Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 1: Scenes from New York City

Flying into New York

Times Square

Statue of Liberty from The Empire State Building

Empire State Building

The Chrysler Building

Catching the Subway

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bon Voyage!

Yep, it's early and we are on an airplane headed to New York for a family cruise. New England and Canada here we come! I'll be back the end of September, hopefully with some lovely photographs.

Photo via Princess Cruises

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Embroidery for Patrick's Lunch Bag

Patrick chose these iron-on transfers of sushi for his lunch bag embroidery. Even though I never make sushi for him to take for lunch and for that matter we rarely even eat sushi together. Not my favorite thing to eat. The shrimp roll and sake mug and cups are what will be going onto his bag. Now to figure out what design I want for mine! Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Official!

I've become addicted to sewing, quilting, and crafting books of all kinds! These are the ones I currently own. There are about five or six more on my wish list. Here's a few...

The Constance Howard Book of Stitches - which I received on inter library loan and sadly have to return to the library tomorrow. It is currently out-of-print so I'm hoping I can find a used copy somewhere! (fingers-crossed!)

Linen, Wool, Cotton: 25 Projects to Sew with Natural Fabrics - This one is published in the same series with Patchwork Style and has some lovely and simple projects.

Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts - The author is the owner of Purl Patchwork, a fabric shop in New York. I've mentioned their blog Purl bee on here several times.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reflecting on Self

It's almost been a week since my last post and I feel slightly guilty about not posting more frequently. I think part of it is I get caught up in the notion that I must have a photo to go with whatever I'm writing about. Which is very hard to do I must say. Maybe I need to stop comparing myself to other's blogs and concentrate on what this space is for me. A space to write, a space to dream, a space to examine, a space to document my own personal growth. Personal growth, not a space to be a carbon copy someone else's art.

I've been working a lot recently with the philosophy of Science of Mind and Spirit. Reading Ernest Holmes daily, journaling, meditating. The practice of Science of Mind and Spirit if you're not familiar with it, is founded on the idea of Oneness. That there is an Infinite Source, (God, Spirit, Buddha, it doesn't really matter what name you give it) that responds to our thinking through Law. In as much as we comprehend and understand Spirit, Love, and Law can we obtain our highest good. Check out these links for further information.

A copy of Rev. Lloyd Barrett's, Mile Hi Church minister, Ernestly Speaking sermon miraculously arrived in my mailbox, a generous gift from my mom. (I loved attending Mile Hi Church, it's one of a few things I miss about Colorado.) Rev. Lloyd's message struck a few chords with me. He posed two questions during the message, first:

Am I setting the stage in consciousness for what I desire to experience?

Huh? I am doing that? I would like to say that 75-85% of the time yes I am setting the stage in consciousness for what I desire to experience. Part of me would like to say its not nearly that much. The doubter that still remains. That 15-25% of me that still believes in a bloated ego consuming much of my self-assurance. I believe though for the for the most part that I am beginning to set the stage in consciousness to experience what I desire in life. That in itself is part of the spiritual adventure that I am on, to fully understand and know what it is I desire from life. I desire to live in faith not fear. I desire to live in confidence, self-assurance not in doubt and worry. I desire to live in joy and love not sorrow, depression, or anger. I desire to live in success, achievement not failure or complacency.

The second question Rev. Lloyd posed:

Annette, can you stand the consequences of your thinking?

This question sort of hit me over the head, punched my in the stomach and knocked the wind out. Can I stand the consequences of my thinking? Good, positive, affirmative thought and/or bad, negative, misguided thinking. Sadly, I feel the consequences of negative, misguided thinking are predictable, safe, easier to cope with and handle. The consequences of positive, affirmative thinking seem overwhelming and too good to be true/possible. But they need not seem overwhelming for I know that Spirit does not give me anything I am not prepared to handle. Infinite Wisdom is always beside me, helping me to carry the load I have to bear. Can I stand the consequence of my thinking? I hope so! This all reminds me of Marianne Williamson's poem.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that
we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be
brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

I am cultivating my abilities to walk with full faith, and conviction in my words just as this poem does. Just as Ernest Holmes did when he said, "I spoke my word and the Creative Law is acting upon it." Just as it says in John 1:14 "These words became flesh and dwelt amoung us." To fully understand that with each creative thought, be it conscious or unconscious, it sets into action that which I see manifested in my life. What do I want made manifest in my life? That may have to be saved for another blog entry!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Starting a new project!

