Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Diva Strikes Again!

I came home to discover another book package from my friend, The Diva.  She's on a mission to get me to read different genres this year.  And with that mission in mind, she sent me Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.  She's right, I would never buy this book.  But now that I have it, I must read it because somehow there's an unspoken acceptance of her challenge.

Now, I've heard of the book before.  The fact that everyone is raving about it didn't stir me.  Even though it's on the New York Times best seller list, it still didn't move me read it.  Of course, once I received the book I had to call The Diva, tell her how naughty she had been by sending me another surprise book.  The next thing I did was call one of my girlfriends who works with me and tell her about the book.

In an unprecedented turn of events I've been given a mission, which I have accepted.  My mission is to read the book to the girls at the office during our lunch hour.  I will do my best when reading it aloud so that the girls may absorb all that the book has to offer.

Well, it's been told that in order to be a writer and write well, a writer should read - a lot.  I don't know the first thing about writing romance and I know even less about writing erotic romance.  So Fifty Shades of Grey has now become research.  I might learn a thing or two...about writing, of course.  

One last thing before I go,

Diva, the ladies thank you.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Gifts From A Friend

On Friday, I stayed home from work.  I've been feeling fatigued and with the bug that’s going around, I thought it would be best if I rested.  And so I did and didn't get out of bed ‘till lunch time.

It felt great to lounge around in my pajamas sipping coffee and relaxing.  That was nice - wish I could do that every day. 

By 2:30 I decided to check if there was any mail.  When I opened my front door, there was a flat, rectangular brown paper package that was shoved into the gate.  The address label told me right away from who it was and a smile lit up my face. 
After I slid the package out, I saw a small box on the steps.  The box was also from the same person.  I got more excited! 

I opened up the flat package first and it was this Woodland Faeries calendar.  I love faeries!

Next, I opened the box and inside was a book.

It made me so happy to receive these gifts.  Now, normally I don't like surprises but this surprise was very nice.

It’s a beautiful thing to be blessed with friends who are wonderful people.  I'm surrounded by people who are uplifting, positive, supportive, and won’t hesitate to give me a verbal scolding if I need one.  I love them very much.

Today, I’m especially referring to my friend, The Diva.  I assigned this moniker to her because I see her as strong, feminine, intelligent, charming, gentle, compassionate, loving, and fierce when she needs to be.  

She has been very supportive of my writing.  I like Fantasy.  I read Fantasy, I write Fantasy, I daydream Fantasy.  I'm not much into Romance unless there's a vampire, wolf or some other kind of otherworldly character involved.

The Diva has suggested a couple of times that I try reading a different genre.  I usually make some non-committal comment.  Well, this time she wanted to ensure I gave a new genre a try and included this note inside the box that the book came in.

I had a chuckle when I read this.  She got me this time.  I started reading the book.  

The Diva always has some eloquent tidbit to impart on numerous subjects that she may be contemplating.  So, I sort of persuaded her to start a blog.  And she did.

But somehow, she was discouraged from writing.  Sometimes I wonder if she believes that in order to blog she must be a great literary writer.  I’m trying to make her understand that blogging can be an outlet of expression for all of those thoughts, opinions and ideas that circulate within her mind.  I've checked a few times to see if she’s added new material on Sterling Street, but she hasn't.   Maybe she’s reluctant of sharing her inner thoughts in a public way.  It can be a bit scary.  I understand that, it's not easy for me either. 

Maybe blogging isn't for everyone, but I sure hope she changes her mind.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Some Projects I Worked On

Since I didn’t blog in November and December, I kept busy with a couple of projects.  The first was a simple curtain that I made to divide the living room from the dining room.  The second was a table runner, place mats and a runner with tassels for the radiator cover in the dining room.

I took this picture with my cell phone, so the picture is quite dark.  The fabric is a burgundy taffeta.  It was an impulse buy.  The taffeta was on sale for $4.99 a yard (it usually sells for $9.99 a yard) and the trim was $1.99 a yard. The trim is ivory and burgundy and although you can't tell in this picture, it complemented the fabric well.

