Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Old Friend

I have been quite lazy in my crafting life lately.  The biggest contributor to this was my Bernina being out of commission.  It needed a service and I had not yet visited the local Bernina shop. Depending on the shop and what they do in-house, it can sometimes take a week or more to get the machine back so I just didn't rush it.  Silly me.

But I finally got off my back side and got it done. Since my divorce (more about that later), I've been on a mission to recover lost time with the past-times I loved the most. I'm not quite ready to kick back into full gear with my knitting yet, so sewing was the best candidate. And I had projects sitting around waiting to be finished. I am happy to say service at Windmill was quick (~4 days). Bernina and I are back to together again and there is no love lost in this relationship.

In my pile of unfinished projects was a printed stack of paper piecing blocks from Whitney Sews. With my bag of scraps beside me, I knocked out enough to put together this small piece.

Here is a close-up shot of the block detail. 

Because of the size, I thought this would be perfect as a baby blanket. I backed it with some white flannel and stitched in a brown ribbon to use as a tie.

I think this is a great option for a changing pad. Soft, cushy, handmade, unique and just all around perfect! I can't wait to find a baby to gift this to.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Retail Therapy

Didn't I just mention how much I hate and love retail therapy???  I am having an especially tough year so I decided to splurge and really treat myself.

Granted, my idea of a treat is much different than most folks. But when something speaks to you, it just speaks.

This is my new Gillio planner, Italian leather at its best. It's the medium Compagna. This feels perfect and smells perfect.
The color contrast is what really sold me on this particular one. I love it so much that I can't keep my hands off of it.  I moved into it immediately. My goal over the next few weeks is to combine my work and personal lives into this one planner.

I currently still have my work life in an A5 Holborn Filofax, but since my work responsibilities are decreasing, I'm going to let me planner usage match. Since the rings on the Gillio are slightly bigger than Filofax, this shouldn't be a problem, but I still need to exercise a bit of restraint.

This makes me so happy, I can almost forget how unhappy I am with some aspects of my life. ALMOST.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hello, My Friends

More posts coming soon. I have been crafting and planning and doing a bit of mobile blogging using the cell phone app. I will start to post those soon. I hope you all are having a beautiful start to spring. It keeps snowing in Kansas so my spring has sprung a little gray.

Spring or not, I'm still cute though.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Retail Therapy Works

This has not been the best week for me and I'm ending it with a weekend of bad news. Because I try to be somewhat responsible financially, I am not a big fan of retail therapy but I know that it works.

To keep spending in check, I like to do my retail shopping at the office supply store.
I love new supplies, especially sticky notes that smell like scotch tape.

All is not well, but I do feel better.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Changing Planners Again

Lent is approaching and I want to be organized and ready to hit it running. I have a lot of goals I want to accomplish, none of which are down on paper, so I am getting my Filofax in order. I'm moving out of my Franklin Covey Veronica back into my Filofax Holborn. I go back and forth between these two depending on how much I want to carry at any given time, but I have to say the Holborn is my favorite.
More on my Lent goals later. Happy planning!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

From the Back Files

I just found these book reviews un-posted in my blog files.  This is my time for cleaning and prepping for something new, so I decided to get it out into the world.  As always, you can follow my current reading on Goodreads by following this link, or the badge in the sidebar of the blog.

Happy Reading, my friends.

Nightmares and Dreamscapes

I have never quite enjoyed reading Stephen King novels although I do enjoy watching the movies. I thought reading this collection of short stories could possibly sway that but I was wrong.  While some of the stories are quite interesting and I would love to see them on TV, the book overall did nothing but irritate me.

King weighs his stories down with so much detail that you find yourself screaming “get to the point!” I literally did this often as I listened to this book from my Audible collection.  I did enjoy that a celebrity read each story.  I got a kick out of trying to figure out the voices. Some were more obvious to me than others but most were delightful to listen to. But I could have done without King himself being a reader. Just like in his movies, he loves to make a cameo. I’m not a fan of his voice.

Love Unlisted

The main character is annoying. I’m happy to say that she doesn’t trip all over herself when in the presence of a love interest but she spills coffee and becomes completely irresponsible. Might as well be the same thing in my book though. The notion that the man comes along and all of a sudden your career has to suffer makes me crazy. I am well aware of my feminist views. No need to remind me.

The Money Class

Is it time to declare the American dream dead?

These are the kind of books that you should read in print form rather than audio because there are sections that don’t apply to me that I could have skipped.  For example, college savings, what to do if your child needs to come back home after college, purchasing a home, closing a business, etc. That’s stuff I don’t’ need or have already been through. And since I’ve been a follower of Suze’s for years, I feel like I’ve heard it all. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t use a refresher.

Everything in this book boils down to one guiding principle.

Stand In Truth

When we can be completely truthful about our finances, our habits, our future potential, etc., we stand a better chance of being successful with our money.

I was very happy to see Suze back me up on a pet peeve I’ve developed. If you bought a house and you can still afford the monthly payments but you are upside down in it, you have no right  (in my opninion) to even consider walking away.  I think it’s dishonest and deceitful.  You are in a better position to wait out the market and you should. There are a lot of people out there upgrading to bigger homes at a lower cost and abandoning another home just for the sake of getting a better deal. By the time the abandoned home reflects on their credit, they are already settled in the new home and can ride out the years of a bad credit score.

This book is for everyone so there’s a lot of information that you may not need right now but that makes this book a good reference book to keep around.

The American dream is not dead but it must be re-imagined.

Women and Money

I started this book long ago but never finished it.

Suze pushes something she calls the Save Yourself Plan.

Now, the website that goes along with the plan is no longer available so if you purchase this book now, new or used, or you’ve held on to it too long (like I have), you’ve lost out on some of the value of the book.

Power doesn’t come from letting someone else take care of your money.

This is a five month program.

This has very good information for everyone, not just women. But since the use-by date has passed on all the on-line resources, I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you just need a refresher.

When it comes to money, I will do what is right and now what is easy.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

If you can’t identify what matters to you, you won’t know when its threatned.

Never start a sentence with NO, BUT or HOWEVER. It tells the other person they are wrong. Nothing productive can happen after that. It says you want to Win.

I agree with premise behind the title, I’m just not completely on board with his delivery. Bottom line is that we should never stop learning and improving. And we should never be too good to listen to verbal and non-verbal feedback about ourselves.

I do like his anecdotes and thin he could spin this into a pretty good marriage-counseling book. And it has value for business but it seems a bit too arrogant.  This could be another case of the audio reader tainting my opinion.  He’s a good reader but slightly arrogant in presenting some fo the examples/stories. And maybe not. The author, without explicity stating so, regards himself as the best “fixer” for the six-figure-plus, executive crowd. He has good tips. Follow them.  But we need more relatable people to write these books. But if they were relatable, would we listen?

Act as your own press secretary. Every day and every action is worthy of your personal press conference. Act as if you are running your own election campaign.

Getting Back To The Things I Love

Life has been a bit chaotic for me the last few months and that has caused me to take a break from all that I love. I am cleaning and preparing for Lent and preparing for a journey back to all the things that I love.  I hope some of you are still around for the journey.