A to Z Challenge Reflection 2018

2018 A to Z Challenge Reflections

I don’t always enter a Reflections post. But I did this year and want to show it ‘on the list’, so here goes…

another challenge down in the books. It was not a sure thing even as recent as January 1st. I bought 3 separate quilting books with A to Z blocks over the last year. Two were in January. And still I was not sure until the day I signed up which was the first day of sign ups. Talk about indecisive! I brought new meaning to procrastinating this year.

Another year to shuffle job, family, blogging and taxes. I complained a time or two about how many hours a day that I work. Some don’t really consider what I do as work. I won’t go on about that but I would say being self-employed anyplace and maintaining that career for 25+ years is validation enough to call my job work. Dealing with family is mandatory. Not much ‘splainin’ to do there. Blogging with my subject matter we’ll deal with in the next paragraph. And then the Taxes. Self-employed = itemization. That means keeping each and every receipt through the year and (hopefully) not waiting til the last month to go through them to tally up expenses. Unless you’re in this household. Ug! Will I ever learn?? Hopefully this year has taught me to be on top of the receipts if nothing else. Prayers sent were greatly appreciated.

Another year to expand my quilting experience. The picking out the fabric seems simple enough. The biggest demand of time is the cutting. The sewing didn’t even take as long normally. I say normally because a few times there were blocks that were a true challenge for me. And I loved my fabric choices this year. When each block was completed, I really liked each one of them.

But the down-side to my own 2018 A to Z Challenge was the fact that I did not truly like my block arrangement or the blocks when they were combined period. Each one stood alone wonderfully. But the quilt top left much to be desired by yours truly. I blame myself for not buying a little more fabric to fix that “one” in the middle–the Indian Square block. I will go ahead and leave it as is and hand quilt it. It’ll be a conversation piece for sure. But if there’s a quilt theme for me next year, it will be done way in advance, with ample fabric, and a different color scheme.

To reward myself, I purchased a t-shirt this year for my 5th year completion. Thank you for making these an option each year. It came in the mail Monday. Atoztshirt

Thank you to everyone who dropped in, liked, commented or supported me in any way during this challenge. This includes family and friends. I’m truly blessed to have such a phenominal circle of well-wishers.

And finally, thank you to all our hosts and co-hosts this year who went above and beyond to make this the best and most cohesive challenge yet. I truly appreciate all your time and energy invested in making our challenge a possibility this year and in years past. I’m convinced it’s a labor of love. A love for encouraging writers from all walks of life. I’ll be nominating you for sainthood just for the record.

Click here to see the latest information from the 2018 A to Z Blogging Challenge. There is a link to the Master List for this year, a survey, reflections link and coming up is an A to Z Road Trip. I hope you can check it all out.

Advertisements

2017 Favorites/WPC/Sunday Sampler

2017 Favorites

 

This is the last post for 2017 Favorites”>2017 and as the title states, it’ll have my favorites for the year. So without further ado, I hope you’ll enjoy my little rendition from various photo/blog entries of the past year.

To begin on the Sunday Sampler portion of the blog, I introduced my lovely bride-to-be-niece shopping with me for a quilt project. This was a true delight to me to have another member of the next generation interested in creativity of this kind. I was very honored to make the couple a quilt for signatures and sentiments at their wedding reception. And of course, love went into every stitch 🙂

ARoadTaken6(2)

The post that went with this pic also had the most likes for the2017 Favorites“> WordPress Photo Challenge this year. Seems roads to fabric stores are favorable to many.

Which leads to the next pic which won the 3rd most Hearts on my Instagram page for 2017…

Nov 8 White

But it was my personal favorite for the Little Moments app project. (yes, I have been neglecting you a tad bit WordPress) 

And at this point, I would be amiss to not mention the A to Z Challenge from April 2017.

AtoZVoteImage

The vote for here on Word Press was a tie between black and blue. On my Facebook page, the blue was the winner. Sadly, I still need to make those sashings. It is coming soon. Gotta be ready for the A to Z of 2018 so wouldn’t want to leave this behind. It will be hand quilted by myself and will be no small feat with my schedule.

TedDrewes8

For my Thursday Doors entries this past year, the post with the most likes was my post on Route 66. I’m pretty sure it must be the idea of Ice Cream that did the trick. Ted Drewes being world reknown might have a teeny bit of influence as well. 😉 And my lovely models truly enjoyed that refreshment–as did the hubster and I.

Here’s to a Wonderful, Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New 2018 to all of you!!                 As always, thanks for reading!

Wooldridge and Overton Bottoms/ Thursday Doors

Wooldridge, Missouri was a victim of the Flood of ’93. Driving down into the Overton Bottoms Refuge area (which is adjacent to Wooldridge), it’s hard to get a feel for the volume of water that ran this town into near collapse. This Sign signifies an entrance.

