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RTG: What do you keep in your handbag?

Purses! Now this is something I can talk about 🙂 Before I tell you what I keep in my purse, I have to say that I have found the perfect purse. I’ve had multiple purses in my lifetime, but this is the best one ever. I found this picture on Nordstrom where it sells for $295. I bought mine at Ross for 18.99. Of course it doesn’t have the Tory Burch label, but that’s okay. I love the construction of the purse, the sides stand up nicely, the straps are the right length and it’s easy to find things inside.









All right – what’s in it? I can’t imagine anyone is interested in this, but here goes.

  1. My wallet
  2. A sunglasses case with no sunglasses
  3. Winter gloves
  4. Keys
  5. Pens
  6. My notebook
  7. Chapstick and lipstick
  8. Grocery receipts
  9. Change
  10. Various lint
  11. Paperclips
  12. A pill case
  13. A little zippered purse with personal items in it
  14. Depending on the day and where I’m going, it could also contain my husbands wallet, phone and sunglasses. Or a baby bottle, diaper and wipes.
  15. It also has a pocket on the outside, perfect for my phone.

I’d be no good on Let’s Make a Deal. I don’t have a corkscrew in my purse, or a birdhouse.

What’s in your purse? It’s only fair! 🙂

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RTG: Write about something you lost


I found The Random Topic Generator (RTG) the other day and thought it might be fun to use it here. I really seem to have no topic for this blog, so why not just let it be truly serendipitous? Who knows what we’ll find? I’ll go there, ask for a topic and I will 90% promise to write about it. 🙂 Some things are off limits. I have to claim a caveat at some point! Okay – here I go, back in a minute … (holy cow)

Write about something you lost.

I will have to say that I have lost a lot of things in my 58 years. Things, people, ideals, respect and various other odd things.

I’ve lost the love and respect of one of my children, and the love of a good friend – both for reasons I won’t go into here, or anywhere. I lost a husband to cancer. Loss is rarely ever good.

I lost an entire household of furniture and goods when my husband died. I have to look at that like water under the bridge. Things come and go, right? You can always buy more stuff; you can never buy another love.

What irritates me the most are the things I can’t find, but they are not lost. I just don’t know where they are. It’s in this house. Somewhere. I subscribe to one of two theories – the first one is that our dog gets up in the middle of the night and moves things. The second one is that fairies and elves come to visit during the night and move things. I wish, just once I’d get a cleaning crew of fairies and elves. They’d probably arrive the night after I cleaned the house.

Then there is the stuff that I used to have, but I’m not sure if I still have it, so is it lost or gone? I don’t know.

Usually, as soon as I get rid of something I need it.

I’ve lost my natural brown hair, my girlish figure and many times – my mind. What you get here is what’s left over after all that.

Gosh, I hope the next topic doesn’t lead me into such deep waters!

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Creativity Part 3

When I was a little girl, probably around kindergarten age, I was playing with a friend. We were lying on the grass, watching the clouds and being silly like little 5-year-old girls tend to be. There were some hills in the distance, and as we had been naming clouds, I pointed at the hills and said something like, “Those look like giants lying down taking naps!” My friend jumped up and yelled, “They do not!” and suddenly they didn’t look like giants at all, they just looked like hills.

Don’t let the naysayer change your vision. If the hills look like giants to you, they are giants! Stay true to the unique idea you’ve chosen. If you have an idea and it just nags at you to create it, do it. No matter what someone else may say. Other people don’t have the privilege of peeking into your mind to see your creativity the way you do. Nobody can do your creative thing like you can.

There is no one else who can do what you do, or create what you can create. They can’t put colors together the way you do. They would never have thought to put those elements together to create one thing – but you did. People can copy you, but their creation will never be quite the same as yours.

Learn to recognize the creative, unique You. The more you do, the easier it becomes. The more you do, you build pathways in your brain that enable you to do it again and again. The more you push yourself creatively, the more brain pathways you build and the better you will become at what you do.

Creativity never stands still. It’s like water, which will stagnate and become dull and sluggish. Creativity demands to be challenged, pushing the limits, expanding the scope of your view. The more you challenge yourself, the better you will be at what you do.

(I’m using quilting for my example, but use whatever subject you like.) For example, find a quilt book in your library. Find the most challenging design in it and make the quilt. Learn how to draft and make your own Mariner’s Compass. Yes, it will be hard the first time. It may not turn out the way you envisioned it. It will probably have a severe case of volcano-itis, like most of our first MC blocks. Do a block again, and again until you feel confident.

After that, move on to another mountain. Learn how to do kaleidoscope blocks. There are no limits to what you can do with those. Make a quilt with lots of set-in seams, (just for the challenge) or lots of sharp points. It doesn’t matter what you choose, but do choose something that will challenge your abilities. For example, if you’re a beginner, don’t go straight to the Mariners Compass!

If you can comfortably make a 9-patch quilt or piece half square triangles, move on to 8-Pointed Stars. They have 8 points meeting in the center and set-in seams. Don’t worry if the first one can’t be squared! The main point is to do it: do it until you can do it well.

Don’t try all this in one day. You’ll frustrate yourself, and you most likely won’t go back to it. Do a little every day. Set a limit of 30 minutes a day. Yes, it has to be challenging, but it also has to be doable.

Enjoy your challenges, and find your personal brand of creativity.

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Creativity pt 2

We’re going to travel down a little path in our mind. Maybe it hasn’t been traveled in quite a long time. It might be overgrown with weeds and brambles. Or it might be trampled smooth. Are there benches along the path? The journey can be just as enthrall­ing as the destination. This particular little path leads to our Creative Laboratory.

