Archive | January, 2010

Strengths Finder: Part 1 of 7

24 Jan

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As part of my work with my TC, I was asked to take an aptitude-type test from the Gallup Press called Strengths Finder.

The purpose of this test is to give you some insight as to the talents and strengths you possess. These are strengths that stay with you your whole life – not surface personality traits that may change as you get older.

The idea, of course, is to give you a better understanding of then things you enjoy and ideas on how to develop those traits as opposed to focusing solely on how to strengthen your weaknesses.

While is is usually helpful to try to strengthen many areas overall, the rewards you will see from focusing on your talents are said to be much greater. For example, if you are tone deaf and work tirelessly to become a singer, chances are you won’t be as successful as someone born with a natural talent and tone who worked just as hard.

They break this down into an equation: talent x practice = results.

Sounds fair enough. I also like the theme of focusing on what you are good at, rather than fighting who you are. Starting from a base of, “I have these strengths, how can I make them even better?” seems a helpful starting point for the recovering self-perfectionist.

I will use the next six posts to ponder each of my top 5 strengths and the quotes and possible actions that are presented with them, as well as one overall wrap up post.

If I were nearly as disciplined as I hope to be…

23 Jan

I would keep to the posting schedule I set up.

To assuage my guilt, Here’s what I should have posted the past 2 weeks.

Sunday, January 10: Blue Velvet Cupcakes

I’ve seen red velvet everywhere, but blue is my favorite color.

Blue Velvet Cupcake

So pretty and unusual!

Monday, January 11: Local Etsy Spotlight: Flowering Ceramics

So beautiful and feminine:

BLUE FLOWER PIGGY BANK 

PINK FLOWER SOURDOUGH JAR WITH LID

FORGET-ME-NOTS SOUP CUP AND SAUCER

Tuesday, January 12: Revelry Patterns: Jayne Cobb Hats

Patterns galore for this funny little hat (click the image)

 
Jayne!
The Man they call Jayne!
He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor,
He stood up to the man and he gave him what for.
Our love for him now, aint hard to explain,
The hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne!
Our Jayne saw the Mudders’ backs breakin’
He saw the Mudders lament
And he saw the magistrate takin’
Every dollar and leavin’ five cents
So he said, "You can’t do that to my people"
He said "You can’t crush them under your heel"
Jayne strapped on his hat
And in five seconds flat
Stole everything Boss Higgins had to steal
He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor
Stood up to the Man and he gave him what for
Our love for him now ain’t hard to explain
The Hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne
Now here is what separates heroes
From common folk like you and I
The man they call Jayne
He turned ’round his plane
And let that money hit sky
He dropped it onto our houses
He dropped it into our yards
And the man call Jayne
He turned ’round his plane
And headed out for the stars
He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor
Stood up to the Man and he gave him what for
Our love for him now ain’t hard to explain
The Hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne!

Wednesday, January 13: Geek Crafts Day!

Well, yesterday’s post was pretty damn geeky. But ok…

A Quilted Megaman Pillow is pretty damn geeky, right?

Thursday, January 14: Craftgawker find of the week: Beautiful Blue

Oh. my. god.

Blueberry Bubbles Pearl Bracelet

Sooooo…. pretty. I feel like a bug heading towards a zapper.

And Ami Designs makes consistently beautiful jewelry:

Blue and Gold Pearl Memory Wire Bracelet

Honeydew and Lemon Bubbles Pearl Bracelet

Black Cherry Pearl Bracelet

Browse now, don’t wait!

Friday, January 15: Fabric Friday

I don’t know about y’all, but if I see a fabric I love, I tend to buy a yard of it – just to have. I can usually make something out of a yard, or at very least, use it in a quilt somewhere.

Then I found this:

One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric!

And now I have endless project ideas. Aprons, laptop sleeves, totes, pet beds, you name it.

Sunday, January 17: Foodgawker Find

Chocolate Macaroons

easy. chocolate. macaroons. What’s not to love – the other three little words.

Monday, January 18: Local Etsy Spotlight: Pink Lily Press

Looking for the perfect Valentine’s card?

Smooching Sparrows Valentines Greeting Card

Love Greeting

Pink Lily also has lovely wedding and other event invites and Thank You Cards, like this one:

I LOVE IT Folded Greeting

Tuesday, January 19: Ravelry: Winter Bud Scarf

So soft and elegant.*sigh*

Wednesday, January 20: Internet Meme Embroidery

I love me some memes. I think the re-captioning the Downfall clip is my current favorite.

So these little cuties just make me swoon with geeky glee:

internet-meme-embroidery.jpg

Thursday, January 21: Craftgawker Find

Enchantment - Sultry Blue Flash Labradorite Earrings

Mmmm. Shimmery goodness.

More from AdornMe Jewelry:

Cupid's Garden - Statement Earrings

Icarian Wings - Elegant, Extraordinary Chalcedony Earrings

Friday January 22: DIY Scarf Holder

2918624997_afd3dbe68d_b.jpg

And today. Well, Saturdays are my day off or to use posting my personal crafty projects, but I used it as a catch up day this week.

