Sunday, November 27, 2016

I finally spent my Amazon gift card

My friend gave me an Amazon gift card six months ago. I have probably shopped and un-shopped with the thing at least 100 times.

I'd put things in my card and then come back a few days later and delete all the items.

I can't remember ever enjoying a gift card more.

And now the quilting area of my brain is coming alive again.

I put my gift card in the system and ordered:

Quilter's Dream Batting- Natural Cotton Request- Thin Loft- Craft

Java Batiks Charm Pack, Set of 40 Precut 5 Inch Batik Squares CC116

I see a hexagon turtle wall hanging in my future. I think I still have a piece of Kaufmann light blue fabric for the background.

And I still have $6.39 on my gift card.

Life is good.

Today we're heading up to the last book store on the island. Barnes and Noble in Lahaina. It's so much fun to have Dear Son here.

I hope you're having a great weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope  you're having a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Things I'm thankful for:
  • My husband. We're been together for decades and it's still not long enough. I'm blessed to have a life partner that is still my best friend.
  • One fine son. A happy, kind, gentle, and loving person. The greatest adventure I've ever been fortunate enough to enjoy.
  • My health. Sometimes it's good to pause and remember that there are always people who would give anything to enjoy the level of health I am fortunate enough to have. 
  • My home. There are so many people, some of them within a block from here, who don't have a home. My home is loving. Safe. A refuge.
Peace, Dear Friends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This is why I don't make sketches...

I'm one of those people who can't draw. Everyone says that anyone can. I've tried books. I've tried sitting with people. It's just not my thing. I can vividly see things in my head. I can pretty much quilt them. But drawing them out so someone else can see what I'm thinking just doesn't work.

That being said, here's the quilt that's demanding to be made. I'll probably make a wall size proof-of-concept before I start larger one.

This palm:

It looks like it's blowing in the wind, but the truth is that he's been in his windy spot so long he just always looks windblown. I love the light blue sky in the bottom of the pic that turns darker and darker.

I love the silhouettes of palm trees on the beach.

What I'm going to try to capture is the movement of the first palm. The fabrics will be joined in gentle curves, also for movement. The beach. The light blue sky with darker blue at the top.

The beige beach will be highlighted with a sprinkling of something similar to this:

The light blue sky will have a sprinkling of something like this:

And the dark sky:

I'll decide about the batik fabric colors and the seed bead colors, but this is the general idea.

The tree will be solid back batik.

Who knows. I may be done after the wall hanging. It will depend how the return to hand quilting goes. I just don't enjoy the sound of a sewing machine, although I had hoped to switch over. The calm and peacefulness is why I quilt.

How do you "see" your projects before you begin?

Wishing you a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2016

One last plate of cranes...

This is all that's left of the hand painted cranes. I have had more fun handing them out. I tell people when they take some to leave them around in unexpected places. Imagine how much fun it was to see one sitting on a shelf at the grocery store.

I'll start handing out the second batch of 1,000 next. They are not made of hand painted paper, but I still love them.

I hope you're having a great week.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

"Hear Ye! Hear Ye!"

I proclaim the end of NaNo for the year 2016.

It was fun. Now it's done.

Bill is celebrating with me:

There's a little hint of coolness in the air. It feels so good.

I hope you have a great "rest of your week."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Little box of cranes...

I'm barely getting a crane or two folded a day.

I carry this little gold box with me. It perfectly holds the 3-inch paper. The shiny, gold box makes it hard to take pics, though.

Jill, this is the paper I'm using. It's very inexpensive. I didn't think I was going to like the abstract pattern, but it's one of my favorites. It also comes with 1,024 sheets, which makes it very nice if your learning to fold cranes and you want to make 1,000.

I've sent you an email with the link to the paper on Amazon in case this one doesn't work.

Senbazuru Origami Paper

You can carry the cranes flat, even in a book, and then open them up when you're ready.

I hope you're having a good day today.

Monday, November 14, 2016

I'm proud to be a nerd...

I had a friend in first grade who teased me every Monday on library day.

The librarians loved me, though. They'd call each other over to the counter and have me perform like a trained seal.

My library card number was etched into my brain. My phone number wouldn't stick.

The library has always been a magical place to me. All those books. Your books as long as you took good care of them and returned them on time so the next person waiting for them could check them out.

Librarians at my local library are still impressed that I can recite my library card number without looking.

I borrow most of my books online now. They are easier to read and my local library is very small. I still enjoy typing my library card number into the log on screen by memory. And, as you can see, I still enjoy keeping my library card in my wallet.

Do you have a library card?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I'm just hoping...

I'm just hoping that he doesn't know that Hawaii is part of the United States.

What? Some people think they need a passport to get here. Maybe he's one of them.

Writing instead of sleeping...

I'm wide awake. It's 2:31 a.m.

