Friday, January 6, 2023

New habits

There are TWO new habits that I want to add to my OCD behavior this year. One is to write in The Happiness Project book every day, which takes no time at all, and the second is to promptly respond to ALL the comments that people post on the blog. So far -- I'm good! 

As M (my daughter) mentioned and I had planned, The Happiness Project book (the blue book I just found again) is by my bed, and those new snazzy colored gel pens. My writing sucks, and it is even worse writing in bed. Sigh  - I'll try to make it neater, but there are NO promises in that category. Hey --- if no one can read it, that's OK. It's mostly for me, anyway!

But I will need an easy way to access all those colored pens -- I LOVE them. And I'll choose a different color every day! OH -- a quick and easy project to make! I need to keep a list of those small projects that I want to make, so when I need to make something for QUILTsocial, I already have items to make!

And if people (YOU) took the time to write comments on the blog, I feel it's a MUST to respond to those comments. It's been hit-and-miss in the past, but it's a good connection to people. So if you comment, expect a response from me in a day or two!

Hm--- so I went to the post office at the mall two days ago to mail a sample of an upcoming workshop I'm teaching at the Niagara Heritage Quilter's Guild. That's booked for March 23. I bought a bubble wrap envelope, had it all filled out, and took it to the cash. The manager was insistent that I should use a BOX instead. Better service, faster, cheaper, blah, blah, blah. 

I'd already written on the bubble envelope, so that would be wasting the envelope. The package arrived the next day! So that wasn't so bad for the less desirable option. How much faster would it have gotten there with the box? The same day? I think not!

So I was back at the post office yesterday to mail something else. This time, I used the flat rate box. It was a different person at the counter (DARN!), but I had it all filled out and labeled when I got there, as the cashier commented. Well, why wouldn't I? 

This box is going to Oshawa, about the same distance as the other package, but in a different direction. It was $1 cheaper! Let's see what happens!!! 

Using a flat-rate box

And while I was at the mall AGAIN, I decided to check out this wrap I keep passing. I LOVE wraps, and yes -- I already have a few too many, but this one is very dressy compared to my others, and the best part -- it's plain and can be embroidered!!! 

Can you believe that the one I wanted and saw the day before was GONE? Of course! This time I tried on the item to see if I really liked it. Yes, it's excellent, but I'm not a powder blue girl, so I asked if they had different colors. They have another store, and yes, they do. So they are shipping the other colors to this store so I can have a look. Another trip to the mall!

A powder blue wrap

Of course, they had some gorgeous orange ones, but they were already embellished, and I wanted to do the embroidery myself. 

When I finally got home from ALL my errands and was ready to work, it was almost 4 PM. I know -- I spent a lot of time in the morning chatting with people, and HEY -- sometimes you just have to do that. It shouldn't all be about work and head down! 

Time to address the elephant in the room. I've got an offer to cut those wood pieces; however, on my walk, I spotted some short strips of lattice, which I promptly picked up, and they may work. But I'm waiting for them to dry before I use them. The strips of flooring will have to work for the weekend. Then I'll see. I've no shame in picking up stuff off the street if it will work for me! 

The sit-down quilter (Platinum 160 by Husqvarna Viking) is still in the box. I forgot to take a picture of it set up on the table, but it's all set up, and the tension is tested. I had to play with it a wee bit, but it quilts like a charm with two very different colors on the top and bobbin. That's the test of a great machine --- can it sew without getting pokies on either the top or the bobbin. That is NOT recommended, but for testing, it's perfect. 

The Platinum 160 by Husqvarna Viking 

The power tower got moved to its new spot, and the old power bar was removed. Nothing is plugged in yet, and I plan to do that later today. Those cords need to be bundled up -- they are a mess. 

