Friday, June 30, 2017

Week in Review 2017 - 06/30

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Remember The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey? Can you develop habits to a point where you would be considered a "highly effective person"? I won't try to answer that here. However, I do believe that good habits pay dividends. An obvious example is good dental hygiene improves your chances of maintaining your own teeth. 

Look who I spied when I looked up
from my free motion quilting. I
mentioned last week how much I
enjoy watching our local turtles
lay their eggs. This one is right below
our bird feeder outside my
studio window.
The hardest part for me, especially one I am trying to introduce into my life is not skipping it when life insists on intervening. Instead I figure out a way to adjust, adapt, do whatever it takes to keep my commitment to myself. Why? Because I find the excuses to skip just this once may be rational, even reasonable in the beginning, but soon become just that - excuses. Take bike season. If I skip riding because there is heavy rain when I would normally head out and bike, then soon, my excuses will get lamer and lamer. Instead, I will check the weather to see if the weather will clear later in the day, or I might walk on my treadmill, or even dress in rain gear and go out and walk.  There is always a work around, it is just a matter of being creative. 

The advantage of pushing through adversity to a solution, is this also becomes a habit. There are two benefits. You become a great problem solver, for one. What I was reminded of today, is when you don't have to muscle through adversity you learn to really appreciate the glory days. This morning's bike ride was pure joy. The sunrise over Lake Winnebago was so spectacular, we did the loop mid ride and during our return. I found this short video taken during the winter of a more subtle sunrise taken at Kimberly Point Light House, part of our Lake Winnebago sunrise route. Everything came together this morning, the sunrise, the weather, and my body. We powered through the workout setting this season's personal best pace.

Also, just outside my studio are these
stunning purple flowers. Most years the
rabbits eat them before they can bloom.
This year we got smart and surrounded
them with chicken wire. The rabbits had
to look elsewhere.
No surprise, studio work is a habit worth sticking with. It is easy to rationalize not heading into the studio. Most of the work is mundane, can be grueling, and often requires problem solving. So, why bother? Because those days when everything comes together you soar. The other days? Well, most of them are pleasant and relaxing.

Nothing earth shattering has been happening in the studio, but I have enjoyed sticking with my current project. Here is what I accomplished this week:

1) Work on Picking Up the Pieces #4 - Done!

2) Finish Picking Up the Pieces #1 and #3 - Not yet.

3) Pot(s) made this week - Done!

I have been doing some very detailed, free motion quilting work. It has required repeating the same motif over and over and over again. The image of the crescent moon and star came to me while riding my bike. We often begin our ride in the dark. Last week the moon was just a sliver, there were no stars, but Jupiter was visible, looking very much like a large star.

4) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

Click on the image to see it enlarged.
The crescent moons should be obvious.
One thing about habits, it means I know what I will be doing next week:

1) Work on Picking Up the Pieces #4

2) Finish Picking Up the Pieces #1 and #3

3) Pot(s) made this week

4) Free motion quilting practice

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.


  1. I read your last two posts with great interest mainly because you could have been describing me...right down to using a particular pen for writing, finally getting 'a room of my own' and the organization of my day. We do like the familiar, don't we. I also like Stephen Covey's work and your thoughts about it.

  2. You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place where you can ride your bikes safely.
    Yes, the mind can be a funny thing. I sometimes feel like I'm two different people the way I try to talk myself in or out of situations.

  3. I like your comments on habits, especially the realization that studio work can often be mundane and repetitive (and even boring). I struggle with this- the apparent conflict between the fact that this is something I do because I love it and willingly spend my non-work hours on, and yet often I feel like I have to force myself out to my studio because the tasks in front of me are so un-fun in themselves. That's clearly just the way it is, and obviously I (and you and presumably many other artists) have decided the payoff is worth it, but it's a strange thing nonetheless.