I had a bit of trim left over and decided to make tiebacks with it.  I improvised with a bit of gold craft wire (which I already had) to make the hoops that would hook unto the wall bracket.  I used picture hanging brackets (extra ones I had laying around), which were small  but were very effective in holding the tiebacks in place. 

 In the end I was happy with the results.  Overall, I spent about $40 to make this.  I felt it was a bargain - a frugal way to decorate.  You see the fabric was about 60" wide.   Although that isn't unusual, often fabrics will come in widths of 36" or 45".   The 60" wide taffeta allowed me to cover more of the entryway without having to purchase additional yardage.  I made two panels to cover the same space that would normally require four panels.  So I saved money.  And even if I hadn't, making it made me happy and THAT is pricelesss!

After this, the endorphins were flowing and I immediately set to work on the next project.  When I was at the fabric store, I found this beautiful autumny bolt of fabric.  It was on sale for $1.99 a yard.  How could I leave the store without it?  I was high on the euphoria of my previous success!

The design has metallic thread and I love it so much.  It's upholstery fabric but I decided to make a table runner and placemats instead.  

The runner is squared off so it doesn't have those cute points at the end, but I did make it long enough to drape over the side of the table.  Aren't those little pumpkins adorable?



Did I mention that it's reversible.  Same design on both sides.  I loved it so much I wanted to see it twice!

My table is oval and sits six people.  Here it's set up with the runner and placemats and some candelabra.

The curtains in the dining room are white.  The radiator cover in the dining room is white.  I felt there was too much white and since I had some fabric left, I set out to make a runner for the radiator cover.  I'm telling you it was like an obsession because this time I wanted tassels.  So off to the fabric store I went in search of tassels.  I know, I'm insane.

There.  A touch of color broke up all that white.  I felt much better.  I was in the midst of decorating for Christmas, so I only had Mr. and Mrs. Snowman.  Love them! I've had them for years.

I've never made a runner or a placemat before but thanks to YouTube I can find videos for just about anything I want to make.  And just between you and me, I made tons of mistakes.  Luckily,  the pictures don't show them.  It looks almost as if I knew what I was doing. My motto is "Make It Work" and I did!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year's Resolution for 2013

The first week of the New Year has come and gone.  It’s time for the yearly tradition of making resolutions.  I don’t know about you, but I had several things I wanted to improve on last year.  Sadly, I didn’t manage to accomplish what I had set out to do.   Many people experience this and give up or they stop believing that having a New Year’s resolution is even something they should do.  Perhaps it’s subjective but I’m not ready to give up yet.

I think part of the reason I wasn’t successful with last year’s resolutions is that I had several things that I wanted to work on at once.  It was too much.  Life is always throwing curve balls and while we’re trying to avoid those we may inadvertently step into one of life’s potholes.  Curve balls vary – some hit harder than others.  Potholes vary too – some are deeper and wider than others.  I find potholes to be worse than curve balls because they’re harder to recover from.   Curve balls may hurt but you can brush it off and keep going. Potholes on the other hand, can bring all sorts of problems: sadness, despair, depression, etc.  Last year I had a spicy blend of curve balls and potholes.  I just finished climbing out of the latter.  
This year, I’ll concentrate on the most important things first, and if I’m able to accomplish those then I’ll see what else I can work on.  The most important thing to me this year is my health, so that will be my priority. But I don’t want to just concentrate on a health regimen, I want to pamper myself too – give myself the opportunity to feel pretty. 
As a mom, I’ve put myself and my life on hold to care for my family.  I don’t remember when was the last time I pampered myself – gone to a salon, had my nails done.  Well, that neglect is now over.  2013 is for taking care of me.  This is my New Year’s resolution.  If you’ve been afflicted by the “mom” syndrome, I hope that you add pampering yourself to your New Year’s resolution.  May you have a wonderful year!