Using my new rotary cutter, cutting mat, and ruler was a bit nerve racking I must admit. Never seeing anyone use a rotary cutter or squaring up material before I found the rotary cutter tutorial on purl bee to be very helpful! Trying new things without having a person to demonstrate them to me in person first can be a cause of great stress sometimes. I attempted earlier this afternoon to cut the pieces but right before I put the rotary cutter to the fabric I felt light headed and dizzy. It's surprising how much stress a silly little thing like cutting fabric can create.

Fortunately Patrick was gracious enough to sit at the table with me this evening and provide moral support while I cut! The simple fact of having someone beside me, and my most special someone even, made cutting fabric achievable. Okay, okay I didn't cure cancer, nor was my cutting fabric a matter of life and death but accomplishing it was a big deal for me!

So what is this great fabric for? Well I'm making a couple of lunch bags for Patrick and I. He has started taking his lunch to work more regularly and I'm headed back to volunteer in the lunch buddy program at a local elementary school in a few weeks. New lunch bags are needed!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


A few things I'm a grateful for this week:

1. A silly ladies lunch with some shopping. My girlfriend doesn't normally wear these crazy sunglasses we just though they were a riot especially with a paired with a plaid scarf.

2. My Nia dance class where I got to wear this little lovely as my dance clothes! Sometimes my dance class has a way of being a form of therapy for me as well as some good exercise. This was one of those good classes.

3. Going shopping for new sewing supplies with my adorable husband. It takes a special guy who will go browsing around a craft store with you. Thank you to those you gave me graduation money so we could afford all these goodies!

4. These chickens. It meant I was hanging out with good friends for a few days at their new place on Whidbey Island.

5. Green Napkins. I sewed them myself! My first sewing project was not all together perfect as you can see from the back stitching on the hem but they serve their purpose. They made for a great housewarming gift for our friends. I know they will be much loved and appreciated!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Creating my sewing space

This last week I've been dreaming up ideas for my sewing space. Currently the dining room table is pulling double duty and probably will be for awhile. This arrangement is discouraging my creative sewing juices because it means that I have to lug my sewing machine out of the guest room, gather and arrange all of my sewing supplies, and make sure the table is clean. Twenty plus minutes of hassle and grunting before I can even begin a small, simple sewing project. Not only that but then it all needs to be cleaned up and put away so that we can have dinner or guests over. Another twenty plus minutes, making for a good forty minutes of no sewing only moving stuff around. As Liz and I used to say while cleaning our apartment, "moving the crap." Being a beginning sewer this forty minutes of "moving the crap" constitutes for about as much time as I actually spend sewing. I never realized how much focus and present-minded attention is needed to actually sew and I get tired out easily. (Probably mostly from lugging everything around!) I am looking forward to the day when I can set up this area of our guest bedroom

to look something more like...

This is from Weekend Sewing, a very inspiring book! You'll notice all the pink tabs at the top where I've marked future projects I'd like to try out. Some of them are going to have to wait though until I can one, finish Christmas gifts, and two have a better sewing space!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's an experiment!

After some unexpected health care bills, over spending our bathroom remodel budget, and other poor planning financial decisions our house is on a much stricter grocery budget. Last week I was quite impressed with the meals I created for under $10 and sometimes even under $5!

I had some lovely dinosaur kale on hand that needed to be used. A little pondering over how to use it, besides the usual way I prepare it, steamed, I came up with sauteing it with some onions and a clove of garlic. Pretty simple but effectively delicious. Quinoa has been brought up many times by friends as being a good alternative to rice and wheat. It served as a great grain in our meal. Next stop, protein. Chickpeas, garbanzo beans which is it people? I get so annoyed that these are used interchangeably to the point that I don't actually know if they represent the same little bean. Needless to say I opened a can of garbanzo beans and served it cold. My husband had the ingenious idea of adding a little ground cumin and garlic salt to the dish at the table.

Overall I was impressed with my little experiment!

Garbanzo beans, kale and onions served over Quinoa
Serves 2
1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups water
1 medium onion
4-5 leafs of kale
1 clove garlic
Olive oil
1 can of garbanzo beans
Ground cumin and garlic salt to taste

Rinse, drain, and cover quinoa with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 10-15 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, fluff with fork before serving.

While the quinoa is cooking chop the onions, kale, and garlic. Saute onions and garlic over medium heat in olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Add kale and cook for additional 3 minutes or so.

We served our quinoa on the bottom, then layered the kale and onions, with garbanzo beans on top and sprinkled with ground cumin.

Total cost of meal: $4.56 for two people