It’s housed in a brick building, with no windows and only one tiny door. We’re going to remodel!


We don’t need such a sturdy building here. There are no hurricanes, no floods, no lightning, it doesn’t even rain! So, get your work boots on and your heavy-duty gloves and let’s tear down those walls!!

Our Creative Laboratory is located in a meadow. Pine and cedar trees surround the meadow. Is that waves I hear in the distance? We certainly don’t need those brick walls. We can use the bricks for other things! We’ll make a BBQ, so we can have a cookout and invite friends over to create with us. We’ll build a nice patio. We’ll save some for later use.


That is SO much better! Stand in the middle of the laboratory and look around. The forbidding brick walls are gone. Instead of no windows, now it’s all one big window on the world. That tiny door that limited our entrance is gone. Now we can enter from any point or corner we desire.

Look around! What do you see? We see our mead­ow, trees, green grass, birds, flowers, clouds, sky….the list goes on and on. Look around the inside of your laboratory. We see our art supplies, our fabric stashes, our drawers of treasures. Does this encour­age us to be more creative?

Granted, this is a mind exercise and the Laboratory doesn’t really exist, although in our minds it cer­tainly does. Not many of us are fortunate enough to have such a meadow nearby. But it doesn’t matter!

Let’s tear down those boundaries and forget all the negative/forbidding bits and pieces thrown at us over the years regarding creativity.

Remember I mentioned ‘wasting time’ or our creative efforts being labeled unproductive in the last issue? When you were a child, did you enjoy daydreaming?


Or for that matter, do you enjoy it now? 🙂 Can you remember lying on the grass in the backyard, watching the clouds and trying to figure out what they look like? Or turning over and watching the blades of grass? Letting dirt or sand sift through your fingers? Can you remember the sights, sounds and feelings of those experiences? When you look at the world through a child’s eyes, it becomes bigger and greater and more exciting. It’s a place to explore and discover and learn. As we become older and move into adulthood, there’s not much about the world around us that is exciting. We’re always in a hurry, on our way to work, to the store, to school. In order to have our breath taken away by the world around us, we have to encounter something big. Yosemite, Niagra Falls, New York City, the Grand Canyon. I’d like for us to learn to find wonder in our world. The yard, the park, the house, it doesn’t matter where. It could be lying in bed reading a book, it could be doing the dishes and noticing the colors of the bubbles. So get comfy and start daydreaming! Try to spend a few minutes a day doing this.


Take some time to look, I mean REALLY look at something. Maybe it’s the fish tank, or a houseplant, or your garden, or just the dirt. Try to do this for a few days, maybe a week. When you find something that seems to be more interesting than the other things, study it. Draw pictures of it, photograph it, plan a quilt of it, make a greeting card of it, use it in a story. The possibilities are endless. Let’s try to open our mind and let our creativity take root, grow and flourish in our own meadows.

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Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgivingI wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you’re spending time with friends and family. Remember, we have so much to be thankful for. I’ll be back next Monday.

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The Journey to Creativity – Part 1

creativityI hear people say, “Oh, I’m not creative at all!” or “I just don’t have the patience for that kind of thing. Wish I did.” (when I’m knitting)

They are wrong.

We all have creativity. It doesn’t mean you’re destined to crochet Granny squares for the rest of your life. (Have you seen the Granny Square afghan on my DIY blog? Oh wow!) Creativity is different for everyone. Think about these very different occupations:

    • Car Repair

    • Upholstery

    • Brain Surgery

    • Farmer

    • Architect

Each one of those jobs require some creativity. You will always come upon new situations that need to be solved. That’s being creative.

So, why do we think we aren’t creative?

There are many reasons.

  • Creative efforts might not have resulted in praise.

  • We believe the things that have been said about us – “Oh, she’s all thumbs!” or “My dad always told me I have no mechanical ability.”

  • Sometimes creativity is squelched.

  • It may not have been masculine or a prudent way to spend time.

  • Perhaps it was labeled unproductive.

When we started school, our teacher may have said, “Now draw a yellow flower in the middle of the page.”

Well, what if we wanted to draw several purple flowers all over the page? By ignoring our own creative urges and following the direction of the teacher, we sun-flower-1536088_640may have earned a good grade, but it didn’t encourage that creative seed.

We learned to follow directions, we learned about yellow, and we learned about the middle of the page. But we didn’t learn to develop our natural creativity.

Now, about yellow flowers! There is so much more to learn about yellow flowers! They are beautiful in the midst of the purple flowers.

Yellow comes in all sorts of flavors, and it’s mixed with the green of the leaves and the stems. And what about weeds? What kind of garden doesn’t have weeds? They have a beauty all their own and shouldn’t be overlooked.

There are ladybugs crawling on yellow flowers, or there may be a spider or a grasshopper. ladybug-241636_1280Some of the petals may be larger than others, or even munched off by that grasshopper. Is there a bee? I think my point is made. There can be artistic comment in a single yellow flower in the middle of the page. But it’s not the only way flowers can be portrayed.

When you first read the first sentence about the yellow flower, what was the picture you saw in your mind? Go draw it!

As you read more, did the picture change? Draw it!

Artistic ability has nothing to do with it. Stick figures, stick flowers… same thing!

Don’t be held back because you say to yourself, “Oh I can’t draw!” We can all draw. We just all draw differently.

Don’t accept the label of ‘Uncreative’. Find the place your creativity dwells. Invite it out into the sunshine. Stretch it’s muscles. Give it a little pep talk and let it unfold. In the next two articles we’ll explore ways to develop our creativity. Are you ready for the journey?

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