2015…word of the year.

is… CONNECT.IMG_6108

Happy 2015!  As per usual, I fought the word. “What?” I thought, when, about a week ago, while not really even thinking about the word of the year, “Connect” jumped up and waved its arms in the air. “Look at ME!”

Connect, I thought. Huh. What in the name of anything can I do with YOU? And so, stubborn wench that I am, I ignored it, and listened out for a sensible word. Right. That never happens. Remember ENOUGH or CHOOSE or INSIGHT or WEATHER  or MOTION or BALANCE or DELIBERATE or INCLUSIVE? (I look at this list and think maybe my inner Buddhist is coming out)

So, I randomly thought of other words (NEVER works, by the way. Never.) I tried,while going about my week, to figure out what CONNECT could have to to with my art, my quilting, because that is where the concept of doing a word started for me.  And, yet.

This morning–today, January 1, 2015, I looked up the definition of the word connect while getting ready to write this blog post.

1794641_10203652074326362_1275265419_n-001Well, DUH. Connect. To Join, link, or fasten together. To unite or bind.

Right there, the first definition, is about quilting!!!!! What more does one do in quilting, at the most elemental level, than attach two pieces of fabric together? And what is the last step, but to bind the quilt? (We shall not talk, today, about all the intermediate steps, of reverse engineering, running out of material, mis-measuring…) Let’s keep it classy, ok?  But will this have anything to do with the bigger picture, outside the studio walls…?

Connect verb (used with object)   1.to join, link, or fasten together; unite or bind:   2. to establish communication between; put in communication: 3. to have as an accompanying or associated feature: 4.to cause to be associated, as in a personal or business relationship: to connect oneself with a group of like-minded persons;  5.to associate mentally or emotionally http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/connect



I shall connect with my fabric, indeed! As soon as I finish writing this post, as a matter of fact, I have to scramble to finish a project.

But on the larger scale, connecting, connection; it’s the thing we all want more than anything, isn’t it? Isn’t it why we hug, or hold hands? Why we walk side by side, why the cat climbs on you the moment you have created a lap?

So, this year, the “connect” I want to work on is the one on one, personal connecting… Comment on this post, start a connection with me. I want to know better the people I know…Connect in real life and in this new small world of the smart phone, the internet, where all my friendships can be at my fingertips…

I think making the threads that connect us stronger is a wonderful goal.

HAPPY New Year!!!

This quilt is called Emails from China, designed and worked on while my daughter was in China in 2009. We stayed connected during that time via emails that came while I slept, and were answered while she slept…

Enough IS Enough

My Word of the year, 2014. 

ENOUGH!  (to see previous years …)

This one showed up a few weeks ago, driving to work.  A quilting group I am part of annually shares the words they want to use as a talisman for their art. And life, as the case may be. As it happens most years, the word of the year chooses me, and I am rarely in the mood for it, or willing to give it access to my entire year, but once rooted, it refuses to allow other words the opportunity to audition for such a lofty spot in my world! And this time, I feel like maybe it needs to be tattooed on my forehead.

Because, really, enough already!  (I feel somewhat successful in last years word, Choose. I did have the foot surgery, I do have a quilt going into MAQS this February…)


Where does the word ENOUGH fall in your life? As the parent hollering “ENOUGH” up the stairs at the children bickering? At the level of stupidity at work, does the word actually mean “Uncle”? I give up, I’ve had ENOUGH, I’m moving on?

Or is it more of a peaceful, comforting hug, reminding you that you have more than ENOUGH to make you happy, if only you allow it?

You know the future’s lookin’ brighter
Every mornin’ when I get up
Don’t be thinkin’ ’bout what’s not enough, now baby
Just be thinkin’ ’bout what we got

Oh-oh, rich man, poor man, now
Really don’t mean all that much
Mama’s always told you, girl
That money can’t buy you love
”  Eddie Money

(Yes, even songs on the radio jump on the “Word of the Year” Bandwagon. Eddie Money, Philosopher. Who knew?)

