Tuesday, April 16, 2019

One Nice Thing A Day/Week 2 Recap

I found this little bit of advice and thought it was quite powerful;

Although it's something that we want to do, long to do, taking care of ourselves, finding time for ourselves is a very difficult task. The day begins with so many things on our to-do list, and before we know it, the end of the day has arrived, and all we want to do is fall into the bed. 

I especially found this to be true this past week. There was my step-father's funeral, added to the mix was jury duty. But, I had made a commitment to myself, and I was determined to stick with it. 

I began last Monday with downloading the pattern for the vintage Adrienne Vittidini sweater that you see on the top right below. The previous week, I had downloaded a pattern from Purl Soho. I love it, but the small needles were a little difficult for me, so I thought something with a larger needle would be good to help work out the nerve damage I am experiencing. It was! I began the project on Monday evening, and then sat down again on Wednesday evening and finished the front. What fun!

*On Tuesday, I had to be downtown, so I decided to take a little time and do a little window. Such a wonderful way to accumulate a little inspiration. The dress in the top left hand corner below I found at Anthropologie.
*When Thursday evening rolled around, I was exhausted, but still wanted to do something I would enjoy, so I sat down and watched the entire episode of Project Runway. I usually wait until I can watch it on demand and then fast forward through the show. On Thursday, I just sat and vegged out on the entire thing!  
*On Friday, I decided to try and do a little sewing. I started the red dress you see below. I just need to add the binding to the neckline and hem the dress and sleeves. More on the dress in an upcoming post. 
*A friend had recommended the movie, The Mustang. She always seems to be spot on with movies that I will like. So, on Saturday afternoon, I took the time to go and I am so happy that I did!
*The Haute Couture Club of Chicago had a Tambour Beading and Embroidery workshop on Sunday. The doctor had told me that as long as I was sitting down, I could take the brace off at 8 weeks, and work without it. I was a day early, but I really wanted to take the class, and so I did :) 
*My skin really took a beating the last 2 months as it was so difficult to try and wash my face with 1 hand. Last night I gave myself a mini facial. The green tea detox mask was heavenly.
*For today, this really doesn't count as I do it everyday, but it is a good thing, at least I think so. Each and every morning, whether I feel like it or not, I put a scoop of green foods powder in a glass, mix it with water, and drink it down. I became serious about doing this when I was told that I have a high risk of colon cancer. I had a colonoscopy last November and it was the best I've ever had! It may be just luck, and it may be the green food powder. I think I'll keep drinking the green food powder :)  

Doing something nice for yourself each and everyday takes effort. But, the payoff is worth it! 

I hope that my little journey will inspire you to do something nice for yourself each and everyday :)

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday Morning Inspiration/Tambour Beading and Embroidery

I have been able to do so little, for so long. Today is graduation day for me, in a way :) It was 8 weeks ago today that I had surgery on my wrist. I can now be without the brace as long as I am sitting down, and there is no chance of me falling, and causing re-injury. So, when I am out and about, I do have to wear it for another 4 weeks, but the best part is that I can once again


It's such an amazing sense of freedom. 
I jumped the gun, just a bit as I took a wonderful class over the weekend and learned how to do tambour beading and embroidery.The first 30 minutes were beyond frustrating, but once I got the hang of it...OMG!!! What fun!

The class was centered on learning the basics and basically doing a sampler. Below you see all of my original squiggly lines. My hand still needs time to warm up, so it was a little difficult to get started, but by the time I got to the line of beads, I felt quite confident. All of the work is done with a fine needle that has a hook at the end. It is punched through the fabric where you pick up the thread, pull it through and then make a series of chain stitches. Whether you are working with beads, sequins, or just thread, the process is the same. 

Me with my hoop :)

I thought I would share a few pictures that I found on Pinterest. I just can't wait to start a real project!

This piece would be so pretty as a focal point on a top, jacket or dress.

I found THIS site. Such amazing work. The 2 pieces below show the work in progress. The outline is done, then stretched, and then the stitching begins. Both pieces show the initial outlining done in the chain stitch. So pretty. Be sure to check out the site as there is loads of beautiful work.

I thought this piece was incredible.

I absolutely love this picture, all the men gathered around doing tambour work. You can see that 1 hand is held underneath, and the needle is on top.

I found the video below that gives a great insight into tambour work. It's only 8 minutes long. I think you'll really enjoy it.

And finally, here's a great resource with links to lots to articles and how-tos, just click HERE.

I took my class at Sewing Classes at Tchad. You may remember the video interview I did with Tchad. You can see it HERE if you would like :) His studio is so lovely, and Tchad is full of knowledge and ideas. 

Ahhh, it feels so good to be back :)
Wishing a week filled with creativity. 

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Monday, April 8, 2019

One Nice Thing A Day/Week 1 Recap

Doing one nice thing a day for yourself seems like it would be a fairly easy task, and it is...


