Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Beautiful Autumn Leaves

I just had to stop and take a picture of these trees that I saw after dropping off some items at the local thrift store. In a day of near panic attacks for stupid reasons, this was a refreshing reminder of God's handiwork. I'm thankful that I could enjoy these beauties as I went about my daily tasks.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Day Off Turns Into a Day to Shop Hop

Yesterday was my "day off." A day just for me. I decided that I needed to go on a little shop hop down south. So I took off at 10am and was able to get to 3 shops and back by 4pm. Not too bad.

First stop - Quilts N' More in Midlothian. Next was the Corner Square Quilt Shop in Cedar Hill. I ended my journey at Common Threads in Waxahachie. It was quite a little trip...complete with a stop for lunch at Burger King - yuck! and a stop at Dairy Queen that was much better - way, way cleaner. Below are my thoughts about the places I visited.

Quilts N' More has tons of stuff. Fabric, Notions, Books and Patterns. Lots and lots of stuff. It's a bit of a ramshackle kind of place with a somewhat cluttered look. This store is packed to the rafters with all things quilt related. If you're looking for awesome ambiance, this is not the place. If you are looking for something unique to complete your quilt, you'll likely find it here. I was overwhelmed and awed at the same time. I wouldn't put this shop at the top of my favorites list and I probably won't be back, but if I lived in the area I'd be happy to be a customer.

Corner Square Quilts is a bright, cheerful little shop with an enthusiastic and hospitable shop owner. The selection is limited and that helps keep things fresh because turnover is quick. For such a small shop I felt that it had a nice variety of projects and patterns. The batik and blender sections were full and could be incorporated into many lovely quilt tops. The shop has tables available for guests to drop in and use.

After a bit of back tracking I finally landed in Waxahachie at Common Threads. My friend, Sally Ashbacher, adores this shop and I can see why. It is indeed a lovely shop. Packed with beautiful samples and a large range of fabric, there surely must be something for everyone. While the focus is on Civil War reproduction fabric, there are certainly many other genres of fabric available, such as thirties, blenders, novelties, and other traditional styles. There were many patterns and books. The staff was friendly, even though there focus that day seemed to be redecorating after Halloween. The displays in the shop are well done and present interesting vignettes. The downtown location is quaint, attractive and clean. Located across the street is a nice antique shop. The town itself offers many scenic photo opportunities and I am inclined to think that I will be returning at some future date, with the hubby.

Over all, I was satisfied with my shop hop and am glad that this was how I chose to spend my day. My GPS, on the other hand, died part way home. Thankfully, it was the part where I already knew my way, so I made it home safe and sound, with a few fat quarters and a pattern or two.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hello, Old Friend

Yesterday I revisited my Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll quilt. I started this quilt just about 2 years ago. It was a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, that is now only available in her String Fling book. I was excited, on fire, hyped up. I just knew I could keep up. Ha! Right! So here I am 2 years later still plugging away.

Yesterday was a sew day and I was amazed at how much I got done in a little over 1 1/2 hours. I was motivated after watching Bonnie on her quilt cam. She is my quilt idol. I decided to follow her example and set aside some time to quilt and just see what I could knock out. All these blocks got the red & white side triangle strips added. It's amazing what I can do when I focus!

Now, it's time to set some goals and get this baby finished. The top and bottom triangles and cornerstones are next. I'm shooting for Friday.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sewing is Fun!

Tomorrow is the second day of my "weekend." Since I spent yesterday (the first day of my weekend) doing household stuff, I will be able to spend tomorrow having fun. Now I just need to decide what that fun looks like. I'm thinking it could look like sewing.

I tend to put off sewing until all the work is complete. Which is being disciplined, I suppose. Or boring. I got a chance to sew a little at work the other day and it just whet my appetite for more sewing time.

 Here's what I whipped up -

It's a 10 minute table runner. I saw the instructions on YouTube. It really took about an hour. That's because I was using a strange machine - not my usual trusty Bernina. Plus the ironing board was in a different room. The instructions were in yet another room. It was crazy. At the insistence of a co-worker I even made the tassels with metallic embroidery floss - that took the most time. I think it turned out cute. And it motivated me.

