Sunday, December 25, 2016

A New Year!

It's hard to believe we've made it to the end of another year, y'all! Most of you probably aren't surprised to hear me say I'm ready to kick 2016 out the door and start fresh with 2017. Once again, Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl is hosting a goal setting link up (with prizes!) and I decided to hop in on the fun!

Last year, I had a big list full of quilting goals and I'm proud to say I've reached some of those goals. I learned how to paper piece and really liked it! I also made some quilts to donate, but I still have to actually donate them. I fell off the wagon when it came to staying consistent with my blogging, as well as giving my blog an update. Surprisingly, I had quite a few commissions this year as well! All-in-all, I count my quilting for the year quite successful.

This year, I'm approaching things completely different. This past year has worn me down. I like to think of it like a river wearing down stones until they are nice and smooth - it makes everything that has happened feel much more positive that way. :) Rather than make a huge list, I've decided to keep things simple. In fact, I've narrowed it down to 3 things. It made me uncomfortable at first because this list feels selfish (there's a lot of me and I in it), but I've thought on it for a week or so and I think it is what I need this year. 

1.) Choose Joy
This has been a mantra of mine during tough times, though it is definitely easier said than done sometimes. I try to remind myself everyday that there is always something to be thankful for. It may be as small as a dog wagging its tail when it looks at you or an extra chicken nugget in your lunch. I'm determined to fill my mind with all those joyful, happy things this year!

2.) Treat Yo' Self
So many people make it a goal to sew from the stash and spend less. I did so out of necessity for a long time, but things are different now. I no longer have to scrimp every penny to make ends meet. I don't have to take on commissions to keep the bills paid. This year, if I really want some fabric, I'm buying it. If I want to catch a movie or dinner with friends, I'm going to. Not to say I'm going to go crazy with spending (I'm saving up for a house!) but I don't want the anxiety that has engulfed me in the past to keep me from enjoying the fruits of my labor. I want to feel free to have fun!

3.) Take Care of Yourself
Over the last couple of years, I have run myself ragged. At times, I would work myself so hard and spread myself so thin that I would get sick. I have been plagued by aches and pains and unexplained 'yuckiness' and, looking back, it was because I didn't take care of myself. My goal this year is to get back to putting myself first some. I want to get back to working out. I used to be strong and fairly athletic - I want to get back to running, dancing, and yoga. I want to get more sleep. I want to stress less and smile more. I'm already getting a start on some of this (despite being sick for Christmas, I've laughed until I've cried multiple times, which is definitely good for the soul!), but I'm making an effort this year to be mindful of myself and what I need.

I hope y'all had a Merry Christmas! And if you celebrate other winter holidays, I hope those were wonderful as well!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Beginnings

I've been silent in this space for a quite a while, but I assure you my life has been anything but quiet. A little more than a week before Thanksgiving, my life was completely flipped upside down. I'm not sure I could put it all into words if I tried.

My husband and I split up. Although it was my choice, I still mourn the loss of something I had so much faith in and put so much of myself into. I gave every ounce of myself in hopes of fixing things, but in the end, I was going to lose myself trying to keep a sinking ship afloat.

 I got to keep Elvis, but my husband took LBC with him when he left. I cried harder saying goodbye to that silly, wonderful cat than I did any other time. My sewing machine, The First Born, also went with him since it had belonged to his great grandmother. The two things that defined and drove my blog and creativity were gone in the span of a single night.
As silly as it sounds, this dog is my world. My ray of sunshine. My partner in crime. :) 
My life is in boxes right now, taking up way too much space in my parents' garage. They have been an absolute lifesaver during this entire ordeal and let Elvis and I come back home without a moment of hesitation. When it comes to parents, I really won the lottery with how good they are to me.

I've been making my way through those boxes, pulling out my sewing staples (scissors, rotary mat, pin cushion, etc.). I've managed to wrangle most things and get them in one bag together for easy access. I've been sewing more and more, finally getting used to setting up and breaking down my sewing area every night to leave the dining room table clear and uncluttered.

But this story isn't just a sad one. Despite the divorce, life gets better, things keep moving forward. Old friends that I had lost touch with are right by my side again. Family is keeping me busy and laughing more than I have in a long time. My pastor is helping me work through the things I am struggling with. And you, dear quilty friends, have been posting beautiful projects and WIP's and sharing your stash additions, all of which keep a quilty heart aflutter when times are hard. I may not comment as much as I want to at the moment, but I wholeheartedly appreciate this community I am so lucky to be a part of.  So in the wake of Thanksgiving, I am reassured that I have so much to be thankful for, even when life gets messy.
Hound dog cuddles are my absolute favorite! :)
I have several things to share and I'm hoping to get back on track with photographing and writing blog posts again! I've included a couple of pictures to show things I've made but likely won't write about.
Baby bibs! I sewed some as a commission, so those won't be shared until after they are gifted!

Memory wall hangings - the colored hearts are made from the clothes of my client's passed mother and father. I made one for each child. They're different, but at the same time, cohesive enough to be a matching set. :)
I'm planning to write a post on my new sewing machine as well, but I couldn't resist sharing a picture of the big, beautiful thing now! :)
We've been getting acquainted and I think it will be a long and happy friendship. More on her later though! :)

If you've made it this far, thank you for bearing with me! As many people say, When it rains, it pours. But I am determined to start dancing in the rain, friends, and I hope you'll join me. :)