FairyTales of Spring Clean Your Studios Year3–take 2

My spring clean story is funny.

like a fairytale, epic, funny and sad, and then happy.  
my space started like this--beautiful huh? well, it's orderly--but is it an effective working studio for me, and what is my art?
  Once upon a time. from my talk on sewing organization, aka manage your mess

E for Ergonomics, which is all about you.

So your space is for you. My space is for me. My home studio is not open to public, in fact my public mailing address is a UPS store. So this is a whole new world--but I still have a real physical place.

Best way to keep your space clean, don't use it much and hire an assistant to help you clean up before you have play date with an LA based designer.

Truth!

more on that later!  
20170504 3PM -- really, this mess is the after, and I got rid of a lot of stuff!
        My art is my art--my dream is that sewing be awesome in the future (not just now) so, how I get there, my hair color -- and my too-much ness. Well, it's a record, that someday we can look back on. As in remember when she said sewing could save the world? I was kind of embarrassed that in my journey, I made what looks like a mess from the outside, but I truly believe is the right step in my FUNfromAtoZ. I leave my last post as is, being transparent is part of my story. But I am smart enough to rely on business powerhouse  Cheryl Sleboda and just repurpose her words below! "I am thrilled to announce this year’s blog hoppers!!  Every year, we show you the “before and after” of our studios, and we usually give you some cool studio inspirations along the way. I hope you visit each of the blogs on the hop starting tomorrow!  Enjoy and be sure to leave a comment and say something nice to our blog hoppers!" May 1 – Teri Lucas – www.terificreations.com May 2 – Tammy Silvers – www.tamarinis.typepad.com May 3 – Emily Breclaw – www.thecaffeinatedquilter.com May 4 – Amalia Morusiewicz – www.FUNfromAtoZ.com May 5 – John Kubiniec – www.bigrigquilting.com/blog/ May 6 – Debby Brown – www.higheredhands.blogspot.com May 7 – Melissa Marie Collins – www.melissamariecollins.blogspot.com May 8 – Delve MIY – www.fronddesignstudios.wordpress.com May 9 – Misty Cole – www.mistycole.com May 10 – Sam Hunter – www.huntersdesignstudio.com/blog May 11 – Dale Ashera-Davis – www.dalead.wordpress.com May 12 – Sara Mika – www.mockpiestudio.blogspot.com May 13 – Sarah Trumpp – www.Wonderstrumpet.com May 14 – Carma Halterman – www.beanstrings.blogspot.com May 15 – Jessica Darling – www.jessicakdarling.com May 16 – Lisa Chin – www.lisachinartist.com May 17 – Sally Johnson – www.sallysquiltingcorner.blogspot.com May 18 – Mandy Leins – www.mandalei.com/blog May 19 – Shruti Dandekar – www.13woodhouseroad.com May 20 – Jane Davila – www.janedavila.com May 21 – Ebony Love – www.lovebugstudios.com May 22 – Cheryl Sleboda – blog.muppin.com     Ehem, please disregard last post, if you want to think I am shiny perfect.   Peace out- AtoZ (or Tia Tere, you know who you are)    
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General Thoughts on Heroes (Spring Clean AtoZ speak)

Intro

Participating in the last 3 years of Cheryl Sleboda's spring clean blog hop has been critical in my development as an artist and my life. Not joking. Seriously, I am too busy, too engineer, too Spock, too Sheldon, too much geek or what ever box you chose to put me in. Yes, I know, I am like Yoda--weird and small saying things and doing things that don't make sense to all. I mean no disrespect. Only respect to the Quilting / Sewing world, I have. I have the future sewing people in mind. Yes, I may seem light and funny, like when I say I was kicked out of a quilt show. It was only for being there past closing and I turned it into a simple bond between those who were there. But I know it can be taken out of context. It takes a long time to say things succinctly and well. Making art, pushing the envelope into the audacious, that's not simple--it doesn't follow the steps A,B,C. Oh and yes, I work full-time, I came home to update my blog, cause I inadvertently did not follow the rules. So I'm off the work clock. check out the awesome list of players in the blog hop List is both on a previous post, linked above and at very end of this post. Before blog hop photo     After blog hop photo of my physical sewing studio (YES, my physical space is less neat, more messy. I donated my cool trashcan, I donated a quilt, I created a mess, I am on the phone with a Yelp Account Executive as I type this so I'm also working the business side. My face photos are sideways, sorry I will fix that soon, but you get the gist--hair is purple. I wanted bald, so purple was a compromise. Heck yeah, I'm different. Still I love you and want awesome stuff for the world.   Peace!    

original not commented text

One of my heroes, was a princess that became a General.

