Friday, October 28, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 10/28

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I spent time in the studio whenever life didn't have other plans for me last week. It wasn't the balance of studio/other life ratio I would have chosen. The reality is I made choices in the past which impact what life throws at me in the present. Would I make different choices if I could rewind the clock? Probably not. Even during the toughest, most exasperating, overwhelmed moments I am able to see the positive points of my choices. I have also learned that self care is not selfish, it is essential. 

Here is a list of some of the self care habits I have adopted over the years:

1) I apply scented body cream generously after each shower. Scents sooth me and the rich body cream keeps my skin from feeling itchy.

Hand stitching is could be added
to my list of things I do for self care.
The ring of Hungarian Braided Chain
Stitch is complete.
2) I begin each day with a combination gratitude journal and morning pages. This reminds me just how fortunate I am and frequently reveals solutions to complex problems.

3) I exercise regularly. What I do varies by the day and the season. Most weeks I spend 45 minutes or more doing some sort of exercise every single day.

4) I indulge my love of computer games. The focus they require quiets my churning brain. 

5) I dress comfortably, but with care. 

6) I end my day with a book. There is always one on my nightstand - although now it resides on my iPad. 

I practice other self care habits, as well. I am especially aware of them and vigilant about maintaining them during the difficult times. They are lifeboat. They give me the strength, courage and energy to make it through trying times.

When I could, and even some times when I felt I couldn't, I headed to the studio to attend to the following:

1)  Continue quilting Siren's Song - Done!

I have moved on to creating locks of hair with
Stem Stitch. 
This is where I spent most of my time. I made significant progress, but there is still another week or so of quilting to do.

2) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

3) Do some surface design work - Done!

I finished the Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch circle on my sampler. Now I am trying my hand at Stem Stitch. I thought this would be easy since it was a staple of my teen years, when I did needlepoint and embroidery. Seems I forgot it. Fortunately, this stitch is straightforward so it didn't take long to have it feel natural again.

4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open. - Done!

My daughter gave me a coupon for the Escape Room as a birthday gift months ago. I convinced friends to accompany me and my husband. It was very tempting to let the coupon elapse or give it away. There is something about being locked in a room and having to solve clues to get out that both intrigued me and unsettled me. I stayed open and gave it a try. You won't get an endorsement from me, or the others in the room. We did OK - nothing stellar and didn't make it through all the clues. You are only given an hour. What I hadn't known and probably best that I didn't, was that 80% of the people who had done "our" room were also unsuccessful. I had assumed that the ratio would be the reverse - that the majority could succeed and it was more a question of how long it took you to get out.

I approach each new week with the same positive attitude. Just because I had less studio time than I anticipated this week, doesn't mean I won't be back to my more typical three full days in the studio next week. No matter how much time I have, my focus is the same. I will plan on doing the following:

1)  Continue quilting Siren's Song

2) Free motion quilting practice

3) Do some surface design work

4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open.

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. What computer games do you like?
    Routine is very affirming especially if you have a creative mind which, by definition, is somewhat chaotic and unmindful of the rules. Balance is achieved by routines. I find it very restful to live chaos within routine. Better mental health thru balance.

  2. I am finally realizing exactly what you are talking about. So true. My indulgence is Williams and Sanoma's lavender body lotion. I used to use it oh so sparingly saving it ...... for what? To put on my skin when I die? Now that use it and give a little sigh of pleasure and contentment every time I use it.
    Great post!

  3. Today I noticed that you area a SAQA juried artist; cheers! Now it might have been in you sidebar a while, I don't always shift attention, but today it caught my eye.