Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Disappearance of Creativity

I haven't felt the creative burst I usually feel the past couple of weeks. I think that has to do in part with the fact that we still have not sold our house...let alone had very many showings. Its quite difficult for me to keep the house immaculately clean for weeks with no showings. Then, just about the time I get all my creative items out all over my craft room, the phone rings and we have a showing in about 30 minutes. This frantic scenario of madly rushing about to clean it all up does not help those creative juices in the least bit.

So, I've not created anything. Oh...I may have stabbed at that creative gene every now and again, but quite frankly, it just disappeared. In addition to the disappearance of those necessary juices, I have also been decluttering the house quite a bit. Let me tell you, decluttering is very addictive. Many days I wander around my house trying to find something to declutter. I am probably the last person you would think needs to or even should declutter, but I love it. I really do. It is so freeing. Last week I decluttered most of our movie stash. I only kept our favorites like Anne of Green Gables, Janette Oak and most of Chloe's movies. This week I am working on Chloe's baby things. AHHHHHHH!!! As hard as it is to part with these items, I have decided it is necessary. Yes. I am tired of hauling this stuff around the world with us. If or when we do have another baby, we can simply buy new things. We can certainly afford it. AND...maybe getting rid of it might bring good luck in that regard. You never know.

So, in the spirit of declutteration and also the need to be creative once again (because it HAS been too long since I have let myself loose like that) I have compiled a list of the things I aim to make this week. My goal, you could say. And yes, I do feel that this qualifies as decluttering. I just finished decluttering my pattern collection. Now I need to declutter those projects that are sitting there waiting for me to finish. Without further ado, here is my project declutteration list.

~ Chloe's Primrose Easter dress (to be worked on today)
~ brown shirt dress for myself (cut out and ready to be sewn. I shouldn't tell you that this was to be my Thanksgiving dress this past fall)
~ Tutti-Frutti dress for Chloe (I picked up this adorable fabric from Joanns with the plan to make a pillowcase dress for Chloe...complete with rick-rack flowers from my Sewing with Whimsy book)
~ Apron set for my mother (mother's day gift...I thought it would be cute for her to have matching aprons for whenever Chloe comes to visit)
~ crocheted cozies for my girlfriend (who is moving into their first purchased home this next month.

I figure that is probably enough to keep me busy this week. Like I said...its a goal. I hope to focus and be able to complete all this in time. If I do, then I have something fun to do with some scraps and other fabric in my stash. Oh golly....I feel those creative juices returning, just typing about it. Yes...there is a vision in my head for a skirt design. Ahh yes...they are back. Those juices are back and ready to flow. I must get off this computer and get to work on this list. Have a wonderful day everyone!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Birthday Wishes

Hard as it was to face, my 30th birthday last week was actually a pleasant day. While I regretted the fact that I was to finally be 30 years old, I enjoyed myself immensely all day long. I still don't feel 30 and I guess that's a good thing since I really don't want to be 30.

My day began with tea at a girlfriend's house. What fun. Chloe brought along her tea set and some dolls and we all had tea together. Can you say perfection? Then, James took me out to lunch at a Thai buffet. I've never eaten Thai before and it was quite delicious. A bit on the spicy side but delicious none-the-less. I couldn't stand the Thai iced tea though. James drank mine.

Afterwards, we headed to a salon and I received a hair cut (6 inches completely gone) and a highlight. Can you believe that? I am so happy with my hair. For the first time in my life I actually feel pretty. I have had that West Side Story song stuck in my head the rest of the week. (and pretty far into the weekend as well) You know the one? "I feel pretty. Oh so pretty."

So, after dinner with my dear friend Karen and her husband at Red Lobster, we came home to presents. My darling husband bought me the most fantastic present in the world. I can't believe he did it. I am still in shock almost a week later. Goodness gracious, I love this man. He bought me something he has threatened to buy me for a few months now. I asked him not to. I TOLD him not to. But for some odd reason he thought I would change my mind. Honestly, he is still convinced I will change my mind. I won't. Of that I can assure you.

Have you seen those commercials on television for a Snuggie? No? The link has the funniest video you've ever seen. Go watch it. I dare you to. And my husband bought into it. I have to tell you, I laughed so hard when I opened up that box. I felt like I was in a dream. Could my dear husband have actually spent money on this thing? And for my birthday? After about 15 minutes of hysterical laughing, he asked me to try it on. That only sent me down the floor, doubled over with tummy pains. When I finally composed myself enough to get the thing on Chloe took one look at me and said, "You look like a monster, Mama." I lost it. I completely lost it. I immediately tore the thing off and informed James as politely as I could between the peals of laughter that I would NOT be wearing it again. No matter how cold I am.

He redeemed himself by handing me my other gift which was a king size set of sheets with deep pockets to fit on my bed. Very nice gift. Much better than a Snuggie which will be decluttered by my next birthday. Someday, when I get over the shock, I will have to get you a picture of the thing on me. For now, I can't do it. I can't even look at it without busting up. I also need to get a picture of my new "do" for you all. It really looks great.