The power tower in its new spot

I had to dig through a pile of old quilt magazines, and OMG --- look at the date. I was practically a newborn when this was published. OK -- I'm kidding, but the magazine is almost an antique! I have sorted my magazines by title, and when I want to read a title, I grab the stack and start browsing. Sometimes they are sorted by date, and sometimes they must be sorted. So the first thing I do is sort by date, and I found FOUR duplicate copies. They are now in the recycling. I LOVE going through these old magazines, and I have some stuff to share with you another day on what I found! 

An OLD quilt magazine

So it's a sad news day. My bag I bought at Stonehenge (YES -- THE Stonehenge) is finally on its last legs. 

My Stonehenge tote bag

This has been my GO-TO shopping bag for the last two or three years. It's been to the library, the mall, the grocery store, and everywhere. But sadly, it's wearing out. I was going to take the side panels and use them on something else, but even the one is starting to wear thin. Surprisingly, the handles are entirely INTACT. 

My tote bag is wearing thin

It's a loosely woven burlap but with a plastic liner. Even the liner is breaking apart. I don't remember what I paid for this bag, but I got my money's worth. 

The bottom corners are almost gone

The holes in the corners are getting too large that I'm afraid something might slip through, so I went to the "bag closet" and found something else. Oh - I found one of those plastic bags, but look at the size? It's HUGE, which I hate. I've used it twice, and it's too big. So (I know --- do not yell at me), I'm going to chop it down. All those plastic bags come in that size, and while great, they are too big! I will take the handles off and cut about 4 inches from the top of the bag. Fiddly? Yes -- but I don't like it. And yes -- I could make a new one the exact size of the Stonehenge bag, but I have these other bags, so I might as well use them. 

The new bag is four inches (at least) too tall

Do NOT worry -- I will ensure I keep the measurements of that Stonehenge bag, as it's the perfect size for me. And I'll recycle the handles and one side, and I will make something cool from it -- just not at the moment. 

I did a bit of cleaning on the cutting table --- this huge bag of leather scraps I bought a couple of weeks ago got put away. I can't wait to use it for little bits of applique. The leather is gorgeous!

A bag of leather scraps

Two more quilt tops from Diane have been added to the "to be quilted" pile. 

Two new quilt tops from Diane

I didn't take a "before" picture, but this is the current projects table, which looks pretty good. I know -- it's messy but much better than it was. 

The current project table

I took that large green tub and filled it with stuff from the table. Things that I won't be getting to for a while. I need to find a home on a shelf for that stuff, which I'll do. Then I could move things from the cutting table that I was supposed to be working on and to clear the space, it went to the current project table. That leaves the cutting table pretty clear. The goal is to keep the cutting table 100% clear, except for the project I'm cutting. The other things I'm also working on, but perhaps not that day, will go on the current project table, and everything else is shelved! That's the goal. I'm close! 

The cutting table this morning

The hardest thing is not getting something done before a new deadline arises, and I must switch. If I could figure out how to make that happen, I'd be golden!! 

OK -- so Lexi and Murphy are entirely different in their food habits. Murphy has to sit and wait for her food because she'd be gobbling it down before the bowl even hit the floor. She is very good about this and waits; she also knows to only touch Lexi's dish when it's empty. 

Lexi, on the other hand, is a grazer. She can leave her food all day and eats it when she feels like it. But she also likes to squirrel food away, which is hilarious. She will take a few morsels to the dog beds and try to hide them. Well, it's hard to hide it under the blanket when you're standing on it. And, of course, now that the food is OUT of Lexi's dish, it's fair game for Murphy. If we only had Lexi, I'm sure we'd be finding dog food everywhere in the house! 

Lexi trying to hide dog food in the dog bed

At last, all the stabilizer is removed from the large piece of embroidery. There is still more to remove from the smaller piece, and I made good progress last night. What will I do when this is done? I'm sure I'll find some other handwork project. 

More stabilizer removed

OK --- so how many of you spend the time EACH DAY deleting ridiculous accounts that start following you on IG. I don't have a ton of followers, but I get new requests almost every day, and I check them out and delete them. I didn't always do this, so from time to time, I try to scroll through my followers and delete those robotic accounts stuck in the middle of my good followers. 

