Friday, January 25, 2013

Focus On Life - Create Art

The prompt for this week is "Create Art". I thought this would be an easy one for me to do. Because I dabble into a LOT of things. I sketch, sew, crochet, make jewelry, of course, and my first love: embroidery.

I also had a project sitting in my to-do list for a long time. So I decided this was a sign for me to begin, and finish it off in one week. And I did start it too! On Sunday. On Tuesday, I went to see the hand therapist for my thumb tendonitis, and everything was put on hold. For at least 6 weeks.

I figured I could still do sketching. But. I didn't feel like it. So I did not. In fact, I did not do anything at all this whole week as far as straight-from-the-heart-creation goes. I am okay with it, I know my mind needs a break :-)

Am sharing a picture of an old sketch I had made of cats. From a calendar. It hangs along with one of a lion and another one of a blue bird in my husband's office.

(yes, that thing on the top left corner is also a cat :-))

I would like to update everyone who read and commented on my post from last week.
This Monday was the first long weekend of the year (not counting New Year's day of course), and I did keep my promise to go some place I have never been before.

I went to this place about an hour's drive from home, it has a windmill farm! I had wanted to go there for a very long time. It was only an hour away, and I have been in that area a lot of times, driving alone, to meet family. But this trip was different. I was not going to a familiar place, I was not going to meet my own people. And to top it off, there was no address to feed into the GPS. Those who have met me, and know me well, know that I have a great sense of direction. I can get lost inside a house :-) But I made it there, and back. Yes, I was scared to get out of my car when I got there. There was absolutely no traffic there, not a soul in sight. And very narrow road, very small turnouts to pull over for pictures. (I bet it would not seem like that to someone else, as I know a lot of people who have gone there and taken excellent photos, but this is what we see from my perspective, ok?) But I did it :-)

I did not get good pictures, but here is one that I do like

I stopped by in a cute little shopping/dining area for lunch. Had some time to kill before I ate, so went to T J Maxx just because. I took quite a few pictures of things that caught my fancy there too, but this is what I liked the most

And this one, I found hidden among bedsheets and towels and what not. This photo is for all of you who commented on my post from last week, and encouraged me to do what this piece of artwork says :-) I hope to make this a regular feature in my life :-)

Now off you go to Sally's blog and visit everyone else :-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Unexpected Interruption In Regular Programming...

So the therapist I went to see for my hand today has recommended a "no-beading-jewelry-making-handling-tiny-objects" regime for the next 6 weeks.

What am I talking about? Let's rewind a bit and go to the last week of August 2012. One fine day, not gradually, but one fine day, my left thumb started to ache. Sharp pain. I figured it was a sprain. I massaged it myself, hoping it would go away soon. It didn't. I saw a general doctor, she taped my hand, immobilized it for about 4 days. Thumb felt good while tied down, but flared up again when untied. I went back to the doctor, and she said it could be arthritis and I should get blood tests done.

Meh...I knew it was not that. So I stalled. I started using my hand in odd ways in order to not strain the thumb. Holding, grabbing got painful, so I started using my palm to carry things I would normally hold with my fingers and thumb. Result: wrist pain.

I finally looked for, and found a hand specialist. He said right away that most of my joints were "loose". He gave me a brace to wear, which was too big. So he sent me to a physical therapist, who would work with the hand, and also make me a custom splint.

I went today, my therapist was very sweet, and made me this

See how close the thumb is to the hand? That's the problem. I cannot move my thumb out without pain, hence the grabbing problem. See how far out the splint extends into the arm? Another problem. If the wrist moves in a position other than neutral, it hurts. She said she never had to make a splint with the thumb so close. I had waited tooooo long to get this fixed, and it will take some time to heal. And I need to work on it a lot. Work on not working with it, that is.

Hence the minimum 6 week sabbatical. She even suggested buying pre-chopped vegetables for cooking, not holding anything much with the left hand, and in general being very gentle with it. And I fully intend to do that. 

So that is the story.

I have a couple small custom orders, and one blog challenge to finish and that's it for now.

