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….



How did your clothes flinging go??

I have had a (RARE) 4-day stay-at-home, and because “I” am the person leading this, I figure I needed to lead by example.

Combining clothes closet and drawers, my flinging number is up to 92! (Remember, ANYTHING you fling counts. The extra hangers, the hole-y pair of socks, the ones that don’t stay up  -count as one- the orphan socks EACH count as one…)

I can purchase a pair of new khaki’s and a pair of black jeans without feeling excessive! My clothes match. There are no holes, or stains or missing buttons.

I lean toward blues, turquoises, teals, olives, and black. That is proven in my closet. So passing up a fuchsia sweater should be easier, right? Not foolproof, but easier.

But my word for the year is BALANCE.

So therefore, I have not dug deeper, and made more mess, trying to cross off even more of the list while I am home. I could have, sure. But I think it would have lead to resentment on my part for my ‘wasted’ time off. I want to create, too!

I have quilted. Played with my fabrics would be a more apt description. But today, I have quilting at the library, and I have a few things to work on.

I have UFO’s.—(quilt speak for Unfinished Objects.)  Many of them. My goal this year, is to finish twice as many things as I start. A great balance. I won’t feel like I am swimming in old things, but will accomplish great amounts! (I hope.)

If you go here, you can see the quilt projects in all their unfinished glory.

Words. It’s all about the Words.

Words. Language. Semantics. I am not always the most eloquent (the post previous to this being a prime example…my husband’s blog regarding the new year was far more all-encompassing and descriptive…)

…but I LIKE words. I like to read them–far more than one book a week– I like to write them–(last year, my second 178,000 word (fan-)fictional story, someday, the great American novel…. :})

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.  ~Mark Twain

And I understand the power of words. One of the most important skills in my job is being able to choose words appropriately, to convey a variety of (mostly positive) feelings and descriptors.  Think of how many online “wars” could be avoided would that the words ‘spoken’ were chosen with more care? (Not to mention how many real wars, how many families ripped apart)….

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or evil.”
Siddhartha Gotoma or Buddha (563-483 B.C.)

I have chosen a WORD for the past few New Years Day. (Insight, Inclusive, Deliberate are past words.)

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.(unknown…)

Announcing this year’s word: BALANCE.

Today, on my quilting list, everyone (well, almost) is choosing a word! And oh, what wonderful words, what personal words!

I hope to see that we all focus on the best our words can bring us!

(edited for clarity) AND, I just received another word! I am joining a quilt challenge, where we create an art quilt every two months, utilizing that word….January/February is PUZZLE…





My ‘word’ for the year. Last year was ’inclusive,’ and the year before that, ‘insight‘.


Why a word?


Well, think of it like this. Everything has a slogan, or a rally cry, or a battle cry, as the case may be. (“Just do it,” “Just say no,” “Yes, we can!”) A word, thought, phrase, idea–something that helps you define, categorize, and internalize the world around you, and the place you are in it.


The Insight year, the word came to me on a box. This artist paints boxes and will mail you one with an empowerment word. My word arrived— Insight. And I ended up using the word to create a quilt that was displayed at Houston’s International Quilt Show, during the last year of the JOURNAL QUILT PROJECT. (you can get silly if you want, trying to follow back through my old blogs, locating the whole story if you like)


Inclusive? Well it just came to me. And I don’t know that there is much that I could DO with a word like that… but I think the YEAR itself was rather such, don’t you?


I don’t know if I find the word being repeated in things I read or listen to. I don’t know where in my subconscious I latch onto it. However, I do know that I have never before committed to paper (or indeed, ever told anyone) that I had a word.


Having the word doesn’t mean that I am now walking around like a student who just discovered a great new vocabulary word. It’s not my default ‘big’ word, or anything.


It’s more a meditative kind of thing. More a way of processing the world, taking the time to analyze what’s going on. Odd that the word itself this year represents that. You might look at it more like a resolution, than a word. A different way of approaching life.


