Looking for answers to life's questions

There are lessons to be learned about oneself even in the autumn of one’s life. I’m hoping it’s the autumn and not the winter so I have lots of time left for discovery. I’ve discovered I’m a procrastinator, big time.

As I set out to complete my daily tasks, I find that procrastination can be a perpetual companion and a teacher. It tells me there is fear somewhere in the task or maybe something even as strong as dislike.

I’ve had a lot of projects on the back burner lately. As all of the outside projects came to completion, I could finally focus on the inside projects. I realized that when I would rather mop the floor, do the dishes, laundry, vacuuming or make the bed rather than sit at the sewing machine, something was going on.

The workhorse

The workhorse

It started with my newest Viking Diamond Royale sewing machine behaving badly with almost every project. We’ve had many trips back to Montavilla’s where it was purchased and it always seems to work for the doctor. It must be something I’m doing they say. I have an old Viking SE that threads and operates the same but will sew circles around the new one. The new one has a larger embroidery field that I have not yet been able to enjoy. The whole unit is packed away. I don’t need more frustration.

An expensive doorstop. The embroidery unit is not connect here.

An expensive doorstop. The embroidery unit is not connect here.

My old machine works well, my eyes, eh. They could be better so when working on precision quilts, I have a hard time getting them exact. I’m thinking it’s time to let that go. I’ve done the squares required for the quilt group and am turning my attention to more fun things to make. It has to be fun or why bother.

Making a shirt for someone is very much like making a quilt. It has to fit just right. So it goes to the top of the procrastination list. Gifts for birthdays and Christmas are moving to the top of the to-do list and can’t even look at the procrastination list. Ten weeks, people, ten weeks is all I have left.

In the meantime, I found a fun project. Microwave bowl cozies. If you still use a microwave and the bowl is too hot to pull out, then set it in the cozy first, heat and just leave it there to keep your food warm while you eat. You don’t burn your fingers that way. My son thought they were great. I had to make some a bit more masculine looking. They are made of 100% cotton so they don’t melt or catch fire in the microwave. Also handy with a freezing dish of ice cream or frozen fruit. Your hands don’t freeze holding the bowl. I started with fabric that I was going to pass on and worked my way up to fabrics that were chosen by the recipients.

I found some kits for making pillowcases in fun fabrics. U-tube has some wonderful instructions and shortcuts. I’m also a sucker for cute prints and panels. I have one for Halloween on the table waiting for borders, backing and binding to be cut and attached. They should be easy but quilting on the machine is not something I’ve mastered yet. I’ll keep at it though. I still have puckers.

So as you can see, I’ve done a little with my down time and need to do so much more. The procrastination list needs to be shredded and everything moved to the do right now list. I have company coming in two weeks and then only eight weeks to get it all finished and mailed or wrapped. Sorry for the reminder. I don’t shop for the holidays, I craft for them.

What’s on your procrastination list? Are any of them creative endeavors?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

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Comments on: "Creative Endeavors" (54)

  1. quiltingwithpurposeprocesspleasure said:

    I too have found the microwave cozies. They are great and planning to make more as Christmas gifts. Hope you find your mojo to return to sewing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m enjoying sewing more than the exacting quilting. I’m going to give that part a rest for a while. I can’t see the ruler lines all that well. Thanks for stopping by. I love the cozies too.

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  2. I’m sorry to hear about your new machine Marlene – thank goodness the old one is still going! It’s a bit of a shock to realise there is an eight week countdown going on for Christmas – I’m stuck with my blog referring back to the first week of September when i complained like crazy about it being too early for Christmas stuff in the stores…. perhaps i was wrong – or perhaps I need to put up another post 🙂 Procrastinate – me?? 😀
    It’s just as well we are never too old to learn, yes?

    I don’t use a microwave but those little holders sound like a good idea.

    I must also say thank you for the lovely feedback you left on my page for the danglers and so on – that is most generous praise! I am grateful.

