Friday Fun

WIP-PSunset-3Today is a bit of a mixed bag.  I plan on working more on Prairie Sunset.  I am finished the canola field and am onto the sky.  I did my research and checked my fibre for supplies to hook Prairie Sunset.  So far it is looking good.

I’ve been posting a fair bit on JLT Studios page on Facebook the last few days.  Still contemplating the direction I want to go with it.  Right now it is aimed at other rug hookers.  I am thinking I need to broaden my audience a bit.

I’ve succeeded in posting every day on this blog…despite some unusual situations.

I’ve been reading through When Talent Isn’t Enough.  Today’s topic was pricing…I’m still at the beginning of the book.  I’m taking my time and making notes on application.

I am really going slow with revamping my Etsy shop.  Right now Etsy is revamping their site for sellers.  I am waiting for them to slow down a bit before I try and load anything more.  I’ve signed up for an early March online course on Etsy selling.  I suspect I know most of what they are going to talk about, but there is a section on using SEO to acquire more views on your listings.  That I need…badly.

Hope everyone had a productive week. 🙂

Plans derailed

My mother-in-law passed away Sunday evening.  I will not be spending much time in my studio this week.  Hubby is preparing the eulogy.  We will be traveling to another province for the funeral, and our girls will be flying halfway across the continent for it. Spent most of yesterday on Skype, email, and phone making plans.

Today I will be preparing food for a road trip and putting more designs on backing. I chatted with the owner of one of the shops yesterday and she has enough inventory for spring she thinks. I will talk to the other shop assistant later this month.

I am planning some reading for the trip to the funeral. I am still working with iPhone: The Missing Manual by David Pogue.  And I’m reading Coaching the Artist Within by Eric Maisel.  And then there’s When Talent Isn’t Enough by Kristen Fischer. Those plus visiting with family will keep me plenty busy.

Cell Phone Issues Solved

I managed to download all the apps onto my cell phone yesterday.  I just did not know that Safari would open up to a site I had signed out of on my laptop, and not give me a header bar to search.  I’m still learning this technology!

Today is the photography workshop put on by the SCC (Saskatchewan Craft Council)!  I am so looking forward to it.  Hopefully I will learn something new.  I seem to be on a steep learning curve right now.

I also started a page on Facebook for the business.  I’m going to try not to inundate people with posts, but hope to post once or twice a day.  The goal there is to promote my work, and to advertise for other artists, craftspeople, galleries, and workshops.  I’m wanting to have different material on there than on the blog.  Check it out.  It’s JLT Studios on Facebook. 🙂

Friday

Looks like I won’t be able to finish Goldfish this week.  Close, but no cigar, as they say.

I’ve been side tracked reading “iPhone: the missing manual” by David Pogue.  Excellent resource for iPhone owners.

Today I am helping at a funeral at the church. That will take up most of my day.

I will be going over my spring inventory to see what needs to go on my frame next week.

Resolutions vs. Wishes

 

I always have this debate with myself every new year.  Do I do resolutions?  Or wishes?  Or nothing?  I suppose I could do nothing, but then I tend to drift without focus through the year, and end up feeling like I have not accomplished much.

Resolutions, on the other hand, seem so … well… like a straight jacket.  Either you do it exactly as you prescribed, or you are a failure.  Sigh.  I cannot handle the stress of not meeting my sometimes unrealistic expectations. I determined I need to rethink the entire idea of resolutions.

So my solution over the years has been to create a list of wishes.  I pick twenty as a somewhat arbitrary number.  I found it to be a reasonable number to complete in a year.  I approach it tentatively and with an eye to modifying, adding, or dropping as the year progresses.  Some wishes develop into bigger projects than originally envisioned and some dead end suddenly.

Sometimes, though, you don’t know how something is going to turn out.  For example, last year I had “house renovations” on my wishes list.  With my health scare earlier in the year I thought that was totally not going to happen.  I was surprised to hear hubby suggest we renovate the kitchen just a few months later.  But I thought “Why not?”  It would take my mind off myself.  It has, and the results of the renovation are wonderful.