So, ENOUGH. I, of course, have ENOUGH.

  • ENOUGH food that deciding what to make for dinner is the dilemma.
  • ENOUGH food that I can’t recall the last time I went to bed hungry.
  • ENOUGH money that deciding what restaurant to have dinner at is a question we ask too often.
  • ENOUGH money that we have to decide where we want to go on vacation each year, rather than having to decide which bill we don’t pay this month.
  • ENOUGH heat in our home that I sleep warmly that well, scratch that, I think I could always use another quilt or two on the bed! But I have them to use!
  • ENOUGH clothing that I don’t have to do laundry every third day. (Actually, so much clothing that the laundry seems to be full every third day!)
  • ENOUGH books (blasphemy!) that I could never be bored.
  • ENOUGH fabric to quilt every day of my life, and have to live to a ripe old age before running low. (Although, thread and batting might be needed.)
  • ENOUGH quilting patterns I shouldn’t ever have to duplicate a quilt.
  • ENOUGH creativity to ditch the majority of the patterns I do have, except for inspiration.
  • ENOUGH beads to make jewelry for more people than I know.
  • ENOUGH  cats that Nope, never too many of those.
  • ENOUGH health that most days I get up headache free, and can throw my legs over the edge of the bed with only mild groaning, can do the things I want and need to do with only marginal complaint and pain. And I make it through my day without medication of the life-saving sort. Too many people don’t have that luxury.
  • ENOUGH support from the people around me, who love me as I am, unconditionally, that I can soar!
  • ENOUGH friends and family that my Christmas tree looks dwarfed by presents.20131218-IMG_7550
  • ENOUGH hours in the day to Ok, so this word isn’t all-inclusive, and has limits. But, that sounds like LIFE.
  • ENOUGH love that I feel rich, indeed.

What do do with this word:

Therein lies the issue.  I can easily cut in half the number of clothes I buy. That frees up money spent at thrift stores, and time looking around them. I could easily lighten the load on the closet and the dresser and still have ENOUGH to be suitably attired for whatever comes along.  I can stay out of the quilt shops, and really only buy what is essential to finishing, not something because I must have this fabric. (Don’t fear, Joyce! You KNOW I will be buying!) Don’t see this as a resolution, by the way. I like pretty things!

I think this word is more of the emotional variety.

  • Glass half full and all that.
  • See the positive.
  • Look for the good parts of not continuing to acquire; indeed, looking at what can be removed from life, without creating a sense of denial or punishment.
  • A lot of that is about creativity and about being happy in your own skin and happy in the place you find yourself. 
  • Looking at everything you need to say no to, and realizing all the things you get to say yes to that so many other people couldn’t imagine!
  • Lighting the candle or cursing the darkness.
  • Being upset it isn’t Paris or excited that it is a vacation! 

So, soon will begin the declutter. Again. This time, it needs to be not only of things, but of thoughts. Knowing it’s a WONDERFUL life, just the way it is.  That, indeed, is ENOUGH.

I Wish You Enough— “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

(click the link to get the entire story that makes the email rounds)

WHY enough is enough-A woman I used to know as a child wrote this; it doesn’t HAVE to pertain only to Christmas!

Announcing ‘CHOOSE”… my word for 2013

“Another year over, a new one just begun….” (Happy Christmas, by John Lennon)

2012 was difficult for a lot of souls….. I hope for peace Peacefor all the hurting hearts…Broken heartand that in 2013, they will be able to move forward.  (2013. What  WILL Triskaidekaphobiac’s do?)

For the past few years, starting with an online quilting group, I’ve chosen a word to identify/shape/define the year.  Past words: Insight, Inclusive, Deliberate, Balance, Motion, Weather….. (wander through the archives to possibly read a bit about the words.)

