Part One- A personal diy project- me and exercise

I’d like to put aside all beautiful, crafty things for a moment, and talk about a very personal battle I’ve dealt with my entire life.
Are you ready?
I hate exercise.
There’s absolutely nothing about it that appeals to me. I detest sweating, being out of breath, moving fast, all of it. Any time in my life I’ve made small attempts to incorporate some kind of daily movement, I dreaded every session from the moment I got up each morning. I would put it off, rationalizing that I didn’t have time in the mornings, there was too much going on, or rationalizing “why exercise when I’m having such a good hair day??” (yes, that is something I would actually tell myself!).
I’ve never had to worry too much about exercising because, by all outward appearances, I didn’t look overweight. (And that’s why we exercise, right???- something else I would tell myself.) Besides the fact that at any point in my life I would have said losing ten pounds would be great, I was willing to accept my body as it was, declaring that physical activity was just not “my thing”. My yearly bloodwork has always been, not only within acceptable levels, but remarkable good. It’s been described as “beautiful” by my doc. I just simply decided that exercise just wasn’t for me. There have been half-hearted attempts at achieving more movement in my life… fitness coach, boot camps, daily walking. But with each one, I became disillusioned, it was always about the people I was with more so than what I was doing. My body felt weak and unaccustomed to the sudden changes, and it didn’t feel natural.
Rationalizing all of this while being married to a man for nearly 20 years who is a competitive cyclist and very fit, was surprisingly easy. Peter spends many hours a week on the bike most of the year, and often gets up very early to do it, often riding through inclement Seattle weather in all but the short, high summer months. From years of hard competitive cycling, he now suffers daily from aches and pains. He requires regular visits to physical therapists, personal trainers, acupuncturists, doctors, and occasionally, yes, the emergency room. It has been astonishingly easy for me to convince myself that I was, indeed, the healthier one. I did not suffer from daily pain, I rarely went to the doctor for anything more than a physical. Besides, in no way did I want to spend hours each day achieving a fitness level that would require even more hours to maintain. Sorry…
Plus, if I am completely honest with myself, I didn’t want to lose a moment to my creative time.
So, why am I writing about this? I am now at an age where it’s time to consider what I’ve done and continue to do to my body through lack of regular physical exercise of some kind. There is a history of osteoperosis in my family, of heavy smoking, and no exercise. While my own habits are far and away much healthier than that, the one component that I hadn’t fully addressed was exercise. Sitting at a computer all day, getting up only to jump in a car to run an errand, or do school pickup, does not make for a healthy lifestyle, no matter how healthy my diet is. Humans were just not meant to be so stationary.
I started to wonder…. What would my life be like in 20 years? Would I have impaired mobility due to years of unused muscles, simply because of the choices I’d made? Would my bones become weakened? Would I be out of breath from doing simple things around the house? Would I be able to take a walk with my husband? Would I need help just walking up a small hill? Would lack of daily movement cause insomnia? Would I start dealing with brittle, breaking bones?

Would all of this come sooner than it should, because of my inactivity?

In part two of this post, I will tell you what came next. In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments. What are your feelings about daily movement/exercise? Do you hate it? Feel inspired by it?


A DIY Inspiration Wall

Having some sort of pretty, inspirational area in my workspace has always been important to me. I tend to work rather chaotically, with huge messes, and I’ve come to accept that (I’ll never work neatly, drives Peter nuts!), so having someplace to rest my eyes, daydream for a minute, can really help me through. Even as a working girl, in my tiny workplace cubicles, I had things hanging that inspired me. There was a time a few years ago that I completely changed up the inspiration board that hung in my sewing room each season, in 2012 I even made a year of monthly inspirational desktop wallpapers.



Friday Favorites: Deconstructed Piecing and Round Robin Quilt

I am inspired by so many things, I decided that every Friday, I will highlight a favorite person, thing, or idea. Maybe you will be inspired too! See all past Friday Favorites here.

Round Robin Quilt

On this lovely Friday, let’s enter a world where paper piecing sharp angles, exact 1/4″ seams, and precise cuts in our quilts don’t exist. A world where you compose as you work, best laid plans (or any plans!) aren’t welcome.

Preparing for Summer Cocktails with a Repurposed Bar Cart

Bar Cart
The wise craft household has upgraded the bar. Or at least the bar cart. The first one served us quite well, and was perfect our cocktail Fridays, but when Peter recently moved into a new office,this cabinet came home when there was no longer a need for it in the new space. I wasn’t totally sold on its art deco style and kind of pretended it wasn’t in our dining room for about a week- until I thought, what the hell? Let’s just move all the nice glasses and liquor bottles there and call it a bar cabinet? I spent part of last Saturday cleaning the glassware that I could move in there (everything from wedding registry crystal to vintage glassware that used to be available in detergent boxes).READ MORE

Friday Favorites: Artist Lisa Solomon

I am inspired by so many things, I decided that every Friday, I will highlight a favorite person, thing, or idea. Maybe you will be inspired too! See all past Friday Favorites here.


Lisa Solomon


“Lewisite”, 2011

colored pencil, acrylic, graphite, embroidery on duralar.READ MORE

Friday Favorites: Quilt Artist Luke Haynes

I am inspired by so many things, I decided that every Friday, I will highlight a favorite person, thing, or idea. Maybe you will be inspired too! See all past Friday Favorites here.