Happy StarWARS day--May the Fourth be with you--well actually, may the force be with you every day. I wish I could give you the force, all I can do is wield my force, my power with the best of my powers and be an example. OMG, not be a shining beacon of perfection. NOPE, I prefer to be a small, greenish, big eared weirdo that talks funny.  Laugh at my hope, there is good in the world--and I chose to feed that joy.

What you feed grows.

MsV told me that, and her son is actually a superhero. My favorite princess is not Princess Leia. My favorite princess is General Organa, and I have a special love for Carrie Fisher. I didn't know her personally--but I read her book, I mean postcards. I know that there is great power in having some fame, it's also quite intoxicating--lucky me, my sisters named me "Lame Ame"--yes it does rhyme.  So in 25 minutes May the Fourth starts in the Eastern US. I plan to be asleep by then, but this post will go live right at midnight. I'll likely update this post, correct any errors in it, add some more links, photos... but only in my minutes in between. I've had a heck of a year. but I choose joy and love, so that's how I roll. My Studio is Me. My words, my stories, my ideas. So it was more than just cleaning a room. I taught a class...Scratch that--no, I guided an experience at the International Quilt Festival called "Face Your Fears." PS--an awesome group indeed, to which I said as I closed the door, this is our space, our home for the next few hours and we aren't here for others to peek in and watch.

Safe Space

I created a Facebook group -- sewFUNfriends with 3 simple rules--please feel welcome to come check it out. https://www.facebook.com/groups/SEWFUNFRIENDS/ PS-no sewing requirements other than finding a connection in fabric to one another. 3 years now, I've been part of Cheryl Sleboda's Spring Clean your Studio Blog hop.  I'm so honored. My art, my studio, my life is always evolving--well life is constantly changing--I chose to make smart business decisions. So when I recommend someone, it's not because we are friends, it's because you have skills/qualities that I think can be of power, in the fight of good, vs evil. Yes everything is part of that battle.

Now, stop reading so much into each and every word

To Quote Tracy Ulman--go home!

Good night, let's keep in touch on StarWars day, the Quattro de Mayo--when I wake from sleep, I'll paste in the photos.

May the fourth be with you!

    Before photo After photo Some of my favorite lines from General Fisher in an interview... 
  • Look, I wouldn't be anywhere else at this hour, except TV.
  • I think in my mouth, so I don't lie.
  • No, I'm a female in Hollywood, over the age of lets say 40, well, lets say 50...
  • What I'm going to stop now [being Princess Leia, General Leia]
  • Ridiculous in a really good way.
  • I try not to respond as an adult.
  • Normally, I wouldn't talk about it, but you are so thin so let's talk about it
  • What music makes this worthwhile?
  • I thought I was doing other stuff.
  • People that are normal and have other genes.
  • Gary is bored as hell.
  • That you know of!
  • YES!
      Luminous beings and all that. Goodnight dear powerful princess.   If you are on snapchat, check out the story, I created for you yesterday afternoon and evening. Now, it's pumpkin time, dearies and I gotta go be a grownup.   love you all, Tia Tere   PS--Weird, I thought this Yoda was, when first saw him, I did. Feel free to think of me as your own Yoda, small strange and hairy. That would be my honor.   My hats off (and almost my hair) to those who came before, and are invisible, so that we can have light and shine. Want to know what a powerful woman looks like? Look around, they are everywhere--especially the quiet, tired ones caring for our next generation of humanity.

Peace,

Mic Drop

I'm out--catch you again after the sun goes down!

AtoZ

Amalia

Tere

Tia Tere

Ame

whatever, thanks to the Big G, my parents for my life. My best, I will strive to be.