Well, I had better run along and Bless my home today. We have a showing at lunchtime and so we will head to the library and pray that this will be the one that buys our house. Have a funny day all day long everyone. Remember that laughter is good medicine. (I swear I lost at least 5 pounds last week from laughing)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Black Gold

My mother recommended a book to me and I immediately ordered it from my local library. After a couple of weeks, it was ready for me to pick up. What a book! Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza.

While I love the idea of this book, I am saddened by the fact that I probably won't be able to have a huge vegetable garden this year. Alas, the house is still on the market with only 6 showings since the beginning of January. Not the best time to be selling a house, let me tell you. And since we have no idea when we will receive an offer (could be tomorrow or in 3 months) I cannot allow myself to spend loads of money and time in a garden that the next owners will more than likely mow over and turn to sod. Nope. I can't bear the thought. I will, however, try this method on a much smaller scale. A flowerpot scale to be precise.

My first exercise was to start a compost. Now, mind you, I still cannot do this on the larger scale I would like to but I can do a little bit. I started keeping a plastic bowl on my counter to put my kitchen scraps in. I then put all these scraps (think vegetable peels, old veggies, coffee grounds, tea leaves...and the like) into my blender and wa-la...instant compost that is already broken down. It really looked like black gold. Instead of waiting a year for the process to break down my kitchen scraps, I did it myself in the blender. This also provides me with more space since I don't have room for a proper compost heap.

Photobucket

Photobucket


I poured it on my garden which I have yet to mulch and presto! Organic gardening. I realize now that every little bit we do helps. Even if you can't have a huge garden, you can do something organic. Do you have a flowerpot with something in it? Blend up your kitchen scraps for your own compost. Remember, every little bit helps. (and it is so much harder for those scraps to break down in the landfills they are going to)

Etsy Finds Friday

After a full month of gloomy rain, I needed something bright and cheery. Today my inspiration came from the color yellow. It kind of drifted into anything bright with a focus on happiness but for some odd reason, the color I am most attracted to this spring is yellow. The color of optimism. So, I hope you enjoy my bright finds. As always, you can click the picture to see the listing.

First I have Luscious Golden Summer Dandelions by Kreated by Kelly.

Photobucket



Let's Be Friends Watercolor
by Laura Trevey

Photobucket


Origami Yuzen Washi Butterfly Earrings by WindTwirler

Photobucket


Amigurumi Fishy Wishy by BeFriendMantic's Crafty Delights

Photobucket


Bright Lights Original Watercolor Flower by Karen Faulkner Art

Photobucket


Pillow Cover Reversible Black Bird by Lindylou

Photobucket


Sheeva's Sunflower Trinket Bowl by Glazed Over

Photobucket


Meera Twisted Sunburst Purse by HyperNoodle

Photobucket


I am off to open the windows and let some sunshine into my home. Have a fabulously bright and sunny day today.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dr. Chloe

Chloe plays doctor all the time now. Its her newest favorite thing to do. I taught it to her one day with her dolls because I was tired of the samo-samo. (you know...clothes on the doll, clothes off the doll, Mama...can you put the clothes back on the doll, clothes off the doll.)

So, now she insists that something is wrong with me whenever she feels like being a doctor. I, of course, am the only one that knows what is wrong with me...most of the time. This morning (out of the blue) she tenderly looked at me and gently said, "I'm a doctor Mama. What's wrong with you?"

"Uhhhhh...My tummy hurts."

"I fix it Mama!" she promptly replied.

She opened my robe and started patting my belly.

"I need a wrench, please" she said. I handed her a wrench. After about a minute, her eyes widened and she pronounced, "The batteries died. I need new batteries."

I gave her new batteries. She took the old ones and threw them on the floor and inserted new ones. She then asked for a hammer and began pounding her fist on my belly. "All better!" she announced. Ahhhhh....I love this kid.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Etsy Finds Friday

This week I just had to find all the things for My Favorite Things song that Julie Andrews sang on The Sound of Music. When I am feeling blue, I love to to sing this song and think of my own favorite things. You can't help but smile when you listen to this song. I've embedded a YouTube video so you can listen to the song while you peruse my findings. Enjoy!



Raindrops on Roses

Photobucket

Whiskers on Kittens

Photobucket

Bright Copper Kettle

Photobucket

Warm Woolen Mittens

Photobucket

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String

Photobucket

Cream Colored Ponies

Photobucket

Crisp Apple Strudel

Photobucket

Doorbells

Photobucket

Sleighbells

Photobucket

Schnitzel with Noodles

Photobucket

Wild Geese that Fly With the Moon on their Wings

Photobucket

Girls in White Dresses with Blue Satin Sashes

Photobucket

Snowflakes that Stay on My Nose and Eyelashes

Photobucket

Silver White Winters that Melt into Spring

Photobucket


I hope you enjoyed listening to one of my favorite songs about my favorite things and looking at some interesting findings based on that theme. It was fun. I really enjoy browsing etsy each week to find things to share with you. Please, share with me in the comments section what some of your favorite things are. Next week I will show you some of my favorite things too. (or maybe I will search some of yours out for you.)

