Teal Dragon Quilts

A world of Quilts and Dragons!

Kiss the Frog

Well, what a whirlwind to get my last 3 projects, DONE!  Successful am I!  Woke up this morning not really motivated to DO anything.  Was wondering, why?  I’m on a roll, come on Mary Lou, let’s get going!  What’s the problem? Ummm, what’s the problem?  Am I the type person that has to have a deadline to get moving?  Or was I just sleepy and wanting more sleep?  I was really sleepy when I woke up this morning.  Most mornings I am, but I keep waking and have really weird dreams, so I give up and get up.

Goal for this morning, figure out why I’m not motivated.  Too much housework? nah, Thursdays are a light day for housework.  Well, what do I need to get done?  Slides for the meeting.  Clothes to launder.  Practice for Pasadena Philharmonic.  Taxes…o h, y e a h.  TAXES.  But wait, I just need to gather the tax docs going to the IRS, like W-2’s, Insurance, and interest.  Pshaw, that’s easy.  Ok, feeling a little inspiration here.

In real estate there is a saying, most likely in all sales, Kiss the Frog first thing in the morning.  For those that don’t get it, do the task you like the least first, then the rest of the day will be a prince.  But me, that’s not enough to get me out of bed, and puppy was sleeping hard, no help there….I worked on my Cotton Candy blocks first.  Then I moved on to taxes, finished that step (tomorrow, it’s look for receipts.) and the rest of my day has been fun.

Hope all your frogs bring you prince like days!  God Bless

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I Figured It Out!

I know why I seem to be getting things done.  I haven’t watched TV.  No Gibbs and no Bull.  Then there’s Criminal Minds.  That’s 3 hours.  It used to be more.  But lately, none of the shows seem to offer what I like in a tv show…action, adventure, an ounce of humor.  I know I’m different than the average bear here, but I detest the 30 minute things they call comedies.  Every now and then they are ok, but week in and week out?  No thank you.  Then another is the “reality” shows.  Really?  Reality?  nope.  not buying.  I would love another good Star Trek, or Babylon 5.  Anyway, I’ll catch up on my 3 favs this weekend.

I know this one is short, but after the novels you’ve been reading this should be a nice change.  I will try to publish at a scheduled time.  It used to work like a charm, but this year, it’s not working like I think it should work.  I have one more try before I contact the help desk…(I’m writing this on the 5th and want to publish on the 6th.)

God Bless!

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TaB Workspace

I took a break from my habits that I have been working to build, this weekend.  Did most of them on Monday, and Tuesday took a break from almost all of them.  Today, I paid for it.  It was more work getting caught up than if I had done them at the normal time.  Will I slack off again?  Most likely, but now I know to really think about what I will have to do to get “caught back up”.

That said, I think I needed the break.  I feel renewed.  Taking the break, I was able to focus on my studio.  I have always loved my studio ever since we remodeled it years ago…2005 maybe?  The walls are a lovely teal, tile floor (don’t like that) but better than carpet.  A nice closet with shelves, peg board and cutting station.  My fabric is in Elfa shelves so I can see it and be inspired.

Lately, it has become cluttered.  True, I have stuff from another room in it and it will be that way for a while.  My husband said I had mountains.  He walked in, laughed and said, “Where did the mountains go?”

So not doing the “daily chores”, I was able to focus on a “project”, my studio and now I feel like I can actually work in here.  In fact I’ve moved back in.  (I was at the dining room table.)

I have started in on Spanish, a little.  I think my hang up is the grammar.  Singular vs. plural, the tenses.  I get so confused.  I don’t want to go further til I get it figured out.

The other goal I need to get started on is the practice hack and quartet still hasn’t happened.  Everything else is moving forward!

Hope your goals are moving forward!  God Bless!

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FFF Spring

Spring.  Brings to mind so many phrases.  Spring has sprung, which around here it has.  But it’s not Easter and there is always one more cold snap before Easter.  In the South, the seasons like to fool you.

It’s also time for Spring Fever.  I’m thinking that’s why I’ve slowed down.  It’s just time to go sit outside and enjoy this beautiful weather while we have it, eh?  In college we would go sit on the roof of the music building.  Thought we were hot stuff, but it sure was nice up high away from the “busyness” of school.  I even had a few teachers that would catch it and let us go early or dismiss the class entirely.  I miss that.