I am bummed, of course, but am looking at this as an opportunity to organize my supplies that are scattered all over the living room into some portable drawers I have. This year, I also want to plan what jewelry I want to make, instead of working haphazardly doing whatever my mood dictates. I want to be more "disciplined" about this. (Yup, my word for this year!). I have had one jewelry show my friend held for me at her house. This was only a few months after I started making jewelry, and it was a huge success. That time, I sketched out my designs, and planned which ones I would do when. And I made almost 75 pieces in about a couple months. Which was a lot for a beginner! I hope to follow that method and bring some order to the chaos that my life is at the moment.
Another thing I want to do is learn photoshop skills, at least some basic things. And also go over the manual of my dSLR.

I also need to follow up on a few things I want to do for my home. So all in all, 6 weeks seems to be too short a time to do everything that I want to during my sabbatical.

I will still blog, and will keep y'all posted on how the hand is healing!

Now, I am off to make some lemonade with this splinted lemon that has been handed to me ;-)


Friday, January 18, 2013

Focus on Life: 3/52: All About Me

The prompt for this week is "Make Time"...for myself. To relax and unwind.

I am once again the anomaly here. If you read the posts of other participants, you will find everyone with busy lives, full of people they take care of, who demand their time, things they want to do, but have no time for.

Not me. My life is mostly, just me. I don't have kids who need my attention, my parents are half a world away, my husband is an extreme introvert, who barely speaks 500 words a day.

So well, I have no stress, no hustle-bustle in my life.

And yet, I don't take care of myself. I get lonely and mope. I crawl into a corner with my laptop and browse for hours. And go to bed at the end of the day, thinking yet another day gone, doing a whole lot of not much. Yes, I do have a full-time job, which I enjoy, but there is not much else other than that. My friends do invite me to join them from time to time. And those are welcome changes to my drab existence.

It used to be different, and I am not sure I want to go into how I became this person. What I want to go into is how I am going to change this and be cheerful and active again. I am going to spend time pampering myself regularly. I am going to do everything that makes me happy. I am going to sing my heart out and dance till my feet hurt, even if I am only at home, in my kitchen, cooking dinner.

A week before the new year, I met up with my closest friends, who have known me for over a decade. We started talking about resolutions, and decided we should suggest resolutions for each other. One of them said: You need to be the person we knew, the person who people on Facebook think you are. That struck a very deep cord, jolted me into reality. And I am taking her advice very seriously.

One thing I used to do quite religiously once upon a time, which made me very happy, and made everyone who looked at my feet, smile a happy one, was get my nails done. Its been a very long time since I did that. So that was the first thing to go on my "pamper-list".

I went last Sunday. Even the pedicurist was surprised that she had not seen me in such a long time. The new plan is to go at least once a month, maybe more. Other than that, I need to take care of upper back pain that has been plaguing me for over a decade. I got a massage to help loosen those knots 3 weeks ago, and have another appointment tomorrow. This is also going to be an atleast once a month feature in my life. I also plan to travel a lot more, go some place I have never been every long weekend. I have already started researching my next getaway.

Oh right, you were here to see a picture, not to get a glimpse of the dark side of me :-)
Here's a picture I took this weekend at the nail salon. This is what I will make my life look like. Soon!

Colorful and cheerful! With lots of different patterns!

Do check out all the other posts here: The Studio Sublime

A little bit of heaven...

...for me at least :-)

Gnocchi in pesto cream sauce and dark chocolate! It really is very easy to make me happy ;-)
Just had to take a picture and save it here for me to come back and sigh blissfully at this lovely sight!

Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge: 2/13 and a lesson learned

Here I am with earring number 2.
I gotta say, am loving this challenge. It's making me bring all my components out and want to use them instead of hoarding them ;-) I have already made the next two pairs! Just can't show them off yet :)

My second pair is made with Decoupage Art Charms I bought from J-Lynn Jewels.
Am always on the lookout for components I have not tried before and was thrilled to have found these.

Love the teal color on this. Yes, I realize most of my creations are either red or blue. Can't help it ;-)
I started these off planning to make a hoop with the braided seed beads. But the effect of the braiding was getting lost in that design. So went with this instead.

Must say am super thrilled with them. Gorgeous and very unique.
No, they are not listed in my store...they got snapped up the minute I shared a picture on Facebook!
These are J-Lynn's online homes:

Now to the lesson learned:
Remember I mentioned I already have two more pairs of earrings done? Will share one of them here.
They are reallly pretty, and I love them! But there is a lesson learned while making them.