So this year I have more wishes to draw up and work on.  Some related to my business and some more personal.  Some are already under way.

You will notice a few changes to my blog and website.  My website is no more.  When you go there you will be redirected here.  This is to streamline my online presence.

You will also notice changes to the blog.  I have included a “For Sale” page of my work, and a “Where to Buy” page of places that sell my work.  Feel free to check those out and purchase through any of the options.  If you contact me I am signed up to use PayPal as a payment method.

There will be more changes this year, for the better I hope.  I am looking forward to the new year with anticipation and excitement.  Hope you are too! 🙂

 

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Chocolate Everywhere!

PB-CupsI love cooking, and I love baking, and I love chocolate making.  But the one thing you gotta know about me is I am one messy cook!  By the time I finished making these luscious peanut butter balls today, I had chocolate on my fingers, my shirt, my pants, and in my hair.  Do not ask how.  But now I know why aprons were invented.  Yes, I know.  I have them.  I just need to remember to put them on!

Errand day today as Hubby was off work.  Some last minute picking up of gifts.  A stop by the camera shop where we were given help on fixing the camera by another customer.  It worked. 🙂  Hence the nice photos.

I am currently working on re-arranging the living room to make room for the Christmas tree.  I decided the sunroom is simply too crowded for one this year.  If we set it up in the living room then we can all sit around it Christmas Day.  This means moving furniture into the dining room for the season…like a nice comfy Mission chair and lamp.

To further the process of decorating for Christmas I managed to crawl on top of a chair on my tippy-toes and pull down some Christmas ornaments and decorations.  I culled a couple items right away as too old and needing a new home.  I cannot reach any more boxes up there.  And I seriously think we gave away the Christmas tree Hubby thinks we have.  He wants to put up the big one this year.  I cannot see it up there.  It might be hiding behind the box the little one is in though.

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In my studio

Not much is happening but a good deep cleaning this week!  🙂  My studio is the sunroom at the front of the house.  It is where we put our small Christmas tree every year.  That kind of limits the action there until after Jan. 6th.  But we shall see.  I am trying to figure out how to have the tree and hook there at the same time.  Could be dicey.

This week’s goal is to hook one more small wall hanging and that’s it.  I have too much else to do.  🙂 We are deep in the throes of Christmas planning and parties right now.  I am hosting a Come and Go Tea for people to see the new kitchen, and a potluck a week later for those who cannot make the Come and Go Tea.  Then the night after the regular potluck we plan on having a few friends in for a Korean potluck.

All this means it is time to clean house!  Yesterday was the dining room.  Today was the living room.  Tomorrow is the sunroom.  It’s slow going, but it has got to be done!

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Christmas ornaments

I really have to get onto finishing these! I finished two yesterday and plan to finish the last two today.

I also finished a Christmas themed fabric bowl last evening.

I am finding it hard to concentrate on designing and other rug hooking activities with tradesmen in the house. I am thinking it might be best to take a break and work sewing in my upstairs studio for the duration…which will hopefully be a week or two.

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Deviation from plan

With my laptop in the shop I am without my reference photos for Goldfish. So instead I decided to work on some other small projects I’ve had around for a few years!

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I’ve had the supplies to make fabric bowls for some time now…think years…and finally made a couple up last night. They were fairly easy and I think I will make more up in different patterns and colours.

Hoping to hear soon about my laptop. In the meantime I am working on preparing for Christmas. 🙂

Awk! Someone actually went into Parliament Hill shooting!

I am in shock!  That is just well, weird and unheard of in Canada!  My heart and prayers go out to the soldier shot (and in unknown condition)  at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the people stuck on Parliament Hill and surrounding areas.  I hope and pray they find the gunmen quickly.

Update:  The soldier at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier died. 🙁 One gunman was shot dead by the Sargeant of Arms of the Parliament.  The gunman was in the Hall of Honour, outside the doors of where the caucuses of both sides of the House were meeting.  Police are not saying, but it almost sounds as if they are looking for someone else.  Hard to tell.  I guess we Canadians will be glued to the news for the next while.