Through Chloe's Eyes

Chloe got a hold of my camera last night and started snapping pictures around the house. For some odd reason, she thinks we are supposed to take pictures of random items. (wonder where she got that from.)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


Chloe asked me to say, "Silly sausages, Mama."

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


She had a blast. Of course, I have about 20 of each picture above, but for your sake I only chose the clearest ones. She is quite the photographer.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

That's My Dad!

The other morning, I was reading Micah 1 and I was immediately struck by God's awesomeness and power.

Micah 1:3-4

Look! The LORD is coming from his dwelling place;
he comes down and treads the high places of the earth.

The mountains melt beneath him
and the valleys split apart,
like wax before the fire,
like water rushing down a slope.


I sat there, cup of joe in hand, and could just envision this picture taking place. I could actually see God, in my mind's eye, tromping along the earth and the mountains melting beneath his feet. (that would make a great movie scene, wouldn't it?) What a picture! I was humbled as I thought of the sheer power of God, melting the mountains like wax.

A little later, I asked James what he read that morning. He talked of approaching God with boldness and confidence.

Ephesians 3:12

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence
.


So, God is so awesome and powerful and yet I can come before Him with boldness and confidence because I am his daughter. Wow. My next mental picture was of myself running into the throne room with the King sitting on his throne issuing forth judgement on some sort of evil something or other. I proclaim, "Daddy! I stubbed my toe and it hurts like the dickens." God stops immediately, takes me up on his lap and begins to gently clean my wound. He wraps his arms around me and kisses the tears away. When I am "all better" He sets me down on the ground and I take off running outside to play again while He proceeds with His mountain melting.

Yup. That's my dad!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Waiting...

I am stuck in the waiting place. You know that place? The place where you just sit and wait? Dr. Suess describes it well in his book "Oh The Places You'll Go!"

"You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place..."


Yes. This is where I am...The Waiting Place.

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting."


*sigh* So yes...this is where I am...this most useless place. I am waiting. Waiting for the washing machine to finish its load. Waiting for my house to sell. Waiting for the military to decide where we will move to at the end of this year. Waiting for my husband to decide where he will take me for my birthday this weekend. Waiting for the future to arrive. What can I do while I wait? Truly this is a useless place, this waiting place.

But I forget that this waiting place is only two pages of the entire book. And the book is titled "Oh the Places You'll Go". I am going places. I am. I must be patient because I know God has great things in store for me. My bum is numb from sitting here waiting and I can't take it anymore. I am going somewhere! Chloe and I shall take her baby on a walk around the block and enjoy some fresh air.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sparking Lightbulbs

Most often, my dirty lightbulb flickers and fades to black when the lightswitch is flipped. Not so last week. Someone flipped the switch and that lightbulb upstairs shone brighter than it has in years. I could see clearly what I should have seen 7 years ago. Yes, it only took me 7 years to "get it".

"What did you get?" you ask?

It seems to silly to me now. I can't believe it took me 7 years to grasp such a simple concept. Let me explain.

According to Flylady, I am what you would classify as a BO. (born organized) On any given day you can enter my home and it will, for the most part, be clean. Most people would take one look at my home and think, "why does she even need flylady?" Well, I like her. I like what she says and I like routines, for the most part.

But what I realized last week was that the routines are not what flylady is all about. I could have all the routines in place and exhibit a model home at any given moment of the day, but still not FLY. (Finally Loving Yourself) Some days, James would come home and notice that I had blessed my home that week and say something like, "Oh...you flew today." He would spot my shiny sink (if I happened to shine it) and again say, "Yay. You flew!"

What I learned is that I didn't FLY. I cleaned but I didn't fly. Cleaning is not flying.

Last week, I cleaned my bedroom window. I mean really cleaned it. I got into the track the window sits in. I cleaned the outside windowsill (I have those nifty little windows I can open completely from the inside to clean the outside too.) When I was done (in less than 10 minutes), I took a step back, gazed at the window and commented to Chloe, "Now that is a clean window." We stood there for about 5 minutes and listened to the birds through my clean window. We let our imaginations take over as we danced on the sparkling sunbeams, pretending we were fairies bouncing from beam to beam, sprinkling fairy dust on the flowers. I realized at that moment that this was what flying was. Loving myself. Enjoying little moments. Taking time to enjoy the home I lovingly care for. Taking care of myself.

I am worth it. I deserve a clean house. I LOVE a clean house. I love sparkling windows. It doesn't take all day. I CAN take 15 minutes and sit down and look at my pretty house. Its okay. Do you know it took me 7 years of flywashing to realize that its okay to enjoy my pretty house? Golly gee willakers, but if I'm not crying right now. I am completely flywashed. I no longer consider cleaning cleaning. It is now blessing. I bless my home. I bless my family by blessing my home. As I pick up James dirty clothes from the bedroom floor or the dolls that once again made it downstairs for the 13th time today, I say to myself, "I am blessing my husband" (or daughter) and I smile. I am blessing my family. What a beautiful thought.

That was my lightbulb moment. And it only took 7 years.