Monthly Archives: January 2011

Pollyanna’s Lack of Resolve

Hey, Anna-Liza here. Looks like I’ve been letting Lyda shoulder the whole burden here lately. Maybe I should make a resolution about that. Then again, maybe not.

I’ve always been a bit skeptical about the whole New Year’s resolution thing. Like most people, I’m perhaps too aware of my weaknesses. Whenever it comes to resolution time, my tendency has been to try to completely reform my character, get really enthusiastic until the second or third setback, then decide I’m just a miserable failure doomed to a life of mediocrity and give up, beating myself up thoroughly in the process.

So. Not going to do that.

Then again, while the start of a new year is sort of an arbitrary marker created by humans, with only a vague corollary anymore to the natural world, there is the general awareness of an ending and a beginning, and the whole “fresh start” thing has its appeal.

Laurie Perry, aka Crazy Aunt Purl, seems to have come to the same conclusion about resolutions a tad ahead of me. A year ago, she whittled her resolutions down to two, with a good bit of tolerance and realistic goals about acheiving them. She even allowed for setbacks and backsliding, smart woman that she is. She did really well with them, too, even with some really scary life-stuff to contend with along the way. This year, she has a longer list, but I like the fact that several of them are things she is going to try out, rather than things she’s committing to do forever. Like Zumba. (Which does sound fun. About the only kind of exercise I like involves yoga or dance).

Last year, I didn’t make any resolutions. Then I made my Bucket List (and Half-Bucket List – time’s running short on that one), which seemed to cover a lot. This year, I’m thinking about a few things I might want to change about or add to my life , but I haven’t actually decided if they’re really “resolutions” or not.

Health: I’ve never done really well with the health-related resolutions, maybe because I really do enjoy pretty good health. My diet could be better, but it’s not awful. I don’t get enough sleep, and I definitely don’t get enough exercise.

I don’t much care for working out – it’s just boring. I have been a fan of Nia for years, but even that has palled on me. The yoga studio in the basement of my office building offers a really good discount to people who work there, but I can’t seem to drag my ass to a lunchtime class a couple of times a week anymore. Pathetic, no? But it’s hard to give up things I really love to do in order to make time for something that feels like a chore. Giving up work or even more sleep is not an option.

Sleep? Oh yeah, that. I’ve finally realized that I really, really need some quiet time while I’m still awake, all to myself, every day. Frequently, the only way I get it is to stay up after everyone else has gone to bed. Not getting it and trying to schedule it all for the weekend makes me a cranky girl – which isn’t good for anyone, believe me. But I need sleep, too. And I need to get up by 6 AM to have any hope of catching the bus on time on weekdays. Quite the dilemma.

Diet, well … I’m not exactly Captain Willpower. Most days I mostly choose reasonably healthy stuff, but I can’t resist at least a small sweet thing after lunch and dinner, or fried food. Or almost any kind of potato dish, especially if it includes cheese, sour cream, or bacon. Or bacon, for that matter. (I won’t ever consider becoming a vegetarian, because I can’t am not willing to give up barbecue or bacon).

Craft/creativity: I would like to post more regularly here, but I know better than to make it a resolution. I would also like to have more time to craft, get more things finished, stop promising stuff that stresses me out, and try some new things. I think this one will be more of a list of things I’d like to try, too. One thing – I definitely want to do more designing.

Digression warning: did you see that I’ve got another post up on Knitting Daily? It’s about designing, and it’s here. My pattern, the Casual Flair Cardigan, has been downloaded over 12,500 times!

Then there’s just general life stuff. Family, personal growth, community … let’s not even talk about money.

So, I think this is going to be my list of resolutions goals ideals things to keep in mind. In no particular order:

  • Secure my own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs.
  • Do at least one creative thing a day, even if it’s just one row of stockinette or choosing a pattern for some stash yarn.
  • Stop and ask myself, “Is this more important than my goal of … ?” when I am considering spending money, effort or time on something trivial or just “extra.” Remember that the answer may be “yes.”
  • Say “thank you” and “I love you” more often.

I think I can handle that. And if some days I don’t, hey, I’ll still be keeping them in mind.

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Pollyanna polishes off a few books

Lyda here.