Now, no slacking allowed, well it’s “allowed”, you just have to make up for it eventually.  Sure, I can put the laundry off for a day or two, but eventually, it will have to done.  I can put off practicing for a day, but eventually, the part will have to be learned.

I’m not complaining, I think it’s part of being a “grown up”.  And I’ve discovered a wonderful 15 minute method.  It works for just about anything.  The trick is to focus on the task for 15 minutes without getting distracted.  I clean my house, I practice, I do computer stuff, I sew in 15 minute increments.  I even sleep in 15 minute cycles.  Actually, it’s more like 13, but close enough.  A 13 minute power nap in the afternoon does wonders, as long as, I don’t make it 26.  If I do, it’s lights out for an hour or two.

So with a Spring in my step, I am renewed, just like all the green we are starting to see.  But remember, we have at least one more cold snap!  Don’t let it catch you by surprise!

God Bless!

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FFF Obsession

An unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone.  (from Vocabulary.com)  I feel like I’m obsessed with teal and fabric.  Anything teal, I have to have.  And if it’s fabric, oh. my. gosh.  I hope I have money in the account.  Well, it’s not really that bad, but close.  If I am low on the green stuff, I can resist the temptation, but man-o-man, I sure am sad.

First obsession, Donny Osmond.  Yep, we are about the same age and my friends and I were just “in love” with Donny.  🙂  Unhealthy?  I don’t think so, we were just becoming teenagers and experiencing a “crush”.  Moved on, discovered other bands and other music.

Cigarettes, yea they were an unhealthy obsession.  Finally quit that one, but you know, I still miss them.  I’ve quit for longer than I smoked, but I can still remember the satisfaction I felt with a cigarette.  Course it only lasted as long as the cigarette.

Hockey.  That was a fun one.  I watched hockey every night, I went to as many live games as I could.  It was an obsession that I shared with the love of my life.  We went on many a road trip to see games.

Computer games.  Oh yea.  I play those like no tomorrow.  I have to cut myself off.  My favorite?  Zelda.  I would play that one till I reached the end of the game.  It was 9 or 10 levels that had a maze in each level and each maze had to be found.  I’m still obsessed with that game, but don’t have a nintendo.  I did find it online, but I’m avoiding the site….Oh, and Ms. Pac Man!  When we were in school, my husband fixed pinball and video game machines.  I would go with him and he would load me up with lots of free Ms. Pac Man games while he worked on the broken machines.  Not really unhealthy.

So maybe my word should be Passion!  I hope you have something you enjoy so much you are passionate about it without being obsessed.

God Bless!

 

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TAB 100 Posts!

There is a WordPress App on my phone.  Wordpress is who hosts my blog and website.  Right now it’s free, which is great.  They have a payed version that has a lot more bells and whistles, but right now what I have is enough.  I got the app because I wanted to be able to write posts when I am on the road, like when I am playing a gig.  Between rehearsals or rehearsal and concert, is a little down time that would be perfect for this.  ANYWAY, when I was playing around with it I discovered I had reached the 100 post mark!  This goes back to when I first started blogging.

I went down a rabbit hole reading my first posts….They started back in November 2010.  The first one was “Hello World”.  There was no “hello” back. haha!  I was still in Real Estate, which got me blogging in the first place.  All the “gurus” were saying, blog, it will bring you clients.  Yea, right.  But one woman I talked to that is a computer genius and uses her knowledge to help real estate agents described it “Blogging is your brain on the internet.”  So that’s pretty much what I did and what I do.  Write what my brain happens to be thinking….

This week has been busy as usual, but I feel like I’m spinning my wheels.  I’m getting a lot done, taxes, house, guild, some quilting, practice, but my goals don’t seem to be getting closer to being done.  Also, I’ve had a very minor setback.  I thought I had ALL my ufo’s cataloged, but I forgot about the ones that I have had out, that were in the mix for completing before I got started cataloging.  I think it’s less than 20, maybe even less than 10, but it seems to be a brick wall.