I have never chosen the word, it CHOOSES me. (It’s something like writing fiction— when your characters are determined to do what THEY want, and the heck with your plans for them….)  I actually am envious of some of the words that others come up with, but they don’t feel right, right now.  So, I wait. I hear words as I go about my day, and one of them usually just latches on. Can’t shake it off, even as I wonder, ‘why this word?’

“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”  Freewill, by Rush. 

(I actually didn’t get to Choose this word, because IT won’t leave my head. Or let others in.  But, I digress Smile with tongue outSo, my word is Choose. (not Jimmy Choo’s shoes, lol)

How can this word impact my day to day existence? The word was meant first as an exercise for honing in on artistic endeavors. 

I can choose to finish a project, or call it good—move on, and acknowledge I am gaining nothing from completing it except the act of crossing it off a list.IMG_1078

If it isn’t doing anything more positive than that, then is completion more important than choosing how I expend my mental, emotional and artistic energy? (Although done IS better than perfect, is DONE necessary?)  I can choose to tackle a project over my head, and reach deeper into myself to find a way to complete, and enter into a show, risking rejection, or I can choose to believe I wouldn’t be juried in in any event and not risk failure.IMG_2495

I can choose to go to bed with the dirty dishes hanging over my head, or I can wake to a shiny sink. (they don’t by the way. I rarely feel guilt over the lack of a clean kitchen!Winking smile)

I can choose to buy the next new shiny thing, or I can watch my balances go down.  I can choose to do something about the pain in my foot, thumb, shoulder, back, or continue to ignore it.  I can choose to accept that I like my stuff, and the way it surrounds me, or I can keep attempting to cater to others expectations and put it away, out of view, in matching plastic totes or pretty hat boxes: more spending! ( I am sorely susceptible to the attraction of pretty hatboxes, alas…Michael’s just got in some REALLY pretty ones…and I just came up with another PERFECT use for one of my plastic totes…)  I can choose to work in chaos, or orchestrate my mind to find a quieter existence.  I can choose to say no, or I can be overwhelmed by all the hands reaching in for a part of me.


I can choose to sleep in, or I can fill every available hour with tasks and projects. I can choose to wake up happy,


I can choose to see the positive in daily interactions,  I can choose to be kind, 2008 SanDiego-164 5x7

I can choose to have empathy, I can choose to move on, I can choose to let it go.

I can choose. Note that CHOOSE is a Verb. An action word. I can choose a lot of things, but not how many hours there are in a day, or how many days I get to live. florida 4-25-2009 1-03-07 PM2009 April-RAW 8x

Party smileHave the happiest of New Years.Martini glassParty smile Be safe and be wonderful!

Welcome, 2012. Welcome, MOTION!

2011 is at its close. And it was a year, alright!

Begun with great personal sadness and ending with great and multiple personal gladness’s, I WEATHERED 2011 in more ways than I would have envisioned when I chose WEATHER as my word of the year. 2011’s word blog post


For the past few years, I have begun the year with a word… started in an online group of fiber artists, and each year, I admire their words, and think I might steal one of them, because I don’t have my own word yet.

This morning, as I was driving to work,  the word pronounced itself to me, fully formed, and refuses to allow further thought or negotiation.

So, for 2012, my word is MOTION.

There so many ways to interpret it, to analyze it, to live it…

The simple act of getting up out of bed means I am living my word!

(Talk about being successful with a resolution!!)

But, can I take it someplace further?

  • Colors answer feeling in man; shapes answer thought; and motion answers will. ~John Sterling
  • Envisioning the end is enough to put the means in motion~ Dorothea Brande
  • Growth, in some curious way, I suspect, depends on being always in motion just a little bit, one way or another.~ Norman Mailer
  • It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion.~ Mentat Prayer

For 2012, I have already set in motion my first one woman photo exhibit! I need to work on that, and make it become what I want it to be.