  Check out the other blog hoppers in this awesome group May 1 – Teri Lucas – www.terificreations.com May 2 – Tammy Silvers – www.tamarinis.typepad.com May 3 – Emily Breclaw – www.thecaffeinatedquilter.com May 4 – Amalia Morusiewicz – www.FUNfromAtoZ.com May 5 – John Kubiniec – www.bigrigquilting.com/blog/ May 6 – Debby Brown – www.higheredhands.blogspot.com May 7 – Melissa Marie Collins – www.melissamariecollins.blogspot.com May 8 – Delve MIY – www.fronddesignstudios.wordpress.com May 9 – Misty Cole – www.mistycole.com May 10 – Sam Hunter – www.huntersdesignstudio.com/blog May 11 – Dale Ashera-Davis – www.dalead.wordpress.com May 12 – Sara Mika – www.mockpiestudio.blogspot.com May 13 – Sarah Trumpp – www.Wonderstrumpet.com May 14 – Carma Halterman – www.beanstrings.blogspot.com May 15 – Jessica Darling – www.jessicakdarling.com May 16 – Lisa Chin – www.lisachinartist.comMay 17 – Sally Johnson – www.sallysquiltingcorner.blogspot.com May 18 – Mandy Leins – www.mandalei.com/blog May 19 – Shruti Dandekar – www.13woodhouseroad.com May 20 – Jane Davila – www.janedavila.com May 21 – Ebony Love – www.lovebugstudios.comMay 22 – Cheryl Sleboda – blog.muppin.com
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TiaTere on Ankle Sprains

"if you have trouble in the joints,

stay out of the joints."

  I love this silly phrase. Joints meant bars or hang out places, a term not used much today. Joints are part of the body that help us move. I've played sports, and gotten hurt, and healed. The best advice came from my father in law--works for knees, ankles, elbows, hips. We are all busy, running around doing good for the world and sometimes we forget that answers can be simple. Applying those simple solutions is the hard part.

RICE

Rest

Ice

Compression

Elevation

  I know it's not fun to be on the DL. But before you are allowed to whine on the disabled list (and yes, there is no whining allowed anyway), you best be doing the simple stuff, and getting some support.

Channelling my inner Yoda--take care of your crude matter. I know that we are luminous beings, but these vehicles we travel around in, they aren't so sturdy.

Not my will, but your will does not mean that we don't protect our body's from ankle sprains, or evil.    
Peace!
Tia Tere
  Tia Tere is not a medical professional and this post does not constitute medical advice. If you believe you are injured please get assistance, get checked out. Be audacious enough to be able to accept help.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juke_joint  
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egg-cellent opportunity

Just a year ago, I saw this photo. What's your instant reaction? What do you see?

Oops. #easter #getthemopout #splat

A post shared by Deborah Boschert (@deborahboschert) on

  My first reaction was "wow, cool photo!" My second reaction was to count the eggs, and wonder how this occurred. Seriously, out of curiosity! Look at the eggs at the bottom left, one of those might be intact. Something about human nature to try to put things together and find solutions. What if the solution to these broken eggs is to take the photo and capture the moment? Seems of late, that if there is no photo or video, there is no proof--and if anything occurred before the invention of technology, well forget about that! Although I like me some humor, I'm not writing fiction. Life is funny enough, and stories, well--stories are tools. Blab, blab, blab, and so on Are you still reading? Good, cause I'm sharing one of my first Mom Moments. Laugh if you like, cause I'm not your typical mom. A long time ago, in a universe that seemed like science fiction, but was oh so real--the Kid, broke a glass--not a mug or a cup, but a glass. Shards everywhere, the look on his face of OH-NO was severe. He turned to me expecting words or frustration. Instead, I gated off the kitchen (doggie gates) said to the Kid, "I'm not mad [it was clearly a mistake] but I'm also not going to clean it up for you." I was pretty proud of my Mom Moment, laugh if you like. Yes, cleaning up glass off of ceramic tile, when there are 200 pounds of dog in the house was not a minor activity. Yes, I probably did give it a good inspection before letting puppy paws venture near. I really wasn't mad about the glass, I got mad about an April fools joke--I'll tell you that later. Yes, we would all love to have everything magically cleaned up for us. Ironically, my sister's blog had words of an apron that mom made her. I have no memory of that, and it just doesn't register in my mind as something my mom would make. Funny thing is we all have such different memories of the same experiences. I wonder what Deborah Boschert was thinking when she snapped the cracked eggs photo? I wonder if I would have written this sooner if she was the lone culprit in this egg-sperience? Sometimes a little bit of distance from an event is needed for us to appreciate the yolk of it all.