Luke Haynes
Today I bring you the quilted world of Luke Haynes. I learned about Luke through his exhibition at Island Quilter last year that I couldn’t attend (boo!). A self-proclaimed “architect turned quilter”, he creates quilts often using used clothing (my favorite fabric for quilts). His pieces can be powerful, tongue in cheek, thought provoking, and stand alone statements.

Intentional Blogging

intentional blogging
So, let’s discuss intentional blogging. A few weeks ago you guys humored me about the slow blog movement. I loved the conversation that it stirred between us all. Funny thing about writing a post like that. Simply by declaring how the online world seems to come at me too fast these days, how I didn’t know what my blog was doing in the midst of all of that, blah blah blah, it actually helped me successfully evaluate what I wanted from blogging again. Because of all that evaluating, it now seems I have PLENTY to blog about. Weird, right?

Blogging it Slower


Sometimes all these colors feel like too much. I want to pick just. one.

I have been blogging in this space for almost 8 years. Eight years. That is actually the longest I’ve ever stuck with any type of journal-keeping of any type. Now, of course, it has all changed quite a bit since I started. Back then it seemed like there was only a handful of us. I knew nothing about google reader. I checked blogs the prehistoric way, by clicking on a saved bookmark. I didn’t have a smartphone, there were no Ipads, If a blog wasn’t updated, I’d just check back later. On my computer.
Reading blogs and making friends with bloggers was an social outlet for me. I was at home with small kids all day, some days feeling lonely and other days a little nuts. It was sanity-saving. I was thrilled to be a part of it.
But over time I realized my own blogging changed. As an example, for a while I experiemented with advertising on the blog. While overall it was a good experience, ultimately it wasn’t for me.Once (or maybe more than once) I nearly stopped blogging altogether. Had I said all I wanted to say? Had it all run it’s course? Are blogs relevant. For some reason I didn’t stop, but I never really answered my own questions.
I’ve felt disheartened towards blogging in 2012. Maybe you’ve noticed it? Things online seem to swirl at a speed that no one person can possibly keep up with. If this is what a blog needed to do, did I want to do it? My love hate relationship with Pinterest is the perfect example. It’s my “5 minutes to kill” eye candy, purely because it all comes at me so quickly. I love getting inspired by Pinterest, but funny thing is, there is a tiny percentage of pins I have ever actually looked at. Many blogs I click on to sparkle with rotating content, clickable this, downloadable that. It was an inevitability that blogs would make this jump and I don’t pass judgement on anyone who runs a blog like this (I read some of them). In this day and age, blogging is done with a lot of gusto and energy.
Over the holiday break I thought about all this, and what I want from this space. I asked myself some hard questions. Some I still haven’t answered. Here’s what I know:
What do I want my blog to be? I want my blog to be an expression of me and what I do. Blogging in my own way is important to me.
What is my blog about? With the support out there from you, blogging has made me realize I am an artist. I want my blog to be about what I make and my creative life.
And all this thinking brought me around to the book I’m working on. Based on the lightening speed of the internet content, sometimes I’ve wondered, why bother? I get discouraged some days (which is all a part of the creative process, but it still sucks). Do people read craft books anymore? Thinking thoughts like this have brought me to tears more than once. Work on a book, as many of you know, is a long and sometimes grueling process. By the time my book is done, it will most certainly feel like some sort of birth.
Where am I going with all this?
Today, I felt overwhelmed by the many things I needed to get done, I am worried about money (being two self-employed people, let’s face it, when are we NOT worried about money), health insurance costs rising, you name it. I needed an escape. Not just for a minute or two, but a real escape. And I realized that two specific things felt really right at that moment.
1- Curling up with a stack of books. With beautiful pictures to give me ideas about how to freshen up our very beige hallway. With beautiful, inspiring text to read. To flip through and read at my own leisure. I get what I missed about printed pages more than ever.
2- Writing this post to you. Just sitting down and writing a blog post about my true feelings around this whole crazy online world and my feelings towards it. It feels incredibly good to write all of this out to you this way.
There has been talk online from others about savoring time, Erin wrote brilliantly about the idea of slow blogging, and consciously relaxing in the new year. Apparently alot of us are thinking about it in some way. I, myself don’t quite know where this talk is leading in my mind. Except to say that I am excited and giddy about the book I’m writing all over again. And that feels really good!
And I realized that I have new energy for the blog. In some form.
If you’ve read this far, you deserve a gold star sent to you.
Snail mail, of course.
Thank you for being out there,

october inspiration


Download this month's computer desktop wallpaper here. See all of 2012's inspiration wallpaper here.

I am ready to get down to work this month! So many ideas, and with the kids back in school, I have time to see them through. Here's what's inspiring me this month:

– Simple images drawn with black lines

– My daily sketches (sketchbook #1 is almost filled).

– Wool of any kinds… felted sweaters, wool yarn

– old book pages

– feathers (they have even taken over my blog banner). Ian and I have been collecting them on our walks to and from school.

– My BSR, which I have plans for this month.

Documentary Lovers– I am addicted to this website. You're welcome.

– Fall looks like this (but not the prices!)

– Soon-to-be released memoirs like this.

– Interior designer Miles Redd.

– Artist Carla Sonheim (who is right here in Seattle, who knew?)

– And thinking about sharing movies like this with my soon-to-be 14 year old daughter, and pointing out my favorite scenes, like this one. (She probably won't even get it all, but I feel like every teen needs to see these movies).

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