Ok. I feel better now. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

Accepting That I am an Introvert

21 Jan
From Wikipedia:

Introversion is "the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life". Introverts tend to be more reserved and less outspoken in large groups. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, drawing, and using computers. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, composer, and inventor are all highly introverted. An introvert is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people, though they tend to enjoy interactions with close friends. They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate. Introverts are easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings and engagement. They are more analytical before speaking.

Introversion is not the same as shyness. Introverts choose solitary over social activities by preference, whereas shy people avoid social encounters out of fear.

It is very hard to look at introversion as a positive thing.

Society does seem to favor the extrovert. People are celebrated for being the light in the room. Because of this, there are an endless amount of “how to be an extrovert” books and articles. I have to admit that I have longed to be an extrovert every now and then.

However, it makes more sense to work with what you have than long to be something different. Of course, if you do have something that is objectively a FLAW, I fully support changing that as much as possible. However, some things I once thought of as flaws have their own benefits and I am interested in getting a better understanding of those benefits and using them to my advantage.

What i learned recently regarding introversion is that is does not equal shyness or poor social skills. It simply means you get energy from yourself rather than extraverts, who get their energy from other people.

What a concept! And why would I even *want* to change that? 

There are strengths to this ability – independence, a very active mental life – and it’s focusing on those that will make me happier and make it easier to more accurately judge any direction I decide to go.

Also, introverts are generally more mysterious – and what woman doesn’t love being a little mysterious?

Welcome. or not.

20 Jan

Welcome to my blog – or if no one visits, that’s fine too.

I have my crafting blog over at Cheeky Craft Chick, but as 2010 begins to unfold, it seems I will be spending a lot of time looking inward, so that I may progress forward.

I would like to document this process for my own benefit. I think it would be very useful to track my thought process, review my progress, celebrate how far I’ve come, or even lament how little I’ve moved if that’s where it ends up.

I doubt it will end up that way. If nothing else, life and people rarely stay still. Even as I am frustrated in my lack of clear, focused movement in a particular professional direction, the many directions I have explored represent significant movement and progress in the direction of self-discovery.

In late January, I decided to being seeing a therapist specializing in cognitive therapy. I had recently become trapped in a cycle of thinking and habit that was sapping my motivation, which, in turn, was sapping my self-esteem.

This was step one.

Step two was recommended by a friend during a dinner and movie night. A Transition Coach. Having left my 9-5 job in Sept 2009, I’d say I qualify as being in transition. Honestly, I’m not sure I ever successfully made the transition from college to the real world – so we’ll see if I can’t straighten that out now.

I’ll refer to my transition coach henceforth as TC.

My TC and I had an introductory phone call last week, and i decided to move forward with at least 3 months of coaching.

The insight from that initial conversation was that I may be approaching my issue from the wrong direction.

I was looking at jobs and then “trying them on” – seeing if maybe they would fit what I thought my personality to be. This was eternally frustrating and not getting me any closer to an answer. By explaining her process of uncovering your strengths, working style, etc FIRST, my TC blew my mind – I’d been approaching it from the wrong way all along.

If we continue with the shopping for clothes analogy, what I was doing is seeing something pretty, trying it on, and continually being frustrated with the fit. I was also continually confused as to why it look so pretty on the hanger, but not on me. What my TC is suggesting is to spend time figuring out my size, how my body is proportioned, and what colors look good on me first. Then we can go shopping with the specifics in mind. Much more likely to find the perfect dress a lot more quickly with that approach, don’t you think?

I think that’s enough journaling/blogging for today. I will talk about our first face-to-face session and some thoughts on being an introvert tomorrow.

Craftgawker Find of the Week

8 Jan

How these beautiful Dahlia earrings have not been bought yet, I do not know.

Dahlia Earrings vol. 2

If I weren’t doing my best to tighten the belt as we re-work our budget, they would be mine.

I might like this picture better:

Free Shipping - Dahlia earrings vol2

So feminine, yet distinctly modern. Good work, Shizen Designs!

I like Mike

7 Jan

Let me be more specific. Michael J Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax fame – I love him. I have a bobblehead.

My husband introduced me to his work and he may have regretted it ever since.

So, when I saw this on Etsy:

Michael Nelson Tweet Stitch - FREE SHIPPING

I cooed with glee (prompting an immediate eye roll from my husband).

And yes, I do follow him on Twitter. If I ever end up in San Diego again, I am so asking him to lunch.

So thank you, YouHeartUs, for making my crafting day!

Ravelry.com

6 Jan

Ok, this post is for all you yarn fans out there.

Over Thanksgiving, a friend of mine introduced me to Ravelry.com. I may be late to the bandwagon, but possibly there are knitters or crotchetiers who are reading this blog and haven’t heard of this site.

