Refine and Design 2016, Week Five

“These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed.”  ~Abigail Adams

crabtree falls 084

January 29

Creativity: Baking biscotti, drawing

Gratitude: modern household appliances that make life easier for me…before 6 am I’ve used the vacuum, food processor, KitchenAid stand mixer, stovetop, oven, and microwave

Joy: taking simple staples and creating a culinary delight, Sushi dinner with family

Awareness: At five am I was grinding, tossing, blending ordinary foods (flour, sugar etc.) My hands rounded dough into logs and flattened them on a board. I baked the loaves, sliced and rebaked…no resemblance to original items I used; how incredible. Life is like that; we take what we get and what we make of it is up to us. Today, I am in awe of my hands. They have the ability to cause pain or show love…I choose love.

January 30

Creativity: Writing and collage

Gratitude: picking up jewelry I’d dropped off for repairs and am thrilled with the results.

Joy: perusing the local elementary schools’ art exhibit at the mall. It’s amazing to see the talent in people of such a young age. I remember when my own children’s art was on exhibit; these are now framed in my home. I can only wonder how many of these children will actually continue artistic endeavors and how many will pursue their art in their later years…and how many will chuck it and never look back.

Awareness: Walking through the busy department store: The cash registers pinged interruptions in the blur of conversations. Hangers scraped against racks competing with the echoes of my boot steps on the tile floor.

January 31

Creativity: drawing

Gratitude: a crockpot which kept me from standing over a kitchen stove for several hours

Joy: a phone call from Youngest, being warm enough to sit outside without a jacket

Awareness: Although I call it procrastination, when it comes to creative decisions I am frozen with resistance. I know exactly what step I should take and yet I stop completely. I think this is probably what some refer to as writer’s block, or at least I used to call it writer’s block. The thing is I am never at a loss for words, and am only reluctant to share those words.

February 1

Creativity: water color, Day #1 of Creative Live 28 day challenge which involved drawing

Gratitude: I am delighted to pick up a book (nonfiction) I previously tried to read and didn’t finish to find myself totally clicking with what I am reading this time.  Sometimes the second time is a charm. I’ve found this to have been true for me more than once. I, for one, never stop learning.

Joy: 74 degrees, barefoot and in shorts sitting on the backyard swing with a glass of wine, nice way to end the day; cold cobblestone beneath my feet as I am enveloped in warm air. A book I ordered arrived!

Awareness: The dried Japanese Silver grass along the fence line bears a liking to ripened grain as the flowers curl with the breeze and the sun brightens it to a golden brown.  The leaves slowly bend as if they are waving a long goodbye to me.

February 2

Creativity: Day #2 of Creative Live 28 day challenge which involved drawing

Gratitude: a hot bath with essential oils

Joy: a free kindle book

Awareness: The candle flame is fickle. She stretches tall and then shrinks low. She leans to the sides and pulls away from her root while she tests her wing. She fans fat in an arc then shoots tall and skinny. She twists and turns and shimmies and shakes from disco to salsa. Her white glow turns amber. She changes her dress from orange to pink and accessorizes with a dash of blue. Her flame flickers, and her fire burns. Catch her eye and you are mesmerized.  She speaks a language of her own. I know not what she says, but I swear it is a thing of beauty.

February 3

Creativity: drawing and writing, Day #3 of Creative Live 28 day challenge which involved drawing

Gratitude: I lost my cell phone and found it by retracing my steps

Joy: the beginning stages of planning a summer trip out West, last time we explored Zion NP and are thinking about Arches NP this time.

Awareness: The wind has been quite the intruder today. It has banged at the door, tapped the windows, climbed upon the roof, and even thrown sticks and pinecones against the walls. With two loud barks, the dog told her she was not welcome today. She momentarily calmed and waved from the pine tree. Like a good guard dog, Wylie sat upon the window seat and held her off. An afternote: The intruder was also a thief as it took two of my garden flags upon her departure!

February 4

Creativity: Day #4 ofCreative Live 28 day challenge which involved drawing

Gratitude: leftovers

Joy: the end of a work day. Ok, I realize that was cheating. I’ll start over. After losing a diamond from the ring I just had serviced (I mean lost as in it is just gone, nowhere to be found), I decided to have another ring I’d lost a diamond in replaced at the same time as this one (though I did not make it to the jewelers today). I haven’t worn this ring in many years, and when I got it out I found I had already had repairs done and had forgotten about it.

Awareness: The rain pinged and wooshed sideways at times….one drop at a time, building puddles throughout the yard.  Dark clouds paled to grey as the rain poured. The deluge of water merged sky and earth.  While sometimes the water falling sounded like fairies dancing on the roof, other times it was as if someone was emptying a pool over our heads. The flow became a trickle after it washed the sandman ashore a bit earlier than I would usually call it a night.

25 thoughts on “Refine and Design 2016, Week Five

  1. Loving all your Awareness paragraphs and love your poetic descriptive wording..
    I smiled when you said on Feb 1st you picked up a book to read that you had tried before to read.. How often this happens to me. I buy a book then appear not to connect to it only to find a year down the line I can’t put it down.. 🙂

    Have a beautiful weekend and love that photo.. Hugs your way Suzi..
    xxx ❤

  2. I’ve considered making biscotti on occasion . . . but never at 5 am when doing so would interfere with sleep. Go you!

    Sounds like a good week. Your description of warmth followed by insistent wind and rain mirrors our weather this week.

    • I never felt like doing anything at 5, but I get up with the hubby in the mornings. Most days I just laze a bit, but I wanted to make this for my friend’s daughter so I could get it asap to the post office.

  3. You HAVE had a week, haven’t you, Suzi?? Losing a diamond and your cell phone must have been frustrating, to say the least. But I love how you balance the frustrations with the joys — 74 degrees, Wylie the guard dog, phone calls from loved ones, lifelong learning…so uplifting!!

  4. I have had quite a week…if I’d posted the reality of yesterday…oh my! I decided to make the best of an extremely rough day! Otherwise, I’d have been a mess and would have brought everyone else with me.

  5. I loved your awareness description of the wind blowing! Your cooking projects sound quite ambitious- making your own sushi! Arches is an amazing place. Make sure to bring a sketch pad for your artwork. We have a large watercolor landscape of Delicate Arch that my husband painted from a photo I took. It is the main piece of interest in the family room. Walking through the park will give you much to be aware of and grateful for. Thanks for sharing your latest week.

    • I’m sorry if the sushi part was misleading…we went out to dinner. I love that people can sketch while in nature. It’s easier for me to take photos. I have only tried sketching/drawing the shapes to use in fiber art/ quilting. I really would like to try a panel on a photograph as some point.

  6. I admit I’ve been disappointed with some, but others have been surprisingly good. A few times, I’ve found something dirt cheap I’ve paid full price just a few days prior, ugh..

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