    Right, I’m off to write up a quick post …………….. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • I promise you, I did not exaggerate on the feedback.You could charge twice the price and it would have been worth the money. I could not find them here for anywhere close to what you charge for them and they aren’t as nice. I use the microwave occasionally but not as much as before. The kids still use it a lot. My daughter barely has a working stove and my son is not that much of a cook. I like it for cold and hot foods as I rarely eat at a table. I know I should. Maybe soon. I’m working toward it. The machine was purchased 3 years ago and I have barely used it. I can’t sell it to anyone knowing there is something not working right. I’ve written to the company and taken it to the dealer so many times. If you are shopping for the holidays most people like to wait till the last minute. I find things all year long but most of my gifts have to be made. I sure don’t want Holiday decorations yet though. Not till Dec 1. I’m still working on the photos. Going to take them again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, you have been very creatively busy. Please consider sharing your post tomorrow at the Senior Salon.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m intrigued by your idea that, when we procrastinate, it’s a sign of fear or dislike–I need to think about that more! You’ve managed to get a lot done in spite of your balky machine and so-called procrastination!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Kerry. I think I read a study on procrastination. A deadline can overrule fear so I still manage to accomplish a few things. I have been using the older (16 years) machine for everything while the new one (3 years) sits on the floor. I’m not sure what to do with the new one because I won’t sell it to anyone when it won’t work consistently as it should. It usually gives me fits in the middle of a project and then I want to toss it. 😦 I may address it again after the holidays.

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  5. Gosh Marlene, I haven’t seen those cozies before but they are such a cute idea – and your photos totally sold me on the idea. I love them! I can’t sew to save my life so I shall request them to be made for me – they’ll be so useful for very hot or very cold bowls. Thanks for such a lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Clare. My sister and daughter loved them too. They are probably going to be found at all the boutiques this holiday season. I’ve made both sizes and am getting better with each one I make. If you can’t find them, let me know.

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  6. You’ve been a busy little beaver, Marlene. Such a creative idea, the microwave holders…I just burned my thumb this morning removing my oatmeal from the microwave. As for my current creativity, I’m trying to finish a proposal for book three…it’s been a slow process. Happy sewing!

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    • If you go to the craft boutiques before the holidays, you will probably find them there. Many sewers are making them. If you can’t find them, let me know. No more burned fingers. Book proposals would have me procrastinating big time. 🙂 I’m sure you will get it done in short order. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful to see you picking up your creative endeavors and banning frustration at the same time!! Marvelous! Oh procrastination is always my enemy too…two years ago I sorted out my studio and decided to only stick to drawing and knitting and once a year I make a new diorama. Boxes of ufo’s, craft projects and what nots left to house to make other people happy. My yarn stash is knitted away, I can buy wool again (yah!!!) and I feel actually liberated! Now my other form of procrastination is simply getting started. I can diddlydaddle the day away, with reading mail, playing with my blog, reading etc. The only cure for that, is that is start right away in the morning!! I look forward to see more of your beautiful sewing Marlene!!! xo Johanna

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Hey there, hi there Marlene! I came yesterday and managed to read another one of your delights, but then had to run off before a message. So I’m going backwards today which is about the speed at which I do my ironing. I do procrastinate on a few things, but ironing is number 1. I keep saying, “I got to get thru it”, but honestly, it’ll never happen until I’m expecting company and need to move the pile off the guest bed.
    Sorry your new machine is a gong show. That’s a drag. Did lessons come with the purchase? Maybe they’d actually see the problem then.
    I noticed one of the pillow cases you showed, is fabric to a rubber stamp we actuallly sell. The product is by a company called Santoro. Cool hey? I didn’t know they had fabric. I like that idea with the bowl cozy too. How do you get them shaped? Are there darts in them? See you on the next post xo k

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ha ha. I go backwards all the time. Most of my life is done in reverse. 🙂 I love to iron. It’s meditative. If I have a whole lot, which isn’t often these days, I take the ironing board in front of the TV and watch a taped show or two while I get it done.
      I even wrote to the manufacturer. It’s a lemon and I’m pretty sure now where the problem is. Yes, there were lessons and I spent hours with them. It operates just like my old machine. Quality control is the issue. These machines were made in Sweden when I bought my other 4 Vikings. Now I found out, they are all made in China. Enough said. I could rant for an hour here but you have better things to do. I wonder which of the fabrics has the stamp? The girl fabric or the boy trucks and cars? I’ll try to look it up. Yes there are darts in the bowl. They are fun to make.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll attach the picture of my stamp here.