I know I am flighty. (I could have ADD, I suppose; I swear the cat has ADHD, I don’t see why I couldn’t be afflicted, too?) I tend to putter about on my days off, and I don’t accomplish much (except finishing books…I am a great finisher of books once I start…if I could only move that skill into, say, finishing CLEANING, or finishing a QUILT project, or finishing…well you get the idea.)


So, to me, it’s coming to mean more –Take time to smell the roses; and I certainly can’t see the fault with THAT!!!

(Oh, and no matter how ODD you may think I am, look, I’m not even unique!!!

I discovered this blog a few days after the word Deliberate took root—)

De*lib”er*ate\, a. [L. deliberatus, p. p. of deliberare to deliberate; de- + librare to weigh. See Librate.]

Weighing facts and arguments with a view to a choice or decision; carefully considering the probable consequences of a step; circumspect; slow in determining; — applied to persons; as, a deliberate judge or counselor.

Formed with deliberation; well-advised; carefully considered; not sudden or rash; as, a deliberate opinion; a deliberate measure or result.

To take counsel with one’s self; to weigh the arguments for and against a proposed course of action; to reflect; to consider; to hesitate in deciding; — sometimes with on, upon, about, concerning.

To think carefully and often slowly, as about a choice to be made.

To consider (a matter) carefully and often slowly, as by weighing alternatives.

Leisurely and steady in movement or action; slow and even; unhurried: a deliberate step.

INSIGHT. Journal quilt, 2007

International Quilt Festival, Houston  2007.

This is my second year with a quilt at Houston in the Journal Quilt show, and it is also the last year of this multi-year show. My first series of quilts is still traveling in part. One is being shown again this year, in the “book” section of the Journal show.  I must publicly thank Karey Bresenhan for her tireless enthusiasm for this project. Without it, I don’t know if I would have ever made the leap and tried to exhibit my work!!!!

This years quilt began with a box.  Last year I read about an artist who ships painted boxes to anyone who requests one. They say “FRAGILE: Contains—and then an empowerment word.”(

Click on this to see the quilt. 

It’s about the community of people, the connection; the thinking that occurs as people encounter the box on its journey.  A brightly painted orange and yellow box arrived at my home one day with the label “Fragile: Contains INSIGHT”. The box sits in my studio. My mind ponders the word, thinking about its true meaning. Researching it, it has many facets of definition. In October of last year, I traveled to Ocracoke Island, NC. I am not a morning person. But I do love sunrise, so on vacations where there is a beach involved I don’t growl too much when awakened before dawn.  I took a large number of photos at the beach of an incredible sunrise. One is framed and sits on my studio desk. The fiery orange INSIGHT box sits next to it.   

Choosing this year’s quilt was difficult. One quilt? I had thought that nine were hard. I froze. Finally in July, I noticed these two objects together and a quilt just came to me. Photo transfer! Painting! Crystals! Oh, and let’s try silk and rayon! In a matter of days, the quilt was almost finished except for the details. Having taken a Pamela Allen class, I decided to approach it with her pre-layered quilt sandwich as a canvas to stitch a variety of fabrics from clothes purchased at the Goodwill.

The lace of one wave is from the edge of a blouse once owned by my grandmother. I made a photo transfer of the original photograph, sandwiched and bound it and applied Swarvoski crystals to the sparkling water. I didn’t really know how this would be incorporated. It kind of evolved. Took it to work one day, and found explaining what I was up to helped clarify and validate my thought processes and ideas. At that point I realized the photo needed to be hung from a piece of driftwood; alas no more time for another trip to the beach. I scrounged around the yard for a piece of wood, scraped and bleached it and then found some sunrise colored yarns to hang the smaller quilt from the larger quilt. This three-dimensional aspect begged for balance on the bottom, hence the tulle trapped seashells.  Since I collect seashells and sand from every place I go that provides them, it wasn’t a challenge to come up with a few to incorporate.