24-pocket zipper pouch

Frustrated and Falling Behind

I know that sounds very negative and I’m trying hard to be positive, but my nerves are fraying a bit.  I’ve been waiting since before the new year to get into a new space for my sewing classes and so I can just sew.  My sewing/laundry/storage room at home is overwhelmed and I can’t actually sew in there.  When I absolutely have to, I bring my sewing machine and ironing board and other miscellaneous supplies upstairs and sew at the dining room table.  I know for a lot of people that is the only place they have, but for us, that is the only place we have to eat so everything has to be put away daily. It is okay for small projects here and there, but not for the volume my little hobby has built up to. Carting everything up and down daily to and from an already overflowing room is a real creativity and enthusiasm buster.  We’ve been waiting for the current tenants to move out and into their new storefront, but they keep extending their time where they are.  I don’t know their situation, but we keep hearing that they’ll be out by this day and then they aren’t. 

I was supposed to have started up with lessons again and I’m falling behind on a couple of projects because of the delays.  I also haven’t made anything to sell in the shop at ReChic Unique.  I miss my students!  I also have some new students who want to start, but I’ve had to tell them that lessons are on hold until I can get in and set up my new space.  I’ve had several people request custom items and I have accepted so now I’m feeling a bit desperate. 

Alas!  I have a plan, at least a temporary one.  It involves a couple days of work clearing out another small section of my already small basement to set up a temporary sewing station.  It is not an ideal plan by any means because I will be invading my dog’s space so I will be in a constant battle with dog hair.  It will be okay for small projects, but definitely not for big ones, which is what I’m falling behind on. Sigh…..  For now, I will just have to set my mind to repeat the mantra, “I can do this. It’s only temporary.”, and keep lugging stuff up and down for the big projects.  I’ll still have to vacuum up dog hair constantly because the only place I have to lay out my projects right now is on the floor.  So, you see, I really haven’t solved anything.

Please! Please! Please! move out so I can return to my regularly scheduled programming! 

The positive side of all of this is I have a lot of orders and am getting more students all the time which has allowed me to be able to rent a space just for my sewing.  Not bad for a hobby!  Smile  I’m off to clear a table or a corner or something so I can sew.

Have a great day everyone!

Julie

Time for my First 5K

 

Wow, who knew I was sooo out of shape!  I’ve always been a walker, not a runner.  I’m a very fast sprinter, but I’ve never been a good distance runner….ever. I’ve wanted to do a 5K for years, but I always planned on walking it.  Why, then, do I suddenly feel the need to RUN one? I can walk 3 or more miles quickly with no problem, I do it on a regular basis, I just have never entered a 5K race. I found a training program for “your first 5K” from Fitness magazine and decided to try it.  I mean it says it can take me from the couch to running a 5K race in just 6 weeks.  So I told myself, “I can do this!” I decided that I would probably need to go through the whole schedule about 3 times before I could actually, comfortably, run a 5K.

I started this morning with Day 1 Week 1: Walk briskly for 1 mile, then run for 2 minutes every half mile until you get to 3.5 miles. Walk 1/2 mile.  I had a dentist appointment at 7 this morning. (I wanted to get it out of the way.) Right after that I went to the local park that has a 1/2 mile walking path.  I was ready.  I was bundled up in layers with a hat and mittens because it was only 260 F this morning and I am not a cold person.  I’m a beach person.  I had my ipod for music and because it has a stopwatch.  I started out on the path at a brisk pace.  The back half of the path, I  was walking into the wind and it was quite cold, but by the time I had walked 1 1/2 miles my hands and feet were all warmed up and my face was numb.  I misread the program before I left so I walked an extra 1/2 mile before I started the 2 minute runs.  In the end, that was probably a good thing.  I started the stopwatch and took off at a good jog.  It felt really good….for about 35 seconds.  By 52 seconds I was really pushing myself.  At 1 minute 12 seconds I had to go back to walking….and wheezing.  I finished that 1/2 mile, for a total of 2 miles, at a somewhat brisk walk and got back into my car still wheezing and headed home.