        It’s the one for little girls, you said it matches a quilt.

        Wouldn’t you know it, a lemon made in China. Everyone wants to cut corners and it’s a shame because half of what we buy is made in a country that’s terrible on carbon immersions. Companies open shop there so the Muckimucks can line their pockets with more money. That being said, Canada is no leader either. If Justin T can stay in power, we might get things done. But the conservatives (equals your republican party but not as insane) are all about $$$. So what if you can’t breath and the earth is quickly dieing….she says sarcastically.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I agree. We are being sold out to line others pockets. I had no idea that Sweden was no longer making the machines or I would never have purchased it. They are ALL being made there except high end Bernina. I may have to go that direction if I decide to continue sewing. We shall see. Don’t even get me started on our politicians. I am so embarrassed. Unfortunately, many governments are in as bad a shape. I’m not giving up hope though.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I love the cozy idea! Wish I could find some for the husband as he likes to eat in the middle of the night and is only allowed to use the microwave after forgetting to turn off the stove a couple of times (scary thing that!). He gets forgetful because of the strong meds he takes. As for your definition of procrastination, I believe you are right. Maybe that’s why I’ve been putting off writing on my books, I’m scared to death I’ve lost my mojo. 😦
    Keep on keeping on my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Jackie. My son loves them. Meds do awful things to people. I’m sorry he is dealing with that. The study I read says procrastination is related to fear or dread. Same thing. The fear is running your mojo. Start having fun with the writing and the fear will get fooled. If it knows you are serious, it will keep popping up. If you are just having fun, it will forget to keep an eye on things. That’s why I put the quilting aside to have fun with the cozies. Then I can pretend to play with the quilts. Fooling the fear. 🙂

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  10. Hey Marlene, those cozies look, well, cozy! I use a pot holder for that purpose, not nearly as pretty, but functional non-the-less.
    I love the pillow cases. When I saw them I was amazed at how crisp and perfect they look! You are a talented lady!
    Have a good week! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hey Marlene, does it count as procrastination if I give the projects to one of my girls? I guess it kinda does. You are a crafty, creative lady, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Delegation is not procrastination. Brilliant. Wish I had someone to share some of my projects with or help me with the hard stuff. Not so creative as determined. I want things so I make them. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you are having a good week.

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  12. Feel your frustration but it sure makes one appreciate the ‘old workhorses’. My machine is one of the basic ‘computer stitches’ variety and I’ve learned what a relief it is to say, “oh, no, I can’t handle that type of sewing on my machine. Sorry.” Saves a lot of work and fretting! Plus I never get in over my head on one of those ‘great’ ideas that used to pop into my head and force me to be off and running with it before I knew that I didn’t know enough to tackle it.
    (Hope that makes sense.)
    I do love those chickens! And those bowl/cup holders are great looking. Oh, heck – all your projects look wonderful – I’m just partial to the color blue, chickens, and anything that helps me eat less-like a logger in a tea shop. . .

    Liked by 2 people

    • You make me laugh. Anything that makes me eat less is my ultimate goal too. 🙂 I’m perpetually in over my head and do it to myself. I see something and want to make it. The next thing I know, I’m on u-tube looking for instructions. I do refuse to do most mending. Especially zippers. Tell folks that is why we have dry cleaners with fancy machines in them for those sort of repairs. Have to keep them in business. I tend to push myself out of my comfort zone regularly. You do it with writing. I need to as well. Thanks for stopping by.

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  13. If you ever catch me wanting to mop, sweep or other indoor chores over another activity check for illness. 🙂 I love your bowl cozies and will have to make a few for my bowls for the kids to use. While I don’t use a microwave, hot foods will heat up a bowl and make it too hot for little hands. I think they would also be great to catch soup drips that are found on the table now.

