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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Is It Time to Spring Clean Your Calendar?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Is it time to spring clean your calendar-

With the change in seasons, I am in a spring cleaning mode. I have gone through some of the clothes in the closet. I have begun to go through the clutter (because that is what it is) in the basement and garage.

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The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

coffee cupToday I am having lunch with one of my closest friends, something we try to do once a month. We could meet for coffee, only neither one of us drinks it. Of course, it is not about the coffee anyhow. It is about the connections. It’s about the companionship. It’s about the love.

I ran across this article again the other day. It has been circulated around the Internet for awhile now, and I don’t know its origin. It’s just a good reminder for when we think our lives are stuffed and unmanageable. When you get to that place, think about the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.

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A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things — God, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions. And if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.  The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your spouse. Play with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with your grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner.  Play another 18 holes.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.  Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. The coffee just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

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So, when you get the chance to meet up with your friends for coffee, take the opportunity. I am always grateful I do.

 

Photo credit: Hailey E Herrera Art Journey via photopin cc

How Good Are You At Juggling?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
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Last week I noticed that one of my Facebook friends commented that she was juggling a lot of balls in the air. Can you picture yourself there? I certainly can. At any given time I have editorial duties for the magazine, content to write or deliver related to IAPQ, new orders to fill, lectures to prepare for Quilt Market, coaching calls with clients, not to mention the various balls I’m juggling as a wife, sister, aunt, friend, and homeowner or any other volunteer position I might have. It could truly make you dizzy.
 
And, I know your life isn’t any different than mine. How do I – and you – manage to juggle these responsibilities and not succumb to the falling balls? Here are a few tips:
 
1. Start with a list of our your responsibilities and relationships. For example, your work and what it entails; your family duties; your personal care needs, such as that massage or exercise; outside activities, such as church or your guild.
 
2. Write down everything you need to do currently. If you can get it out of your head and onto one list, you can get some control.
 
3. Once you’ve got your list, get the tasks into your calendar.
 
4. Set a deadline and set to work on completing the tasks. This lets you be in control.
 
5. Learn to set priorities. Not everything on your list needs to be done, does it? Be ruthless about what is really important and what is not. And be ruthless about which responsibilities and relationships are most important and when.
 
When I start to feel overwhelmed by all the juggling I have going on, I remember an interview I watched with news anchor, Diane Sawyer. She talked about how life is like juggling. We are juggling glass balls (family and health being two examples) and plastic balls (some of the less important stuff). She emphasized to make sure we didn’t drop the glass balls. The plastic ones could drop and not cause too much trouble. But the glass ones are a different story.

 

Please share your thoughts on juggling on the blog 

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Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Professional Quilters, an association to help quilters, fiber artists and other creative arts entrepreneurs build business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at http://www.professionalquilter.com.
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Book Review: Czecherboard Quilts

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Czecherboard Quilts
Rose Ann Cook
Kansas City Star Quilts’ $16.95

I have to admit what hooked me was the play on words – checkerboard and Czecherboard. Rose Ann Cook, owner of Quilter’s Emporium in Stafford, Texas, created the quilts in the book to honor the stories she learned of her father’s family and its Czech history. The book includes 13 projects with checkerboard themes and accompanying stories and photos about Rose Ann’s father’s family. I enjoyed how she was able to weave the family history into each quilt. It’s an idea that anyone interested in genealogy and quilting can try.

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

 

Are your priorities in line with your values?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Many of us struggle with aligning our priorities with our actions. I recently had a conversation with one of my private coaching clients. She said her family was her priority, yet she was barely fitting them in around her business, rather than the other way around. Our priorities are really defined by how and where we spend our time, and, by that definition, family was not her number one priority.

