Saturday, October 30, 2010

Margaret and Helen

Hi folks,

I discovered a very humorous blog a couple of years ago and followed it for a while. Then I lost my job, got busy and kind of forgot about it. Well, I have just read it again for the first time in a while and I think it's hilarious. I've put it back on my fave list - for a while anyway.

It's a blog by two elderly, retired women who call themselves Margaret and Helen. They don't go by their real names and you'll understand why if you read even one post. They are highly political - mostly during campain seasons - but speak some good old fashioned common sense the rest of the times. I especially loved the post last year about Thanksgiving - no politics, just thankful for family, but still stated with a wry wit.

Now I will warn you, the posts these days are all about politics, but the way they are written usually make me laugh...and they will royaly anger others...just depends on your point of view. Margaret is definitely the stronger personality and cracks me up. Her BFF is Helen, who lives on the opposite side of the country, and is much more, shall we say, diplomatic and less confontational.

I know I'm not the only one out there who appreciates what they say. And I'll be very glad when the election is over so I stop getting all these robo calls from candidates on both sides!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maple Leaf Drawing To Share

In between job searching, networking, researching and taking care of my crazy animals, I've been continuing to attempt to draw things I'm finding around the house.

And because I received some great suggestions, I am now attempting to share something with you. I've taken advantage of so many generous bloggers who have given us all some wonderful drawings to embroider or use however we choose.

I didn't know how to get my drawing uploaded so asked a friendly expert (thanks, Jenny) how to go about it. Jenny e-mailed me right away and told me how to set up a Google share account, like the one she has.

Now I've got to warn you all that this drawing isn't as clean lined as it should be, so bear with me. But, it is still useable if you so desire. I've started embroidering mine and I started another fabric drawing of it as well.

So, if you want a simple maple leaf pattern to use, go here and downlaod it. I hope it works! If not, let me know and I can email it to you. I've got a more elaborate design completed and will share that one if this all works out :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fabric Drawing #2

I have no idea how to use this. Any suggestions?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Very Productive Week!

What I week I've had...and the best in a long time!

As I mentioned earlier, I attended my first Job Seekers meeting on Monday. There are several groups across the country, I assume, and several in this area. I've just never attended any of them, mostly because I've been working a temp or part time job somewhere and just didn't have those days off. I learned a lot and made some connections that can help me.

Tuesday I went to a job fair, but there wasn't anything there to help me. It was geared to military folks who had completed their comittment and the fields of employment represented were way out of my league. So I left there quite bummed and not in the best frame of mind.

Wednesday was uneventful and spent questioning some decisions I've made and a little moping around the house. But Thursday I painted my porch floor. I'm very happy with the color. In my quest to simplify, I'm also applying that to color choices. My porch floor was a beautiful dark aqua/peacock blue but I've changed it to a lovely taupe. My inspiration was the colors used at the model home I "worked" at in the spring. (I have a copy of their paint list for future use.) I'll be painting my shutters and front door next.

My front yard looks like I'm having a yard sale with all the stuff from the porch strewn about.
Friday I attended a class at Wake Tech Community College - free to unemployed/underemployed people! There are a ton of these classes and I've registered for several in the next few weeks. Friday's class was how to target "green" companies in NC, something I'm certainly interested in. Boy, did I learn a lot and discovered so many companies I've never even heard of! Then I came home to an email requesting an interview for another great job I applied for earlier this week. Talk about being totally psyched!! My interview will take place Tuesday morning, so I need to research the company in detail to prepare myself.

Yesterday, I went to a couple of thrift shops in town looking for clear, glass plates. Gail has asked if I would make some of the jar bird feeders for her to sell in her shop. Happy with that request, I needed more plates to use as domes.

First, I had to haul the garbage to the dump. It was fairly early and somebody had just thrown away these great finds...a perfectly good office chair and a sewing machine table.

I stuffed everything in my car, including a rough looking small chest. I took the chest to the thrift shop but kept the chair and table. The table will be painted today and used as a TV stand in Alissa's bedroom. I'll probably keep the chair for myself, but if I change my mind I'll take to to the thrift shop.

So, at the thrift shops I found what I was looking for PLUS these little shutters. I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but they were only $2 each so brought them home as well.