Well, I know what to do with a brick wall that gets in my way.  I’ve been doing that with my violin and piano practice for years, you keep your head down and keep working.  Eventually, you will knock a hole in that wall and it will crumble!

The goals that are going well are the UFO’s and the Guild, and the promised quilts.  The ones that are going so-so are the Business Plan, Brigetta and Health.

Business Plan:  I am blogging 5 days a week, (barely), NO videos, in fact I’m taking that out, maybe next year I’ll try videos, I NEVER hand out business cards.  Don’t know why, it just seems such a waste?  I mean, what do YOU do with a business card that someone hands you?  Maybe you keep it, maybe you use it, but most likely it goes into a card holder never to be seen again?  Or am I different from everyone.  I’ve gotten to where I just toss them, sad I know.  But unless I request their card, I have no need….and it’s just another piece of paper I have to deal with.  So maybe I should take that one out of my goals, too….4 hours a day on sewing?  Not even close.  You may be sick of me whining about this one.  I do sew what I need to sew when I need to sew.  Maybe a step in the right direction?  Planning and working my business for an hour every day? Ha!  Maybe I should do a 15 minute thing with this.  I’ll let you know that goes.

Brigetta:  I have incorporated learning my machine into my blog.  And that is going very well, but it’s like the new band director that stays one lesson ahead of his students!  boy do I remember THOSE days.  Another activity for the 15 minute plan?

Health:  I have lost a few pounds, I’ve reached a mark, but I seem to be stuck….I have started swimming and love it.  I go on days that I don’t have another morning activity.  Haven’t taken my blood pressure, but when I went to the eye doctor, no one said anything about high blood pressure.  Usually, I’m asked “do you take medicine for high blood pressure?”…I do walk Freckles almost everyday.  I do my stretches and core exercises every morning.  So maybe this is a good one really.  Why is it I am so concerned about the actual pounds?

The ones not doing well are music and Learning Spanish.  I’m wanting to do a program that will help me perform better as a soloist, at least that’s what I’m hoping.  I want to be able to play my violin when asked by friends, instead of cringing and saying, I don’t do that.  But the first step is make a video of me playing for someone else.  Talk about a wall.  It really seems insurmountable.  It’s like who wants to hear me play for 10 minutes while I record it?  First response is my husband, but then you don’t know the love of my life, he’s a lot of things that are good, but I would not describe him as actively supportive of my goals.  He would try to find a “better” way…Which  brings me to Spanish, a pipe dream maybe?  I don’t need to speak and understand 2 languages.  English has served me well, but I just like the idea of being bilingual.

So that’s where I stand.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Now, I need to take these goals to heart and recommit to make them happen.  I have a lot of good happening and we are only in the 2nd month, and I’m still trying.  Haven’t given up on reaching these goals.  Writing about the not so good ones has helped me realize that I am progressing.  So onward to another good month!  Thanks for reading to the end.

I hope you are achieving your goals!  God Bless!

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FFF Perfection

Perfection is a flawless state where everything is exactly right. It can also be the action of making something perfect.  Since perfect things are without fault or flaw, perfection is a perfect condition — everything is 100% great. Of course, perfection is hard to find. People often use this word as a compliment for something that just couldn’t be better, as in “That red dress matches your red hair to perfection!” Also, if a musician is getting a song down pat, you could say she’s working on the perfection of the song: she’s learning to play it flawlessly.

The above is from the definition found at Vocabulary.com.

I strive for perfection in my violin playing, knowing I will never achieve it.  Playing something in tune, rhythmically correct AND with dynamics, perfect?  When you are so nervous your hands are shaky and sweaty?  Not happening. I want my performance to be the best I have played it.  Concentration is a big part.  Being in the “Now”.  When you are there, it is heaven.  Nothing but what you are doing right now, no “little voices” saying “WRONG”, no husbands wondering what’s for dinner, no worrying about the audience, no future thinking and no past thinking.  Does that make sense?  I don’t even realize I am “there” until after the performance.

Don’t know if I have achieved this with sewing.  Maybe once or twice, when I look up and go, wow, it’s time for dinner!