I’m not giving up, but I am going to modify my training schedule.  I’m going to repeat the first running day on every running day until I can actually do it.  I have a feeling that my 6 week program is going to take just a wee bit longer.  That’s ok.  I have time.

Speaking of time, I’ve made my calendar/schedule for January and February.  I find that doing this helps me to stay focused and I actually end up feeling like I have a lot more time for doing what I have to do and what I want to do.  January and February are pretty full with projects, but March looks like it will really open up for me.  So much happened this past year and I have so many great things that keep coming up that I shouldn’t have any shortage of things to write about, projects at home and the shop and quilt club too!  Today I’m off to create some pattern pieces for a wedding dress that I’m making.  I’ll let you know how I do on Wednesday.

Have a great day!

Julie

Warm Weather and Christmas Decorating

 

The weather here in northern Indiana has been crazy!  Crazy good I should say.  It is the middle of November, we haven’t had a flake of snow, and the daytime temps are in the 50s and 60s.  It’s crazy!  I am NOT complaining by the way.  It’s been gorgeous.  Nice enough to keep me outside doing little things.  I am not a Christmas before Thanksgiving person…at all.  By the way, apparently, in some stores, Christmas comes before Halloween now also.  That is a huge pet peeve of mine and I could rant for pages, but I’ll spare you for another day.  Anyway, the weather was so beautiful yesterday that I started putting up some outdoor Christmas decorations.  My family looked at me like I was an alien, but they really didn’t say a whole lot because it’s been a few years since I’ve felt Christmassy, and that’s saying something because Christmas is my favorite holiday.  I hate the cold so my husband always puts up the outside decorations, but I like how I do it….when I do it.  I got out the icicle lights and plugged them in to test them before I hung them.  Good thing.  Not one complete strand worked and the ones that did kept blinking on and off. Into the garbage they went.  I don’t want to spend any money on decorations this year so I said to myself, “Self, we are going to decorate without lights this year.  What do I need to do to make that work?”  I have come up with a plan to decorate on a budget of $0.  I am only going to use what I already have.  I’m a bit of a pack rat, so I have a lot of things in my stash that I can make into beautiful decorations with a little bit of effort on my part.  I’m just going to do it little by little and see what I can come up with.  Yesterday, I hung up all of my outdoor garland around my deck and up the handrails and added some of those red bows on corners and the tops of the swag sections.  I have a roll of white ribbon with red ornaments on it that I’m going to make bows out of and add those to brighten it up a bit.  Of course, I have to learn how to make bows first.  That is one thing that I have never been able to figure out.  I have a friend….it’ll all work out.  That might be a good idea for a series of posts.  (lightbulb moment!)  Christmas Decorations on a $0 Budget.  We’ll see how it works out.  Smile

Have a great day!

Julie

I’m Trying Something New–A Book Review

 

So, I’ve been reading a lot….of c*%p.  I love to read actual paper books, but I have a Kindle and I have just been getting the free books that are available through Bookbub.  I love romance and romantic suspense, but I have found that most of the books in that category that are free are also mind numbingly bad, or so filled with smut that I actually get uncomfortable reading them. Many of them I am too embarrassed to even admit to reading them and to be honest, a lot of them I didn’t even finish.  I don’t need all the sex, I just want a good love story.  I’m linked to Goodreads, but I haven’t acknowledged that I’m reading anything for a while because what I have been reading is mostly an insult to my education.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of favorite authors in the romance category who are very good.  I’m sure every category has its good and not so good authors.  To the not so good ones, I say keep trying if you really love writing.  I have tried to write stories and have never finished one, so I’m not judging…much.  I’m just saying, strive for quality.  The other day I was reading and was so incredibly bored that I actually groaned out loud.  I called foul and decided that I had had enough.  I logged in to Bookbub and changed my categories and spent a couple hours, yes you read that right, browsing new categories.  I actually loaded about 200 new books from many different genres onto my Kindle, from children’s to sci-fi to non-fiction.  While I was doing that, I got the idea to write reviews on my blog for the new books I’ll be reading.  If I am going to read that much, I might as well do something with it.  I have never liked book reports, book reviews, summaries, or any sort of critical writing for that matter, so it will be a challenge for me to write these.  I’ve also decided that I won’t start another book until I have written the review for whichever one I just finished.

