Monday, December 12, 2005

Week 6 Check In

Week 6 check in
I have done my morning pages almost every morning, however, I did short them once or twice. I wish I had some more time in the morning so I could write after I was actually awake. Sometimes it feels like I'm just writing for the sake of writing and not actually exploring anything I would like to explore.

I haven't actually gone on an Artist Date, however, I did work on my skating program. So that kind of counts. I've noticed when reading some of the other blogs that I'm not the only one that sometimes has trouble with the artist dates. Sometimes I just enjoy just taking the time to work on whatever it is that I want to work on.

I think I really need the break from the tasks until after Christmas. I read through them but had a really hard time focusing. It has been colder than normal the past week or so (in the 20's) so there wasn't much hope in finding a flower or a leaf around. Then we had snow twice. So much for any rocks! I am thinking about writing down what I spend for a week or even a month, but right now would not be the time to do that. Holiday spending is not like the rest of the year, so like not reading over Thanksgiving I don't think it would be very accurate. I am looking forward to going through the chapters again and spending some time on some of the things I felt I may have rushed through.

I generally do treat myself to little luxuries. A book I want or a new quilting gadget or even a latte on a Saturday afternoon. But while thinking about it I realized that one of the things I love, but have not done for myself in a very long time is buying cut flowers for myself. I really love it in the dead of winter when it's cold and you wonder if it will ever get warm again. Then to see flowers on the dining room table or on my bedroom dresser is a reminder that spring will arrive..eventually. Now this is a luxury I will have to give myself every now and then in the coming months.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Week 5 Check In

Time to check in on week 5
I had a terrible time this week with the morning pages. I did them 6 out of 7 days, but several of them were not 3 pages. I was taking a lot of short cuts.

I enjoyed this chapter and thought that there were some very good points made. Ask and you shall receive. All too often we forget that life is full of good things and they are available for us. I don't think: say a prayer and wave a magic wand and what should appear...a longarm machine. Believe me I've tried that one.

My artist date this week, and will be conintuing for the next few weeks, is I decided to skate in the holiday show on New Year's Eve. I had an injury and some boot problems so I'm really just getting back into it. Talk about leaping and expecting the net to appear! With music picked, we are now beginning to work on choreographing the number. I wish I had more time to put it together and wish that my training has been more consistant than it has been, but I'm looking forward to it. I thought I'd take a chance and sign up and work on putting the number together. If I have further foot problems than I can withdraw if I need to.

Now, let's see if I can link to the check in. (I haven't been very successful so far)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Week 4 Check In

I have done my morning pages 5 out of 7 days this week. Actually 5 1/2. I did have some trouble with it this week. I had time constraints this week. On the days that my writing seems to flow I enjoy writing my morning pages.

My artist date: I went to the music store and listened to some Blues and Soul. I even bought a Ray Charles CD for myself. Very different from what I usually listen to but very enjoyable. I love to hear all the different kinds of music and it's so nice when you can scan the CD to listen to a preview. I spent a couple of hours just listening to different artists and types of music. (Some I had never heard before). So it was interesting, enjoyable and stretched my musical horizons a bit.

I have experience a lot of synchronicity this past week. It's all tied in with the task this week where I wrote a letter from myself at 80 to myself at my current age and the previous task where we examined our obvious and less obvious rotten habits. Although I want to share this with you, I feel it's a little too soon for me to do so.

I really had a hard time not reading for a week. I understand the principle behind it, but I'm not so sure it worked for me. Anyway I did it. I wasn't too happy about it but I did it. Hey, maybe I was throwing a tantrum by not doing my morning pages every day this week! I didn't check the blogs this week just so I wouldn't be tempted to fall off the reading wagon. I'm just hoping she doesn't ask us to do that again.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Week 3 Check In

Morning pages - 7 out of 7. I find it's not always easy, especially if I have a lot to do that day. But doing them seems to be helping me focus.
I had originally planned to go to an Art Exhibit at a local gallery on Saturday. But after a long a grueling week I just wasn't up for it. So I found myself alone on Saturday afternoon. I put my feet up and spent a couple of hours reading a novel. I wasn't sure if it counted as an Artist Date. And I felt a little guilty at first, but then I thought, it's my artist date I can do what I want. And it turned out to be exactly what I needed.

