Sunday, January 5, 2014

Time will Tell: 2013 Round Up & 2014 Look Ahead

5-4-3-2-1-Poof! Pop the bubbly, sprinkle the confetti, and sound the noisemakers.... It's 2014!  My perception of time seems to speed up a bit more as every year passes by.  The last quarter of the year always feels like a flash in the pan.  October, November, and December are here today and gone tomorrow!  I'm busy tying up loose ends on projects, furiously making & sending my Christmas cards, burning the midnight oil at the sewing machine pumping out handmade gifts, and packing/unpacking as I board planes, trains, and automobiles to visit loved ones around this time of year!  With all this excitement and chaos, I always neglect my blog.  So, here's a wrap-up on how I ended 2013 and how I plan to live out 2014.

Let's start with Halloween 2013.  I didn't have any plans to make a costume this year...just didn't have any reason, which is highly uncharacteristic behavior for me.  I'm a costume queen.  If I'd have my way, I'd carry out every day of my life on earth flaunting around in ornate, ridiculous, and hilarious costumes.  So, with just 2 days before 10-31, I whipped up this little number below inspired by Dia De Muertos/ Sugar Skulls.

I bought a black t-shirt dress from American Apparel and hand painted a neon pink skeleton on it. For the sugar skull mask, I found a blank gesso'd mask from  A&C art supplies and painted it with a psychedelic butterfly design.  Finishing touches were hot-glued rhinestones, pink glitter, and poofy faux peonies in my hair...and ta-da!

Not long after Halloween came and went, a quilt that I'd been making for my bestie, Mere, came back from the quilter.  Meredith, who moved to The Netherlands years ago to marry her Dutch soulmate, just bought a house this past summer.  This was my cue to make her a masterpiece to decorate her new abode, cherish, and of course, serve as a memory of our friendship.  I began making the quilt in September, buying fabric from the wholesale company that I work for, Clothworks.  I decided on a bright color palette, anchored by dark charcoal grey, and started sketching simple modern designs on graph paper.  After sketching a design and making the calculations for the blocks, I started piecing.  As I began piecing, I didn't like the design direction in which the quilt was headed.  Too simple.  It reminded me of two giant I played a little bit with the current design, cutting up the graph paper sketch and re-positioning it to create something completely different and was able to save the work I had started with the piecing.  I was really pleased with the quilt top once I completed it!!
Once the quilt top and bottom were pieced, I passed it off to a fantastic long-arm quilter, Leslie of Eat,Sleep,Quilt, and waited for a few weeks.  Boy was I surprised when Leslie returned with my quilt!  The detail and design that she put into the quilting was way beyond my expectations!!  I fell in love with my creation even more...I really didn't want to give it away.  But then I wouldn't have something amazing to give to Mere.  So I finished binding the edges, added an applique of a flying pig patch (my tag, an inside joke between Mere and me), and snapped a few pics of it before it was shipped off to Mere.  Three weeks later, and on Christmas Eve to boot, Mere received my package in the mail and I'm happy to report that I surprised the socks off of her!  Yay!

And then before I knew it, I was on a plane headed back home to Cincy-OH for Thanksgiving!  Nice to spend time with family, friends, and see how much the city has changed since I've last visited.  I've gotta say, I'm impressed with those changes.  Below were some highlights of my Cincy romp-  from left to right:  Northside (a very cool Cincy hood), Queen City Cookies (adorable indie cookie/cake shop), and the beautiful old facades of Covington, KY (charming little borough across the Ohio River from Cincy).

Thanksgiving fell so late on the calendar in 2013....once I returned back to Seattle, I hit the ground running with the holiday preparations.  Tacky decorations, glitter, tinsel, beads, and colored lights helped get me in the mood.  I even sketched and made my own Christmas cards this year!

And then I got to work on a project for my Mom.  She requested a neoprene bag to fit her iPad mini, much like the ones that are made by BuiltNY for iPads.  Since BuiltNY doesn't have an iPad mini sized bag (they have a sleeve), it was my sewing skills that came to the rescue to stitch up this creation for my mom- with zipper closure and inner pockets, too!

And then Christmas was here, family flew in, and we headed out to Hood River, Oregon for a few days to get away, relax, cook, and eat.  Doesn't the Columbia River inspire you in this panoramic pic I snapped below?

Back from Oregon, we did some sightseeing around Seattle- a trip on the Great Wheel to gain a birds eye vantage of Seattle, and then a little side trip up to Kerry Park in Queen Anne to witness a rapid fog rolling in at sunset!

As I reflect on 2013, it was a year of many achievements and great moments of creativity.  Looking ahead for 2014, I want to instill the following into my daily living:  Wellness, Activity, and Creativity.  I call it 'Livin' WAC'.  Each day, I'm making it my goal to do the following:
1)  Live well-  which means eating healthfully and moderately and treating myself well.
2)  Live actively-  which means making it a point to be active- whether it's a short 20 minute jog or a long 1.5 hour walk, or even dancing around my apartment- just getting the body moving!
3)  Live creatively-  which means to create at least once during the day- sketching, sewing, cooking, whatever it might be- it's a way for me to be held accountable in continuing my creative pursuits.

So far, so good!  I've sketched and made a few greeting cards in the first few days of 2014:

And harkened in the new year with a yummy pot of Cuban Black Beans and Rice in my newest kitchen accessory- a cast iron dutch oven!

As 2014 continues, I plan to get back in the groove , continue to document my creative pursuits, and live a positively prosperous year!  Peace, ya'll.....


  1. wonderful post, loveliness all around you.....& a peaceful 2014 to you too!!

    1. Thank you, Cheryl!! Happy New Year and wishing you all the best 'Sew-Rama' in 2014!