These are the earrings:

Very pretty, and look gorgeous when worn. 
These are made with etched brass components made by Miss Sharyl of Sharyl's Jewelry.
These are her online homes:

What's the problem then?
Let's just say, jewelry design is making me realize why I had to learn all those laws of physics in school. (I did wonder all the time, why do I need to know all this!)

It is not very obvious in this picture, but the balance is off. The brass rectangle is heavier on one side and so tips over very slightly to that side. Now we "may" get away by saying this is by design. But unbalance makes me uncomfortable.

Now, how can I fix this? 
One way would be to attach beads on the other side too...converting this into a boring design.
Second, attach a counter-balance just on the top corner on the other side.
Third, use very very lightweight beads!
Fourth, start attaching the beads at a point on the frame where it would stay balanced.
Fifth, and the one I went with, wear them, and don't look in the mirror ;-)

Would love to have more suggestions for how to solve this!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Art Bead Scene January 2013 Challenge

While I did say I did not plan on doing a lot of challenges this year, I did WANT to participate in as many of the ABS challenges as possible. (Wow! That sentence will definitely trip a grammar teacher! So many "did"s! Let's try reconstructing)

While I was not planning to join a lot of challenges this year, I did WANT to participate in as many of the ABS ones as possible. (Much better!)
 Actually, a stretch goal is to be a featured designer there!

I was looking forward to seeing the inspiration artwork for January, and was thrilled to see this:

Black Peacocks with Japanese Persimmons
Jessie Arms Botke, 1940
Oil and Gold Leaf on Panel
32 x 40 inches

Do click on the photo to read more about the art.

Oh no no, I don't really know the artist, am not in love with peacocks or anything like that. It was all for a very selfish reason. You see, I had this really pretty focal pendant that I got from my partner in the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party, Miss Kathy Combs.

I have been hoarding this and a few other things she sent me for a long time now. And this was a perfect choice for this painting! I did not want to pick up the "theme" of the painting...peacocks, but I wanted as many elements as possible in there. The pendant, while not being anything like the peacock feather, has a lot of its colors, and its circles! Sweet!

Next...what do I DO with it? Its an asymmetric pendant, and enameled, so I knew I could not punch in more holes if I wanted to make a bracelet (which I did not, I am scared of making them, remember?). So it had to be a necklace. On to how do I string it. I have some gorgeous Marsha Neal silk cord in co-ordinating colors that I considered, but I was feeling like playing with wire.

I have this gorgeous brown colored wire in my stash, which went very well with the focal.  I used the wirework to depict the flow and the shape of the ferns. I used faceted czech glass beads in slowly graduating colors, from the brown of the earth to the yellow-gold of the persimmons.

Finally, the delicate brown chain is for the thin bare branches of the persimmon tree.

So now that we have the description and the design process out of the way, here is the necklace itself :-)

I did learn a lot while doing the wirework...mostly that I should measure the wire pieces exactly if I have to make a replica!

I was worried that the symmetrical stringing would not look good with the asymmetric focal, but it looks quite nice :) I do like it a lot!

The necklace is listed in my etsy store :)

Now that I am done with the January challenge, I am getting impatient and want to see the February artwork right away!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What you can do with ribbon...

I am a member of this fast growing website called Artisan Whimsy, which is a GREAT place for jewelry designers to hang out and learn the ins and outs of creating as well as the selling their work.

Most of the regulars on the blog there know that Karen Lackey of Star Shine Salon has very generously sent 5 yards of silk seam binding that she hand dyed a lovely shade of aqua to 20 winners. (Gosh, Karen! That's a 100 yards of silk ribbon!)

I am one of the lucky 20, and I received my gift this weekend. Have been thinking about what to do with it ever since. Believe me, its been featured in my dreams, and has been on my mind the first thing when I woke up this morning. The second thing being, eep! I am due to write a blog post today! I backed up my thoughts and decided to write a blog post about what I would do with the gorgeous ribbon.
But since my ideas are still in my head, I cannot show you any pictures, hence I went scouring Pinterest and Etsy for things similar to what I had in my head. I very smugly declare, that I did not find anything like it. Now, I wipe out that smug smile, since I have no clue how I will manifest (hey, Emma, look, am using your word!) what I saw in my dreams. So, I wipe off that smug smile and show you some other gorgeous eye candy that I did find!
Before I begin, these are ONLY for inspiration and you will get smacked on your wrist by the good little angel on your shoulder if you copy it exactly :P
Lets start with some necklaces:


This one is actually a tutorial, click on the picture to see it. I think it will look so cool adapted as a bracelet or even an anklet!