On that note, I’m kind of upset that the first book I read was really good.  I hope I can do it justice.  The book is titled From The Wreckage by Michele G. Miller.  The category is Teen/Young Adult.

From The Wreckage is the story of a group of high school friends from Tyler, Texas who are caught in a tornado after the first football game of their senior year.  It is told from the point of view of one girl who is making a video for a school project.  The video is her story of what she experienced that night and the emotions and repercussions of getting through the trauma and moving beyond the pain and sadness.  The author deftly maneuvered the teens through the emotions of their individual trials and showed how connected we all really are.  She gently exposes the secret lives of teens, touches on young love, and keeps you waiting for something, yet not really sure what, using subtle hints and foreshadowing.  I found the story to be completely realistic, and extremely well written.  The subject matter and language are appropriate for teens.  As soon as I finished reading it, I recommended it to my 16 year old daughter.  The storyline and editing are excellent!  I hate nothing more than reading a book and editing as I go.  I didn’t find one problem with this book, not even a misspelled word.  Thank you Michelle G. Miller for writing such a wonderful story and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.  I’ll even pay for them.  Winking smile

Hemming and Mending and Zippers, Oh My!

 

Some how I have found myself doing a whole lot of the kind of sewing that I really don’t like.  (See title)  Yes, a lot of it is for my family and for myself, but some is also for people who have contacted me because of  a recommendation.  I have a hard time saying no to people, but I am learning.  Right now, I’m replacing a zipper in a winter coat for a lady because a friend recommended me.  I hate zippers.  I don’t find them particularly difficult, just tedious and time-consuming.  I still have a zipper to put in for my mother-in-law that I’ve had to do since last fall.  Now, because I’m doing one for someone else, I really feel bad for not getting it done yet.  It will be done this week, though…..or maybe next….sigh.  I have since told people that I prefer not to do repairs or alterations.  If you want a new from scratch anything, I’ll be happy to make it for you though! I took in the legs on two pairs of jeans for myself this week and they are working out great and I repaired a pocket on another pair this morning.  It’s like getting new clothes!  I have 5 more pairs of pants waiting to be hemmed laying over the back of my couch right now.   It’s like they’re staring me down, saying, “You know you’ll never get to us.”  and they have every right because I haven’t seen them since I bought them about 2 years ago, maybe more.  If only I had long, model legs instead of legs that fit my 5’ 1” height.  I might never have to hem at all.  I’m kind of determined to get them done though.  That’s why they are on my couch where everyone can see them instead of in my basement. 

I also finished a blanket that I got, made, bought the fleece for and never put together, for my daughter.  She tied the corners of the two pieces of fleece together and has been using it that way for, let’s just say, quite a while now.  I stole it from her room and washed it a couple weeks ago and it also has been laying over, on, and around the general area of my couch since then.  She was pretty happy when she saw it laying outside her door this morning.

I would much rather be working on the t-shirt quilt and wedding dress that I’m supposed to be making for some customers.  I also need to replenish my supply of baby blankets and burp cloths at ReChic Unique.   I’ve been trying to set aside time just for those things, but that leads me back to the title of this post.  I have already told some people “no” and I am getting back to the kind of sewing that I really love. A lot of people have shown interest in sewing classes and lessons, but only a few have come for them.  Those who do come, usually come back for more, but there have been a lot of cancellations and rescheduling so, essentially, the classes have been inconsistent. I also want to take some classes to advance my own skills, but one thing at a time. 

I am going for it, and living and learning!  Have a great day everyone!

The Real Crazywonderfullife!