 Now...what to work on tomorrow?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


A lesson I'm learniing...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Focusing on One Thing at a Time


I have this premise. Multitasking is a lie. Well, kinda sorta a lie. You see, I believe that we can truly focus on only one thing at a time. If that’s the case how is it that I can wash dishes and have a conversation? Or drive and listen to the radio? how about watch TV and clip coupons? Well ... something has been delegated to the realm of habit – maybe even a couple of somethings.

There is a book out called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. It is a great book. At least the Kindle sample part that I read was great. I really want to get that book, but since I’m on a tight budget I hope to get it for my birthday…this week…with an Amazon gift card.

But I digress. What struck me as I read this book was the idea that habits are formed by repetition and once formed they move to a different area of the brain. As far as I can tell this is what makes it possible to multitask. When you can engage multiple parts of the brain for different tasks you are multitasking.

Since multitasking is basically another term for being ADD, (which isn’t a bad thing), I tend to find that I’m not really focusing in on one task, but sort of splitting my attention. However, one of those tasks is going to win and get the better part of my attention. When that happens, the other task is being relegated to the habit center – the basal ganglia.

All this is fine. It also explains how I’m able to drive the car to work (habit) and think through the tasks that await me at work (focus). This explains why I get to work but don’t remember much about the trip there.

If I were to try to navigate to a new location while listening to an audio book (two completely new activities), one would get my attention and the other would be ignored. Neither of these activities can be handled by the habit center because both are brand new activities not yet formed into habits. And this is why I say that multitasking is a lie. Multiple tasks that require thought and concentration can’t be performed simultaneously.

So rather than claiming that I can multitask, it would be more honest to say that I can function in an environment with multiple interruptions. Function – yes. Thrive – not so much.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Free Saturday

I usually work on Saturdays. Today I have the day off work. It's like I'm playing hooky. I'm not sure what to do. There are so many options. Should I sew? Or shop? Or doing chorey stuff like clean? Ugh...no to that!

But just for the record, I do want to say that I am thankful for this day and all its possibilities. I feel a little guilty that I don't approach each day with this same kind of enthusiasm. Let's face it - work days just don't hold the same promise and options. There's a different kind of thankful for those days.

Today I just might work a little bit on this baby -

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm Thankful for The Bible

While teaching the four year old class at church last Sunday I was trying to remember the song that I used to sing back in my preschool teacher days. It was a very simple little ditty. After mulling it over I believe I've got it. It goes something like this:

The Bible is a special book
God's words are written there
I'll keep it in a special place
And handle it with care.

This little song is meant to instill a respect for the bible. It is indeed God's holy word and it should be handled with care and reverence. It is also meant to come out of that special place and be cracked open...regularly.

I'm glad to say that so far this year I have studied it daily. I'm thankful for this love letter from God and what I have learned by taking the time to dig deeper.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's Time to Simplify

I've been thinking about letting the blog go. I'm not as interested in blogging as I've been in the past. Frankly, it's a time thing. Plus there are just so many other blogs out there that do that blog thing better than mine. I don't think of it as quitting, but more as a priority realignment.

I struggle to find time to squeeze blogging into my schedule. Some of my favorite bloggers (Bonnie of Quiltville Snips and Quips and Crystal of Money Saving Mom) are so prolific, even with their busy lives, that I often wonder why I struggle to get something online. Having the "want to" just isn't enough. It's got to become a priority, a goal or a habit - a discipline.

Discipline is not my strongest suit. It is defined as: to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control. Well now...that sounds doable. After all, isn't that what I'm doing with Weight Watchers? The idea of training is intriguing. Bending and pruning plants so they conform to a preferred course comes to mind when I thing about training. Teaching children how to behave is another example, as is an athlete preparing for a particular event in his career. 

The motivation for pursuing discipline is probably the biggest challenge. At one time I wanted to blog because I thought it might help me in my career pursuits. I'm not sure I'm still convinced that is true. So, here I am arguing with myself. But perhaps I need to simplify and just look at my blog name - Thankful Kim. I could simply choose to post about those things for which I am thankful, keeping it simple and short. What a concept!

So here goes:
Today I am thankful for my small group (from our church). I'm finally getting to know people here in our "new" home. It's been a year and a half since we moved and we are just now starting to feel like we have friends, not just acquaintances. These are people who know what's going on in our lives and care about us. This is cool.