Sunday, November 27, 2005

Week 4 Check In

Here is this week's check in...

I did a really bad job on my morning pages this week. However, I figured out why, so I guess it was a good thing in disguise. I was scared to death about getting ready for Christmas. I didn't know when I would have time to do it. So I think I was throwing a little tantrum there. My husband told me I didn't have to do anything for Christmas that would make me be stressed-out. What a wonderful gift. So I got up and did my morning pages this morning, and it felt great!

My Artist's Date was to The Nutcracker yesterday. It was so much fun. Really, it was my best date yet. I am going to work harder on these. I laughed, I cried, I made people clap for the good lifts. (And for some of the not so hard ones, but still a great job.) It made me remember the 8 years I was in a student production of The Nutcracker. I didn't take anyone else with me. I just had a great time by myself. I understand the importance of the Artist's Date, now, and will more carefully plan one for this week.

Synchronicity? Well, yes. I ran into an old professor in the grocery this morning. It was the first time I have talked to anyone from graduate school since I quit work. He was so supportive of my choice to stay at home. It felt good to have someone who really invested in my education to affirm my choice like that.

I spent time at my parents' new home in Florida this week. I mentioned this book and what I was doing to my mom. She was very supportive. She loves to sew, and makes gorgeous clothes for my kids. She is also the one who helps me cheat with my son's school uniforms. She has a machine with embroidery capability, and she embroiders dinosaurs on his uniform shirts for him. Anyway, it was good to be around her. We had a lot of fun together, jumping in the waves with the kids with all our clothes on, driving around in the golf cart looking at wildlife, and sharing a seafood quesadilla.

By the way, I was a complete failure last week at not reading. What can I say? My favorite author came out with the last book in her series. I had to read it so I could pass it on to my mom. Anyway, I am going to try again this week. I think it should be the start of less wasting of the time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

3 Answers

1.Three screen names that I've had: Gajen, GaJules, and Redhead25
2. Three things I like about myself: willingness to try new things, being able to put math to work, my red hair
3.Three things I don't like about myself: I am too shy, I am too competitive, I am too quiet
4.Three parts of my heritage: three won't even begin to cover it
5. Three things that scare me: left hand turns without a turn light, sudden infant death syndrome, falling down stairs
6. Three of my everyday essentials: Diet Coke, fresh air, hugs from my family
7. Three things I am wearing right now: jeans, t-shirt, Victoria Secret underwear
8. Three of my favorite songs: Losing My Religion by REM, Chopin's Prelude in C Minor, Julie Do You Love Me by Bobby Sherman (I think I was named after that song)
9. Three things I want in a relationship: compromise, dependability, adoration
10. Two truths and a lie: I was on the math team in high school, I am a sorority girl, I am a Republican
11. Three things I can't live without: money, paper, my kids
12. Three clothing fads I bought into: preppy look (it was high school, what can I say?), shoulder pads, high top tennis shoes
13. Three things I just can't do: speak Spanish, grow long hair, play on a sports team
14. Three hairstyles I've had: ultra short spiky, bob, awful long stringy hair
15. Three things I want to do before I die: visit Alaska, write a novel, visit Italy for a long time, maybe 6 months to a year
16. Three new year's resolutions I never keep: No fast food, no overscheduling, learn to throw pots
17. Three of my favorite musicians/singers: Elton John, REM, Yo Yo Ma
18. Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to me: education, nice butt, great smile
19. Three of my favorite hobbies: collecting angels and Nativity Scenes, walking
20. Three things I really want to do badly right now: buy the white house, get new glasses, go swimming
21. Three careers I've considered (for about an hour): life guard, work at the Gap (would love to have a discount there), personal chef
22. Three ways that I am stereotypically a boy: can do a lot of math, am an engineer, have tar papered a roof
23. Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: I can cook, I don't like snakes, I can spend a lot of money on clothes
24. Three people that I would like to see post this meme: Gemia, Suze, Jane Ann.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Week 3 Check In

This week I did morning pages 6 out of 7 days. They are getting to be a good habit and are fun to do most mornings. I missed Sunday morning.

For my Artist's Date I went to a local craft show. It was a bust. UGH! I have never seen so many weird crocheted things in my life. But I guess it is ok to have a bust on an Artist's Date. This week I hope to go to the beach... I am also going to attend The Nutcracker. That will be a ton of fun, since I used to (many many years ago) do The Nutcracker every year.

I did make a list of people who nurture me. That was pretty interesting. I even had lunch with one of them and talked on the phone to another a few times. In fact, she helped me solve a huge problem that was keeping me from working.

Here are the people I admire (from task 8): Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Jinney Beyer, Mitch Albom, and Lynne Cheney. I know you are thinking, Hillary Clinton and Lynne Cheney? But both are strong very educated women who stand up for their convictions. It doesn't matter that I agree with one and not the other. And they are both huge advocates for education, which is one of my passions. I admire Jinny Beyer because she is a quilter who is not afraid of math. I think women need to see women who are not afraid of math. And, I like Mitch Album because he steps outside his box. He is a sports reporter, and I love him on ESPN's The Sports Reporters on Sunday mornings. He always sounds so educated. (Oops, there's that word again...) But he also writes mainstream books that are loved by many. So I like that he stepped outside of sports and reached a lot of people.

