Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Using What I Have...

The dog days of summer continue onward, and the pace of life continues to move slowly. Life has been extremely relaxed-unfortunately so relaxed that I have not hit the pool since last Thursday.  I've managed to get up and hit the patio while it is fresh and cool but I've gotten no further. I will have to work on that movement thing a  bit.

I'm am loving this slow summer pace (although I would not mind if the temps lowered a bit so so that I could get out more. This morning I had a relaxing breakfast and read a free book on my Kindle. This afternoon, I'll hit the sewing room-and try and organize it a bit while I am there.This evening will be breakfast for dinner (see below) and then I'll read on the patio, and take a brief walk. I'm trying to decide if I want to see Safehouse or Lockout tonight via Redbox (I finally watched Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) the other day. Tomorrow my schedule will be similar, with a likely visit to movie air conditioning.

Once we pass the 20th of August, my life pace will pick up drastically for awhile, so I am trying to take care of some little things now.  On the 20th I will pick up my books and new laptop, and be ready for classes.  In September or the first week in October, I've planned to take a week of (to drive old route 66, and the Turquoise Trail through Santa Fe to Denver). I've been trying to decide if I should email my instructors now and let them know that I will miss a full week of each class in September, or wait and discuss it on the first day. Probably the latter, as I can adjust my schedule a bit to what the syllabus says. The down side of studying art is that you cannot just pack up a textbook and laptop and continue studying-everything is hands on, and it's not all necessarily portable.

As part of my fall preparations, I've joined a "use what you have/no spend" challenge with some friends.  Everyone is participating for different reasons. In my case I'm waiting on that financial aid to offset school expenses. I'm also going to need to buy a pile of Christmas and fall fabrics very shortly. I'm planning a trip.  I'd like to try to to bring at least a little bit of organization to my house prior to the onslaught of the fall season.

For the most part, the challenge has been an exercise in creativity.  I made the simple quilt top below in a day, one of many I've made using fabrics on hand and coming up with fabrics to "match". While this quilt would probably have looked brighter with the reds, I did not have a piece of red fabric large enough, so I used the yellow. The quilt still looks bright and summery. Since I've committed to a finished project daily (even if it's small like the set below), I should be using up piles of fabric. The same thing with my papers, as I begin the fall card making season. I'm also working on two very large, involved projects (an art quilt and a bed sized Christmas applique) one of which works perfectly with the "use what you have" theory.

Dinners have been a bit more interesting. For whatever reason, at this moment in time my freezer is filled with chicken breasts, ready made sirloin burgers and breasts and burgers (with a few other items mixed in). I've broken the burgers down into sloppy joes, tacos, and spaghetti. The nadir of my use what you have cooking experience was when my son (who is a gourmet cook in every sense of the word), decided that we had to use the hamburger helper mix in the pantry (the one that neither of us remember buying) so that we could continue to fulfill our commitment. Let's just say I'll be filling in a bit here and there on this challenge when I grocery shop tomorrow. Hello, salmon and shrimp!

As far as shopping for myself and the house, I allowed myself some leeway and made some creative solutions. I did buy the two tops below - for the first two days of school.  Gotta have a special outfit for that first day, ya know? Of course, being an art student, the day after that, anything could happen to these clothes. Which is one of the many reasons I buy good clothes used at thrift shops. I refuse to wear ugly t-shirts every day, but accept the fact
 that some clothes will be stained in the process. By the way-both these shirts come from Lane Bryant. Both have tags on, and are in excellent condition and will go perfectly with my yoga pants style. On top was purchased at half off of $50.00 at the local outlet.  The other came from a local thrift store and was a few bucks. Think anyone will be able to tell the difference?  Me either.

Now, I'm off to sew and make some to do lists (I hate to do lists .........but I am one of those folks who must write down things that must be done). then, I may make a lemon meringue pie to have with those leftovers.

I hope you are having an equally relaxing and enjoyable day!


  1. Hi Barb,
    I enjoy reading your blog. I am in the process of cleaning out my sewing room and I have a stack of Christmas fabric that I thought you might like to have. I live in far north

  2. Love the quilt! The yellow is really nice!! :) I have to write my to do lists as well... such is life. ;)

  3. Love the quilt top and the mug rugs!! I too am trying to clear out my way to much fabric by using some of it up. Good luck with that To Do list, if I don't write things down I forget what I really need to get done

  4. Barb, would recommend Act of Valor over Safe House if you haven't yet seen. Safe House was very predictable IMHO, but knowing that Act of Valor contained depictions of real life situations involving SEALs, and that many of the "actors" were SEALs made it very gripping. (Again, IMHO)

  5. Love the dresses...you were very successful shopping on the cheap. I love that.

    I always have lists like this in my head in the morning. Do you accomplish everything. I find I am better at talking about it than doing itl


  6. Karen, that would be lovely. How far north are you in dallas..

  7. Debby and Barbara-I'm not real big on lists. I left my day planner aside years ago. I keep a (like at least eight by five) and I make an on going list--under headings like email, calls, and the like. I dont make to do lists in terms of cleaning (I use fly lady for that), so really my journal is like a guideline if you will


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