The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind. My husband and I were on our way to a dinner and concert last Saturday evening when my phone rang. If it's a number that I don't recognize, I typically will not answer, but something about this call made me feel that I should. It was a police officer who told me that my step-father had been in an accident and my mother needed me. Long story short, he had a massive heart attack and died while driving. The car did run into a wall, but thankfully, no other person was injured. Although he has been ill for quite some time, it's still quite shocking when death makes its call. 

As I drove home from my mother's house yesterday evening, I was tired, and just felt like going home, but I was reminded of just how short life is, and that it was of the utmost importance that I still do something nice for myself. So, I swung by the store with the intention of buying stargazer lilies. As I drove home, the fragrance wafted through the car. It was beautiful, and such a lovely gift. Yes, it is important to celebrate each and everyday, and remember to not only do for all of those who surround us, but do for ourselves as well.

For those of you who are not on Instagram, here is a collage of the things I did for myself last week...

Last Monday I saw the surgeon for my 6 week check-up. When I went to sit down, I looked over and saw a magazine entitled "Garden & Gun." My first thought was that I had surely misread the title, but no, as you can see, that's the title!!! As it turns out, it is a lovely magazine, strange as it may seem :/ The title made me laugh, and the content captured me, so I gave myself a one-year subscription.

The next day, I downloaded the audio version of "Where The Crawdads Sing." I will be doing a review later this week, but it was wonderful!!! My husband and I listened to it together, and we were captivated from beginning to end. 

As it turns out, I did have a little nerve damage to my thumb and pointer finger when I broke my wrist. I had mentioned to the therapist that I like to knit. She thought that it would be a great idea to begin a project and work those 2 fingers. So, I ordered 2 skeins of silk yarn from Purl Soho, and began a new project. I'm slow, but I have noticed a difference in my fingers, so I am quite happy :)

On Thursday, I decided to soak in a hot tub. What a lovely treat it was!

On Friday, it was off to get some fresh color in my hair, and have my hair washed, cut, and styled. Not much can beat that!!!

Saturday morning I was quite busy with a Haute Couture meeting. Knowing that I would have to be out that evening, and also knowing that for whatever reason, I still tire rather easily, I decided to take a nap. I laid down on the sofa, and drifted off for a very blissful hour. 

So, did you decide to take the challenge and do one nice thing a day for yourself? If you did, what did you do? Were you able to keep the commitment to yourself  for the entire week?

Just remember, it's not too late to make a commitment to yourself, to do something nice for yourself each day. As simple as it may seem, it can be a struggle. It's awfully easy to allow the day to go by, get to the end of the day and realize that we've allowed no time for ourselves.  
By all means, don't put it off. We only have now.


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Saturday, March 30, 2019

One Nice Thing A Day

Life throws us what seems to be a curve ball, and then we find out that the ball was thrown on purpose to teach us a lesson, maybe just one, and sometimes, many. 

As the last 6 weeks have passed since I broke my wrist and had the subsequent surgery, I've had a LOT of time to think. One thing that became very apparent to me was that even in such a predicament, I was putting others first, and sadly, at my own expense. What ended up happening was those "others" thought nothing of what I was going through, and only of themselves. I was deeply hurt, but then I realized that there was a lesson to be learned.

Somehow, we can get caught up in thinking that if we do nice things for ourselves, we are being selfish. The act of being selfish only comes about when one thinks ONLY of themselves. Being good to ourselves, making time for what we need, and what will bring joy into our lives is not about being selfish, but about nurturing. I think too that it can send a message to others, that we value ourselves. After all, how can we expect others to value us if we don't value our lives, our time, our health? And then too, there are times when doing what's right for us is saying that all too difficult word...no. How is it that the word "no" is one of the first words a child learns to say, and say easily, then over time, becomes one of the hardest words to say?

After the surgery, I was unable to wash my hair, and I knew that if my husband did it, well, it wouldn't be good. He is a precious man, but he is not a hairdresser ;) I had asked him to help me pull my hair up so I could wash my face. OMG!!!, I thought he was going to pull the hair out of my head. For those of you who have, or have had small children who fussed and cried when you tried to brush their hair, well, that was me. I sent him to the store to buy hair clips that I could use to pull my hair back with my left hand. I also decided that I would go and have my hair washed and blown dry. What a gift that was. I only went once a week, but truly, a gift. 

Whatever was used to sterilize my skin before the surgery wrecked havoc on my skin and nails. I couldn't do my nails, so I decided to make an appointment and have them done. What a gift, and how it lifted my spirit.

April 1st has always marked, at least for me, a time of new beginnings. This year that is especially true. April 1st will mark 6 weeks since the surgery, and it will be a bit of a graduation day for me. If all goes well, and I think it will, I was told that the surgeon will allow me to stop sleeping with the brace. Then, I should only have 2 more weeks of wearing it during the day. WooHoo!!! 

