Are You There Yet?

light-in-heart-rumi(Image from the Internet)

Fred the Needle (aka Susanna Di Milo) posted a great and thought-provoking article on her blog last week.

Finding Your Passion…

https://fredthethread.wordpress.com/2017/02/19/finding-your-passion-you-actually-dont-have-to-find-it-it-will-seek-you-out/

If you read it, which I recommend, you will be certain to think about what you believe on the subject of finding your passion. Thank you for this, Susanna. I commented on the post and she asked me when I was a child, what did I want to be when I grew up. Interesting to remember that. I wanted to be a mom. I was very lucky to get to be that and honestly, it was probably my favorite job ever!

After that, I would say that I chose happy and have often said that the search for happiness led me down a long and winding road of, yes, some happiness, but lots of struggles and heartache too. It comes down to being all about choices and one choice might be to let everything be decided for you. I am not sure this is what Susanna means when she says your passion will seek you out. Or wait, maybe she does mean just that! I lived a long time just doing what came next…”one foot in front of the other” was my mantra, more or less. I think the Universe, or whatever you choose to call it…God, Spirit, Mother…may just know and keep directing us somehow.

Along the way though, you have to put yourself out there. You have to be open and try things and trust the guidance you are getting. You need to trust your own guidance too; your intuition, your gut. You will make some mistakes, most likely, but learn from them and get up to go again. It has been said that if you haven’t made some mistakes, you have not tried enough things.

In my lifetime, I have been a daughter, sister, mother, wife, aunt, friend, homemaker, sewist, photographer, writer, crafter, seeker, adventurer, lover, seller…gee, I have been blessed! And if I look back, I do believe something was guiding me. I am grateful. I am loved. I can finally say I am HAPPY!!! Happy is not about ego. Happy is not just about taking care of yourself. Happy means you can do much more for others. Happy means you can share light and joy in this world that really needs it.

How do you perceive the quest in your life for what you have been looking for? What has your greatest lesson been? Are you open to possibility? Do you have your blinders off so you can recognize the nudges you are getting?

a-year-from-now-karen-lamb(Image from the Internet and Karen Lamb)

 

Foundation Paper Piecing

 

20170209_084530-2 My favorite, so far!

As mentioned in my last post, quilting has become one of my very favorite pastimes. One of the new skills I have been working on is foundation paper piecing. It creates perfect points and is like working a puzzle (something else I like). Well, it is like working a puzzle only backwards!

There are many tutorials available online (linked here is a free tutorial from Craftsy), so I am not going to try to teach you anything new here, just give you a few pointers and hints from my growing experience.

  1. Start with a simple pattern! Getting the hang of when to place the pattern and fabric right side together or not is the first thing to understand. It requires that backward thinking at first…at least for me. Again, this link (Craftsy) is a very simple straight-forward and basic pattern. You can find lots of free patterns online too. Check out Pinterest.
  2. Selecting solid fabrics can help. In the beginning, selecting solid-colored fabrics will help, as it makes no difference about right side out or in. That said, you will still have to learn to deal with prints at some point, so perhaps mix in a couple of them in your early work.20170201_114708
  3. More on fabrics…be sure to use preshrunk cottons. If they shrink after the fact, or even as you press them, you will be very unhappy.
  4. Don’t try to scrimp on the fabric too much…especially when you are learning. I hate to waste and I am cheap, but it is very disappointing to find that you have stitched your seam and the fabric does not cover the area required. You will get better as you practice! Then you can try to save!
  5. About specialty fabrics and fussy cutting…this is fun and works on many paper-piecing patterns. However, be sure to THINK and rethink your plan and placement. I find that the first piece is the easiest to fussy cut. When you hold your pattern and fabric to the light, you will easily be able to see where your design will fall in that first section.  20170208_123210-2
  6. Learn to LOVE your seam ripper! That sounds intimidating, I know. I hate to rip out and would often prefer to start over, but you will very likely make some mistakes. I would hate to think that I am the only one!
  7. In order to avoid the seam ripper though, think before you stitch! You have heard “measure twice, cut once”…well, this calls for hold it up, look at it three times, fold it back to get a rough idea, think again, then sew.
  8. Speaking of sewing those seams…a tiny stitch is recommended so that the paper will be perforated well and tear off easily. I use a setting of 1.5 on my machine. That will vary with different machines, but that trusty seam ripper barely fits into those helpful tiny stitches. I have tried other longer stitch lengths and the smaller ones do tear off more easily. However, I suggest that you start out with a bit larger stitch in the early stages and go smaller as your confidence grows.
  9. More about the seams…most quilting directions do not encourage you to back stitch at the beginning and end of seams. This is just my opinion (and I don’t always do it), but if you secure the beginning and end of the seam with a fix stitch or even one back stitch, it can help when you tear off the paper. You see, the tearing process can cause some of your stitches to come out and when you are working with 1/4″ or scant 1/4″ seams, there is not much room for error. It also bears consideration about the possibility of ripping out…securing the ends of the seams can make that more difficult too. On more detailed patterns, some of the seams might only be about 1/2″, so if you lose any of those stitches, your seam is almost gone!
  10. More on seams…trim as you go. Where the layers build up the project can get quite thick, so carefully trim your seams to 1/4″, as you go. CAREFULLY! Again, this is backward thinking, so don’t cut off the part that will fold back to be the finished pattern! I have done it! That requires ripping out AND redoing!
  11. About the paper. I can’t tell you much here. Let’s face it, as I said, I am cheap, so I use printer paper. It IS thicker and does not tear as easily. You can purchase special papers for this at around $10 per pack of 25 sheets. I will probably do that the next time I can take advantage of a sale. Some quilters mention using freezer paper. The more detail in the pattern and the smaller the pieces, the more this matters.
  12. How to finish these items? I am getting a collection of paper-pieced goodies and have not decided what to do with them yet. They can be used in any way you would use fabric. They are typically quilted…think blocks, wall hangings, table runners, place mats, hot pads, mug rugs…the list is endless. If you are particularly crafty, you might use them to embellish bags, clothing, and more.