This next one is also a tutorial, using different kinds of fabric and beads...can be adapted so many different ways! The picture is hosted on Flickr, and I am not able to figure out how to embed it here :(( So here's the link, do check it out, its gorgeous:

This last one is SO pretty!

I don't think I can ever figure out origami. So this is going to stay eye candy for me ;-)

Okay...moving on to bracelets...
Soooooper sweet!

I did NOT want to step out of this etsy shop...its so so so so so pretty...another example of her bracelets:
Actually, I went no further searching for bracelets once I went to this store. Hope you explore more and find inspiration too!

And finally earrings:
I am totally in love with this pair. I might just buy them! And then tell the lady she does lovely work, and is totally undercharging!

These next ones are equally fab and its a tutorial, yayy!

And finally, my favorites! Again from the store that had all the bracelets...this lady is so amazingly talented!!!

I have created a board on Pinterest where I have some more inspiration for this challenge. Here's the link:

Happy creating, people! Lets do Karen proud :)

But How Do I End It?

This is a post I had done for the Artisan Whimsy blog back in October. Thought I would share it here for my readers not familiar with that group.


After Sherri's excellent introduction to fiber and leather and suede and lace and all...I bet everyone has a burning do I finish it off? How do I make sure it stays and doesn't unravel??

I have struggled with this question myself, and am still coming up with different ways of doing this.
The easiest way, is, do nothing ;-) Like in this necklace:


When using this lazy "style" of fastening, you need to keep in mind a few things. The weight of the necklace, and the strength of your stringing material. Also, how well the ribbon "ties". Some are very slippery and tend to open up easily. Those won't be a good candidate for something like this.

Next up, we have different types of commercially available cord-ends. They all come in a wide range of sizes, and are quite easily available on etsy. I have had a hard time finding them in the regular craft stores though:
I will start with my least favorite one:


I bought these just once, and were just nasty to use. What you need to do is, insert the end of your cord in the coil, separate the last loop from the coil, and crimp it down hard. It is difficult to do if the coil is small and made of steel. I broke a very nice nail with these. So, my advice, if the design doesn't call for them, don't use them. Or make your own!
Next, are the ones I have used most often:


These are very simple to use. Just put a drop of glue in the tube, insert your cord and let it sit overnight. What you need to make sure with these is that it should be a nice, snug fit.
I think they look super cute in these earrings :-)

Then there are the foldover cord-ends. Not a big fan of these, just because they are not too elegant. But if you want a small, discreet way of finishing, this is a good option.


Very easy to use:
  • Slightly bend one fold towards the center
  • Place your cord in the center
  • Take your flat nose pliers and flatten the bent end
  • Repeat on the other side.
If the cord is slippery, or you are not too comfortable holding the cord while bending, glue the cord to the center before you try to fold it over. That way you don't need to worry about it falling off.
Here's a necklace where I used one of these:

As I mentioned, very discreet, not drawing too much attention.
Next, and last in this section, are the "pinch" cord-ends. I have used these in a couple designs.


These are even easier than the previous ones, since they are already folded. They work well with wide, flat ribbons and lace. Just insert the ribbon and clamp it down with pliers. Glue is optional, they have a very good grip on their own. Here's a few examples where I used them..different widths to give you an idea.

Here, I have used the ribbon crimps as an element of the design itself:

Other than these, you can always use bead caps, bead cones, just the way you do with beading wire.
Now coming to my favorite part, making your own closures. My go-to method for this is wire wrapping. It takes a bit of practice, but it looks SO much nicer than the commercial options. I will let the pictures do the talking :)

I have made a lariat here with brown suede. To finish it off, I have folded over the suede, wrapped it nice and tight with bronze wire and clipped of the ends. Lot of folks leave the ends a bit long, but I prefer it like this.


