headed home. It was a beautiful afternoon for the drive. I will be so going back......
 I sat and made roses while there. They will be part of my next doily so I feel I am well started on that one. I am close to having half of the roses I think I will need for the design. But they were great to work on while talking because I could probably make a Irish rose in my sleep.
 I also took my new copy of the Crochet Chart program and Susan and I played around with it a bit. I just got it Sunday and haven't had much of a chance to even touch it yet. I am going to pick a simple design to work up on it and see how it goes. But it was interesting to play around with it with another designer. Helped me figure out some of the things I need to concentrate on learning. I will work on it a bit everyday and see if I can get it figured out without overwhelming this not tech brain here. But so far it has potential!
 On the garden front. I had baby zucchini plants pop up their little heads while I was gone today. I did a little happy dance when I saw them. I will get my green beans planted and a squash in a bucket this next week. This is going to be a very interesting garden for me. Never done a totally container garden. But I think it's the best method for where I am and the soil conditions around here. It will take me a long time to build up any decent soil. So for now this will allow me to control conditions better than any other I can think of.  I will have to remember to watch the weather report each evening to make sure I protect them if needed if the temperatures drop too low.
 Well I am going to get started on the one project I sat aside at the end of last week. It has been sitting here teasing me all weekend. Though It was a good thing to look at the design so long as I can see a few tweaks I will try on the final one.