Finishing with some simple hand embroidery is also fun and adds interest.

Another saying that applies here is “slow and steady wins the race”! If you are considering trying foundation paper piecing, I do encourage you to give it a go. It is fun and once you get it, you may be just as hooked as I am!

Have you already tried it? What was your outcome?

(all images ©Valorie Webster; patterns not mine)

 

Word for the Day – Witness

blue-stripe-dropImage © Valorie Webster

 

If you read the Parade Magazine on Sunday, wherever you live, you may have seen a little article this week, Sunday With…Tony Bennett. As he is turning 90 years old, the final question was What are your thoughts on turning 90? His reply…

“I’m happy to be alive. I think the greatest gift you could have is to witness your life on earth.”

To me that was profound. How many of us actually “witness” our lives? How many of us just move from moment to moment, event to event, thought to thought without really seeing, hearing, feeling, absorbing those things?

Dictionary.com defines Witness as…
a verb (used with object)
1. to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception

Just a thought for today. Hope you are IN-joy!

It is Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

It IS a special day and I find it interesting how the thoughts about it evolve over the years. I have shared a post before about my mom, who passed away in 1999…here.

Of course, I think of her today and wish she was here, but I am especially thinking of my children and their children, my wonderful “grands”! This includes my daughter and my daughters-in-law.

There really is nothing like having children. The next phase, having grand-children, is almost better. You know, spoil them and send them home and all those cliches.

The truth is, in spite of all the ups and downs of life, seeing how my children parent is, indeed, a blessing for me. Hopefully, they do so well because of the way they were parented, but also in spite of that!

I am blessed with 5 grands ages 20 to 5 (and some very great nieces and nephews too)! We are all spread over the country, which can be sad, but I woke up to a text sending MD love and a request for a FaceTime chat today, so all is well in the world.

My husband commented that some of the hoopla is lost in the rush these days. I had to disagree…I don’t know a mother who would not be so happy to spend some quality time with her offspring and was reminded of that by a post by my DIL on FB this morning…

2016-05-08-08.16.10.png.png

Looks like they had a bit of all mom’s favorites!

So, again, to all the moms out there…love your kids and grands and remember how blessed you are today! And THANK YOU to the mom’s in my life!

Mothers-Day-Quotes-For-Daughter

Love and hugs!

 

Mondays

The first work-day of the week, for most folks…Monday!

mon2

The subject of many songs and memes on the Internet…

Monday, Monday (Mommas and Poppas), Rainy Days and Mondays (The Carpenters), Monday Morning (Fleetwood Mac), Manic Monday (The Bangles), Blue Monday (Fats Domino), It Sure is Monday (Mark Chestnutt)

Whatever genre you like, you can probably find a song about Monday…usually about how bad it is. They are just a fact of life though! Your Monday could be any day of the week, depending on your job, but the concept is the same. We are never ready for its arrival, it seems.

Do you get the “Sunday night blues”? Not sure why I am contemplating Monday today. Most every day has the same potential for me, as I am MOSTLY retired. That is a blessing in many ways, but does take some getting used to. It requires self-motivation, determination and an adventure spirit to decide of what from all the many options available you are going to partake. At our house, we have also figured out that it is nice not to have to do anything at any time, for the most part. Life has a tendency to make you live by a clock…until you don’t have to any more.

