Sunday, August 17, 2014

Necessity is the Mother of Creativity-and other thoughts this week

Necessity is the mother of invention, it seems.  I've been looking for a couple alternatives for awhile, and the solutions seem to be similar.  The nature of the beast when it comes to Christmas and holidays these days are gift cards.  I don't have a personal objection to this as such, we have college students whose needs change from semester to semester, as well as seniors and retirees for whom the best gift is not a thing, but perhaps kindle credit or a restaurant gift card.  My problem was two fold. I hate the silly gift card holders, and I always feel like I should give something along with the gift card.  I also have occasions when I want to give a really, really nice card instead of a gift, but I never found a card I liked.

So this week, I was sorting through all those fabric scraps left from various projects in a large bin in my sewing room (I'm having a yard sale next weekend so it's time for a quick organizing effort).  My first go to for creating things tends to be fabric, even when it's not quilting as such. My project today was to combine the two in some way.  So today I designed some "quilted cards'. I made  a bunch of themed mini quilts that were greeting card size.  These were very quick to make with minimal stitching and I am simply taping them to the front of blank cards-they can be a gift as well as a card and cost me nothing since they were made of things I am throwing out.  They can also be put in a frame later. I hope to have a bunch of these to photograph later this week.  While I was at it, I made mini bags with handles in various gift card sizes-these were also free, and give me room enough to put a gift card and a small memento or candy or whatever else I decide to throw in at the last minute.

Other thoughts this week:

  • I knew I had a fear of heights.  I just didn't know how bad it was.  I'm never going to be the girl looking over the glass at the Grand Canyon. I may take the scenic train under the Royal Gorge bridge but not drive over.  Much as I'm looking forward to next years cross country train trip, there are some areas where I will be nervous because of the height. Being the road tripper that I am, I returned home via back roads through Taos and then the oldest city in Colorado, Los Rios.  One of the stops on my return was the Rio Grande gorge, a bridge that goes down more than five hundred feet.  Let's just say that good intentions were just that.  My camera and I never even made it off the edge of the bridge. I'll leave it to someone else to take a good picture of the bottom of the gorge.
  • Three or four blogs as well as Yahoo have shared and discussed the fact that at least one restaurant in California has decided not not allow strollers, high chairs or booster seats or loud children. I must be out of the loop, because I am amazed at the vitriol of some of the arguments.  I'm a parent who took her children out to eat at a variety of restaurants around the world.  But I did not take my kids to "fine" restaurants until the teen years.  And even during that time of life, there were times when my husband and I had our date nites deliberately at locations we knew would not have children.  I think there are enough restaurants available to families that a restaurant here and there that bans kids (or has a separate adult room) can be tolerated and even embraced.  But then I'm one of those crazy adults that actually applauded when my local movie theaters decided not to let children under six in movies after 8 PM.
  • As many readers know, one of my regular gigs is to provide dinner for a group of homeless women and then have some kind of activity (this is a residential home where 20 women with physical and mental issues who have been long term homeless stay until they are ready to become independent.  The stay can be quite awhile).  Most months I enjoy coming up with different themes for the evening.  This week it was a slap together effort because of my trip. On the day in question someone made white bean and chicken stew and I grabbed a pile of ice creams and toppings with no thought to much of anything.  Our "activity"?  One of the group went online and read of the theme lines of various brands (from as far back as 1950) with the challenge to name who the ad was sponsored by.  As disorganized as we were, these women still had a wonderful evening and asked us when we were coming back. I do need to remember that perfection in my volunteering area is not always required.
  • Amazon now has something available known as kindle unlimited.  I think it aims to be a Netflix of sorts for kindle books. For a fee, you can read an "unlimited" number of books. Since they had a free trial, I figured I would check it out.  I used my five page amazon wish list as a test list.  These is a list that I generally use for library reserves, buying a few kindles here and there.   While I did take advantage of my free month, for me the program would not make financial sense. Most of my fiction reading is current police procedural fiction.  Someone else might have better success, depending on their reading habits.
Meanwhile, It's time for me to start my two Open2Study classes, work on those sewing and crafting projects, get to work on my book, and take some time to laze on the patio during these last few weeks of summer.  Hopefully I will get a chance to get lots more photos up in a couple days here.  Happy weekend all!


  1. It sounds like you have a very busy calendar in your senior years. Yes, I too was surprised at the ranting that went on with the restaurant you mentioned. But then again the main person shouting has done that often just to be an antagonists I think. But I did finally get my fill with this particular post.

    Helping homeless women. You are my hero in living out your empathy.

  2. Love the idea of the mini quilts on the cards.

    God bless.

    1. Thanks, well see how it goes this week!

  3. I agree with you on the restaurants ... but then, I was once kicked out of a hole-in-the-wall diner when my kids were making too much of a mess. (And in retrospect, I don't blame the owner). Honestly, I was a little embarrassed, and it made me be more aware that the kids I thought were so cute and adorable could be seen as loud and obnoxious by others. So we definitely toned it down after that.

    P.S. I, too, am fearful of heights. But I was very proud of myself last week. I went all the way out to the end of the viewing platform over Niagara Falls,about 200 feet up.

    1. I actually thought I might do a bit better. Then I froze about ten steps in and realized that there was absolutely now way whatsoever!

  4. Barb, your ingenuity see you through your crafting projects and your work with the homeless. Have you every thought about doing one of your crafts with the women's group? They could help you with cutting, piecing projects, maybe even something personal for them to take home. Many hands make light work. It could use up loose ends.

  5. I finally found a bridge I could not cross a second time. Highway four from Solomon Island to mainland MD. I thought I was going to be sick, but knew I needed to drive!
    I don't remember the Royal gorge. Must be impressive. Thanks for the warning.

    Love the idea of quilted cards (as I eye my scraps). Another way to downsize before our move. I like Mona's idea. My shelter is way more transient, but this would be a neat craft.

  6. Barb, your way of life in retirement is an inspiration.I am still bouncing around with schedules, non schedules,a activities,hobbies,thoughts of part time work.Am about 6 months into retirement and still feel a bit scattered.We managed a HUGE MOVE in this time also-- I expect the NEXT 6 months will bring some clarity or at least some adventure in trying!!!!!!!


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