To get clearer on your priorities, during the next month develop a list of your needs, wants and values. “What’s the difference?” you ask. A need is something you must have in order to be your best, such as time, space, money, love, information, food, etc. A want is something that you relate to by trying to acquire or experience it, such as a car, a vacation, a house, a new sewing machine, etc. Values are behaviors or preferences that you naturally gravitate to or that are prompted from within and not by needs or wants. An example might be security or adventure or creativity. The same thing can be a need, want or value for different people or for the same person at different times. Here are some guidelines:

* If there is urgency, it’s probably a need.
* If there’s a craving or desire, it’s probably a want.
* If there is a natural and uncomplicated pull, it’s probably a value.

Next, complete a “calendar audit.” Look at your calendar for the last couple of months. Take every bit of time, personal as well as business, and compare your expenditure of time with your needs, wants and values. What did you learn?

Last, create objectives and action plans to better align your words and your actions. The most fulfilling goals are those that align with your values.

Please share your thoughts below.

Exercising Your “No” Muscle

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Over the years I’ve wrestled with saying “no” to many requests. When I was two years old, I’m sure I didn’t have that problem. Just ask my family! As I grew up, I think the people pleaser in me showed up, and “no” seldom found its way into my vocabulary. As an adult, I have a distinct memory about learning how to say “no.” I was doing volunteer work at a local museum for a major fund-raising event. I was responsible getting volunteers for my committee. I still remember the woman I asked who instead of just saying “no” said, “No, I can’t help you now, but when the event takes place I’ll be glad to work.” Gosh, that no really didn’t sound so much like a no.

 

Yes can be the right answer many times, but none of us has unlimited time available to say yes to everything. It’s knowing when to say yes or no and then how to say it that makes the difference.

Here are seven ideas to help you say “no.”

1. Does the request move you closer to your goals? If it does, that’s great. Commit the time needed. If it doesn’t, it should be easy to say no.

2. How does the time commitment for a “yes” affect your priorities? Sometimes we might like to say yes, but the time away from our stated priorities is a sacrifice that we aren’t willing to make. One example might be that your priority for family time requires you to say no to requests that interfere with that. And, don’t forget that commitments to yourself count as priorities; don’t give up time you need to rejuvenate or “fill the well.”

3. It’s OK to think about the request. You can tell the person you’ll give some thought to their request and then get back to them. This gives you time to consider the request, see how it fits into your goals, priorities and commitments.

4. Don’t apologize for saying “no.” Often people will say, “I’m sorry, but I can’t because….” It’s not necessary to give a reason why you can’t. It’s your time you are guarding. If you feel the need to explain, a simple “I can’t at this time” should work.

5. Offer an option. If you want to be involved in an activity that will take too much of your time, think of how you can do something small that will be less stressful. That’s what the woman who taught me how to say “no” did. For example, if you’re asked to be responsible for arranging for snacks for your child’s soccer team for the season, offer to bring snacks for one game. When my quilt guild was in need of volunteers for its show, I offered to design the brochure and advertising materials, something I could do on my own time.

6. Try to be aware of when someone is going to ask you for something. If you are on a committee or part of a group, it’s much easier to let the chair/group know ahead of time that you are already committed and can’t take on something else.

7. Practice saying no. Try it when you are asked for personal information when you shop. Try it with telemarketers.

And, once you’ve said no, just move on. In all likelihood, you’ll feel better and much less stressed, and the person who asked just moves onto the next name on her list.

How good are you at saying, “no”? Please share your thoughts below.

Book Review: Sisterhood – A Quilting Tradition

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Book of Days

Sisterhood – A Quilting Tradition
Nancy Murty
C&T Publishing; $24.95

I’ll admit it was the title that got me. I am the eldest of five sisters, and unfortunately, I’ve not turned any into quilters, yet. Nancy Murty has one sister who quilts, as well as her mother. Her mother’s sister and daughter also quilt. Nancy wanted to not only share the quilting sisterhood of her family, but also what she has discovered in her own quilting journey. In addition, this fabric artist, fabric and pattern designer set out to encourage readers to find their own creative voice in quilting. The book includes 11 quilts, table runners and wall hangings. The pieces are traditional patchwork and applique pieces, and I found the coloration and scale to have a sophisticated look. I particularly liked “Family and Friends,” an applique quilt that incorporated photos into the border, and the patchwork “Heritage,” that seemed to have a glow.