Thanks to a generous grant (aka an Amazon gift certificate for my birthday – thanks sis! – and an amazing sale) I got myself some quilting books, and I devoured them. I have to keep telling myself, another one is coming…

I got Kaffe Fassett’s “Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts” which is absolutely beautiful and inspiring. I had a lot of trouble putting it down for other things (like sleeping) this week. Gorgeous colors, of course, and quilts that look quite complex but are made from basic shapes. I will make some of the patterns at some point, I’m sure, and use others as a jumping off point. And the pictures will be ogled again and again.

One of my favorite parts of the book is that he includes pictures of things that inspire him – tapestries, knitwork, old buildings, the arrangement of spices at an open air market, piles of tires, iron fences. I love that he sees the beauty and geometry in unlikely places, and that it helps him create such amazing things. I’m always taking photographs of odd and weirdly beautiful things, so I was thrilled to see that he does that too.

I also finally got my own copy of “Color from the Heart” by Gai Perry. I have waxed rhapsodic about this book before, so I won’t do it again. I’ll just say that getting this book in the mail was like a long-overdue visit from a fabulous friend.

And I read the whole thing (for the umpteeth time) last night.

I did make a quilt (a wall hanging made with three of the hearts from the quilt on the cover) from this book before, but it is not finished. I love it and it is easily the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made. And I’m still scared to bind the edges and quilt it. I’m afraid I will mess it up.

I’m such a weirdo. Or maybe not. Do y’all do that too? Put something aside when it is almost done, because the finishing might ruin it?

But all is right in the world, because I’m expecting another Kaffe Fassett book soon… Anticipation…

I think I might have a design for the Manly Quilt for the Sith Master (also known as The Lumberjack Quilt and “oh my god what have I got myself into this time?”). I’m going to give it a test run this weekend with some pieces of my fabrics and see how I like it.

See? Still a quilting blog…

Pollyanna brings good news

Lyda here. I’ve got some good stuff for y’all.

1.) I just found this link to photos of good news.

Number 16 is a holiday gift for Marin.

There’s giraffes and a polar bear and a newborn gorilla… How could a sculpture of a jelly baby family not make you smile? Not to mention the camel face.

2.) Here are some news stories that focus on the positive side.

3.) This link promises to help make you smarter in 2011. It has suggestions for smarter books, movies, and shopping. Oh, speaking of shopping, get that red dress. Really. Read the link.

4.) And of course, we must visit the weirdness. Don’t miss #11. Or #15. But y’all know my favorite is #20:  Australian zombies, mate!

Here’s to a new year of weirdness, zombies, and fiber!

Pollyanna Celebrates Twenty-Eleven

Lyda here. Hippy Gnu Ewe to all y’all!

First, I have to share this Chem Time Clock – a wonderful thing for the science geek in all of us (especially My Brother the Doctor who loves both clocks and chemistry).

And now for something completely different…

I got a great exercise from an email from Naomi of IttyBiz.com. You can get her emails too – just sign up for them.

One of my teachers used to give us a similar assignment every January. Here’s my version of the assignment (which I was reminded to do thanks to Naomi):

1)  Think of the three or five or ten best moments of 2010 for you personally. Yes, this is hard, isn’t it?

2)  Now look at what is underneath the good stuff. Is there something similar, something that connects them? Or a couple of things?

3)  Now, think of the same number of the worst moments from 2010 for you personally. Easier, yes?

4)  Now look at what is underneath the bad stuff. Is there something similar, something that connects them?

For me, my good moments were related to:  Deep Connection, Full Commitment, and Honoring my Self. Thanks to Naomi, these words are now on a sticky note on my computer, to help me remember that this is what I want.

I discovered that my bad moments were connected to not honoring my self (especially not speaking my truth and not taking care of myself), not keeping my commitments to myself or to others, and feeling disconnected. Hmm… Funny how that works.

I also found that I still have work to do on some familiar problem areas – I mean, growth opportunities. Specifically, money and self-care. I think these two things are part of honoring my self and keeping my commitments to myself as well as to others. So, once again, these are areas that I will be working on this year. Oh joy.

Here we go, into Ides of January…

Scary, kids. Feel free to hold hands.