How can a week have gone by already? Every Sunday I sit back and make plans for the upcoming week only to find that I rarely work past the halfway mark on said list. I find that terribly frustrating in some ways and in other ways feel that this seems to be the way my life runs. Always a step or two behind where I had hoped that I would find myself when I do a little mental check of how the week is progressing.
I had hoped to finish reading "Persuasion" but that did not happen. I have made good progress through the book and am thoroughly enjoying it. My e-reader tells me that I have read just over 80% of the book and with that in mind, I expect that I will reach the end by Tuesday or so. I make no promises on that as I know that my plans can change without notice, on just a whim. The e-reader seems to keep tabs on my reading habits and sends me messages every so often, just to make sure that I am aware of how my reading habits relate to my day to day life. I tend to do most of my reading between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. My reading periods tend to range between 1 to 1.5 hours though I have read for over the 2 hour stretch on a few occasions. When those magic moments occur, I receive a little message saying "Gee, you must really enjoy this book! You have been reading for over 2 hours." I suppose that these little messages are meant to encourage you to read even more and they do. I have to admit that I look forward to these little e-notes and find it amusing that a little machine takes such an interest in my reading habits. How sad is that! Needing validation from my e-reader that I am putting my time to good use. This seems to be a sign of the times, we need to know that we are not wasting our time. But, what determines if something is a waste of time?
Admittedly, I do not like to think that I waste time. Making the most of each day is something I strive for, but truthfully, what I consider to be a good use of time may not be the best in the view of others. If you do not find yourself drawn to the pursuit of art in its many forms, then you would find my playing with coloured inks, paints, Japanese papers and other mediums to be a colossal misuse of the afternoon and early evening hours. I find that I can lose myself whilst working on different colour intensities and enjoy the time I spend working on these in combination with other colours. Reading books on drawing techniques and practicing in hopes of becoming a better artist seems like time well spent to me. And, I can share these thoughts with you since you are following on my journey, whereas if I were to share these thoughts with others, I would find that they get that glassy eyed look signalling that they have mentally checked out for a bit. I am careful when I am out with others that I try not to get into long discussions of what art forms I find interesting at that moment in time.
My interests vary each day according to what I may have read online, heard about on the radio or caught a glimpse of in a magazine. I am still deep into learning about braiding, a Japanese art form known as kumihimo and spent a lot of time trying a few braids over the past few days. One in particular took over 8 hours to complete and is about 16 inches in length. Yes, that was a long time to spend on one piece, but when you take into consideration that I was working with embroidery thread, you can well imagine how fine the resulting braid is, meaning that it is not a chunky braid, but a slender one with the colours entwining throughout the rope. I learned how to whip the ends of the braid so that a end cap can be attached allowing the piece to be made into a necklace or bracelet. Making an end cap out of 18 gauge wire is on this week's agenda as is learning to work beads onto the braid. I did try with some beads that I had on hand, but realize that I need to start off using smaller seed beads in order to learn the technique. I will persevere with the hopes of making a few pieces of jewelry to add colour to my wardrobe as well as to make a gift for a friend who is moving away shortly.
Today is a day that I have set aside to do some cooking a la Julie Anne Rhodes' PCApproch. Armed with her menu plan, grocery list and instructions, I have pulled together a few recipes to cook up today and freeze so that dinner can be on the table in minutes when I finally clue in to that rumbling feeling in my stomach. Seafood risotto, cashew creamed soup, chicken breasts stuffed with herbed goat cheese and a wonderful orzo spinach salad are in the planning stages in my kitchen and will be portioned out and frozen later today. A marinated salad of mixed vegetables will also be accomplished before the end of the day which comes in handy for the mid afternoon munchies that hit me regularly each day. Far better to plan ahead and have a container of these waiting for me in the fridge than to make a piece of toast with peanut butter. I have a love of bread that I need to curb and I am hoping that if I make up a container of vegetables that still have some crunch left in them, that I might get past the craving for carbs.
Julie Anne (@JulieAnneRhodes on Twitter) mentioned in her blog that giving a membership to her site for a Mother's Day gift would be wonderful for all mums. I am thinking that a membership would be a lovely gift for new mums who find getting meals on the table along with all the activities involved with taking care of a new little person, to be a bit daunting. This time of year finds us looking for bridal shower gifts, wedding gifts and so on. How nice would it be to open up a package to find a new piece of equipment for the kitchen along with a membership to PCA? Knowing that many new couples like to spend time in the kitchen together, giving them the gift of weekly menus along with the recipes provides them with the tools that will enable them to eat healthy meals on a daily basis without the need to do a major cooking spree every single day. Take a look at Julie Anne's site at http://julieannerhodes.com/ to read about the Personal Chef Approach to cooking and how you can purchase a membership for yourself or as a gift for someone in your life. I can vouch for the cost saving using this approach to cooking!
Another friend, Jodi, has a wonderful Etsy site that you might want to take a look at if you are looking for a Mother's Day gift. Mother's Day in North America is on Sunday, May 13 and Jodi can arrange to ship your gift. She makes the most unique jewelry and I am quite certain that you will find more than one piece that would be perfect for your mum. Check out Jodi's shoppe at http://www.etsy.com/shop/EmberKayDawnStudios to find something lovely and different. I find myself going back to the site often to see what is new and get ideas for what might be interesting to wear. I met Jodi through Julie Anne's web site and we tweet back and forth regularly sharing thoughts on what we are cooking. You see, everything revolves around food, or so it seems.
So, that is how this past week played out and how this week is starting off. I think that spending a few hours in the kitchen will put me in a zen spot mentally and allow me to mellow out as well as put some ready to heat meals in my freezer. That will allow for more studio time and hopefully, some finished pieces to put up for you to see. I am moving along at my own pace and whilst it would be nice to move forward a bit more quickly, I am content that as long as I am working on something, that my time is well spent.
Have a wonderful week!