I Did It!

Yay! I made it all the way through NaBloPoMo—I met my goal of blogging every day this month! Was it fun? Not particularly. My stubbornness was the only reason I kept going. When I decide to do something, I do it (especially if I have told the entire world that I would be doing it). So yeah, I did it, but my heart certainly wasn’t in it.

There were many days this month when my blogging time could have been put to much better use. There were also many days in which I published pure crap just to meet my NaBloPoMo goal. Thank goodness November is over!

December is going to be different. I’m only going to blog when I feel like blogging. How often will that be? I have no idea, but it’s not bloody likely that it will be everyday.

Did you take part in NaBloPoMo? If so, how was it for you?

I Just Wanna Have Fun

For the most part, being a solopreneur rocks! The best things about it are that I have a totally awesome boss, and that I don’t have to deal with that irritating coworker everyone talks about .  

It’s not all fun and games though. There are things that suck about solopreneurship. For instance, the office Christmas party is pretty lame. In fact, it feels just like every other Saturday night—I’m alone, wishing that I weren’t.

I want to go to a real holiday office party this year! You know, one with other people in attendance. How on earth does a girl get invited to one? Do office parties even allow outsiders?

Please excuse me. I’m off to Google, “how to manifest holiday party invitations”.

Tree #1 Is Done!

This year is the first year that there has been a full-sized Christmas tree in the foyer, and it definately won’t be the last. I absolutely love it there! It’s so incredibly warm and welcoming. This holiday season, the entryway was given an oldfashioned handmade decorating scheme. For that, I dug out a bunch of ornaments I made 15 years ago.

stocking and stars ornaments

These stars and socks were origionally made for the garlands in my shop. I haven’t used them in at least a decade, and they were a little bit smelly when they came out of the box. I had to wash, dry and press them. I swear it took me a week to get them all done!

red candy cane

These wooden candycanes were so freaking much fun to make! I cut them with my scrollsaw (which I really need to start using again), painted on the stripes, spattered more paint on them by flicking it off a toothbrush, then went to town attaching raffia and buttons with a glue gun. Who doesn’t love playing with a glue gun?

green candy cane

Thankfully, my candycanes did not smell musty like the fabric ornaments, but some of them did need re-gluing, so… I got to play with my glue gun again this week! Yay!

Ooh, I just now remembered that I made candle boxes in the same paint colours as the candycanes. Hmm… I’m going to have to dig those out too.

Now that the first tree is done, it’s time to get started on the livingroom tree! I don’t know what the colour scheme is going to be yet, but it’s going to be sparkly!

If you celebrate Christmas, have you put up a tree yet?

Goals = Limitations

Yesterday, while I was painting, I was listening to an interview with Freeman Michaels on Wisdom From North’s YouTube channel. About half an hour into the interview, Michaels said two things  that stopped me in my tracks.

“The greatest possibility for your life is beyond your present perception.”

“A goal is always an expression of limitation, because it’s what you can see from where you’re presently standing.”

For me, this was one of those moments of synchronicity that Julia Cameron often refers to in her book, The Artist’s Way. Just the day before, I realized that my own goals are both highly motivating, and seriously limiting. And as a result, I was questioning what role I want goals to play in my life.

I’ve always been told that a goal without a date attached to it is just a wish. So, when I’m serious about reaching a goal, I make darn sure I choose a date feels challenging, but doable. Well, the thing is… in the last week and a half, I set 3 serious goals with far in the future deadlines, and I met each of those goals 2 days after setting them. Before assigning a date to these goals, I was working on getting better, but making very little progress. I honestly thought it was going to be difficult to reach each goal I set. It was, but at the same time, it didn’t kill me, which tells me that I’m capable of far more than I think I am.

So what the heck do I do about this goal setting thing now that Freemen Michaels has so elequently confirmed my belief that the greatest possiblitly for my life is beyond my present perception? How do I reach my greatest potential if I don’t know what that is, and if the goals I set for myself are an expression of limitation? I’m determined to find out—I’m making it a goal!

Coué’s Prescription

Every day in every way I am getting better and better

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I would get my best creative ideas in the shower. Lately, and I’m not sure exactly when this began, my inner mean girl’s voice has taken over that sacred time. The b*tch criticizes me for absolutely everything. She’s been totally killing my creativity and sucking the joy out of my days.

This morning I was determined to shut her up. The only way I know how to do that is to drown her out. I needed a mantra, and the first one that popped into my head was pharmicist/psychologist, Émile Coué’s famous conscious autosuggestion phrase, “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” Coué believed that by repeating this phrase 20 times each morning and each evening, we can cure ourselves of whatever ails us. 