Chickens, eggs, adventures, oh my!

After many months of rebuilding, Ellicott City is getting put back together. I'm honored that my quilt, Wish Upon a Star, has made some money for my favorite coffee shop. Thanks to my favorite pottery place, Green Bridge and all you who bought a raffle ticket! Click here if you would like to take a chance on a two sided quilt!    stories I owe you... my first cup of coffee April Fools (Not Joking)   later!
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it’s about the people

Would you take free business lessons? I do!

Seriously, I'm enrolled in a school that I call life. I'm busy, just like you. But I take those minutes in between and put them to work for me. It's not as easy as it looks. Those who have attended my classes--like Face Your Fears, Superhero Strategies for Unleashing Your Inner Awesome or even Recipes for Teaching a Great Class would tell you, it's not as hard as you fear and sometimes it's getting past that fear and embracing our humanity that is the biggest hurdle we face. Yes, I did go to school. I finished high school, college and even took a graduate level class in metrics just for fun. Laugh if you like, metrics are fun, and we can prove it. If you have no metrics, you can't prove that they aren't fun! Oh, my the PUNs must stop. Before I headed off to teach at two big sewing/quilting venues in 2016, I stopped by my favorite car shop, Rising Sun Motors. Why, cause when I am making choices, I like referrals, that's part of why I want a verified blue checkmark to have that extra oomph that I am me. So I thought, and yes, again, I invite you to laugh if you like... But I really thought that asking for referrals was a good idea. I was WRONG!!! seriously, I did not study business and only took 3 psychology classes, but I did take an awesome amount of engineering, science, math and philosophy/theology/ethics. So what does all that mean.

Catch free range referrals

Referrals that naturally occur in nature are far better that any you can  grow in captivity. This is a whole books worth of stories, but for tonight--let's focus on the people. No matter what you do, it's a people business.

Thanks to Mike Warshauer of Rising Sun Motors for the title of this post-it's about the people.

Listen with your own ears (sorry the audio is not yet transcribed)        
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AtoZ and Viv [virtual tag up]

If you don't want to see the behind the scenes of how I work, don't read this blog post. Thanks, AtoZ    

Hey Viv, I think I'm going to call you Vee-Eye-Vee as your superhero name, it kinda goes well with AtoZ and V-I-V, yeah, you know me!