    For someone struggling with vision problems you make beautiful quilted items. I’ve long since given up on making any thing other than the most basic quilts. Lately, I have been crocheting dishcloths to give as Christmas presents. Can you believe Christmas is right around the corner? I have a few things ready but way more to do than what I have finished.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the complement, Lois. Good thing you can’t see the stitching up close. I don’t mind so much but I don’t want anyone to look too closely. Sewing by braille is possible but not pretty. 🙂 I have a few of those crochet dish cloths. Gifts from friends. I have nothing ready yet and will dawdle way too long. It’s getting harder for me too.

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      • Don’t be too hard on yourself. I am the same way, my stitching isn’t the prettiest but so far those I’ve given quilts or other hand sewn gift to have been more than pleased and don’t quilt or sew themselves because they do worse than I do. As long as you still enjoy it, keep doing it.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. Those cozies are a great idea. We do use a microwave and we do burn our hands, too, when not careful (or in my case thinking something isn’t as hot at first touch.) I like that they act as a warmer on the table too. They’re a modern day tea cozy for bowls. Clever you.

    Having endured weeks with a broken clothes dryer, I feel your pain. I’m also annoyed and insulted on your behalf when the shops/mechanics/etc. put it on user error and won’t own the problem. It’s so frustrating.

    I’m glad you are enjoying some cozy time indoors now that the rains have arrived. But, golly G, Christmas is just around the corner. Yikes!

    Squishy hugs. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Alys. I’m glad you liked them. Guys seem to really like them since they tend to be more sensitive to heat than women do. I was embarrassed too at being treated like an idiot. I may pursue it further after the holidays. It’s a heavy machine and I hate to keep slepping it back and forth. I think the thread keeps popping out of the tension guides. Yes, Christmas is right around the corner. When you make your gifts, you start early. I’m getting lazy these days. And slow. 🙂

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      • Sewing machines are heavy so I can relate to not wanting to schlep it around. Too bad we can’t schedule fix-it folks in our home, like we do with cable or large appliances. That would be handy.

        Liked by 2 people

  15. Marlene you have been busy my friend.. Love those bowl holders just the thing.. I only ever warm plates and bowls now in the microwave I have stopped doing any cooking in it.. So these are such a great idea..
    I can understand your reluctance to tackle a sewing machine that doesn’t play ball.. My sewing machine is 35 yrs old.. and works .. shush.. like a dream.. 🙂 Love your quilting
    Enjoy your creative time.. Love these dark evenings to sit and click away with my knitting needles xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Sue. I try not to use the microwave but I mostly reheat stuff I have cooked in large quantity. Since I’m not cooking for a family, it’s just me, I cook up large pots of soups or other one pot meals then make individual servings to reheat. I admire those that don’t use the microwave. My sewing machine is also my embroidery machine. The old one has a smaller field to embroider and I was hoping to do larger pieces. We see how well that went. Had the new one 3 years and have only 2o hours of embroidery time. Sad. 35 years is a long time to have a machine. You are a lucky person. I have my moms old machine from the 6o’s. It still sews. I’m going to experiment further when I get more bobbins. 🙂 Have a good time with those knitting needles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Marlene.. Yes they built machines to last when I bought mine..It was the state of the art back then.. And I had an old Singer Machine which I turned the handle on before my first electric wonder.. It too will do embriodery, but I was never very good at it so used only for sewing.. It does a really neat blind hem though and some amazing zig-zags.. 🙂 The knitting needles were busy yesterday 🙂 so was the folk in the garden.. 🙂 lol..
        Hope you manage to master your new machine. And have a great weekend.. Hugs Sue xx