From Task 9: People I want to hang out with... John Lennon, Princess Diana, my grandmother when she was in high school or newly married, Mary Cassatt, and Einstein.

Ok, that is my check in for this week. Sorry it is a day late.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Detective Work, An Exercise

These sentance starters came from The Artitst's Way by Julia Cameron. They were created to help find the artist inside you.

  1. My favorite childhood toy was a chalkboard.
  2. My favorite childhood game was pretending I was a teacher in a school. I had gradebooks, chalkboards, assignments, everything.
  3. The best movie I ever saw as a kid was Star Wars. I was in second grade and hated it at the time. But about a week later I loved it. I went to see it opening weekend, which made me some sort of second grade hero. I have seen all but the final Star Wars on the weekend they opened.
  4. I don't do it much, but I enjoy riding roller coasters.
  5. If I could lighten up a little, I'd let myself hang glide.
  6. If it weren't too late, I'd join the astronaut corps.
  7. My favorite musical instrument is the viola.
  8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is $15.
  9. If I weren't so stingy with my artist, I'd buy her a top of the line Bernina with embroidery capablility. I actually stored my mom's for her for about 6 weeks, but I was afraid to take it out of the box for fear I would ruin it, and I cannot afford to replace it.
  10. Taking time out for myself is hard to do. What mom wouldn't say that?
  11. I am afraid that if I start dreaming, I might just do something about it.
  12. I secretly enjoy reading Nora Roberts romance books, over and over again.
  13. If I had had a perfect childhood I'd have grown up to be a materials scienctist. I love being a scientist.
  14. If it didn't sound so crazy, I'd make my own line of clothing.
  15. My parents think artists are a little flighty, but fun people in general.
  16. My God thinks artists are his children, just like everyone else.
  17. What makes me feel weird about this recovery is that I never really realized I wanted to be an artist until recently.
  18. Learning to trust myself is probably near impossible.
  19. My most cheer-me-up music is "The End of the World, and I Feel Fine" by REM.
  20. My favorite way to dress is in jeans, a sweater, and boots.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Week 2 Check In

Morning Pages... I did them 6 out of 7. I missed Saturday morning because my husband was being sweet and let me sleep in. By the time I got up, it was almost time to leave for the last soccer game of the season. So, no morning pages on Saturday. About mid week, the morning pages just started flowing. One morning I designed a wall hanging based on American Gothic like the ARTImage Challenge women are working on now. I will put it together this week, hopefully. I also figured out that the morning pages will accept my most anxious moments and make my life a little less anxious.

Artist Date... I went to Target. Now I know you are thinking that I go to Target just about every week for something or another, and I do. However, this one was different. I got a few things for the house to make it more presentable to prospective buyers. I got a couple of rugs and some new throw pillows. The rugs really warm up the foyer and the powder room. And the throw pillows actually go with the sofas we just inherited from my parents. So I had a lot of fun and got to be a little creative... It reminded me of Debra's trip to Marshalls for dishes.

Other insights... I think this week was all about getting up and doing it for me. Not only quilting-wise, but with other things in my life, too. I mentioned that we are thinking of moving, and we really got going on that this week. I also completely finished the t-shirt quilt top, and I love it. I will post a picture when it is given to its recipient because it is a surprise. That will not be for another month, so don't hold your breath. I cleaned up my sewing room for a number of reasons, and it seems like Jane Ann did that too in the Artist's Way journey. Boy is it easier to create in that environment.

Sophie's trip to the beach reminded me how much I love to go to the beach. So I called my parents and sent them scoping out beaches I can visit when I am there for Thanksgiving. They also found an oceanographic insitute for us to visit.

Like Suze, I picked some new dream occupations... They include travel writer, historian, novelist, interior designer, and astronaut. I have a friend from graduate school who is now a Shuttle Astronaut and it seems like such a cool thing to do. There is also a Shuttle Astronaut who is a quilter. Well, that is one goal I am not going to work towards because I know I am too old to do it, and well, the way the space program is going, we might not have many more manned space flights. But I have been making notes on a story I can write.

Well, that is this week's check in.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Rian's Pages: Crazymakers

Rian's Pages: Crazymakers

Rian's post gave me something to think about. I wonder if I am someone else's crazymaker. I am an incessant planner. I cannot "play things by ear." I make reservations way in advance. I cannot stand to not have a plan in place. I am also on time or early everywhere. So my guess is that I am a crazymaker to people who like to play things fast and loose. It is an interesting thing to think about...

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Ok, so I really couldn't find monsters last week. However, Crazymakers I can see clearly.

The Crazymakers in my life have to have a relationship with everyone they meet. Everyone. Now, I know the name of my hairdresser, but I could not tell you the names of his kids. Heck, I didn't even know his last name for a while. I could not tell you the name of my mail man. I recognize people at the grocery store, but I don't know their life history. I do know people who work at the quilt store, but really not all that well. But my crazymaker friends know everyone and everything about everyone.

