Friday, January 30, 2015

Don't Sugar Me

Another word for doldrums

A feeling or spell of dismally low spirits:
bluesdejectiondepressiondespondencedespondencydolefulnessdownheartedness,  dumps,dysphoriafunkgloomglumnessheavy-heartednessmelancholymope (used in plural),mournfulnesssadnessunhappiness.
Why am I blue? Just avoiding sugar, and missing that dysfunctional relationship. I love sugar, but it gives me a quick thrill and then leaves me in the lurch. I am not answering that call this evening, so don't even leave a message, Sugar. Don't sugar me! Here are the lyrics to the song, by Walt Kelly:
Oh, I may be your cup of tea,
But, baby, don’t you ‘Sugar’ me!
Don’t stir me, boy, nor try to spoon,
Don’t sugar me, cause us is throon!

I won’t sip a lip with you, less
You want a granulated lump or two,
Just roll them eyes right out that door,
Them saucer eyes ain’t square no more.

All them things, them diamond rings,
Them stuff you promised me,
Were figments, Newton, sure as shootin’,
Shootin’ sure as A, B, see

The teapot pouts that the kettle’s blue,
It don’t work out that spar is true,
Just boil away, boy, don’t sit and brew,
Don’t sugar me, cause us is through!
 Don't worry, I am having a low spot, but it is transient and most of my day today has been great. I slept well last night, slept in till almost 8 am...a luxury of retirement. I got up and made a pot of espresso, got a fire going in the wood stove, heated some breakfast, and came up to my loft. I did my 3 pages of morning writing, which is my key to creativity. I wrote under the glow of my full spectrum light.

 My task for today was to work on my fabric inventory. Before we build storage in the loft for my fabric and supplies, I need to measure the dimensions of my stuff, and that means it is time to reduce the amount. I am following a plan laid out in Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space, by Lois Hallock. My goal is to have a lovely studio, rather than an attic full of stuff, which is the case now.  It was painful to imagine purging some of my wonderful but ridiculously excessive fabric hoard. However, once I started, it turned into relaxing therapy. I have gone through a large plastic tote of brown fabric and a medium size tote of yellow fabric, and have folded, condensed, sorted, and purged. Anything smaller than an 1/8th of a yard is either going in the trash, or donated to a thrift store as a "scrap bag." I have reduced my amount by 1/3 so far. Wow! At this rate, the 12 more totes will be reduced to 8, and that is a big deal for this hoarder. 
Here are a few before and after photos, but be warned, it isn't pretty.

One of my activities is a monthly goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. This is my third year with ALYOF, and it has changed my sewing life. This month I set the goal to finish 4 quilted bags I started last summer, and to embellish them. I did it. I used favored buttons on the front flaps, and it was a nice touch. 

Super cheerful. Just writing about this, and seeing the photos has brightened my evening glums. I am cheered by the finish, and dreaming about my next month's goal. I am also cheered by the contentment of dinner finished and put away, dishes done, coffee pot ready to start in the morning, and the end of my day... my favorite way to end the day, snuggled in bed with the cat, dog, Mr. Thimblepie, and my latest book. Life is good, and I am ready to go to bed. Good night!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Jane's Exotic Garden

Happy New Year to you! Waking up to a new year and a whole bunch of fresh possibilities is always exciting. I am one who sets goals and makes them come to fruition. It isn't so hard if they are reasonable. Then looking back at the end of the year, I realize that I have not only accomplished my goals, but something surprising and unexpected, too.

In 2014, I completed a year of apprenticeship with Darcy Williamson, a veteran herbalist from McCall, ID. I graduated to Senior Apprentice a few weeks ago and am proud of my accomplishment. What this means is that I have mastered the following skills well enough to teach them: pulverizing herbs and making capsules, harvesting and garbling seeds from wild plants, making tinctures from roots, leaves, flowers, and mushrooms, and bottling and labeling them, preparing salves with the correct consistency, making soap and packaging it, setting up and using the distiller to prepare hydrosols and essential oils, and dissembling and cleaning the distiller, taking inventory of the studio and stocking the shelves, and foraging and sustainably harvesting wild plants from the forest  for various uses throughout the year.

Now I can use my skills to teach classes or seminars, write monographs on the pharmacology of wild plants, assist Darcy in programs she gives, and develop and market my own line of herbal products. Creating my own logo is on my goal list. My arnica and brown's peony root salve is very popular around here for easing aches and inflammation, and treating bruises.

In other news, I completed my December sewing goal (shown in the last blog post) but did not get it blogged in time for the end of the month finish. I sent it off to mom, a soft and snuggly lap quilt with a wild purple binding from Jane Sassaman's line, called, "Jane's Exotic Garden." The backing is the softest, thickest flannel, Moda's needle felted cotton flannel.

love me some selvedges
My goal for January's A Lovely Year of Finishes is to complete 4 quilted purses that I started last summer. I blogged about them here and completed one for the Michael Miller challenge. These will need some embellishments and hand quilting to add zippy eye appeal. I haven't decided who will get these, or whether I will sell them in my etsy shop...

4 seasons: snowflake, crocus, orange creamsicle, and zinnia.
The bags have magnetic snap closures, which are inexpensive and very simple to install. They also have lots of pockets including inside elastic pockets. The handles are sturdy quilted fabric, and the whole bag is safe to launder. I have already put them together, but they are begging for some dressing up, don't you think?

which one is your favorite?