Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are we surprised?

     So this goal of posting every week doesn't seem to be going to well. Part of that is that one week slips into the next before I can even get a hold of it. Another part is that I'm not done with anything.
     I finished a little more of the quilling. But let me tell you it takes a lot of time. I have been rolling the paper into the proper tubes while watching movies. Even still, it takes more free time than I have (or want to devote to it).
     It also takes a lot of magazines. To find a page with enough constant color for it to read as that color when rolled up is surprisingly difficult. They are either blotted a bunch of colors or just white. I've gone through about six magazines and only have about 25 rolls. Do you know of any particularly colorful magazines?
     The diptych I'm doing is almost done. The last little bit is newspaper shreds. More time consuming paper cutting. Yay. Do you want pictures of unfinished things for instant gratification? Or wait or the whole thing?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Am I smarter yet?

     I don't know if it's all the blueberries or just all the practice, but I managed to finish a 500 piece puzzle in about three and a half hours. Technically on the clock it was longer than that, but I kept taking little breaks to check on my asian pork in the oven. Yum. If you are interested:
1/2 tsp chili oil
1-2 tsp sesame oil (to your preferance. I like only 1tsp)
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce.

Pour over pork loin and bake at 350 until it reaches appropriate temperature. It is just the right amount of salt with a hint of spice.

     The last you heard I was still sewing. Done! for now at least. I successfully made three adequate headbands. Eventually I want to tackle a baby quilt. But not yet. Now I've moved on to about three different things.
     The first project that I accomplished this weekend was to make my own charm necklace. I love the looks of them in stores, but decide it was best to make on that meant something to me. I took shells I brought back from Hawaii, a red stone I brought back from Santa Fe and made a charm from bits of shiny rock from Gatlinburg.  The charm was actually the lid of a spice jar that I glued a vacay picture in, then used hot glue to attach the stones and then added another layer of glue to seal. The picture is kind of obscure, but that I think looks neat. I used a hemp chord to attach them to a leather chord. Ta-da. Personal charm necklace with bits of my travels.
     Next I have picked painting up again. I am working on a diptych. So far I only have the backgrounds painted. One is blue and one purple.
     The third thing I'm working on is a quilling project. Quilling is a paper art and, in my case, involves tubes of colorful paper glued in rainbow patterns to a canvas. I made the paper tubes out of magazine pages. However, I hit one hitch. I used  a vogue magazine and a surprising number of their pages are in black, white or tan. That does not make for a very interesting piece. I will put up a picture once I've gotten another magazine and start to roll more paper tubes.
     What are you working on right now?

Friday, January 13, 2012

The more you know....

Reading is another thing I've been trying to do. As you saw last year there were a few weeks that I devoted to reading new things. I think keeping up with literature is important. I had this big plan to keep up this year with a goal of three books a month. Two and a half in February. Last year I only completed thirty four. Sure, the average is 2.83 books a month which is close, but this is all about being better, right?
If I make three books this month I will be amazed. I just can't keep my concentration on one. I started reading The Lacuna, the Jackie Kennedy Tapes and The People's Republic of Desire. That last one is not a romance novel like is sounds. It is about the modern Chinese woman and the cultural changes coming on as China diversifies. I mean, it is a little smutty. But only because modern Chinese women are apparently a little smutty. Still, I never seem to get through more than two or three pages. I'm not sure if it would help picking just one or if I just wouldn't read at all.

Is anyone else out there an ADDREADER? One book is never enough!

So how's the sewing?

     As you know I've been mastering my new sewing machine. My lines are still so wobbly. Does anyone have a solution to that? The good news is that I have not sewn my fingers together *knock on wood*. I am, however, getting tired or having all these awful headbands laying around my place. I take the worst ones and save them for stuffing.

     Another project that I have picked up is eating for my brain. Last year I thought about doing this for a week, but never did. The idea came from a book "Better Brain Health" or something like that. I forget. I guess I should've started working on this earlier. It involves eating food that are very nourishing to my brain. Some of these include: salmon, walnuts, spinach, strawberries and blueberries. Of course, any fruits and veggies are good for your brain because it gives it energy. But supposedly these are extra-special-good. We'll see. Now what was I saying?

 I also have started doing puzzles. I am hoping that it makes my brain think in different ways. Mental workouts can be just as important as physical ones as a person gets older. I am just about to hit the big quarter century, so I better start now. I do regular picture puzzles. Word puzzles. Cross words. Sudoku. Plus try to do math even if it is just simple addition and subtraction.

I  know that you know that it is kind of a roll of the dice anyway. If you have genes prone to dementia or regular forgetfulness, that is how you will mostly be. But is there is any chance at fighting it, why not try? Especially since it makes me feel better all over.
     What do you do to keep sharp?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Goals and aspirations

     Here are the projects I hope to accomplish in the next year that I did not last year:
  • Learn to decorate cakes and cookies so they look like pictures in magazines
  • Take a dance class
  • Finish my novel
  • Learn to make a quilt
  • Work on my calligraphy
  • Enter an art contest.
     Here are a few more general resolutions that I made this year that are vaguely related to the project.

  • I will eat well. Good foods with good ingredients- not cheap, cruddy, by-product filled ones.
  • I will enter more contests. You can't win unless you enter.
  • Complete special offers that require you to go online and enter codes (e.g. We'll give $1 for every code entered on a roll of plastic wrap).
  • Spend more time with my friends.
  • Drink more fine tea.

Here is a start

     Not doing projects by the week makes them a little easier, but it makes blogging a lot harder. I'm not sure when to tell you about things. So I am making the goal to still blog every week.
     The first project that I have been working on is mastering my new sewing machine. It's an itty bitty baby machine that fits perfectly on my desk. I have so far learned how to load it, reload the bobber and get it going. My lines, however, are not straight. I am already getting ahead of myself and want to make myself a skirt. I also want to make a new apron and a quilt.
     I have only attempted to make the headbands that I started way back in November (I think). Well, the one I made looks a little messed up because the lines are so crooked.  But I'm hoping practice will take care of that. Until then I guess I'll have wear-around-the-house headbands.
     Anybody have any cool patters?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hello 2012!

     I just can't stop the madness. I desparately want to keep up the projects. However, this year I am re-organizing. Re-prioritizing. As you know from reading last year's blog, some things don't take a full week. Others could take months. That is why this year I am starting with a goal of projects and giving them the time they need.
    The things that I learned/practiced last year will be my starting point. I am going to take those projects that I loved doing or that I needed more time with and revisit them. Sometimes I might do more than on project at once. Sometimes it might lead to something completely new. I don't know yet. We are off the charts on this one.
     I am so glad that you are continuing with me on this nerdy journey. If you have any suggestions or expertise, I hope you will share them. Maybe this time around it will be more interactive. This is more fun with lots of people invovled.
     Watch out 2012! There's no stopping me.