I'm writing all night.

I'm not going to work in the morning.

Tomorrow has officially been declared a "Mental Health Day."

There was one of those last week, too.

Do you write at night?

Back to writing the book that will never see the light of day.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Heart Dishcloth

Just a quick little project. I'm trying hard to make sure that I have something working all the time. I've finally figured out that I need to make things. Concrete things. I wrote this pattern long ago and published it under another name. If there's any interest, I'll put the pattern up again.

We're closing our office Tuesday. Yes, Lizzy, a whole found day to spend getting my room lined up. Sounds heavenly.

Only 2,000 words more to reach 500,000 NaNo words. That may be enough for this year.

A newscaster pointed out that all of this election chaos isn't going to end on Tuesday. It's going to be something we live with for quite a while more.

No matter which side you're on, this sure hasn't been much fun, has it?

I hope you've had a great weekend and I hope you have a great week.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Already life makes NaNo tricky

Usually the time crunches start slowing up a little later during NaNo. Not this year.

But a word here and a word there will add up. Probably not up to 50,000, but it'll be fun to see how many.

My goal right now is to reach a NaNo total word count of 500,000 words. I will admit, the prospect of reaching that many NaNo words tickles me.

Off to write a little before getting to work on the house.

I want my "no stress" room together so badly. I see the sign every day and I keep hoping I'll open the door and that the room will be magically pulled together. No luck yet. But the sign makes me smile every single time I see it.

Time for me to take advantage of this time to add a few more NaNo words.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

I forgot how fun and mysterious writing can be...

One of my characters walked into her room with a new friend. I described her room as having every surface covered with mirrors. Mirrors in fancy frames. Mirrors in plain frames. Mirrors without frames. Old mirrors. New mirrors. None cracked, but some well worn where the backing was scratched off in places.

Then, just for fun, I did a search for, "Room of mirrors."

There were great fun house images. So many shiny, beautiful images. There was also this one:

Not quite what I had pictured, but strangely close. My character's room wasn't blue and it was decorated. But a room of mirrors nonetheless.

What an amazing process writing can be. It's particularly fun to me when you let the universe, your brain, or whatever it is, play and have its own way.

I hope you're having a great week.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Meet Wick...(Please don't read this if you don't like cats. (Lisa ) ;-)

Meet Wick.

My characters for NaNo are appearing. However, I have no idea about their stories or how they'll join together. I will not be posting any of my NaNo writing this year. Primarily because I'm not sure how many words I'm going to write. I have no goal other than it would be fun to write about 11,200 words so I could reach a total NaNo word count of 500,000 words.

Lisa W. asked what my name is on the NaNo site. I'm Speedbump. It's the username I joined with in 2004. The only way you can change your username is to start a new profile. I want to keep all my old info.

I'd love to add anyone who's doing NaNo as a Writing Buddy. You can add me on the NaNo site and I'll add you back.

Meet Wick. So far, he's my favorite new character.

He's a really good guy who gets a bad rap because he's a black cat. Some superstitious people feel as though he's bad just because of his color. He's not evil or mean. He's just a black cat who has a slight identity crisis.

He usually looks like this:

If he gets angry, he looks like this:

And he ends up looking like this:
Inside every cat is a lion. Wick is just is a little more open about it.

With hope that you don't mind a black cat or two.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

National Novel Writing Month 2016 begins...

I always feel like a little kid at Christmas waiting for midnight to arrive. No matter what else is going on in my life, I sit up and wait for November 1 to arrive.

I only write for a couple of hours, but those two hours set the tone for the rest of November.

That doesn't mean I'm focusing on reaching 50,000 words this NaNo. I know in my heart that a goal like that is setting myself up for disappointment if I don't make it, or additional stress that I absolutely do not need this year.

It means, however, that writing finds a front and center place in my life. No matter what else happens, I write a little each day.

The Writing Blips helped. They always make me go from posting every-so-often to posting on a daily basis. That's the secret to reaching whatever goal you have for NaNo. You, or at least I do, need to make continuous, daily word count to progress to march steadily towards you goal. (This is just the kind of sentence that flows from fingers with a direct connect to whatever part of the brain stores the words that pour out during NaNo.)

My NaNo characters for this year are revealing themselves one at a time. I don't usually pull in any real people, but this woman found a way into my paper electrons.

She is Delphine LaLaurie (1780 - 1849) of New Orleans. She was a Creole woman of dubious reputation.

Not only was she a well known New Orleans Creole socialite, but she was also a rumored to be a serial killer. I have no idea why she joined my NaNo characters this year. It ought to be fun to find out.

Also making an appearance in the heritage of one my main characters is Captain Auguste Duhaut-Cilly.

I have no idea what he's doing barging in on NaNo 2016, but I hope to find out.

I hope you're having a great week.