When I came home, I finished painting the lattice trim around the base of the porch.

Now my porch looks clean and fresh and ready for me to put some things back in place. Then I mowed my back yard for the last time this year.

I've been drawing a little more and love the way it makes me feel.

Today, I'll work on my jar bird feeders, paint the sewing table and sew winter rye seed for the geese and mud control over the winter. Tomorrow I'll attend my second Job Seekers meeting and am looking forward to my interview Tuesday. Another week is off to a very good start!

I hope you all have a great day today too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One Step At A Time

I hope you are all having a good week. Mine has been mixed so far.

Monday, I attended my first Job Seeker meeting and met some other folks who have lost their jobs. I met a couple of women who I especially liked and we have e-mailed each other with useful information.

I also learned of free classes the community colleges are offering to those of us who lost their jobs. I've registered for a class this Friday and a few others in November - all of which will be informative and helpful.

I haven't heard a word on my last interview, so it has vanished like the others I suppose. All I can do is keep trying. I've applied for some great State Government positions - one of which is in the mountains - but it will take them a long time to act. In the mean time, the clock is ticking on my financial situation.

I've been wanting to paint again, and also try my hand at drawing on muslin to nurture my soul. Inspired by this book I bought a while back
and Michelle Palmer's art, here is my first attempt.

The shading isn't accurate, but overall I'm quite pleased with it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it now - maybe just sew it onto a piece of fabric and make a collage or something.

I'm really just a frustrated artist at heart! If I got the job in Black Mountain, I'd be in heaven! It's an artist community and I can just see myself working during the day and creating in the evenings and sell my things in some local shops. Talk about bliss!!

Tomorrow is another day. For now, I'm going back to my drawing...

Have a good evening!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Quiet Day

Last night while watching my BritComs, I completed this little embroidery and made it into a small table mat.

I'll give it to Laura when I see her tomorrow night. She doesn't have any fall stitchery from me and I think she'll like it on her table.

I baked two loaves of pumpkin bread this evening (with cream cheese filling). I'm going to take one of the loaves to my neighbors to show my appreciation for all the work he did on our road with his tractor.

I'm looking forward to attending a Job Seeker's meeting tomorrow morning with my friend, Amanita. I think it will be very motivating for me...not to mention it will be very nice to see her again after such a long time! I feel like this is going to be a good week for me....hope so, anyway!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday Night Sew In, Energized, and Look What I Received

It is a gorgeous autumn day here in central North Carolina - the weather could not be more perfect! The state fair is officially underway and Laura and Alissa will be spending the day there with stories for me afterwards.

I am energized by two things today. First - it's Saturday and I'm HOME! How nice it is to have a "normal" Saturday. There are so many things I want to tackle that I haven't been able to focus, so have started my list making again. I do much better when I have lists to keep me on track - or at least partially anyway.

And second and more importantly, I have reconnected with a friend I used to work with two companies ago (I've had lots of jobs over the years). We had lost touch for quite a while but I'm so glad for email and getting reconnected. Amanita is a true entrepenuer (sp ?) and has gotten me excited about learning some new tools in the job searching arena. She's been out of work for a while as well and tries all kinds of things to find a good job.

I am meeting her Monday morning for a Job Seeker meeting that sounds more successful than the ones I see advertised in my area. And on top of that, she has registered for one of many free classes at a local community college provided to job seekers and now I'm registering for the same class too!

I will say that being at Lowes has drained me of my drive and enthusiasm for finding a new career and I had fallen into the mindset that "this is it" for the rest of my life - not at all happy and not what I want to be doing. Not to mention, losing all my brain power, or what little I had anyway.

So, onward and upward with new energy and motivation, thanks to a wonderful woman I have reconnected with!

Now, here is a picture of my almost-completed pumpkin stitchery. I think I'll take Marlene's suggestion and make it into a pillow for my sofa.

Last month I had emailed Diane and asked if she would like some more small tin items that I don't display any longer. I know how much she enjoys tin ware and in my gradual paring down of things, I thought I'd send some things her way. She then suggested we have a little trade and asked if I would like some of her fabric. Are you kidding me? I'd LOVE some of her lovely creations! What talent she has and what a kind and caring woman.

