Threads of the past, pieces of the future

I’m almost afraid to look back at 2007, and I’m tempted to take a page from Jane Ann’s book and give it the old TGIO* (Thank God it’s Over!) and be done with it. That’s not to say it was all bad (or even half), but I can think of quite a few things that I’d hoped to get done this year that are still waiting in the wings, but honesty compels me to admit that most of the problem is an over abundance of creative thinking!

The tiny look back at the good:

  • Winning an Honorable Mention at the AQS Show in Paducah and Best Machine Quilting at the Fiber Arts Fiesta in Albuquerque for Stars in my Hand
  • Learning more web programming and design, and completing two intensive PHP programming classes
  • Redeveloping the ALSA New Mexico website to do what I can to help the fight against Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Having my blog accepted to 9rules

And now a look at the “needs improvement” section:

  • Saying “no” more often (dang, I thought I had that one handled, but I let my guard down and now I’m in a fix or two that are taking up time that could be better spent elsewhere 😦 )
  • Exercising more than my hands, arms and brain (the rest of the body doesn’t move much when I’m quilting or programming or driving my car, which is mostly what I do 😯 )
  • No more Less creative brainstorming (I’m way too good at it, and that over abundance of creative thinking usually gets me in trouble in the “too much to do” department)
  • Being less stressed (hmmm, if I took more care with the three things above, that might alleviate quite a bit of stress right there)

On the creative to-do list in 2008:

  • Finishing The Misery Quilt
  • Starting another show quilt (ideas already generated!)
  • Trying some other creative “revisions” to some older pieces of fabric art
  • Taking more programming classes
  • Launching a major quilting-related website/web application (again, ideas generated, just needs time)
  • Launching a family history-related blog/site (ditto, again)

Whew! I think that’s a good bit of things to do! And I refuse to call any of that “resolutions.” Pfft. Just “things to do,” because it sounds more doable. It is good to think about all of this, because now those “to-dos” are not just floating around in my head with a deadline of someday. If I keep that list in mind the next time my creativity runs away with my brain, maybe I’ll be able to say “no.” Of course, none of that says anything about “the rest of life,” like all the family and kid stuff that did or didn’t happen in 2007, but I’m not even going to get into all that, because on the “needs improvement” list is “less stress.” Less stress in the family and kids department means saying TGIO to all of it for now and moving on.

We spent New Year’s Eve at home like we always do, and watched the fireworks from our upstairs windows with the kids. Now I’m wrapping up a lovely New Year’s Day that I spent quietly programming and quilting, and I didn’t even have to cook dinner because ITMan cooked (okay, I helped a little!). I’m going to go tuck into bed with a good book and finish bidding 2007 goodbye. Happy New Year, all! May it be a peaceful and productive one for you.

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The 9rules Network Connection

9rules NetworkWhat do Diary of a Website, Bright Meadow , Start Cooking and 456 Berea Street have in common? They’re all members of the 9rules Network.

I just found out that Quilt Epiphany has been accepted for membership in the 9rules Network too. So what is it, you ask? 9rules is a community of great blogging content. From the About page:

9rules is a place where members and readers can connect, build relationships, gain exposure, learn new things, and have fun. 9rules started in 2003 with a set of 9 rules:

1. Love what you do.
2. Never stop learning.
3. Form works with function.
4. Simple is beautiful.
5. Work hard, play hard.
6. You get what you pay for.
7. When you talk, we listen.
8. Must constantly improve.
9. Respect your inspiration.

These rules are the backbone of 9rules, implemented in everything 9rules does.

Since I discovered 9rules, I’ve become a part of the community through 9rules Notes, and I’ve met some folks from around the globe that I enjoy interacting with. I try to live by those nine rules myself, (okay except maybe that “simple is beautiful” one; I know I’m rather complicated and high maintenance, but we all must work toward something!). I watched with hopefulness (and a bit of envy) during the last round of submissions in 2006, hoping to see that my blog was considered good enough to be accepted to the hallowed halls of the 9rules Network. It’s worth the wait, I say.

Finding out that your blog can wear the 9rules badge is like walking into the quilt show and seeing a blue ribbon on your quilt: the Best of Show ribbon is about excellence in quilting design and execution, and 9rules is about excellent content. Winning an award at a quilt show is one of those Quilting WFF’s, exciting, exhilarating, satisfying, but humbling and scary at the same time. The first time I won an award for one of my quilts at a show, a little part of me wondered if my quilt really deserved the honor, and if I’d be able to do it again. That same little part of me is wondering if my thoughts turned to blog posts can really hold their own when placed next to some of the great content found at 9rules. Kind of raises the bar a bit, no?