The only specific event that may be synchronicity at work is I was going through a couple of bags of clothes I no longer wear. And for some reason I decided to check the pockets on a pair of jeans. I found $5.00. All nicely laundered. Now I had packed away at least 3 pairs of jeans before that pair, never even thought of checking the pockets. Why that pair? Of course, I did go back to check the others before packing them up for goodwill.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Detective Work

My favorite childhood toy was Barbie. I first used a sewing machine when I was a child so I could sew Barbie clothes.

My favorite childhood game was Monopoly and Canasta.

The best movie I saw as a kid was Mary Poppins.

I don't do it much but I enjoy riding a bike and scrapbooking

If I could lighten up a little, I'd sing in public and not care that I was out of key. (of course the public is very grateful that I don't little up because of this.)

If it weren't too late, I'd become a mother.

My favorite musical instrument is the violin

The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is hard to calculate. It depends on how much I have, what I need and if I'm shoe shopping.

If I weren't so stingy with my artist, I'd buy her tickets to a Broadway musical. (I'd like to buy her a new sewing machine, the Viking Mega Quilter and a violin. I can't do that for her, at least not yet.)

Taking time out for myself is necessary.

I am afraid that if I start dreaming.....I've been thinking about this one for a while and just can't seem to come up with an answer. I don't think I'm afraid to dream, sometimes afraid to act on my dreams.

I secretly enjoy reading historical romance novels

If I had had a perfect childhood I'd have grown up to elite figure skater (ok, some talent would help)

If it didn't sound so crazy I'd travel through Europe for a year.

My parents think artists are blessed

My God thinks artists are listening and seeing

What makes me feel weird about this recovery is that I'm not sure where it will lead me.

Learning to trust myself is necessary, but not always easy.

My most cheer-me-up music is the Rolling Stones "It's Only Rock N Roll", or just about anything from the Rolling Stones

My favorite way to dress is either dressed to the nines or slightly funky casual.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Week 2 - check in

I've been doing my morning pages except one day when I was on vacation. We were leaving early to go out on the boat. We had a lunch to pack etc. It was a little harder to do when I was away because I didn't have much alone time in the morning.

Last week, before I went away my morning pages were more of a list of the things I had to get done. When I was away, it was mostly what I saw and did. Now that I'm home again I seem to writing more about what I've read in the book.

One thing I found was that I'm a little more skeptical than I thought. As I was writing in my morning pages i wrote about a couple of things I wanted to change after the holidays. Then, out of the blue, I wrote, "unless otherwise led". A small voice inside prodded me to add that sentence. But then I was skeptical about that voice. I questioned it, I doubted it, but more importantly I wondered about it.

I got to thinking about Crazymakers. I don't have any in my family, but I'm not completely free of them either.

My Artist Date this week consisted of going to a botanical garden in Florida. (Actually, the boat trip was an Artist Date too. And the beach, etc., etc.) Anyway, going to the garden got me thinking about how I could turn a corner of my mid-Atlantic yard into a sub-tropical retreat. Maybe some potted palm trees (I didn't realize just how many there were!), maybe a potted lemon tree. Some big bold flowers. I'm not sure I can do it. I'm not even sure I want to do it, but it's a fun idea to explore. I may even work up some garden plans.

While doing Task 7, the life pie, I realized just how lopsided my life has been. My job takes up most of my time and offers the least amount of fulfillment. It is also my biggest Crazymaker. I get home and I'm often too tired to tend to the other areas of my life. I was also surprised to see where spirituality fell. Not much time has been spent there. That's one change I need to make. Take some time to fill the tank back up. I don't know if this task gets revisited in later chapers, but I found that it was very useful for me. I think I will do it periodically.

While reading everyone else's pages I found that many of them are re-organizing their sewing rooms. It's funny, I've been cleaning out drawers since I've gotten back from vacation. I'm trying to re-organize my space so it is a little more efficient. Hopefully I can also take some of that into the rest of my life so it too runs a little more efficiently.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Artist's Way check in - week 1

I've been doing my morning pages each day. Some days it's more like one big To Do list and other days it goes a little deeper than that. I think I'm beginning to truly understand "the purpose of the morning pages are to get to the other side. It seems to be freeing me up for the rest of the day, even if the day isn't filled with "creative pursuits".