So, whatever your time in life, I hope you get off your duff and find something you like today…if not your job, how about your home (decorate a wall), your kids/spouse/family (love them), your hobbies (paint, read, sing), your friends (share a cup of coffee or soup), your neighborhood (check our the flowers that are starting to come up), your town (check out a landmark), your body (paint your toenails or just wash your face), your music (dance a little), your sports (move a little), your spirit (meditate a while)…there are so many things you can do. I just encourage you to see what is around you and enjoy it!

Happy-Monday-Put

Have a happy Monday and remember that the weekend isn’t that far off, but each day of the week will have something special…if you watch, look, and listen for it! That is what I am going to try to do.

What are you doing today?

An Extra Day

leapyear_1024x1024

We get an extra day today…

what are you doing with yours?

Just in case you are curious, the infamous Wikipedia tells us this about leap year…

Leap year

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Leap year (disambiguation).

A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or a bissextile year) is a year containing one additional day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.[1] Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. By inserting (also called intercalating) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.

For example, in the Gregorian calendar, each leap year has 366 days instead of the usual 365, by extending February to 29 days rather than the common 28. Similarly, in the lunisolar Hebrew calendar, Adar Aleph, a 13th lunar month, is added seven times every 19 years to the twelve lunar months in its common years to keep its calendar year from drifting through the seasons. In the Baha’i Calendar, a leap day is added when needed to ensure that the following year begins on the vernal equinox.

The name “leap year” comes from the fact that while a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar normally advances one day of the week from one year to the next, the day of the week in the 12 months following the leap day (from March 1 through February 28 of the following year) will advance two days due to the extra day (thus “leaping over” one of the days in the week). For example, Christmas fell on Tuesday in 2001, Wednesday in 2002, and Thursday in 2003 but then “leapt” over Friday to fall on a Saturday in 2004.[2] 

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I will admit that I never have really looked at the reason why we have this extra day, so the explanation above makes some sense. Good stuff to know, right? We probably learned something about this in school, but I won’t confess how many leap years have passed since then!

Some people seem to think that it would be no big deal to be born on this day…just celebrate things on the day before or after. Some might think great…I only get a birthday every four years. Well, that is great if you are getting old, but not when you are young and want a party or to get older. What do you think?

Today, my day will be much like most days. At this “almost retired” stage, and since I work from my home, I have lots of flexibility. I generally do most of my work first thing…already done that…so I will play with my crafts and do some work around the house. It is granola-making day along with some laundry. Normal is good!

Oh, and since it is the last day of February, I had better go post one more February Happy Thought for the month!

Make it a great day!

(image from the Internet)

Sunshine Blogger Award

I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award on Valentine’s Day by Joyful2bee   It seems like a nice way to spread the love on that day, doesn’t it. She posts a variety of interesting and always sunny blogs, so go check her out!

sunshine-award

It was interesting to me to get this nomination. I had just been reading some blogs where people were telling about themselves. It seems we don’t really know our blogosphere friends, but feel like we do, so this kind of thing helps. I had also thought I would make this blog a “no awards” blog. But, I had not stated that yet, so here goes. If you get nominated, don’t feel that the burden is heavy…it is really up to you. I think of these as ways to share the love and introduce bloggers!

Here are the Award Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you. (See above)
2. Answer the questions from your nominator.(See Below)
3. Nominate eleven other bloggers and give them eleven questions.(See further below.)

The 11 questions are

1. What inspired you to start writing? I was never really much of a writer. It just kind of came up when, as a photographer, a local magazine asked me to do some articles along with images. That turned into a few years of writing little blurbs to 2500 word stories.I liked it. Sometimes challenging and sometimes fun, it was certainly a time/way of growth and pushing the envelope a bit.

2.  How are you inspired to write your blog? To be completely honest, it was totally about trying to figure out how to promote my Etsy shop. I do love crafting and the shop does a bit here and there, but in reality, the blog has become sort of a fun place to share photos, thoughts, crafts, life…that is why I call it Facetfully, like the Etsy shop, because it could be anything. I am fully faceted!!!!! LOL

3.  If you could spend a day with a historical person, who would you chose? Wow…there have been so many interesting people and so many reasons they are famous! I often think I would like to discover more of myself by living in solitude. How much could I endure the quiet? How much could I do for myself? I mean living away from the masses. I am not sure who that person would be. There are articles about people who have done it. I read a book once about a woman who did it in her own way, Where God Begins To Be, A Woman’s Journey into Solitude by Karen Karper. So, I will look her up and see if we can meet! It really gave me the desire…and I think I may have been a pioneer, in a prior life. Of course, I would need the Internet, so I could blog about it!