Little muddy 5

The map helps our minds grasp a picture of the area the refuge embodies.

There were still crops to harvest at the time we meandered down this gravel road.

Driving over the tracks, aka city limits.

Wooldridge Mill3 (2)

I didn’t find a lot of information about Wooldridge, Missouri other than the flooding of ’93 and the founder’s name. But I found several moments where I wished for someone to be standing outside that I could have asked a few questions. In the meantime, I leave you with the last photo here of some hidden doors that are behind that semi- trailer.

Sidenote: I found it tough to snap photos of the delapidated places we drove past here. I felt I was nearly intruding on these residents and the conditions some were actually living in. But hindsight has brought me the realization that I should have photographed it for various reasons. One huge reason is for a viewpoint of the lasting impact of natural disasters. Lesson learned. 

For other Thursday Doors entries, check out Norm 2.0 and find the blue frog button on the bottom of his latest Doors post.

 

 

Cheshire Cat

Sunday Sampler

Saturday we made a trip to Columbia, Missouri, for a child care training. Unfortunately, upon arrival, we had some terrible news. The trainer who had been planning to head the class, along with her office help, had passed away totally unexpectedly. We have known Annette for several years, had her in my home, exchanged stories of personal experiences and, I feel, were friends. You can imagine the shock and tears that were part of the reactions among our group of caregivers. That’s our job. To care. Being the training was canceled at that point, the decision was made that it was time for my husband and I to regroup and spend some time enjoying life. I think she would have wanted us to do that in her memory.

So we traveled along some side roads on the return trip home, took some great photos, and just took in some views of Mid-Missouri on a September Saturday. I will definitely be sharing some of my pics in the future. But for today, I’m sharing a little purchase I made in Arrow Rock, Missouri, at A Grand Yarn. I highly recommend a look-see.

Bag

It’s in this bag. Great things often come in small packages. And this one will be used for me to create a ‘remembrance’ item.

Cheshire Cat

This choice is a definite splurg. I’ve never spent this much on yarn before but it Had to be meant for me on this particular day. 2 things about this package:

  1. I Loved Alice in Wonderland as a girl so much! I am Sure my mother was sick of reading it to me night after night. And notice the ‘Cheshire Cat’ “Wonderland Yarns” and ‘pigments of imagination’. Mother would agree this is the one for me.
  2. Notice the “Beautiful Soup: Pot No. 1”? Annette was always demonstrating recipes, helpful hints and reminding us of the importance of keeping up with our menus.

Yep, Annette, this is meant to be! Rest in Peace and See you on the other side!

 

 

Reflections/ #AtoZChallenge

Creativity can get stale, stagnant and cause a mental ‘writer’s block’ of sorts at times. In my REFLECTIONS post for the 2017 A to Z Challenge, I’m going to share some things that I’ve accomplised in the week since the end of April.

But first, I’m going to wish my husband a Happy 30th Wedding Anniversay as this is today. We’ll be celebrating later on in the week but I had to throw that in there. He has been my biggest advocate in The Challenge each year. Just when I think I am not going to go forward with it, he’s right there cheering me on. He even helps me catch up on the household chores in the evening just when I think I’ll never make the necessary adjustments to one of the letter posts in time. Everyone has a letter that stumps them and causes us to put it off until the very last moment. Thanks to my hubby for being there to give my mind time to work it out.

Back to the accomplishments. I haven’t written a line since April 30th. I have taken the needed break that many find rewarding after such an intense writing event. It’s not my usual practice to blog every day. The combination of blogging and quilting made it even more intense, even though I worked ahead most of the time. Working full time and blogging daily is indeed an Olympic-style event for me.

To return to my regular routine, there was the crochet,Reflections4

This is a crochet round made with a new ‘scrubby’ yarn. I’ve been giving a few out to try out as both dish washing and showering/bathing use. The results have been good for both. It’s just a matter of personal preference. The yarn comes in many colors so I look for these to be a hot item this coming year as a gift item.

Reflections5

And then there was more quilting. This is my latest project that is waiting for a ‘name sash’. I will be embroidering it and inserting it in the quilt. This is a special request and I’m trying very hard not to rush this one. Some things need careful planning.

In the middle of The Challenge, there was a custom order. I’m very thankful for #1, the patience of the customer, and #2, the volunteer model who helped me out in a pinch. The timing worked out in the end and I think everyone was happy. Thank Heaven!

As for the Challenge itself and the changes in posting technique, I found it worked out very well. I didn’t run across but maybe 1 or 2 blogs that weren’t legitimately participating. There weren’t near as many participants this year, true. But I found it pretty nice to see the conformists running the show and being fine with the changes. In the end, I am happy for the Team Leaders who run the show and were able to have a much less stressful event. Kudos to you all and many thanks for a great year!