During this high focus on the “now” I don’t worry about how perfect it is.  It just “is”.  I’ve never known it to be bad.  So instead of perfection, I’m looking for the focus on the present.  I would like to experience it more with sewing, and then I can look at my accuracy after and see if it’s better, same or worse.  I’ve said this before I’m not hung up on my accuracy in quilting, tho, I am working on it.  Especially when I do only one block, like for the birthday blocks in my bee.  I do sew a little straighter than I used to, so my quilts lay a little flatter.  I do tend to rip out and redo more than I used to.  But I really like riding a galloping horse.  Everything looks lovely from the back of a galloping horse!

God Bless!

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Take a Breath Thursday!

Whew!  I feel like I’m in a whirlwind.  Originally I was calling this post Take Stock Thursday, but I like Take a Breath better.  Seems more appropriate.

In the words of John Lennon, Another year over and a new one just begun.  Since mid December, I have been on a quest to get my blog rolling.  As well as figure out my goals and objectives for 2016.  And since November I have been working on making good habits part of my daily routine.

You know, little things, like make my bed, dressed to the shoes first thing, eating yogurt and grapes instead of yogurt and animal crackers, brushing my puppy, swishing toilets, practicing, and working on my business.  A habit forms in 21 days.  My mornings are pretty much filled.

Part of taking a breath, is seeing how I am doing.  To track the habits is easy.  I put a check mark on the day I did the habits.  Business and Practice are a little more challenging.  But I see the Blog Calendar and Guild Posting Calendar that I created and know I am on track for achieving my business and some Guild goals.  I have my Monday, Tuesday, and Friday posts written for January!  Yea, a little blogging secret there….I’m working on the Wednesday and Thursday posts, today.  But am thinking the Thursday posts need to be “real time”.

So now, the process.  I write, I schedule and I proof.  That is what is in my Outlook Calendar, so that on any day, I can go and see if the post is ready to be published.  And Outlook will give me a reminder.  February, I’ll try to remember to let you know how this goes.  Business goals are going well.

UFO goals are going well, too.  I’ve almost got one done, putting the binding.  The list still needs the UFO’s from Tiki, and my closet, but I have 27 items listed on an Excel spreadsheet.  That’s enough to pick 12. I’ve picked 6 already for a guild challenge.

Guild goals are humming along.  The website is up to date.  I have some planned postings for the FB group and Page.  I have scheduled time to go to the board meeting and the Friday meeting.  Playing in an orchestra, I’m not able to make most evening meetings during the Orchestral season.

Quilts promised goal…no progress.

Charity Quilts, I’m planning on going by the church and delivering the baby quilts I have done and set aside for the Gabriel Project.  (It’s 4)  I know how to do a button hole, so I will complete my snuggler this month for the Gabriel Project.  I have found the tops that need quilting for Comforters and plan to get some of those done by January Bee Meeting to hand off for someone to do the binding.

Brigetta Goal is going very well.  But I may increase my “lessons” to include more than one technique.

Health, I have lost a little weight, I have changed my breakfast to include fruit.  I have started on the habit of stretching and working my core.

Spanish, haven’t started….

I look at this and it seems like I have done a lot, but still have a lot to do.  But if I just keep going, a little every day, I may be surprised by 2017 how much I got done!

How are your resolutions?  It’s only the 7th, still time to jump on and ride this whirlwind!

God Bless.

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Goals for 2016!

What follows are my goals for 2016.  Please pray for me.  The last time I did something this detailed, I got a staph infection, had 2 surgeries and 6 months of PT.  I still believe it was the devil trying to prevent me from accomplishing a better me.  Why am I making this public?  Maybe I won’t.  It could be an eternal draft.  Accountability.  Recordable.  Not just resolutions that get tossed aside, once life gets in the way.  I want these to be ways I live my life.  This, what is below, is what I want to happen THIS year.  I do not weigh 210 pounds, but by January 2017, I will.  I am not comfortable playing solo violin and piano for others, but by January 2017, I will.  I do not have 50 followers, but by January 2017, I will.  I have a head start, I already have 24!  Almost halfway there and still a year to go!  I have blog posts ready for the new year!  Still have a lot of work to get a month’s worth, but it’s happening!  My spiritual goals are too personal and will not share those.  But I will pray more, love others more, and give of myself, more.