This is another lariat, a bracelet this time. The crocheted yarn is attached to a jumpring with a lark's head knot on one side, and wrapped wire on the other end. The difference here is that the end terminates in a loop, unlike the previous necklace where the suede cord created the loop.
I have used this method in a lot of my work, and I love it!
A very simple way to close off simple knotted work, is, well, to knot it. Like in these earrings:


So these are a few things I have tried, and there are lots more that I still need to learn.
Like this one by the Gossiping Goddess:


Luckily for us, The Learning Center here on the NING and The Learning Center Pinterest Board is chockful of amazing tutorials that will help you go on to make some pretty awesomely amazing fiber jewelry :) Hope my mini-introduction is a good starting point for those of you new to this medium!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Focusing On Life - Week 2 - Discipline

Sally sent us the prompt for this week with this picture:

I didn't read the subject line, didn't read the rest of the post, just assumed that the prompt is 'Journey'.
Then she sent the email again since a lot more folks had joined after the initial email. This time, I read it. The prompt is not Journey. Its not Discipline either. It was hidden in her email (I bet it was not intentional on her part), it was simply supposed to be "My Word". Which, if you have read the post for week 1, is Discipline. You can see right away why I need focus and discipline in my life. 

Thankfully, I read the email properly before I went out photographing cars and their wheels.
Photographing discipline is difficult. There really is nothing that "depicts" it. Then I thought about "what" will help me achieve this goal. Which led me to realize that I lose track of time and continue doing one thing, neglecting all else. Or go from one thing to the other without paying attention to what time it is, without realizing that I have not finished the first thing I set out to do.

Minding time! Yup! That is what I needed. So that's what I was going to photograph. 

I stayed home from work today, and decided to do my photographs during my lunch break.
I decided to make me some fried rice. I put the rice in the microwave for 7 minutes. And decided to use these  minutes to click my pictures.

The subject was my watch collection! I love watches!

All these are very special to me.

First: my dad bought me during my wedding.
Second: my sister gave me.
Third: my father-in-law gave me when I went to their home for the first time after my wedding.
Fourth: is my mother's.
Fifth: ...I bought it.
Sixth: from my mother-in-law
Seventh and
Eigth: ...brown watches I bought after YEARS of searching
Ninth: birthday gift from hubby
Tenth and
Eleventh: from hubby too
Twelfth: I bought, and have gotten so many compliments. My sister tried to steal take it from me too!
Thirteenth, a handmade one, was supposed to be shared with a friend. She never got a turn ;-)
Fourteenth, custom made for me by Sherri Stokey of KnotJustMacrame!
The watch case: a gift from two of my very close friends

Since this is a photography challenge, and I still had time (7 minutes were not up yet!), I took some more pictures.

Just trying out focusing on different points on the box.
And then the 7 minutes were up, I went and stirred up the rice, put it in for 3 more minutes.
What to do for the 3 minutes? I looked at Annie. Poor girl was hidden again. I did well all week, until yesterday when I could not decide what to wear and she got all the cast-offs. So I figured lets see how much I can clean out in 3 minutes. Was done surprisingly quickly.
And then....I reached for my laptop to check if I had received a response I was waiting on at work. That was the end of my discipline spree! Once I got on the computer, there was SO much to explore. The response was there, I had to do a few things...which I did right away. Then of course, since I was on the computer, I had to go to FB, and god alone knows which other sites. The 3 minutes were up a while back. But stomach was growling, so I went to go fry my rice.

I set out the pan and the oil. Then realized I had just got the splatter screen I had ordered, and this was the perfect time to try it out. So while the oil was heating up, I opened up the big box from Amazon, got the screen out, etc. There was a very real possibility of me forgetting that there was oil on a burner turned on high. I didn't, whew, and finished cooking, and subsequently, eating.

This whole "minding time" made me realize that I actually do ok with activities that have a well defined "end". Like clicking the photos, putting away the clothes piled on Annie, cooking. Its the "mindless" things, which unfortunately exist in abundance in the world wide web, that are the biggest hog. There is no end!

Lesson learned: bind all activities with much as possible!
Annie seems happy with that decision...see....she is not completely clutter free, but then I think she would be sad if she was ;-)

Annie says to go to Sally's blog to check out the rest of the "word of the year"s.
Go The Studio Sublime

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge!

2012 has been MOSTLY made up of me signing up for blog challenges, and creating jewelry mainly for that. So in December, I decided that I had learned a LOT from all the challenges and now needed to step back a bit and create based on my own mood and speed and all that.