ok, that nickname was short lived, unless I spell it out VeeEyeVee, which defeats the purpose of nickname-ology. This is the last hurrah, next few days will be busy! Can we do a virtual meeting here on the Blog?  I popped in a different font for you.  Feel free to not answer questions you don't want to, or answer in your own way.  I gotta run now!
Vivien- Here we go!
  I had a great coffee in TimesSquare, barista recipe by Ammy at St.Arbucks capture You don't drink coffee, or do you?
Vivien-no coffee for me!
Just got back late last night from Lion King on Broadway, what a great adventure, such great choreography,costuming, music. When did you start contra dancing? what was the story?  Where you just a young lioness at the time?
Vivien-My parents are professional dancers and got into contra dancing through that route. When my sister and I were very young, they would bring us to the dances. When I was in high school in Chicago, I started going with my mom and fell in love with it. Now I'm on the board of the Baltimore dance and I dance at least once, if not multiple times a week
  Can't wait for you to meet MsV! Please link to MsV page and tell me something interesting you learned about Valarie Poitier from less than 15 minutes research.
Vivien- http://www.valariepoitier.com/
Ms. V is a fiber artist living in Massachusetts. She teaches art quilt workshops and quilt business workshops, namely "Promote Your Work without Apologizing" which teaches people how to speak about their work and present themselves successfully.
[AtoZ6pm, yes that is true--but she is more--listen to me reciting her words https://anchor.fm/w/A42149] I'm a pretty positive person who protects my soul from negative thoughts and energy. Yesterday, I said to MsV as I started to say something negative and prefaced it with "well, I shouldn't say this..." OMG, I love her, she stopped me with a sweet joyful voice and said "then don't say it!" I love that I am surrounded by such positive and powerful women like MsV and that I can take that suggestion, that lesson and make it into a touchstone, a reminder to stay on my positive joyful path. I'm passing along lessons, but wow, I don't have all the answers, but I know that the right answers will be available to me if I am listening!  [AtoZ 6pm--Oh and most of all, passing along lessons is like the circle of life. It's not that I have the answers and am passing them, it's that we as humans can be part of the circle of life. The things we do, how we interact, those are the really big deal things. ] Okay, here is my question.  What do you think of that story and the last few months of working together?
Vivien-I think there's something to be said for actively listening and also reflecting -- that some things might not have the most obvious meaning to them but still impact your life. I think the we are both learning from each other and we should keep listening.
[AtoZ 6pm--active listening is good, as is reflecting, I was getting ready to let negative thoughts and words flow from my mouth, which is ironic because you can't fight negative with negative--I an humbled that I was reminded of that, and that we help each other out--we humans. I think that working together is like dancing--but these are enough deep thoughts for one post!]   I leave for International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston this week. What are your thoughts and questions about traveling to Houston?  It's going to be warm.  It's going to be exciting.  We should have morning tags ups this week.
Vivien-what are morning tags?
[AtoZ6pm--morning tag ups--the 5minute planning session--we can do it virtually too using our action item tracking software--today it was nice to use this post as fun way to let others see behind the curtain.] I think you have a copy of my RollerCoasters and QuiltShows article from International Quilt Scene 2015.  Give it a re-read before you pack for good tips tucked into my humor--see Laugh and Learn is definitely my style. I gave you edit write to my FB page, would you check that it works?
Vivien-it does!
  Would you create individual Facebook Events on my FFATOZ FB page for my 7 classes/lecture  that require signing up for at Houston?
Vivien-
10/31 Can You Cacti?
11/1 Superhero Strategies
11/1 Math of Art, Art of Math
11/2 Face Your Fears
11/3 Machine Quilting Forum
11/3 Playing with Plarn
11/4 Recipe for Teaching Great Classes
11/5 Words Are Not Enough
Also would you make a single page list by date of where you and I are going to be in Houston?
Vivien-running out of time today but will do tomorrow!
(don't share that publicly but since I'm making my interaction with you public, I figured I'd make the request here)
Vivien-
If I drop of a bag of extra swag to bring to Quilt Festival with you on Wednesday or Thursday morning, can you bring it?
Vivien- Sure!
Don't worry, I know you like cold weather, I'm working on booking us some teaching gigs in New England!   Viv, Please feel free to add some links, words, photos to this post and make it live today--I know I will show my name, but I'm outta here--it's 9:30am, and I'm getting in late to work and will check back late tonight! I'll check my messages at lunch incase you have questions! Viv, you rock! -AtoZ         13582126_10154220830864566_5130345895031516125_o cactus cover copy RootedintheHeart2 BU BAWESOME LARGE.001 - Version 5 a-to-z_logo_6.png  
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Hanging on with Thread

  A friend asked about my thread racks, and a photo seemed like a good answer.  I have the large 120 spool thread racks, and I added hooks to hang on the wall. Then I cut straws to lengthen posts and topped it all off with #ikea #pictureledge for large #spools #studio #sewing #quilting #manageyourmess #makeityourown thread rack hack. Then a surprise message from Joen Wolfrom, reminded me of my Permission Slip project, so I adjusted the photo collage.  Stay tuned for more news on Permission!
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FUN is coming, will you be there?

Rocking this sew stuff my way!  No brochures or flyers, just awesome videos!  Check the fun! promo2.001 MG.001promo2.002
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Happy Almost Birthday Month!