Okay, well, I took more than the prescribed dose of 20 repetitions (I “treated” myself for my entire 20+ minute shower), but guess what? It worked! That bitch didn’t get a single word in. The only time I caught my mind drifting, I was thinking about kittens. Kittens are awesome!

I didn’t stop there. I took the exercise even further. When I got out the shower, I applied moisturizer to all the parts of myself I’m not happy with and said to those parts, “every day, in every way, you are getting better and better.” And you know what? Later in the day, when I was at the gym gazing at my spandex clad self in the mirrors, my inner mean girl was still silent!

I dare you to say it! “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” Repeat 20 times each morning and each evening. Let me know how it works for you.

Tea Time

Care to join me for a cup of tea? I promise it won’t keep you up all night. It’s Twinings Lemon and Ginger—my favourite quick and easy bagged herbal tea.  I love the kick of the ginger. In fact, it’s just as good as the tea I make with real ginger root.

It’s been a few days since I’ve taken time to sit down with my tea. Ever since Thursday, every cup of tea I’ve made has gone cold on my desk. I’ve been working like mad to get things crossed off my to-do list, but nothing is getting finished.

I’m still working on the antique dresser I told you about last week, but it will only be a couple more days before it will be done. The drawers (minus the knobs) only need one more coat of paint, which means, by tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be able to put all the stuff that belongs inside them back in them. They can’t go back in the dresser yet, but at least some of the mess that’s driving me absolutely insane, will be more contained.

I’m also still trying to decorate the foyer for Christmas. I believe it was a week ago Friday that I started it. I’ve only had three 5-10 minute intervals of decorating since then.

I borrowed an e-book from the library two weeks ago—Mrs. Sinclair’s Suitcase. Normally a book that length (about 250 pages) would take me two days to read, but I’m only 60% through it. I’ve got it for one more week, so I really hope I can get my act together and finish it. Maybe tonight? Ugh, I doubt it. It’s getting close to bedtime, and I still have more important things to do.

By the way, if you read yesterday’s blog post, photo #2 was the one I went with in the end. I’ll explain why I chose that one soon. I wanted to update that post and answer your comments today, but that’s another thing that didn’t get done. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that tomorrow. But right now, my tea cup is empty, and I have some (wood) glueing and clamping to take care of.

Thanks for hanging out with me and letting me unload. I’ll try not to be so complain-y next time.

Decisions, Decisions

Today is day 179 of my year long mission to take a photo every day and post it to flickr. While I only add one photo per day to my project 365 album, I typically shoot several and choose my favourite. Most days, it’s really easy to decide which photo I like best. Today was not one of those days. In fact, I posted the one I thought I like best, than immediately took it down and replaced it with the photo that, 20 seconds earlier, was my third favourite. Now, I’m not sure I made the right choice, but I’m not allowing myself to change it again.

Below, in the order they were photographed, are the two images I posted. I’m not going to tell you (just yet) which one stayed and which one got deleted. Instead, I’d love for you to tell me which one you prefer and why.

key 1

 

key 2

Update

It’s two days later and I’m ready to let you know which photo I chose and why. 

I originally chose the first image because I preferred the composition, and I found the etherealness of it to be rather pleasing. However, I quickly changed my mind about it. It was a “throw away” photo that I really wasn’t able to properly “save” in Lightroom. Even with extensive editing, there were still too many obvious “issues” that I couldn’t fix. I was really bothered by the green cords on the lights still being so visible. I was also was unhappy with the clarity and colour of the ribbon, and the bokeh light points were getting weird and wonky from the luminance, saturation, clarity and exposure adjustments. 

For the second shot, I turned off the overhead light, and placed a lamp in front of the key. Doing this allowed me to get a better focus on the key and the ribbon. Also,  having the room’s general lighting off helped to hide the dark green chords of the Christmas lights against the white tub surround in my bathroom. While I liked the composition of the first image better,  the second image was, by far, the better quality one. It didn’t get very much editing at all before it was posted.  

It Looks Like A Bomb Went Off In Here!

This summer, my uncle, who lives about 4 hours away, met a woman from my town at a social event in his town. At some point in their conversation, they got to talking about me. As it turns out, she’s a customer of mine. However, I have no idea which customer, because my uncle can’t remember her name or what she looks like, but he did remember that she went on and on about how my shop/office is always kept so neat and tidy.

Whoever this mystery woman is, I hope to God that she doesn’t show up here tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. The place is a disaster zone! I took photos to share with you, but when I saw them on the screen of my iMac, I suddenly changed my mind about uploading them to this blog.

My dresser restoration project, although it’s going smoothly, is by far the messiest thing I’ve ever done. I cannot believe how dirty and disheveled this room has become. How on earth can a piece of furniture that small do so much “damage”?

It will be Thursday at the earliest before everything is put back together. I’m not sure if Amy the neat freak can handle it.