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  16. Ahh dear Marlene, only 10 weeks? And company coming? No wonder your To Do List has replaced the other unmentionable one, yikes! Actually, I read something really encouraging a few weeks about procrastination. I didn’t write for a long time over the summer as you know, but even before that I was struggling as I felt so stuck. And then I read in an article that sometimes, when we think we are procrastinating, we are actually processing, and that is very important. Certainly this is the case with writing. This means that by the time I actually get to write the words down, I already know what I want to write. This made me feel a lot better and not so anxious. But processing can only go so far! It sounds as if you are on the ball and knowing you, you will get all your projects finished on time. And I love your microwave holder ideas. Lovely to catch up with you Marlene ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for stopping by Sherri. I know how busy your life has been of late. Yes, there is a lot of processing going on when you procrastinate. I forgot about that part. If we put something off a bit, a better idea will pop up on how to do it. I saw the bowl cozies at a quilters retreat and got the pattern. Have made a dozen already. They are quite easy comparatively. They make easy and useful gifts. Hope all is going well on your end. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Anything to do with sorting, Marlene. Papers, clothes, anything.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 🙂 I do get it. It’s hard when there is too much and you don’t know where to put it all. I’ve lived here 2 years and still unpacking and sorting things out. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. As I read your post, and then the comments of others, I marveled again at how industrious you are. Like everyone else, I love those microwave cozies. I use a pot holder, but your idea is much better.
    I’m just so bummed for you about that sewing machine!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by Laurie. I’ve been bummed about the machine since I bought it 3 years ago. Had it back to the dealer so many times and even had someone come here. It just hates me. Lots of people are making the cozies these days. I’ve got a bunch ready to go again. They are so much easier than a quilt. 🙂 Some days, I’m just plain lazy.

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  19. My goodness… We are two peas in a pod!!! I said, “Today’s the day!” And it wasnt! Perhaps tomorrow 😃😃💜

    Liked by 1 person

  20. You are quite the creative lady! I love the pillow cases, and those I made years ago for my kids remain my favorites. I saw a tote bag online a couple weeks ago and am now finishing my second one. I used scraps of batik. Will show in an upcoming post. They are very easy. Enjoy your crafting! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Reading about the Montavilla sewing store made me nostalgic. I used to live two blocks from there. There are certainly things I miss about living in Portland. I loved the little Montavilla neighborhood too, with my walks to Mt. Tabor and the Academy Theatre.

    Anyway, I love to sew and my old machine is OLD and wonderful. It’s a solid steel model made for classrooms, with nothing digital on it whatsoever. I bought it new in 1992, the same month I got out of the Air Force. It’s the machine that Tara learned to sew on. In fact, Tara uses it so much now, it’s more their machine than mine. I do want a new one some day, and the purchase will have to come with lessons on how to use all the gadgetry!

    Procrastination? Hell yes! Some of my household tasks only get done because I’m avoiding something else. Like cleaning out the dust from the silverware tray, or clearing cobwebs from the ceiling fan, or cleaning that popsicle juice frozen onto the bottom of the freezer. If those things are getting done, you’ll know I’m *not* doing something I’m supposed to be doing. Hee hee

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make me laugh here. I’d rather wash dishes than tackle those quilt squares that hate me. I’m dancing around the Christmas tree laying across the living room floor trying to figure out how to pack it away for next year. TS said leave it up and decorate for each season. It’s so big and takes up the whole room. Procrastination is when the tree is still up Jan 15. ;(

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha ha ha!! We are doing the same thing today! I just drug my enormous tree out the front door and propped it up beside the deck railing. My theory is that if it snow again (and this winter, I’m guessing it will), it will look pretty all over again. Nice to have my living room back. Wow, all this space!

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      • Mine is a fake tree I have to bag up and store. 😦 I may be rethinking that.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Backtracking! You were very busy this fall in preparation for the holidays. I also did some sewing projects. I made fleece blankets, sewn not tied, for grand daughters as well as more of the sprocket pillows. I also made scarves. That was simply cutting the strips of soft flannel, tying them, and frayed the ends. They were a big hit. I think your quilts are great. Love the hanging idea but I know my quilting skills are sorely lacking and I have basically no wall space left in my house to hang a darn thing. How did your gifts go over? How about the Christmas raffle? I certainly admire your talents. I think I will try the microwave cozies. I have been looking for a fairly simple project for next year and I can get started on them now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have barely beginner skills on my quilts so I pray no one looks closely. I’m not entering contests, just trying to make gifts. This year I barely managed a few of those I needed to make. Getting things ready to start NOW on next years or I will never get them all done. Still trying to get the clutter cleared. I will never have dust under my beds as there is so much fabric stuffed under them. 😦 I will hopefully soon start getting things made up. I will have to live a very long time. This place has abysmal storage. The cozies are so easy but there are so many being made. I think I made a dozen myself already for gifts. Now I need something new for next year. 🙂 I have no wall space either. I think the gifts went over well enough as did the raffle. We are working on next years now.

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