That’ll Be Easy. (A Crafter’s Saga.)

I love Thanksgiving.

It’s fall and comfort food. It’s a chance to be more consciously thankful, and people seem to be happier in general. Yes, there’s a connection there – between those two things.

The pride of my yearly crafting is my Thanksgiving card design. I spend the whole year thinking and looking at art trends. I toggle between simple and elegant and more complicated mini master-arts. I only call them that because each of the 25-30 cards I make each year is similar in style, but 100% an original like no other.

Sometimes my choice of action comes down to time and how much I have or don’t. Depending on how early or late I decisively decided to commit to a card and how complicated my choice is.

Breaking a card down into pieces helps determine the order of preparation and assembly. Early on I learned that gluing all the pieces together for each card individually takes way more time than an assembly line approach.

This year’s card was no exception. I decided to multi-media for a more impressive pallet.

Then, I played around with supplies on hand, measuring if there was enough of everything to create a full 30 or if some number would end up with slight back-ground, frame or brad variations. I miraculously came close to using one specific set of stock. I rationally suspected I may have a few shortages, but the likelihood of someone in one state sharing their card with someone they don’t know in another state assured me that was going to be ok.

I always over-cut, over-stamp, over-fold, in case of slips, skews, and off-pattern veering. And in case I forgot any new recipients I might have acquired over the past year.

Assembly would be straight forward once I established my steps and prepped my foundations.

  1. Determine the length and width of the fabric first layer, cut 34.
  2. Determine the length and width of the second paper frame layer, cut 34
  3. Determine the length and width of the inked third layer, create 34
  4. Fold and background ink 34 cardstock cards, assuring 34 size-match envelopes are available.
  5. Gather 68 brads knowing some will be of similar shape and size, but likely different colors.
  6. Punch 260 leaves, projecting 8 per card.

Pleased with my planning, I pronounced what all experienced, yet still unwise crafters (incredulously) proclaim at the beginning of any project.

“Great! That’ll be easy.”

Quote for the Week:

A Colder October

I don’t remember a colder October.

Nature’s real lessons – love and loss and longing – echoing yearly. Simple trees and simple leaves. Temporary slumbers; predictable, patterned, withdraw with a promise of likelihood. Coming back, coming back stronger, maybe reaching a little higher.

Occasionally, that’s not the case. Of course, majestics don’t worry about that. Perhaps affording optimism in squirrels and birds and other creatures. Although seeing fit to plan, return rote expecting rejuvenation. Coming from another season’s slumber, they lumber; sometimes dumbfounded when the memory is bare or barely there.

Much like those times you thought you were growing straight, turned twisted in time, searching for the sun. Vital pieces fall away, hacked, splintered, struck by lightning. How it happens; endless possibilities, all still no less of a shock.  

So, I welcome the colors, and I welcome the lack. It’s part of the process.

Lightly suffering through another falling season. It only seems ok because I’ve been here before. Somehow now it’s easier to see. There are no perfect trees.

I don’t remember a colder October, or colors that faded so fast.

Quote for the Week:

2018 10 16 there are no perfect trees a colder october jakorte

 

Keto-Train (-ing)

First Step: on-boarding due diligence: review counsel reading list. 

I checked out Amazon for Kindle for availabilities and costs. Post-perusal, I contemplatively pursed my lips and rerouted my research to the www.

The first pop-ups included ads and what seemed to be sensationalistic attention grabbers. There’s a real search engine war out there in internet space. The good-for-you camp is as well attended as the ridership on the bad-for-you bandwagon. Eventually, I refined my search to “ketogenic recipes,” and happily hit a deep vein.

These super friendly, language casual, photo enticing and aiming to-grow-readership sites simply and thoroughly listed exactly what could be eaten with very little variation. That’s because the almost verbatim lists of can-do are infinitesimally smaller than the don’t-do. 

Despite the fact that these groups were a bit kinder, the echo of my first reaction returned loud and clear. “What? No. ” I moved on to the next logical level.

Second Step: Ignore a day or two or four, then revisit, and try to imagine physical behavioral compliance….

Despite studies and testimonials, I still dragged a dejected soul. From regular work lunchroom brown bagging to full-on celebrations, so much of life is about socializing with food. Going along for the fun and having an iced-tea would make me feel less left out. But, could I truly resist the ordering influenced by delicious aromas? Plus, not eating during these excursions would mean money could be reallocated from ‘dining out’ to ‘groceries.’

Yes, my budget is that specific. If you’ve been with me for a while, you know this. If you haven’t been with me for a while, well, now you know. I have yet to cover this topic in Knabble, although I have in previous forums. I think a side-track from this side-track may be in order, soon.

Quote for the Week:2017 11 28 just because something is good for you doesn_t jakorte

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Lifestyle: Motivation

Lifestyle: Explaining Ketogenics

Lifestyle:  = Diet + Nutrition

 

 

Confettiism

There are times you just cannot influence change.

I’ve been considering whether or not it’s time to remove the contingent cardboard kitty litter box enclosure. The plan was to employ just until the kitten that was H. Blu grew up a little and calmed down. I was counting this move as the opportune time.

I no longer believe that’s likely, though. He’s three. I obviously need to accept this quirk as a permanent part of his being. Blu’s a flinger.

No amount of loud hand clapping, shooing or physical removal has stopped him, yet. As soon as he’s unstartled, or lifted and placed down, he’s back at it: launching litter into the air like confetti, celebrating his every success. Every success. I’m not sure if it’s the deposit or the burial, but either way he’s off loading and damn happy about it.