Maybe it is rude, but I am just not that interested. I have enough on my own plate without knowing about everything about everyone I ever meet. I have good friends who I like and support and know very well. But just a few.

I have been working lately, even before reading this chapter, on limiting my "toxic" relationships. There are times when I feel like other people are trying to take over my life. I don't like that and am resisting it more and more.

Anyway, I have a bunch of kit quilts to finish up as the result of a crazymaker. I suppose taking the time to finish them is still giving in somewhat, but I invested time and money into them, so I feel like I should finish. Better start sewing...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Imaginary Lives

Task 8 of week 1 of The Artist's Way is to pick 5 imaginary lives. Here they are...
  1. Snorkel tour leader on St. John, USVI. Last summer, my brother-in-law got married on the beach at Trunk Bay. What a beautiful place! I would love to live there and snorkel all the time. Even with red hair and fair skin, I am a beach person. To be on the beach full time, eating fish and seafood, and swimming would be a dream come true.

  2. Professional Chef. I love to cook for people who appreciate what I cook. If I could always choose the menu, I would love to be a professional cook. I think it would be cool to have a family style restaurant in an inn and be the chef, like Sookie on Gilmore Girls.
  3. Architect. I think architects do such cool things. A few years ago, my husband was on a tennis team full of architects. They had the neatest houses. It seems that architecture is the perfect mix of engineering and creativity.
  4. Lego Toy Designer. Someone has to come up with all those cool interpretations of Lego toys. I want to be her. I wouldn't mind doing the polymer chemistry, either. I love to play with Legos with my kids. And to get paid for that? How fun. I am thinking of building a small waterfall when we get our new house (which we have not even found, yet, so I am not holding my breath) and I want to put a Lego sea monster in it like the one in the Downtown Disney Lagoon at Disney World.

And speaking of Disney World, my last deam job is...

Imagineer at Disney World. These are the people who design all of the attractions. Disney World is one of my favorite places. I would love to set up a science exhibit hall in Epcot. Something about materials, because I think materials engineering is so cool. There could be a cool ride with different parts of the tracks made out of different things...metal, wood, ceramic, plastic... A huge shape memory alloy could go from Goofy to Mickey with the application of heat... Oh there are so many things that would be possible. And I could live in Celebration, which I think is really fun.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gifting Quilts

A while ago, Debra broke down the cost of giving a quilt in a discussion on the quilting forum. And it is expensive. Even if you do not count your time in the equation, just the supplies alone are expensive compared to other gifts you might give. Debra got a lot of flack with people saying things like, "You cannot put a price on a gift from the heart," etc. Of course, these are the same people who complain left and right about the cost of patterns, fabric, shipping and handling, etc. Quilting is an expensive hobby and not everyone can afford it. Just like a lot of things.

When looking at my Christmas list, I thought about who would get a quilt this year. I have a number of unfinished ones from a stint I did in 2004 attending a bunch of kit classes with a friend. By the time I finish them, they will cost me close to $100 each to finish, I would guess, not counting my time. (I cannot bill the same hourly rate for quilting as I do for laboratory design consulting. For one, I don't have a Ph.D. in quilting, and for another, it just isn't worth the same to the recipient.) So to whom would I give a gift that expensive?

Actually, there are quite a few people. But do these people really want one of my quilts? I am always surprised by who likes them the most. Here are a few quilts I have given as gifts.

A couple of years ago, my son joined the neighborhood swim team. The coach, a college age NCAA swimmer, really took to my son and spent a lot of time showing him how to swim correctly. To this day my son has gorgeous strokes. And, as a very little guy, can win blue ribbons in butterfly. But I digress... When Coach Joey graduated from college and moved on with his life, I made a queen sized rail fence quilt that all the swimmers signed the back of. Coach loves this quilt. He made an appearance at a swim meet this summer, and one of the first things he did was hug me and tell me he slept under that quilt every night. (He also told me I was looking good, which means a lot coming from a 25 year old athlete...) So I guess he liked it. Anyway, it is one of my favorite gifts I have ever given. (Please excuse the messy room. This was before we actually had bedroom furniture.)

Another quilt I made but was not sure about giving was to my uncle and aunt when they got married. It was also loved, and my aunt decorated her guest room around it. I don't have a picture of it anymore. It was nice.

I also made quilts for two of my son's teachers. Both had cancer. One did not make it. Here is the quilt I made her. It was a mystery quilt and I will never do one of them again. While I do like this quilt, I am more of a scrappy quilter than a 3 tone quilter...

Here is the other teacher's quilt. She is doing great, by the way, and is fully recovered at this point...

Both of those quilts were gifts from the heart and both of those women love(d) their quilts. And here's hoping that none of my son's other teachers are in need of a quilt like this again!

Anyway, the point is that quilts make excellent gifts for some people. But they do cost money and not everyone wants one. So I am careful who I give quilts to.

Actually, the point of this post was to see if I could put pictures in a post, and I think I have succeeded. I also put in links. Just trying to get the hang of it all.