I have taken the first steps towards another run at organization of the house…

I have a date to meet with some quilt artists, and hope to see something new and exciting occur in the stagnant art place I find my fiber art resting…

But, could I take the concept of motion and make it bigger?  A few years back, Timmy and I were going to do the Ukrops 10k, but I had a foot issue… hmmm…

Arlie, Timmy—March 31 is far enough away to get our bodies in motion, too! (A body in motion STAYS in motion!!!)

2011. WORD.

It’s January 1st, 2011.

It’s all about the resolutions:Winking smile Out with the old, in with the new; motivate, change, organize, fresh starts. Uh huh. Sure. It’s Saturday, and it’s January, and I have to go to work. (But, I do not need to unbury the car first.)

It may be more about the fact that tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, you will wake up like yesterday. There isn’t an on/off switch to change; the cats roam around the house, unaware of the portent of the calendar switch. Things usually don’t just change overnight. (Most change of the day/night variety is usually of the catastrophic kind anyway, and that seems a silly way to want to start a year.)

For the last few years, I have had a word of the year—does it get used enough? Do I live by it? Heck, do “I” even choose it? Could I, in mid-October, even tell you the word?  I am a member of an art quilt group; for the last week, it’s been all about the new word. And meanings attached—their own personal definition of the word, for their purposes—for the year.

I was reading their words, contemplating what would my word be. (Past words: Insight, Inclusive, Deliberate, Balance)

I loved some of their words. I thought of borrowing them, and giving them my own spin; heck, even swiping their own interpretations. However, another word forced itself into my consciousness. I can’t see how it is a word I can spend a year with, but on the other hand, I have spent my life with it.

No other word seems to be forthcoming, now that this word has settled: Weather.

  • Whether the weather be mild or whether the weather be not,
    Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot,
    We’ll weather the weather whatever the weather,
    Whether we like it or not.
    Aleksandra Lachut
  • Sudden resolutions, like the sudden rise of mercury in a barometer, indicate little else than the variability of the weather. David Hare
  • A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves. Marcel Proust
  • SunA friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often – just to save it from drying out completely.
    Pam Brown
  • Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. Rabindranath Tagore
  • Walking through puddles is my favorite metaphor for life. Jessi Lane Adams
  • The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event.  You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?  J.B. Priestley
  • To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.  George Santayana
  • UmbrellaWeather is a great metaphor for life – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.  Terri Guillemets
  • Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Charles Dudley Warner
  • I get cold really quickly, but I don’t care. I like weather. I never understand why people move someplace so that they can avoid weather. Holly Hunter
  • I inherited that calm from my father, who was a farmer. You sow, you wait for good or bad weather, you harvest, but working is something you always need to do. Miguel Indurain
  • Storm cloudIf you send up a weather vane or put your thumb up in the air every time you want to do something different, to find out what people are going to think about it, you’re going to limit yourself. That’s a very strange way to live.  Jessye Norman
  • It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.  Amelia Barr
  • The true harvest of my life is intangible – a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched. Henry David Thoreau
  • RainbowAnd when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. G.K. Chesterton
  • Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.  John Ruskin
  • LightningNature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.  Annie Leibovitz
  • I am a contradictory mess but I see it as my prerogative to change my mood like the weather.  Shirley Manson

How does this word become a theme for a year? Does it mean my photos, my quilting, will be more nature oriented? Or that simply I am to plod on, whenever I hit a bump in the road? Or is the word meant to be “Whether“?   Hmmmm…

In other news, resolutions:

Dad has the best of them, (stay out of the hospital, prepare for Christmas 2011) but mine are …

  • Focus on Friday—A photo a week, up on my photo blog, for conversation, critique and what-have-you.
  • Revisiting the 27-Thing Fling, the big de-cluttering attempt of 2010. I know some of you joined me. How did it go? Did you finish, stick with it?
  • Work on getting my photography out there! You can help—send people to my site, become a fan on facebook….
  • Finish some of those quilt projects I swore I would finish in 2010….

Yeah, that’s about it. Resolutions are tricky things, if you are not with them, you are against them….