This is a LONG post, thanks for stopping by.  God Bless!

Goals for 2016

UFO’s

I will make a list of my UFO’s.  This list will include UFO’s on Tiki and Houston, and the ones in my sewing closet on the top shelf.  I will choose 12 for 2016.  I will complete 6.  I will continue with this goal until the UFO’s are complete.  I will do my best to complete any projects I start in 2016.  I will sew 4 to 8 hours a day.

Guild

The website will be updated in a timely manner.  The new info will go up within a week after the old expires.  Pictures will be uploaded within 2 – 3 days of receipt.  I am proactive in getting info needed for the updates.  The website will be error free.  I have at least one proofer to proof my work.  Each page on the website will be improved with pictures, graphics and colors.

Facebook postings are planned and prepared.  I continue to like and comment on others’ posts.  Facebook Page postings are planned and prepared.  Facebook page postings include info on meetings, workshops, speakers and how to join the guild.

I participate in more activities in the Guild.  Charity Quilt Days, Community Service and Activity Corner.  I attend Friday meetings.

Quilts Promised

I finish the quilts I’ve promised to others.  I make a list of all promised quilts.  The list includes project name, recipient, where I am in the process, what is needed to move forward, and a time frame for completion.

Charity Quilts

I make one charity quilt a month for Comforters.  I give the baby quilts I have to the Gabriel Project and make 6 more.  This is separate from my goal of one per month.  I attend Boll Weevils twice a month and take tops to quilt and put together.  I encourage my bee to reach its goal of 100 quilts for comforters.

Business Plan

I blog 5 days a week.  I post videos.  I have 50 followers.  My website is up to date.  I pass out business cards to everyone I meet.  I sew 4 hours a day.  I devote an hour a day to planning and working my business.

Brigetta

I know how to use my Bernina 880 and her accessories.  I know how to embroider, oil, and clean my machine.  I know and use the different features, I understand and use Corel Draw.  I incorporate learning the machine and software into my blog.

Music

I play my violin/piano confidently for others.  Any solos are played clear and strong.  I complete the Practice Hack course.  I practice violin and piano 4 to 5 times a week.  I play in a quartet.  My bow hold and violin hold are relaxed.

Health

I am healthy.  I weigh 210 pounds.  I make healthy eating decisions.  I combine a carb and protein.  My portion sizes are the “suggested” portion sizes.  I cook healthy and tasty meals.  I swim 5 times a week.  I walk Freckles every day.  I do my core and stretch exercises every day.  My core is strong and I am limber.

Spanish

I speak and read Spanish.  I work with Duolingo 15 minutes a day, 5 times a week.

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Ketchup Saturday (Catch up)

Hello friends,

I hope you have been doing well.  I took a two day class week before last and I am STILL trying to “ketchup!”

Wool Applique 2 day class

Wool Applique 2 day class

I hope you haven’t been counting on a story or technique.  I will do those, but not today.  My “next action” plan has gotten out of control.  I keep going thru my stack of “next actions” and doing them, but I put my music and quilting to the back of the stack.  What is UP with that?  I am changing how I think.  My talents are worthy of my time.  My talents deserve to be first on the list.

Quilt for Wyatt Samuel 6 Gun Pugh

Quilt for Wyatt Samuel 6 Gun Pugh

I can take a next action in my quilting stack and still have enough time to feed my family.  Blogging has fallen into the “talent” group.

I have a plan, of course I have a plan.  Don’t know if it will work because I write spontaneously.  It will be a challenge to get a backlog of blogs.  I will keep a week or two ahead of publishing the blog and I will use my TealDragon FanPage on Facebook to post about my daily happenings.  I think that was the original plan, anyway!

Have a great day, and I’ll try to post on Monday, tomorrow is a music day.  Concert in Pasadena and rehearsal tomorrow night in Galveston.  I’ll leave you with this really cool picture.  Can you figure it out?  It’s a reflection.  The water was calm and clear.  Pretty cool, eh?

Canal house and it's reflection

Canal house and it’s reflection

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