 

Whew!  Now I remember why I named my blog Crazywonderfullife to begin with!  The last few months have been crazy and wonderful.  My daughter, who is a junior in high school, was on the high school soccer team.  The regular season was kind of average, but they kicked some butt at the end and made it all the way to the regional finals.  Unfortunately, they lost that game, but they put up a great fight against a nearly undefeated state-ranked team.  The final score was 1-0 in overtime.  We’re all very proud of the girls for really coming together as a team and playing their hearts out.  I’ve been going to 2-3 games per week, some of them an hour or more away from home, plus picking her up from practices because she doesn’t have a driver’s license.  It was a great time, but I’m glad it’s done until next year. 

I’ve also been going gangbusters at ReChic Unique.  I’ve sold a lot of items and have picked up several new students for sewing lessons.  I’ve been so busy that I’ve run low on the baby blankets and burp cloths that I make and I haven’t had time to replenish my stock.  I may also be expanding a little.  More news on that later when I have a definite ‘ok’.  The shop itself is adding a coffee café. It’s going to be called Somethin’s Brewin and they’ll be offering a variety of coffees, plus homemade baked goods, soups, and sandwiches. The plan is to be open sometime around Thanksgiving.  We’re so excited!  Can’t wait! 

Add everyday, real life and all that entails into to the mix and it has truly been a crazy wonderful few months!  I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the shop.

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Sunshine in my Brain!

Good morning!  I’ve had a great couple of days.  I’ve been staying busy and being happy.  Most of the summer was difficult for me, but on Saturday I visited the shop to drop off some photos that my daughter took for them.  They turned out amazing just like I knew they would. While I was there, I talked to Kris and Jen, just about stuff that is going on, current projects, and life in general, no biggie.  By the time I got home, it was like a switch had been flipped in my brain and I was happy and motivated again.  It’s a weird feeling when you’ve been struggling to get to that point for so long and then it’s, suddenly, just there.  Not complaining!  So, first, I want to thank Kris and Jen for flipping my switch.  You girls rock!  ReChic Unique, it’s so much more than just a store!  It’s weird because that’s not something that I would normally do on a Saturday, but I just felt a pull.  It pays to listen to your instincts.

So, what have I been doing with my better mood?  Well, on Sunday I was the reader at church.  Truthfully, I sounded just a little too perky making the announcement to turn off your cell phones, please.   Then I got recruited to be a Eucharistic minister.  Mind you, it’s not difficult, it’s just that I’m not registered as one with the diocese.  The evening before we had a birthday party after the evening mass for the bishop so very few people showed up for the Sunday masses.  There were only two EMs there and we need three.  The one  kept signaling for me to come up and do it and I kept shaking my head and looking around for someone else.  Finally, I sighed and gave in.  Giving out communion was the easy part, but I didn’t know what to do afterward until one of the altar servers told me it was ok to go back to my seat.  After mass, the EM who called me up asked if I was a Eucharistic minister.  I replied that no, I was not, and he said, “Well, you are now.” and we all laughed about it.  It felt good, even though, I was very nervous, so now I’ll talk to Father about it when he gets back from Israel.

On Monday, I got a new walking partner and read a book.  My neighbor has started walking with me in the mornings.  It’s nice to talk to her again.  We used to walk together a few years ago, but you know how life is, it goes in cycles.  Glad to be walking with you again, Vick!  When I got back, I sat down with a cup of tea and started a new book.  Most of the books I’ve been reading lately haven’t completely held my attention, but I didn’t put this one down, except for potty breaks, until I was finished with it. I didn’t even check my email or Facebook or play Monster Busters.  Don’t judge, it’s a fun game.  It was kind of funny because I read the last page, my Kindle died, and the Mister got home from work almost simultaneously.  Usually, after I spend a day reading, I feel bad because I didn’t get anything done, but not Monday.  It was a well-written romance that completely held my attention and I didn’t feel the least bit guilty for spending the whole day reading it.  After that, I made dinner which you will probably read about tomorrow when I post the marinade recipe for the chicken. 

Tuesday, I sewed at the shop most of the day and got quite a bit done.  Finally!  Then the Mister and I went to watch our daughter play a soccer game.  They won!  It’s not surprising that they won, they have a very good team, but it’s always exciting.

Today, it looks like lawn mowing in the a.m., like now,  and more sewing at the shop for the rest of the day. 

Hope you have a great day!

Julie