If at first you don’t succeed

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Try, try again.  I achieved nothing on my rug hooking list yesterday.  I did manage a doctor’s appointment at the hospital for 2 hours, followed by a 1 hour nap.  I ended up just taking an easy day.  Finished reading a book loaned to me by a friend.  Poked around in my sewing room a bit, cleaning up.  Found lots of surprises in my closet. Spent too much time playing SCRABBLE online with my cousin.  Just generally a  lazy day.  Very tired too.

But, I had a great night’s sleep last night and I’m up and at it today! Today I have a hair appointment bright and early – 9 AM!  That is really early for me.  It’s about the time the contractor is due back at the house.  Hubby will be here to greet him.  He works late today.

My hope is to do more cleaning out of the sewing room, and to start in on some hooking.  I also need to mail my daughter’s birthday card.  I need the walk today.

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In my studio

I had a pretty slow week last week in my studio as far as rug hooking goes.  This week I hope to make up for that.  This week I want to finish hooking the wall hangings for Etsy.  I would also like to post some new work on Etsy.  And I would like to go outside for a walk or two to take some nice photos for the blog.  Seems I am all wrapped up here in the house.

Doing what?  You might ask?  I have been de-cluttering my art and sewing areas in the house.  I used to do fine art and switched to fiber art years ago.  I have a lot of materials and supplies left from my early days.

Compounding that is inheriting all my mother’s art supplies.  I have duplicates, and in some cases, triplicates, of some items.  Time to thin it out!  It took Friday and Saturday to sort through it all.  I am donating most of it to a charity that provides free art classes to inner city people.

The rest that is not art supplies will be going to our church on Thanksgiving Sunday.  We are having an Abundance Sunday, where we bring in our abundance and the church will help see it delivered to the appropriate local charities.

Orders Finished!

All the orders are finished.  However I do have to take photos of all the finished wall hangings before they head out the door.  And I am waiting on one shop to get back to me about how many Christmas cards they want of what type in their order.

Other than that, it is clean up time!  I am working on my sewing room.  The landing is cluttered with stuff from my room, but the room doesn’t look any better. I need to get rid of more stuff yet.

Had an interesting chat with my contractor yesterday.  He asked if I knew how to can food.  I do.  He wanted to know if I could teach him.  His wife works long hours and he is not only a contractor but a house husband too!  I agreed to do it after the renovation is over.  Maybe this winter sometime.  I have crabapples in the freezer we can make into applesauce.

The contractors managed to finish mudding the drywall yesterday.  Wednesday they will sand it all.

My day off

Well it started innocently enough. I went to the gym and had lunch with friends. Then I packed up all the food to go to a friend’s place to cook about 15 meals for the freezer.

Everything was going fine until about 4 PM when my friend gets a call from my boarder. In broken English she starts to say something. Hubby grabs the phone and says she is driving him to the hospital. He cut himself on the table saw! He rapidly assured me he still has all his fingers. I’m thankful for that.

Anyway my cooking stopped as soon as possible and my friend drove me to the ER. We live in an area of among the worst hospital ER waits in the country. It was 6 hours before we got to see home again. But we had fun nonetheless. They showed us to a small cubicle after the first two hours of waiting. In there was a chair we unofficially dubbed “The Whoopie Chair”! It was a leather look alike chair and every time I sat down this whoosh of air would come out of it, sounding for all the world like a whoopie cushion! We had such a time laughing about it. Guess they did not take us too seriously with that going on. Hubby did eventually get his seven or eight stitches, and a boatload of pain killers. And we came home and crashed.

Here’s hoping today will be better. I have plans to pick up my food and go on an art walk before company arrives this afternoon. Have a good Saturday everyone!

Tired

The contractor had us shopping for electrical stuff to decrease the amount of time the electrician spent shopping.  So we spent over three hours yesterday shopping!  My!  I was tired.  Still am.  Over worked myself and could not sleep last night.  Bad idea.  Today I will take it a bit easier I hope.