Well, my box of goodies arrived yesterday. I was so impressed at how beautifully wrapped everything was. I had just thrown my things in a box and shipped them off, but not Diane! The fabric was folded neatly and wrapped in an old Vogue pattern and tied witha pretty ribbon.

She had included a pretty tag with a note on the back and a tiny box she made that held some lavendar.

I was feeling lost yesterday and her sweet package lifted my spirits so much. Women can be such great inspiration to each other and I'm fortunate to know both Amanita and Diane!

Have a great day everybody!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Still Moving Slowly

I hope you are all well and busy with your lives. Believe it or not, I'm still moving on the slow side. I can't honestly say I'm still sick, but I'm sure not 100%. My appetite still hasn't returned (which is a very good thing) but I'm craving something very comforting - maybe pumpkin muffins filled with cream cheese and a nice cup of coffee.

Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon at Alissa's house helping make their home a little more organized. I love organizing things - especially other people's - and am quite good at it. It's actually something I'd enjoy doing professionally!

Laura and Alissa's home is tiny, but there is space to be utilized. I made some shelves for the small coat closet and left enough space for her vacuum cleaner to be stashed in there. Before, it was always having to sit out in the floor somewhere.

Years ago, I bought Laura a beautiful swan from TJMAxx for $12. I've never seen one before or since and would love to have one myself. Sometimes there is a potted plant sitting in it but most of the time it sits empty. When I ran across this picture on a blog the other night, I knew immediately I was going to do the same thing with her pretty swan. I didn't have my camera so couldn't take a picture of hers, but you can get the idea. Hers is very similar and is setting on her hearth in front of her fireplace and looks gorgeous!!

I even had some pretty fall ribbon that I bought on clearance years ago and have never used. Her swan can still use a few more pretties, but at least she has something pretty on the hearth now. I've got several fall silk things I can add to it the next time I go up there.

Today I was home and decided to repair something I broke a few years ago. That led to straightening up my craft/computer room, which had gotten out of control again. It's in much better shape now except for my table that has photos laying all over it. I love all my crafty stuff and want to get back into it soon.

Other than that, I didn't get much accomplished today. Well, I did sandwich my crow wall hanging together. Now I need to decide how to quilt it. Fall will be over by the time I get it bound the rate I'm going.

No word on the interview results and am once again I am trying to figure out what path to take regarding earning an income.

I hope you all have a nice evening...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Under the Weather

Hello bloggers,

Thank you for all the encouragement for my pet portraits. I hadn't thought of listing them in Etsy, but am definitely going to look into that!

I've been wanting to post for a few days but have been bitten by some viral bug. I am very fortunate to have good health and rarely get down, but this week I caved in. I finally broke down and went to the doctor yesterday because I was sure I had strep throat, but alas, it's "just a virus". Well, that doesn't make me feel any better. All I can do is wait it out. It hurts to swallow and I'm forcing myself to sip some hot tea as often as I can.

Before going to the doctor's yesterday, I had an interview (yes, sick and all, I went). It was with a new (to me) staffing agency and they've submitted me for an interview for a great position. I'm scheduled to interview Monday morning and will go no matter what.

Of course, I'm scheduled to work at Lowes and they are already unhappy b/c I called in Wednesday with this virus. I'm sure they're be really happy when I tell them I'll be late Monday. Oh well, I've got to take advantage of every opportunity I get.

The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous, but I've felt too bad to do much. I'm losing so much time outside so have been stitching as much as I feel up to it. I completed this little free design from the Pattern Bee, which I downloaded last year. I think I'm going to make a small table mat and give it to a loved one.

I don't order many things on line, but when I discovered this beautiful pattern, I ordered it immediately.

I've been working on it and want to finish it as a gift. I have no idea how I'm going to use it once it's completed. I've never done the feather stitch before and had a hard time with it. It's not uniform but darned if I'm doing it over.

I haven't even begun to get my fall things out due to feeling so rotten. There is so much to do and so little time, even when I'm well. Don't you just hate feeling bad knowing you've got so many things you want to do?

It's time for some more hot tea, so will say ta-ta for now. I hope you have a great day!