I've decided that as April 1st rolls around that I will give myself a challenge, do one nice thing a day for myself. As I thought more about my little challenge, I thought that maybe you too might like to join me. Doing something nice for yourself does not need to cost anything, and then, it might be splurging on something like getting a massage, or having a facial. Doing one nice thing a day doesn't need to take a lot of time. It could be something as simple as making a cup of tea and sitting down to read a chapter in a book that you have been longing to read. 
Two things to keep in mind;
It's something that you are being consciously aware of, not the normal things we do each and everyday, like take a shower and getting dressed. 
It is something special, something that will bring a bit of joy into your life.  

Here are a few ideas, a few things that I will be doing;

*Listen to a podcast  
*Finish that Blueprint class you signed up for ages ago
*Go for a walk
*Take a bubble bath
*Get a manicure
*Buy a bouquet of flowers, just for you!
*Make a commitment to be good to your skin
*Grab your cell phone, go for a walk and take pictures of flowers 
*Go to bed early one night, like...really early!
*Put on some music that you love and dance!
*Go to a coffee shop and buy your favorite drink
*Be conscious of everything you eat for 1 day
*Get a facial

I would love to hear your ideas for something special, something that will bring a bit of joy into your day. 

Beginning April 1st, I will be posting a picture of my one special thing for that day on Instagram. You are welcome to follow along if you would like. I know that not everyone is on Instagram, so my plan is to do a recap here on the blog on Fridays.

I think this will be a bit of a journey, a time of discovery, and most likely a challenge as it is so easy to allow life to happen, leaving us with barely enough time to breathe. A thought just occurred to me...maybe one day during the month, we just set aside a few minutes to sit quietly and breathe :) 

I hope that a few of you will join me. Who knows what it might mean in your life?!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Back In The Saddle Again

Over the last 5 weeks, I have learned that what may seem the simplest of things, can mean the most. A friend picked me up for lunch. I was struggling with getting my utensils out of the napkin. The waiter saw my struggle, came over, said nothing, but simply took the roll from my hand and opened it for me. During the meal, I managed to spill sauce on the table, and basically made an absolute mess. Once again, he came over and made a joke about what I had done, a sweet joke that let me know he understood, and made me laugh. Earlier that morning, I had managed to make my breakfast, berries with yogurt and granola. As I went to pick up the bowl, I somehow hit the spoon and yogurt went everywhere, all over the cabinet, the floor, and me. I burst into tears. But, my husband calmly said, "don't worry, I'll clean it up." Then Berkley seized the moment and began "cleaning up" the mess. That dog is not going to miss an opportunity for food!

There are so many who have come to my aide, the hairdresser who washed my hair, dried it, took the time to add curls, and then cut her rate in half. She said that it was her gift to me :) A friend who knows how much I love a bowl of soup, and brought me a pot. Friends who brought me the loveliest yellow roses. Another friend who came to "pick up my mail," which was really just an excuse to come spend a little time with me. And then I would be remiss to not include all of the heartfelt messages that so many of you have sent. They have warmed my heart, and made me feel loved.

There have been some hard lessons learned as well, but in the end, good lessons, especially about where and how I want to spend my time. No, I am not ending the blog :) While breaking my wrist, especially my right wrist is not something I would want to repeat, I am grateful. I have been able to rest, contemplate, dream, and make decisions that otherwise would not have happened. A gift.

Earlier this winter, a friend came to visit. A new tradition that I have started is to take my guests to the fabric store and have them choose fabric for a set of pillowcases. They are so easy to make, and it gives them a little something from me to take home and hopefully, fondly remember their visit. 

I have tried to sew, but my hand would quickly begin to hurt. The therapist had told me that if I begin to feel pain, stop. So, I did. But, I kept trying. I did manage to hem a pair of pants last week. I was so proud that I immediately wore them! Reminded me of being a teenager and being so very excited to have made something new to wear ;) Again, a simple pleasure. 

Yesterday I sat down and actually made the 2 sets of pillowcases for my friend. I felt as though I had made a major accomplishment! I know that pillowcases are hardly something to get excited about, much less inspire, but I thought I would share them nonetheless.

I always let my guests pick out their own fabric. I wasn't so sure about the combination of fabrics, but in the end, I loved how the batiks worked with this set.      

She also chose the flannel for a set of winter cases. Super simple, but I think they will be quite cozy. A little side note, my friend lives in Seattle. I had gone to visit her a few years ago. The first night I was there, I thought I would freeze to death!!! That wet, cold air goes right through your bones! The next morning she got up and saw that I had put on insulated pants, a sweater, and was even wearing a knitted hat! From that point, until I left, she kept the wood stove stoked. I was so grateful!

I managed to cut out a simple knit dress. That's next on the agenda. To rediscover the joy of something I have taken for granted, a wonderful gift :)


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Sunday, March 24, 2019