Ravelry is a place for you to:

  • browse patterns – many are free
  • keep track of what’s in your yarn basket
  • keep track of what needles and hooks you have one hand
  • keep a queue of patterns to try
  • post updated of your progress on your current project
  • socialize with other yarn craft loving people

A few screen shots for your viewing pleasure:

The pattern tab:

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The advanced search here is particularly powerful. You can search by many and multiple parameters – what needle size you want to use, what yarn you have in your stash, difficulty, type of garment, etc.

The yarns tab:

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You can search different types of yarns out there and see where you might be able to purchase the yarn you desire. I’m a very tactile person, so I prefer to shop for yarn in places where I can feel it, but this could be nice if you prefer to shop for yarn online (though they do link to some brick and mortar stores as well, i believe).

Your notebook:

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This is where you can keep track of your progress on projects, review your queue, update your stash, keep up to date on events – everything social and project oriented.

Any yarn lovers out there want to add their two purls on Ravelry.com? Leave a comment 🙂

Local Etsy Spotlight: Licia Beads

5 Jan

Today’s spotlight shines on Licia Beads.

Handmade jewelry using precious and semi-precious gemstones, sterling, gold, vintage style floral and brass as well as the smallest of seed beads.

The shop also links to a supply shop for all you home jewelers.

Some lovely items:

Winter Night - beadwoven Swarovski and sterling necklace

Blue Moon Pearl Earrings

Sea and Sky - Aquamarine and mixed metal floral earrings

Pool - beadwoven swarovski and sterling chain

(I guess we all know what my favorite color is now…)

Hop on over and take a look!

Foodgawker Highlight

4 Jan

I love Foodgawker – celebrating good food photography and making me hungry every day. Occasionally, I learn something, too!

Today I saw this lovely picture on the front page:

Kroketten (Dutch Croquettes)

And, well, that looks like something fried. And being from the South, I never met something fried that I didn’t like.

The image links to a sweet post from Almost Bourdain. The snacks above are called Kroketten and are a type of Dutch Croquettes. Reading over the recipe, this seems like a great item to have in your recipe box when you have some leftover roast beef or brisket that you aren’t sure what to do with.

What’s also nice about the post is the writer’s connection to the dish – recipes with a story are always a favorite. And she takes many lovely pictures, which always help me out the first time I attempt a new dish.

Maybe these will be on my Super Bowl Party list this year…

Fabric Friday: AT Fabric Site Round Up

2 Jan

Apartment Therapy is one of those blogs I skim a lot. Some pretty pictures here and there, but posts I find actually useful are fairly rare. I rent my apartment, but it seems many of the readers and writers of AT may rent, but can treat the property like they own (painting, light construction), which I cannot.

However, this is why I love New Year’s – roundups galore. Like a well organized browsing session, roundups help me find more information more efficiently.

Case in point – Best Fabric Shops: Online

While I prefer shopping for fabric (and yarn and clothing) in person due to my tactile nature, this is a post I will be bookmarking for future reference.

To comment on each site after a brief browse:

  • Amy Butler Design – annoyingly designed site and I couldn’t find where to buy fabric online – only pre made items like bags and bedding.
  • Retro Depot – exactly as the name suggests (includes Amy Butler designs). Very little that blew up my skirt, though, so to speak. Many designs just come across as kitschy – might be good for quilters looking for something different, though.
  • Purl Soho – More of what I like, but the thumbnails are very small, making it harder to browse effectively.
  • Fabric Guru – Now this is more like it! Huge variety, even though the site isn’t the prettiest thing to look at.

I’m a sucker for damask prints.

  • FinnStyle – again, the site design leaves something to be desired, but big, bold prints abound and are oh so lovely:

  • Nearsea Naturals – I’m not stickler for the organic/naturals movement (though if that’s what you like in terms of design, so be it), but the benefit of buying large quantities of fabric by the roll, or getting pre-cut fabric discounts is appealing.

  • Fabric.com – (note AT’s link via their Marketplace is wrong) Very much like an online JoAnn’s to me. Lots of fabric, not a lot that calls to me. They also have other supplies such as yarns and needles for knitting.
  • Lewis & Sheron Textile Co. Online – Nice and easy to browse. But really – why is it most fabric sites look like those pages that come up when you mis-type the address to a popular webpage like Facebook or Google?

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  • FiltzFelt – Though on the expensive side, the site is well designed and easy to maneuver and the products are simple and easy to find. The benefit of dealing in one type of fabric (and a few products made from that fabric).
  • Repeat Fabrics – suffers from the same site design issues as Amy Butler, but the designs are more compelling – though it doesn’t seem like you can order them online. Oh well.

The other item of note is most of the sites seem to sell fabrics good for decor, quilting, or non-wearable items. Aside from Fabric.com, I may still need to visit my local fabric shop for any clothing I’m looking to make in the future.

I wish everyone a wonderful and creative 2010! Happy New Year and Happy 10’s!