Happy New Year! I realize it’s the close of the 3rd day already, but it’s never too late to wish someone a Happy New Year is it?…well, maybe there is a point when it’s time to refrain from the greeting ~ probably before the next big holiday I’d imagine. Who writes these rules anyway! Regardless, I do hope you’ve welcomed the New Year with open arms and eager for a fresh start. I’ve already turned over the calendar page and busily started writing in my new planner filling up the pages faster than I could gulp down that hot chocolate on a cold rainy day! Yep ~ I’ve got a planner and I’m not afraid to use it!
According to The Quilter’s Planner, this is my “Best Year Ever ~ 2019” of course I was equally informed that 2018 was my “Best Year Ever” too. I think it has a lot to do with attitude and anticipation. Something about a new planner, those empty little squares just calling out to be filled…I do enjoy that there’s a photo challenge going around Instagram and I thought I’d cross post and share a bit with you on the blog just in case you aren’t following me YET on Instagram or Facebook (grin). I participated for most of the 2018 photo challenge but things got really busy as we were moving into the RV to begin Harvey reconstruction and the goal of a photo post each day for January got a tad overwhelming. I’d like to think I can “do it” this year…time will tell.
Day 1 Intro and Selfie
Most of you already know a little bit about me, maybe more than you actually want to know, so I will spare the long ramble I posted on IG January 1st. I’m not the best at taking selfies, I find it especially hard to get the right camera angle to camouflage the double chin or those skunk lines when it’s too close to a hair appointment but I thought myself quite clever upon returning from dinner out New Year’s Eve and took this selfie with the darlin’ little party hat my waitress gave me. Mission accomplished, selfie with no double chin or skunk lines (for the record my hairdresser took really good care of me today).
Did you know that you can “follow” hashtags on Instagram? I decided to follow #QPBestYearEver2019 for this photo challenge and I have been introduced to some fun amazing fellow “The Quilter’s Planner folk” . This is my second year to use the planner ~ guess it goes without saying that I liked it enough to purchase again! I will say that the verdict was out for a bit until I learned of the changes made for 2019, namely starting the week off right with a Sunday to Saturday format. Okay, maybe I’m old and this newer generation likes to group the weekend together at the end of the week, but it was way too confusing for this quilter! Sunday is just THE first day of the week, period. Making this upgrade was the game changer for me, making it a no brainer to purchase again. An additional change that got me very very eager to order my planner early was the option of spiral bound or loose leaf (oh, and there was a choice of two different covers which was an added bonus). But loose leaf!! Wow! So many times in 2018 I wished I could have added a few pages just to keep things together. Yep, I ordered early and opted for the planner that I could put in my own binder. I love it!!
In case you missed the post, I made my zippered cover binder as part of my Island Batik Ambassador challenge this past fall. I love that I added the handles, makes it so easy to grab and go! I can also stuff a bunch of things inside without the fear of losing my marbles! Okay, I spared you the intro but I still managed to ramble anyway didn’t I?!?!
Day 2 What Makes You Sparkle
I got a little carried away with this one, I actually posted the full Instagram limit of 10 photos! I mean, seriously, it was hard to contain myself as there are so many things that bring me joy, which I interpreted as my sparkle. Everything from my precious new granddaughter to teaching to traveling to family. Yep, lots of joy/sparkle in life. Here’s my favorite “made you smile” photo ~ well, ONE of my favorites, I don’t think there’s been a bad photo yet of my sweet Reagan. Hope it brings a little sunshine and sparkle into your day too.
Day 3 Top 3 Goals
And now we’ve come to today’s photo challenge. I’ve been busy today so I’m just now posting this on Instagram, but you dear reader aren’t getting the Reader’s Digest version, nope, nada, never. The whole ramble and nothing but the ramble…
There’s this nifty little page in the front of The Quilter’s Planner, and I have to admit that I skipped over it in my eagerness to write all my upcoming workshops and quilting adventures on the crisp clean fresh calendar pages. Ah, but then there was this photo challenge and dang it, I just have to play along don’t I?
Goals. I know it’s a five letter word but it might as well be a four letter one ~ I mean, I always hated it when asked “what are your goals in life” as if waking up and being able to take nourishment weren’t enough! Goals seem more like a to do list which maybe they are ~ if you want this result (goal) then you need to take these steps (to do list). I’m not really that shallow but sometimes there’s just not enough time to figure out my goals in life, I feel like I’m on a great adventure and the scenery changes all the time ~ which I don’t mind as I don’t like to be bored…but okay, I bit the bullet and turned to THAT page in my planner and actually thought about a few things….
There were 3 blocks (I betcha’ they planned it that way to go with the “top 3 goals” photo challenge!). First thing in the morning I could only think of two categories (1) Personal Care (2) Business and started listing my to do list (old habits are hard to break)….