FullSizeRender 51
Living large on a holiday weekend, with my co-pilot, my own Chewbacca.
My birthday month starts soon! 9/15 to 11/15. Since, I like to give presents away on my birthday, are you ready?
FullSizeRender 50
Rocky brings the toy that his Uncle Waffle left behind, insists,time to play!
For years, I've been asked for years to teach an on going class.  Well, guess what?  It's not a class (but you learn), it's not a workshop (we will make stuff), it is not a party... well maybe it is a little like a party. If you want to sew smarter, faster, and be able to leap out of tall boxes, join us for this adventure. Make It FUN! Make It FUN, is inspired by this fun photo taken by the most amazing, best photographer (ok, other than my husband, who takes amazing photos of baseball games, just for fun.) Bonnie McCaffery, is fabulous.  She took all my PR photos, and caught this funny photo - although she would say this is not that good, not great focus (I don't know, some photo speak like that) and resolution is not great.  But I am totally cracking up in this, wonder what the waiter was thinking.  Like it? I want to announce that Make it FUN sessions will be happening in the Eastern US/ MidAtlantic Area.   I will be less than a couple hours away from many of you once a month, with one cool hangout location to the North and another to the South.  North and South, who else out there is thinking of Oz now? 10257702_10203624292385180_5661325417921594643_nThese first six sessions are going to be such a  treat.  On the topic of treats, my birthday gift to those who sign up for all 6 sessions is that you will get a ridiculously great deal, cause hey, it's my birthday!  These sessions will have some fun and games, make and takes, challenges, and secret surprises; they are perfect for all types of quilters, or sewing people, whether modern, traditional, artsy, improvisational, methodical, and even, gasp... garment sewing people are welcome!  I can't tell you how awesome this is going to be, you will have to see it for yourself.  Want to travel to these sessions? Fabulous idea, make it a friends getaway weekend, contact the shops directly to sign up for the Make it FUN sessions and ask about local hotels. To the North, come see me at... Spring Water Designs, Columbia, Maryland  Sunday afternoons 1:30-3pm, FUN is coming to SpringWater! December 6, January 3, February 7, March 6, April 3, May 1 Don't worry you west coasters and international friends, we will have fun this fall in Houston... I can't wait to reveal those secrets just yet! On the topic of fun, fabulous people like yourself, have you met Muppin?  jump on Facebook and pop in to see Muppin, like her page and tell her I sent you! https://www.facebook.com/muppindotcom Thanks for the FUN! BU BAWESOME LARGE.001 - Version 5
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Sharpen Your Skills