Confetti. We could all use some.

Metaphorically.

Detail to the super-conscious environmentalists – I’m not suggesting we pollute the world.

Just as sharing how a hot-cocoa’ed peep looks without its sugar-skin doesn’t support animal abuse.

Stop harassing me for having a sense of humor. Stop paying attention to my drivel if it drives you bonkers.

 

Andy Warhol advised, “You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”

 

Start paying more attention to the amazing things in your own life.

Throw a little mental confetti.

When you tie your shoes. When you wash your lunch bucket.

When you solve a problem.

When you see someone you love.

Better yet, when you see someone you don’t. That’ll make ’em wonder.

Envision sparkly, multicolored, floaties celebrating every success.

Envision viciously leering, flotsam knick-knacks pelting your nemesistic issues.

Dare you, and dare you again.

Try not to smile too widely when thrill overrides containment.

 

Pardon me, now.

Acceptance commands: the time has come.

Commence construction of the next litter-catching cardboard castle!

Moats are pretty amazing.

#imakemyselflaugh

Quote for the Week:

Every Day should be a confetti day Feb 3 2015

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Awesome Things: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/25-awesome-things-we-take-for-granted-most-days/

One Month Challenge: http://zenhabits.net/the-mindfulness-guide-for-the-super-busy-how-to-live-life-to-the-fullest/

The Mindful Difference: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/30/habits-mindful-people_n_5186510.html

Catch Up

Truth is, I no longer have the energy to go back and recount details. It’s actually unfathomable to me that this adventure is still a work-in-progress.

I just wanted to hire someone who would do what they said, when they said they would do it, finish when promised, and for the amount agreed upon. So far, only one has come through – ProTect Painters. They’re awesome; I’d recommend them. There’s still potential for others, but I find I’m adjusting my shoulders a lot, signaling defeatism. Shrugging up and down is hard on the neck  muscles. As is toting purchases to and from Lowe’s, Home Depot, World Market, Sherwin Williams and The Tile Shop. In and out of carts, car trunks, up flights of stairs and ramps, down flights of stairs and ramps with the only upside of having downsized.  At this point, I’m willing to magnify every tiny plus, and this exercise in returns has helped lower me down few pounds.

The unhappy prospect of reliving the past two month, coupled with face-to-face requests announcing others simply don’t want to hear any more about my trials, and the suggestion I stop talking about it. The first was just selfish forthcoming of a regularly single-minded person. The second may have had a bit of validity. The internet’s been abuzz with reasons, data and charts exclaiming, vent as an anger dilution-solvent does not dissipate the strength of bad feeling; rather it perpetuates them.

Temporarily subscribing to this theory, rather than torture myself or you, I’ve decided a pictorial  might be the best way to track the ups and down, the good, the bad, and the unfortunately permanently ugly. I say “permanently” mostly for the drama effect. Of course I can correct these things, as soon as I win the lottery, or perhaps get an amazing tax return for having established ownership.

So here goes: Part One – a bit of a re-cap, just to remind myself that things were actually worse. Closed October 29th. Interviewed contractors November 5th. Projected move-in date: December 17th.

First Up: Bathroom Demo.

Buying into self-demolition wasn’t hard. The estimated savings was a $3,000.00 chunk of labor, and the excitement of an easy DIY. After a while, (about two weekends) of painfully slow progress, I determined I was being a little too careful  with my destruction, and I wasn’t all the comfortable working with plumbing. A few You-tube sessions later, I called in reinforcement. Two days, and a good deal of laughter later, the bath was as bare bones as possible, except for the tub. The original cause of concern was what may or may not lie beneath the old chipped steel behemoth. I figured the contractor was going to have it easy: take out the tub, inspect the floor, install a shower. Boom, done. This would be preceded by flooring, followed by flooring, followed by painting, followed by fixture replacing, and moving.

Progress Pictorial:

starting point                                     concern

20141105_090119 beginning 20141115_181402 tile concerns 2

tile # 1                                                   a few more

20141115_181745 20141115_183512

 um, that’s my putty knife                     what’s left of putty knife

20141119_124240 20141119_123738 (2)

um, there goes my mallet                  shower shark

20141119_125109 (2)  20141128_122959 shower shark

piles of tiles                                                         down to studs

20141123_151946tubday3 20141128_173242 to the studs

sink                                                      less sink

20141128_173341 sink start 20141129_135417 minus toilet

no sink                                               5 layers of floor

20141129_135724 sink out 20141129_141332

less layers                                           un-finished floor

20141129_152316 5 layer floor 20141129_172227 Down to the end

what was found                                     new shower

20141130_164404 under tile 20141202_164750 shower in 1

                                                                       plumber: all done and tested!

 wait, what’s with the bump-out?                 me: really? how’d ya do that w/o hardware?

20141217_085556 shower in wall bump  20141204_090609 shower in tested

what bath floor was supposed to look like      left side =  hall / right = supposed bath match

 20141119_112615 floor # 1 20141231_104627 no match

ordered new floor of solid-ish grey…   delivered with a “slight dye-lot issue.”

 20150107_132712 floor # 2 20150121_130949 more floor

sink, I think                                         still trying to choose paint to replace

                                                               the seafoamingatthemouth color

 20150123_170441 sink i think 20150123_171954 paint samples

 Quote for the Week:

Question as frequently as needed 01 27 2015

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

ProTect Painters:  www.protectpainters.com/

Shower install $ : http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/plumbing/install-a-shower/

How to Try on Colors:

http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/try-on-colors/color-matching-services/