Look for the book at your favorite book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

What’s Clarity Got to Do With It?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Despite the title of this piece sounding rather Tina Turnerish to me, I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about what I want in a variety of areas. In other words, I’ve been looking for clarity. It’s so easy to get bogged down with all the what ifs and fuzzy thinking. Ever been there?

What do you need clarity on? When I work with some clients, that’s our first step. Clarity is really the foundation of success both in your business and your personal life.

You need to be clear on the direction you are going. What is your end goal? If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

You need to be clear on who your client is. We can’t be everything to all people, though I do know people who try. In one class I taught, I had a student who wanted to turn every quilter into an appliqué artist. While that was an admirable goal, her time would have been exhausted trying to accomplish this. She would have been more effective targeting beginning quilters to get them started.

You need to be clear on the financial realities of your business. Where does your income come from? What are your expenses? How much do you need to earn to provide support for yourself?

Those are just a few of the many areas that require clarity. I’m sure you can find other areas where you are searching for clarity. It could be something big, like what my coaches call your “Big Why,” or it could be something smaller, like the name of your new pattern.

It’s easy to figure out what you need to be clear on – you hear the muddled voices. How do you find clarity? Here are a few approaches to tune into the right little voice inside so you can listen.

1. Create a vision board. The easy approach is to go through magazines and find things that resonate with you. It could be colors, words, pictures of places you want to visit, quilts you want to make or techniques you want to learn. Glue them onto a piece of poster board and leave it in a place where you’ll see it. I find that just searching for the items to put on my vision board helps me get clearer.

2. Keep a journal. Note your day’s activities, how you felt about what happened, any insights you might have. You might even ask a question and brainstorm on ideas or let the answer just come to you. Go back and read your earlier entries. The more you journal about something, the clearer it becomes.

3. Be grateful. If you are grateful every day, you can start to replace confusion with clarity. I keep a gratitude journal.

4. Spend time alone in nature. You may feel most at peace in a certain type of setting. For me it’s the water. So when I need to gain clarity, I will often sit by the water. Clarity often comes just “being,” and this environment lets me “be.”

5. Let go of the question. Sometimes by no longer putting your attention on something the answer will just come to you.

And, finally remember when I started looking at the letters in the word “success”? For me, the first C is for clarity.

Here’s a quote on clarity from Scottish writer Richard Holloway that I like:

Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.

Please share your thoughts on clarity below.

My holidays are off to a good start

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

I survived Thanksgiving, put a good dent in all the wonderful foods 14 of us shared and helped to polish off our favorite homemade family apple pie. The first week in December kept me busy with my church’s 34th Annual Christmas Festival. I’ve been the co-chair five years now and, along with my co-chair, am giving up the seat, grateful to have been able to share my skills in this way and grateful to pass along the duties to someone else. I’ll still be involved as I’ve volunteered to make the raffle quilt top next year.

One of my annual traditions is gingerbread house decorating with two of my nieces each year. We completed this year’s house on Sunday, and here they are celebrating their artwork.

The younger one also took some time deciding on her next sewing project. She loves the ideas in The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids from Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith from Possibilities and picked out six. First up are the placemats; she said that making them it would be like making a small quilt so then she could be prepared for her own real quilt.

Hailey’s Quilt at the Show

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

If you been following my niece Hailey’s quilt, you know she was working on her first quilt. When I asked if she wanted to show her quilt in my guild show, she jumped at the chance. So we set a schedule to finish in time. Here she is with the quilt at the show.

I’m really proud of the work she did on the quilt. I helped her get started, but I had little input into the finished product. She chose the pattern and fabrics, learned to rotary cut and operate the sewing machine. I helped her tie the quilt, so we could talk. I sewed on the front of the binding by machine and then she sewed down the back by hand. She even made her own label for the quilt, which she named Jungle King. On our drive back from the show, she asked when the next show was. I’m hopeful she wants to start a new project after Christmas.

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