Come January, what do I do? I sign up for not one but two challenges! Yup, am nothing if not a flake! But let me explain. The reason I signed up for both of these is that they will discipline me into doing something once a week. Regularly, with focus and all that. (More on that focus coming in the next post). I am nothing if not a big excuse factory as well! 

But challenges are good things, so lets move on.
The first one I signed up for was the Focus on Life - its a photography challenge, so am still not quite breaking that promise (yup, told ya, excuse factory! Big one!)

The second one is the Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge
The idea is to create at least one pair of earrings each week, using art elements. These could be made by me (yeah, sure, as if), or some other awesome artisan. The have broken it up into quarters so its not a year long commitment if you think that's too much to handle.
I have collected a fair amount of artbeads in the last year to last me the first 13 weeks. So am good there...since I never buy supplies only for a challenge. I always, always, always use my stash.

First one up, is this pair of earrings. The art element in here is hard to miss! The beautiful polymer clay butterfly wings!

These are made by Donovan Klaaren. I know him through his wife, Jessica Klaaren, who runs the shop Cellar Door Jewels on etsy. Jessica is an awesome jewelry designer herself, and Donovan primarily made these for her. He posted some pictures of his work on Facebook, and I coaxed him into letting me have some of them too! 

Jessica has made some really pretty earrings with these wings. So I had to make sure they were not copies of what she did. She mostly used coordinating beads in her work, so I decided to use a monarch butterfly instead. I did add a small AB swarovski bead which actually has a lot of the colors in the wings.

Yup, am loving it! The earrings are available in my etsy store here:

Here's how I styled it...

Preppy Purple!

I also made a necklace with wings from the Klaarens.

Isn't he amazing! I have never seen work like this before, so am really glad he agreed to let me buy some of them.

This necklace is also listed in my etsy store: Butterfly Wings And Shells Necklace

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Focus On Life - Week 1 - Self Portrait

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a photographer. Go on, click on that link and see where it takes you, but come back soon!

So, right, I wanted to be a photographer. I used to carry a camera in my purse all the time, and I clicked pictures of things that looked interesting to me...all the time. To the point to embarrassment and irritation to those accompanying me. I loved it, but at some point, I stopped. I still carry my camera, but things don't jump out at me, shouting, "click me!" like they used to. I enjoyed it so much, that when Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime came up with this idea of a photo a week to pretty much document my life, I knew it was meant to bring me back that joy of being trigger happy :-)

I have seen these teams a lot in the past...take a picture everyday, or once a week or something like that. And I never felt like joining them. And not sure what urged me to join this time, but I did!

There will be a post every Saturday with a prompt that Sally provides. We will have one week to click and write about it.

The first prompt of the year is "Self-Portrait".
I think it is very appropriate for the beginning of a new year, you take a good look at yourself, who you are, what you like, what you would like to get the idea.
But I was not thrilled with the prompt :(( Unlike most of the folks in this challenge whose posts I have read so far, I LOVE being in front of the camera, I am a poser, for sure. But self-portrait reminded me of those pics taken with one arm extended, a few things cut off. While I am do not like the posed, propped, photo-shopped perfect photos of people, I don't like this other extreme as well.
So I was going to skip on this one. Sally did say it was ok to skip.

But yesterday evening, I happened to see my little (she's actually quite big) Raggedy Ann sitting in her (mine, actually) chair. And I knew I could do this!

Here's my self-portrait!

I know, an explanation is in order. I am totally this person! Not Barbie perfect, my hair tends to get wild, I am at heart, NOT a dress-to-impress person, would love some mischief just like you see in her eyes, and always quick to smile. My arms are also always wide open, embracing new ideas and new people. 

Now the other thing about this picture...she is bogged down with things. Clothes, books, printouts that come home for some long forgotten reason, an unfinished scarf hanging on her chair, there was a pair of sunglasses on her lap a couple days back, socks, headbands and scrunchies, laptop, and now an iPhone, and in general, things that have no home in particular. Most days, I cannot see her face because she is under a mountain of discarded clothes.
Ok, the laptop and phone never go there, but you get the idea. I am a clutterbug!

And I need to change that. My "word" for this year is "discipline". And I hope, as the year progresses, I will see ALL of my darling Annie everyday :-)