If you want to get smart fast, these few secrets will have you humming along.
IMG_0425
What's the Point? Learning! photo credit FUNfromAtoZ
Is it learning?  Yes, indeed! Even the sharpening of a skill is learning. Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with your results.  Items created in the learning process may seem like the end result, but do not let them trick you.  The true prizes, that you are creating, are knowledge and skill. People take classes for one of several reasons: to learn something, to make something, or to experience something. All are valid reasons. At times the make aspect of the project overshadows learn and experience.  Seriously, how would you visualize and photograph that moment of learning? A brain scan? This essay is entering the zone of overthinking, so I will leave that to the neuropsychologists! "User-FastFission-brain". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.User-FastFission-brain.gif Want to look inside my brain, as I design a class? First, I decide what awesome stuff will we experience. Next I consider what are the invisible take aways (awareness, interest , basically knowledge.)The last step is to pick a project to make, that connects with the knowledge and experience.  I design  patterns, some specifically intended to teach a skill, try out a new tool, or simply explore possibilities. Well, back to learning, we embark.  As we push away from familiar land into the ocean of the unknown we are in the learning boat.  Let us consider that action of creating a project (the making part of a class) as a physical action such as rowing. Remember that children's song? Repeatedly drumming in our minds row, row, row your boat?   I have to laugh as I see the frustration of our world, with our the focus on perfection.  Maybe there was a different song that encouraged us to... go, row, oh no!  as we try something once, give up, cuss, spit, throw the oars away, spew terrible venomous words at ourselves and the boat, blame the boat, decide that rowing needs to be left to the boat rowing professionals who have permission to row boats... Leaving us sitting alone in a row boat with no oar.  No way!  Push rewind, let's have do over and run the scene again... Anticipation grows as you take your very first step, a little scared but excited as you row. "Hmm, this is interesting" as you put our oars into the water again. Wowsa, this rowing thing actually might work, the boat is starting to move.  Yes, lessons are best learned with repeatability.  Tips on practice and improvement will have to wait for other day, for now just Row, Row, Row! It's all about YOU! Yep, life is DIY, so do it yourself, be empowered! This is your boat!  Life is not merely watching from the shore, jump in!  Grab a life jacket, a paddle (or oar, or both if you aren't sure which is which!) and jump right in your boat.  Make sure your boat is in the water.  Practice is good, but real life doing, that is the best. Gently, this is the hardest part to embrace. So, turn the dial to the gentle cycle, click, click, click, gentle!  You've gotta be kind to be kind... cause "in the right measure" never justifies cruelness.  Be aware of cruelness's prettier but still dangerous sister, coddling.  If you are paddling by in your boat and see me with the skinny part of my oar in the water, while I hold the fat part, please be kind and bring that to my attention. A gentle suggestion to reverse the paddle, that is kindness, my friends!  Keep suggestions honest and gentle, that is the sweet spot of suggestion!  So can you imagine being kind to me even when I was wrong?  Look again, that other boat was a reflection, now you see yourself making a mistake, find that sweet spot again, be honest and gentle. As we learn, we make mistakes, and adjust course as needed. Use the force! Be aware of what is happening around you. There are powerful forces at play, use them to your advantage. Let the water take you there.  Seriously, the current in the river will help as you go down the stream.  Don't try to go up the creek, especially without a paddle! Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily... Just like in rowing, one rowing action isn't enough to get you very far.  Make finding joy and being positive a daily act.  Be You and Be Awesome! Chin up!  Keep up the good fight toward kindness and gentleness. This song sung in a round is quite lovely.  So look around, do you see others who are rowing their own boats?  Don't go it alone!
boat shore
Real life is more than rowing, sometimes you gotta rest! Photo Credit- FUNfromAtoZ
Life is not a dream, life is better, it's real! Intrigued with my thoughts?  Check out this poem by a mathematician named Charles Dodgson... http://shenandoahliterary.org/blog/2012/01/a-boat-beneath-a-sunny-sky-by-lewis-carroll/   BU BAWESOME LARGE.001 - Version 5               I want to add a special thank you to my friends who offer suggestions in that sweet spot of honest and gentle.  To you, I start off again with Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream.
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Bucket List – soft sculpture pattern published!

For 7 years I've been secretly designing 3d patterns, knowing that someday I would publish 3d patterns. People from other realms (or at least other geographical locations) will create with my designs. I will be connected to people that I may never meet in real life. Today it got even more real.  At the bookstore, seeing the stack of copies of QuiltingArts Holiday with my three page pattern, I realized just how I excited I am about this milestone.  It's been a long time coming. A recent student asked when did I started teaching?  Well, I've got 2 younger sisters, so probably by age 2!  When my youngest sister, Maria, was in her crib, I taught our middle sister, Cristina, to cook.  I was 5, she was 3. Don't worry, this was a safe cooking lesson and involved no heat.  We cracked eggs and used a 2 handed pounding technique to mash the egg into the dining room carpet of our home.  We sat on the kitchen floor (linoleum) and did our cooking in the carpeted dining room. I know it was "cooking" since that was the answer I gave to "what are you doing?"   My mom definitely helped feed  my creative spirit.  This was only one of the tales of my adventurous art experiments. Three dimensional work is such a great playground and classroom. My designs build or strengthen a skill that can apply beyond the 3d project.  So back to the point of this cactus chat... The secret surprise (shh) .... is that in making the cutest little cactus ever, your French knot skills cannot help but grow with the practice.  The faux ruching has "gathered in" some attention from appliquérs of the Baltimore tradition. Looks like I have 2 left thumbs in this photo! Cacti was inspired by a rodeo themed quilting retreat earlier in 2015.  I can't wait to share with you what other fun ideas have sprouted.   Wish ya the best fun from, a-to-z_logo_7
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