 

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Things went quickly yesterday.  The kitchen is mostly out, the walls are coming down.  We found out we have insulation in our exterior walls, but no vapor barrier!  Could explain why we are a little cooler in the winter.  The contractor suggested adding vapor barrier obviously.  We still do not know why the hot water pipe freezes in winter.  So that will be explored tomorrow.

The contractor had some good ideas on saving money.  We talked over the job again and he suggested we do a lot of the shopping for the electrician, to save the electrician’s time.  He isn’t coming cheap.  He’s $100/hour!  Yikes!  I should have sent my kids into the trades!  However, to be truthful, this is an old house with a lot of oddities.  As the contractor

Hubby’s off work

Means not much hooking getting done!  I did manage a few loops on Lost Soul, but that’s it.

Instead we have been shopping for flooring, going to the gym, tutoring, and trying to sort out a plumbing emergency in the boarder’s bathroom.  It resulted in shopping for a new vanity and tap set, which were sorely needed.  It also resulted in me scrubbing walls that had mold on them with bleach water.  And determining there are two fewer light bulbs in the bathroom vanity than there should be.  Sigh.

And then we discovered the Shop Vac wasn’t working…due to a ripped bag.  Which meant a major cleanup there.  And we discovered the boarder is not using the vacuum we allotted for her, but the Shop Vac instead.  Must get the other vacuum out of her room and find out what’s wrong with it.  Seems things were just piling up in her area of the house and hubby wasn’t exactly listening to her when she mentioned the problems.  She finally came to me and good thing!  There is a steady stream of water “dripping” from the taps…like the tap is half on…not a drip, a stream!  Calling the plumber today.

Other things on today’s agenda?  Well, hubby is still off work.  I have a student to tutor this morning.  We have to connect with the contractor about flooring.  He’s suggested linoleum a couple of times, but we have a few questions we’d like to ask.  We have to go shopping for those vanity light bulbs and some Shop Vac bags.

If I have time after all that I plan to pull a few more loops on Lost Soul.

Followed by a Busy Day!

I was up late yesterday morning…just in time to swallow down breakfast and put the dye pot on before my ESL student arrived for tutoring.  While he was here the boarder came up for breakfast.  She had a day off from work. While she was sitting at the table the man from the flooring company came to measure our hardwood floors and assess them for refinishing.  It was an interesting half hour or so. 🙂

Basically our kitchen and entry floors cannot be saved.  We probably should not lay tile because we would need a plywood subfloor, which would raise everything to high above the surrounding hardwood, resulting in a situation where people could trip. Means linoleum.

My ESL student did not do well yesterday.  He is learning to write paragraphs and essays. We will see what he accomplishes over the weekend.

My dye job came out lighter than I thought it would, but it’s nice.  I may keep it.  I will compare it to my other dye jobs and see if it is too similar or if I have too much light blue before proceeding.

I cleaned in the afternoon.  Also made a couple GF Rhubarb Custard Pies for company that arrived last evening before supper.  And I ended up talking on the phone with a cousin in Australia whom I have not heard from for ages!  We are “friends” on Facebook, but I have not seen her since I was thirteen!!!  It sure was nice to hear from her again.  We chatted for over an hour!

Left me scrambling for supper for company.  I ended up ordering a pizza meal for four and baking my own GF pizza.  Had to walk to the store for some ingredients in a nice summer shower.

Company arrived and we visited.  They wanted to see my work.  It took a while to show them what I was doing.  They were very supportive and excited.  We went for a walk after eating.  We were all feeling very bloated.  I think it will be a green smoothie breakfast for me today! 

 

 

Busy Day Today

Hubby is off work today, so I will be busy.  It is the way it works here.  We have a kitchen renovation coming up and we need to do some shopping.  We also need to do more weeding.  And I have a dental appointment.  That will be a full day for me.  I will need a good nap after all that.

I also need to fit in some sketching today at least.

Hope everyone has a great Monday! 🙂