First Things First
I have been working on this personal goal for several years now, I’m trying to develop the habit of reading my One Year Bible every day. Haven’t hit the mark of actually reading EVERY day but it’s a desire. I can remember one year really falling behind and trying to “catch up” but it was too much to read at once so I almost gave up. We had a guest speaker at one of our Women’s Retreats, Debbi Bryson, and I really liked what she said “don’t try to catch up, just get back on the bus” ~ in other words, give yourself permission to be human, missed a day? no problem ~ don’t beat yourself up just pick yourself up and get back to it! Debbi has written a one page devotional book called Wisdom for Women that goes along with the One Year Bible reading. She even has it on audio if you are interested ~ I’m enjoying reading both. My morning ritual is drinking a Spark (energy drink, I don’t do coffee) and read my books in bed before starting my day. Here’s my “current worldview” from this morning.
Other items I listed under the goal I titled “Personal Care” was taking better care of myself nutritionally (I actually cooked a very good meal last night, still working my way back into the kitchen after so many months of frozen dinners and eating out during our Harvey displacement). I want to be more mindful of stretching and actually hope to work that into walks or bike rides. A very important factor that will go a long way into taking better care of myself is to actually schedule in rest periods. Again, the past 17 months weren’t kind in the department of taking care of myself and the stress has got to go!
Taking Care of Business
Business goals are way too long to ramble about, I don’t want to run into Day 4 (grin). Needless to say I have a lot of hopes and dreams for the future of The Quilt Rambler ~ developing the details for the Land Lock Quilting Cruises ™ that will begin this spring…orders for equipment and decor are being placed, class syllabus is in the development stages (my brain not paper yet) as well as marketing ideas. And this is just one area of business ~ I’m developing new presentations for my traveling lectures, working on workshop and class handouts and samples, I have one more quilt challenge with the 2018 Island Batik Ambassador challenge – upcoming blog hop that I will share about soon, and I’m full throttle in designing and writing patterns to be included in Island Batik market catalog(s) and have plans on being published in quilt magazines…so many things I need to learn about business so I’ve invested in myself and will be attending a Creative Arts Business Summit in March, will be investing in continued education by attending Deb Tucker’s Certified Instructors Training in June, and a few other things in the works for business ~ such as online shopping for my patterns and other ideas that are in development.
Taking Care of the Homefront
This kinda goes along with taking care of myself yet goes beyond physical care ~ my desires are to get our home back together. Who knew a little thing like a flood could take up to 2 years to recover from! I know, I know, I’m tired of talking about it too, but it’s a reality that I must continue to face for yet a little while. Not mentioning the paperwork that still needs to be taken care of, there’s all those boxes still in storage and those boxes scattered in my studio…and the walls awaiting their decor. It’s coming along, but its at a snails pace as there is just so much to do trying to wear a lot of hats.
Since there were three “goal” boxes to fill I decided to fill it with personal quilting goals. Just because my business is quilting doesn’t mean I can’t have my hobby be quilting also! I listed things like making curtains ~ actually just finished curtains for the bathroom (those cute little sea turtles behind my New Year’s selfie) and I’ve made one of two window coverings for my studio. I can’t tell you how happy this made me to bring “my colors” back in the studio. Don’t misunderstand, I love the white walls and “driftwood” tile flooring but you have to remember my former studio had orange walls and hot lipstick pink flooring. I’m trying to find a balance with the crisp neat look of “less is more” and I have to say, my tropical fabric just makes me smile. By the way, I found this at Hancock’s of Paducah when I was in Paducah working with Studio 180 Design, there’s a double smile (if that’s possible) as I’m reminded of the fun I had with my friends!
A few other things on my personal sewing naturally includes fun things for my sweet Reagan ~ I’ve got plans for soft books and a stuffed animal or two. I also am eager to make new placemats as all my other ones were ruined in the flood. There are more windows needing curtains and my bedroom is getting a total overhaul going from a purple to my “Momma Mia blue” ~ I rewatched the movie the other day and “nailed it” on the tropical blue wall paint!
Best Year Ever 2019
Yep, there’s something about turning over the calendar page to a new year or even a new month. I love all the funnies on social media ~ “I remember 2018 like it was yesterday”. Sometimes life is hard and it’s good to put things behind you and move forward. Our pastor sends out daily text messages to encourage us. Today’s quote “Trials are not given to knock us down but to build us up and bring us to Jesus! “When I am weak then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:10. So many wonderful things to look forward to in 2019, family, friends, teaching, travel, redecorating…there’s not a planner big enough to hold all the thoughts and ideas of the future, regardless, I’ve got a planner and I’m not afraid to use it! Scratch outs and all. Keyword – be flexible!