What a flipping waste of time and the comments you get from some of those robot accounts are ridiculous. How does anyone fall for that?? Oh, people do, but it's a shame!

So there are FOUR presentations this weekend. I've got all the distribution lists in order (I think!). I don't know that I'll do that to myself in the future. I still have more work to organize, but getting those distribution lists was the worst! Well, just time-consuming, and lots of intricate filing was required. I'm still not out of the woods yet, as I have more e-mails to process for classes at Thimbles and Things. I'm trying to keep up! And I've got a couple of pocket folders that I'm using to store all my notes and ideas for the classes. 

I'm super excited, but there is one ISSUE with any of these clubs or groups. I can only encourage and inspire, but I CANNOT do the work for them. They will only learn if they are willing to make mistakes and take chances. The other day, I played with my embroidery machine and did some programming. I had a vague idea of what I wanted, primarily by size. Ultimately, I created something very cool, and who knew that was possible? It came about only because I was WILLING to spend the time and play! 

Wish me luck communicating that to the group! 

Here's a good quote. 

Well, it's time to get moving!! There is MUCH to do today, and I've now in catch-up mode!!!

OH --- so if you have cleared up your ironing board, it's time to move to the cutting table. You are going to remove EVERYTHING from it. As you remove the items, what has a home can be put away. Do THAT! Then what is left? OK -- so you have one or two projects that you are currently cutting --- put those back on the table. Then evaluate everything that is left. If it is stuff you still need to complete but need more time to work on, get a box and put it in it. Label the box and keep it handy so you can get what you need. But leaving it on the cutting table is distracting! I'll be working on my cutting table today. 

Have a super day!!!



  1. Hey Elaine….check the round pads on the bottom of your desk that your quilting machine will be going on. It’s possible that those round pads screw up/down to level the desk.

    1. The legs do screw up and down, but the floor is very unlevel and I will be checking for other solutions. The wood thing works for me!!

  2. Cutting table? Again, not an issue as I don't have one. I go to the local elementary school and, after I shelve books, I use the island that is in the library office. After I am done, I pack up my stuff, wipe down the work space, and go home.
    Sometimes, I use bed lifts to raise my dining table to a better height. Never do I have the luxury of leaving things spread around. Living in a tiny space has challenges. But, before we bought this house, I had to mop the kitchen floor to be able to cut stuff out! And then I would spend days cutting my patterns out. Then I would have several weeks of projects to do, so I made good use out of my clean floor! My poor knees would never be up to that now!

    1. Torry --- Oh my --- you must be a very tiny house! But you always seem to have found a workaround for everything. Quilters are so resourceful! And the island at the school? Much easier on the knees than the kitchen floor! Have a great day!

  3. I agree with Maryke. I was going to suggest the same thing. It's worth a try, anyway. Your blog is fun to read. Great job in your decluttering!

    1. Tammy --- thanks for following along! Yes --- I need to investigate the leg issue. For the moment, it works, but not ideal. For some reason, the floor takes a big slope at that point. Sigh................

  4. It is soooooo sad when the favorite shopping bag dies off. Like you, have plenty of others, but still!

    1. Yep --- sad, but I have more and I can rescue part of the old. You just can't take the pioneer roots out of me! Have a great day!

  5. I had to laugh when I saw your new 'follower" as I had the same one follow me too. Thanks for the reminder to delete those accounts, as I hadn't done it for awhile. I have no problem keeping my ironing table clear as I have to move it every time I want to access my design wall. Incentives are good. As for habits, I am trying to delete at least 10 emails a day, minimum. Darlene

    1. Darlene --- yep -- those followers are pesky. I see I have a few to delete as I've ignored them for the last couple of days! I like that idea of deleting a certain number of e-mails everyday. It's trying to delete 10 MORE than those that come in! Have a super day!!!! Are you getting a snow day?