It took some digging , but I was able to find three enemies of my creative self worth. My family has always been supportive of whatever I try so those monsters weren't so easy to find. But, find them, I did. And in finding them I was able to see how they shaped me in very subtle ways. As an adult I was able to understand what the child did not. That, in itself was an amazing experience. I felt lighter. Like some burden that I didn't even know I was carrying was lifted from me.

Since I am on vacation, the past couple of days have been an Artist Date. Collecting shells on the seashore, with the sun warming me, the ocean breeze cooling me off and the sound of the surf as the Atlantic Ocean crashes to the shore. I also went to a craft festival and Artist in the Park Day, where several painters and photographers had their artwork displayed.

I've been trying to fill the well. I'm reading a book, Stradivari's Genius and saw the movie Good Night...And Good Luck.

I have a couple of ideas I'm playing around with for quilts. This is the first step I've ever made into "making my own quilts". The ideas came to me a couple of days ago, after working with the morning pages and the tasks in chapter 1. They are just ideas, not even completely formed, but it's a start.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

20 Things You Should Know about me (ready or not!)

1. I was born in New Jersey in 1960. My father immigrated from Ireland. My mother's family has been in America since the 1600's.

2. I am married to a wonderful photographer. He's talented, intelligent and has a big heart. We do not have children, but we do have two dogs and two cats.

3. I love New York City. I equally love the fact that I don't live there.

4. Years ago I dated a guy that liked to ski. He talked me into trying it. I loved it. Not so thrilled with the guy so I kept the sport....Ditched the guy.

5. I love figure skating. As I child I watched as Peggy Fleming won her Olympic gold medal. I wanted to do that. I didn't have the opportunity until a few years ago. Now, as an adult I am taking skating lessons and skate 3 mornings a week before work.

6. In spite of #4 and #5 above, I am not athletic. I said I love to ski and I love to skate. I did not say I was good at either.

7. In the past I have done counted cross stitch, embroidery and needlepoint. Then a couple of years ago I started quilting. I haven't looked back since.

8. I love traditional quilt designs. I don't know that I'll ever be an "art quilter", as much as I admire those who are. I am studying this book so I don't get pigeon-holed into thinking there is only one way to do traditional.

9. I only hand quilt. Not because I'm a quilting snob, but because I didn't know much about sewing machines when I got mine. It handles most things beautifully, but doesn't handle free motion quilting.

10. I have also recently started to knit.

11. I love Chopin, Beethoven, The rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. I listen to and enjoy all kinds of music. I do not know how to play an instrument.

12. Someday I will learn to play the violin.

13. I work in the insurance industry. I am currently suffering from job burn out. I have not had a vacation in 2 years. 'nuff said!

14. I am going on vacation next week (the first in 2 years).

15. I enjoy traveling and seeing new sights, but don't get to do it as much as I would like.

16. I enjoy cooking, love eating and especially love chocolate.

17. I love to spend time with my family and friends. I have two best friends. One I've known since we were 5 years old. The other is a relative newcomer at only a dozen years or so.

18. One of the coolest things I've ever done was ride a bicycle from Raliegh, NC to Lawrenceville, NJ for charity. 500 plus miles in one week. It was to raise money for a home for runaway and abused children. It was hard. It was worth it.

19. I love gardens. Especially French, Italian and English Cottage gardens. I have not been so successful in my own gardening endeavors. Yet.

20. I believe, you can only fail if you give up. As long as you're still trying you haven't failed, you just haven't gotten it yet.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How this journey came about.

I'm taking on this study of the book with a group of quilters. I had never even heard of the book until I read the postings about it on the Quilter's Forum. That was several days after the original post. So I joined the group, set up my blog (Me? Blogging!) and a couple of days later bought the book. I immediately read the introduction and began my morning pages the next day. (I'm glad they're kept private!)
I'm looking forward to getting to know the group members...and myself..better.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

There's several of us from the quilter's forum @ that are going to study the book, The Artist's Way. I hope to get more in tune with my creative side. I want to stop saying "I wish I had thought of that".