4.  What would you want to talk about with this person? The tests, the trials, the fears, what they learned about themselves. For me, this is not because I don’t like people…I do! It would be about those tests, etc. and for the mystical experience I hope would come from it.

5.  What era would you like to live in? I am a person who loves to experience things. I like living right now, but would like to try being a pioneer, as mentioned above.

6.  If you could be an animal what would it be and why? I am not really into animals much. I think a bird though. Just imagine all you could see from your perch or in flight! And it seems they don’t worry. Worry is a waste of time and energy!

7.  Who has influenced your life the most? Well, I would say my father first. Next would be my husband, who has allowed me to grow and stretch and try things and always encourages and supports me.

8. What do you enjoy writing about most? It varies! I don’t know if I enjoy posting more or reading the posts of the blogs I follow. They both seem to take quite a bit of time.

9.  While writing your blog posts, do you go over it repeatedly and edit or do you just write it out and post it? Most of the time, I just let it spill onto the page, as it comes out of my mind. I try to catch spelling errors, etc. We each blog for whatever reason, but they are ours to do with as we feel on any given post. Just do no harm!!!!

10.  What part of nature do you identify with most? I love the wind, except when I lived in Topeka, KS and thought I might die in a tornado one day. I grew up with the threat of tornadoes and was never afraid. That day, I was so afraid I might never see my children again. I won’t forget that feeling! BTW, the building next to mine was leveled!!!!!

11.  What makes you most worried about your blog? Nothing! It is a place to BE, to SHARE and it is mine. Why worry?

So, there you have it for this post! I welcome your comments!

My 11 nominees for the Sunshine Award are listed below. As I said, no pressure here. These are bloggers I enjoy and cover a gamut of subjects. Many of them have loads of followers, so don’t need the introduction…this is just my place to share them and compliment them.

  1. https://uptownjack.wordpress.com/ – I enjoy his photos and words that go along. Sometimes inspiring, funny, quirky…and a quick, easy read/look!
  2. https://thingsthatnevermadeitintoprint.wordpress.com/ – Speaking of quirky…this one is! I enjoy the way she thinks, even if I don’t always agree, but I often do!
  3. http://alphawhiskeyfoxtrot.com/ – Stunning thoughts and images…usually in black and white…she inspires me!
  4. https://miscellaneousmusingsofamiddleagedmind.wordpress.com/ – Norm, the grumpy old man, as he calls himself, though he doesn’t really seem so, offers up great images and a Thursday Doors challenge that I follow!
  5. http://simplelivingover50.com/ – This one is about fitness, health, minimalism, saving and more. He shares some great insights that are thought-provoking!
  6. https://judemadeit.wordpress.com/ – If you craft or quilt, this one will give you some great ideas! AND she is my Sew Mate!
  7. https://nerospost.wordpress.com/ – An0ther quilter…one of my newest passions. I hope to meet her the next time I go to Greece!
  8. https://charlieandjo.wordpress.com/ – I feel like I know Jo, as she shares the triumphs and turmoils of remodeling their home. AND she is having tea soon…I am going in virtual reality!
  9. http://viewfromafrenchhillside.com/ – Beautiful photos and feeding my wanderlust. I love France and enjoy this inspiration here!
  10. http://snapshotsincursive.com/ – This blogger speaks to food, travel and other fun and inspiring things. I tell you, she should write for pay!
  11. https://scotty73.wordpress.com/ – Certainly not least, Scotty73, known to me as Brad, my son, of whom I am so proud! He blogs about life and being a stay-at-home dad…at least for now. I hope he can continue this and will continuing sharing his wit and wisdom! No, son, you do not HAVE to do this award thing!!!

The questions I am going to ask? Well, I was comfortable with the ones above, so I am taking the easy way out and being a copy cat! If you decide to participate, just answer the same questions! Go ahead, you can do it!

So…there you have it! My Sunshine Blogger Award post and some sharing. I started following a few new blogs this year and there are so many good ones out there. It is my decision to really FOLLOW some and those are included above, which means a lot of reading and I get to see how people evolve, in some cases, and make virtual friends. I hope I get to meet them along the way in some of my travels. Also, note that I don’t think I should renominate the giver of this award, but check her out (see above).

AND FACETFULLY IS NOW AN AWARD-FREE BLOG…but thanks to those who have honored me thus far!

Happy Blogging!